Earning a Good Reputation

There is a proverb that states "a good name is better than desirable riches." Your words are important. Your actions even more so. And your name, well that is beneficial in many ways but a good name, a solid reputation has to be earned.
Proverbs 3:1 My child, never forget the things I have taught you.
Store my commands in your heart.

2 If you do this, you will live many years,
and your life will be satisfying.

3 Never let loyalty and kindness leave you!
Tie them around your neck as a reminder.
Write them deep within your heart.

4 Then you will find favor with both God and people,
and you will earn a good reputation.

You don't earn the kind of rep we are talking about today through acquisition of things. It's not even tied to your lineage or where you stack up in society. Earning a good reputation comes from storing up the things that God says and using them in daily living. You have to read or listen to the Bible to keep a surplus of those commands. Faith comes when you hear it and read it. By storing up the Word you become more loyal and kind. These two character traits are non-negotiables in the building of a solid and good reputation. 
Wrap yourself up each day in loyalty to God, your family and others. Be kind to EVERYone you meet. Take these things to heart. THEN, you will find favor with God AND people and the end result, YOU will earn a good reputation.

Well Smack My Lips!

Psalm 63:2 So here I am in the place of worship, eyes open, drinking in your strength and glory.3 In your generous love I am really living at last! My lips brim praises like fountains.4 I bless you every time I take a breath; My arms wave like banners of praise to you.
5 I eat my fill of prime rib and gravy; I smack my lips. It's time to shout praises!
Sometimes when I read the Word of God, I simply have no other words to add. These few verses from the Message version have captured the way I like to rise up and face the day! Eyes wide open, drinking in His strength and glory, smiling with arms waving in praise, and eating my fill of prime rib and gravy!! 
I smack my lips and it's time to shout PRAISES! Who's with me?

God Loves it when...

2 Corinthians 9 encourages us to remember: "A stingy planter gets a stingy crop; a lavish planter gets a lavish crop. I want each of you to take plenty of time to think it over, and make up your own mind what you will give. That will protect you against sob stories and arm-twisting. God loves it when the giver delights in the giving".
I am trying to be generous on every occasion. In order to do that I have to make certain that my priorities are right. There have been so many times in my life when I gave my time, talent and treasure to the Lord only after I had used them for something else. Often I would find myself coming up short of time, low on skill and limited of any financial blessing.
There is a biblical principle that encourages us to give to the Lord first and recognize that whatever we plant in what God is doing is going to produce a harvest. The Bible calls it first fruits. If I am short on time then I need to invest some volunteer hours to help out a ministry or business. If I am lacking financially then it only stands to reason that I would need to plant some finances. How much? 
Thats a matter of prayer between you and God. Give generously. Do the best you can with what you have and as the Lord adds to you, give more! How often do we give and see blessing only to fall on a hard season and stop? We must keep going through thick and thin, feast and famine for it is God who will bring us exactly what we need. Be consistent.
Take some time to think it over today. Are you a generous giver? Do you give your offerings reluctantly or with joy? God loves a cheerful giver! Make up your mind today to be a blessing to someone else. Be a delightful giver and bless your church, your friends., your boss... you may even want to bless Cup of Joe! Whatever you plant will come back to you! God loves it when we give!