I received this letter via email several years ago. It is a letter that I keep in my bible. And, it is a letter to be shared with others. Have a wonderful day!
I am God. Today I will be handling all of your problems. Please remember that I do not need your help. If the devil happens to deliver a situation to you that you cannot handle, DO NOT attempt to resolve it. Kindly put it in the SFDJTD (Something For Jesus To Do) Box. It will be addressed in MY time, not yours. Once the matter is placed into the box, do not hold on to it or attempt to remove it. Holding on or removal will delay the resolution of your problem. If it is a situation that you think you are capable of handling, please consult me in prayer to be sure that it is the proper resolution. Because I do not sleep nor do I slumber, there is no need for you to lose any sleep. Rest my child. If you need me, contact me, I am a prayer away.
Mick Jagger from the Rolling Stones sings a song about waiting for a friend. Brad Paisley recorded a song; Waiting on a Woman where Andy Griffith is sitting on a bench with Brad giving him advice about waiting on a woman. Everyday it seems that most of us are waiting in some sort of line, in traffic, waiting for an appointment, anticipated phone call or waiting for a prayer answered.
Today, we live in what I call a microwave world. We don’t want to wait for anything! Instead, we want our answers right now, we want to hurry up and get to where we are going and NOT sit in traffic. We arrive at our scheduled time for an appointment where we may not actually be seen for an hour passed the appointed time and we grow inpatient and grumble that our precious time is being taken away.
It’s in the waiting where while I stood in line waiting my turn that I have met the neatest people and had the most interesting and sometimes entertaining conversations. There have been times when sitting in traffic where I look over at a sign that says something I needed to hear or it’s something that makes me chuckle that gets me through the rest of the day. It’s in the waiting on an appointment, I have listened to someone share their concerns about a loved one or of something they were going through. It’s in the waiting for that phone call that I was able to think things through and pray a little more before responding to the call that would be coming in.
Waiting is a season in life. All of us go through this season at some point and time. There are those of us who go through this season of waiting many times throughout our lifetime. In this season of waiting, we sometimes feel as though God is not there but in all reality he is there.
From my experience, I sincerely believe God makes us wait so we can experience him all the more. Remember the saying; great things come to those who wait”? This quote is true but it is in the waiting where God is showing great things all around us.
But those who wait on the LORD
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.
If you have watched the movie, Sister Act 2 you are familiar with this scene and song. Though the nuns are called by God to love and ministers to others, they have seemed to have built a wall between them and the community. They have put fencing around their living quarters and school for protection. Then, Whoopi Goldberg’s character, Deloris aka Sister Mary Clarence brings them to reality. In order to make a difference beyond their walls, they needed to get back into the community, be seen and put their calling and God’s love into action.
How many of us who proclaim to be Christian stand inside our homes, churches, or offices and see a world hurting? Yet, we do nothing. Instead, we build fences, walls and withdraw in order to protect ourselves from the ugly that is outside our door. We pass judgement on people, their lifestyle and situations. In other words, we keep the word, Christian as a noun and not an action verb.
God sent his Son, Jesus to be an example of putting love into action, of accepting others no matter their lifestyle, situation or demons. He didn’t pass judgement on anyone. Jesus simply loved. He came to take barriers down.
These days it seems that people are feeling more that we are in the end times and some have even predicted when Jesus will physically return. But we are reminded in scripture that we do not know the day nor the hour of His return. Yet, we must remember we DO encounter Jesus every day. He reminds us of this in Matthew 25:37:40
Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord when did we see you hungry and you, or thirsty and give you
something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes to clothe you?
When did we see you sick or in prison and go visit you? ‘ The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you , whatever you did for one of the least
of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
In other words, Jesus was telling us to put our love for Him into action. In a hurting world, isn’t it about time we began to take down fences just as the nuns did in this movie? Isn’t it about time we put the word Christian in action making it a verb? Is your love for Christ a noun or verb?
The other day I was going through some old files and I came across this prayer I received on email many years ago. I do not know the author but it says it all when it comes to putting our Christian faith into action.
Help us to remember that the jerk who cut us off in traffic
last night is a single mother who worked nine hours that day
and is rushing home to cook dinner, help with homework,
do the laundry and spend a few precious moments with her children.
Help us to remember that the pierced, tattooed disinterested young man
who can’t make change correctly is a worried 19-year-old student,
balancing his apprehension over final exams with his fear of not getting
his student loan for next semester.
Remind us, Lord, that the scary looking bum, begging for money in the same spot
every day (who really ought to get a job) is a slave to addictions that we can only
imagine in our worst nightmares.
Help us to remember that the old couple walking annoying slowly through
the store aisles and blocking our shopping progress are savoring
this moment, knowing that, based on the biopsy report she got back last week,
this will be the last year that they go shopping together.
Remind us each day that all the gifts you give us, the greatest is love. It
is not enough to share that love with those we hold dear. Open our hearts not to
just those who are close to us, but to ALL humanity. Let us be slow to judge and quick to
forgive, show patience, empathy and love.
Working for God on earth doesn’t pay much…but His retirement plan is out of this world!!
How about it? As Christians, may those we encounter each day see that Christian is a word in action!
- the resurrection in verbs (theblogofkevin.wordpress.com)
- Sunday’s Message: “Christian This, Christian That …” (newportchristian.wordpress.com)
- Love is more of a Verb than a Noun (samuelatgilgal.wordpress.com)
We are all on different journeys taking different roads in life, but in the end the road will take us all to the same place….heaven. In the words of Michael W. Smith….”Pray for me and I’ll pray for you.” Enjoy your day and may you feel God’s presence on journey.
I like frogs. It doesn’t make sense of why I like them because I would not dare pick one up because they are slimy. And, as a kid I was told I would get warts if I held one. Yet, there is something about them that intrigues me.
FROGS. Fully Rely On God’s Sovereignty. Each one of us has reached a crossroads in our life, a life changing decision, a one hundred and eighty turn in mid-stride of our journey, or a time when we felt that we were at the end of our rope. In these particular moments in life, we have a lot of “why” questions, and there may be a chance we had to make changes that we weren’t really ready to make. It is in these moments when we truly must simply Rely On God’s Sovereignty.
When I think about relying on God’s sovereignty, I think about Moses when God called him to lead the Israelites out of Egypt and out of slavery. Think about it. Here is a guy minding his own business and then one day God appears to him via a burning bush and tells Moses; “here is what I want you to do.” Can you imagine the butterflies in Moses’ stomach at that moment and possibly his blood pressure and pulse rate all going up at the same time? Yet, he relied on God and obeyed God and God’s authority.
Because Moses relied on God and obeyed, God’s people were led out of slavery and to a new land of freedom. In the process, however, the Israelites did not take a straight path to the Promise Land. There were moments when they doubted God and doubted Moses’ direction that was given by God. In the end, they make it to their destination.
Have you been tapped on the shoulder by God to change direction in your journey? Have you had something to happen that has put you at the end of your rope? Are you at that crossroads where you have to pick which direction you will take next? Is God calling you to do something that makes your heart race, your blood pressure go up and takes you totally out of your comfort zone? If your answer is yes to any of these questions , know that you are a child of a most Sovereign God who loves you very much. Listen to His direction and allow Him to guide you on your journey at this moment. Yes, you may get off course a time or two just as the Israelites did but know you can Fully Rely On God’s Sovereignty. God WILL get you to your destination.
Frogs. Another reason I like them is for the music they make on hot summer evenings. As I hear them sing along with the rest of God’s creatures, I am reminded of how they are relying on God for ALL of their needs. It is their song that reminds me that no matter what life brings or what new turns that come along, the God that I worship is a Sovereign God on whom I can fully rely on!
Teach me, LORD the way of your decrees,
that I may follow it to the end.
Give me understanding, so that I may keep your law
and obey it with my heart.
Direct me in the path of your commands,
for there I find delight.
Turn my heart toward your statutes
and not toward selfish gain.
Turn my eyes away from worthless things;
preserve my life according to your word.
As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come follow me”, Jesus said; “and I will send you out to fish for people.” At once they left their nets and followed Him.
A couple of weeks ago Jim and I went to his home church to worship with his family. As the service began, the minister did his greeting and in his greeting he shared this thought: “When we invite someone to church, we are asking them to be part of God’s family and to join us on the journey to heaven.” I loved this statement and it made my heart smile.
Have you ever taken a trip with a group of friends? If you have, you probably experienced lots of laughter, fellowship, maybe a sing-a-long or two, and even some tears along the way. Yet, no matter the conditions, the ups and the downs, in the end, you would not trade that memory for anything in the world. You were glad you made the trip and may have even gotten to know someone a little better as you traveled together. Not only did you get to know someone a little better but if your heart was opened, you probably learned a little more about yourself. You learned things of where you may need to ease up on or things you need to focus on more.
The spiritual journey is very much the same as taking a trip with a group of friends. In this journey, you fellowship with others, you laugh together, cry together, and even may get upset with one another from time to time. Yet, along the way you learn more about the person you are walking with and little more about yourself. Thus, the end result is you are day by day walking closer with the Lord.
People are in different places in their spiritual journey and some have not even begun to plan for that journey. It is the responsibility as Christians that they not only keep walking daily with Christ in their journey but to be in tuned to those God places in their path’s and to meet them where they are at on their journey. If they are not even at the starting phase of their journey, people need to reach out a hand of grace and unconditional love and let the person know that no matter what they are welcomed on the journey. Then, just start walking with them from where they are at and before you know it they are walking along growing in their faith. As they grow, you grow, too.
There are also times when you are on your journey you may see someone who is a little further along than you. Please know that is okay and that person will stop and come back and meet you where you are at and will walk with along with you. In this stopping and going back to meet you where you are at, they are demonstrating all the more God’s grace and love. The end result is still the same. Faith gets a little stronger and everyone is still heading for the same destination.
In the days ahead of walking on your journey, invite others to walk with you and journey with you through this world. Just remember, that our journey is much like a race, we don’t all get to the finish line at the same time but we can help one another along the way. Invite someone on the journey. As the saying goes; “the more the merrier!”
- All Inclusive! (aprilhawk.wordpress.com)
- LOVE- the Journey Begins (wordofgodspeaktome.wordpress.com)
- The journey inward (sacredcomfort.wordpress.com)
- Preaching to the Choir? (wsforchrist.com)
- Morning Prayer ~ January 24, 2013 (ronpogue.typepad.com)
We are all familiar with the all-inclusive resort commercials. They are promoted to us as a place we can retreat from the world, everything we could ever want, need or eat is right at our finger tips. If you ever been to one of these resorts or on a cruise, the commercial is pretty accurate. You are greeted with warmth and a staff ready and eager to please. They are trained to do whatever they can to make your stay comfortable, fun and relaxing.
There is another place that is or should be all-inclusive. This place is the Christian family. God has placed us here not to judge others but to see others with grace and unconditional love. We are, however, guilty of putting boundaries on who and who can’t be in our Christian family. Those boundaries, unfortunately, often include (and exclude) people in our church. Most times we are not aware we have placed these boundaries or perceptions on ourselves as Christians or as the church.
When these boundaries are set, or when we are afraid to cross over the aisle to shake hands with a stranger/foreigner or meet someone outside of our comfort zone, we are putting limits on God. We are also putting limits on ourselves as witnesses for the Christian faith. Instead of putting those limits on God and ourselves, we need to step out of that comfort zone and let God have the controls and go to work.
When we step out of our comfort zone or out of our culture and look at another as God sees the person’s heart, we are enlarging the circle of the Christian family. I loved the question that Rev. Gibbons presented us in his sermon yesterday when he shared the importance of enlarging the circle of the Christian family. “Who am I to hinder God?” In other words, we must ask ourselves if we are being all-inclusive and allowing God to guide us or are we being exclusive and sticking with what is comfortable?
Rev. Gibbons went on to share Acts 10 and Acts 11. He spoke about how Peter straddled two cultures when he met Cornelius. Yet, Peter allowed God to lead and saw the heart of Cornelius as God saw him. As a result, Peter was invited to Cornelius home where many were gathered. Because Peter saw Cornelius as God saw him, Cornelius along with his house guests were baptized. They experienced the gift of salvation. Peter stepped out beyond the boundaries of what considered acceptable in the Church of that time.
Another statement Rev. Gibbons made was this: “Jesus- Lord of ALL, NOT Lord of some.” Our challenge as Christians is that we must step across the aisle, look beyond the stereotypes that our society puts on people and/or certain groups of people, and offer the hand of Christian fellowship. Yesterday’s sermon was a great reminder of the importance of widening the circle of the Christian family.
Remember the old song, May The Circle Be Unbroken? The answer to this is that God’s family, the circle, is not broken but it can be widened. It is time we were ALL Inclusive.
He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love, mercy and to walk humbly with your God.
“Even though I walk through the valley of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff they comfort me.” Psalm 23:4
“Take a left up here where the cross roads meet.” Okay, take another left up at the next cross roads.” These were the directions I was giving my husband, Jim as I was giving him the nickel tour of one of the communities I grew up in during my father’s ministry. The previous evening I had attended a class reunion with classmates that I had not seen in thirty-four years.
After the nickel tour of the community and showing Jim the places I hung out and the homes I shared many memories, we went to the cemetery of the church where my dad was assigned. There I stood and read names of headstones and shared stories of how they touched my life and the memories made with their families and in their homes. As I shared these memories, God was gently reminding me of his presence in every step and moment of my life.
Jim and I made our way on over to the church grounds where we met up with my son, Drew and his wife Megan. From there, we entered the sanctuary where I had not sat in since attending a funeral of a dear sweet friend twenty plus years ago. I had my family to sit in the pew where my family sat as Dad preached his last sermon as pastor. Yet, as I told them to sit, I told myself that this time I would not be teary eyed as I was on that last day where my family told the congregation good-bye.
Yet, as the service began, I looked around the congregation remembering where certain families sat each Sunday. It was then when I realized the reality of time and life. Life has moved on. Life has changed. Some of those families have moved on to other beginnings themselves while others have gone to be in their eternal home. A wave of sadness and yet joy filled my heart once again. Sadness because these people were gone but joy because of how they touched my life as a young lady.
Some people would call it ironic but as a Christian I know it was all a God thing and His timing. Rev. Shirley Wright’s sermon title was “Standing Between You and God.” She shared about the rich man wanting to know more about the kingdom that we read in Mark 10:17-30. Her illustrations were crossroads. Rev. Wright shared how we all have experienced cross roads in our lives. These crossroads include the transitions in life and/or new beginnings.
“Be still my heart” is what I thought as I listened to the sermon. As the minister shared, I realized that God had placed me at the very place where I experienced pivotal crossroads in my life. I went from being a little girl to a young lady while at this church, began playing in band, experienced my first year of high school, had my first boyfriend and date. But the most important crossroad I experienced at this particular appointment is the moment I accepted Christ into my heart. It was on a camp meeting Sunday when I gave my life to Christ and asked Him to walk with me the rest of my days.
Yes, this past weekend I stood at the crossroads with God reminding me of how He has walked with me through many other crossroads in my lifetime. He showed me how these significant crossroads have impacted my life and made me who I am today. God reminded me at these cross roads that there are still many before me and He is still walking with me telling me which way to turn.
There are days when we don’t know how we are going to get through. There are crossroads where we are not sure if we should go straight or turn left or right. When these moments take place, go back to that significant crossroad where you invited Christ on your journey. You may not be able to go back in the physical sense as I did but go back in your mind/memory. Then, look at where you were and then see how far He has brought you. Then, gently take your Father’s hand and allow Him to lead you on through the crossroad before you.
Dedicated to the wonderful congregation Shiloh United Methodist Church and to the Saints who have gone before me.
- Stand at the Crossroads and Look (ericdykstra.typepad.com)
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us all in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort which we ourselves are comforted by God.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 Eleven years ago our country came to a stand still. On Facebook, people are reflecting on the horror of the terrorist attacks that took place on our soil on that September morning. I was in a classroom working one on one with one of my Title One Kindergarten students when my supervising teacher came in and told me and a colleague of mine what was going on. Time seemed to just stand still.
Crisis. Each day someone is faced with some kind of crisis. We may know someone who is facing a crisis at this moment. The crisis could be something that is life altering. For example, a loved one has found out they have cancer. Or, a loved one was taken all too soon. These are the type of crisis that make time stand still while the world keeps on moving.
As Christians, we need to be the first responders just like those who responded first to this tragedy our country faced. We need be first responders to those going through a crisis. As we respond to these events, we need to be non-judgmental, don’t try to give a solution but simply be there to listen, to pray and to encourage the person(s) going through the crisis. Remind them that there is a loving God who loves them and cares about every fiber of their being.
Being a first responder may require us to not say or do any specific thing. The best thing we can do is to sit by the person(s) in the midst of a crisis and simply say nothing. Yes, there will be silence. Silence is scary. But,our first responder, God can do His best work in the midst of the silence.
It has been my experience that I remember most those who simply sat there with me in the silence who dried my tears and simply said nothing.
Do you know someone in the midst of a crisis? If you do, first of all pray for them and place them into the Father’s hands. Go to them. Sit with them. Dry their tears. Allow our first responder, God work through you and be present in the situation.
I love what Max Lucado shares in his Lucado Life Lesson’s Bible;
“Don’t measure the size of the mountain; talk to the One who can move it. Instead of carrying the world on your shoulders, talk to the One who holds the universe.” Max Lucado- Traveling Light.
- Listening to the Thunder, an amazing story by Max Lucado (pastormikesays.wordpress.com)
- “Encouragement” From the Author´s Mind to Yours (inspirationalchristiansfortoday.com)
- Pray Without Ceasing (lifechristnme.wordpress.com)
My father-n-law is known by family and friends as “Mr. Fix It.” If something is broken, he can usually fix it when no one else can. It is amazing what he can do with super glue, duct tape and even with a wad of chewing gum. He can make fixing things look so easy.
There are times in our lives when we see someone doing something we don’t approve of and we want to change them to our way of thinking. Or, we think we know the whole picture of what is going on by just seeing only a few snippets without even getting to know the person/situation. In our perception, we think we need to jump in and fix the situation or person when really we can’t.
Then, there are those situations/persons who are really doing no wrong but they are not doing things like we would do them. They don’t live like we live our lives. It is different but not wrong.
Jim and I have always had a motto in our home that when someone does something that is totally different from our lifestyles we need to respect that person and there is no need to say anything. It is our responsibility to love the person. Yet, if we see it is something wrong that may lead to detriment, then it is within our right to speak up. But, when we speak up, we need to respond not react. Respond with love and with prayer going into the situation. Reacting with a knee jerk reaction can lead to even more detriment.
What happens when we react and try to fix it ourselves? We begin to carry a burden that was not meant for us to carry. Reacting and attempting to fix a person/situation causes worry in our lives that interrupts the blessings we could be giving and receiving. It causes sleepless nights. Attempting to fix and react also shows we lack faith in what God can do. Remember, God takes care of situations and people in His own time. And, from my experience when allowing God to be in control the outcomes are usually beautiful blessings that we would not experience if we kept trying to take care of the situation ourselves.
God gives us each day to live for his glory. He has never said; “here is a situation that I want you to fix.” Instead, he says; “give me the situation and let me take care of it.” Philippians 4:6-7 says it quite well:
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your request be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
God does not want us to live a life of anxiety. He wants us to live in a life of peace. So, is someone doing something you know will bring detriment to their lives? Do what Philippians 4:6-7 says and that is to pray. Place the person/situation into God’s hands and allow him to the molding. It is in our letting go and letting God that strengthens and shows God our faith in him and what he can do.
Do you see someone doing something that is not the way your live and is not your lifestyle? Before reacting ask yourselves these questions: Is it really wrong? Is is part of their culture? Are they in their process of blooming? Accept the person/situation for who they are, love on them and lead them with a positive influence.
God did not put us here to be in the fixing business. Fixing is God’s place. Our responsibility is to place all things into the hands of God. Listen to his still small voice for guidance. Allow God to work on his time and not your time. Remember the Serenity Prayer?
God, grant me the SERENITY to accept
the things I cannot change, the courage to
change the things I can, and the
wisdom to know the difference.
Let’s show God our faith and place that person/situation into God’s hands. Allow God to give you wisdom of how you can be a positive influence to the person/situation. Remember, you can’t fix it but God can! TRUST HIM!
Have you had an experience where you wanted to fix someone or something but you placed the situation/person(s) into the Father’s hands. Then, in His time he did the repair work with beautiful blessings as an outcome? If so, share your story with me. I would love to hear from you.
“When you have clung to Jesus through pain and problems and experienced His amazing grace, you will find joy in Him.
Jo Ann Leavell
- Worry and Anxiety- How These Emotions Can Mess Life Up (gracefullwomen.com)
- What to Do While You Wait (The Power of Prayer Series, Part 2) (simplyjuliana.wordpress.com)