The Malone Zone

Posted in Building Relationships, Journey

May Blessings Abound

Good Monday  morning, friends! What a privilege it is to wake up this morning and to greet the day with thanksgiving, repentance, and a will to love and serve the Lord. Let’s make the best of this day by doing something that isn’t on the agenda — something that will leave an imprint on the hearts of others. What are your plans, hopes, and dreams for this day? Does it include service? I’d love to join you in praying for God’s help and trusting that he will be with us through it all.

Personally, I’m expecting good things today — not because I deserve it, but because God longs to bless those who love and serve him. In fact, I know he will send someone to make me smile. Maybe I’ll get a treat of some kind. Perhaps one of my longstanding prayers will be answered today. Whatever he decides to do, I trust that it will be good. The same holds true for you, dear friends. Remember, blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. When we allow the distractions of the day to simply pass by and return our focus to God alone, we will start to see our blessings far more than those annoying hiccups that sometimes get us off track. I can hardly wait to hear about your good news. When it happens, please stop by and scroll down to the comments to share it with me. I trust that your day will be as amazing as mine.

Before you leave today, please take a few minutes to raise your hands to worship. I hope you enjoy Anthony Brown’s song entitled “Trust in You.” May blessings abound! ❤

Posted in Acceptance, Choices, Connection, Journey, Prayer

Sunrise Sermon: Roots

Two years ago my friend Desiree invited me to read the bible in one year (along with several other sweet sisters). It was the continuation of something good that God had started in my life a few years earlier, so I jumped at the chance to delve into scripture with a group of ladies who were just as hungry as I. It was a great experience. Some of us really got to know each other on a deeper level — all because Desiree allowed God to use her.

We’re reading the bible in a year again, but I admit that I fell behind. Though I was reading most days, I just somehow forgot to read the “scheduled” scriptures on the weekend. For me, every routine thing stops on the weekend. I don’t get up early, don’t make coffee or breakfast, don’t walk the dog, and don’t do my hair or make up. Eventually, I get around to all those things, but there’s no sense of urgency on my part because it’s the weekend.  I still read the word of God each day and journal as well, but I’m not actively reading with a group right now. It’s just hard to juggle one more commitment — especially on the weekend. That mindset is what put me behind, but what I really think was at play was God’s plan. He had been gently pushing me in a couple different directions down unfamiliar paths — one that I was eager to go down and the other was (and still is) a little scary. The more I try to quell my fear with scripture, the scarier it becomes. Knowing that God didn’t give me a spirit of fear, I did everything I could to shake it, but it was still there. Finally, I heard the Spirit say You don’t trust God enough, and He revealed today’s scripture.

“But blessed are those who trust in the Lord
    and have made the Lord their hope and confidence.
They are like trees planted along a riverbank,
    with roots that reach deep into the water.
Such trees are not bothered by the heat
    or worried by long months of drought.
Their leaves stay green,
    and they never stop producing fruit.   ~Jeremiah 17:7-8 (NLT)

God knows that I visualize everything that I read. I imagined the strength of those old Cypress trees in the swamps of Louisiana and the Redwoods of California. Aaaah, to have roots that deep — to have hope and confidence in the Lord that is so strong that no change in life’s journey will frighten me. So, now that I have a picture of my spiritual goal firmly planted in my mind, I’ve chosen to lean in, delve deeper, and listen more intently. This fear is temporary. It has come and gone before, but this time I have a plan — one that is rooted firmly in God’s word. Some battles seem like child’s play when your roots are deep or when your faith is new and untested. What I’ve learned through this experience is that even when your roots are deep, the enemy will still do his best to uproot you. To him I say, I see you, but I shall not be moved. I have a good plan, and my Father has a perfect plan. He’s sneaky, friends. He wants to uproot you, but don’t let him. Dig deeper, pray often, and though the seasons in your life may change, never stop producing fruit.  May blessings abound! ❤

 

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Posted in Building Relationships

You Are Here — Better Twogether, LLC

Have you ever been at an unfamiliar mall and tried looking for a map? Once you get there, you look for the spot on the map that reads You are here. By looking around at your surroundings, you can see what’s near you and what’s a little further away. What you can’t see are all…

via You Are Here — Better Twogether, LLC

Posted in Building Relationships, Christian, Love

Who Do You See?

Good morning, friends!  Happy Monday! For all those who are preparing to go to work, may your day be filled with wonderful surprises. For those who have the day off, are retired, or are enjoying a nice summer break, do whatever brings you joy today.  Whether you’re going to work or not, we all have a job to do. I hope you take some time to discover what it is — your purpose for being here.

We all have a purpose — even those we sometimes ignore at intersections or outside stores, hoping to meet your eyes to ask for a hand out or a hand up. We’ve all had those encounters where we try to block out their seemingly urgent pleas for help. If they’re young and strong, we wonder why they’re not working. If they appear fragile and defeated, we wonder how they got that way. I know it’s hard to tell who really needs your help. Ultimately, you have options. You can offer them something or nothing at all.

If it were me, I’m not sure what would be more satisfying — a few bucks or a kind word, but a deaf ear and a blind eye tells me that I’m invisible to you. Some people feel invisible and they’re not asking for a hand out or a hand up. God says we’re fearfully and wonderfully made. Is that what you see? My prayer is that we could all see those we meet through God’s eyes today. Do yourself a favor and look at the man or the woman in the mirror through his eyes too. Now, tell me what do you see? May blessings abound! ❤

My Music Monday selection for today is entitled “Give Me Your Eyes” by Brandon Heath. Enjoy!

Posted in Building Relationships, Dreams, Forgiveness, Journey

Sunrise Sermon: Wake Up

Some dreams are so real. Until a few nights ago, I had never had one (at least I don’t recall having one) that had a beginning, middle, and an end. It played out like a movie, and several of my dearly departed friends and family were in it.  The theme? Forgiveness and speaking the truth in love. When I woke up, I sat there for a minute to process what had just happened, and I thanked God for a peaceful resolution and closure. I was at peace. It may seem silly to some to thank God for a dream or to even believe that God was at work in this dream, but I did, and I do.

All too often we are faced with incredible hardships in our lives that can last for long periods of time. At some point, though, God gives us rest whether we ask for it or not. Oft times, we continue the struggle rather than accepting the rest. It’s like you’re on autopilot or cruise control — it’s just easier to continue going with the flow, even though it’s hard.

A few nights ago, I finally had a chance to watch The Shack. When I say there weren’t enough tissues in this house to wipe away my tears, I’m not even exaggerating. It conjured up feelings that I had long since put to rest and reminded me of those I had forgiven. I recalled how hard it was to forgive as I judged them for years for what they had done. I’m sure this movie is what prompted that dream from a few  nights ago. My take away from the movie came in the form of a quote.

When all you see is your pain, you lose sight of God. ~The Shack

What a powerful message! It is my prayer that someone reading this message today will acknowledge her pain but know that God is bigger than that. My prayer is that someone will acknowledge that feelings aren’t facts, and that sometimes the truth is hard to handle, but God is omniscient and omnipresent and omnipotent. He knows the truth. He sees it all. He can rescue you from it all.

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. ~Psalm 34:18

Call on him today, ask for forgiveness, and ask him to show you a new path that isn’t pocked with suffering. It’s not too late to surrender these burdens to him and confess your sins. Draw close to him, and he will draw close to you. Let today be the day that you finally wake up and stay woke. May blessings abound! ❤

 

Posted in Building Relationships

Exciting News

Friends, I’d like to share some exciting news with all of you. Today is the day that I officially launch my labor or love — Better Twogether, LLC. It’s a Christian Coaching Business. I am excited to answer God’s call to serve as a Certified Life Purpose Coach.

If you follow this blog or know me personally, you know that I have a heart for helping others to grow. It brings me great joy to be able to facilitate change in your lives through one-on-one or group coaching.

Please take a little time to peruse the site: Click Here . Also, take a minute to visit the Coach’s Corner to connect with me there. As always, thanks for your continued love and support these past two years. May blessings abound! ❤

Posted in Building Relationships, Christian, Connection, Truth

How’s Your Filtration System?

Happy Monday, friends! I hope that you’ve been enjoying lots of sunshine in your neck of the woods. Every town I visited this past week greeted me with beautiful sunrises, puffy clouds, gorgeous sunsets, and even a rainbow to remind me of God’s covenant. I posted a picture of puffy clouds and a rainbow and asked my Facebook friends what they saw in the clouds. Everyone pointed out the rainbow, but I also got all sorts of guesses regarding the clouds: a puppy, hearts, an elephant, a moose, and an angel. See for yourselves. What can you get from this picture?

PuffyClouds

Truth is, we see what we want to see, and filter everything else out. We focus on what’s important to us. If someone points something out that we hadn’t considered, we may entertain it for a second or two, but we often times revert to the image we first saw.  For instance, at first glance, I saw a puppy flanked by a rainbow. When a friend pointed to the darker clouds on the lower right side and said it looked like someone dancing, I could see it — sorta, but I was really focused on the puppy.

We do the same thing with the hundreds of messages we hear throughout the day. We hear them, but we listen to what interests us, and we filter everything else out. We like the positive messages, the flattering ones, and those that are in sync with our core values. The stuff we filter out is typically useful too, but if we’re not receptive to it, we miss opportunities to learn and grow.

God will sometimes send us messages through unlikely messengers. Ain’t that the truth? We like to call those folks haters, but even the hater’s message has a little truth in it.

Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. ~John 8:32

Jesus said it first — The truth will set you free. So many of us are bound by the lies that we tell ourselves or that others have told us. We filter out important parts of messages because they’re hard to hear. Instead of taking the message from the person that God chose to deliver it, we ignore it because we may not like, respect,or know the bearer of the message. Truthfully, sometimes those messages aren’t always shared in love, but shouldn’t we at least consider the content of the message for a minute or two? I admit that it’s hard to hear the truth sometimes if it isn’t draped in flowery words, but filtering it out and casting it aside doesn’t benefit us at all. Instead, we should learn to use our discernment as the filter that pulls out the truth and leaves the trash behind. The truth is what will free us — not the trash. Remember this strategy the next time you hear the unvarnished truth. Filter out the truth and throw out the trash. May blessings abound! ❤

Before you leave today, check out my Music Monday selection from Francesca Battistelli entitled “If We’re Honest.”

 

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.