Archive | Thought-Provoking Thursday

A Fresh Look

A Fresh Look | 3dlessons4life.com


In 1983, I decided to cut my hair shorter. My friend, Maria, got a snazzy fresh look, and I played copy cat.

I loved my shorter locks on the front and side. The layers made it easy to blow dry and style. I walked the halls at school feeling lighter and way cooler.

In case you are wondering…. Yes, it is true. I was proud of my mullet.

In 1983, my mullet was all the rage.

The problem is that I loathe change. (I mentioned this last week, remember?).

When I looked in the mirror, that mullet looked great to me over a decade later. Many kindhearted people tried to help me adopt a different perspective. I can’t tell you how many of my 10th grade English students asked, “Ma’am, have you ever considered growing out your hair?”

No. No. No.

I kept that mullet until 2005. (No, I am not kidding. I am picturing you reading this e-mail and shaking your head in disbelief.)

Every time I considered growing out my out-dated hairdo, I’d reach a point where the discomfort of the long scraggly sides made me reach for the scissors. I’d stand in front of the mirror and chop away.

It looked clean and crisp and easy to manage to me.

I might have gone on this way forever, but one day I finally experienced an epiphany. I finally frowned into the mirror and perceived how completely archaic and unappealing I appeared to the world.

So, I hid my scissors.

I grit my teeth when the hair on the side reached down below my ears and looked uneven and messy.

I tried not to stare too long at my current reflection, and instead I imagined how beautiful my hair was going to look in the future.

A year after my scissors went into hibernation, I started a new job and made an appointment with a fancy hairdresser. I got lovely honey-colored highlights and completely updated my look.

Soon after, I met my husband. He is not a fan of the mullet, and I am probably married today because I parted with my scissors.

So my friends, I want to confess that this week I realized that I have a new “mullet” to tackle. For years now, friends have encouraged me to re-brand this blog. I know that I need to, but frankly, I didn’t want to deal with the discomfort. I like things the way they are, and updating didn’t seem all that necessary.

The time is now. If I don’t refresh and move forward, this space will grow redundant and ineffective.

I want to sparkle instead of fizzle out.

So, for the next few days, I am going to grit my teeth and deal with the discomfort.

A fresh look is coming. You don’t need to do a thing. I’ve invited someone to help dress up things a bit, and although my new home will be LyliDunbar.com, you will still receive encouragement in your inbox if you are subscribed.

My blogging friends should know that the link-up is going to move to Fridays soon under a new name. I will e-mail you all the details once we are ready to roll out the revamped blog.

How about you?

What’s your mullet?

Sometimes we must take a hard look in the mirror and make changes if we want to glitter for God’s glory. 

Something to think about…

I’m sharing “A Fresh Look” with like-minded friends at Faith-Filled Friday.

 

Linkup

Have you written something thought-provoking, challenging, encouraging, or inspiring lately? Link it up here! For best results, write the title of your post in the name box. 🙂

As a courtesy, please link back to 3-D Lessons for Life in your post. Grab and share the Thought-Provoking Thursday button to spread the word. Use #ThoughtProvokingThursday to share your post and connect on Twitter.

Check back later to see what other GREAT posts have been linked up! Visit the post immediately before yours and leave an encouraging comment.

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29

Culture of Change

Culture of Change | 3dlessons4life.com

I hate change.

I go to the same restaurant every Saturday night.  After scouring the menu, I always order the Number Two with a Pepsi.

When I go to church, I always sit in the same seat way back in the right corner. The row with only 3 seats is my territory.

I worked at my first job for 17 years, and I’ve been at my current job for over a decade. I can drive to work in my sleep.

I apply the same shade of pinkish lipstick every morning as I stand in front of my bathroom mirror.

I love that Scripture in the Bible that says God never changes because upsetting the apple cart makes me very unhappy.

Here’s the problem though. Yes, God is the same yesterday and today and forever, but life is constantly evolving. Therefore, I need to get with the program and rise up from my couch of complacency.

God never tells me that I don’t have to change. Sanctification implies continual transformation.

I’ve read my Bible. In theory I understand the principle of presenting my body as a living sacrifice, but in practice I am a rebel at heart.

I’d rather just sit in the same row and have it my way.

When I read my New Testament, I see clearly how God hates willful people who are stubborn of heart and loathe to change.

Jesus heard about it and spoke up, ‘Who needs a doctor: the healthy or the sick? I’m here inviting outsiders, not insiders—an invitation to a changed life, changed inside and out.’ ~ Luke 5:31-32, MSG

Christ invites us to walk with Him so that He can work His wonder in our lives. We are called to be display cases for His glory.

I cannot fly like a butterfly unless I am first willing to break out of my cocoon of fear.

Tonight, I’m asking God to birth a metamorphosis in my heart and mind.

How about you? Do you long to fly for God’s glory? I’ve got 3 suggestions to jump-start our journey.

3 Changes to Launch Your Flight

  • Be a Truth Teller: Stop lying to yourself about yourself.  Be authentically you — flaws, weaknesses, and brokenness are cracks where God’s glorious light shines through to this world. Tell your story warts and all.  Speak the unedited truth to everyone you meet.
    • What this adds up to, then, is this: no more lies, no more pretense. Tell your neighbor the truth. In Christ’s body we’re all connected to each other, after all. When you lie to others, you end up lying to yourself” (Ephesians 4:25,  MSG).
  • Be a Grace Extender: The enemy of your soul wants to get you mad at everybody. He would prefer for you to stay home on the couch nursing a grudge than out and about sharing the Good News. Don’t give him that pleasure. Extend God’s forgiveness and find freedom.
    • Be angry at sin—at immorality, at injustice, at ungodly behavior, yet do not sin; do not let your anger cause you shame, nor allow it to last until the sun goes down. And do not give the devil an opportunity to lead you into sin by holding a grudge, or nurturing anger, or harboring resentment, or cultivating bitterness… Do not let unwholesome foul, profane, worthless, vulgar words ever come out of your mouth, but only such speech as is good for building up others, according to the need and the occasion, so that it will be a blessing to those who hear you speak.  And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God but seek to please Him, by whom you were sealed and marked branded as God’s own for the day of redemption the final deliverance from the consequences of sin. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor perpetual animosity, resentment, strife, fault-finding and slander be put away from you, along with every kind of malice – all spitefulness, verbal abuse, malevolence. Be kind and helpful to one another, tender-hearted, compassionate, understanding], forgiving one another readily and freely, just as God in Christ also forgave you” (vs. 26-27, 29-32 AMP).
  • Be a Generous Giver: Hoarding has no place in the heart of a believer. Ask God to give you a passion for sharing from your stockpile. We lack for nothing, but many around us are hurting and in desperate need of our compassion.
    • If you are a thief, quit stealing. Instead, use your hands for good hard work, and then give generously to others in need” (vs. 28, NLT).

Let’s stop crawling and create a culture of change that springboards us to soar for God’s glory.

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Something to think about…

I’m sharing “Culture of Change” with like-minded friends at Faith-Filled Friday.

 

Linkup

Have you written something thought-provoking, challenging, encouraging, or inspiring lately? Link it up here! For best results, write the title of your post in the name box. 🙂

As a courtesy, please link back to 3-D Lessons for Life in your post. Grab and share the Thought-Provoking Thursday button to spread the word. Use #ThoughtProvokingThursday to share your post and connect on Twitter.

Check back later to see what other GREAT posts have been linked up! Visit the post immediately before yours and leave an encouraging comment.

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21

Due Diligence

Due Diligence | 3dlessons4life.com

 

I have a confession to make. I love my couch.

I could sit on my couch all day reading a book or watching a movie and never get up except if I have to go tinkle.

This is not an exaggeration.

I could live in my pajamas permanently.

I am a fan of naps, binge watching Fixer Upper for extensive hours, and trolling Facebook until my finger hurts.

I’d rather eat potato chips on the couch than clean my house or go to the grocery store.

I feel that you should know this about me before we move any deeper into our friendship.

At the core, I am secretly a couch potato who would love to have a personal valet so that things would get done around my messy house.

The other night I was sitting comfy on my couch in my jammies when I read a verse in Proverbs that made my want to curl up into the fetal position and have a good cry:

The soul appetite of the lazy person craves and gets nothing for lethargy overcomes ambition, But the soul appetite of the diligent who works willingly is rich and abundantly supplied. ~ Proverbs 13:4, AMP

I’m not giving God due diligence.

God isn’t interested in my leftovers. He doesn’t like it when I am inattentive and indifferent to what He’s placed in my care.

He hasn’t called me to a vigilant focus on Instagram and Amazon daily deals.

Tonight I read up on diligence in my Bible because I hear God impressing that word on my heart. The words of Isaiah challenged me: “Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food” (Is 55:2, ESV).

Am I diligently delighting in what will feed my spirit?

I want my heart to zealously pursue what pleases my Father. So, I am taking notes on what He considers due diligence.

4 Ways to Give God Due Diligence

  • Fuel your faith with ARDOR and zeal: Fan the flames of your faith daily and continue growing in your reverence for God. Stamp out any flickers of doubt and apathy.
    • For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness,  and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.  For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall (II Peter 1:3-10, ESV).
  • Choose to APPLY your energy toward eternal priorities: Remember that today is a gift and purpose to make every minute count for God’s Kingdom purposes. Pursue what pleases your Master with the goal of greatly glorying Him.
    • Therefore see that you walk carefully living life with honor, purpose, and courage; shunning those who tolerate and enable evil, not as the unwise, but as wise sensible, intelligent, discerning people, making the very most of your time on earth, recognizing and taking advantage of each opportunity and using it with wisdom and diligence, because the days are filled with evil” (Ephesians 5:15-16, AMP).
  • Keep hope ACTIVE in your heart: Keep looking forward with expectation trusting that your faithful God is at work. Continue patiently putting feet to your faith and moving forward with eagerness because you know that greater things are yet to come.
    • God proves to be good to the man who passionately waits, to the woman who diligently seeks. It’s a good thing to quietly hope, quietly hope for help from God. It’s a good thing when you’re young to stick it out through the hard times” (Lamentations 3:25-27, MSG).
  • Stay ALERT to His handiwork: Remember to look for splashes of His grace in your day and write down how His hand is evident and at work in your life. Be mindful of His abundant blessings and live with a thankful disposition.
    • “Pray diligently. Stay alert, with your eyes wide open in gratitude” (Colossians 4:2, MSG).

Hear the heart of your Savior: “I correct and discipline everyone I love. So be diligent and turn from your indifference” (Revelation 3:19, NLT).

I’m praying for God to give me a diligent heart.

I want to get up from the couch and cozy up to Jesus.

The diligent effort required to walk with prudence and purpose will have an eternal payoff. 

 

 

 

 

 

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Something to think about…

 

I’m sharing “Due Diligence” with like-minded friends at Faith-Filled Friday.

 

Linkup

Have you written something thought-provoking, challenging, encouraging, or inspiring lately? Link it up here! For best results, write the title of your post in the name box. 🙂

As a courtesy, please link back to 3-D Lessons for Life in your post. Grab and share the Thought-Provoking Thursday button to spread the word. Use #ThoughtProvokingThursday to share your post and connect on Twitter.

Check back later to see what other GREAT posts have been linked up! Visit the post immediately before yours and leave an encouraging comment.

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28

Sweet Reasonableness

Sweet Reasonableness | 3dlessons4life.com

So last week in the midst of marches and protests and social media vitriol, I heard the Lord speak to me clearly.

I didn’t hear Him as I watched FOX News or CNN.

Nor did He say a word as I scrolled through the barrage of news media tweets on my phone.

He was completely silent as I trolled Facebook and lamented over the clash of opinions.

No, the Lord spoke not a peep as I rehashed the latest.

When I finally decided that I was done with all the noise, I made space for His voice to whisper in the quiet.

I was driving to work on the turnpike lost in thought with the radio set to K-LOVE when my senses were awakened by the clear call of the Holy Spirit.

I honestly have no idea who was broadcasting on the radio, but the prophet proclaimed two words that quietly planted themselves in my heart:

Sweet Reasonableness

Yes, Lord.  Yes.

This is the call.

I’m saying goodbye to controversy and contention.

I will walk humbly forward with hands extended. My words will be laced with grace that rises up from a poised soul.

Rather than opine and offend to win, I will open up and offer all to invite others in to His redemption.

I will be sweetly reasonable. Want to join me?

5 Ways to Live with Sweet Reasonableness

  • Stand on your firm foundation: Speak the truth in love, but never shout. Respectfully communicate your firm resolve with strength under control. (Philippians 4:1)
  • Seek common ground: Look for areas where mutual understanding is possible. Listen with compassion. (vs. 2-3)
  • Sparkle with His joy: The joy of the Lord is your strength. Let it rise up within you and bubble over into every corner of contention. Rejoicing, not rancor must be your resolve. (v. 4)
  • Storm heaven’s gates: If you are going to strive anywhere, let it be in your prayer closet. Offer up the unhappy state of affairs to your Sovereign King. He alone transforms hearts and re-writes history. (vs. 6-7)
  • Stimulate hopeful thoughts: Don’t get dragged into discord. Defend your heart and mind by rehearsing the never-changing promises of God. (vs.8-9)

Let’s purpose to soften our approach and just maybe our sweet reasonableness will stimulate a change in our world.   

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Something to think about…

Writer Friends: I’m going to be taking a bit of a bloggy break next week. Let’s meet here again in February to link up and share our stories.

I’m sharing “Sweet Reasonableness” with like-minded friends at Faith-Filled Friday.

 

Linkup

Have you written something thought-provoking, challenging, encouraging, or inspiring lately? Link it up here! For best results, write the title of your post in the name box. 🙂

As a courtesy, please link back to 3-D Lessons for Life in your post. Grab and share the Thought-Provoking Thursday button to spread the word. Use #ThoughtProvokingThursday to share your post and connect on Twitter.

Check back later to see what other GREAT posts have been linked up! Visit the post immediately before yours and leave an encouraging comment.

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28

Lady Wisdom

Lady Wisdom | 3dlessons4life.com


Tonight at church pastor shared a shorter sermon on the strength found in our diversity as a body of believers. Then, he invited 4 multi-racial friends up on to to stage to share their story and talk about how we can better cross the divide between races and build bridges toward unity.

Five stools were placed at the front of the stage, but only one of them was occupied by a woman. Each time the microphone was passed to her, my ears perked up.

Every word she shared was laced with hard-earned wisdom.

I found myself leaning in. I wanted to gobble up every morsel she offered.

She embodied what I’d read that morning during my quiet time:

You’re blessed when you meet Lady Wisdom,
    when you make friends with Madame Insight.
She’s worth far more than money in the bank;
    her friendship is better than a big salary.
Her value exceeds all the trappings of wealth;
    nothing you could wish for holds a candle to her.
With one hand she gives long life,
    with the other she confers recognition.
Her manner is beautiful,
    her life wonderfully complete.
She’s the very Tree of Life to those who embrace her.
    Hold her tight—and be blessed! ~ Proverbs 3:13-18, MSG

I don’t know about you, but I long to be like Lady Wisdom. I want my countenance and conversation to speak life into others. I’m studying Proverbs in hopes of making some progress, and I wanted to share 4 ways Lady Wisdom walks.

4 Ways to Walk Like Lady Wisdom

  • Stay on your knees: A wise woman walks with reverence and respect. Her life is a worshipful offering to her God.
    • “Start with God—the first step in learning is bowing down to God; only fools thumb their noses at such wisdom and learning” (Proverbs 1:7, MSG).
  • Savor the Truth: Lady Wisdom has no taste for wordly fare. Her pure palate fills her mouth with common sense and discernment.
    • “Do you hear Lady Wisdom calling? Can you hear Madame Insight raising her voice? …My mouth chews and savors and relishes truth—I can’t stand the taste of evil!” (Proverbs 8:1 & 8).
  • Yield to authority: Submission characterizes the life of a wise woman. She is an obedient follower.
    • “A wise heart takes orders; an empty head will come unglued” (Proverbs 10:8, MSG).
  • Keep your ears perked up: Lady Wisdom has a teachable spirit. She considers life her schoolroom and is always adjusting her understanding based on the tutelage of her Master Teacher.
    • “Wise men and women are always learning, always listening for fresh insights” (Proverbs 18:15, MSG).

Tonight, I listened in as Lady Wisdom shared how God had turned her wounds into wisdom. Her life was broken but beautiful.

“Charm and grace are deceptive, and superficial beauty is vain,
But a woman who fears the Lord reverently worshiping,
obeying, serving, and trusting Him with awe-filled respect,
she shall be praised.”
~Proverbs 31:30, AMP.

 

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Something to think about…

 

I’m sharing “Lady Wisdom” with like-minded friends at Faith-Filled Friday.

 

Linkup

Have you written something thought-provoking, challenging, encouraging, or inspiring lately? Link it up here! For best results, write the title of your post in the name box. 🙂

As a courtesy, please link back to 3-D Lessons for Life in your post. Grab and share the Thought-Provoking Thursday button to spread the word. Use #ThoughtProvokingThursday to share your post and connect on Twitter.

Check back later to see what other GREAT posts have been linked up! Visit the post immediately before yours and leave an encouraging comment.

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