What's your zone? What's your friendliness zone? 3 feet? 5 feet? 10 feet? 200 feet?
If you're walking in a store, a park, the workplace or church parking lot or bike riding, when & how often & to whom do you say hello to? You have a sphere of influence. Where can you make a difference in others' lives? Wherever you're at, that is your sphere. But it's how you actually extend yourself within that sphere that makes a difference. That's your friendliness zone. What is yours?
I'm sitting on a park bench reading & a man walked by while talking on his cellphone & broke his conversation to say hello to me at 3 feet of distance. How nice! How friendly & warm!
Get your "friendly" out. Say hello & smile to people. Spread some care & sunshine. Open up & get to know people. I sat in Panera's one day firing up my laptop & noticed the man next to me working on his. I just popped out & said, "What are you working on?" He pleasantly opened up & shared about his project & that he was a wardrobe salesman at a large department store for many years. We talked about people's personalities, temperaments & communicating with others & about the technology he was trying to keep up with. It was a pleasant & perky conversation & I got to bless & encourage him in who he is & in what he does.
Change today's culture. I challenge you to increase how you extend yourself in friendliness within your sphere of influence. It takes nothing to come up with a random comment or question to someone & a conversation may be opened. In those few comments or conversation, you can bless with seeds of love or the full gospel of Jesus.
Everyone in the places you shop are lives God has put you in contact with. Get to know those people, their names and their lives. Interface with them in concern. How are we to change the world with the love of God if we're not close enough with them to share it with in life's interactions? You are the message of Christ, so speak up, relate & be relatable. You can also ask God to increase your territory (your sphere of influence). Then shorten up your friendliness zone within that.
I call you "Mr. Friendly" & "Mrs. Friendly!"
"Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, "Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain." And God granted his request (1 Chronicles 4:10).
If you would believe in yourself like God believes in you, you will prosper and cause others to prosper. Believe that He has chosen you for good works because He entrusted you to carry something this world needs so that they may also increase. Believe that He has blessed you with skills, talents, wisdom and spiritual gifts to increase others. He believes in you because He believes in Himself in you. It is impossible that He did not chose you for something! God doesn’t create for nothing nor does He save and make us new creations for nothing! Discover your identity in Christ, know who you are and do what He has given you plans, authority and trust to do. This is where greater fulfillment is.
#discoverwhoyouareinHim #believe #castoutdoubt #sabotagefearnotyourself #carryitout
"For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do" (Ephesians 2:10).
Waking up one morning in a very broken state of life, I heard God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit agreeing over me saying, “We can rebuild her. We have the tools.” If you grew up when I did, you’d know those are the words to the intro of the weekly sci-fi show “The Six Million Dollar Man” airing 1974-78’. Astronaut Steve Austin was in a spaceship crash and scientists rebuilt him with bionics in surgery, costing six million dollars. I had to pull up the video below. Listen to the words and insert your own name in it.
“Denise Flynn…we can rebuild her…We have the tools…We have the capability… Denise Flynn will be that woman. Better than she was before. Better…Stronger…Faster.”
Don’t you love it! No matter what's going on right now, no matter how broken you are, if you go through it right with God, you will come out healed and better. Lean into God. Use Him for His healing love and power. Know that He wants to love on you and help you. Keep your attitudes toward him and not turning away or lacking trust and hope. Don't become bitter. Be obedient. In doing so, we can count on His promises to rebuild us.
“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds" (Psalm 147:3).
“Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces
perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” Romans 5:3-5
Yeah, these promises can be yours at the cost and sacrifice of Jesus. Look out for YOU…future Six Million Dollar Man and Woman in process of being rebuilt right now!
I used to be in Sales and Advertising Sales. Actually, we are all in Sales. We are selling ourselves to others all throughout life. We sell ourselves at an interview, to our children when we are promoting chores instead of Xbox, to a friend to see one movie over another, or to a significant other in a marriage proposal. (Actually, I was bought and returned on that one once, but it’s all okay now.) The list goes on.
There is a common sales and advertising slogan. “You’ll be so glad you did.” You’ll be so glad you bought my product. You’ll be so glad you’ve invested in my service. This saying has always stuck with me and I now apply it to more situations than selling or making money.
“You’ll be so glad you did.” My friends may even hear me say or write it. I wonder if they know I
am trying to persuade them when I do.
This is where the saying really fits well. You will be so glad you did not sin. You will be so glad you did not eat those extra snacks. You’ll be so glad you did not spend the extra money. You will be so glad you put in the extra time into that project. You will be so glad you did not say those extra words positioned to leap off your tongue. You’ll be so glad you gave more than you originally wanted to.
You’ll be so glad you went the extra mile. You’ll be so glad you did not withhold. You’ll be so glad you did not disappoint God. You will be so glad you did not grieve the Lord. You will be so glad you did not take advantage of His blood that He shed for you. You will be satisfied. God will be pleased and you will be with peace.
Satisfied. The word resonates sweetness. Generally, we are satisfied when we have no or few regrets. Isn’t that worth so much.
So considering “You’ll be so glad you did” the next time you really want to do something and you know you shouldn’t is a good thing. Consider it too when you really don’t want to do something and know you should. Sell yourself on it. You’ll be so glad you did.
You may have to refuse the urge several times of that thing you want to participate in. You may have to ask God several times for the grace and strength to withstand. You may have to say “Lord, make me willing.” And He will.
Life cannot always or even frequently be about the immediate pleasure, but in long term prospering. Many times we cannot easily go back to change things. It may take a long
time and much pain and prayer. I’ve been saying “NO” to a bag of chips all evening, and come tomorrow, I’ll not be wishing I had done differently. (And I’ll be so glad when my son eats
them before me.)
And this is where discipline and strength from the Lord comes in. Seek Him and it will be provided.
“I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble.” Psalm 59:16, 17
“All your commands are trustworthy;” Psalm 119:86
So consider all deeply…You’ll be so glad you did.
Choosing Dates & Mates
Have the types of dates & mates you've chosen through the years changed? If not, you may not have grown spiritually, emotionally or relationally.
A hope is that over the years as we come closer in relationship with Christ, we would become more like him in nature…in our character, transferring over to our actions & treatment of others. A hope is that we would fall more in love with God, Jesus & the Holy Spirit. A hope is that we also would have sought wholeness, healing & deliverance for ourselves. The first does not automatically take care of the last. Sometimes people hold back from further healing due to lack or knowledge of what they’re really carrying or where to receive such help from or having pride not to disclose hurts or hangons to others. We choose better dates & mates much like when we decide to put healthier food into our own bodies, we become a better grocery shopper.
The hope is that after being transformed in those ways ourselves first, we would desire another that has the fruit of Christ & has resolved and received healing from inner wounds, great doubts & behaviors that don’t model Christ. I spoke with a person who was asked “What did your former spouse & people you dated all have in common?” The common denominator lead the person asked to a realization of what trait(s) to avoid upon becoming involved again & to take responsibility to not move forward in that case. The common denominator lead the person to committing to changing themselves to make a better future selection.
If one hasn’t courted/dated in a while, what is the reason? Is it because a male/female hasn’t been found with those qualities? We really do have to be praying for the walk & growth of our brothers & sisters, don’t we? Has one found themselves keeping better company in friendships? Has one’s inner circle become filled with love & strength rather than unnecessary drama, people acting out of the will of God or hurtful people? Those are good signs that a person has reached a deeper maturity in Christ. Is it that one has fallen so much in love with Christ that they feel content with Him alone? That’s great too! So many would love to be able to say that, but haven’t come to that place yet. Contentment is beautiful.
So our goal for ourselves should be to chase God & seek wholeness & healing first & if lead, to pursue or wait to be pursued by another with the same heart & spiritual, emotional & relational health in terms of romantic relationships. Choosing the right relationships saves us hurt & increases our joy.
Ladies, here’s what guys think regarding communicating your initial interest to them.
1) Males don’t like it when you initiate communication with them too often, instead of allowing them to. Whether by text, phone or email, they really want to be the leader and major initiator in this process. Too many invitations to festivities, etc. will come across the same way to them. Make yourself a communication chart if you need to and don’t tell them/him about it to track your steps. This is to have a visible way of keeping yourself accountable, not communicating more frequently than you should with them. Leave some space. You are not to be all dependent on them.
In the story of Ruth, Ruth showed Boaz her interest one time. The rest of the show was left up to Boaz; he took over from there. Ruth didn’t keep hounding Boaz and falling all over him day after day.
One male shared with me, “I want God to show me who my Ruth is, not for her to keep telling me.
And I want to be the leader.
Ruth Chapter 3:
7 When Boaz had finished eating and drinking and was in good spirits, he went over to lie down at the far end of the grain pile. Ruth approached quietly, uncovered his feet and lay down. 8 In the middle of the night something startled the man; he turned—and there was a woman lying at his feet!
9 “Who are you?” he asked.
“I am your servant Ruth,” she said. “Spread the corner of your garment over me, since you are a guardian-redeemer] of our family.”
10 “The Lord bless you, my daughter,” he replied. “This kindness is greater than that which
you showed earlier: You have not run after the younger men, whether rich or poor. 11 And now, my daughter, don’t be afraid. I will do for you all you ask. All the people of my town know that you are a woman of noble character. 12 Although it is true that I am a guardian-redeemer of our family, there is another who is more closely related than I. 13 Stay here for the night, and in the morning if he wants to do his duty as your guardian-redeemer, good; let him redeem you. But if he is not willing, as surely as the Lord lives I will do it. Lie here until morning.”
Now I must say. To me, Boaz sounded a little nonchalant about the whole thing when he said, “if he (the man who was really first in line to marry Ruth) wants to do his duty as your guardian-redeemer, good; let him redeem you.” Myself, I may have taken Boaz’s response as “He can live without me so easily.” But Ruth and Boaz had their senses, calm and trust about them; and that’s how we should be. If it’s not God, ok. If it’s God, Great!
Boaz took the lead from there and established the status of their relationship.
Further on, I love Naomi even more. Verse 16: “When Ruth came to her mother-in-law, Naomi asked, ‘How did it go, my daughter?’” We’ll always have a Naomi asking us how things went.
Smile. There is nothing new under the sun. Some things will never change. (Ecclesiastes 1:9)
2) As you are getting to know a guy in friendship, don’t joke about them being interested in you or you in them, or make underlying comments about it. That’s considered an overanxious plea--not comical or cute. In the earlier stages of a deeper relationship, don’t be too assertive in your communication either. Don’t make jokes or pokes about marriage.
3) When you see them at a gathering, don’t spend all your time and attention on them there. Spread your company around amongst different huddles.
So how much or long do you communicate with them? How much do you say to them? How much do you ask or share? Take it easy; you’re not interviewing them for a biography all in one sitting.
Picture this object in your mind right now…a fire hydrant hose. If you’ve never seen a fire hose going off, Google it. Imagine your over-communication as having similarity to a fire hose explosion. Don’t power wash the guy(s) with communication like that of the pressure of a fire hose. Don’t blow them away with all that force! Picture that. Instead, let your interest or communication come out through a regular garden hose. A regular garden hose can have a nozzle over the end for controlling the amount and strength of release of the water. Or, instead of a squirting nozzle on the end of the hose, one can just leave the opening of the hose open. Instead of shooting the guy(s) with the power flow of water, let them feel that you are drizzling refreshing water over their legs and feet as you talk with them—not at them. You are sprinkling revitalizing “just enough” words and communication out of your garden hose that will feel cool and invigorating to them. You’ll be the coolest girl leaving them to want and ask for more communication and time with you.
Now…is this male your liking receptive to your communication? Is he asking you questions about yourself too? Is he laughing? Is he looking at you during the conversation? Is he smiling? If the
answers are “yes”, then keep up your work. If the answers are “no”, then shift your eyes and desires off of the man. Always keep your eyes on the Lord primarily.
You can’t make a guy be into you for a friend or more. You can’t drag a guy to you. A man’s real heart and not his momentary emotions are generally drawn to a lady in a gentle and gradual way.
May God give you discernment in hese things. May He give you patience for all areas of your life.
May He become your first "one and only". May you have no other idols. May you know how valuable and special you are.
Generally, people feel most comfortable and free to be their truest selves when they’re around someone who they believe loves them deeply. I have experienced this myself as well. Their best
conversation comes out. Their cutest humor and uniqueness comes out. Their biggest smiles and laughter comes out. This is because they know they’re loved…nothin’ to prove extra. Some may call this a “chemistry”. It’s certainly a chemistry that takes the pressure off.
Well…God loves you…truly. And He’s always around you. So feel free to be your truest self, who He made you to be, how He made you to flow, regardless. No intimidation. Freedom. “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom” (2 Corinthians 3:17). Let the “You” flow. Let the blessings flow. You just may be the one who others begin to be themselves around then! Be YOU!
Feel free to be yourself with God too as you talk to Him. Tell Him what your heart wonders. Tell Him what your heart feels. Be comfortable with Him, because He does love you.
Last weekend I hosted a SURPRISE birthday party for my 17 year old son and a very good friend, Jerry, turning…older (age hidden to protect the innocent–lol). During the weeks of secrecy, preparation and tales, Jerry along with our friend Dave helped move someone from home to home. They worked so hard and late to be a blessing. Jerry texted me a few days after the move asking if our group could hold a special time of honor for Dave at an upcoming event. I said, “Sure!”
Little did Jerry know that at that very time frame, God was busy planning and pulling things and people into place to honor and surprise him just days ahead! My thoughts were "if you only knew!"
Stop thinking God’s blessings are for everyone else. His blessings are for everyone else and
YOU! His abundance is for everyone else and YOU, if you’ll only believe! “‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes” (Mark 9:23). It takes faith and the knowing that God will be good to you too if you are also obedient!
I know that when I’m waiting a long time for something to come, change or occur, I’m happier when I’m believing for it than when I’m in discouragement or doubt. And God knows that’s how that works, for He created “hope” too. "Put your hope in God" (Psalm 43:5). I love my surprises!
It was fantastic to surprise Jerry with a party of joy and celebration of his life and who he is. A day after, Jerry said it was "one of his best days ever". God wants to give you your own “best days ever”. He wants to see your face light up and your smile go wide.
God is all about “showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments” (Exodus 20:6). And notice, the translation says “showing love”; believe and expect your prayers to show up in form.
Lord, I thank you in advance for the pleasant surprises you have stored up for me.
After the wandering Israelites had roamed in the desert of confusion for 40 years, the Lord’s command for them going into Canaan was this: “‘When you enter the land I am going to give you, the land itself must observe a sabbath to the Lord. For six years sow your fields, and for six years prune your vineyards and gather their crops. But in the seventh year the land is to have a year of sabbath rest, a sabbath to the Lord. Do not sow your fields or prune your vineyards. Do not reap what grows of itself or harvest the grapes of your untended vines. The land is to have a year of rest. Whatever the land yields during the sabbath year will be food for you—for yourself, your male and female servants, and the hired worker and temporary resident who live among you” (Leviticus 25:2-6).
Are you spinning your wheels getting nowhere but hurt and confused with men or women? Do you need a rest from dating or relationships? Time away from the frustration of trying to make something work with the opposite gender? Maybe you've been sowing in the wrong places or at the wrong times? Do you need some time just for YOU….no straining…to rest your land? Maybe it’s time for a relationship Sabbath…time to step away from romantic relationships. One definition Noah Webster gives the word Sabbath is an “Intermission of pain or sorrow; time of rest.” …rest your emotions…get or regain your bearings.
In this scripture, the Lord instructed the Israelites to take "a sabbath of rest, a Sabbath to the Lord". Would it make sense to rest from relationships and do it with Him in mind. This Sabbath time, a time of rest, is for the Lord and you together…time to establish a relationship with Him, time to grow in closeness with Him and develop yourself and life with Him…a time solely with Him.
As the scripture says, whatever and all this Sabbath time yields will be for YOU. And the people
closest to you will also reap the food or benefits as you rest, heal, grow and flourish.
If it’s called for, consider this Sabbath as doing something nice for yourself, for the Lord, for the others around you. Rest your land.
One thing my former spouse taught me is that you never realize how much your back needs to be scratched until you scratch it. You’re moving along very busily in life with no thoughts of the skin cells on your back. Then one day, someone scratches your upper and lower back and you say, “Ahhhhh….” Then they scratch your neck, shoulders and arms and you think, “This is soooo good! I had no idea! How have I been missing this?”
Fulfillment is much the same with good, Christian fellowship. Some of you may be tiptoeing onto this page…just a little curious, yet avoiding fellowship with other Christian singles. You may say, “I don’t need a singles group. I’m fine on my own. I’ve never had good experiences with that before.”
Just to tell you though, good fellowship is like a good back scratch. It can leave you so satisfied and fulfilled and loved that you won’t know how you ever did without it…or without us.
Try a Singles fellowship, one that is pursuing God in the things they say and do. Try it several times. Give us a chance to scratch your back with friendship, laughing together, worshipping together and experiencing God and life together.
Wisdom & encouragement to share with others!
Denise Flynn writes about Singleness, Relationships, Goal Obtainment & the Christian walk. Order