March 28, 2011

Obedience Training

Posted in Christianity at 5:37 pm by Staci Hart Mauney

…but I gave them this command: Obey me, and I will be your God and you will be my people. Walk in obedience to all I command you, that it may go well with you. (Jeremiah 7:23)

My dog, Lilly, a Yorkshire terrier, was about eight months old when she began chewing on everything in sight: the bottom of my trouser leg, the wooden rungs of the kitchen stools, the handle of the wooden magazine basket, and towels left on the bathroom floor for longer than two minutes. No matter how many times I told her, “No!” she would simply slink off for a few minutes before coming back for more. She would look at me out of the corner of her eye to see if I was watching, and sometimes she would try a different angle, but the temptation to keep chewing was just too great for her to resist. Read the rest of this entry »

March 25, 2011

Avoiding Conflict

Posted in Christianity at 6:49 pm by Staci Hart Mauney

Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs. (Proverbs 10:12)

Recently, a friend approached me for advice. She had been talking with someone when the subject turned to a matter that was especially sensitive for my friend. After visiting for a few moments, she tried to change the subject. Unfortunately, her deflection was too subtle, and the person she was talking to didn’t understand that she no longer wanted to discuss the matter at hand. My friend felt uncomfortable, but since she didn’t want to create a rift between the two of them, she let the encounter slide. She asked me how to delicately let this person know that this subject matter is simply off limits. Read the rest of this entry »

March 21, 2011

The Pursuit of Happiness

Posted in Christianity at 4:03 pm by Staci Hart Mauney

But may the righteous be glad and rejoice before God; may they be happy and joyful. (Psalm 68:3)

In today’s culture, we pursue the elusive idea of happiness as though our lives depend upon us catching it. Happiness means always purchasing the next big thing, whether it’s an electronic device that costs several hundred dollars, or something bigger and better than the things we already own such as a bigger TV, car, or house. Happiness means being thinner or looking younger. Happiness means changing spouses when we get tired of the one we already have. Happiness means accumulating more stuff and going into more debt. Happiness is never being pleased with what we have and always wanting more, more, more. Read the rest of this entry »

March 14, 2011

Attacked

Posted in Christianity at 6:01 pm by Staci Hart Mauney

Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. (Ephesians 6:11)

When working on my computer recently, I noticed that it was running very slowly. Every application that I clicked on took a long time to open, and it took an extraordinarily long time to open the internet, even though I have the fast DSL service available in this area. At first, I thought that I had too many files on my computer, so I tried to clean up my files. All of this was to no avail as my computer continued to run slower and slower until, finally, it crashed. Read the rest of this entry »

March 11, 2011

Worry Free

Posted in Christianity at 3:12 pm by Staci Hart Mauney

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matthew 6:34)

I spend a lot of time worrying. I worry about things that I can’t control such as if it will snow or if there will be an ice storm. I like snow, but not if I have to drive in it, and I definitely don’t want ice. I have everyday concerns, such as paying bills, meeting deadlines, making it to work on time, taking care of my family, getting sick, cleaning my house, and catching up on the laundry. I worry about the future and whether or not I’ll still have a job as more state budget cuts loom on the horizon. Read the rest of this entry »

March 7, 2011

Restoring Hope

Posted in Christianity at 5:57 pm by Staci Hart Mauney

Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. (Psalm 42:11)

Several years ago, I went through a dark time during which all hope seemed lost. Even though I knew the Lord was there, for he has promised that he will never leave us or forsake us (Deut. 3:6), I felt lost and alone. When we lose hope, we can become bitter and depressed. We turn inward and isolate ourselves from others. We focus on our fears, and those fears threaten to overwhelm us. Read the rest of this entry »

March 4, 2011

Afflicted

Posted in Christianity at 3:43 pm by Staci Hart Mauney

I will be glad and rejoice in your love, for you saw my affliction and knew the anguish of my soul. (Psalm 31:7)

For years, I have suffered from chronic migraines. When I was twenty years old, I suddenly experienced an excruciating pain on the left side of my head, just above my left eyebrow. I had just flown to Germany from the U.S., and since I’d never experienced a headache like this before, I tried to think of a plausible explanation: jet lag, dehydration, lack of sleep, hunger. Unfortunately, even after the headache finally went away, it continued to come back four to five days a week, always in the same spot. After several months, I decided that this was not an ordinary headache, and I went to see my doctor. He told me that I was experiencing migraines, and that the frequency and severity was great enough that I needed to take daily maintenance medication to get them under control. Read the rest of this entry »