This morning I went into my closet. I felt stressed as it was already and was having trouble finding clothes that I felt like wearing. The stress? Caused by my house being cluttered by too many toys, looking for documents needed to close the deal on the home my husband is purchasing for us, and worry because I forgot to take meat out of the freezer for dinner tonight.
Seriously? Pathetic. Talk about first world problems at it’s best. I felt sick as I searched through my closet. Sure, I don’t have a lot. I don’t have the best of the best. But I have clothing. I have a roof over my head. My kids have toys and we are fed every meal. We know Jesus, and we know his love for us…
Do you know how many in this world don’t even know who Jesus is? Who have never felt his love wash over them? Too many.
How many each day go hungry, not having even a cold meal to eat, let alone a hot one?
How many children out there are left cold, just wishing they had a jacket or shoes? The last thing on their mind is toys.
God, forgive me for taking all of your many blessings for granted.
I challenge each and every one of you: DO SOMETHING.
We can all sit here and say “Oh, bless their hearts. It’s Christmas and they’re cold and they don’t even know why we have Christmas.” So what? That does nothing. DO something. Give to missions, become a missionary, make a difference in just one person’s life. Whether where you are or abroad. Put in some effort. Pray? Yes, of course. But something more. ANYTHING more.
The simplest act could change the world.
I’m challenging myself to do more. I’m not going to wait until the New Year, I’m starting now.
Will you accept the challenge and join me?
I can draw, but Michaelangelo was a much better artist.
I can sing, but no where near as well as my mom and sister. And definitely not as well as Mariah Carey or Whitney Houston.
I can preach, but not like T.D. Jakes, or my own awesome pastor, Larry McClure.
I can cook, but I’m no Paula Dean. Most aren’t impressed with my meals.
I can write, but it’s nothing like Maya Angelou or Emily Dickinson.
Now, you’ll have to excuse me. I’m off to do what God called me to do and not compare myself to others anymore. I’m out to be me, to be like me, and to be as good as me. Actually, I’m out to be like Him. That’s all that really matters.
Make a list of what you can do. It can be anything from playing an instrument to painting your toenails. 😉 However, it has to be just a list of what you can do. Leave off the ‘but.’ That part isn’t important.
I love to bless people!! Love it! I love to see the reaction of blessing others, especially when it’s done in secret and no one has a clue that it was me. (As it should be done secretly; “don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing”.) It makes me feel good.
Not to brag on myself, but here are some of the things that I do, that you may like to try:
There are several ways to be a blessings to someone and it doesn’t always have to be financial.
You never know what these little things can mean to someone. They could be having a horrible day and you just might be what they need to lift them up! It could also start a chain reaction of niceness to others. It could become an epidemic! Bless out ya’ll!!
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord!
Psalm 150:6 NKJV
How often do you find yourself breathing? Yeah, that’s what I thought. All the time, right? At least I hope… 😉 But how can breathing be a calling? Well, remember how I’ve mentioned before about being the only Bible some may ever read? I’m talking about your every day actions. The things you do without even realizing it. The words that come out of your mouth. The way you come across to others. Being human…
Sure, we all slip up from time to time. I know I certainly do. But in every action, word, thought, & breath I must remember “I never know who is watching. I would hate to cause someone else to stumble. I must be careful, because I never know… I would rather my existence LEAD someone to the Father than to cause them to run away from him.”
13 “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.14 “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.
16 Let your light so shine before men, they may see your good works and your Father in heaven.
Matthew 5:13-16 NKJV
I need to be set apart. Different. Unique from the world. I have to take into account that if I act just like those who are not following Jesus, they will not see the appeal in following him. They won’t see that living the straight and narrow can bring on a happy life also… with many rewards. Hate the sin, love the sinner. Do good. Speak well. Be positive. Give all glory to God. These are phrases I tell myself to remind me.
When we start to “blend” and not let His light shine, we are causing harm to not only ourselves, but others. For example, our speech. What does it say about our heart if we are saying all the same things they are in the world?
34 Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.35 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things.36But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment.37 For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”
Matthew 12:34-37 NKJV
So basically, If I walk around saying the same things that those who do not follow Christ are, how am I any different? If my heart is the same as theirs, what do they see to make them want to follow Jesus? Not much! This is so important, and something that all should take into account. If we talk like them, act like them, think like them… WE ARE THEM. And by doing this, we are not only hurting them, but ourselves… and most importantly, the One who loves us more than anyone. God is not happy when we don’t do as he says. We should never intentionally give anyone any reason to tear us down.
“Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.
Now, all that being said, we should not judge either. For that, I recommend reading the entire chapter of Matthew 7. SO important. Who wants to be a Christian when they are constantly condemned and preached at? Show LOVE! (And I certainly hope this blog post doesn’t come across as preachy either…)
Just follow your convictions, let your light shine, and do your best. Witness when possible. God will not only bless you, but also someone else!
Every time I go to a particular store, there is always this one woman whom I desperately try to avoid. She never has anything good to say and everything is so depressing. It is Eeyore in the flesh!
There are so many people in today’s society, that are like this. Raw. Hurt. Their share of fairness went to someone else. These are the ones who need to be shown love the most. Those who have been so hurt that the walls are built so high and tight around their hearts, that no one is allowed in, under any circumstance! I know. I’ve been there.
She doesn’t need me to shun her. She needs to see the love of Jesus in me. To know that she matters to the Kingdom. Sometimes it takes love and understanding from someone else, before others can start to see that there is love in others and a reason to be.
The New Testament states over and over again, to love one another and to treat others as you would treat yourself.
We will always have that one person, or 2 or 6, that is going to be difficult to show love to. Just keep in mind that you have never walked a mile in their shoes and you don’t know for sure why they are the way they are. Ask God to teach you how to love them.
Yesterday afternoon I went out to run some errands with my Mom. I still wasn’t feeling 100%, but I just wanted to get out of the house for a little while. I decided to take Tommy (3 1/2) along and leave Johnny Ben and Molly at home with Daddy.
We had a couple stops, one of them being Target. I was tired, Tommy was tired, my Mom was tired. All I could think of was getting back in her truck and going home. When we came to the register the cashier was just counting in and starting her shift. She greeted us, asked if we found everything okay, and from there stayed silent. The expressions on her face and her mannerisms told me something in her life other than work was bothering her. Her mind and heart were somewhere else, and that somewhere else was not a happy place. Tommy even seemed to notice and asked her to smile, but she pretended not to hear him or was so distracted she did not notice.
I made mental note of the name on her name tag. I was polite but tried not to bother her with idle chit chat. I smiled at her, took the bags, and quietly prayed for her as she continued the process. I did not feel led to ask her why she was unhappy, but did feel a tug telling me to pray.
Since we left the store about 20 hours ago, this woman has come to mind constantly. I have no idea why she has been laid on my heart, but God does. I pray for her, asking God to do what needs to be done and touch her life.
How many times have we been asked by The Lord to do something like this and have ignored it? I know I have before. How many times have strangers done this for us? We many never know until we reach Heaven.
For all we know, when these burdens are laid on our hearts, we could be the only person praying for this individual. We could also be one of hundreds working together. The point is, GOD KNOWS. He really does. He loves that woman just as much as He loves me. He hates seeing her go through pain. He needs someone to hold her up in the spiritual realm just as much as she needs someone in the physical realm. Never ignore the Holy Spirit when he says to pray for someone… For all you know, the next time a burden is laid on a strangers heart… It may be for you!
You’re at your local grocery story and see the cashier. “Hey! How are you.” You say this as you walk on by her. The next day as you drop your son/daughter off at ball practice/dance class you meet a fellow parent. You put on smile as you say, “Hey, there! How are you.” and casually keep walking. Sunday morning you make your way through the church doors and spot Bro. What’s-his-name heading your way. You inwardly cringe, fake a sweet face, and say, “Hello, Bro., how are you doing today.” And continue making your way to the same pew where you always sit.
Yes…I know…. let me make that clear. I know that I put a period where there should be a question mark in the above paragraph. But let me also make this clear…to put a question mark means that you are asking a question and a question requires an answer. When was the last time you paused long enough to hear the response to the phrase, “How are you?” If you’re like me, chances are you don’t remember the last time you actually allowed someone to take a few seconds out of their day to answer that question.
For most of us, asking someone how their day is going has turned into simply a greeting and nothing more. It’s as common as “hello” and requires nothing other than maybe a nod of the head. But what if we decided to STOP and LISTEN, let someone answer our question? Don’t just greet the cashier, but engage in a little conversation. Now I’m not saying you have to devote half of your day to this person or become a therapist or life coach, but take the time to let someone know that you actually CARE about how their day is going. All they need to know is that someone cares. Who knows what it’ll do to Bro. What’s-his-name’s day to find out that you care about his existence?
I know it’s not much, but it’s one small way to uplift someone. Think of all the times you were having a bad day and could’ve used a pick-me-up? Wouldn’t you want someone to uplift you? I challenge you to do at least one small thing a week to uplift someone in your life, whether you know them personally or happen to cross paths just once. I’ve always heard that “what goes around comes around” so by choosing to be a light and uplift someone, you may just find yourself uplifted.
For more ideas on how to uplift someone, such as paying someone a compliment or donating books you’ve already read, visit http://watchgmctv.com/uplift. And by the way, you look stunning today!:)
A friend loves at all times… Proverbs 17:17 NKJV
This calling is a rather obvious one… but I would like to still touch on the topic of friendship.
What does it mean to be a true friend? Is it just a social thing? Obviously, it is not. If it were, we would not become so emotional when a friend is lost. Does it mean to be dependable? How about caring? Being a good listener? Offering advice when requested? Understanding and compassionate? I think all of those things and so much more are what make a good friend.
How many times have you been having a bad day, but a good friend called and you instantly cheered right up? I know for me, personally, I have just a few friends that I can vent to. Isn’t it nice to have someone who you can rant to and know that they won’t think differently of you for it? How about knowing you have someone praying for you when you need it? Or a friend who will be honest when your hair color washes you out and you’re jeans make you look great? And of course, it’s great to know you can turn to someone, pour your heart out, and know that anything you tell them won’t be passed on to someone else.
We should always strive to be a good friend, not a mediocre one. We can’t be perfect, but we should try to not be flaky, negative, or distant. Reliable, uplifting, close, and available as much as possible.
What are some ways you can minister to a friend though?
Remember, you can’t choose your family… You CAN choose your friends… CHOOSE WISELY!!! Never let anyone walk all over you in the name of “friendship.” Show God’s love, yes. Be a door mat, no.
And now, in honor of Karen and her love for nostalgic television, I leave you with this… Get the cheesecake!
Definition of PATRON3: one who buys the goods or uses the services offered especially by an establishment
Ever been in a line at the store or sitting in a restaurant when suddenly you hear a customer being down right rude and mean to the employee helping them, or worse, another customer?
What about not even really acknowledging the person helping you, but just treating them as a gateway to get the stuff you want/need NOW?
Maybe you’re on a phone call with a customer service representative and they anger you, so you rip into them?
Sadly, it happens. We’re human, so naturally we make mistakes. We get sensitive or angry about something and we want to blame someone and throw a tantrum until it is fixed. But what kind of message are we sending out as Christians when we do this?
Think about it, what is the person on the other side going through that day? What if it’s a new job and they are just learning? What if it’s a single Mom working 3 jobs just to support her children and ill parents? I mean, yeah, sometimes the other person is just a jerk and could care less… But shouldn’t we show even them our love? And what about those who are with us when we act this way… We are humiliating our friends, family, & setting a poor example for our children. For some, we are the only Bible they will ever read. What if their idea of a Christian is skewed because of our bad temper?
So, how exactly can we minister? How can being a patron be a calling? Well, it’s actually not difficult at all. Here are a few tips:
I won’t lie, this was hard for me to write. I, myself, have a problem with this from time to time. I’m GUILTY! YES! I said it! And if I’m the only one that learns from this, that’s okay… Because I needed to be reminded.
Thank you for reading! God bless! 😉