Friday, December 28, 2012

If There Were No Christmas...

It's a couple of days after Christmas. The magic is over...the secrets revealed. It's back to the everyday tasks of life.

Without going into any of the history of Christmas or of Christmas traditions, since I'm not familiar with them anyway, I'd like to stop and invite you to think with me about what it would be like if there was no Christmas.

Superficially, if there was no Christmas, the most important source of income for retail stores, at least here in the USA, would not exist. The buying frenzy that fuels many businesses because of gift-giving at Christmas time would be gone. Perhaps there would be something else that would rise up to take its place, but without having statistics at my disposal, I suspect that all the other holidays we celebrate in our American culture put together wouldn't produce as much revenue as Christmas does.

Also superficially, we wouldn't have all the music, the movies such as "It's a Wonderful Life," the special Christmas pageants, concerts, plays, parties, etc that fill up our December calendars. In short, December would be pretty drab and dreary. We would also miss out on those special family get-togethers that Christmas affords. Oh, and don't forget - there would be no candy canes, no Christmas stockings, no Santa Claus, no divinity fudge, no Christmas goodies in the form of candies, cookies, fruitcakes, fruit filled breads, etc.

On a slightly less superficial level, would we take the time sometime during the year to extend wishes for peace, prosperity and happiness to our friends and neighbors if we didn't have Christmas traditions that encouraged us to do so?

On yet another level, if there was no Christmas, then Christ the "newborn king" would not have come. The implications of this would be astronomical. The apostle Paul described it best in his first letter to the Corinthian church. Although he was talking specifically about the resurrection from the dead, if Christ had never been born, He would not have lived, taught and walked on earth. Nor would He have gone to the cross and been raised from the dead. I Corinthians 15:3-4 says:
"For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures."
I don't want to venture a guess on how many prophecies there are in the Old Testament regarding the birth of Jesus, but there are many, some well known, others obscure! None of them specify a date, but all of them together make a very strong case for the FACT of his birth. No other fact in history has such overwhelming evidence to back it up. Some of those prophetic scriptures talk about his death and sacrifice for our sin. If He had not come, we would still be waiting for the fulfillment of those scriptures.

One of my favorite Christmas songs this year is one that the group "GO FISH" sings. It sums up what Christmas is all about. Here it is:

If you enjoyed this post or have thoughts to share, please comment. I love getting comments!

214 701-8298

P.S. Do you need to lose extra pounds after the holidays? Find out how you can do it without boring meal replacement shakes. Go here to find out how to readjust your metabolism and shed that fat.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Endurance - Should You Endure?

Endurance is one of the most important qualities that will contribute toward success over the long haul. Endurance is the epitome of that famous saying, "Never give up."
I must, however, qualify the quality of endurance because there are some things in life that are not important enough to pursue without ever giving up. For instance, playing a game...there comes a point when giving up is a wiser choice than continuing.
But once you have identified that activity, business, calling, vocation that is your passion and to which you are well suited, endurance is the key to realizing your goals and your full potential in that activity. My middle son while studying at Wheaton College, was determined to master Organic Chemistry. It was crucial to his goal of going to Med School. But after persistent, diligent, enduring effort he finally acknowledged that Organic Chemistry was a beast he was not gifted or qualified to conquer. It was difficult for him to give up that goal and to realize that he was not gifted enough in that area. Endurance had been so deeply etched into his soul that giving up was extremely painful. But in any pursuit we must acknowledge if and when it can never be reached. So he went on to be successful in Biology instead - so much so that he spent some time teaching his teachers a new technique he had learned.
So how do you know when something is worth enduring in the effort to achieve it?
First you measure the reward. Is the reward worth the endurance it takes to get to the prize? If the answer is yes, then you need to find ways to help you endure to the very end. Perhaps that means getting help with the things you yourself don't understand or aren't talented enough to do. Perhaps that means learning new skills, perfecting ones you haven't mastered completely, being innovative and finding creative ways you might be able to accomplish the same end through different means.
Second, you need to gauge whether endurance will really get you to the goal. Or, like my son, is it simply an exercise in futility. Wisdom is sometimes more important than endurance! And perhaps the goal wasn't the right one for you in the first place. Sometimes we need to know when it is wise to abandon a "sinking ship."
I hope these thoughts are helpful as you pursue your goals and dreams with excellence and endurance.
If you liked this post, please comment, like and share. You never know who you might bless!
Sharon Reece
214 701-8298
Click here to find out how you can work with me using the ultimate in auto recruiting tools.
P.S. Are you interested in hydroponics? Check out my website here.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


Forgiveness may seem like a strange topic to write about but it is so crucial to success in life, in relationships, in business that I decided to tackle it. In fact, it may be one of the most important success and wisdom keys that exist.
We all hear about loving others and living in peace with them but the picture that word “love” conjures up is a very emotional, romantic concept that most of us don’t really understand, much less know how to implement! If we add the word “unconditional” to love, it begins to take on some meaning. Unconditional implies that forgiveness is being granted to the object of your love on a continual basis.
Why am I thinking so much about forgiveness and its importance?
Last week we got the movie, Despereaux and I was amazed that the most important lesson taught in that movie is, guess what…forgiveness! When we returned that movie to the video store, I picked up another one called, By Jesus’ Side. It’s a cute animated film about a dog who hates humans, but meets Jesus, becomes his friend and learns from him that forgiveness is the key to peace and happiness. So he demonstrates forgiveness by rescuing the mean dog catcher who had tried to kill him.
Coincidentally I had just finished reading the gospel of John last week and was reminded again that Jesus’ words on the cross were, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”
And to add one more log to the fire of forgiveness, my reading this morning was in the book of Acts, chapter 7. That recounts the story of the stoning of Stephen. His last words echoed those of his Master: “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”
So what does forgiveness really have to do with success in business? Or success in anything, for that matter?
Let me tell you a personal story that may help connect the dots somewhat. Many years ago we were living in a remote village in the Amazon jungle, learning the language of a group of Indians in order to eventually give them at least portions of the Bible in their own language. My husband who is always ahead of his time in terms of technology and innovation, had decided to take a solar panel into the village to provide us with lights and electricity for our tape recorder, etc. The leadership of our mission, however, was of the opinion that solar panels were too high tech and shouldn’t be used in that setting. So there was an enormous misunderstanding and the bottom line was that we became bitter toward the leadership. We felt we were unjustly accused, etc, etc.
Soon after, we were back in the USA, on furlough. We were so bitter toward the leadership of the mission that we had no desire to go back and work under them. We were actively seeking another place to serve. And finances were desperately tight. It was time to go back to the mission field and we had no way to do that. Not only did we need money for airfare, but our monthly support had to be increased to a level that seemed impossible to us. And the bitterness and lack of forgiveness continued.
So one fine Sunday morning we were on our way to share our testimonies of our work at one of our supporting churches. As we drove we popped a cassette tape into our player and the message was on forgiveness. Hmm… We got to the church and the sermon that morning was on…you guessed it – forgiveness! So we made a decision that day to forgive and ask forgiveness and to make an international phone call to do that!
That released the floodgates! That afternoon the missions committee had met and decided to pay our airfare back to the mission field and to increase their monthly support by 10 times. By the following Wednesday we had received enough support pledges to bring our income to the level that was required. We were blown away by the power of forgiveness!
Whether you will experience anything this miraculous or not, I cannot say. But it’s important to realize that forgiving and asking forgiveness can release a lot of emotional energy that had been wasted on revisiting conversations and perceived wrongs. That energy can now be directed to much more productive pursuits.
If you liked this bit of wisdom, please comment, like and share. You never know who you might bless!
Sharon Reece
214 701-8298
Click here to join me in working from home.

P.S. And if you have considered hydroponic gardening, check out my DIY hydroponics blog here.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Sovereign God

This Easter morning, in spite of a busy schedule with getting ready for a potluck for our church at our place, I took time to sit down with a cup of coffee and my Bible. I wanted to meditate on Easter and its meaning. Not that this was new to me, but I felt that God wanted to say something special this morning.

So I opened up to the book of Revelation to where I was reading in chapters 18 and 19. That may seem like a strange passage to read on Easter morning, but as I read, I began to realize anew how amazing God's plan was.

The enemy entered into Judas and caused him to betray Jesus. We know this because the Bible tells us so. Basically, the enemy (Satan) thought he was once and for all destroying the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

Enter: God's sovereignty.

In reality, Satan was simply cooperating with God's plan from the depths of eternity. Instead of having his life taken from him, Jesus gave it and the Bible says that He became sin who knew no that we could become the righteousness of God - (Paraphrase of 2 Corinthians 5:21). A substitution or "redemption" took place at the cross that frustrated Satan's plans forever. So Satan who had had the legal authority of death over each and every human being, lost it the day Jesus died. Hebrews 2:14 & 15 explains it this way:
"...that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage."

The very thing Satan thought would give him the upper hand, played right into God's plan. But even though he was defeated at the cross and his doom was sealed, the book of Revelation shows us his continued attempts to frustrate God's plans to the very end.

Enter: God's sovereignty.

As we prepare for the 2nd coming of Christ we can be sure that Satan is inadvertently conforming to God's plans and that as a result, we can be assured of total and complete victory. Even so, Satan puts up a furiously intense fight and we are continually encouraged to hold fast to our faith and to be overcomers.

Could it be that the book of Revelation holds the keys to many of the things we need to know in order to cooperate fully with God's plan? I'll be the first to admit that there are many things I don't understand in this book, but one thing I know...God is sovereign and His plan will reign for all eternity.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Loss of a Loved One

I realize this is a delicate subject. And I want to say that I would like to offer perspective that may be helpful and that I hope it doesn't sound critical or judgmental in any way. I offer it in hopes that you might prayerfully receive some insight that may make a difference in your life.

Generally when we lose a loved one, that person becomes the entire focus of our thoughts and actions, sometimes to the exclusion of many much more important things. The reason I'm even thinking about this is a result of reading Stephen R. Covey's book, "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People." In his chapter on "Begin with the End in Mind," he talks about discovering the center of our focus, from which we find balance and harmony in our lives. Covey cites several examples of the kinds of centers we may focus on. I believe these are all dynamic rather than static and that we can be focusing on one or more at one time and when we least expect it, we discover that our center of focus has changed completely.

So let's explore what might happen when we lose a loved one. If there were unresolved issues with that person, we will probably find ourselves watching mental "reruns." Those "reruns" can sap us of a great deal of emotional energy. And that usually also results in our having less physical energy. Even the most mundane chores may seem like insurmountable obstacles. And we find it difficult to escape those "reruns" because there is no more time to resolve that unresolved issue or issues.

Sometimes a husband and wife have not been close - one may have offended the other and there is a lack of forgiveness on the part of the offended one. I have met people who have been so upset with their spouse that they wished them dead. Then if the spouse dies, they experience an enormous burden of guilt. Since there is no way of resolving the conflict now that the other person is gone, that person begins to occupy the "center" of focus of the spouse who is still living.

The same thing can happen between a parent and a child. Perhaps there were harsh words and then one dies before resolution and restitution can happen.

Perhaps the relationship was one of co-dependence and the living party in that relationship is completely overwhelmed by responsibilities they had depended upon the other for. The living person may be angry at the other for dying.

Maybe the circumstances of death were particularly tragic. The loss may be magnified by this. The person left to live his or her life without the other may play "scripts" over and over in anger at God or at whoever they perceive may have been responsible for the tragic death. Often they blame themselves.

There are many other possible circumstances that could cause a person who has suffered the loss of a loved one to place that person in the center of focus of their lives, usually without realizing it or intending to do so.

I believe there is power in understanding the dynamic of what may be happening to you. If you are in such a situation, it would be helpful to read books or listen to recordings of others telling their experiences and how they got past the pain and the overwhelming feeling of loss that never seems to go away.

When we lost our son without even knowing what might have happened to him, I experienced that pain and loss and could not imagine ever getting past it and living a normal life again. Our book tells the miraculous story of how God healed my heart with a healing so deep, it amazed even me. Perhaps reading, Aloha is Forever would help you.

In any case, to get back to the center of focus that brings your life into balance and harmony is a goal worth fighting for - unless, of course, you love being at the center of a pity party for the rest of your life.

This same principle applies to a multitude of circumstances, not just loss of a loved one. It may be loss of a job, a home, divorce, a major disappointment, an unwise decision, anything that has come into your life to claim center position and get you focusing on something you cannot go back and change.

Even though I understand and try to implement these principles, I find myself occasionally falling into the victim trap. It's helpful to me to have something that will jog my thinking and enable me to recognize what is happening. I hope that perhaps it will be helpful to you, too.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


I've been reading Stephen R. Covey's book, "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" and it has been giving me plenty of food for thought. In fact, after reading a few pages the other day about identifying your "center" in the chapter titled, "Begin with the End in Mind," it really got me thinking! What is my center? And even more importantly, how does focusing on the wrong thing or things impact my life and the lives of those around me?

I think I can honestly say that for the greater part of my life, Christ has been my center of focus. But there have been times when I have allowed other things to creep into that central position. I'm sure there have been times when I've allowed a particular person (usually a perceived enemy), money, possessions, physical location, the opinions of others, jealousy, my family, work, etc to occupy that center of focus. It's a subtle thing! And when it happens decisions are made that are later regretted, time is lost that could have been used in much more productive and helpful pursuits and life even at times seems to fall into general disarray.

So I'm thankful when God allows something to come into my life that jerks my focus back onto Jesus Christ, the living Word of God. Life just seems to make a whole lot more sense that way!

How about you? Have you ever read Stephen Covey's book? Did it help you determine who or what is the center of your world?

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Quotable Quotes

"What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us."
                                                                                    Oliver Wendell Holmes