Monday, January 31, 2011

Monday Review !

Drum roll, please! Okay, if you're new to this blog you will more than likely be wondering why it is that a drum roll is required! Well, let me enlighten you. I told people that I want to be part of the "Do It" Church. Bottom line, I want to be a "Doer".

We discussed,in an earlier blog, the importance of taking note of and counting the places around you that have an exceptionally high amount of hurting people. It is described in the post entitled: "Count" and Then Prepare for "WAR" ( Walking, Asking and Responding).

A couple of weeks ago, I counted and wrote down all the places within a ten mile radius of my home that would fall into that category. I mean, I realize there are hurting people everywhere...but some places attract more hurting people than others.

Last week I told you I would tell you how I did in the "WALK" part of "WAR".

Well. I would have to give myself a "2" on the Richter scale. Am I being hard on myself? Nah.
It's just that I didn't exactly WALK anywhere. I just thought about it. Okay, and I prayed...a little.

Sounds like a potential prescription for getting nowhere fast. Alas, my name..."Shay" my nickname. Comes from my middle name, "Alacia"...pronounced "Alaysha". A roomate, a long time ago, asked me if she could call me "Shay" because she could never pronounce my real name and kept forgetting it.

What does that have to do with procrastination? All I was going to say is that one of my husbands favorite names for me was... "Procrastalaysha".

I wasn't thrilled with that name. Especially since it was a glaring verbal indictment on my character! Even was an accurate assessment!

There is good news, however! My husband hasn't called me "Procrastalaysha" for years now.
Granted, I still drag my feet more than I would like...but I have definitely improved.

So, what location did I think about going to? Well, it's a Crisis Pregnancy Center that is about one mile away from where I live.

My next step is to actually go there (as opposed to just thinking about it) and Ask them how I can help them.

I'll tell you what happens on the next...

Monday Review !

Friday, January 28, 2011

Walk Talk !

You know how there are people that talk the talk but don't walk the walk? We've all visited that place from time to time.

But doesn't it feel great when we put feet to our words?! I call it:

Walk Talk!

Okay, this is pretty exciting!

Remember a few posts ago, we talked about being a Do It Church?

Count...Then Prepare for WAR, is a post that might refresh your memory.

Count stands for ... Count. How's that for clever? WAR stands for Walk, Ask, Respond.

I told you I would give a little description or example, of each category.

"W" WALK. Actually walk to one of those of the places that you prayed about. A location that resonates in your heart. Contact them. Go there. You can do it!

"A" ASK. Ask yourself, then ask them... "How can I help?" For example, if you used to frequent bars and people know you...assuming alcohol won't be a stumbling block for can actually talk to the person in charge of the bar and ASK them if they would like to take your name and number as a person who would be willing to be a "designated driver" for someone who can't get home by themselves. How is that ministry? Let me tell you something. You never know how you are going to affect someone. You could have had a very positive influence on the bar tender. You just got to know a hurting person that needs your prayer. Don't worry about it. Just put yourself out there. Let God do the inner work.

"R" RESPOND. When you do respond...remember to respond in love. Also keep in mind that when you respond to someone, the Holy Spirit is the one who will actually work through you, and oftentimes it will be you who gets ministered to.

So what's my next step? Boy, I like you guys. You really help me. I have to be accountable when I tell you I'm going to do something. I've already shared with you the different places I counted. I will report to you Monday about the results of my next experience. The Big "W". Aarrgghh!!!

It's time to let my walking do the talking and initialize:

Walk Talk!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Love Switch...

I have something to say that is really, really difficult for me. I'm so afraid of people please hear me out. And please don't judge me. Some people may think I'm ridiculous for saying anything at all. But. Oh well.

I have a lot of love for people...but it isn't emotional. I want it to be...but I can't make myself feel the emotion of love. It's as if my "love switch" was broken a long time ago and never got repaired. For the life of me, I can't feel anything except sadness or pain of some kind.

I do experience times of happiness...just not the emotion of love that I have heard people say they feel deep in their hearts.

It's not all bad. I mean, if you were in a room with a gunman, you would eventually be glad I was with you because even though I can't feel the emotion of love...I would allow myself to take a bullet meant for you. So, I recognize that even though I can't feel anything - there is, nevertheless, a strong love that God put inside of me that I will, by faith, act on. But the emotion isn't there.

I feel very alone, but I suspect I'm not. If you feel like a part of you is "broken" please let me share with you two scriptures that continue to help me to this day.

Psa 34:18 says, The LORD is close to the brokenhearted; He rescues those who are crushed in spirit.

Psa 147:3 says, He heals the brokenhearted, binding up their wounds.

God loves us. He loves you. If you are broken in any way, He will heal you. He's actually closer to you than you would have ever imagined. And He is working. He will bind up the broken part of you. He is the best physician any one could possibly hope for.

He began the healing process with me when I asked Him into my life. The wounds were deep and He understood them like nobody else could. He started out by loving me. Then He gave me an incredibly loving husband as well as loving kids...that aren't kids anymore! He knew that I needed to be loved in a demonstrative way, before my heart could feel love.

It's not really that unusual. What is the scripture? We love Him because He first loved us. 1Jo 4:19

Maybe it won't be long before He has completed the healing of my...

Love Switch...

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Status or Purpose?

You know how when you read a book, it will sometimes have an asterik next to a word so that you will know to go to the bottom of the page and read an excerpt of sorts?

Well, I know that I said I would go into detail a bit RE: The "Do It" Church. And I will. But I wanted to share something with you first.

I heard somebody say something today that really stuck with me. He said:
"Some people are more concerned with changing their status than discovering their purpose."

That is so true. We are so self focussed. Everything is about us. Me, me, me. It is certainly understandable. I mean, we grew up with ourselves. The entire view of the world is seen through our eyes. Of course it is natural that we are self centered. Sounds awful though, doesn't it?

Fortunately, God already understands all that about us. He did, after all, create us. He gets it. But He doesn't want us to continue in that state. His desire for us, as His adopted children, is to become God-Centered. When we do that, we are taking the first step to a willingness to discover the purpose He has for us.

Problem. Did I say problem? No. More like problems...plural.

In my impatience to be significant and fulfilled in life, I preempt God's purpose for me with a status or station of my own making. Obviously, different things will be important to different people. For example, some peoples status are significantly strengthened in their estimation, by:

* Relationships
* Careers
* Titles
* Money
* Power

* And more...

God wants to do something in us, for us and for others by using us. The question is...will we let Him? What is more important? Our...

Status or Purpose?

Monday, January 24, 2011

Step Into Action...

Uh...if you think going into the community and reaching out to people in need, is easy for me...think again! If it is not difficult to you, I commend you. Alas, I do not fall into that category. Yes...I love people. But loving people and having the courage to turn your love into action can be two different things.

I'm really good at some things. I think I'm best at finding reasons why I can't do something. That's why I told you that I would reach out to people - so that I would have to. I mean, if I tell somebody that I'm going to do something...I will do it.

Here is a list of words that came to my mind - from the time I said I would go out into the community, until I did:

Gargantuan, Herculean, ambitious, arduous, burdensome (Hey, I work 40 hours a week), challenging, crucial, demanding, easier said than done, exacting, formidable, laborious, no picnic, not easy, problematic, emotionally strenuous, of titanic proportion, very trying. Oh, and did I mention how much I dreaded it?

But I did it! At least... I started the process, which is... a start! It wasn't too painful. Remember when I said the first thing to do was to count the places within about a 10 mile radius of where you live? I counted them and wrote them down. It was relatively painless since I used my computer! Good ole Google search engine. Figured I could start there and add more as I see them. So what did I find?

1) One Hospital
2) Three Convalescent Homes
3) Two Tutoring Centers
4) Six Bars
5) Three Elementary Schools
6) One High School
7) One Crisis Pregnancy Center

(No Abortion Clinics within ten miles...but check that out where you live).

Oh, BTW, if you do this...remember to write down the address and phone number. If you're doing it on the computer, just copy and paste...and save the information in a file.

But don't just "file it away". Remember the rest of the acronym?

WAR ... Walk, Ask, Respond.

Tomorrow I will throw some thoughts your way, Re: Walking, Asking and Responding.

But for right now...just count and take note of the addresses and phone numbers.

I would love it if you would join me on my journey by either praying for me - or starting your own journey and sharing it with me and others. I challenge you! Just start out by taking a ...

Step Into Action...

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Do Something Church !

We can all be a part of the "Do Something Church". But when we are in it "alone", it's much more difficult. What can we do about that?

The Do Something Church

Friday, January 21, 2011

Here I Go!

For anyone who doesn't know what I'm talking about...just read the post entitled, Count...Then Prepare for War. War is simply an acronym. It helps me with my poor memory. The message behind it came from a message I heard from Miles McPherson at The Rock Church in San Diego.

We can talk about what we've learned. That's the easy part. But applying it is quite another story, right? Anyway, I've decided to apply this strategy in my life and give you my progress. I'll share with you my personal journey in this area.

If I do something stupid or embarrassing...I'll definitely make sure to include that! Hey, it's potential high entertainment for you! Frankly, I would love to share with you my journey and secretly hope you will be open to doing the same. Regardless, at least I can be accountable to you!

Every Monday I will post my "doings". Eventually, I would like to have a separate tag that you can click to follow me any day of the week. I admit, I haven't learned how to do that yet! I'm still a newbie at this, so bear with me...okay?

So, what am I going to do again?

First thing I'm going to do is count all the places within approximately a 10 mile radius of my home, that are locations where people are probably hurting.

I told you I'd explain things in more detail...and I will...but I have an itch to get started. So...

Here I Go!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Count First...Then Prepare for War!

Say what?! Am I suggesting you prepare for... violence?

No, of course not.

As Christians, most of us have learned all about spiritual warfare. That is, we are familiar with that phrase. But how well do we grasp the continual reality of the spiritual battles that are all around us?

Most Christians - myself included - don't mean to, but there is a tendency in all of us to simply live life and forget about what is going on around us...unless it affects us, that is.

So what can we do about that?

This has actually been gnawing on my subconscious mind for a while now. I say subconscious because in my conscious mind I try my best to avoid anything that might be unpleasant or difficult for me.

Don't worry. I won't throw out the "get out of your comfort zone" card. You, like me, have probably heard that one too many times. Oh. And I won't tell you to take your head out of the sand or anything. Besides...I like ostriches. They have those awesome eyes!

But I will share with you something that I learned! Count First...then Prepare for War!

What do I mean by that? Simple. The first thing you do is... count. Count the places within a 10 mile radius of you that have hurting people in them.

Walk to those places!

Ask them how you can help them.

Respond to them in love.

In my next post, I will tell you what I counted in my area and I will go into more detail. In the meantime...

Start Counting !

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Spiritual Contractions!

Believe it or not, there is a point to this post. Hang with me.

A while ago, I was with someone who was going to give birth to a baby. As her labor progressed she was eventually dilated at a nine. Things were looking good for our heroine, but then both the intensity as well as the frequency of the contractions continued to lessen until eventually everything stopped.

But what happened? Why did the contractions stop? Is this unusual?

Well, if you are a doctor or nurse you may very well tell me that that is not uncommon.

Great. Now what? Well, in this instance, another woman who was accustomed to "taking the bull by the horn" began to coach the pregnant woman and told her to "push" at regular intervals...until the contractions returned. And they did return.

A healthy baby boy was born and two beaming parents happily welcomed a new life into this world.

Why did I tell you this story? Because it relates to us. You see, when we became Christians, many of us were sharing Christ right and left. We shared our faith at increasingly regular intervals as we allowed the Holy Spirit to work freely. Witnessing to others was a labor of love that could be likened to contractions that result in a new life being born into this world.

But then...when a bit of time goes by - perhaps when we are at a nine - something happens and we just...stop. Perhaps we begin by slowing down...but eventually we came to a standstill.

Does this sound familiar?

Tomorrow I will share with you:

Four things that can give us a jump start.
Four things that are actually "do-able".
Four things that can reactivate our...

Spiritual Contractions!

Monday, January 17, 2011

You Know Who You Are!

Whether you came to know Christ when you were younger or older, you have undoubtedly been challenged to share your faith with others. But, for many of us, that challenge takes the form of words that go through one ear and out the other! Or, like me, you might have shared on occasion, but you are embarrassed to admit that it most certainly hasn't resulted in a lifestyle change that takes advantage of countless situations where you neglected to even mention Jesus's name! But, if you...

1) Have invested the time to tell others about Christ
2) Have chosen to share your Christian faith with whoever reads your blogs
3) Or, you want to...

Then this message is one I hope you'll respond to!

Most of you have found a good church home, others are still looking...but I'm guessing that all of us are in agreement that the church today, in general, tends to focus on making us feel good or "feeding us." There is nothing wrong with that, unless that is all it does! Don't get me wrong, I've been walking with the Lord for 34 years and am a very strong supporter of the importance of gathering together. Hebrews 10:25 reminds us to refrain from "forsaking the assembling of ourselves together..."

But what was once a movement of God...has become a mere location, to many people. I am assuming that most of you understand that, because His Spirit lives in you, His Church is wherever you are. People that don't know Christ are generally the ones who assume the church is simply a location.

The problem, as I see it, is that we unwittingly take on the worlds view of the church, in the sense that we tend to compartmentalize it. I know I do. I don't mean to and I don't want to...but, it happens. "Gotta go to church, this Sunday", "Wasn't church awesome today?" or "I hope nobody caught me falling asleep in church today" are some examples of things we here or say to ourselves quite frequently. Sound familiar?

It's time to break free from that thinking. Time to be a church that is a verb instead of a noun! I'm calling on you right now, to share with other people both in person and via your blogs, what I have been hearing a handful of Christian pastors talking about.

Click on the link, below, to hear a message that is gripping and inspirational. I will spend the next few posts, "re-capping" for anyone that didn't get a chance to listen.

The Do Something Church

You want to be who God wants you to be, but you just don't think about it...or you let the thought "I'm no Billy Graham!" prevent you from doing what, in your heart of hearts, you have been told you should do...but it just doesn't come natural to you. Believe me, there are a lot of us that fall into that category! Keep following this blog. Go ahead and listen to the message in the link above. I challenge you!

You Know Who You Are!

Friday, January 14, 2011

The Holy Spirit in Action!

Yesterday, I told you I had something up my sleeve.'s still there, but I want to preface what I'm excited to share with you - with something else, first.  You see, what I am about to share had a huge impact on me because of something that happened to me when I was in jail.

What?!*#  Did she say she was in jail?!   Yes, well, I wasn't going to tell you that little detail since I figured it might freak some people out and I could loose credibility in some peoples eyes.  Suffice it to was definitely not a typical experience for me.  Matter of fact, my major in college was Criminal Justice.  My goal was to be a police officer.  Never in a million years would I have pictured myself in jail.  Long story short...  I was actively involved in pro-life work, got involved with Christians in Operation Rescue,  it wasn't appreciated and I found myself eventually sharing a jail cell with one female criminal and a toilet.

I was grateful for the toilet - but more than a little disappointed to discover that my new "room mate" and I didn't speak the same language. There went all my visions of grandeur!  I mean, I had imagined myself to be a female version of the apostle Paul!  I was, after all, standing up for the rights of the unborn! The God-given right to life!   Unfortunately, the language barrier put a major damper on things.  My bubble burst and I finished my time there  considerably more humble than when I entered.

Two days before I got out, I decided...with great reluctance... to go to the "prison chapel".  I was not a happy camper as a guard escorted my lone self to the proper location.  Feeling dejected and foolish, I walked into the designated room for the bible to be studied and was met by the female chaplain.

Guess what?

She recognized me!  The bizarre thing is that she had never seen me before, nor had I ever seen or even heard of her.  But she knew I was a Christian!  When I walked in she came up to me with a twinkle in her eye that partnered with a warm and compassionate smile as she welcomed me with the words, "You're with Operation Rescue, aren't you?"

My jaw dropped and I was speechless for a few seconds.  Finally, I asked her how she knew who I was?

"Oh," she matter-of- factly stated, " every week for the past year, as the bus brings Christians from Operation Rescue to the prison, the Spirit over this entire place becomes noticeably stronger. The bible studies increase in quantity as well as quality!"

I  have no idea what that bible study was about.  All I could think of then and what continues to impact me to this day - almost 25 years later - was the miraculous power and presence of the Holy Spirit. I was witnessing...

The Holy Spirit in Action!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

What's Up My Sleeve?!

Where did that expression come from, anyway?  If anybody knows, feel free to share.  Then again, I could just look it up on Google.  Everybody knows that Google Know All.  Okay, I may be sounding a little sarcastic...but I can find out a lot on that little ole search engine!

Anyway...what is up my sleeve?  Alas, I must go to event that prevents me from immediately sharing with you what I am very excited about.  But I must give you a hint.  Two purposes will be served.  

1)  It will be fun.  (And we all understand the importance of that three letter word).
2)  It will help me to be accountable.

You see, what I am excited about and am looking forward to sharing with you has to do with making an impact in this world - in your world as well - that is life changing!

Oops!  Looked at the evil clock!  Gotta go!

Until next time!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A Matter of Heart...

You always wanted to know what you would be like when you grew up. Of course, when you were a teenager you thought anyone out of high school was grown up. Then you got to college and realized that an adult was 30 years old and a middle aged person was 35. Yep! That was my firm belief, anyway. Alas, when I reached that age I quickly changed my tune and sang in a different key!

My first strong clue that I was off-base was when I hit the mid-thirties without experiencing a mid life crisis. You see, as I matured I realized that middle age doesn't set in until you are 40! Yes, my knowledge of people was certainly abounding! So, I adjusted my thinking cap and waited. Time passed and passed and passed until one day I looked in the mirror and to my horror I saw the reflection of a womans face with two problems that do not belong together!

Yes, I had both wrinkles and pimples! How can this be!?! Must I yet again re-evaluate the life of a human being? Or perhaps I had ascertained life correctly - but I simply wasn't normal? I have to admit that that thought had some merit. Over the years I noticed that other people my age were getting older...but I wasn't. How could that be? Wait a daughters are normal and they are getting older.

I, therefore, decided that getting older was perfectly was the getting old part that didn't thrill me.

One day, with much consternation over the age issue, I spewed verbal vomit all over my husband as I bemoaned the condition of man - vs- age.

"I don't want to get old!" I cried.

"Don't worry" said my husband. He picked up a book and turned it over to the picture on the back cover. "Look at this picture of Chuck Smith...he's still riding a motorcycle in his 60's."

You could see the immediate look of relief that washed over my face. It was true. Chuck Smith was a man I very much admired then and continue to admire today. And there he was...on a motorcycle with a big grin on his face! My heartfelt thanks to you, Chuck! When I looked at your smiling face, I realized that the issue of age encompassed more than mere numbers. It was and continues to be...

A Matter of Heart.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Fire Escape or Escape Artist?

Hey there! I've got a question for you. What do the things in the following three paragraphs have in common?

T.V. Movies, video games, serfing the net, games, sports (watching or participating) The list is endless.

Reading: You might pick up a book at the library. Purchase a good fiction or non-fiction at your favorite bookstore. Order it online on Amazon. Read online. Listen to an audio book.
Perhaps you are reading because it's required for your education. You might "bury your nose in work, reading, school" etc.

Miscellaneous Fun Activities: Shopping, Manicures/Pedicures, Arcades...

ANSWER: (Read backwards)
escape. of forms be all can They

Are any of the things I mentioned, wrong? Of course not. Not in and of themselves. But when we do anything for the sole purpose of escaping pain, then we have simply done one of two things. We have either created our own personalized fire escape...or become an escape artist.

But I'm learning to distinguish the difference between having fun and using fun as a means to escape. That's the question we all need to ask ourselves. It is sure helping me. When I realize I'm only doing something because I want to escape pain...then it gnaws on me until I deal with things head on. You might be good at confronting situations and dealing with it. If not, me, you need to ask yourself the question..."Am I doing this particular thing and using it as a...

Fire Escape or Escape Artist?

Monday, January 10, 2011

Fire Escape!

Nobody likes least not when it is destructive. We definitely don't want a fire to come near us and burn us. As a matter of fact, death by fire has to be in the top ten list of ways we don't want to die. If you were caught in a building that was on fire, I'm guessing you would be headed for the nearest fire escape.

Actually, there are two fires we want to escape. I will talk more about one of them tomorrow, but today what I'm thinking of is one that most people do not like to talk about. I don't blame them. I personally hate the subject. But it's reality.

I'm speaking of Hell. Most people avoid that topic like the plague...unless, of course, they are in swearing mode. Unfortunately, though most of us recoil from even thinking about it, that Abyss is a place of torment that has been likened to fire and brimstone. It exists whether we like it or not. We cannot wish it away.

Some people feel better about it if they say that Hell is simply where God is not. The main problem I see with that thinking is that it almost makes it sound inviting...if you don't want God in your life anyway. I am certain God would not want us to fall victim to a type of thought world that would deceive us into thinking that Hell is "not so bad".

If you know how to escape that fiery torment, it is because you know that Jesus is the only one who can save you from that Fire and you have asked Him into your life. You could say He acts as the ultimate...

Fire Escape!

Friday, January 7, 2011

A Small Adjustment Can Make All the Difference.

Over the past couple of days I've mentioned the fact that we all have our ups and downs that we have to deal with. The word, we, is our biggest problem. We think we have to deal with our problems and in a sense we are supposed to. In a sense. What am I talking about?

You remember Psalms 23? You've probably either read it a bazillion times or you are at least familiar with it. With good reason. It teaches us some amazing things, but the other day I was reminded of one thing that, if ignored, negates everything else in the Psalm. As a matter of fact, it is so important to understand that our walk with the Lord is virtually meaningless if we don't grasp the first line of this Psalm. What is it?

The Lord is my Shepard. That's it. As a matter of fact it is only a part of the first sentence but it is so significant it stands alone. The sentence doesn't say, "The Lord is the Shepard". It says, "The Lord is my Shepard." You see, all the things God promises in the rest of that psalm are in store for the people who can say, The Lord is my Shepard.

But in order for Him to be our Shepard, we have to be willing to follow Him.

What does that entail? Is it really that easy? It may sound easy, but letting anyone other than yourself guide your decision making and direct your steps definitely goes against human nature. But God is not "anyone". He is our creator as well as Father. He is perfect. Time does not affect Him. He can look at His children right now and see them in the future. It doesn't do any good to try to hide anything from Him because He already knows everything about us. Our past hurts and pains as well as our present ones are known to Him. He has compassion on us because He truly understands us...better than we have ever understood ourselves.

We have limited God to the position of judge. But He wants a relationship with us. That's why He is called our Father. That's why we have been adopted into His family. And that is why David, in Psalms 23, begins it with ... The Lord is my Shepard.

A small adjustment can make all the difference.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

A Spiritual Catalyst

So, yesterday I asked if God cared about our despair. Well, obviously He does. You and I know that...but it sure doesn't feel like it sometimes. I mean, some days I'm fine when it comes to being able to control my out of control emotions. Other days, well, I feel like my feelings have been taken over be an evil dictator! Can you relate?

Why do I say this? Because I wanted you to know just how scared I get. How anxious I get. I know me. I know what I would have done in the past under the circumstances that we find ourselves in right now. I would have freaked out. But shear fear has driven me to desperately remind myself of God and His promises.

Good or bad, desperation can drive us to do things that we normally wouldn't do. For me, even though I've been aware of verses like Be anxious for nothing... and He causes ALL things to work together for good for those who love Him...this is the first time that I have clung to those promises in desperation. But when I did that I discovered that the panicky feeling I was feeling began to subside.

Christians all over the world throughout time and cultures, have thrived more when in the midst of suffering and persecution than any other circumstance. The agonizing grief they experience actually becomes a catalyst for spiritual growth. I know it isn't the desire of their hearts to have to deal with turmoil. But I truly believe that it's because in desperation they cried out to God and clung with tenacity to His promises. I never thought that desperation could actually become...

A Spiritual Catalyst.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Does He Care About Our Despair?

I'm going to be frank with you. The past year was one of the most difficult years of my life. No, my husband and I have never been rich. We've been among the many people who find themselves right on the "border". We always made just a little too much to receive help when it came to any kind of financial aid or government assistance.

So, we sacrificed and told ourselves that we didn't have to own a house. We did't have to have a clothes budget. Would I have liked insurance? How many times did I wish I could go on a two week vacation? True, we couldn't have what others had but we dealt with that little reality and were okay with it. Somehow our needs would be provided...and God always took care of us.

Fast forward to today. Our financial security makes our previous years look like a piece of cake. Has God left us? No. But what He is allowing - or not allowing - in our lives makes the past look like a walk in the park.

On top of all that, I continue to deal with medical issues that I can do nothing about. Each day I wake up to yet another 16 hours of fighting despair, loneliness and pain as I go through another work day that requires an emotional energy and stamina that is beyond my capacity to deal with. Or so it seems. Sometimes I feel like I'm in a pointless prison.

The good news is that that is just what I feel like. The reality is that God has not left me. I refuse to get angry at Him because the circumstances around me are difficult. God knows what He is doing...or allowing. I know in my head that we shouldn't let feelings dictate our actions, but I can only apply that line of reasoning for so long before I'm spent!
So what does God think about all this?

Does He Care About Our Despair?

More about that tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A Maximum Impact

Yesterday I told you that someone suggested to me that instead of my placing a lot of focus on how much time I have, I should ask myself..."What am I doing with my time?"

At first I thought, "Hey, that's a good question. What am I doing with my time?" But a few minutes after I posted that thought on this blog, I realized that it could be a very irritating question. I think of all the people, myself included, who are working as hard and as fast as they can just to meet the bare minimum requirements of life. We get very little free time and maybe, just maybe we can actually squeeze in a little downtime.

Then somebody asks us what we are doing with our time? Kinda makes you want to hit someone if you are exhausted from a long day! So what does a person do in those circumstances? Cave in with the discouragement of someone who is spinning their wheels all day to simply pay their bills? What about a meaningful life? Are people like us relegated to futility?

No! You are in a unique position right now! Why? Glad you asked. I remember a book I had a while ago. The title alone says it all. Out of the Saltshaker, Into the World. That's where you and I are everyday. In the world. Whether it is in an office, at a store, at home or driving from one destination to another - whatever it is, we are in the world and we have the opportunity to impact the people in our sphere of influence.

How do we do that? That's up to you to decide, but I do know one thing. We need to let God's love influence whatever action we do take. It may simply be a smile on your face throughout the day. And BTW, if you are on the phone a while you're talking. The person on the other end can feel it. Seriously. The point is, somewhere, there is someone you could give an encouraging word to. You would be amazed to discover the influence you can have in peoples lives. Be creative. Whatever you do, let God's love be at the root of it and you will have...

A Maximum Impact!