August 29, 2011

So Much Negativity!

Posted in Christianity at 6:24 pm by Staci Hart Mauney

“…but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.” (James 3:8)

We are constantly bombarded by negative images. We see them on TV, read about them in the newspaper, and see them in the movies. To find gratuitous violence, simply watch primetime TV, go to the movies, or turn on the news. We are surrounded by so much negativity that we have a tendency to live in fear, never knowing what will happen next. And that doesn’t include the negative things that happen in our own lives. A disparaging comment made by a friend who wasn’t thinking about the impact of that comment. Gossip in the office. Research shows that because of a phenomenon known as the “negativity bias,” our brains are more sensitive to negative news and that such comments tend to stay with us longer than positive ones do. Researchers have also discovered that it takes five positive actions to overcome one negative action. And many hurtful actions, such as unkind remarks made about our physical appearance or unfair comparisons to a sibling, remain with us for many years. Read the rest of this entry »

August 26, 2011

Wait on the Lord

Posted in Christianity at 4:53 pm by Staci Hart Mauney

“I wait for the LORD, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope.” (Psalm 130:5)

Waiting on the Lord is one of the hardest things he asks us to do. As a general rule, we don’t have much patience, and when we are called to exercise that patience, we feel very uncomfortable. The burden we’re carrying suddenly seems even larger than it was before because we no longer have any idea how long we’ll be asked to tolerate an intolerable situation. We may become discouraged, and sometimes, we even feel that we’ve been abandoned. But this is far from the truth! The Lord doesn’t ask us to wait alone. He is there with us, carrying each burden for us. Even though he has asked to wait for him to move in our lives, he will be there to carry our burdens as we watch and wait for him. Read the rest of this entry »

August 18, 2011

Holding a Grudge

Posted in Christianity at 9:36 pm by Staci Hart Mauney

“Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” (Colossians 3:13)

When working with people, it is easy to get our feelings hurt. Our pride often gets in the way and won’t allow us to forgive even the smallest infraction. We want to hold onto our anger, and we believe that our feelings are justified because we’re holding that person accountable for what she did to us. But in many cases, that person doesn’t even know that she has offended us. We hold onto our grudge, which eventually turns to bitterness, often forgetting the offense that caused us to become angry in the first place. Read the rest of this entry »

August 12, 2011

Lost and Lonely

Posted in Christianity at 10:27 pm by Staci Hart Mauney

“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners.” (Isaiah 61:1)

This morning, my uncle stopped by my house before I left for work. When he left, my dog, Lilly scooted out the door and began following him home. She knew it was almost time for me to leave, and she didn’t want to spend the day alone again. I called for her to come back, which she did, but as soon as my uncle began walking away, Lilly turned and ran after him again. She and my uncle are good friends, and my friendly little puppy dog was determined that she was going to spend the day with him instead of in the house by herself all day. Read the rest of this entry »

August 9, 2011

Extreme Drought

Posted in Christianity at 11:18 pm by Staci Hart Mauney

“But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” (Jeremiah 17:7-9)

In southwestern Oklahoma, temperatures soared and drought conditions reached extreme levels this summer. Some experts predict that it will take at least five years to recover from the damage our ecosystems suffered just this summer. Our lakes, ponds, and creeks have gone dry, and fish are dying. Farmers should be planting crops, but the ground is too dry to plow, and crops will not come up without rain. Because there aren’t any crops coming up, wildlife suffers. Deer have no streams to drink from and no food to eat. Cows and horses are being sold because there is no grass for them to feed on, and any hay that remains to be purchased is simply too costly for most to buy. And people suffer from the loss of their livelihoods to circumstances beyond their control. Read the rest of this entry »

August 4, 2011

Have Some Compassion

Posted in Christianity at 10:32 pm by Staci Hart Mauney

“For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” (Galatians 5:14)

When I look around me, I see a lack of compassion for those less fortunate. Unfortunately, people turn a blind eye to dire situations all around them. All around us are children who are going hungry, whose parents refuse to provide basic necessities such clothing and food. There are those who are unemployed and struggling to pay bills. They want to put food on the table for their families, but they have no income with which to do so. Instead of compassion for these less fortunate ones, I hear only condemnation for them. We, who sit in our air conditioned houses while we contemplate which restaurant we will give our hard-earned money to tonight, condemn those who are in terrible situations beyond their control. Read the rest of this entry »