BEatitudes = Attitudes To Be


BEatitudes:

When I was in college in Atlanta, we traveled over 30 miles on Tuesday night to a Bible study that sometimes had over 400 in attendance.  There was a three-piece band and a speaker.  Simple music, simple truths.  The concept was, “if you teach them, they will come” and we did.  We studied the Bible a passage at a time.  I remember it was the first time I heard the phrase “the Beatitudes are Attitudes to be”.  Most of what God has to teach us and our children is simple truths.  We just like to complicate them.

As parents or workers with children of various ages, we know “attitude”.  We probably get several doses a day.  Have you ever thought about teaching children a conscious attitude; attitudes to be?  Jesus did, and He gave a wonderful lesson that we should teach to our children early on.

English lesson:

BEatitudes!

TO BE verb and auxiliary verb

  • present singular 1st person: am (I am)
  • 2nd  person: are (you are)
  • 3rd person:  is (he/she is)

Attitudes are something you ARE and choose to BE.  Attitude is a decision.  Very early on you must teach children that they are choosing their attitudes and those choices decide how they act.  Their actions have consequences.   At the first sign of an inappropriate attitude you look them straight in the face and say, “you need to make a decision.  Make a good one.  If you continue in this ____ (name it – action or attitude) then YOU are DECIDING and CHOOSING this consequence“ (name it and make sure you stick to it).  Make sure you are in a right attitude yourself. Lose the temptation of grounding them for life attitude.  Teach them to do as you do.

You can teach them as early as two that they are ‘asking’ for consequences by their choices.  If they are acting out they choose to be punished.  Do not let them blame you.  Encourage them to choose wisely and receive good consequences.

I hear mom’s say, “he/she’s in their terrible two’s” or, “oh, he/she’s carried the terrible two’s into the terrifying three’s”.  Don’t CLAIM it for goodness sake.  Do something about it.  You do not let children control you or your home.

I know I have said it under other sections, but let me say it again.  Parenting is a SMALL minuscule picture on earth of our Heavenly Father’s relationship with us.  Remember what happens when you try to control your life; you try to control God?  Makes a mess of things doesn’t it?  Well, why are you allowing children to control you and the home?    I see toddlers in control of large adults 4x’s their size and I shake my head and think, “when did you hand them the keys?”  Most turn over control before they are two believe it or not.

I won’t mention which daughter, but one of mine wanted something in the checkout line and I said, “no”.  To which I received a tantrum, her first.  I looked at her and told her she was embarrassing herself and me and that was no way to behave in a store.  I told her to make a decision or I would have to embarrass her.  She continued to scream.  So I dropped to the floor and threw a tantrum.  She was mortified.  She told me I was ‘mbearinsing her’.   I told her I would stop if she did.  Quit laughing, it worked.  We were in Winn Dixie and a mom looked at me and said, “Oh, if I only had the courage to do that.”  There were no more tantrums in the store.  There are those that say not to humiliate your child in public.  HOGWASH! (<~ I have become my mom, it was her fav word).  Half of what is wrong with children is we are protecting them from good child rearing techniques for fear of what others will say or think.  Or worse, what some ‘professional in the world’ says will hurt the child.  The world is not in charge of raising your child.  The truth is, you answer only to God for how you turn out your kids.  Any child still living at home and you pay the bills, is your responsibility, your stewardship under God’s eyes.  I am sorry to say that an out of control teenager did not wake up that way one morning.  It started years before when someone stopped parenting and handed over the keys. It is very hard, but not impossible, to get those keys back and start over.  God expects you do to just that. With a preteen or teen you start with a heart to heart of how it should have been and how it wil be going forward  if you have to take away a lot it is hard  just keep reminding them their choices decide the consequences

God gave a manual on teaching attitudes to yourself as well as your children.  These are simple Bible truths that Jesus taught in Matthew 5. (This is greatly simplified due to BLOG constraints – everyone should really do a thorough study of God’s attitudes TO BE.)

  • 3“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (our BEatitude is recognizing we OWE all to God) God is teaching us and we need to teach children, that we are blessed by Him and stewards of all that we have; we should have a humble and thankful spirit and not a proud and greedy one
  • 4“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted” (our BEatitude of SORROW  for sin that brings repentance, recognizing when we do wrong and REALLY being sorry) God is teaching us, and we need to teach children, that we should be sorrowful over sin and wrong doing; that we are dependent on the Holy Spirit to walk daily in Him and that we cannot do so without Him. Teach them to yield to that conscience; yield to the tugging of the Holy Spirit.  We know when we are doing wrong and we know when we are ignoring that tugging on our conscience.  If we ignore, the Holy Spirit within us grieves.  We ignore that, we harden.
  • 5“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth” (our BEatitude of  SUBMISSION to God) God is teaching us, and we should teach our children,  to be quiet and rest in Him, to not get upset when we are wronged but to turn the other cheek and show His love to others as He has shown it to us.  We are to be patient with others as God is with us, that includes being patient with the children you are teaching patience!
  • 6“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled” (our BEatitude is one of SENSING our need for God and striving to be more like Him) God is teaching us, and we should teach our children, through two things the human body can understand, hunger and thirst.  These needs keep us alive and our hunger and thirst for righteousness are vital to our spiritual life just as food and water are to our physical body.  Priorities must be set and followed.  Putting God first makes everything else fall in line.
  • 7“Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy” (Our BEatitude is one of SHOWING Christ in our actions) God is teaching us that when we hunger and thirst after Him, our ACTIONS will show Him.  This is our testimony in action.  We show love for others as He has loved us.  For a long description of LOVE see my “For The Greatest Of These is Love” post.  We give forgiveness as we are forgiven.  We show compassion, pity, patience, just as we have been shown them by Him.
  • 8“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God” (Our BEatitude is one of seeking His Holiness) God is teaching us, and we should teach our children,  to put away the world and seek only that which is pure.  God cannot look on iniquity so having it in our heart separates us from Him.  To see God, we must have a pure heart.  Pure hearts come from what we put in our minds through our eyes and ears.
  • 9“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God” (Our BEatitude is one of SOLVING not creating problems) God is teaching us, and we should teach our children, to strive to get along and find good in others and situations.  To establish Peace through Him.  Our light in a dark world should bring comfort and peace.  As the old saying goes, “if you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.”  When actions display God in us and not us in the world, then we are part of the solution.
  • 10“Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”(Our BEatitude is one of SELFLESSNESS) God is teaching us, and we should teach our children, that when we take on all of these BEatitudes, the world will not understand.  Sometimes you will be walked over, made fun of and some will even give their lives.  This is hard for us as adults and certainly not something little children can grasp.  We simple must teach them that sometimes, even though we are doing right, bad things are going to happen; people are going to hurt us.  This is when it is even more important TO BE the BEatitudes through His strength in us.
  • 11“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me”(Our BEatitude is one of STEADFASTNESS standing strong in the Power of the Blood).  In America today, Christians are being picked apart and ridiculed.  You and children will face more and more verbal, if not physical, persecution for standing in the testimony of Christ. During these times our resolve may weaken, or we may become apathetic if we do not stand in His Power.  There are times when I just get quiet and pray, “Lord, by the Power of the Blood, for the Victory that HAS BEEN ONE, I bind satan from this situation.  What is bound on earth is bound in Heaven. (Matthew 16:18)  I claim this VICTORY.”  And then I move in His Power, not my own.

Learn the BEatitudes and pass them on to your children.  What’s your BEatitude today?

Renee’ Green                            Copyright 2012
RBGreenDesigns 2020

Life’s Hard


Which way to turn? Which way to go?

John 16:33NASB
“These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”

Social media is swamped with everything from pity and woe, to beware and be scared. It is not that I do not understand these emotions, these fears, I do.

I have lost loved ones too soon. The list is long. I lost a sibling tragically. I did not understand. I was not asked to. I know death up close and personal. I have watched it suffocate. I watched my dad crash. I watched his lung suctioned. Scripture asks me to trust. Obey. Faith.

I have walked through hard times of jobs lost, savings and retirement gone, car and home lost. No income. It is hard. It is devastating. But, God had a plan. I was not asked to like the circumstances I was passing through, just to stand on His firm foundation and trust His plan. It does not matter if I ever understand the reason this side of Heaven. I am asked to trust. Faith.

Seniors are missing end of year memories. It is hard, I know. I did not go to homecoming or prom. I had worked all summer with 8 girls; made them 3 uniforms each. Those 27 uniforms saw little use when my senior year world was turned upside down. A boy was stabbed in the heart in front of me. Memories? I was 16 years old. My brother turned to protect me and push me out of the way of the five boys attacking. The police took four of us as witnesses. They let my brother stay with me. It was an away game. Cell phones were not invented. My parents met the busses, heard there was a stabbing. My brother and I did not get off the bus. Someone told them we were ok and I was a witness. They had to go home and wait for a call. They caught all but one of the five that night. The guy that stabbed the boy in the heart got away. They lined them up in front of us and we pointed them out. No two way mirrors, face to face. Three days later I came face to face with the guy that stabbed the boy in the heart. Fear unimaginable. I got the detective. He got him. The threats came on the phone in the middle of the night. Dad took the phone off the hook. The threats and more came at school then. The school was suspended from all extra curricular events. My 17th birthday came and went. Two witnesses dropped out due to threats. The nightmares. The trial was horrible. The tranquilizers didn’t help. The stress and fear were overwhelming. I alienated friends, and eventually my high school sweetheart. Senior year? We got back activities after dad and another father threatened to shut down all 64 high schools if superintendent did not lift ban. Our teams, band, chorus, drama, etc., were able to do some events. I graduated. It is a blur. All the years of dreams gone. In the next six months dad had lung cancer. Senior year. It is not good for everyone. Focus on the good circumstances and memories you had and be thankful. You do not like the circumstances but, God has a plan. Grow. Look for the His plan. I did not at first. I dwelled on disappointment and lost dreams. I was grounded in faith, found I was still on His firm foundation. He carried me through. People look to see how you handle these circumstances if you are a Christian. You may never understand. Will you learn anything? Will you grow? Do they see faith?

These current circumstances are no different. Life is hard. Are these the end times? Does it matter? We entered the end times with the fall of Adam. There are no new trials or circumstances, no new sins. We should always live as this is the last days. Never take for granted our Lord’s grace and mercy. The Romans persecuted Christians in arenas for sport. The idol temples were filled with debauchery and sins unimaginable for profit. Plagues and famines have been recorded since Pharaohs’ days. Only the Holy Spirit can bring someone to salvation. You cannot scare them into it. So point to God’s sovereign love, mercy and grace. Show them trust and faith in your Lord, not fear of circumstances.

This too shall past. Be steadfast.

Psalm 26:12 NASB “My foot stands on a level place; In the congregations I shall bless the LORD”

RBGreenDesigns.com 2020

Peace in the Valley this New Year


In 1937 Thomas Dorsey wrote “Peace in The Valley” for Mahalia Jackson.  It has been recorded by everyone imaginable.  The lyrics are hopeful, a FINAL day of peace.  It talks about peace in the valley in the future.  Well, my future in Heaven will not be a valley.  And truthfully, the valleys seem to all be in the here and now.  Yet, I can have PEACE in the VALLEY now according to scripture.  God’s word says, th

Psalm 23:4 (NASB)

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

It seems with every year I have found myself saying on December 31st, “next year will be better.”  I look over what has been and think it cannot get worse, then it does.  The year my parents both had open heart surgery and my oldest brother was in the horrible car wreck that ruined his life, also brought a loss job for my husband, an unfavorable medical diagnosis for myself and several other calamities.  Since then I’ve had a brother killed in a plane crash, more job loses, both parents and a parent in law went on to be with the Lord.  We’ve had a daughter almost killed in a collapsed building during a tornado, a granddaughter needing a stomach pumped, more car wrecks, more illnesses, foreclosure and losing my dream house … heart-break after heart-break.  Sometimes it just seems to keep coming and you think, when will the feasting years come.  In the Bible Joseph had bad years followed by good years.  King Solomon had great years.  So then why can’t we?   We do, we just don’t see it that way because we’re looking at the circumstances.  So many times we look at our lives when we need to look around us, or across the world, to see just how good we do have it in our life.

No matter what you are going through, God doesn’t make mistakes.  With the bad comes His presence.  If you focus on the bad of the circumstance you stumble.  When you look back and see all He’s brought you through you know He can carry you through it all. Remind yourself daily all God HAS brought you through, all HE has done for you.  Don’t let people tell you He won’t give you more than you can handle.  That’s not what that scripture means anyway.  He’ll never allow more to touch you that will cause you to lose your faith and give up.  You might feel like you’re going to, but, He’ll be there and He’ll remind you who He is and what He’s done.  We truthfully have no idea how much we can handle anyway.  I just need to remember that all goes through His hand’s before it ever touches me.

So with this new  year I’ll not worry about if it’s all going to turn around and be great.  Neither will I “borrow trouble” as  mom liked to say.  I’ll take each day as He gives it, thanking Him for all the blessings that satan* tries to make me forget by enticing me to look at the circumstances in life.  This year, 2015, will bring what He allows.  Good or bad does not matter as I can rejoice in Him regardless.  I will soon welcome my fifth grandchild.  Grandchildren are wonderful blessings.  My two daughters are blessings.  We are about to celebrate 38 years of marriage.  I’m looking at a cold and clear blue sky with white puff clouds.  I see a variety of large wading birds out back.  The heat is on and I am toasty, the cat is purring.  Hubby’s casting for that big one.  I may see the bobcat walk by, or the flock of wild turkeys.  God’s creation is beautiful, He cares about every detail.  He cares about me and all my details.  He’s not ignoring them, He’s allowing them. I can take comfort in knowing they will work to my good regardless of whether they or good things or bad.  Blessings are everywhere.

Romans 8:28 NASB

“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”

I’m looking forward to 2015 Lord.  Help me to trust You each day, keeping my focus on You and not whatever the day brings.  Teach me.

*satan is always lower case in my writings, because he is one.

“Pick-a-little, Talk-a-little”


Remember in the musical Music Man pickalittlewhen all the older women start chattering like a passel of hens?  They were bent on telling the Music Man about the librarian.  There was probably a little truth in what they said, but mostly it was their jealousies and need for gossip that spewed from their mouth.  We laugh when we watch the scene.

Working in a retail environment since the introduction of cell phones, gossip has gone global.  No longer just in the neighborhood (or church foyer), gossips have worldwide reach through cell phones, Facebook, Twitter and more.  Careless chatter gone out worldwide never to be retrieved.  I have blogged before about careless tongues (O Be Careful Little Mouth What You Say.) Words hurt, they scar and sometimes those scars ruin lives.  It does not matter if you are talking behind someone’s back or to their face, words once out are never taken back.  Like the toothpaste squeezed out, you cannot make it go back in the tube.

Working in retail you hear so much (you wish you did not have to hear) of people’s private lives as they wander around chatting on their phones.  Conversations best kept private are spilled out over aisles.  It seems people think they are in their own private phone booth and because no one is on the aisle with them, then no one can hear them.  And of course their are those that think they have to shout their words across the phone for it to get to the other end of the line.  People just like to talk.  In specific they like to PICK-A-LITTLE, it makes them feel better about themselves to tear others down.  Once started their TALK-A-LITTLE becomes talk-a-lot.  The art of silence has gone.  It is no wonder people do not “hear” what is being said any more.  Their ears are in overload and you have to get their attention.  Recently a father let a loud whistle in the store to get his kids to come.  He looked at my stunned face as if to say “what?”.  His kids don’t listen to their names or him talking, so he’s resorted to whistling for them like a dog.  (Shaking my head).

Wouldn’t it be better to really PICK LITTLE to say, and TALK LITTLE, so that when you did speak others would want to hear what you say? Wouldn’t there be less hurt and less anger if people slowed down and chose their words carefully?   Hmmm, that sounds like a verse from the Bible.

James 1:19 ESV  Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger;”

Just DO IT!


A popular logo on sportswear/equipment uses the slogan,

The world sets standards and we push to prove ourselves to the world.  We think nothing of it as we strive to be better than the next person.  Our ego wants us to be better than them in all ways imaginable:  better car, better house, better looking, better kids, better at this and better at that.  The media pushes it at us from every direction; clothing, billboards, commercials.  It is subliminal sometimes and we buy into the mindset.

Yet, when it comes to our spiritual life we become wimps, milk-toast, wall-flowers.  Scared about what His word tells us to do.  Scared to take a stand.  We buy into satan’s* lies and hide.  We cannot DO IT!  We do not know how to DO IT!  Excuses, we have plenty.  The Holy Spirit urges you to spend more time with your family in His word, in worship.  You see a need and you think, “next time”.  That hurting homeless person on the side of the street you see gets a “quickie” prayer, “Lord help them.”  Your child’s classmates need shoes.  The elderly neighbor just wants someone to take time to talk with them.  The Spirit nudges and you keep moving, in the opposite direction … too busy to JUST DO IT.

We are so prone to talk about the things we are going to do when we have time.  A mission trip, the soup kitchen, the coat drive…. making up handouts for the homeless**. Jesus’ first miracle recorded  in John 2, tells of His mother asking for help.  She told the others, “do what He tells you to do”.  And they simply did as they were told.  It would be so wonderful if we would simply do as we are led.   Our cups overflow with His love through His gift of salvation.  He wants you to share His love.  JUST DO IT.

Start each day asking the Lord to use you in His will.  When He shows you a need JUST DO IT.  Do not stop and think you are not capable.

ROMANS 8:26-28  26 In the same way the Spirit also joins to help in our weakness, because we do not know what to pray for as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with unspoken groanings. 27 And He who searches the hearts knows the Spirit’s mind-set, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. 28 We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose.

He has a plan for your day.  Open yourself up to the possibilities.  As a parent, grandparent, co-worker, spouse … God uses each of us each day IF we allow Him.  We are not puppets and He is not a puppet master.  It is our choice.  Do not think about it, JUST DO IT!  No matter what He is asking you to do today, no matter what obstacles and trials He allows you to go through, it is for a reason.  He is there through it all, working it for GOOD.

NEVER forget that the day ahead of you carries no task or trial that is greater than the POWER behind you as a Christian.

*satan – I know people capitalize the “S” but, I don’t.  I refuse to give him any status of importance.  He’s a snake, so satan, devil, etc. are lower case, as he is one.

** Homeless handouts: NEVER give cash, but you can carry several 1 gallon zip lock bags (something they can use later when it is empty) filled with: Tuna packet, crackers, snack size nuts, etc..  Include: package of  tissues, comb, trial sizes of hand sanitizer, soap, shampoo, toothbrush, etc.  You can put a New Testament or Christian track in there as well.

“Walks like a duck, swims like a duck …” (a photo essay)


must be a duck … right?  What kind of  “duck” are you?

Duck in hiding ...

Pretend duck

Backsliding duck

Bound by circumstances duck

Popular but hard to understand duck

Robot duck

Just along for the ride duck

In hiding duck (I don't wanna know)

Daffy duck (running around never getting anywhere)

Following duck (struggling but you are trying to get there)

Duck reflection


“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have

passed away, and look, new things have come.” 

2 Corinthians 5:17 (HCSB)

What kind of Christian are you?  Are you a new creation, or another version of the old you?  Who do you reflect?


Cookie cutter Christians


Everything in life molds us.  Our trials, our day-to-day life … our ups and downs.  As Christians what we learn as we go through life, and what we do with what we learn, is important.  Sometimes though, we take life and “cookie cut”, or stamp out the result instead of allowing God to work His truths out in our life.  We repeat “ism” statements without ever really thinking through what we are saying and fully understanding the application.

I know people who can quote whole sections of the Bible, but their lives are not evidence of the truths they quote.    Hitler was raised with the Bible and had portions memorized.  Even satan* knows the scriptures.  I also know people who can tell you that “Spurgeon says, Chambers says, Piper says, Warren says, Graham says …”.  But it should be all about what the Bible says to US and how we live according to His word.   There is nothing wrong with reading all the commentaries and books out there but when the bottom line is drawn are you somebody’s cookie cutter version of Christ, or are you a hand molded version He has made.

In the past five years my husband lost his job and was unemployed for over four years; my mother fell and broke her hip, had surgery and ultimately went home to be with her Lord; our daughter was buried in a building during an E4 tornado; I have injured my spine with two bulging discs; our home is in foreclosure and the bank is refusing to work with us (still); we had one wedding and two grandchildren born.  I am currently in a wrist/thumb brace from a fall last September.   It has been one  roller-coaster year after another.  Even my precious cat died.  Sometimes it seems like it never ends.  I can look further back in my life to when both my parents had open heart surgery four weeks apart, dad had a stroke on the operating table and was in the hospital  seven months prior to his death.  And to  when my oldest brother was in the car wreck that put him in the hospital for five months.  It is still affecting his life 2o+ years later.  His son died of a brain tumor a few years after his car wreck.   Why so much strife and tragedy?   Why did my middle brother have to be killed in a plane crash?  Why did we lose three children?  Why this, or that?  Why Lord?  Is all life to be bad?  No.  But, satan* would believe it’s because we are out of God’s care, that  He does not care.  The truth is, we have had so many blessings along the way as well.  Unfortunately, we get caught up in the bad and what it is suppose to mean in our lives.  (Odd how we never ask what a blessing is suppose to mean … like we were due one.)

It is easy to get off track.  People ask, “what have you learned?”   Or say things like, “maybe the Lord’s trying to teach you ….”.  So when we reflect it is easy to get our mind all muddled up in these questions.  If you look around at all your friends and what they are going through in their lives, you realize that, although many of your trials may be similar (economic, emotional, spiritual battles), each of us have very specific details to our lives.  Some have smooth sailing, but most of us have ups and downs.  Some have more downs and I wonder if some of that is because it is a harder lesson to be learned (or is it just that life is hard).  Whatever the case, we need to always seek His face and His peace over our life.  Life happens.  We live in a world governed by sin and evil man.  What they do creates a rippling effect that affects our lives, mostly for the bad.  God’s not sending us punishment every time something bad happens.  He allows life to happen, pure and simple and helps us get through it and grow.  Bad things are going to happen.

So as your life of dough is spread over the coming days are you going to let it get you down?  Are you going to let others tell you how to handle life?  Or  will you be hand rolled and shaped by Him instead of a cookie cutter shaped Christian with all the “right” answers?

Jeremiah 18:6 (HCSB)

6 “House of Israel, can I not treat you as this potter treats his clay?”—this is the LORD’s declaration. “Just like clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in My hand, house of Israel.

God allows everything that comes into your life and if you allow Him, He will use everything you face (good and bad) to shape you into the woman/man of God He wants you to be. That way He can use you in others’  lives.

James 1:2-4 (HCSB)

2 Consider it a great joy, my brothers, whenever you experience various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4 But endurance must do its complete work,  so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing.”

2 Corinthians 1:4 (HCSB)

“He comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any kind of affliction, through the comfort we ourselves receive from God.”

*satan – I know people capitalize the “S” but, I don’t.  I refuse to give him any status of importance.  He’s a snake, so satan, devil, etc. are lower case, as he is one.