October 27, 2012
This one sounds a lot like the Great Commission to me, don’t you think? Love this!
I feel the capacity to care is the thing which gives life its deepest significance. – Pablo Casals –
September 25, 2012
Okay, can you relate? You see, when someone says “don’t look now, but” tell me, don’t you look anyway? How about when you have a tooth ache. Do you keep sticking your tongue there to see if it hurts?
Yup, I hate that I do those things. Oh, then there’s the fact that on a gloomy day, it seems I and everyone else wears dismal colors. How about when someone yawns. Don’t you often do it too and you’re NOT EVEN TIRED? So today as I was driving down the road in heavy traffic heading to the school where I teach Creative Writing to some children in an after school program, I noticed a dusty dump truck in front of me and in big bold letters painted across the back was the phrase “Keep on smiling!”
I was suffering from allergy issues. I had other concerns weighing on me. Lots going through my mind and heart, but those concerns didn’t stop me from doing what the sign said. I smiled and since seeing the truck I keep finding my self doing it and even giggling a little. So I was thinking, as Christians we are commissioned to reflect the love of Christ. Do you suppose if enough of us do, it could really and truly catch on as folks on some deep level are drawn to what lies deep within US? Let’s try it! Joy, not because life is easy, but because we are HIS!
July 16, 2012
Whether it’s over the kitchen table having breakfast, at the water bubbler at work, in the grocery store, or at church, it seems we have a long list of complaints about all that’s wrong in life and all that we should be doing to fix it. Seems the complaints never become fewer . . . I am always side stepping a lot of talk online, on the radio, etc., of what is wrong with the church and this is especially disturbing.
Ultimately, all we have to do is love . . . the Lord our God, one another, and ourselves. That’s it. The other stuff? He’s got it. He had a plan long before we saw and heard the problem existed. We’ve got our duty spelled out. Let your light shine, be a reflection of His love. On the list of things we “should” do today, tomorrow, this week, this month . . . where’s that on the list? Is it on the top?
All too often, it doesn’t make the list, not OUR list. Seems more likely than not it’s absent, but our verbal lists include a whole host of things “somebody” should . . . and “they” should . . . and there’s even a whole new page for the “why didn’t” things . . . again, why didn’t “she” or “he” or “they” and not why didn’t I . . . MOST disturbing of all is the “why did God” or “why didn’t God.”
\21 They did not thirst when he led them through the deserts;
he made water flow for them from the rock;
he split the rock
and water gushed out.
God placed this quote above on my heart yesterday. I could go on and on about all those few words reveal, but ultimately, they are summing things up well. God is God, I am not. He has the big stuff well in hand. I have my instructions . . . my job, while challenging sometimes, doesn’t come close to the magnitude of His. Mine is all about the love . . . the things that are impossible for me to even think about much less accomplish or “fix” if you will . . . they were never meant to be mine to deal with until I picked them up and began wrestling with them. I’m letting go. The sky is blue and the sun is shining. I know this because I looked up!
Here’s some of that water gushing out of the rock . . . side of a mountain actually.
April 1, 2011
I took Mom out to dinner tonight. I felt like celebrating my new job and a local Chinese place is high on her list of favorite places, so off we went. We ate, we laughed, we enjoyed our time together, and as we finished our meal suddenly a voice said “excuse me” and I looked up to see a young man in a military uniform standing beside my table. He was a stranger to me. As soon as I acknowledged him he handed me a paid receipt and said “I have just paid your bill. I just wanted God to bless you.” Wow! He sure succeeded in making me feel blessed! Not only that, actually, because he also inspired me and got me thinking. We are the light of Christ in this world, as Christians, and what better way to do this than to make a random act of kindness to a stranger as this young man did! While we may not all be able to pick up the tab for the strangers at the next table in a restaurant, there sure are other ways. Examples:
- In the grocery isle, you see a young mother with a crying child and perhaps wish you didn’t need anything in that section? Replace your frown with a kind smile to the mother. I am sure it will bless her.
- Get cut off by a “jerk” on the highway? Instead of letting out a word or two that you Mom wouldn’t like, try praying for that individual’s safe arrival at his/her destination, and the safety of others on the road. Many will be blessed.
- See a parking meter on “violation” and the car not yet with a ticket? Pop a quarter in! Someone will be blessed.
- See an impatient person rushing to the checkout? Let them go in line ahead of you. They’ll be blessed.
- See someone sitting alone in church? Ask if you may sit with them. They’ll be blessed!
- See a stranger at church, at a meeting, or in the employee lunchroom? Introduce yoruself and make them feel welcome. They’ll be blessed.
There are so many simple things we can do to share God’s blessing with others. When you do this, you will find that you too are blessed! When someone does a kindness to you in this way, please remember to say thank you twice! Once to them, and once to God who placed it in their heart! I believe if you become aware of simple blessings like this, you will be amazed at how many you receive in a day – and perhaps have received many other times without noticing! God bless you all!
March 23, 2011
”Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.” Romans 12:10
The above command from Paul’s letter to the Romans leaves no room for discussion. No “well, what about?” and no “Oh, but I don’t think” or “well, surely that doesn’t mean . . . “ I believe we find what we seek in life much of the time. Okay, let me bring that more into focus, because love can be a scary concept. When we look for something or someone to criticize, we will surely find PLENTY. However, and this is a BIG however, if we as Christians seek to see Christ in those we meet – and we know He resides is all people – we will surely find Him and thus loving them becomes easy.
I was in a retail store picking up some sewing supplies I needed and feeling low because I had not found a job and was feeling scared I’d “lose everything.” As I stood at the counter in the store a stranger who I can only think of as an angel sent to me from God seemed to pick up on my need to be reminded to trust in the Lord and smiled at me and shared her testimony. Later in our conversation as we walked around the store talking about the Lord, I learned she had it as hard as I did but was walking in faith. Wow. I’m sure she had better things to do but spend that time with me, but she honored me above herself and shared the love of the Lord with me I left the store feeling that love and recalling the meeting brings that feeling back to me even now.
On another occasion, I found myself next to a stranger to me. The stranger was clearly dealing with a heartbreaking situation of which I knew nothing. I knew the Lord was telling me to show her His love and so I prayed for the Holy Spirit to speak through me and moved ahead in fear, but did as He commanded and showed her His love. I recalled later that I’d not been feeling well that night. Nothing in particular, just “one of those days” and the most remarkable thing happened. Reflecting the love of the Lord to this stranger blessed me!
There have been a number of occasions in which I’ve judged folks I didn’t know ANYTHING about and I can tell you that there are many times when He has revealed Himself to me through those very people as they showed His love to me. Had I been looking at them through the eyes of Christ, I’d have seen Him there! Looking through my human eyes and my own brokenness, I initially saw only flaws, but when He revealed Himself to me through these people, those flaws no longer had any importance to me. I can’t count the number of times a smile, a handshake, a kind word, or a hug from someone who in many cases I hardly knew changed my troubled spirit, changed my day, or changed my life. “Love one another” isn’t a suggestion, it’s a necessity. I love you!