Reset Your Mindset

by Nancy Kay Grace

The new year brings an opportunity to reset your mindset.

Recovering from holiday travel and a blast of cold weather made me want to hibernate. I struggled to get into a routine for the new year. Now that the holidays are over, what is there to look forward to? Is anything different about this year?

I knew I didn’t want my attitude to stay frozen in the bleakness of cold winter days, complaining about the news or and shivering about things I cannot control.

The only thing I can control is my mindset. The verse in Philippians 3:13-14 challenged my mind and heart: “But this one thing I do, forgetting what is behind, and straining toward what is ahead, I press on to the goal for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

  • Forgetting what is Behind

Forgetting what is behind keeps me from dwelling on the past. I can reflect on the successes and good memories of last year, and also recall the struggles and frustrations. But if I stay fixed on them, I become paralyzed and won’t go forward. In looking back over the last year, God’s faithfulness was evident, which encourages me for the future. Those experiences propel me into the next year with hope, trusting the Lord for whatever may come.

  • Straining TowardWhat is Ahead

Straining toward what is ahead is the image of an athlete crossing the finish line of a race. By planning realistic goals, I know what I am aiming toward. If I don’t write them down, I wander off track and accomplish nothing for the Lord. To keep on track, writing a list of my goals to keep in front of me is part of straining toward what is ahead. I see them every day, pray about them, and seek the Lord for strength and wisdom to accomplish them.

  • Pressing on to the Goal

Pressing on toward the goal is perhaps this the most challenging action—to keep going even when you feel like quitting, persisting through the hinderances no matter what. Pressing on requires resilience. It strengthens determination to overcome roadblocks.

Philippians 3:13-14 helped me reset my mindset for a fresh start, through forgetting what is behind, straining toward what is ahead, and determining to press on in spite of roadblocks.

Are you ready to reset your mindset for the new year?

Lord, as I go into the new year, help me lean into Your character. You are faithful. As I reflect on the past, let it be a springboard to catapult me to seek You and plan wisely. In Your strength, may I press on to do what You have called me to do, for Your glory. Amen.

This article is brought to you by the Advance Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

About the author: Nancy Kay Grace is the speaker and award-winning author of The Grace Impact, a devotional about God’s grace. Her website, blog, and GraceNotes newsletter sign-up are found at As a cancer survivor, she writes about hope, perseverance, and God’s grace. Nancy enjoys hugs from grandchildren, playing worship songs on piano, hiking, and travel.

Join the conversation: Have you reset your mind since the beginning of the new year? What changes do you hope to make in your thinking?

Embrace Your Season and Share                                                              

by Dana Peters-Colley

Fall. Leaves turn bright yellow, orange, and red announcing a change in season. Harvest festivals and cooler temperatures are abundant. We snuggle into our fave sweaters and enjoy crisp, golden mornings.

Seasons are a set up for us to pay attention. They are signs acknowledging change. Rain drenches, and we grab our puddle boots and fall jackets to conquer the elements. We adjust and cope.

But in our spiritual lives, being out of season can bring calamities. If we hold to the former, and don’t move forward the way God designed, we can end up stuck in the mud. The best way to avoid that is to embrace each new season and let go of the old.  

I confess, I’ve been guilty of not getting on with it at times. But Jesus is clear when He says, “Put your hand to the plow and don’t look back…” Luke 9:62. Our gaze must be fixed on Jesus, the one whom we follow, not on our past successes or failures.

Look forward. No matter your time. No matter your season. There’s sweet embrace that comes when we accept and adjust to the season God has us in. When we’re young, we dash through decisions and directions swiftly. When we are middle aged, we embrace what we’ve done and continue to build. In our latter years, we hopefully will have enough wisdom to help others in their season of life.  


In the Bible, God created cycles and seasons to help us understand where we are. He sets warnings so mankind comes to their senses and see what’s happening. Joel 2:30 states, “…I will show wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath…”

We are now being splashed with so many signs it’s a wonder anyone is missing it. Yes, our Savior Jesus Christ is coming soon. Yet, our instruction is to occupy until He comes and share Jesus with everyone.  As the season of fall brings colors that soar over our heads, let’s remember to be neighborly and reach the lost with His message. As we stir our pumpkin spice lattes and enjoy our fireplaces, let’s remember to be love to the world around us.

As things seem to crumble and the news blasts ominous happenings, don’t get swept away by the turmoil. We are Kingdom people. We are to advance Jesus on the earth while in this season.

I was recently in a grocery line with a quick breakfast while on a short vacation. Yogurt and a banana. In front of me was a kid about twenty. I said hi and asked if he knew Jesus. He shared he was baptized in Jamaica as a child.

Remember, it’s the love of God that draws us. It’s the love. So, I added how he needed to talk to Jesus, to hang out with Him. I told him Jesus really wanted more of a relationship with him. He was important to God. His eyes blinked, and he was changed, encouraged. A wide smile appeared. It was that simple.

To share Jesus is simple. So, let’s put on our rain boots and get marching. Let’s look in their eyes and ask the Holy Spirit what they need. Comfort? Healing? Kindness? The world is dead and we are the answer. So, shake a few branches this fall and bring some water. Humbly. Friendly. Authentic. You won’t slip. Jesus is the umbrella over you. Happy fall my beloved friends. Enjoy your lattes! And share Him!

…Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. Mark 16:15

This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

About the author: Dana Peters-Colley is a creative who loves Jesus. She has been tucked away developing a brand of Christian parable books, faith-based fiction, and inspirational books as well as screenplays. Dana holds a B.A. in journalism, studied screenwriting at U.C.L.A., and is a former long-time Disney creative leader and producer. When the Lord got ahold of Dana everything marvelously changed. She is developing a heavenly-inspired brand line that brings stories to build family, inspire discovery, and teach kingdom ways. See to connect to her spiritual blog and gaze at her adventures.

Do you have a friend you want to receive Jesus into their lives? Do you want to receive how much God loves and values you? Do you want to be empowered to do the impossible? Then, you have to know who you are! Treasure will take you into the realization of God’s love for you as you discover you are His treasure.

Join the Conversation: How have you worked Jesus into your conversations?

Shine Your Light

by Virginia Grounds

The auditorium was dark as the band began to play softly. The star singer walked onto the stage and began to sing. The crowd went wild. One by one flashlights were lifted until the place was lit up like a Christmas tree. All the people there that night were inspired by secular music and artificial light. I was one of those people who didn’t see anything wrong with who I was exalting with my light.

But through the years, I learned about the true light and my life changed. In the gospel of John, Jesus identified himself as the Light of the World. It makes sense then that those who believe and receive Jesus into their lives would have his light within them. Knowing this helps us to understand Matthew 5:14-16. In this passage, Jesus is delivering what we call the Sermon on the Mount to his disciples. We can apply these truths to our lives, because as Christ followers, we are his disciples in this generation.

Jesus taught that his disciples are the light of the world. His instruction to let the light shine before others to glorify God is how we need to live. How does that happen? According to verse 16, it is through our good works. What are our good works? They are the works of faith, turning to God and occupying ourselves with those things assigned by God to us.

The light of Jesus is reflected through the peace he gives as we walk a rocky path. His light is reflected in the strength and courage he gives to press on. It is revealed through the wisdom he inspires, not the artificial light of the world. The love of Christ is the greatest light in our life.

We all have a ministry. Ministry is the service of believers in the work of the Gospel. As believers, we are to bear fruit for the kingdom in sharing the message of Christ with others. As we do, the light of his love shines through us for all to see, just as the city on a hill is not hidden. It is God’s purpose for us to allow others to see our faith in such a way that God is glorified.

The true light to lift is Jesus. He is the One to be exalted so that the light of his love is not hidden. He is the One who inspires us by his Spirit. We shine his light as we serve the Lord, love others, and share the Gospel. Does our light shine when our head is down with a frown on our face? Or, does our light shine when our head is lifted, we are smiling and allowing Jesus to love others through us? Yes!

You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Matthew 5:14 ESV

This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

About the author: Virginia Grounds is a speaker, author, Bible Teacher, former radio host, and effective communicator. Her love for women’s ministry and passion for God’s Word have been an important part of serving for more than 30 years in ministry in one of the largest churches in America. Virginia served with her husband in full-time ministry helping to meet the needs of hurting people. This motivated her to write her first book, Facing Fears, Quenching Flames, a devotional book for overcoming fear and anger.

Rock Solid Trust: Trusting God When Life Is Hard by [Virginia Grounds]

Virginia writes to grow women in their faith and teach life lessons for survival in today’s world. She is married with three adult children and grandchildren. Her ministry website is

Join the conversation: On those days when we do not feel like loving others, what can we do to shine?

Whine or Wine?

by Cherrilynn Bisbano

The effects of original sin permeate every crevice of our world. Trials, tribulations, illness, sexual immorality, and debauchery are some of the effects of this unwanted invader. There is no escape while sojourning on earth, so God sent the Holy Spirit to give us strength and wisdom amidst the storms.

Jesus is the perfect example of how to live with the effects of sin. He acted in wisdom and love. He never complained. I want to glean from His actions and walk in the power of the Spirit.

Jesus was crushed for our sin. “But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace…” (Isaiah 53:5 ESV).

When I read this verse, I think of grapes. I know it seems irreverent and a bit silly, but bear with me. When grapes are made into juice for wine, they are crushed. We reap the rewards when they are pulverized. A fragrant aroma arises only when they are pressed.

Jesus’ body was beaten, yet he said, “Father, forgive them.” His sacrifice reconciled the world to God.

So what happens when we are crushed? People watch when we go through trials.

One day at work, a few co-workers ridiculed me because I said I was offended by their dirty jokes. I found a quiet corner to sulk. Eyes were still on me. My heart broke; they knew I was a Christian. Why would they say such nasty things in my presence, then make fun of me?

The taunts continued.

“Oh, Cherrilynn’s here, we’d better be good, she’ll tell God on us,” Mike stated.

“God wouldn’t like our jokes, either would he?” Steve said.

“You guys are idiots!” I said as I left the room.

Laughter echoed throughout the office and followed me down the hallway as I escaped their harassment. I prayed and asked for wisdom. (I wanted God to call down lightning on them.)

But the Holy Spirit impressed this verse upon my heart instead: “For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing” (2 Corinthians 2:15 ESV). The Spirit continued, your choice is to whine or be wine when you are crushed. Do you want to complain or be a fragrant aroma?

I returned to the office. “I’m sorry for calling you idiots.” Mike and Steve’s mouths opened wider than their eyes.

“We thought you’d never talk to us again,” Mike said with his Cheshire grin.

“We accept the apology, and we will warn you next time we tell those kinds of jokes,” Steve said.

“Thanks, guys,” I said.

After the apology, the dirty jokes stopped. They even came to me privately to ask for prayer.

I’m not always a fragrant offering when I go through trials and tribulations, but God is there to lovingly remind me not to whine.

This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

About the author: Cherrilynn Bisbano is an award-winning writer in both fiction and non-fiction. She is a coach, ghostwriter, editor, and speaker. She is honored to be a member of AWSA.You can find her published in several online magazines and blogs along with books.  Her latest book, Shine Don’t Whine, released in October 2020. Cherrilynn proudly served in the Navy and Air National Guard. She lives with her son, Michael, Jr., and husband of 22 years. Cherrilynn loves Christ, Chocolate, coffee, and Cats. You will often find her on the beach sea glass hunting.

Join the conversation. Do you find yourself complaining when you are crushed?

The Lesson of the PB&J

by Deb DeArmond

The Disciples were an interesting cast of characters. They were dissimilar in their personalities and professional pursuits. Those distinct differences could be a gift, as they could combine their strengths while working together. But those differences also created challenges, as they often disagreed on a variety of topics. In Luke 6: 12-16, the apostles are identified by name. Two are described. Simon, who was called a zealot, and Judas Iscariot, who would become a traitor.

Luke 6 is a treasure trove—a hidden store of valuable or delightful things. One of my favorite passages is found there: “But I say to you who are willing to hear: Love your enemies. Do good to those who hate you.Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who mistreat you” (Luke 6:27-28 CEB).

This passage supplied an everyday opportunity for my children at one point. I’m not sure we had a zealot and a traitor in the camp, but their ability to “pray for those who mistreat you” was often in question.

Three sons, with five years separating the first and last, was an everyday adventure. Bikes, skates, super-hero toys and basketballs. By the time the oldest two were nine and six, their personalities were diverse—which is the nice way to say they were nothing alike and rarely saw eye to eye. 

The background music during those years was a fevered pitch that made me cringe. The greatest hits on most days included those all-time favorites “That’s not fair!” and “Mom! He’s cheating!”

Sharing was a frequent challenge. I felt akin to Solomon as they trooped in for my decree as to the real owner of the toy truck or “How much longer does he get the skateboard before it’s my turn?”

While they never strayed into the “I hate you,” territory, the concept of “love one another as you love yourself” seemed out of reach in those moments. But the idea of keeping the peace seemed a bit more attainable. Determined to teach these two the value of fairness, working together, and sharing, I hit on a solution out of sheer desperation.

It was the last day before the weekly grocery run, and lunch fixings were in short supply. Two lopsided slices of bread and the scrapings at the bottom of the peanut butter jar created momentary panic . . . and a lifelong Bible lesson.

I made the sandwich and presented it to my younger son. “Jordan, you’ll cut the sandwich in half.” He pumped his fist. “And Cameron, you’ll choose first which half you want.” He smiled wide.

Jordan slumped in his chair and crossed his arms. He then leaned into his assignment and tackled the sandwich with the precision of a diamond cutter. His calculation was important, and both boys were satisfied. He was successful in his mission.

So was I.

That PB&J became their life lesson for God’s instruction loving one another. It also worked with son #3 – and now as full-grown men, I see the fruit of that Bible verse, as I watch them guide their children with the same principles. I’ve enjoyed observing my sons guide the combined group of my seven grandsons—with boy #8 on the way. Life in Jesus helps make the testosterone zone a fabulous place to be!

But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. James 3:17 NASB

This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

About the author: Deb DeArmond is an award-winning author, speaker and writing coach, helping others to achieve their goals whether in marriage, family relationships, at work, or in ministry. Her books reflect that path. Her newest release, We May Be Done But We’re Not Finished, encourages and informs women 50+ how to make the rest of their life the best of their life.

Join the conversation: What Bible verses are/were important to you as your raise/raised your children?

Am I Getting Older or Wiser?

by Laura Petherbridge

Put on the new self, the one created according to God’s likeness in righteousness and purity of the truth. Therefore, putting away lying, speak the truth, each one to his neighbor, because we are members of one another. Be angry and do not sin. Don’t let the sun go down on your anger, and don’t give the devil an opportunity…Let all bitterness, anger and wrath, shouting and slander be removed from you, along with all malice. And be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as God also forgave you in Christ. Ephesians 4: 24-27, 31-32 CSB

Lately I’ve noticed little things that reveal I’m getting older. Some of them include:

  • I find myself gravitating to the anti-wrinkle section of the cosmetic counter.
  • I no longer have any idea what color lipstick I’m applying because I can’t read the small print on the bottom of the tube.
  • I walk into a room only to discover I have absolutely no recollection of why I’m there.

But the Bible shares a positive side to aging, “Wisdom is found with the elderly, and understanding comes with long life” (Job 12:12 CSB). My bones and hair may be thinning, but I am not defeated. As I age, I can become smarter than ever before, if I’m teachable and desire it.

This is fabulous news.

In my 40-year journey with Jesus (so far) I have discovered a few litmus tests to evaluate whether I’m getting smarter, or merely older. These can be found in the above verses from Ephesians. I can tell I’m growing as a Christian when:

Trials and temptations are viewed as an opportunity for growth. This doesn’t mean I’m skipping through a storm, shouting “Praise the Lord” and pretending pain doesn’t exist. It means I’ve learned that God can be trusted in the middle of a crisis. I know he can bring good out of bad. The result may make me stronger than before. I hate the storm, but I love the results.

There is an increased awareness of areas of weakness and the tendency to sin. Maturing in Christ doesn’t mean I don’t sin. It does mean that my radar is sharper, my knowledge of God’s Word is greater, and my desire to obey God is intense. When I’m growing in Christ, and I realize I’m disobeying Him, I’m quick to confess. I sincerely repent, and ask God to help me avoid this situation in the future. I must be willing to make sacrifices if that’s what’s necessary to avoid sin. The passion to be free is fierce. 

I’m not embarrassed, or arrogant, about being different. If it’s been a long time since I’ve shared Jesus with another person, that’s an indication my relationship with God is in trouble. When I lack enthusiasm about God’s amazing grace, or the price it cost Jesus to save my soul, it’s time to take a step back and evaluate. When I discover my comments, and social media posts, are focused on an “us versus them” mentality, that’s an indication that pride has crept into my life. Pride is always spelled, S-I-N. 

I recognize God owns it ALL. There isn’t a person, place or thing in my life that couldn’t be gone is 30 seconds. I have no ability to keep or control anything. God can choose to remove my husband, family, home, health, bank account and anything else he feels is wise. At first I didn’t like these sobering thoughts, but when I admitted that God is in control, not me—a huge burden was lifted. He has given me the privilege to be the caretaker of the people or things to which I’m entrusted. But I don’t own them. He does.

I’ve learned to dance with my Creator. Many of my early Christian years were spent in an exhausting performance for God. I kept trying to earn the love He has already given for free. Fear kept me from accepting His embrace, but His zealous love won out. I finally gave in and accepted His lavish love. I heard him whisper, “You are beautiful and precious to me. I delight in you, Laura. Relax, Beloved. I will never leave you. Never.” Because I stopped performing, wrestling and resisting, we now dance like a bride and groom.

God is helping me to focus and keep Him the main thing, so those new wrinkles don’t matter as much. Now—if I could only find where I put my cell? A-L-E-X-A, find my phone!

This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

About the author: Laura Petherbridge is an international speaker and author of, When ‘I Do’ Becomes ‘I Don’t’The Smart Stepmom,  101 Tips for The Smart Stepmom, and Quiet Moments for the Stepmom Soul.  She has appeared at/on the Billy Graham Center, Family Talk (Dobson), Focus on the Family, Today’s Christian Woman, FamilyLife, Lifeway and Moody Broadcasting. She has been a featured expert on the DivorceCare DVD series implemented in over 60,000 churches worldwide. In addition to the USA, she has spoken in South Africa, Australia, and Canada. Laura and Steve live in Atlanta, Ga and have been married for 35 years. She has two stepsons, daughters in law, and grandkids. She may be reached at

Laura’s resource When I Do Becomes I Don’t-Practical Steps for Healing During Separation and Divorce is answers to her most FAQ after 30 years in divorce recovery and stepfamily ministry. It includes chapters for friends and family, and a section for church leadership. 

Join the conversation: In what ways have you seen yourself growing wiser?


by Janet McHenry

My cousin Merry told me recently that when she was in high school, she had to write about her life’s philosophy. Isn’t that hilarious? As a former high school educator, I honestly can’t recall too many students who could have articulated a life philosophy. Hers was “eat, drink, and be merry.” I think most high school students would have agreed with that.

What might others say? I’m speculating, based on personal observation of teenagers for many years, but I think additional ones might be fair:

  • Work hard.
  • Be kind.
  • Enjoy life.
  • Take what you can get.
  • Figure it out as you go along.
  • Just do your best.

By the way, that last one I got from Merry, too. When I was teaching, I’d say, “As Cousin Merry would say, ‘Just do your best.'”

As I watched Olympics recently, I wondered about the philosophy those young athletes must have for themselves.

  • Work hard, then work even harder.
  • Show sportsmanship, whether you win or lose.
  • Learn something that will make you better each day.
  • Make sacrifices so you get better.
  • Do better today than yesterday’s best.
  • Just do your best.

It’s been interesting following the story of Simone Biles, the young gymnast who faltered in her vault competition and then withdrew from most of her events. She knew herself. She knew her body. She knew a weakness had crept in that could harm her. And so she sacrificed years of hard work for her life’s sake. She did her best, given all the circumstances of her health and wellness.

There are all kinds of ways we can get wisdom and gain perspective about how to best live our lives. We can read and research and observe. And we can have experiences. Personally, while I try to learn from the latter–experiences–I’d much rather learn from the former. From Simone I’ve learned that it’s not worth it to kill myself to get ahead. I can cheer from the sidelines . . . and perhaps even my sideline cheers are what God might prefer for me.

And what’s my life philosophy?

Mine stems from a directive that Joshua gave the eastern tribes after they had helped their brother tribes settle in the promised land—supporting them in battle. When things settled down, Joshua told them to observe and keep God’s commands, to love Him, to walk in His ways, to cling to God, and to serve Him with all their heart and soul.

I believe God has ordered my days. I tend to run to God when life’s situations are hard. When circumstances settle down, it’s easy to become complacent. In those times, if I step out, motivated by selfish ambitions, or if I ignore what I already know God has ordained for me, I won’t be doing my best. I want to follow Him at all times of my life.

So, since 1970, my life philosophy has been “Love God and serve Him forever.” I’ve tried other ways. They don’t work out well. So I’ll do my best, given the circumstances, and trust Him for the results.

Only be very careful to observe the commandment and the law that Moses the servant of the Lord commanded you, to love the Lord your God, and to walk in all his ways, and keep his commandments and to cling to him and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul. Joshua 22:5 ESV

The Complete Guide to the Prayers of Jesus: What Jesus Prayed and How It Can Change Your Life Today by [Janet Holm McHenry]

About the author: Janet McHenry is an international speaker, creator of the online course called Prayer School, and the author of 24 books—including the bestselling 50 Life Lessons for Grads. Formerly a high school English teacher, she still enjoys hanging out with young people when she serves as her school’s official basketball scorekeeper. Janet has recently taken up cheering others from the sidelines by coaching new writers and hosting the Sierra Valley Writers Retreat. She loves connecting with others on social media and through her website:

Join the conversation: What’s your life philosophy?

Really? Boundaries?

by Terri Gillespie

Now this I pray, that your love might overflow still more and more in knowledge and depth of discernment, in order to approve what is excellent—so that in the Day of Messiah you may be sincere and blameless . . . Philippians 1:9-10, TLV

If you hear the sound of knocking and you can’t identify its source, then it’s probably me, banging my head against the wall. Because it happened again.

I meant well. She needed help and no one else seemed to want to help. Little did I know, there was a reason for that.

So, I jumped in and helped. Then I helped again. And again. And again. The more I helped, the more the need seemed to flourish. Was I actually feeding the need?

Wait. Was I being taken advantage of?

As I sat at my mentor’s kitchen table, head in my hands, that revelation was confirmed. Why hadn’t anyone warned me? Perhaps, she said, because I did not ask.

I write a lot of blogs on the importance of love. As children of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, we are called to love our neighbors as ourselves. I refer to this passage a lot. This is a balanced and wise approach to love.

For the past few months, I have focused on the importance of love. How we are to respond in love when others behave badly, especially these days where division and chaos have separated family and friends and communities—and well, let’s face it—our nation.

But I have also discussed boundaries. If the apostle Paul were here today, he might use the term boundary to the Philippians. Qualifying only the love that came with the understanding of thousands of years’ worth of understanding and living wisdom.

When we employ the tools of wisdom, which include discernment and knowledge to our expressions of love, we do not accept sin. We understand that we must forgive, as our Father forgives us.

Our pursuit of reconciliation may mean pulling away from someone because continued contact is harmful to us or our loved ones — maybe even to them.

“Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has demanded to sift you all like wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith will not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” Luke 22: 31-32 TLV

Sometimes God must sift a soul. As difficult as it is to watch, we must allow them to experience the full weight of their sinful heart for them to be set free. Interfering with God’s process with an uninformed expression of love, is not only detrimental to that person’s process, but also prideful. You know what it is like? It is like saying, “Okay God, I’ll take care of this situation now. Clearly You don’t know what You’re doing.”

Like Peter’s betrayal and Paul’s persecution of the believers, we may need to love from afar via forgiveness and prayer. Love with knowledge and discernment so that we aren’t guilty of interfering with God’s purpose for that soul. And should the day arrive that reconciliation is possible, we will be ready to offer the love that ministers healing.

If you find you have been knocking your head against a wall in frustration over helping others, seek the Lord. Perhaps a little wisdom needs to be applied with that love.

This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

About the author: Award-winning author and beloved speaker Terri Gillespie writes stories of faith and redemption to nurture souls. Her novels, devotionals, and blogs have drawn readers to hunger for a deeper relationship with their Heavenly Father, and His Son Jesus. Her newest novel, Sweet Rivalry, releases later this year. 

Join the conversation: Do you struggle to set boundaries in relationships?

Time, Days, and Wisdom

by Nancy Kay Grace

In January we think about resolutions, goals, a fresh start, and time. A new year has begun with all its promise, opportunity, and challenge.

A. W. Tozer said, “Time is a resource that is non-renewable and non-transferable. You cannot store it, slow it up, hold it up, divide is up, or give it up. You can’t hoard it up or save it for a rainy day—when it’s lost, it is unrecoverable. When you kill time, remember that it has no resurrection.”

Wow. In this day of concern for non-renewable resources, do we stop to consider time as one of them? It is something that vanishes every day and cannot be replenished.

In Psalm 90:12, written by Moses, we read: “Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” How can we practice this wise prayer?

Seek God to determine what is most important. Moses depended on God to lead His people. He asked for God to teach him. In the everyday details of life, can you ask God to teach you how best to use your time? Create a daily to-do list. If there are still tasks on it at the end of the day, begin the next day with those. Asking for God’s guidance in planning the day helps overcome flightiness amidst distractions.

Realize that time is irreplaceable, a valuable asset given to each of us. Instead of thinking how you are going to spend your time, think about how you are going to invest your time. The verse reminds us that life is short (our days are numbered). Consider it in a positive way: what activities and people nurture you? Make time for more of those and less for the things that drain you. Time invested with the Lord at the beginning of the day increases productivity in the long run.

Live wisely, making each day count. The verse focuses on the day, not the year. How can you share the love of God throughout your day? Be diligent to let your light shine in your family and at work. A heart of wisdom results from seeking God and obeying Him.

All the days of our lives matter to God. Time is a non-renewable resource and gift given to all of us. There are many choices for how we will invest what we have been given. What will each of us do with the 24 hours in each day and the 365 days in 2021?

Seek God daily and live for Him to gain a heart of wisdom.

This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

About the author: Nancy Kay Grace is thankful for the gift of time. She is a speaker and award-winning author of The Grace Impact, a devotional about the touch of God’s grace in our lives.  

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Know It All

by Nan Corbitt Allen

Don’t fool yourself. Don’t think that you can be wise merely by being up-to-date with the times. Be God’s fool—that’s the path to true wisdom. What the world calls smart, God calls stupid. 1 Corinthians 1:18-21 The Message

I overheard a conversation recently between a mother and her 8-year-old son.

SON: Mom, do you know everything?

MOM: Oh, no. Not everything—just a little something about a lot of things.

SON: Yeah, that’s what I thought.

I wanted to say to that mom, “Cherish this moment, because he won’t always think so highly of you or your knowledge.”

Perhaps the young boy wasn’t asking about his mom’s knowledge, but about her wisdom. There’s a difference, you know.

Knowledge is acquired through experience or education. In other words, we can study enough and travel enough and experience enough to gain knowledge. That’s impressive!

Wisdom, however, goes beyond knowledge. A wise person has perspective and discernment. They know how to use the information to make good decisions. The only way to gain wisdom is through a gift from God. Someone once said: “Knowledge is knowing what to say. Wisdom is knowing when to say it.” 

When thinking of wisdom, we often think of good King Solomon from the Bible. He was the son of David and Bathsheba who inherited the throne of Israel when his father died. God appeared to Solomon in a dream and said, “Ask what you wish Me to give you.” Solomon, with a whole kingdom at his disposal, asked for a “discerning heart” to judge the people wisely. God told him because he didn’t ask for riches or health or long life, He would give Solomon wisdom. And along with the wisdom He would bless him with all of the other things that usually follow success. (Find this story in 1 Kings 3 and 2 Chronicles 1.)

Of course, the rest of the story isn’t so good. Solomon had it all, but he allowed his possessions and successes to go to his head. “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before stumbling” (Proverbs 16:18 NASB). His pride was his undoing, not his knowledge or his wisdom.

There is something about getting older that awakens us to new things, new ideas, new knowledge. Trial and error. Adventure and experimentation. Voracity. These teach us a little something about a lot of things. But wisdom comes from a heavenly source. My favorite verse about this is in James 1:5 (NASB) “…if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.”

As a mom, I called on this promise often—everyday sometimes. Child rearing books were everywhere, and I read many of them. I had a lot of knowledge, you might say, but what I needed was wisdom on how to bring up my boys in a way that was pleasing to God. And when I asked, He provided.

These days we get a lot of information—some of it tainted with opinion and some of it sound with truth. However, none of this is valuable without first asking, “Give me wisdom, Lord.”

Romans 12:2 (NASB) says, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” (emphasis mine). The first part of the verse is a great word about gaining new ideas and insights, but the last part is the promise to which I cling. If I test information I receive against truth, wisdom will guide me to finding what is the right action.

Like the old hymn “God of Grace and God of Glory” says, “Grant us wisdom, grant us courage, for the facing of this hour…” No matter what we face, we should first ask for wisdom, then for the courage to act upon it.

This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

Nan Corbitt Allen

About the author: Nan Corbitt Allen has written over 100 published dramatic musicals, sketchbooks, and collections in collaboration with Dennis Allen, her husband of 45+ years. A three-time Dove Award winner, Nan’s lyrics and dramas have been performed around the world. Dennis and Nan have sold almost 3 million choral books.

Nan and Dennis retired in 2020 from full time teaching at Truett McConnell University. They now live south of Nashville. They have two grown sons and two beautiful grandchildren.

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Nan’s book, Small Potatoes @ the Piggly Wiggly, is a collection of devotionals that reveal the great impact seemingly insignificant, routine experiences can have in our lives. She describes what she learned of God’s providence and wisdom while growing up in the Deep South in the 1950’s and 60’s.

Join the conversation: Can you think of a time when wisdom was vital to the knowledge you possessed?