Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Let's Love

I know it is easy to make assumptions about others and their situations.  We can easily stand back and say, “I woulda’ did this and I woulda’ handled things like that.”  But the truth of the matter is you may not have.  We all have a road that we must walk which leads us to the cross.  For some the road is straight forward, for others it’s a rocky road with many curves and twists, even trails and dead ends.  Who are we to judge those roads, especially when it ultimately leads to Christ.  [Isn’t that the goal?]

Yea, the human side of us questions, “How could they do that?” but Christ says, “Love.”  There is no stipulation on that command to love.  We are not to love only those who look like us, act like us, and have walked the same road as us.  According to John 13 verses 34 and 35 ‘we are to love one another: just as Christ has loved us. By this all people will know that we are His disciples, if we have love for one another.’  When we extend love, it leaves no room for our crass judgment and unnecessary analyzation; rather it opens the door for grace and mercy to be ushered in and hope extended.  

My prayer today is that our hearts will love, even when our minds can’t comprehend.  May we experience and share the love of Christ, though it is too great to fully understand, so we will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. 

Let’s love!

Monday, June 18, 2012

An Urgent Call

Have you ever been waiting to receive a call, constantly looking at your phone to see if you missed it…? 

Well, God is calling us, seeking to give us more.  He wants us to have more of Him.  We don’t have to keep checking because He calls to us daily.  However, many are missing the call - some by choice, others out of fear and many because life is way too loud.  One thing we have to realize about the call to Christ is it doesn’t go away.  There will always be a nudging on our heart to draw us closer to Christ.  He always wants more for us.  He doesn’t want us to become complacent with where we are because His plans for us far exceeds what our minds can comprehend.   

The greatest call we could ever answer, is the call to Christ.  Don’t let the pounding of the pavement as we chase success, the screams of directives as we seek to please people or self-imposed deafness be the reason we miss the great call.

This is an urgent call; our very life depends on our answering…daily.

Monday, June 11, 2012

What are You Looking For...

Never look to things and/or people to give you what only the true and living God can.  You will only end up frustrated, irritated and aggravated.  “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need” Matthew 6:33 NLT.  

This scripture wasn’t thrown into the bible as a page-filler rather it is ‘instruction and promise.’   We are instructed to seek the kingdom of God and live righteously and He will give us everything we need.  As we seek God we find all that we need along the way.  

One can chase success, at the expense of love; search for love and miss happiness; or pursue money and never gain peace.  Yet, in this passage we are promised that if we SEEK the kingdom of God above ALL else, and live righteously He will give us everything we need.  What person do you know who can make such a GRAND promise and keep it?  Let us stop pursuing things that don’t matter and seek God first.  As we make Christ the center of all we do, we will begin to find the love, joy, peace, hope, health, provision, opportunity, balance… that we are longing for just waiting with our name on it. 
Life is a journey filled with ups and downs, twists and turns but when you have a promise such as the one given in Matthew 6:33 it gives ‘cushion’ for these bumps.  All that we need can be found, as we seek God’s kingdom, not attention from people or status and acclaim, rather the creator of heaven and earth. 


Thursday, June 7, 2012

Hope in a Hopeless Place...

I just read an article about a seven year old boy who hung himself.  While, that knowledge alone is reason enough to make you ‘wanna holla’ he hung himself because he was ‘depressed about his parents separation, being bullied at school and picked on for being the only boy in a home of eight females.’  The fact that this seven year old CHILD felt as if he had no hope, breaks my heart.  He felt as though he had no reason to go on and he could not see past his current circumstance toward the hope that lay ahead of him. 

How often do we become so consumed by our present condition that we take drastic measures without looking ahead?  How many times do we let the burdens of life weigh us down so heavily we cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel? 

In this post I will not get caught up in asking questions because there are far too many that can be asked; however, I will use this post to tell you this  – Regardless of what you are faced with today, THERE IS HOPE! 

Picture me standing in your face, with my hand on my hip saying, “Don’t you dare give up! There is hope for you, yet!  Hold on!! Help is on the way!”

In response I am sure you are saying, “But you don’t understand…”

Admittedly, I may not know your situation first hand but I do know the feeling of helplessness.  I understand the agony of despair and feeling as if all hope was gone.  I know what it is like to cry, what I wanted to be my last tears.  But more importantly I know the joy of finding hope in a hopeless place and that is why I can stand in your face with my shoulders squared and my eyes on you and say, “There IS hope!”

“Where?” you ask --> In Christ Jesus, He is the hope of glory.

Now, wait a minute before you tune me out, hear me out. 
There is a cry for love and hope throughout the world that can only be answered at the foot of the cross.  The cross is where the greatest example of love was shown and hope was given.  It was through this seemingly hopeless and helpless situation that Christ proved Himself to be the strongest.  And it is through your situation and your trust in Christ that you will find yourself to be the strongest.  Trust Him. 

In my moment of desperation, I cried out, “Father, I cannot do this.  You have got to help me!”  Tell, Him the same thing.  Ask God to show you the hope which lies in Christ Jesus.  Remind Him of His promise to never leave you nor forsake you.  Ask Him to come into your heart and take control of your life because right now things are out of control.  Give Him the opportunity to show you He loves you and wants His best for you. He never fails.  Then, tell yourself to ‘be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of (whatever you are dealing with), for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6 
To know you are now on a team where the coach never fails, that’s your hope.  Now go WIN!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Get Over Yourself...

...Yea, so for this post I am going to give a disclaimer, not because it will be offensive, rather it will require you to think of someone other than yourself.  Uh-oh, that sentence alone may have cost me a reader.  *Disclaimer: This post is not meant to be from your perspective, it is meant to encourage you to see another person’s need.* For some this may be hard, as you are not used to this vantage point; however, read on, the observation from this perspective may be enlightening. 

Last week I asked a question, “Have we as a society become so desensitized to one another that we are clueless when one among us is silently crying?”  Unfortunately, I believe the answer is a resounding yes.  We have become so engulfed in ourselves that DAILY we fail to see the hurt which surrounds us, sometimes as close to us as the ones we love.  We fail to see that so many people are suffering from a hurt, which at times, seems so unbearable they don’t want to breathe.  Many people are walking around with broken hearts searching for a repair shop, only to be given ‘shotty’ service and in need of additional repairs.  These people are stumbling through their daily lives screaming; ‘Help!’ yet no one hears them or even seems to care. 

Why can’t we hear their cries? Why are their shouts going unheard?  How is it that drugs, alcohol, prostitution, violence, murder (need I go on) hear their cries before we do… as their friends, their family, their co-workers, their sisters and brothers in Christ (oh, I won’t go there)… Could it be that we (yes, I include myself because I am the first partaker) are too consumed with ourselves and our personal agendas to care enough to GENUINELYlove our neighbors as ourselves’.  Oh, it is easy to say, in hindsight, what we could have done or should have done but the question is what did we do, what are we doing?  

Are we too busy to lend an ear when someone needs to speak what is on their mind and in their heart, without being distracted by our phones, e-mails and numerous social media sites?  Can we be quiet long enough to hear when we are being instructed to help another?  Furthermore, will it break our pride to smile and/or say good morning to a passer-by in an effort to brighten their day?  And why does it seem as though giving a compliment or encouraging word to another person is like pulling a lion’s teeth? For that person who is hurting, if they were offered a smile, a simple ‘It will be alright’ or an interest in their well-being may be their end result could have been different.  May be they would have spoken with their mouth instead of a gun or the lower extremity of their body. Today I challenge you and I tell me – “GET OVER YOURSELF, LIFE IS NOT ALL ABOUT YOU!”

Let’s put our personal agenda on the shelf for a moment and help someone else, in helping them we ultimately help ourselves.  Proverbs 11:25 from the Message Bible reads – “The one who blesses others is abundantly blessed; those who help others are helped.”  While, our desire to help others should derive from doing what is good and pleasing to the Father, isn’t it awesome to know that in the process WE are blessed too!   The two ears we have that allow us to hear are put to better use when we lend them to listen to the hearts of others, than if we only stop them up in an effort to isolate ourselves from the world around us. 

While we cannot solve every problem on our own and every situation will not be worked out with our hands alone, there is ONE who is able.  So after you have stepped out of your comfort zone to allow your ears to be the sounding board for the concerns of another, take it to the Lord in prayer. “Father God, I can’t, but you are more than able to work things out for their strength and your glory. Thank you God for using me as an earpiece, now on their behalf, I give their situation to you and ask that you have your way. In Jesus’ Name.”

Very simple!

You may never know the impact your time and prayer had on another person’s life but God knows.  Your acts of genuine love and kindness go further than the eye can see.  So from this day forth may our hearts be sensitive to the needs of others and our ears attentive to the voice of God, as He enables us to get over ourselves, so we can get to helping others.