Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Once they reached the sidewalk, the mom began to do lunges. The little guy intently watched and after a few steps, decided to copy his mom. But instead of bending his knee to dip low to the sidewalk, he did a slow bow, his head almost touching the ground. He took a few steps forward & bowed again, he looked up, his big, dark eyes searching his mother's face for her approval of his "lunges." He wanted her to be proud that he was able to do what she did.
When you accept Christ into your life, He wants you to mimic Him. Learning to do, say, and act, as He did. He knows that you may not get it right the first, second or even 10th time. But the fact that you are seeking to 'walk as He walks' is all He needs. He will then fill you with His Wisdom, Encouragement, Love, Forgiveness and Guidance. Slowly but steadily leading you, step by step, to eventually walk in His footsteps...not perfect, but humbly bowing down to Him and His Will for you each and every day. No longer selfishly seeking things for yourself, but looking for opportunities to show Christ's Unconditional Love to everyone you come in contact with. Spend time soaking in God's words, Praying and mimicking Jesus. He is your faithful and perfect example. He is your Savior.
"But if anyone obeys his word, God's love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did." 1 John 2:5-6
"Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask, because we obey his commands and do what pleases him. And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. Those who obey his commands live in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us." 1 John 3:21-24
"Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence, O Lord. They rejoice in your name all day long; they exult in your righteousness. For you are their glory and strength, and by your favor you exalt our horn. Indeed, our shield belongs to the Lord, our king to the Holy One of Israel." Psalm 89:15-18
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
But when God has a plan for someone's life, He only requires you to be willing and available for HIS PURPOSE. In 1837, she heard a call from God. This calling became so overwhelming that she went against all traditions, much to the opposition of her parents. Florence began to travel, studying the field of Nursing and Mathematics. She eventually worked in a London clinic. When the Crimean War broke out, she boldly took a group of women she trained and headed for the British Military Hospitals. This was very controversial, yet she pushed forward doing God's will. She worked tirelessly, caring for these men. She made rounds late into the night, checking on each patient. She carried a light in the evening, making her rounds and was affectionately called, "The Lady with the Lamp,” a bright light in the dark, dingy, hospital. She brought God's Love, Help and Word to these men.
She tirelessly petitioned on behalf of the deplorable conditions & led a reform campaign which was instrumental in changing the hygiene, sanitation and treatment of patients in hospitals. Florence Nightingale's memory still shines today. She established the groundbreaking, Nightingale Training School for nurses. She was awarded the Royal Red Cross by Queen Victoria in 1883 and was the first woman to receive the Order of Merit in 1907. Florence Nightingale heard God's call and answered with a resounding, "Yes Lord!" She followed Jesus Christ's example. She lived her life in the service of others.
God has a plan for each of us. He had a plan for His Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus was faithful to fulfill His Father's will and provided a way for us to also follow in His footsteps. As we celebrate the birth of our Savior, let's not forget His example. Seek to show love, seek to serve others, seek to pick up your cross daily and do His Will, His good and perfect will for your life.
Happy Birthday Jesus! Merry Christmas!
"The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel-which means, "God with us."
"I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved."
"I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me-just as the Father knows me and I know the Father-I lay down my life for the sheep."
"You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men."
Read the Birth of Jesus Christ- Luke 2:1-40
Monday, December 12, 2011
I had a million things to do and was only halfway through my list when I decided to run in and get a quick bite to eat at McDonald's. Earlier that morning, while doing my Bible study, I made a post on my Twitter account, "Be prayerful and watchful-God will show you whose life He wants you to invest in. He has a purpose for you today. Go out & be a blessing." I wanted to remind everyone to let God guide their day.
What I didn't expect was that God was reminding me before I began my day that He had a specific person in mind for me today...that person was Lenny.
He was an older man in his 80's, ordering, "Extra crispy fries please. I haven't been here in 20 years and that's how they used to make them," he happily told the girl at the counter. After a few more requests, "A couple of creams and some Splenda for my coffee and please make sure the fries are extra crispy." As the girl walked away he mumbled to himself, "What a nice girl."
Normally when I'm in a hurry I start to get a little impatient. However, something about this man's cheerful demeaner kept me patiently waiting my turn. The girl came to the other side of her register as Lenny stood at the counter waiting for his order. I ordered my usual cheeseburger, fries & apple pie, while Lenny turned to smile at me & tell me how good the fries were here 20 years ago, "extra crispy are the best!" I chatted with him while the young girl finished filling our orders. Lenny grabbed his tray and then turned to sit down, but stopped and said, "Young lady, would you like some company."
I was caught off guard. Did I want company? I had a million things to do, and planned on eating quickly, quietly sitting with my thoughts, before rushing off to my next stop. So, truthfully, did I want company? No. But did he want company? Yes. Was God interrupting my day for His Purpose? Yes. So I replied, "Sure." A smile lit up his face as he asked, "Where would you like to sit?" "Anywhere you'd like is fine," I replied. Another new one for me...I'm particular about where I sit.
I sat with Lenny for about two hours. He told me stories about the war, jobs he's had, how much he enjoyed being retired and playing golf. He reflected on his younger day's, "When I was in between jobs, I'd ask my dad for money & he'd always say, "No, get a job if you want money." But my mom always interjected saying, "Joey (that's my dad's name, he grinned) give him some money. And my dad always would. So I learned to always ask my mom." He let me know that he has melanoma cancer in several areas & told me to make sure my family always wears sunscreen and hats. I was able to talk to him about forgiving people who've hurt you & the freedom it brings, as he was still angry at his ex-wife.
I silently prayed for him as he talked to me. I asked the Lord to bless him, heal him and lead him to Christ. As the conversation turned to travel, I shared a little about the beauty of our recent trip to Hawaii. He'd never been & didn't particularly have a desire to go. I showed him the picture I took on my phone, the image of Christ in the waterfall. He didn't say too much about it, just looked and said it was beautiful. He wanted to see another picture of where the falls began. Later as we began to say our goodbyes & exchanged our full names, he told me his name was Leonard Colombus. I told him my name & that it was an Italian last name. He said, "Me too," then smiled and said, not really, I'm Jewish."
I wondered if that was why I was prompted to share the image of Christ with him. I will probably never know. But what I do know is that God put Lenny in my path today. God asked me to forego my plans and do His will. His Good and Perfect Will. Is there a "Lenny" God wants you to talk with today? Is there someone you can share Christ's Unconditional Love with?
"Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails. Proverbs 19:21
"Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the Lord." Lamentations 3:40
"But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God." John 3:21
"But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him." Jeremiah 17:7
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
"Get up and go over there!"
"GO, she needs you."
I slowly walked out, looking for the person. Unable to see her, I went back inside, but the words seemed to shout in my head over and over. I grabbed a few things to put in my car, a rouse to go out and look around again. I spotted her, talking to another woman, who obviously had the same promptings from the Holy Spirit. I set my things in the car and turned to head back inside.
There it was again, "GO, she needs you."
Now, I need to tell you, I'm not a bold person. I don't feel comfortable walking up to people. I'm fine if they approach me, but it's difficult for me to push myself to make the initial move. It's a fear of rejection or deep seeded insecurity (which I'm working on!) I just feel awkward and uncomfortable.
Unable to shake the voice in my head, I slowly walked over, apologizing for interupting. As I joined in with the two women, I realized that Heavenly Father had a purpose for me. This woman, a sister in Christ, was going through something very difficult, which I had also gone through. We were soon joined by another woman. The three of us, who all had experienced the loss of our siblings, were able to talk, comfort, cry, hug, encourage and pray for this hurting sister.
I'm reminded of some very important points:
1) God uses others to comfort you in your time of need. He never leaves you alone or abondoned, even when He takes something from you.
2) God heals your heart, mind and spirit with His Love. He then uses you and all you've been through and overcome to bless, encourage and give hope to those in the midst of despair.
3) God is mindful of you, your worries, fear, hopes and dreams. His Love is so great that He sacrificed His only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ...FOR YOU! He is a Faithful, Loving, Caring God.
Our God is an Awesome God, He Reigns from Heaven Above!
As you feel the promptings of the Holy Spirit, guiding you, don't ignore it. God has a plan for you. Everything you've been through in your life will be used by Him. His purpose for you is greater than doubt, fear and insecurity. Step up and step out in Faith...someone needs you.
"Because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God."Romans 8:14
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows."
2 Corinthians 1:3-5
"Such confidence as this is ours through Christ before God."
2 Corinthians 3:4
"Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain."
1 Corinthians 15:58
"So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."
2 Corinthians 17-18