The Monday After: Know Contentment Through Generosity {Dawn}

You know that Sunday feeling, right?

We leave the church building inspired and filled with Truth and encouragement on Sundays … and somewhere along the course of the week, pieces of the message tend to fade and we often lose that Sunday feeling.

The Monday After {the Sunday Sermon} carries the Sunday message into Monday mornings by sharing how what we’ve heard on Sunday morning is making a difference in our Mondays, our weeks, our lives. Because of your generosity to Accelerate, we are able to share these stories! Thank you!

The Monday After Sunday, July 13, 2014: Habits of Happiness: Know Contentment Through Generosity {Listen HERE!}

By Dawn Kelley

He was walking down the street pushing a shopping cart full of cans.

It was one of the ways he made his living. I would see him every Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning walking through my dad’s neighborhood collecting aluminum cans from recycling bins and trash cans.

He did it joyfully, most often with a smile on his face, and sometimes he would smile at me a give me a slight wave. One day I saw him walking with his cart in the pouring rain; he had only a light jacket and had a hat on his head. I was in my nice, warm well-covered car watching him as he continued to dig and collect cans. I felt a huge tug on my heart to give.

What was I to give? I had no money and his cart would not fit in my car to give him a ride home. I pulled the car over to see what I could give him and under my passenger seat I found an umbrella. As I pulled up to where he was stationed on his route I rolled my window down and greeted him while handing him my umbrella. He thanked me and walked away. I saw him many times after that with the umbrella hanging on his cart. His smile captured my heart, and it showed me what it really meant to give with a joyful heart. Pastor Byian’s words were a reminder for me that no matter what my circumstances, God has given me so many ways to be generous.

I read on wikipedia, “Generosity is not solely based on one’s economic status, but instead, includes the individual’s pure intentions of looking out for society’s common good and giving from the heart. Generosity should reflect the individuals passion to help others.”

For me that passion comes from Christ, and it reflects His love not only for me but for those He places in my path.

I often think about what people are thinking when they give. I wonder if they are giving a gift, money or their time out of obligation or because they truly want to give and they find deep joy in doing so. I know that sometimes I am giving because someone told me I need to or because scripture tells me to give.

This message challenged me to evaluate why I am giving. I am challenged to question my motives and give from my heart with pure intentions. Reading in Phillippians gives me a clear understanding of what God hopes for me in the area of generosity. He wants me to give without expecting any thing in return. He wants me to follow His leading in giving, whether it’s giving of my time, money, or even of my kindness. In the end, I can do it because God has given me the strength.

I want a happy life that reflects generosity.

Dawn Kelley is the wife of Andrew and the homeschooling mother of four, Jaden, Niya, Makayla and Aiden. She loves to read and write in her spare time, and she currently uses a personal blog to share her adventures in motherhood and womanhood.

 

The Monday After: Remember to Say Thanks {Andrew}

 You know that Sunday feeling, right?

We leave the church building inspired and filled with Truth and encouragement on Sundays … and somewhere along the course of the week, pieces of the message tend to fade and we often lose that Sunday feeling.

The Monday After {the Sunday Sermon} carries the Sunday message into Monday mornings by sharing how what we’ve heard on Sunday morning is making a difference in our Mondays, our weeks, our lives. Because of your generosity to Accelerate, we are able to share these stories! Thank you!

The Monday After Sunday, June 29, 2014: Remember to Say Thanks: Listen HERE.

by Andrew Kelley

I’ve never been in a jail cell.

Maybe you haven’t either.

That said, I’m having a hard time understanding having a heart of thankfulness from a jail cell the way Paul had a heart of thankfulness from his when he wrote his letter to the Philippians.

Say Thanks.001Paul must have been happy and filled with joy even while in jail; look at the display of his gratitude!

Paul speaks of in Philippians 4 rejoicing over their concern for him and praises God for how they have come to his aid.

From a jail cell. That’s some pretty intense gratitude right there; Paul’s letter seems to brim with real joy.

Is thankfulness part of the recipe for happiness even when we’re locked away in our own respective “jails”? If we look at Paul’s life I think we know the answer.

We can only imagine how Paul’s gratitude made the Philippians feel, made God feel and made Paul himself feel.

I know how I feel when I show my gratitude and receive a joyous response; I feel really good deep down.

Pastor Josh issued us a challenge this week challenge to send a thank you card to someone each day this week. I don’t know about you, but I have quite a few thank you notes to send.

I am not only going to accept this challenge but I am going to purposefully try to say thank you.

And now it’ll be a different kind of thank you. It will be a different kind of thank you than I said when I was a kid, and I was told by my parents to say thank you all the time.

I’m also going to go beyond just saying thank you and move beyond those words by telling others why and how they have helped me.

That is where I truly think this whole “thank-you revolution” could take off.

It’s time to get thankful … and show it!

I’ll kick it off; thank you for reading this blog. May it encourage you and spur you on toward a life of gratitude no matter where you find yourself in life today.

Andrew and Dawn

Andrew Kelley is husband to Dawn and father to four wonderful children; he and his family currently call Immanuel and Zion home. 

 

The Monday After: Habits of Happiness: Be Happy No Matter What {Sheryll}

You know that Sunday feeling, right?

We leave the church building inspired and filled with Truth and encouragement on Sundays … and somewhere along the course of the week, pieces of the message tend to fade and we often lose that Sunday feeling.

The Monday After {the Sunday Sermon} carries the Sunday message into Monday mornings by sharing how what we’ve heard on Sunday morning is making a difference in our Mondays, our weeks, our lives. Because of your generosity to Accelerate, we are able to share these stories! Thank you!

The Monday After Sunday, June 16, 2014: Habits of Happiness: Be Happy No Matter What {click HERE to listen!}

By Sheryll Belonga

I consider myself a happy person. Growing up I was at times labeled naive. I could agree with that to a certain degree, but it would bother me. I am the type of person who likes to see the best in others. I like to hope that people I come in contact with can be trusted. I like to see the bright side of things and be optimistic. At one point I wanted to change until I realized God made me this way; I liked wearing my rose-colored glasses.

Yesterday, Pastor Joe said the pursuit of happiness was a choice. I firmly believe that. I believe we can choose to be happy no matter what is going on in life. Does this mean nothing bothers us?  No, of course not!.  Does this mean we never worry? Not at all.  What it means is that when something happens that affects the world around us in a negative way, we choose to look for the positive side.

When I feel discouraged I love to sing Donald Lawrence’s song Encourage Yourself

Sometimes you have to encourage yourself.
Sometimes you have to speak victory during the test.
And no matter how you feel,
speak the word and you will be healed;
speak over yourself,
encourage yourself in the Lord.
Sometimes you have to speak the word over yourself,
the pressure is all around,
but God is present help.
The enemy created walls,
but remember giants, they do fall;
speak over yourself,
encourage yourself in the Lord.

This song brings me to my happy place because it reminds me that things will be okay. More importantly it reminds me of why things will be okay: because God is here. With us. Right now. He sees me and knows what I am going through; he sees you and knows what you are going through. Whatever circumstance or situation, He has control. That doesn’t make it easy,  but we can rejoice in the Lord in spite of it. I can choose to be happy.

Pastor Joe also said waiting for the perfect circumstance in order to be happy can leave you miserable. So many people feel like having all their ducks in a row that will bring them happiness. Problem is nothing is ever perfect. The minute something occurs to disturb the flow of the water those ducks are knocked off course. But when they are, they simply adjust. Have you ever seen ducks shaken by water and freak out? They simply adjust.

Pastor Joe gave two habits of happiness yesterday:

  1. Take a broad look at your problems.
  2. Take a narrow look at your priorities.

When you look at your problems, the way to happiness is to change your perspective and realize that your problem may be essential to your progress.

When you look at your priorities consider whether or not the current situation will even matter years from now.  If it won’t let it go, let it gooo and let it bother you no mo’.

Gotta love the movie Frozen.

Anyway, yes, when we learn to let go we do like Paul said in Philippians 4:11-13

Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”

So let it go and let God take control. If you still struggle I can let you borrow my glasses; they are the perfect shade of rose.

Sheryll Belonga is wife to Jurrell and homeschooling mom to their three great boys. Her hearts desire is to glorify God in all she says and does in spite of life’s daily happenings.

The Monday After: Habits of Happiness: Relationships {Dawn}

You know that Sunday feeling, right?

We leave the church building inspired and filled with Truth and encouragement on Sundays … and somewhere along the course of the week, pieces of the message tend to fade and we often lose that Sunday feeling.

The Monday After {the Sunday Sermon} carries the Sunday message into Monday mornings by sharing how what we’ve heard on Sunday morning is making a difference in our Mondays, our weeks, our lives. Because of your generosity to Accelerate, we are able to share these stories! Thank you!

The Monday After Sunday, June 8, 2014: Habits of Happiness: Relationships

By Dawn Kelley

She was just a tad bit annoying, and I knew that God put her in my life.

Mary was super needy and for some reason she clung to me. I was miserable! The conversations we had were one way so really they were just listening sessions. After awhile I began to tune her out. I was frustrated and downright worn out by her life, her chaos. I thought I was doing the right thing by being there, but I was missing a key component; I was missing joy. I was loving her from my head and not my heart. The sad thing is … I am just figuring this all out.

I haven’t been praying for Mary with Joy. My prayers have been pretty restless, and at the end of my prayers I have found myself asking, “How much longer God? How much longer do I have to endure this?”

I believe I got an answer while listening to Pastor Joe’s message when he encouraged us to abandon telling it like it is in favor of telling it like it could be.

I find my self being a little too blunt with Mary in telling it like it is. There have been many times, more than I care to say, that I have told it like it is and not how it could be. At the top of my prayer list is me, and my prayer is, “God, change my heart. Help me to love your creation the way you love us.”

Next is Mary. “Lord I want to see the amazing person that you created her to be; I want to see her through your eyes.”

I admit I haven’t prayed for Mary with joy; it has been more like an SOS call because I felt like I was going under!

I was praying for her out of complete fear that she would be in my life forever and she would never go away. But now I’m sensing the real problem was how I was viewing my relationship with her.

Pastor Joe said that nobody changes by nagging. What an eye opening thought, and the more I think on it the more I realized that I was doing just that.

After listening to the message I sat down and wrote a list of Mary’s wonderful qualities. It was amazing how much I found there that I really admire. Today I realized that I am honored to be Mary’s friend She is the daughter of the King!

I am challenged to pray for Mary with joy daily and to pray that God continues to change my heart.

Pastor Joe reminded us that God isn’t waiting for me to be perfect for Him to love me.

I can love Mary as I pray for her with joy and be more gracious towards her.

I can’t expect perfection. But I can expect a perfect Father to make the changes that need to be made in Mary … and in me.

 

Dawn Kelley is the wife of Andrew and the homeschooling mother of four, Jaden, Niya, Makayla and Aiden. She loves to read and write in her spare time, and she currently uses a personal blog to share her adventures in motherhood and womanhood.