Monthly Archives: December 2011

2012- A Year of Developing Character

As I reflect upon my spiritual goals for the year 2012, I desire most to focus on developing Godly character. When I would encounter difficult challenges in life during my growing up years, it became a common expression of my mom to say “Great chance for character growth,” and that would usually halt my pity party. For some reason, changing my focus to developing character always made it a challenge, and gave the circumstance a focused goal….thus the grit that often needs to accompany God’s grace began to be molded into my life.

Ephesians 6:10-18 – We must put on the whole armor of God.  We must have the character of Jesus Christ.  It is impossible to have the power of God without having the character of God, which is holiness.

The Bible lists many attributes of godly character, and I would like to borrow from a list of 49 attributes ( and their opposites) that was developed by Drs. Debbie and Don Dunlap ( biblical counselors that were very instrumental in developing my character through the years.)
They encouraged parents to teach these qualities to their children and developed a worksheet of 7 steps to guide parents with the teaching process.   1. Know the definition (dictionary and biblical).  2. List synonyms and antonyms.  3.Name similar character qualities (Refer to list).  4. Find examples in scripture.  5.Name some men/women in the Bible who did NOT demonstrate the quality.  6.Talk about how Jesus demonstrated the character quality in his ministry and life.  7. Identify how you can demonstrate the character qualities in your own personal life.

I plan to look at a character quality each week on this blog site.  Hope you’ll join me in your own pursuit of character development.

List of Character Qualities (and opposites):

Alertness vs Unawareness * Attentiveness vs Unconcern * Availability vs Self-centeredness *Boldness vs Fearfulness *Cautiousness vs Rashness * Compassion vs Indifference *Contentment vs Covetousness * Creativity vs Under-achievement *Decisiveness vs Double-minded * Deference vs Rudeness * Dependability vs Inconsistency * Determination vs Faint-heartedness * Diligence vs Slothfulness * Discernment vs Judgement * Discretion vs Simple-Mindedness * Endurance vs Giving Up * Enthusiasm vs Apathy * Faith vs Presumption *Flexibility vs Resistance * Forgiveness vs Rejection * Generosity vs Stinginess * Gentleness vs Harshness * Gratefulness vs Ungratefulness * Hospitality vs Loneliness * Humility vs Pride *Initiative vs Unresponsiveness * Justice vs  Fairness * Joyfulness vs Self-Pity * Love vs Selfishness * Loyalty vs Unfaithfulness * Meekness vs Anger * Obedience vs Willfulness *Orderliness vs Disorganization * Patience vs Restlessness  * Persuasiveness vs Contentiousness * Punctuality vs Tardiness * Resourcefulness vs Wastefulness * Responsibility vs Unreliability *Reverence vs Disrespect * Security vs Anxiety * Self-Control vs Self Indulgence * Sensitivity vs Callousness * Sincerity vs Hypocrisy * Thoroughness vs Incompleteness * Thriftiness vs Extravagance * Tolerance vs Prejudice * Truthfulness vs Deception * Virtue vs Impurity *Wisdom vs Natural Inclinations

Character Quotes:
Character, not circumstances, make the man.
Booker T. Washington

Distance tests a horse’s strength. Time reveals a person’s character.
Chinese Proverbs

Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.”
Helen Keller

Everyone tries to define this thing called Character. It’s not hard. Character is doing what’s right when nobody’s looking.”

A man’s reputation is what other people think of him; his character is what he really is.

Prayer for 2012:  May you grow in your knowledge and understanding of God.  May you allow Him to mold godly character into you in whatever circumstances this year may hold for you.

Image Above:  Copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos

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Christmas Time Is Near

It’s the final week before Christmas….       

There’s a pep in my step, and a twinkle in my eye.

What is it that I love so much about Christmas?

I love the lights, the music, the decorations, the celebrations.
I love picking out Christmas cards, and mailing them to loved ones.
I love selecting a fresh tree, and bringing it home.
I love decorating the tree and putting the angel on top.
I love sitting in the dark and watching the Christmas lights sparkle.
I love wrapping gifts in pretty paper and arranging them under the tree.
I love the focus on baby Jesus and the nativity scenes displayed.

But what really makes it special?  What really makes it all seem so exhilarating?
It’s togetherness.
The togetherness of family getting together to do things with each other and for each other.
It’s connection.
The connection to total strangers who wish you Merry Christmas and good cheer.
It’s compassion.
Compassion for others shown in the gifts given, the time spent, and yes, even when we comfort those who are sad and lonely during the Holiday Season.

How wonderful this Earth would be if the Christmas spirit lasted all year through.  And yet, it can.
Jesus is the Christmas spirit, the wonder of togetherness, giving, caring, reaching out to others.
Jesus is connection.  He wants us to always seek connection to one another, to cherish our memories as we create them, and not just later.
Jesus is compassion….there is no greater compassion than His gift of life to us.

Don’t you think He would want us to be in a Christmas frame of mind all year?

As you put away your Christmas decorations this year, don’t put Christmas out of your heart.
Merry Christmas!!!



Children Capture His Heart.

Jesus came to us as a baby, innocent and new.  As he walked the Earth, he shared a special concern and love for children.

 But Jesus called them to him, and said, Suffer little children to come to me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.  Luke 18:16 

At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me.  Matthew 18: 1-5

How wonderful to hear a child talk about Jesus.   How strong and trusting is their faith.  How well they can grasp the concepts of the Bible.
Following is the Christmas story told in a special way by a group of children in New Zealand.  I think it will touch your heart, and make you smile.



Heroes and Villains of the Bible published by Tommy Nelson presents the beloved and cherished stories of the Bible in a format that kids and adults will enjoy sharing together.  Your eyes will be intrigued by the beautiful and captivating illustrations.  The stories stay true to scripture yet are presented in a format that a child can understand.  At the end of each story, the character(s) are discussed briefly and at least one attribute of a hero is emphasized.

I was interested in this book because my 7 year old loves to be read to and I wanted to share the stories and characters of the bible with her.  She loved the illustrations but she also paid attention to the stories presented and would ask for more stories to be read to her.  In her opinion, the book would receive a 5/5 star rating.

Although children under 5 would enjoy the illustrations, the wording is probably more understandable to a child 6 and up.  In this age of many wordly superheroes, it is a great concept to present the characters of the Bible as real life heroes that can inspire us today.  I highly recommend this book, and also think it would make a great Christmas gift this season.

Disclosure:  I received this book free from Booksneeze in exchange for providing my honest and unbiased opinion.

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