Thursday, June 17, 2010

Through Us

Found this written down among my things. Thought I'd share it here, though I don't recall where I got it from...

You have leaves to rake. A steering wheel to grip. A neighbor’s hand to shake. Simply put you have things to do.
So does God. Babies need hugs. Children need good-night tucks. AIDS orphans need homes. Stressed-out executives need hope. God has work to do. And he uses our hands to do it.
What the hand is to the glove, the Spirit is to the Christian….God gets into us. At times, imperceptibly. Other times, disruptively. God gets his fingers into our lives, inch by inch reclaiming the territory that is rightfully his.
Your tongue. He claims it for his message.
Your feet. He requisitions them for his purpose.
Your mind? He made it and intends to use it for his glory.
Your eyes, face, and hands? Through them he will weep, smile, and touch.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Make A Difference Monday

Nobody can do everything, but everyone can do something. ~Author Unknown

In the mornings as I drive to work, I listen to K-Love on the radio. They started something a couple of weeks ago called Make A Difference Monday. Everyone is to go out and intentionally do something to make a difference in another person's life that day.

You don't have to do something big in order to make a difference. I started thinking of the things that people have done that have made a difference in my life...or my day.

Too often we get so involved in our work, responsibilities, etc...we see the negative things so easily and often overlook all of those little things that others do that make a difference in our every day lives. So, I encourage you to share here...tell how someone has made a difference in your life today.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Why invite someone to Church?

We talk a lot about inviting others to various activities at church in order to introduce them to, thought I'd tell you a little story about inviting a person to a church activity...

There was this little 8 year old boy that went to church at Eastside Church of Christ (I think that's the correct name). He was excited because Vacation Bible School was starting. He invited the 8 year old little girl that lived down the street from him, in a trailor with her mother and her live-in boyfriend at the time.

So, the girl went to Vacation Bible School for the first time. She enjoyed the activities and liked the people. She wanted to go back to the church, but there was no way her mother was going to drive her the 2ish miles to go to church on Wed nights or get up on Sunday mornings.

But, this church had a very unique program. They had a church bus and they drove all over town every Sunday Morning and Sunday Evening and Wednesday Evening to pick up children who wanted to go to church, but their parents wouldn't take them. So, this 8 yo girl got on that bus on Wednesday nights to go to church and be with her new friends.

Now, I know, typically children whose parents are not involved in church don't typically stay involved in church. But, this 8yo girl continued to go to church. Every Wednesday night. Eventually she started going on Sunday mornings and Sunday nights. She got herself up and dressed and ready for the bus. Yes, there were periods of time that she didn't bother with it. There were some long periods of time, in fact. But, that bus ALWAYS went by to pick her up. No matter where the girl moved to, they were there to take her.

There came a time that this girl was moving out of state. She was now 13 years old. For 5 years this church had been a constant and made sure that this girl new there were people out there that are caring and loving...and that there was God, who was always there.

So, there came moving day. The Eastside Church of Christ had called Churches of Christ in the state and city that the girl was moving to. It was a small town, so only one church there. They made arrangements with members of the church to pick up the girl, take her to church, and get her involved.

Plenty happened over the next few years, but church was always a constant. The Eastside Church in Baytown Texas continued to call and check in with the girl, making sure she was still active in church and growing spiritually.

Time came to go off to college. She chose Harding University. She didn't bother to apply to any other college. Well, she really didn't know she should apply to more than one college. Once again, the church stepped in and called the College Church of Christ as they wanted to make sure this young woman continued on her spiritual journey. But, when she decided she couldn't continue at Harding due to finances, once again Eastside Church stepped in, paying for whatever student loans did not pay for.

That woman went on to finish school, attaining her master's degree in social work in order to go on an help others. She has brought numerous foster children into her home, several of whom have remained in a church (not always Church of Christ, but a church of some faith).

The Eastside Church of Christ came to a time that they questioned the need for the bus to go and pick up children and take them to church. In response to an elder stating "what good is it, it hasn't brought anyone to God", another elder replied, "don't forget XXXX" Over all those years, do they really think only that one child was affected?

It is amazing how one invitation by an 8 year old little boy to attend Vacation Bible School can have such a dramatic affect on the lives of not only one 8 year old little girl, but also all those she has tried to show God's love to...

Without that invitation...without that Church's Bus...without that Church continuing to care and demonstrating that with their actions...that little girl would have ended up like others in that family, jail, drugs, children outside of marriage, etc. What a blessing an invitation to church ended up being.

Everything about this story is true. It really happened to a member of Central Church of Christ. I am that little 8 year old girl.

Remember that the next time you hesitate to invite someone to church b/c it will "take too much time", "there's no room to give them a ride", etc.

Remember, my journey started with an invitation by an 8yo boy to attend VBS!

Monday, January 18, 2010

No room in the inn. Luke 2:7

She gave birth to her first-born son; she wrapped him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. Luke 2: 7

In the Sunday morning class our preschools were recently learning about the birth of Jesus and there being no room at the inn. I was thinking about times in my life when I didn't welcome God with open arms and He was secondary in my life. I was too involved in my career. I was too involved with my family. It was very easy to find excuses and justify putting Him 2nd to all other things. I had to make a living. I had to spend time with my family. I was providing for God's children, taking in foster children, and that took even more of my time. My life was full of other things/people, much like the Inn. There was no room.

Then things changed dramatically. All I know to say is how much our lives change when you make room for Jesus in your everyday life.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Christmas, what is it about?

Our holiday tradition has always been to put up the Christmas Decorations on Thanksgiving Day. Then writing out Christmas cards and bake an insane amount of cookies for all of the office parties, church class parties, school parties, etc. Shop for and wrap gifts and oh yeah, celebrate the holidays. What I do is nothing compared to some. The last couple of years, I've had to change up our "traditions"...and we have focused more on the real reason for Christmas. Still, in the midst of all of this holiday preparation I can’t help but wonder, do we really mean the “Merry Christmas” and all that goes with it, or has it just become an automatic thing to say to the other person?

I believe that if we wanted to, we could give up our materialism and enjoy what this holiday is supposed to be about. Or, do we still know what the holiday is supposed to be about. Schools have "Winter Festivals". We no longer have Christmas Parades. There was talk from our President about not putting up the traditional Nativity scene. Even churches are closing their doors the week of Christmas.

Christmas has lost it's meaning over the years. What are we doing to bring it back?

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Wallpaper face

Just walked away from a group of people a short while ago after making some light conversation and was reminded that, with some people, I have a wallpaper face. I am one of those non-descript looking people who blend into the background like wallpaper or furniture, depending on the crowd of people I am with.
Some people are more "wallpaperish" than others and it depends on the situation we're in, how preoccupied we are with other things, and how sensitive and attention-needy we are at the moment. There are some people that treat us more like wallpaper than others and sometimes it bugs us and we've got to learn to deal with it somehow (like with some of the people I just left).
If we find that some people regularly treat us like wallpaper and it has the cumulative effect of causing us to think and act negatively toward them (That person is SO stuck up! Did you see how she...?! I can't stand being around them when they...), it's important for us to remember a couple/three of things:
1) I don't know what those people are thinking and I can't just assume they're being jerks, snobs, aloof, or whatever. Maybe they're really shy. Maybe you remind them of someone they had a bad experience with. Maybe everytime you're around them it just happens to be a 'bad time' for them to be aware of others/you. Maybe...a whole list of things I should consider before I take offense.
2) Maybe they actually are jerks, snobs, aloof, (or stuck-up as I assumed in the previously mentioned situation) or whatever. But it doesn't mean I need to let it get to me. Maybe I need to pray for that person more than I have been. Maybe they just interact differently than I like for people to interact with me because of how they were raised, right or wrong. Maybe I need to give them the benefit of the doubt and treat them in a Christ-like way anyway.
3) I need to make sure that as much as I can be aware of, I don't treat anyone as a 'wallpaper face' kind of person. I know I do and I have. I struggle with it. Usually it's someone who always drains me or asks something of me every time I see them. Sometimes is's someone who I know I have nothing in common with me and I quickly do the math of 'it is worth my time to talk to them?' and when the equation is guessed it, they're wallpaper.

In our church family, one of the biggest things for us to growth through is our understanding of one another. Peter and Paul talk ALOT about relationships. The implication is more than there in their writings that people are naturally self-centered jerks as often as not and that we as Christ followers absolutely must learn to see each other (and all people!) differently than we used to. I cannot continue to grow in Christ if I continue to treat anyone like wallpaper.
May the Lord bless each of us to realize that He came and became a wallpaper face for us. He blended in and had nothing about his appearance that anyone would find remarkable. What was different about him was who he was behind that wallpaper face and how he treated and dealt with all people, especially those that the powerful of 'the world' considered to be beneath them. May each of us reflect his face to a world who desperately needs him.