Don’t Waste your Talent

“When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and could say, I used everything you gave me.”
Erma Bombeck

IMAGINE ~

Imagine using all of your God-given talent.

What a different world this would be if each of us did just that!

But rather than beat myself up over what time and talent I have wasted in the past, I choose to celebrate what I can do now.

What steps can I take to use the talents God has provided?

What steps can you take?

Write down 3 talents you have.

  1. —-
  2. —-
  3. —-

Now are you using each one of those talents to the best of your ability?

Are they glorifying God?

If not, what one thing can you do to change that?

Each of you as a good manager must use the gift that God has given you to serve others. (1 Peter 4:10 GWT)

So the bottom line is that we are to use our talents to serve others.

Not only are we to use our talents to serve others but we are to Manage them.wpid-2015-02-22-16.09.03.jpg.jpeg

Each of us have different gifts and skills that God wants us to use to benefit others…not to benefit ourselves.

For me…I love to write. I love to write this blog.

Am I using this to benefit myself or to benefit others.

I hope the answer is yes and yes.

I don’t think there is anything wrong with me utilizing my gifts in a way I love, but God wants that gift to bring Him glory. Me loving it is just the icing on the cake.

Now, look back at the 3 talents you listed above.

What can you do differently to manage those talents?

Together let’s make a commitment to use our gifts from God to Serve others.
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You were bought for a price. So bring glory to God in the way you use your body. (1 Corinthians 6:20 GWT)

 

December 2013 my husband and I were cleaning out one of our guest closets. Tucked away on one of the shelves was a wrapped Christmas present. The tag said ~ To: Kaily – Love, Nana & Papa.

I could not remember at all what it was but I knew by the brittle paper that this was a gift from years past.

So for fun, we put it under the tree. I explained to Kaily that it was from years ago. When she opened it, the toy was more brittle than the paper…we threw it away.

And…it wasn’t all that fun…we were all disappointed by “gift” and the lost opportunity.

Have we done the same thing with the unopened gifts God has given us? Have we wasted them away like a gift card that loses its value?

God placed you here for a purpose.

Most of us will not be a Ruth Graham Lotz or her Father, Billy Graham. But you can be the YOU God designed you to be…to serve others, thus serving Him.

Blessings,

Susan

A Slice of Heaven

Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating; there is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather.

John Ruskin

Hmmm…I think those who are being battered AGAIN by the snow and ice would disagree with John Ruskin!!

Much of the United States is currently experiencing messy weather.

Dale Carnegie said,
One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living. We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon instead of enjoying the roses that are blooming outside our windows today.

You may not have any actual roses on the other side of your window pane today, but God has provided each of us the ability to see the invisible flowers and trees in the very lives around us.

Let your roots grow down into Him, and let your lives be built on Him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness. (Colossians 2:7 NIV)

You may be struggling to find the beauty around you.

Health, finances, relationships, the uncertainty of the future may cloud your vision.

FOCUS on Christ.

He KNOWS the end of the story and if you have a personal relationship with Him…so do you!

If cold weather can be depressing, then imagine what a cold heart does to someone.

Is your life rooted in Christ? If so, no matter what “heat” comes your way or what situations leave you feeling cold and alone, know that He is your Father and He only wants what is best for you.

In turn, do the same for your fellow man…want the best for them.

We have all heard how it is a blessing to help others…it truly is! Reach out to your neighbor or co-worker. Be the light in their life and the cold blanket of snow that is covering your heart will melt away…and you WILL be blessed.

As the saying goes, pay it forward. And you may need to be the one that starts that process. Make it a chain reaction, daily, you will get your mind off of the blizzard around you and the cold winter that is brewing in your heart.

It does not have to be something elaborate. A simple call or email can brighten someone’s day. Purchase an extra jar of jelly or fruit and give it to a neighbor who is shut in…have a cup of coffee with them. They will be blessed,  and so will you.

For those of you that needed these words and for those of you who are just sick of winter and have not seen a rose, the lusciuos green of a lawn, or felt the warmth of the sunshine upon your face in a long time, I thought you might enjoy these photos of the sunrise, trees with “green” leaves and a few with “color”, and the beauty of summer, spring and fall.

Blessings,
Susan

Thx for your support

BOOM!

LifeWhataJoy began in 2011…Over the years I have grow spiritually, been drawn closer to The Lord, and developed a deeper sense of responsibility to you, The Reader.

Thank you for your support…to those who have been there since the beginning and those who have joined along the way.

And if you are just stopping by…Hello! Hope you stay for a while.

It’s a blessing and honor to have you take the time to click open my post to read my simple stories…stories of my life and how I see God in the smallest things. From the cat falling in the pool to the cooking show Chopped…God reveals Himself.

Today, look at your life…don’t miss what our Father has in store for you.

BOOM!

WORDPRESS sent me a congrats and I  wanted to share it with you.
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Blessings, Susan

SusanWerthem.com

MOVE FORWARD – You can change

Check out today’s  new audio reading of this post. 

LET ME KNOW IF YOU ENJOYED THE READING.

When I am
unable to change the circumstances I am in, it’s my responsibility to change myself.

Easier said than done!!

Listen to Part 1 of this post: 

So how do I do that? How do I learn to move forward when barriers are placed in front of me?

How do you?

This can apply to a variety of situations…work, marriage, family, church, health, wealth or lack thereof, weight, depression, oppression, bullying, ___________…just fill in the blank….

I am not saying one must pull themselves up by their bootstraps, but God does not want any of us to wallow in the past, wallow in self pity, to stand still and do nothing…He wants us to MOVE FORWARD.

Once you determine you want to move forward, remember you are not doing this alone – God has provided you with the POWER to change…through His Holy Spirit.

Be courageous and stand up for yourself.

Listen to Part 2 of this post:

Years ago I worked with a surgical nurse that was smart, talented, but yet cruel to fellow staff. Everyone was terrified of her. She was known to whack another nurse on the hands with a surgical clamp. About 3 months after I had joined this hospital’s OR team we worked together on a case. This was the moment where I could act with confidence or fear.

I was young, not quite 30. She was near 60. It became clear she had bullied her way through life. I acted with confidence…and soon I believed that my brave and confident persona…and soon others believed it too. I took the target off of my back.

There was no payoff for her bullying me, thus I was no longer in her cross hairs.

When our boys were young our oldest would call is younger brother a silly name…each time this happened our youngest would go into a complete tizzy. After much coaching from me he learned if he stopped reacting…in other words stop the tizzy, the teasing would stop. Sure enough after one dinner with no reaction, the teasing was no longer ellicting the response of frustration. Brian learned to change his reaction thus changing his brother’s. Simple but effective.

Did Brian ‘feel’ confident at that time? No, but he trusted the advise of his mom (me) and acted with confidence. His circumstances did not change until his own behavior changed (response).

As I write this I’m reminded of numerous times throughout his youth and now in his adulthood where this simple life lesson that played out over dinner so many years ago, truly influenced his reactions to situations far more complex in nature…

Listen to Part 3 of this post:

Now when it comes to physical health our attitude has a significant influence in our recovery.

My mother had metastatic breast cancer…once diagnosed they expected her to live no more than 18 months…by the Grace of God she had 5 wonderful years.  

Why? Her attitude. She had opted to only have surgery and no other treatment. Yet her positive attitude…her choice to MOVE FORWARD resulted in her having five good years. 

She relied on The Lord, drew strength from Christ and was supported by her loving husband.

God had a special plan for us as humans when He created us. He made us unique. Studies are beginning to show our brains look different depending on our emotions. It is my opinion that the chemicals released by our brains have an impact on our healing. Negative thoughts? What type of chemicals begin to circulate when we fail to allow the Holy Spirit to minister us and lift us up?

I don’t have that answer.

I am not saying this in a humanistic way…please do not misunderstand. What I am saying is that God made each of us, and it is His desire we live full and abundant lives. We need to live life with the Peace and Joy of God.

Your situation may not be like Mom’s…your physical health may be great, but your emotional health may be a wreck.

A co-worker, a friend, or a family member’s words may be having an impact on how you feel about yourself. Little by little their bullying (and yes it is bullying) may be slowly destroying your self esteem.

The friction of a piece of iron against another iron piece is how a knife is sharpened. Proverbs tells us: As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. (Proverbs 27:17)… allow me to be that piece of iron for you today. 

You may have lost your edge…but today, MOVE FORWARD…be sharpened!

When YOU  are
unable to change the circumstances YOU are in, it’s YOUR responsibility to change YOURSELF, WITH the guidance of The Holy Spirit .

MOVE FORWARD

Blessings, Susan

Devotions

SusanWerthem.com

Several years ago God placed it on heart to finish writing the Mother’s devotional book I started when I was first married.

I had been invited to a baby shower and I couldn’t afford a gift, so I wrote a short devotional book for the mother-to-be. Years later it became an actual book. It’s a collection of true inspirational stories, poems, and paraphrased Scriptures where you can ‘plug’ in your loved one’s name.

A Mother’s Heart Prays: Devotions From One Mom to Another by susan werthem

God wants to hear from you and praying the Scriptures is a wonderful and special way to talk with Him about your children.

 

A Mother’s Heart Prays, Devotions from One Mom to Another, shares touching, humorous, and sweet moments of motherhood in an easy-to-read format. Some days include praying Scriptures for your child. Others offer brief devotions that will inspire you to think of new ways to pray for your family.

You’re a Mom. You’re busy by default. This devotional acknowledges that some days you have more time than others. After you have meditated on the thought for the day, journal your prayers for your family and then, when prayers have been answered, go back and write in dates of answered prayer to celebrate God’s faithfulness.

A great Christmas, Mother’s Day, and Baby Shower gift.

Click here to view devotional book for Moms.

Life What a Joy: collection of life advice

by susan werthem

A collection of godly advice… This two month devotional book makes a great gift for graduation, newly married, to long time believer.

Click here to view.

Book

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God Guide my Way

A man’s heart plans his way, but the LORD determines his steps.

Proverbs 16:9
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Vacations

I love to plan vacations.  Planning the itinerary. Selecting the hotels.

BUT determining the scenic drives and destinations are my favorite parts!!

There are 2 places on my bucket list I want to definitely visit…yes there are more than 2, but these 2 rise to the top.

The Grand Canyon area and Ireland.

First it will be The Grand Canyon. As a child we drove out west and visited all the wonders of that area. Then about 12 years ago I had an opportunity to go to Phoenix for a convention. I drove two clients to Sedona. Oh, my goodness, what beautiful views!!!

My husband has been to Phoenix but not the surrounding area. I truly want him to see these amazing vistas and the outstanding red rock formations. Doesn’t that sound so selfless of me! HA HA…I want to see those views again too!!

QUESTION…have you been to The Grand Canyon and surrounding area? If so, send me your ideas of what we should see. I am hoping we can spend about 8 days out there.

When I was a little girl Mom planned our trips and I am much like her. She would pour over travel guidebooks, share them with us; together as a family we would map out our path.

AAA was our friend.

We would drive to the local AAA store to pickup Trip Tiks…little booklets that were held together with comb binding. Each page showed you the way…what to avoid, construction ahead, every turn was laid out. Additionally we’d pack huge maps of each state, large city, region, etc. AH…and Tour Books! (AAA still provides these services…and yes I still use most of them!!)

My sister, Caroline, was the “map expert”. She loved reading the map, providing the directions. Now that I am older I realize how clever she was…the “map expert” sat up front! HA…Caroline, I am on to you! (A little late, but I am on to you!) Unfortunately I never had a chance to read the map on our trips. Good one, Caroline!! :)

As we drove Mom or Dad would soon be asking where is Phoenix (or some other city) on the map?

Caroline would look at the legend, find the alpha-numeric combination, locate it on the grid…voila…Phoenix!  (For those of you who have never used a real map and only have used GPS…go get a map…it will give you a great appreciation how we pioneers traveled 50 years ago!) LOL

 AAA could map out our path, but ultimately it was our decision whether we went left or right. My Dad had a compass in his car and many times he would get this “great” idea to follow the compass, drive down some road not on the map…we’d make great time…sometimes it was great time getting nowhere…U-Turns were his speciality! (Now my friends and family know why I am the U-Turn Expert!)

Don’t you wish there was a map, Trip Tik for life? As you flipped the booklet, your path would be completely laid out, barriers, construction, difficulties all revealed with detours in order to avoid them?

HMMM…back to reality. God does not give us a step-by-step Trip Tik for life. What He does provide is our Guide Book…The Bible. AND His Holy Spirit. It is our responsibility to LISTEN to His Holy Spirit.

A man’s heart plans his way, but the LORD determines his steps. 

Photo Mar 25We can make all sorts of plans for our lives, but ultimately God is the one that makes the determination of what our journey will look like…we can listen to Him and allow the Holy Spirit to guide us and we will take the steps He has designed. Or we can do our own thing…He will still direct our steps, but most likely not the trip He wanted us to take.

I think this is a very hard concept to understand, and obviously difficult for me to explain. I ask for God’s Grace in how I have shared my perception of this verse.

Sometimes He has us move forward, while other times backwards or even in circles…but HE HAS A PURPOSE for these various itineraries.  He knows of the construction ahead, the potholes He wants us to avoid…He has a reason for the detour. We just have to trust Him.

God will provide us with just what we need to know, just in time, IF WE STAY in the CENTER of His will…don’t stress over next steps.

LORD, help us to keep our eye on Jesus.

Blessings, Susan

Incidental Findings

  When I am afraid, I will trust in you

(Psalm 56:3 NIV)

Incidental Findings…

Medically speaking an incidental finding is defined as a previously undiagnosed medical condition that is discovered unintentionally or by coincidence and is unrelated to the current medical issue.

Well…”incidentally” I recently went to the doc for one thing and unintentionally he found another.

Hmmm, this does not sound good, I thought when I was told I needed further tests.

So far so good after several months of “hoopla”, poking, proding, meds, etc.

And now I must wait until March for more tests…looks like all will be just fine…But it’s the waiting, the unknown that can get tedious.

Who would have thunk!?!

Thankfully I had one pain that pointed the docs in another direction.

Micah 7:7   But as for me, I will look to the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me.

This was not a coincidence. I do not believe in coincidences or fate…I believe it was a Divine Appointment.

I still am in the “waiting room”…but God will carry me through.

Isaiah 40:31   but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

I am resting in Him…waiting for Him to renew my strength…praying I will soon be able to run the race of life stronger, better than before and not be weary.

BUT…BUT…if this journey takes a different turn…I know…let me repeat, I KNOW…He will carry me through whatever is ahead.
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It’s not always easy to wait. I don’t even like waiting in line at Panera Bread or at the department store!

How about you? Are you sitting in your own waiting room?

Share with me your waiting room journey so that I may have the privilege of praying for you.

My prayer for you, dear Reader…

May The Lord strengthened you with all His power, according to His glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy. Amen (from Colossians 1:11)

Romans 12:12  Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.

Blessings, Susan
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Splash

Our cat, Motorboat, thinks our pool

is his own personal water bowl.

 

 

That was until he fell in!

 

I was sitting in the living room when he came flying into the room from the patio…sopping wet!!

He went under the dining room table.  About ten minutes later I was able to dry him off…he was soaked from the shoulders down.  His tail was still dripping.

In the mean time I viewed the evidence. Where I had originally thought it was so cute of him drinking water out of the pool was a large puddle of water…with a trail into the house.

So Cute...UNTIL!
So Cute…UNTIL!

We are so thankful we did not go out to the pool and find him floating…it could have been much worse.

The Evidence…or Scene of the Crime!

The Evidence
The Evidence
Scene of the Crime
Scene of the Crime
Will He ever Drink out of Pool Again?
Will He ever Drink out of Pool Again?
Wet Living Room Floor
Wet Living Room Floor
Wet Fur
Wet Fur

 

Did He Learn a Lesson?

PROBABLY NOT!!

We expect to see him out there leaning over, sipping the cool water, risking life and limb.

We in our human condition tend to do the same thing…risking life and limb doing things we know that are not good, healthy or the right thing to do, but we do it anyway. James 4:17 says it well.

It is a sin when someone knows the right thing to do and doesn’t do it!!

I eat what I know I should not. I fail to exercise like I should. I know the right things to do, but I am remise in consistently doing them.

What about you?

Some of you say, “We can do anything we want to.”

But I tell you that not everything is good for us.

So I refuse to let anything have power over me.

(1 Corinthians 6:12)

Lord, help us to do what YOU want us to do. Help us to be the people of God you designed us to be.  Help us to make our decisions guided by your Holy Spirit. AMEN

Take the right PATHS…

P – Prayerfully

A – Ask

T – The

H – Holy

S – Spirit

Prayerfully Ask The Holy Spirit…for guidance

Blessings, Susan

Your medicine cabinet and a possible link to dementia

Today’s post is different than my other entries, but an important message!!

Do these sound like any medications you currently have in your medicine cabinet?

Benadryl, Wellbutrin and Zyban, Dramamine, Advil PM, and Unisom?

Note that medicines like Dramamine, Benadryl, and Advil PM can be purchased over the counter.

Unfortunately, a new study from the Group Health Research Institute last week, which was published in JAMA Internal Medicine, showed that some very common medicines, some of which are nonprescription and likely found in your medicine cabinet, could be responsible for an increased risk of developing dementia.

The most common anticholinergic classes used were tricyclic antidepressants, first-generation antihistamines, and bladder antimuscarinics.

Please talk with your physician if you use any of these medications on a regular basis!!

Many of my friends and family take Benadryl and its like…thus I felt it was important to share this study.20141123-184127.jpg

Blessings and stay safe, Susan

What food are you?

The other evening I wanted something sweet to eat. After rummaging through the pantry I found a Koshi granola bar and Nutella.

Nutella – now that reminds me of my friend Mary. We worked together for about a year as healthcare IT consultants. We spent many hours in the Delta Sky Club in between flights where she introduced me to Nutella.

This image made me start to think of the various foods that remind me of various people.

Vegetarian vegetable soup – BFF Cecily

Canned oysters – son Jacob

Ruben sandwich – son Brian

Liver and onions – friend April

Chicken pot pie – sister Caroline

Fried shrimp – husband Wade

Roasted lamb – sister-in-law Holly

Kale and Chicken Marcella – daughter-in-law Rachel

Brownies – daughter-in-law Tammy

Chard – sister-in-law Janna

I could go on and on…aren’t you glad I didn’t? LOL

BUT SERIOUSLY – what food would someone identify with you?

BETTER YET,  What fruit are you associated with?

That is, what fruit of the Spirit?

Do people identify you as a Christian because of your love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control? (from Galatians 5:22-23)

WHEW!! TOUGH QUESTION!! 

 

I seriously have to say, my answer is, “Sometimes. Unfortunately not all of the time…but I am working on it.”

Notice the way God listed out the Fruit of the Spirit…I don’t think having self-control listed last was by accident…not until you have the other attributes, does self-control appear as far as I am concerned.

It begins with LOVE…the Love of Christ that is in you if you KNOW HIM. 

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Call on the Holy Spirit that dwells in you as a believer, and ask for these attributes to be evident in your life.  

His Love will bring you joy, then you will have the peace of God that transcends all understanding, resulting in patience, which will lead you to be kind even when it seems impossible, thus promoting goodness and faithfulness, all with a gentle spirit.

This is the kind of fruit I want to resemble.  How about you?

Blessings, Susan

 

Devotions by Susan Werthem

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