Be a Blessing Everywhere You Go!

26 05 2009

sky


“He [the benevolent person] scatters abroad; He gives to the poor; His deeds of justice and goodness and kindness and benevolence will go on and endure forever.” 2 Corinthians 9:9

“It is both good and scriptural to give to the poor—they should be one of your primary concerns. Look for people who are needy and bless them. Share what you have with those who are less fortunate.

But it is also good to remember that everyone needs blessings—even the rich, the successful, and those who appear to have everything. What you buy or do for those people is not the real issue; they may not need the gift, but they need the love.

We all get weary sometimes and need to be encouraged, edified, complimented, and appreciated. This can be  done with words alone, but it is a nice gesture to add a gift when appropriate. Remember, G-d blesses you so you can be a blessing—not only in a few places but everywhere you go.”

–Joyce Meyer, Ending Your Day Right

Finding ways to bless the people in your life is very important. Sending a note, text message, or a simple phone call could be the encouragement and love that gets someone through the day. In many cases, being a blessing does not take a lot of extra time, rather, it’s as you go about your everyday life. Don’t let yourself walk throughout your day with your blinders on. If you ask for opportunities from G-d and take your eyes off yourself long enough, you will see all sorts of ways to bless those around you.

It’s often times easy to find ways to love our friends and family because we are more inclined to be looking for ways to do so. We need to love all of G-d’s children, not simply the ones that we love and like: “If you love those who love you, do you deserve a reward? Even the tax collectors do that!” (Matt 5:46). In that time period, tax collectors had a reputation for being swindlers and were known to exploit people for their own benefit. The L-rd is basically saying, “Even selfish exploiters know how to love those that love them.” We need to ask for the L-rd to give us His heart over people so that we will love everyone. If you see someone in need, do what you can to alleviate it.

     The L-rd has showered so much blessing upon us in the physical, spiritual, mental, and emotional realm, so how can we do any less than try to alleviate their need! You may not have a whole lot of material possessions, but you still are receiving love in abundance from the Father than you can choose to shower on others. Go love on people and see what G-d can and will do!

Shalom,

Meredith 🙂

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To the Last Breath

25 05 2009

“The haunting specter of the smoke of a thousand villages has burned within my heart.”
David Livingstone

Those words were pinned by the late David Livingstone as he looked out over the African coast into the unknown darkness of the heart of Africa. One can almost hear the cry of his heart; the call of the Lord of the harvest. “Have they not heard? Will no one tell them of the good things that God has done?”

Dr. Livingstone battled malaria, lions, scorching heat, dysentery, separation from his family, hostile natives, army ants, and the spiritual forces of evil in this world all by the power of the Spirit of the living God and with one purpose in view: to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ. He died kneeling beside his bed in the heart of Africa, having proclaimed the Gospel to the very last breath.

In America we have the notion that we live on the edge for God while we are young and then settle down for the later years of our lives. David Livingstone did not believe this lie and neither do I. We all have to ask ourselves the question, “Are we going to live as the world or are we going to proclaim the Gospel to our very last breath?”

We do not have battle Africa to serve God to the last breath, but we do have to make our lives a living sacrifice on a daily basis. We can make money and give sacrificially out of our abundance. We can give of our time and resources to serve those who are orphaned. We can use extra space in our houses to room those in need. God’s call for everyone’s life is different, but God calls all of us to live outrageously for the sake of His glorious name. We must closely guard our relationship with Christ and our devotion to Him so that we do not become “sacrifices that crawl off of the altar”.

Isaiah 58:6-10 – “Isn’t this the fast that I choose: to unloose the chains of wickedness, to untie the ropes of the yoke, to set the oppressed free, and to tear off every yoke. Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, to bring the poor and homeless into your house, to clothe the naked when you see him, and to not ignore your own flesh and blood?

Then your light will be like the dawn, and your recovery will come quickly. Your righteousness will go before you, and the Lord’s glory will be your rear guard. When you cry out, He will answer. When you call, He will say, “Here I am.” If you take the yoke from those around you, the finger pointing and malicious speaking, and if you offer yourself to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted, then your light will shine in the darkness, and your night will be like the noonday.”

-Sean





Vanity, All is Vanity

23 05 2009

Have you ever felt like you were on a hampster wheel? You
get up, you eat breakfast, you shower, you go to work, you
go to sleep, you get up, you eat breakfast, you shower, you
go to work… You get married, you have kids, you go on family
vacations, you go to graduation, you become a senior citizen,
you return to the dust… Life often feels meaningless and its
end is always death. Vanity, all is vanity, or so my soul often
begins to cry, but then I draw near to my God.

All is vanity except for our service to the One who is, and who
was, and who is to come. This earth will perish and the names
of the rich and famous will be forgotten, but Christ will remain.
And all those who serve Him will dwell forever in the house of
our Lord, where we will at last see His face. When life feels like
hampster wheel and my soul crys out, “Vanity, all is vanity!” I
need only be still and draw near to my beloved Savior, for in
Christ alone can hope and purpose be found.

-Sean





Stop Worrying

21 05 2009

worry

“Stop being perpetually uneasy (anxious and worried) about your life…who of you by worrying and being anxious can add one unit of measure (cubit) to his stature or to the span of his life?”

-Matthew 6:25, 27

“Many people worry about everything, including what they will or will not ear or wear, or what they will do if a particular situation occurs.

Most of us have enough clothes, adequate food, comfortable houses, and serviceable cars. But when things get tough and you are faced with situations that seem impossible, the devil says, “What are you going to do now?” The temptation comes to worry but that isn’t the answer.

G-d wants you to know that worrying doesn’t add to your life—in fact, it will surely shorten it if you make it a habit.

Your heavenly Father knows about all the things you need before you ask Him. So stop worrying and focus your attention on the one who is able to provide everything you need and more.”

-Joyce Meyer, Ending Your Day Right

 

All I have to say is wow. A wise friend of mine told me a while back that whatever you struggle with is often times your ministry. This may be because you can empathize. Also this may be because you have made some positive steps that could be an encouragement to someone else. Or maybe it’s simply because you won’t be likely to accept credit for any wisdom or success that you impart to someone else. I have to admit that although I can sometimes do a good job hiding it, I truly do struggle with worry. Honestly, I thought about not posting this one because I felt horribly incapable to share wisdom because currently I am fighting with worry. Maybe you are also struggling with worry, but be encouraged that you are not alone, there are many others struggling hard, like you and me. Remember the promises of G-d in these times of worry, such as Romans 8:28—“For we know that in all things, G-d works for the good of those that love Him and are called according to His purpose.”  If we truly believe this verse, then there is nothing to worry about. Everything in our lives is under the control of G-d and will be used for our good. In addition to holding onto the promises, recognize the blessings that are in your life. You may be worrying about a job or a relationship or a bill, but try to think of all the things in your life that G-d has taken care of and let that inspire you to hope for the resolution of your current struggle. If we allow ourselves to be wrapped up in our worry, we will miss out on all the little blessings that He wants to rain down in our lives. I wish I could deliver inspiring words, but all I can say is:  no matter how we feel, His promises will stand. Keep on pressing on, holding onto the truth and know I’m struggling right alongside of you too.

On the mend,

Mere





Trust G-d’s Plans

20 05 2009

darkness into light

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways…For as Trust G-d’s Ways “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways…For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.”

–Isaiah 55:8-9

     “Did you know a lack of understanding of how G-d does things can wear you out? If you don’t understand His ways, you could end up fighting and resisting things, thinking they are an attack from the devil, when in reality they are an attempt by the L-rd to work something good in your life. You know G-d does not do bad things. But sometimes you may fail to realize that everything that feels bad to you is not necessarily bad for you. Reminding yourself that His ways are not your ways will help you trust Him even when your circumstances are hard to understand. As this busy day comes to a close, just put yourself in the hands of the almighty G-d…and rest in the knowledge that He is good and knows what’s best.”

–Joyce Meyer, Ending Your Day Right

     A verse comes to mind, Isaiah 48:17—“This is what the L-RD, your Defender, the Holy One of Israel, says: I am the L-RD your G-d. I teach you what is best for you. I lead you where you should go.” It’s easy for us to define goodness by whatever we feel or know. Personally, I loathe going to the dentist more than most anything in this world. Although this is not a pleasant experience, I have come to realize that there is good that comes out of going. The process makes me anxious and pained, but the end result is worth it. Similar situations happen in our lives all the time. Often times, we find ourselves in circumstances that we cannot find any sort of silver lining in the midst of it, but after we have ventured through the process, then G-d reveals to us the good that can come out of it. Whether you sense the goodness of G-d or not right now, stand upon the promises and believe that He will turn your darkness into light (Psalm 18:28). He loves you more than you will ever know and His heart over you is love and goodness.

For the good,

Mere





Sanctuary

15 05 2009

Isaiah 30:15 – “For the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel, has said: ‘You will be delivered by returning and resting; your strength will lie in quiet confidence.”

Psalms 91:1-2 – “The one who lives under the protection of the Most High dwells in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the LORD, ‘My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.’”

In those brief moments of rest from the hectic thing that we call our lives where do we seek sanctuary? Seeking sanctuary is the idea of trying to find a place of safety amidst a dark and dangerous world. The medieval concept of sanctuary, where the Church was a place that you could seek refuge from your enemies, actually comes from the Mosaic law of the Old Testament. The people of Israel were to appoint cities where those who had unintentionally killed another person could be safe from the vengeance of the deceased person’s family and friends. If they were found outside this city before the presiding high priest died, they were not guaranteed safety from the revenge of the deceased person’s family or friends. This is, however, only in the case of unintentional killings. Murderers were put to death.

You can imagine the relief that a person would feel upon reaching one of these cities of refuge and knowing that they could at last rest without worrying about being killed. In much the same way God is our refuge from the worries and struggles of this life. He is our rock and our fortress.

The Words of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ – Matthew 11:28-30 – “Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. All of you, take up My yoke and learn from Me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for yourselves. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

The question then, is this, “Where do you seek sanctuary?” So often when we are struggling we try to persevere by keeping busy, spending quality time with friends, reading a good book, playing sports, or in general just doing something that will take our minds off of our pain, but that is not what we are meant to do! We do not need to ignore our struggles. We need to overcome them by laying them at the foot of the cross; we need to seek sanctuary in Christ.

Then, and only then, will we truly understand that joy and peace are not to be found in our own wholeness, but rather in our brokenness before God, from whom, through whom, and to whom are all things, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.

-Sean





Seek the Face of God and Be Made New

6 05 2009

I have recently come to the realization that sometimes, as sheep of God, the most dangerous predator can be one another. We are meant to love and encourage one another, but so often our targets are set firmly on our own brothers and sisters in Christ. What good does it do anyone to pick at faults and always dwell on the negative? There is a time for exhortation, but let us exhort in such a way that we are looking towards a future state of beauty rather than always dwelling on the current state of inaptitude. Let us set the sights of our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ to a higher goal.

It is often necessary to see our own weaknesses if we are to grow, but when dealing with others’ weaknesses it is necessary to show them how glorious the hope of our calling is! Yes, we may be failing miserably. Yes, we may be falling horribly short of the life we should be living. But if we at once apply ourselves wholly to seeking the face of God we will soon find that the Holy Spirit has transformed us to such a degree that those who knew us before will wonder at the transformation. “Who is this?” they will ask. “They’re not themselves anymore…”
2 Corinthians 5:17 – “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation. Old things have passed away, and look, new things have come!”

-Sean