Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Shake Off the Dust

Hi bunnies,  last night I heard something in a context I've never before been aware of and I wanted to share it will you all! You know, because sometimes we all get just a tired of letting our little light shine especially when the people around us act like it hurts their eyes... It can be difficult to keep on keeping on with sharing God's love with all the haters.... We don't always get the results we expect, furthermore we don't always get great reactions. So should we just shut-up? Should we just wait for people to ask for us to say something about God, sort of a "don't ask, don't tell" policy?  What about our lifestyle? Should we just give up on living our life to respect God because others aren't always comfortable seeing a difference in us?

Matthew 10:14 And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet.

I've always heard Matthew 10:14 in a sort of "curse to them" way of shaking even the very dust off your feet of those who won't hear the word God's given you to speak... But what if that's not it? Or at the least, what if that's part of it but not all there is?  I'm not the type of person who is comfortable with the cursing sort of shaking dust off my shoes, I just wouldn't want that sort of guilt on my mind, I could just not be that final decision with regards to someone else being brought down, I don't have it in me. Thankfully, the way I heard it explained last night totally makes sense and means so much more to me, it becomes a scripture that applies to me and I think it will apply to you as well! 

There's another scripture in Ephesians 6 that while explaining how to be a prepared Christian, it states in verse 15 to have "your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace..." And this is where you can start to see a new meaning in shaking the dust off... See your feet are what takes you places, they are essentially your travel... So these words are interpreted in their basic form to say "be prepared everywhere you go, have the gospel ready to share, take it with you, in your heart, be ready!"  So if your feet are your transportation of sharing the gospel and someone rejects your sharing, it does hurt, it may knock you down in the dirt or cause you to trip but shake the dirt off and try again! 

Listen, we would never tell a boy never to take a chance on asking someone out ever again after their first no. We would never tell a girl to never bake again after her first cake fell in the middle. We would never tell someone never to sing again after one flat note! Why would we tell ourselves never to reach to another person trying to connect them with God after one no!? Why would we stop showing God's love to a person who couldn't accept it the first time? If someone says they won't be coming to church this Sunday why would we not invite them next Sunday!? Don't give up! Connecting people with God is the base of every ministry, it is the only one true calling of God so shake the dust off people and keep moving the Word!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Big or Small?

I was just thinking of a friend... At least I think she'll allow me to deem her as a friend! ha!  She is a, let's say, pastor's wife (but really much, much more) ministry position far away from my little City but she was passing through not that long ago and got a chance to speak honestly ... She was just thanking people really and expressing her appreciation for notes she received etc. and she was saying how much those little things help get her through a rough patch or hard day... And she was honest to say, even in ministry, there are lots of those rough times and bad days she was also quick to encourage herself and us in the power of the AWESOME God we serve!  Still, there were tears in her eyes and a tired expression on her face, and not just "jet lag" tired...

The reason I was thinking of her recently was because of how little I think she knows she is appreciated!  I know I've never expressed my thoughts toward her and how sad is that!  Allow me to just tell you, this woman is so inspirational... Like me, she comes from humble beginnings but she has done so much for God's kingdom with her life!  She has accomplished a degree in a career she uses for God!  She is a beautiful person inside and out, seriously, I know people say that a lot but she is!  She is a great mama... She always worships through the bad time, and let me tell you, seeing that from someone you know just a little of their life difficulties is so inspirational!  She is real and not afraid to laugh and have fun, you know a Christian who is still human, haha! (I'll admit it, I love to be silly so I really appreciate that last characteristic!) She based her life around allowing room for God to use her and I love that!  I love it because it allows me to see that is still okay to do in a world that pushes us toward only caring about ourselves every day... I love it because it gives me hope that I will end up actually doing something amazing for God someday and that's really all I've ever wanted..

I love seeing someone used of God in such a great capacity is still "human" and still used by God because that means I can be too. I love that in spite of tears and weariness she cares enough for others to try to lift them up because isn't that what life is about anyway!? And we can and should all learn to follow her example... Which sounds an awful lot like what I was trying to say in last week's post and many others..  I love that part of her "big ministry" is still to just be kind and encourage others because really, isn't that "big" too? Can we really do anything for God if we are not kind and encouraging to EVERYONE who comes in contact with us!?  I'll help you out here, NO! Love God, love people! It's the second commandment, to love others! And Jesus said the most important commandment is to love Him but that second is like it, meaning just as important! In fact, in another scripture says if you don't love the people you can see you cannot love a God you can't see! How's that for convicting!? (It is for me!) And in that love for other please express your gratitude and appreciation for the people who pour into you, even without knowing they do... Those people may even be the best ones to appreciate!

Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart,
all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.  
A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 
The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”
Matthew 22:37-40 (NLT)
If anyone boasts, “I love God,” and goes right on hating his brother or sister,
thinking nothing of it, he is a liar.
If he won’t love the person he can see, how can he love the God he can’t see?
The command we have from Christ is blunt: Loving God includes loving people. You’ve got to love both. 1 John 4:20-21 (MSG)

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Summertime & Passing on Some Sunshine!

Gosh guys, I have no idea what to write today... I'm so tired (for no reason at all!) I think it must be that our air conditioning at work has been out of service and even with eating a fair quota of Freezies that's not good. I am happy though and I have some good news to share with you: my aunt, Mildred, just received some medical results back from a lung biopsy and there is no cancer! Yaay for Jesus!

It seems like it must finally be summer here, it's been a long time coming!  And why not make it even better!? I know, we all love the BBQs, fishing, bonfires, park dates, picnics, warm evening walks, the sun and the sand but there's something else about summer, people just seem a bit happier... And we need to add all we can to that! So I'm going to harp on the same-ole, same-ole for a bit!  Do something nice for someone who can't offer you anything in return!  Pay for someone's coffee at Starbucks and get the cashier to tell them once you've left, pay for the dinner of the new parents sitting next to you that have dealt with crying baby far longer than you have at the restaurant, put some money in someone's parking meter, leave an encouraging note for the retail attendant letting he or she know they did a great job, better yet ask for their name so you can put in a compliment instead of a complaint for them on-line!  Introduce yourself to someone new in town and actually extend the introduction into friendship... My personal favorite, pay for someone's frozen yogurt ahead of you in line! ha!

Seriously people, we all know it's the little things that bring a smile in our own life! Just yesterday I was in Wal-Mart picking up hair supplies and I dropped my shampoo while reaching for gum... I was taking my time in picking it up but it wouldn't have been a problem at all for me to grab and move on, just as I was about to bend a man stepped out of the line next to me and got it for me, it made my evening just a little brighter, I let some people out in front of me in traffic and everything (another one of my personal favorite "pass-it-ons" because it rarely happens anymore.)

So that's it, no biggie, you can do something nice even if it costs you nothing but a second!  Be happy and PASS IT ON!