FRANCESLUCAS's SparkPeople Blog FRANCESLUCAS's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Thought and Prayer for Friday, August 29, 2014 August 29, 2014 ACTIONS AND WORDS <BR> <BR> So many times when we do things because we have to, we get into a routine, get bored, get aggravated because we have to do them or we get careless about our responsibilities. Our words and actions are important to think about when we are doing something for others – even the repetitive work or something we don’t believe we have time to do. When we have the self-control to use positive words and kind actions toward others even in the mundane tasks, ... Fri, 29 Aug 2014 07:14:50 EST Thought and Prayer for Thursday, August 28, 2014 August 28, 2014 LIVE IN PEACE <BR> <BR> If we are tired of waking up with worry on our minds, there is a solution. If we are tired of going through the day afraid of what is going to happen next, there is something we can do. If we are tired of not getting sleep because we continue to dwell on the problems in our life, we can choose to stop. It takes self-control to focus on God so He can remove the worry, the fear and the pressures in life. When we practice self-control and focus on God, w... Thu, 28 Aug 2014 07:28:10 EST Thought and Prayer for Wednesday, August 27, 2014 August 27, 2014 SELF CONTROL IS POWERFUL <BR> <BR> It is so much better to live a life of self-control than to continuously fly off the handle with our emotions or do things we shouldn’t do because we lack self-control. When we have self-control during hard times and lean on God, the hard times won’t always go away but we will be better able to handle even more difficult times later. When we have self-control in the good times and not boast or be greedy but focus on God and give to others, w... Wed, 27 Aug 2014 07:30:34 EST Thought and Prayer for Tuesday, August 26, 2014 August 26, 2014 WISE WITH MONEY <BR> <BR> So many people spend every penny they receive without thinking about the future. Others even spend more than they have by borrowing money which quickly creates even bigger money problems. Having self-control in our finances means we know where our money is going. Our money is working for us rather than us working for it. If we want to be wise with money, we should get into God’s word and learn from Him. And, most importantly, give Him the firsts of a... Tue, 26 Aug 2014 06:49:18 EST Thought and Prayer for Monday, August 25, 2014 August 25, 2014 SELF-CONTROL ON THE JOB <BR> <BR> Most of us at our jobs more than we are at home. We are surrounded by people with different backgrounds, different life situations and many other differences that could easily cause conflict in the workplace. However, when we decide to have self-control on the job and let God help us in all things, we can let go of the times when we feel like getting upset. We can decide we are working only for the Lord. We can know there is good work to be... Mon, 25 Aug 2014 06:53:05 EST Thought and Prayer for Sunday, August 24, 2014 August 24, 2014 SELF-CONTROL WITH GRATITUDE <BR> <BR> Showing gratitude and appreciation to others is often overlooked. We may privately be thankful for what someone did but we may forget to tell them. We may notice the good deed but fail to recognize the person who did it. We may see someone who is working hard in the church or community but we not communicate to them the appreciation they deserve. It takes time and self-control to stop what we are doing and show sincere appreciation and gr... Sun, 24 Aug 2014 07:16:44 EST Thought and Prayer for Saturday, August 23, 2014 August 23, 2014 BE KIND AND GENEROUS <BR> <BR> We all know people who are generous to others. These people were either raised in a home where they were taught these values or they learned them through situations in life. Either way, a kind and generous person is one who is pleasant to be around. If we don’t have both of these qualities, it is possible to practice them and learn them. We can have the self-control to show kindness and generosity in all we do when we depend on God, when we put ... Sat, 23 Aug 2014 07:08:34 EST Thought and Prayer for Friday, August 22, 2014 August 22, 2014 TO BE HONEST <BR> <BR> Honesty is the best policy. When we are honest, we don’t have to keep our stories straight. When we are honest, we don’t have to remember what we told one person so we can be sure to tell others the same thing. When we are honest, we can set the example for others. It is just natural for people to trust an honest person. It’s time we examined our lives and ensured what we do and say is what is true and right. And if it is not, we need to pray asking Go... Fri, 22 Aug 2014 06:38:58 EST Thought and Prayer for Thursday, August 21, 2014 August 21, 2014 THE DAILY GRIND <BR> <BR> So often. So many times. So quickly. We get into a routine with our daily habits. We get up and do the same things. We go the same places. We talk to the same people. After a while, the routine either gets boring or it gets to where we just aren’t thinking any more. Soon we become lax about what we do and we forget what is important in life. We take things for granted and miss opportunities because we are so focused on our routines. It’s time we thin... Thu, 21 Aug 2014 07:07:58 EST Thought and Prayer for Wednesday, August 20, 2014 August 20, 2014 PATIENCE AND TRUST <BR> <BR> So many times we want to rush into things. We want what we want right now so we go ahead and make decisions that may not be the right ones. Those wrong decisions lead to problems and those problems lead to discouragement. That discouragement could lead to more wrong decisions and turn us away from God and to the things of the world. When we have the self-control to be patient and to trust in God, He will help us wait on His answer so we can do His... Wed, 20 Aug 2014 07:16:43 EST Thought and Prayer for Tuesday, August 19, 2014 August 19, 2014 GREED <BR> <BR> Most of us don’t think of ourselves as being greedy. However, greed can creep up on us if we aren’t careful. Greed is focusing on something or someone so much that we lose focus on God. Greed is when we wake up thinking about what we want rather than being grateful for what we have. Greed is going after what we want regardless of what effect that has on our relationships. Greed is focusing on getting what we want rather than giving what we have to God and to ... Tue, 19 Aug 2014 06:25:55 EST Thought and Prayer for Monday, August 18, 2014 August 18, 2014 SELF-CONTROL IN RELATIONSHIPS <BR> <BR> If we really thought about God’s purpose of our relationships, we would take the focus off of us and put it on other people. The relationships we have with others is not about what we can get but about what we can give. Having the self-control in a relationship means we give more, we have those hard conversations speaking the truth so we can help others and we share the love of God with them. A great relationship requires we love and gi... Mon, 18 Aug 2014 07:29:04 EST Thought and Prayer for Sunday, August 17, 2014 August 17, 2014 UNBELIEVERS <BR> <BR> We all know people who don’t believe in God. For whatever reason. They know about God. They know He is real. But they don’t trust in Him and believe He will give them eternal life. Having self-control around unbelievers is important because we could be tempted to do what they do rather than what God wants us to do. We should have the self-control to do what is right, stand up for God and live wisely among those who don’t believe in God. <BR> <BR> 1 Pete... Sun, 17 Aug 2014 07:36:54 EST Thought and Prayer for Saturday, August 16, 2014 August 16, 2014 FREE TIME <BR> <BR> We all have some free time each day. Some of us use our free time wisely while others of us get side tracked in the things of the world. Some of us have the self-control to do what God calls us to do with our free time while others of us waste time trying to please others. Our free time is still time from God. Whether we are working or sleeping or have some extra time or on our hands, we are to use all of our time to bring glory to God. Working for God in ... Sat, 16 Aug 2014 06:06:43 EST Thought and Prayer for Friday, August 15, 2014 August 15, 2014 LIGHTEN OUR LOAD <BR> <BR> When we carry a heavy bag around for a while, it gets burdensome. When we have to tote it all day long, we become weary. When we take it with us for weeks or months, we begin to feel extra pains in our bodies. Once we decide to lighten our load, however, we feel less burdened and seem to have a little more freedom to move and do things we couldn’t do before. Jesus wants to lighten our load by taking our burdens from us and setting us free. All it ta... Fri, 15 Aug 2014 07:20:02 EST Thought and Prayer for Thursday, August 14, 2014 August 14, 2014 DEEPLY AND COMPLETELY <BR> <BR> When we do something 100%, we are totally committed to it. When we put everything else aside so we can focus on that one thing, we are deeply and completely committed. We are practicing self-control with our focus and commitment. Being deeply and completely committed is a good thing if what we are focusing on is good. However, if what we are focusing on is bad for us, then we are going to suffer the consequences. Let’s decide today to have the ... Thu, 14 Aug 2014 06:49:44 EST Thought and Prayer for Wednesday, August 13, 2014 August 13, 2014 WHEN THINGS DON’T GO OUR WAY <BR> <BR> When things don’t go our way or something comes along that puts a kink in our plans, we have to take a different action than we intended. When our plans change due to the actions of others, we need to have the self-control not to get upset but to make the changes that need to be made and move on. There are going to be times when things don’t work out the way we planned. Having the self-control to understand this, in every situation, will... Wed, 13 Aug 2014 07:20:26 EST Thought and Prayer for Tuesday, August 12, 2014 August 12, 2014 LIVE TO PLEASE GOD <BR> <BR> We all could use a little more self-control in making the right decisions. Sometimes we make decisions based on what we want rather than doing the right thing. Other times we make decisions based on our feelings or emotions. And there are times we make decisions based on the ways of the world. The best way to make decisions is to have self-control and go to God, read His word, pray and wait on His answer. Having self-control to do God’s will rathe... Tue, 12 Aug 2014 06:52:45 EST Thought and Prayer for Monday, August 11, 2014 August 11, 2014 SELF-CONTROL TO LET GO <BR> <BR> When we get mad about a situation or about what someone has done and we continue to talk about it and brood over it, we are trying to control our feelings in a negative way. The best form of self-control is when we let things go and let God take control. It is harder to get past the hurt and resentment when we continue to hold things in. God wants us to have the self-control to let go. And we can only do that with His help. <BR> <BR> Ephesian... Mon, 11 Aug 2014 07:32:06 EST Thought and Prayer for Sunday, August 10, 2014 August 10, 2014 SELF-CONTROL IN HEALTH <BR> <BR> When we have self-control with our body, we do the things God calls us to do with them. We don’t put things into our body that are not good. We get enough sleep. We exercise. We eat right. Having the self-control to treat our bodies as a gift from God requires we make moment by moment decisions to do what is right for them. We should treat our bodies as holy sacrifices for God so we can live the life He has called us to live. He tells us true ... Sun, 10 Aug 2014 06:19:40 EST Thought and Prayer for Saturday, August 9, 2014 August 9, 2014 SUNNY SIDE UP <BR> <BR> It’s true. Negative people bring us down. When others criticize, condemn or complain, we can do three things. First, we could stop them and change the subject. Second, we could encourage them and tell them good things about themselves, others or the situation. The third thing we could do is help them. Whatever is causing that negativity can be dealt with. When we have the self-control to be bright and positive when others are down and out, they will see... Sat, 9 Aug 2014 08:33:12 EST Thought and Prayer for Friday, August 8, 2014 August 8, 2014 ACKNOWLEDGE GOD <BR> <BR> Ever walked past someone and they didn’t even look up and speak? Ever wonder what could possibly be on their minds that would cause them not to even look up and acknowledge you? Sometimes we too get distracted with our own lives and we forget to acknowledge others. Sometimes we even forget to acknowledge God. We may go days or weeks and not even think about Him. However, if we want self-control in our lives, we need to remember to acknowledge God in a... Fri, 8 Aug 2014 06:58:56 EST Thought and Prayer for Thursday, August 7, 2014 August 7, 2014 SELF-CONTROL ISN’T EASY <BR> <BR> Just like training for a marathon, training to have self-control takes practice. It requires we stop doing what want and begin doing what we ought to do. It may mean we have to stand alone or speak out for God in some situations. We may be mocked. We may be ridiculed. We may be tortured but we lean on God for what we need to keep our self-control intact so we are completely and totally living for Him and Him alone. And when we do – we become s... Thu, 7 Aug 2014 06:52:03 EST Thought and Prayer for Wednesday, August 6, 2014 August 6, 2014 REPLACEMENT SHAKE <BR> <BR> We have probably all tried one of those meal replacement shakes where we drink something that replaces the nutrients in the food we would have ate. The purpose is to help us become healthier and/or lose weight and teach us to make better food choices. When we replace something new with something that has been in our daily routines, it does shake things up a bit. Maybe we should have the mindset and self-control to replace negativity in our minds wi... Wed, 6 Aug 2014 06:50:40 EST Thought and Prayer for Tuesday, August 5, 2014 August 5, 2014 KEEP YOUR EYES ON JESUS <BR> <BR> It seems we lose control of our emotions the most when we take our eyes off of Jesus. Think about it. When was the last time we made a bad decision? When we lost focus of the right thing to do. When we lost focus of God. When we take our eyes off Jesus, we lose control because we then begin to think and do what we want or the world wants rather than what He wants. When we keep our eyes on Jesus, He will help us have self-control and do the rig... Tue, 5 Aug 2014 07:36:17 EST Thought and Prayer for Monday, August 4, 2014 August 4, 2014 FRIENDS OF THE WORLD <BR> <BR> These worldly things that consume us will eventually lead us down a path of destruction. We should be able to see that the things of the world are no good. If we take an honest assessment of what is going on in the world and the root of all the evil, we should see how harmful and destructive it would be to be a friend of the world. Self-control and living according to God’s will can help us turn from the things of the world and live for Him. <BR>... Mon, 4 Aug 2014 07:38:53 EST Thought and Prayer for Sunday, August 3, 2014 August 3, 2014 STEP OUT IN FAITH <BR> <BR> There are times when God is working in our lives and we are allowing Him to carry us because we are not able to handle things on our own. Then there are times when He steps back and we have to step out in faith. We need self-control to be able to step out in faith and not let doubt or fear keep us from doing His will. We need self-control to be able to do what He calls us to do knowing He will be with us as we do it. It is impossible to please God w... Sun, 3 Aug 2014 06:49:00 EST Thought and Prayer for Saturday, August 2, 2014 August 2, 2014 EMOTIONALLY SPEAKING <BR> <BR> We sometimes lose control of our emotions. When we feel the world is pressing down on us. When we feel tired and alone. When we feel like all is lost. We may lose self-control and allow our emotions to get the best of us. It is so important we rely on God to help us control our emotions. When we blow up around others and continuously lose control of our emotions, it is hard to be a witness for God. <BR> <BR> Proverbs 29:11 “Fools vent their ange... Sat, 2 Aug 2014 06:44:33 EST Thought and Prayer for Friday, August 1, 2014 August 1, 2014 PRACTICE SELF-CONTROL <BR> <BR> Many of us don’t think about self-control all the time. We get busy doing our work, relaxing and having fun that we don’t take time to examine our thoughts and actions to see if we are acting out self-control. However, in all we do, we should be sure we are in control of our actions. We should be sure we are living as God wants us to live. We should be sure, despite what is going on around us, we are doing what is in the best interest for us and... Fri, 1 Aug 2014 08:05:33 EST Thought and Prayer for Thursday, July 31, 2014 July 31, 2014 UNDERSTANDING ETERNAL VALUE <BR> <BR> We can go through the motions of the day, focus on the tasks we have to do and even get a lot of things done; however, if we aren’t working for the Lord then all is in vain. We need to understand the work we do is for riches in Heaven. We need to understand our focus should be on doing what is going to make an eternal impact rather than a worldly one. We need to understand on Judgment Day, our work will be reviewed and judged to see if what... Thu, 31 Jul 2014 06:57:35 EST Thought and Prayer for Wednesday, July 30, 2014 July 30, 2014 BEYOND OUR UNDERSTANDING <BR> <BR> There are so many things in life that are beyond our understanding. We may have been hurt in the past. We may be currently going through tough times. We may be worried about the future. However, God understands our past, our present and our future. When we give our lives completely to Him, we can stop trying to understand and just completely focus on Him. God’s abilities are far more than we can understand; however, we can depend on Him to giv... Wed, 30 Jul 2014 05:55:51 EST Thought and Prayer for Tuesday, July 29, 2014 July 29, 2014 YOUR OWN UNDERSTANDING <BR> <BR> What we understand is relative. It is relative to what we know. It is relative to our experiences. It is relative to our perception. We are different. We know that. We understand things differently because we know, experience and perceive things differently. That’s the facts and that’s the issue. And that is why God tells us to trust in Him and not to lean on our own understanding. <BR> <BR> Proverbs 3:5 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart;... Tue, 29 Jul 2014 06:28:16 EST Thought and Prayer for Monday, July 28, 2014 July 28, 2014 FINDING UNDERSTANDING <BR> <BR> How is it that some of us are better at finding things than others? Some of us can look in certain places and find something quickly while others of us search for days. One reason is because we visualize what we are looking for. If the object is green, we look for green things. Another reason is because we keep looking and don’t get distracted. We don’t give up. And finally, we believe. We know without a doubt we will find it. When we are search... Mon, 28 Jul 2014 06:58:38 EST Thought and Prayer for Sunday, July 27, 2014 July 27, 2014 DON’T ACT THOUGHTLESSLY <BR> <BR> Understanding the will of God seems hard for some and impossible for others. How can we really know what God wants us to do? How can we really know His will? Three things can help: relationships, love and desire. When we build a close relationship with God, love and trust Him completely and strongly desire to know and do His will, He will reveal it to us. Doing these things requires we spend time with Him, get to know Him, read His word and hav... Sun, 27 Jul 2014 07:07:17 EST Thought and Prayer for Saturday, July 26, 2014 July 26, 2014 PAY ATTENTION <BR> <BR> When we really listen to something and focus on it, we better understand it. By reading God’s word and spending time with Him, our faith will grow and we will better understand what He is calling us to do. We will better understand what His plan is for us and others. We will better understand that faith is the beginning of understanding. Putting our faith in God, paying attention to Him and listening to or reading His word will lead us to greater underst... Sat, 26 Jul 2014 07:08:19 EST Thought and Prayer for Friday, July 25, 2014 July 25, 2014 PRAY FOR UNDERSTANDING <BR> <BR> We need to rely on God’s understanding rather than our own. When we rely on our own understanding, we will begin to reason with what we are doing and believe it is okay to do something wrong just this one time. We will begin to make excuses why we need to do this one thing that is not in line with God’s will. To understand right from wrong we need to get into God’s word, pray and lean on His understanding because, like it or not, we have become ... Fri, 25 Jul 2014 06:37:52 EST Thought and Prayer for Thursday, July 24, 2014 July 24, 2014 UNDERSTAND THEN TEACH <BR> <BR> The best way to remember something is to learn it and then immediately teach it to someone else or at least tell them about it. When we seek first to understand and then to be understood, as Steven Covey says, we will create the opportunity to learn so we can teach or share it later. There are opportunities all around us to share with others. There are things we need to both learn and teach. Remember to listen and seek learning opportunities ever... Thu, 24 Jul 2014 07:13:35 EST Thought and Prayer for Wednesday, July 23, 2014 July 23, 2014 UNDERSTAND AND KNOW GOD <BR> <BR> In order to know something, we have to understand it. In order to understand something, we have to learn it. In order to learn something, we have to search for information and study it. If we want understanding, we have to seek it from the Source. God can give us understanding when we commit to learn from Him. When we seek the true God and stop trying to understand the things of the world, we will gain the understanding only He can give. And we... Wed, 23 Jul 2014 06:58:22 EST Thought and Prayer for Tuesday, July 22, 2014 July 22, 2014 FOLLOW THE LORD <BR> <BR> If we want to have true understanding of others, we need to follow God. He is the only One who understands. He understands justice. He understands the actions of others. He understands what we need to do to help others. When we follow the Lord, we can totally depend on Him so we can step out in faith doing what He calls us to do even when we don’t completely understand. <BR> <BR> Ephesians 5:2 “Live a life filled with love, following the example of C... Tue, 22 Jul 2014 07:17:04 EST Thought and Prayer for Monday, July 21, 2014 July 21, 2014 DO WE UNDERSTAND? <BR> <BR> So many times we tell others we understand what they are going through. We understand their feelings. We understand their reasoning. We understand what they are saying. But do we? Do we really understand what they are going through? Only God really knows what others are dealing with. Only He sees what their lives are really like. We can’t always totally understand what is going on in someone’s life, but we can listen, pray and love them. <BR> <BR> C... Mon, 21 Jul 2014 06:59:36 EST Thought and Prayer for Saturday, July 19, 2014 July 19, 2014 UNDERSTAND FRIENDS <BR> <BR> We are all busy. We all have our own responsibilities and priorities. So we need to understand there will be friends who are too busy to help us sometimes. There will be friends who let us down. But we shouldn’t take it personally. Instead we should seek to understand them more so we know what we can expect from them. We can understand our friends better when we really get to know them. We can do this by asking them questions and listening. We can l... Sat, 19 Jul 2014 06:33:28 EST Thought and Prayer for Friday, July 18, 2014 July 18, 2014 NEW FRIENDS <BR> <BR> We all have opportunities to meet new friends. Wherever we go there are people we don’t know. Sometimes we need time to get to know them. Sometimes we need to stop what we are doing and take time to find out who they are, what they do and where they are from. God puts people in our lives for a reason. When we take time to understand more about them, He will show us how we can help them. <BR> <BR> Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 “Two people are better off than one, fo... Fri, 18 Jul 2014 07:12:20 EST Thought and Prayer for Thursday, July 17, 2014 July 17, 2014 UNDERSTAND PERSONALITIES <BR> <BR> Our personalities are what others see quickly. Some of us our quiet and shy. Others are loud and rude. Some are silly and fun. There are many different personalities and when we take time to know others, we will learn more about their personality and understand them better. Understanding the personalities of others helps us to better communicate with them, love them and help them. It also helps us so we can build trust and share God’s word wi... Thu, 17 Jul 2014 07:03:40 EST Thought and Prayer for Wednesday, July 16, 2014 July 16, 2014 UNDERSTAND EXPERIENCES <BR> <BR> Since we are all different, we may not understand each other. People come from all walks of life. What they have experienced is not what we have experienced. But we need to seek to understand others. Sometimes we only want to see things our way and we don’t want to think about what someone else may be going through. That is why it is important to get to know them. It’s important to build trust with them. It’s important to share with them so the... Wed, 16 Jul 2014 06:39:55 EST Thought and Prayer for Tuesday, July 15, 2014 July 15, 2014 GET HELP <BR> <BR> Ever been in a discussion with someone and you could not make that other person understand your point of view? Ever had a situation where no matter what you said that other person didn’t agree with you? There will be times when others don’t understand what we say, what we do or why something happened. There will be times when we can’t say enough to help them understand. What do we do? We get help. God can help them understand in ways we can’t. We get help by ... Tue, 15 Jul 2014 07:25:48 EST Thought and Prayer for Monday, July 14, 2014 July 14, 2014 MISUNDERSTANDINGS <BR> <BR> Misunderstandings happen all the time. Especially in this new age of technology where texting and other written communication has taken over. With instant messaging we expect the other person to understand us and reply back to us quickly. However, in order to have a better understanding of both the person and the message, face to face communication is best. When we take time to get to know someone, build a relationship and see how we can help them, m... Mon, 14 Jul 2014 07:01:00 EST Thought and Prayer for Sunday, July 13, 2014 July 13, 2014 HOW OTHERS TREAT US <BR> <BR> There are so many times we don’t understand the actions of others. People do things where we feel they have betrayed us. People do things where we feel they have abandoned us. People do things where we feel they don’t care about us. When that happens, we need to be strong. It’s not a time to feel sorry for us. It’s not a time to seek revenge. Instead, it’s a time to go to God and pray for them, pray for the situation and pray for the right attitude... Sun, 13 Jul 2014 06:53:07 EST Thought and Prayer for Saturday, July 12, 2014 July 12, 2014 UNDERSTANDING THE ELDERLY <BR> <BR> How many times do we look at older people and feel sorry for them because of their health deteriorating? How many times do we avoid them or ignore them? How many times do we just tolerate or scoff at them? We need to remember there is knowledge, wisdom and understanding in those who have lived for a long time. They have a greater understanding of this world and of life. Let’s be sure to acknowledge the power of the aged and seek their wisdom ... Sat, 12 Jul 2014 07:08:08 EST Thought and Prayer for Friday, July 11, 2014 July 11, 2014 WISDOM AND UNDERSTANDING <BR> <BR> We all know people who others go to for everything. These people always have the right answers. These people always know what to say. These people have both wisdom and understanding. They are well-respected and often asked for advice and help. When we take time to get to know others we will learn quickly who the people are with wisdom and understanding. Getting to know others is key to learn how much they know and how much they really underst... Fri, 11 Jul 2014 06:32:02 EST Thought and Prayer for Thursday, July 10, 2014 July 10, 2014 HIS PLAN <BR> <BR> God has a plan for our lives because He understands us. We should be so grateful for God’s plan for us and know that it is perfect. Things may not always seem perfect when we are following God’s plan but part of the plan is for us to learn and grow. And we can’t learn and grow when things are always perfect. Remember the plan is perfect because it is from God but the road to complete the plan will be difficult. There will be barriers. There will be issues. ... Thu, 10 Jul 2014 06:01:45 EST