Us: "Ryland, why do you think people left their trash all over the putt putt course?"
Ryland: "Because, their parents didn't raise them very well. And because nobody was watching them."
Us: "Should you do the right thing, even though no one is watching you?"
Ryland: "Because it's the rule. And you do the right thing, even if nobody's watching. And you throw trash away because you're helping earth and it's not a big trash pit. You drive safe and the speed limit, because that's what keeps people safe."
Out if the mouth of a 9 year old.
It has taken, and will continue to take, a lot of work, patience and time to help him understand the "why" behind behavior and actions or lack of. But, we are determined to do our part in instilling good habits, respect for others, self discipline and self respect.
It's easy to do the wrong thing when no one is watching. But, you are being watched. God knows all and God sees all. You will be held accountable at the end of your days.
James 4:17 ESV / 721
"So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin."
Romans 2:6-8 ESV / 64
"He will render to each one according to his works: to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, He will give eternal life; but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury."
Together, we try to practice kindness everywhere we go and with everyone we meet. It is important for us to be wise. And ask God for guidance. Not everyone is appreciative and many will take our kindness for granted. Unfortunately, there are self seeking, selfish people, who prey on the kindness of others. Don't let that stop you from practicing random acts of kindness and helping others who ask. And of course, those who don't. You never know. A smile and a nice hello may be enough to make their day. There are those who have battles that we will never know about, and our kind word, smile or gesture, could make a difference in their life.
Intevgrity and acts of kindness come in all forms and fashions. It could be.....
Handing a tip to the lady cleaning the women’s bathroom where there is no tip jar available, and thanking her for her work.
Helping an elderly man carry his plate from the buffet line to his table.
Payimg for someone's groceries when they don't have the money.
Informing the cashier that they did not charge you enough.
I have been reminded that God raised us up with Christ…in order that in the coming ages He might show the incomparable riches of His grace, expressed in His kindness to us in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 2:6-7)
God has been kind to us. It is our joy to pay Him back by being kind to others.
The best kindness is doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you.
We try hard to be good examples and do our best. We make mistakes and we pray for guidance and strength. We like how Marian puts it.
"Being considerate of others will take your children further in life than any college degree." – Marian Wright Edelman
What are you doing to help make the world a better place?
To help someone who can never repay you?
To be kind and do the right thing, even when "you think" no one is looking?
1. to desire wrongfully, inordinately, or without due regard for the rights of others: to covet another's property.
2. to wish for, esp. eagerly.
Do you want more?
Do you wish you had what he or she has?
Do you want to look like such and such?
Do you want something that does not belong to you?
Do you work to get rich?
Why do you help others, what's in it for you?
Ask yourself the above questions. And honestly answer them. Write them down.
Hi! Lorissa here. I was lucky enough to learn about this subject when I was a young girl in 4th grade. After my first day in my new school, I asked my mom, "What does this mean?", as I held up my middle finger. Mom, "Why?", with a shocked and worried look on her face. I calmly answered, "Because all of the girls were doing it to me at recess today." I obviously soon figured out that I was not wanted in this class. Young girls can be so very mean. I remember crying to my grandmother as she brushed long hair (it was to my belt line). My grandmother would repeat over and over, "They are just jealous. Jealous, jealous, jealous." Both my mom and my grandma explained that I was strong and talented and pretty. And that the girls couldn't be like me. I remember being so confused. I mean, if they wanted to run, jump, throw, do cartwheels, handstands and swing and climb like me, I would be happy to show them. Why are they just so mean? It just didn't make sense to me. They could just ask and we could practice together. As far as being pretty. I didn't see it. But, that I really didn't care about. Not being able to fit in, I came home one day and asked my mom for a pair of Calvin Klein jeans and a name brand shirt. Mom was shocked because I had never asked for anything before. I said, "All the other girls have them." She said, "It doesn't work like that. First, we do not have the money and second, you do not want what others have. You are to be happy with what you have. That is wrong and you should not ever think that way." Then, she took me to Woolworths, had me pick out a pair of generic jeans. She surprised me the next day with the most beautiful jeans that I had ever seen in my young life! They were decorated with stars and hearts. They sparkled and had a special tag in the back that said, "Made with love by mom." The next day at school, the girls asked me where I got my cool jeans. Of course I said, "They were custom made. You cannot get them around here." Did that make me any friends? Nope, just the opposite, But I learned a very valuable lesson, a lifelong lesson.
Coveting is a desire. It is a matter of the heart, an attitude, a matter of strong emotion.
It is an evil attitude, which will likely lead to an evil act. Coveting is a kind of conspiracy in one’s soul to commit evil. The coveting which the Tenth Commandment condemns is the desire to have something that you do not have, or which you do not think he or she has enough of. It is not being content with what you already have, no matter how much that might be.
The coveting which the 10th commandment forbids is one for which we as an individual are responsible. In effect, we are held accountable for discovering the sin, and for dealing with it personally. This is necessary because no other human being can know our thoughts. God thus holds us responsible for what we determine in our hearts and minds.
“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife or his male servant or his female servant or his ox or his donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor” (Exod. 20:17).
The coveting which the 10th commandment prohibits is a well defined desire. Coveting must be distinguished from lust.
Lust is a general desire.
Greed is a lust for money and possessions.
Coveting is a specific, focused desire, a desire to have a particular thing, which belongs to a particular person. Greed may desire money or material things; coveting desires our neighbor’s car, or his house, or his wife. Coveting is lust well defined and specifically focused.
Coveting is a selfish desire, which is willing to gain at the expense of others. The covetousness which is condemned is that which wants what one’s neighbor has. This kind of covetousness is clearly self-centered.
"Do not wear yourself out to get rich; do not trust your own cleverness. Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle. Do not eat the food of a begrudging host, do not crave his delicacies; for he is the kind of person who is always thinking about the cost. “Eat and drink,” he says to you, but his heart is not with you. You will vomit up the little you have eaten and will have wasted your compliments." (Proverbs. 23:4-8).
There will always be people who want what they don't have and will use others in an attempt to get it. There will always be people who will go about their lives to do what serves them, no matter who they hurt, in order to get rich. As the verse above explains, do not crave his/her delicacies. We must always do our best to be happy with what we have, make our own way, and be careful not to hurt others or cause pain. We must watch our hearts and minds to all coveting, as God sees and knows all. When our minds...
wish we had what he or she has?
want to look like such and such?
want something that does not belong to us?
work to get rich?
help others just to get what's in it for us?
...we, at that point, ask for help. Ask for His love and grace to come into our hearts and minds and keep us pure from this evil.
We were married on 12/22 at 2pm. We chose our date and time as a reminder of our commitment to each other to pray when we see double digits. If we are together and the clock says 2:22 or 11:11, we stop what we are doing, yell the time out loud and gather to pray. If we are apart, and we happen to notice the time 4:44, we will text the other person, if possible and remind them to pray. If we cannot text them, we just pray on our own.
Lorissa, "Prior to meeting Steve, I had made the decision to not try to date or meet anyone. I made a commitment to myself and to God, to leave my future lifelong relationship in HIs hands. With God in control, I knew that He would send me the exact person that He had planned for me, which would be a man of Christ. He would be a protector and provider. A good man, who would see me for who I am and never take me for granted, a family man and spiritual leader, a praying man, and a man who would never put me down and instead, bring out the very best in me. He would be a man who would encourage me, lift me up and never ever let anyone hurt me. This man who would die for me. And out of the blue, when I least expected it, Steve came along. I am so glad that I handed everything over to God. He really had someone great planned for me. And I thank Him everyday."
Steve, "Much like Lorissa, I was at a point in my life where I had made the decision to no longer date and just concentrate on myself. I promised myself that if I did date, that the woman would have to be someone very special. Like anyone, I had a list of qualities that I wanted in a potential date. It just seemed like those qualities were very hard to find. Among the things I was looking for was a woman who was smart, motivated, hard working, fun to hang out with, and most of all someone who wasn’t afraid to be herself, loved dogs and Christ. Basically, she would be an amazing best friend. At the time I met Lorissa, I had some struggles in my life, most of all I was struggling with my faith. I have struggled with my faith off and on over the years, and this was one of my more difficult struggles. Regardless, I had made a decision to just let the chips fall as they may and what happens, happens. God works in mysterious ways, as at that point in my life, when I was doubting my faith in God, He brings Lorissa into my life. After meeting Lorissa, I started doing something that, at that time, was not in my character. I woke up every day and thanked God that He had brought Lorissa into my life and asked Him to bless her. Out of the blue, one day I saw 11:11 on the clock in the Jeep. I said to Lorissa, look 11:11, make a wish. And she said, "Or we can pray." Maybe you can join in with Lorissa and I too. God has great plans for you. I didn't know that, until I met my best friend, beautiful wife. and sister in Christ.”
One day a man died and he went to heaven. He met Saint Peter at the gates. Saint Peter, said, "Welcome, let me show you around." And off they went. As they were walking, they passed a door. The man asked, "What's in there?" Saint Peter says, "You don't want to know." "What do you mean?" asked the man. "I'm just telling you that you do not want to know what is in there." says, Saint Peter, as he shakes his head. Man, "Well, can I see what is in there?" Saint Peter, "Well, yes, but you really don't want to see." They walk to the door and Saint Peter opens it. As he turns on the light, the man stands there very confused. The room is filled with shelves from the floor to the ceiling, and wall to wall. On the shelves the light glistens off of hundreds of beautiful white wrapped boxes with red ribbon and red bows. With wrinkled brow and puzzled face, the man says, "I don't get it. These are beautiful. Why didn't you think that I would not want to see this? What is in them?" Saint Peter, "Those are all of the blessings that God had in store for you, that you never asked for."
We all pray in times of trouble, we all pray for answers, we all pray for healing, we all pray for others....but do we remember to ask for blessings in our lives and turn everything over to God? And I mean everything.
Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, saying, "Oh that you would bless me indeed and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from the evil one, that I may not cause pain." And God granted his request.
We challenge you to make the Jabez prayer for blessing part of the daily fabric of your life. We encourage you to pray the prayer of Jabez unwaveringly for the next thirty days. By the end of that time, you'll be noticing significant changes in your life, and the prayer will be on its way to becoming a treasured, lifelong habit.
More often than not, the difficult times drag us down, make us worry, cause our stress levels to hit the roof. Believe it or not, that is when we need to trust God the most. We may think that "I got this", "I'm fine", "Whatever". But, He has plans to take care of everything. We just have to trust Him.
Your car breaks down and you are carrying a huge and heavy backpack, a neighbor stops to give you a ride, and you keep the heavy backpack on the whole time. After dropping you off at your house, he asks, "Why did you keep that on the whole time? Was is not very heavy and a burden? I gave you a ride, you could have put it down."
Something to think about.
Here are some verses to help in difficult times.
May the LORD answer you in the day of trouble! May the name of the God of Jacob protect you! Psalm 20:1
But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them ever sing for joy, and spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may exult in you. Psalm 5:11
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Prov. 3:5&6
The LORD also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. Psalm 9:9
Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us. Psalm 62:8
For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will lift me high upon a rock. Psalm 27:5
Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD GOD is an everlasting rock. Isaiah 26:4
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1
In the day of my trouble I call upon you, for you answer me. Psalm 86:7
This God–his way is perfect;the word of the LORD proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him. Psalm 18:30
Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. John 14:1
Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act. Psalm 37:5
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. John 14:27
It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man. Psalm 118:8
Every word of God is pure; He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him. Prov. 30:5
Advice from the Pepperdog family.
10 things to give up, in order to start your journey to a healthy you and a healthy life:
1. Self pity...
2. Criticizing others
4. Excuses to self
5. Playing the victim
6. Demanding attention
8. Burdens of regret
9. Self righteousness
10. Trying to please everyone
Some say that motivation goes away. Well, so does showering. That's why we do it daily.
One day at a time! You got this!
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Steve and Lorissa Belcher
We are a regular couple just trying to make a happy and healthy life together. We pray together, workout together, fish, hunt, camp, go on road trips, talk, cry, laugh, live and love our Pepperdog. We will offer advice here, share our stories, and do what we can to help others. We are not perfect. Only God is perfect, always and forever. We just do the best we can to get by day by day. Life is a journey through good and bad times, disappointments and regrets. To have a best friend in your spouse is the best feeling in the world. It is necessary that we keep this friendship alive and safe everyday. Each day is a new day, to love, to live and to make the decision that you will be on the devil's most wanted list. Chin up, with God, all things are possible.