Is It Worth It?


Today I share the words of a young scholar.

He wouldn’t call himself an author even though I am featuring him as such. As a matter of fact, English is his least favorite subject. He didn’t write the following for me, he wrote it to encourage a couple of friends. But when numerous people read it (on Snap Chat) and began responding with resounding thanks and “I needed that,” he showed me.

My featured author is my fourteen year old son, Blair, dsc_0031who composed this late at night in the shower taking a short break during a study session. But I’m not sharing this because he is my son. I’m sharing this because it shows that even at a young age we can consider what it means to take our lives forward. This is what my son was thinking about the other night when he was tired, wanting to be watching television, sleeping or playing a video game instead of studying.

“Is this really worth it? All this stressing? Is it really worth it?”

I really thought about it.  Yes, it is extremely worth it. We dream big. We set out goals way out of our reach to test us. And we make them. We want to go to a good college to get an education and play sports to prove something.

But it starts here.

With these late nights studying. We will go far because we set our goals way too far. We don’t want mediocre. We don’t want to be okay with where we are.

We want to be great.

We want to be completely and fully satisfied with where we end up. We can only do this with the power of God! Let him work in you and through you, and you will go far and accomplish your goals.

Blair’s friends were encouraged, he was encouraged and I hope you are too.

Don’t give up.

As we end the first month of this New Year, look at the steps you’ve already taken and applaud yourself. Even a baby, barely standing and reaching out a shaky foot to take a tiny step is celebrated.

  • Find your celebration.
  • Recalculate your direction and the steps needed to get you there.
  • Evaluate the good and the not so good. Set your goals out there so you have to reach.
  • Be great because God has greatness for you. He will strengthen you and uphold you.

Now go tackle the next eleven months.

Shared with permission. =)

How Do I Know if I’m Fruitful?


Every day we make mistakes.

We say and do things we know are wrong, hurtful or leading us in a direction away from where we want to end up.dsc_0021

And every day we can decide to change our trajectory.

How do we do that? In the Bible, Luke 3:8 tells us to “produce fruit in keeping with repentance.”

UGH.

Do we hate that word “repentance?” I used to. Until I learned that to repent simply means to turn around.

Like in 180°.

About face.

U-turn.

To see that we are headed the wrong way, catch it and say “I blew it. I’m sorry, God. I want to turn around.”

It’s really not as painful as we seem convinced it is. Well, okay, some things can be – like when we’ve lied to someone, or said something behind their back, or broken a promise. Yes, it is hard to come clean that we’ve been looking at inappropriate material or using the company card for our personal benefit. But when we’re taking our life forward into better, repentance is the way to go. Besides…

God already forgave us.

Done deal. So our acknowledging our sinful ways and receiving his forgiveness is a simple step. And every time we repent, it gets easier. Then we actually sin less.  Some attitudes or action need to be repented of a hundred times in a day at first, but each time creates a new path. Thank goodness.

So what’s this “fruit of repentance?”

The evidence that we’re getting it.

God tells us there are 3 things that show when we are living a repentant lifestyle:

  1. Generosity – A heart that is willing to give to those in need. Things, time, resources.
  2. Honesty -No lying to secure something for ourselves. No accusing others for our gain.
  3. Contentment – Being happy with what we have without trying to take more than our share.

I’m so grateful God forgives us and then gives us a barometer to remind us of how we’re doing. Embracing a repentant life means we’re living a freer life. I’m all for that!

Is there some area where you feel you need to make a U-Turn? I’d love to hear about it.

Is Your Foundation Crumbling?


laura-half-moon-bay-026For those of us raised in church we remember the song about the man who built his house on the sand. When the rains came down, as preschoolers we delighted in smashing the house.

But the truth of that song can’t be denied.

Anyone who builds a house knows how important a strong foundation is. Living previously in Southern California, I’ve watched enough beach houses clinging to the side of a sandy cliff, crumble into the sea!

Not good.

And the same principle applies to many areas of life, right?

Marriage. Parenting. Friendship. Business.

All require a solid foundation. Thank God, he has an answer for that. (Are you surprised?)

We’re in the book of Luke (6:12 & 19, 46-49). Jesus has gone off and spent the night talking to God, his Father. When he comes back he has power to heal people, deliver them from demons and teach them. He had to spend time with God, in his presence, before he was equipped to carry out his daily life.

Jesus tells us to start with a firm foundation.

He says that there are 3 things that will lay that solid and deep foundation:

  1. Come to Jesus – Hang with him. Spend time in his presence.
  2. Hear his words – Don’t let them pass over, or read them without taking them in.
  3. Put his words into practice – Do what he says, and you will be on solid ground.

Jesus is a rock. Our rock.

He’s happy to have us stand on him, cling to him, even lie down and soak up some rays. No matter what storm or flood comes, we can stand firm when we’ve claimed a spot on the rock. Otherwise, life’s storms will destroy us.IMG_1131.JPG

Our power and strength come from being with God.

If you don’t know Jesus or call him your Lord, what a great way to start the New Year! He’s waiting for you to recognize your need for him, confess your sinfulness and receive his great love and forgiveness to take you forward into a solid way of life.

If that is you, getting solid is as easy as this:

Jesus, I acknowledge you are the Son of God. I need you. I’ve done things my own way, but I’ve been wrong. I want to turn around to you and your ways. Thank you for forgiving me by your death and making a way for me to be with you by your resurrection. Amen.

If you’ve decided to make Jesus the foundation of your life, please let me know at laurabennet14@gmail.com. I’d love to celebrate with you!

10 Ways to Take Our Life into the New Year


Resolutions. Hard work. Expectations. Failure.107

Sometimes we feel like we have to work so hard to make life work or to be who we think others or even God requires us to be.

But it’s actually simple.

God’s done everything for us already. Psalm 104 & 105 reminds us that he set boundaries for waves, made mountains and every creature that dwells there. He’s given us plants for food and makes each thing suitable to the place he’s put it. He’s forgiven us and given us his spirit to help us live.

So what are we stressed about?

All we need to do is respond to his love and care for us.

Here’s 10 ways to do that:

  1. Give thanks to the Lord
  2. Call on his name
  3. Make known what he has done
  4. Sing praise to him
  5. Glory in his holy name
  6. Let your heart rejoice
  7. Seek the Lord – his face – get up close and personal with him
  8. Look to him for strength
  9. Remember the wonders he has done
  10. Shout for joy!

Not a hard list, is it?

Let’s try it for a couple of days and see if our day goes more smoothly. Or even try it every day for 1 week and see if you notice your days shifting to less stressed, more positive and happier. Try it for 3 weeks to make it a new habit.

I can’t wait to start.

Let me know how you’re doing by sharing your experiences here in the comments or by emailing me at laurabennet14@gmail.com

 

I Need Your Help


Faithful followers. I have a favor to ask of you…VBS 011

As we jump into 2017, I’m attempting to amp up my marketing. And believe me, I definitely need help there. Putting yourself out there is, well, not easy.

So here’s the request.

I wonder if those of you who have read any of my books would be willing to leave an honest review on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and/or Goodreads if you haven’t already done so (thank you to those who have). Even if you didn’t like it, any review is better than no review. It’s okay. I’m a big girl. I can take it. I promise I won’t cut you off or unfriend you.

I can’t begin to explain the complicated publishing world and how much it benefits us as authors to have your reader reviews. Sometimes it can even mean the possibility of a future publishing contract. I know. You had no idea, did you?

I’ll even make it easy for you.

If you’ve read The Miracle of Us: Confessions of an Online Dater click on the following links to leave a review. DSC_0002

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Goodreads

 

 

If you’ve read Voices of the Past click on the following links to leave a review.

bookcoverimagevoice

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Goodreads

 

 

 

If you’ve read Simple & Creative Event Decorating – right. You know the drill.cover

Amazon

Goodreads

 

 

 

And if you have yet to enjoy my books and would like to, you can use the same links above (except Goodreads) to purchase. No pressure.

Thank you in advance for your help! My goal is to have at least 30 reviews for each book. I appreciate your input so much!

Happy reading!