It has been years of watching some of the funniest people, that I have come to the conclusion, that most of them are dealing with depression and past wounds an hurts.
Looking outside of ourselves into the window of others lives can help us to be more aware of how we can help others. We all are called to be Jesus with skin on, but what does that look like? We are not just going to put on the old WWJD Bracelet and suddenly become little Jesuses. In wanting to help others, perhaps we should look to see what we can do for others, rather than looking to what they can do for us.
Think of people that are your friends and family members, and ask yourself today what makes them smile? What do they need? How can I be a blessing to them? We take time to do this during Pastor Appreciation Month, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Birthdays, Grandparents Day, but what about today? What if today was the only day you had? How do you want to spend it? On whom do you want to spend it?
Action Step: Jesus came to serve not to be served. Sure a lot of people's job may be to make us laugh, but some jobs are pretty "Thankless" jobs. Today thank someone who isn't expecting anything, and watch it bring healing to their soul!
We all have aspirations and goals for our lives. We all have our "Bucket List". We have certain things we just want to get done so we can enjoy those things. However, many times these things never occur. We die early. Our spouse dies. We lose our job. What do we do then? Well, prayerfully if we are the one that goes we go to heaven and that would be a move up. Come on smile. You know it's true. We all want to go to heaven but no one wants to die.
I am here today to tell you keep dreaming! Keep your dreams alive because sometimes those dreams can keep you alive. If we never thought things could get better? If we never imagined what our old age would look like? Then who knows if we would ever get better or get old? There is a scripture in the Word of God that says, "Hope deferred makes the heart sick." There are other scriptures about writing things down so those that read it can run with it. I encourage you to dream BIG! Write things down and make plans. Ask God for some audaciousness to go after the things on your "Bucket List".
I believe in a "Bucket List" but even more I believe in a "Bible List". What does God want you to accomplish with your life? What were you created to be? To bring to this earth and its people?
Action Step: Spend some time in His presence seeking Him and asking Him what it is that He would like for you to do. Be audacious! Ask Him to allow you to finish the "Bible List" for your life. He is a BIG GOD and He has big things in store for your life. Never give up until you are "Called up”, then go up with a shout!
You are NEVER TOO LATE to do what you've never done before. I think I will be able to do this when I am this age, and I don't care how many people doubt me. I think we are only as old as we feel and act. It brings a whole new dimension to the term "old age". To me this is beautiful, gutsy, and a true victory. As she tells her story, she gave up dancing to raise her family and be wife and after becoming a widow tried doing something to feel better. I don't know whether she feels better, but I smiled all the while watching her. Today is a gift. Tomorrow we may not be here. So live life to it's fullest. Enjoy those that are on this journey with you and take time to make others smile.
Ecclesiastes 12:3-13 (MSG) In old age, your body no longer serves you so well. Muscles slacken, grip weakens, joints stiffen. The shades are pulled down on the world. You can't come and go at will. Things grind to a halt. The hum of the household fades away. You are wakened now by bird-song.
Hikes to the mountains are a thing of the past. Even a stroll down the road has its terrors. Your hair turns apple-blossom white, Adorning a fragile and impotent matchstick body. Yes, you're well on your way to eternal rest, While your friends make plans for your funeral. Life, lovely while it lasts, is soon over. Life as we know it, precious and beautiful, ends. The body is put back in the same ground it came from. The spirit returns to God, who first breathed it. It's all smoke, nothing but smoke. The Quester says that everything's smoke. Besides being wise himself, the Quester also taught others knowledge. He weighed, examined, and arranged many proverbs. The Quester did his best to find the right words and write the plain truth. The words of the wise prod us to live well. They're like nails hammered home, holding life together. They are given by God, the one Shepherd. But regarding anything beyond this, dear friend, go easy. There's no end to the publishing of books, and constant study wears you out so you're no good for anything else. The last and final word is this: Fear God. Do what he tells you.
I have noticed that when God is speaking to me, He uses as many avenues as possible to get His message to me. He may speak through my prayer time, the radio, a book I am reading, a speaker I am listening to, He uses varied and multiple means. He does not want me to miss what He is saying. Yet, sometimes I still do. All through the month of November we are doing a series on, "No Fear November". Yet at our monthly Women of Witness Meetings, we are reading a book that talks about fears, and how we get triggered by our past, and then how fear can paralyze us. I recently heard a song about fear. I don't know about you? But I believe God is wanting us to know, He does not want us to live in fear.
There are a lot of feelings we may have that hide themselves behind fear. We may be mad but we come across to others as being mad. We may be hurt but instead of saying we are hurt we act ticked off and write the person off.
What are you hiding behind the fears you have? Fear of being rejected? Hurt? Abandoned? God will never leave you alone. He sent His Holy Spirit to be with you. Don't shut Him out, when He died so He could get in.
Today I want to share an article with you I found very helpful by Chuck Lawless. I pray you are helped by it.
6 Reasons God Lets You Face Spiritual Warfare
Spiritual warfare is a reality that ministry leaders can't ignore.
Genesis 3:15 tells us that, as one component of His judgment on the serpent in the Garden of Eden, God put enmity between the seed of the serpent and the seed of the woman. That is to say, we have spiritual conflict in our lives because God put it into the story. In what ways, then, does a sovereign God use spiritual warfare?
1.It led to the cross. This enmity hit its peak on Calvary, where the demons surely thought they had won. Not so, though—for God had from eternity planned to disarm the powers through the death of His Son (Col. 2:15).
2.To keep us humble. Paul learned this truth when God allowed the enemy to attack him through an intense "thorn in the flesh." Whatever the thorn was, it weakened Paul—and God refused to remove it (2 Cor. 12:7-10). In his ongoing spiritual struggle, Paul learned to avoid conceit.
3.To remind us that He is our warrior. That theme echoes throughout Scripture (e.g., Ex. 15:3, 1 Sam. 17:47, 2 Chron. 20:15). The battle is His, not ours; even the armor we wear is His (Eph. 6:11). He uses the conflict to show us that we can't win without Him—and that He is willing to win the battle for us.
4.To push us to pray. Prayer is both a cry for relationship and a confession of dependence. Spiritual conflict forces us to see our need, and God's gracious care and protection in the battle lead us to love Him more. Prayer is the right response in the battle.
5.To teach us about grace. The enemy sought to destroy Adam and Eve, and he has worked to destroy God's people since then. The only reason we live in victory, though, is not because of us; it's because His love for sinful people is greater than the power of the enemy. That's grace.
6.To magnify His name among the nations. When God grants a victory, we can achieve only through Him, He alone gets the glory. He leads His people to seas they can't cross (Ex. 14), calls them to tackle giants they can't conquer (1 Sam. 17), and sends them into battles with armies reduced from 32,000 to 300 (Judg. 7)—all so that He is glorified among the nations.
The bottom line is this: For most of us, one of our biggest problems in our Christian walk is not that we are too weak; rather, it is that we are too strong. Thus, the God who defeated Satan through death on a cross puts us in spiritual conflict to reduce us—and we will ultimately say with Paul, "For when I am weak, then I am strong" (2 Cor. 12:10b). His grace in the battle truly is sufficient.
Chuck Lawless is dean and vice president of graduate studies and ministry centers at Southeastern Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina, where he also serves as professor of evangelism and missions. In addition, he is global theological education consultant for the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention.
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 (KJV) " But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
There are times there are no answers to our questions. In those times we must trust God knows best and He loves us with a never dying love. Thank God that you have loved and lost for some have never had the opportunity to love.
1 Thessalonians 4:18 (NIV) "Therefore encourage one another with these words."
Watching our church last night pull together for the going home celebration of one of their own was beautiful. Everyone pulled their weight. Everyone wanted to help in some way. One moved tables, another moved chairs, someone else was counting paper products, and still others were covering and decorating tables. Many hands were making for light work but it was their hearts that made it work so smoothly. They all loved the same person and wanted to celebrate that persons life. They had a common goal and purpose on mind.
It is an honor to do life with people. It is a gift to love and be loved. You may not be related to the people closest to you by blood or DNA but if you have God in common then it trumps everything else.
Proverbs 27:10 (NIV) "Do not forsake your friend or a friend of your family, and do not go to your relative's house when disaster strikes you-- better a neighbor nearby than a relative far away."
When you go through some things together it brings a special closeness that can't be brought any other way. Sharing tragedy, loss or a battle together binds the hearts and seals the souls. Oh, you may fight but no one else better say anything. Right?
Having the right people around you makes a huge difference. The right people are people that are right with God. People that know how to forgive and say, "I'm sorry" and forgo being right to keep the relationship right. All this takes time and time is a gift from God. So today take time to tell someone they are a gift and that you love doing life with them, because one day we will all have to say, "Good-bye".
Psalm 1:1-3 "How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, Nor stand in the path of sinners, Nor sit in the seat of scoffers! But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night. He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, Which yields its fruit in its season And its leaf does not wither; And in whatever he does, he prospers."
Today may I encourage you even if you are working to take your lunch or a break in your day and meditate on what the Word of God has to say about what you are going through right now. Find a scripture that speaks to you about where you are in life at this moment and time. Take time to allow God to speak to you concerning the issue or circumstance that you are dealing with. He is faithful.
Everyday is a choice to give God glory and watch and see what He will do in your life. Praise Him for He is faithful and always has our best in mind.
When someone is full of life, and never afraid of doing something they have never done before, I find it admirable. That is the kind of person Carolyn Feathers was. She went home to be with the Lord yesterday. She will be missed by so many. Today I dedicate this Blog to a "Re-Mark-Able" woman. She was a member of Woman of Witness and lived up to that name. She served as Department Head for our Bookstore for many years and served in various other positions. She was loved by all who knew her. We will always remember her as the first to jump up, and help in any way she could.
There are few people in life that impact all those around them with the kind of love that Carolyn did. Carolyn leaves a legacy of a loving wife, mother, grandmother, friend and so much more. We will see you again Carolyn, and until then you will live on in our memories, and in our hearts.
1 Thessalonians 4:13-14 (ESV) But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep.
"I realized what I wasn't." ~Dr. John Kelly
"Surround yourself with what your not."-Dr. John Kelly
Thanks for being one of my many readers. I am grateful for the opportunity to share my thoughts, what I am learning, and even what makes me laugh with you. I appreciate your reply's and read them all.
I have learned to take notes when others greater than myself speak. Access is a privilege and I never want to take my time in the presence of greatness for granted. I am thankful for every moment the Lord gives me, and for every place at the table He allows me the privilege of sitting. I want my life to be a good investment to everyone that has ever made a deposit in me.
How about you? What do you have to say about the last deposit made in you? What did you do with the last thing you learned. With whom did you share the lesson you learned today? Who did you make a deposit in today?
I am living my Legacy now. I want to raise a generation of leaders for today, that will raise the generation of leaders for tomorrow, and the next day, and the next until Jesus comes.
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Rena Perozich is a wife, mother, mentor, author, and encourager. Her life's purpose is to become all God has called her to be and to encourage others to do the same. Learn more.