Archive | June 2013

Do I need to be Right to Make a Difference?

This week I began my new assignment from God. He has sent me into the Martin County Jail to be a light. All the doors opened and it was clear that He wanted me there. I met with the Head Chaplin of the jail to get permission to do one on one’s with some of the women I had met with the previous week. He said he wanted me to attend church in the jail on Sundays and two Bible studies each week. He gave me specific names of people he wanted me to work with.

Sunday morning I arrived at the jail full of expectation. My excitement became dismay when I realized that He had connected me with a group of people who have different beliefs than I. I felt betrayed and set up. As I left, I spoke to God, telling Him I was discouraged and full of doubt. I started wondering if I had really been called to this assignment or if I was forcing it.

I contacted a friend who has been walking a similar path, so I could process all the emotions that were boiling over in me. As we processed the situation, I slowly began to see how my pride was getting in the way. My friend was able to help me see that I was making a mountain out of a molehill. The people that the Chaplain connected me with believe most of the things I believe, they’ve just added one thing that I was seeing as a stumbling block.

I believe that we miss the point when we choose to see things from only our prospective, without stopping to consider where others are coming from. We need to seek a common ground with others so we are able to work productively with each other.

I believe this is the reason the world looks at Christians and decides that they want no part of what we are sharing. People watch us fighting against each other and think we have nothing they want. If we can’t show love for people with different beliefs than our own, how can we convince the world that what we have is worth having?

We need to show people that we love them whether they have the same beliefs we do or not. If we love only those who think and act like us, is this really love? In 1 Corinthians, Paul talked about how to reach others.

1 Cor. 9:20-22 “20 To the Jews I became as a Jew, so that I might win Jews; to those who are under the Law, as under the Law though not being myself under the Law, so that I might win those who are under the Law; 21 to those who are without law, as without law, though not being without the law of God but under the law of Christ, so that I might win those who are without law. 22 To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak; I have become all things to all men, so that I may by all means save some.”

I believe Paul is showing us how to meet people where they are and to appreciate that we will not all believe the same things, but we can still work together for the common good. We don’t have to prove we are right to work with others and make a difference in this world.

Who can you find common ground with today?

This entry was posted on June 26, 2013. 4 Comments

Leading with Love


Here’s a post I shared some time ago. It’s been laid on my heart again as I am beginning with a ministry in the Martin County Jail. Please enjoy and feel free to send me some feedback!

There’s a saying “People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.” This is so very true, especially in our world today. At the heart of all of us is the desire to be accepted and loved. Many people feel if they are wrong they will not be loved or accepted, so the average person will do whatever they can to prove they are right. Needing to be right usually alienates us from others and is the exact opposite of what we are trying to do, but many people don’t understand that. We really need to keep this in mind when we are sharing our truth with others. Delivery of our message is one of the most vital components of sharing that message. If people don’t think you care and all you’re doing is trying to prove that you’re right, they will usually check out and not even consider listening to you.

In Corinthians, Paul certainly confronted the members of the Corinthian church with truth, but throughout first and second Corinthians we see that he peppered his confrontation with many words of love and encouragement. There were some that refused his correction, but many got the message and changed their ways. I believe Paul was effective because he came from a place of love rather than pride.

In 1 Corinthians 9:19-23 Paul talks about meeting people where they are so that more of them will receive his message. “19 For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a slave to all, so that I may win more. 20 To the Jews I became as a Jew, so that I might win Jews; to those who are under the Law, as under the Law though not being myself under the Law, so that I might win those who are under the Law; 21 to those who are without law, as without law, though not being without the law of God but under the law of Christ, so that I might win those who are without law. 22 To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak; I have become all things to all men, so that I may by all means save some. 23 I do all things for the sake of the gospel, so that I may become a fellow partaker of it.

A few years ago, I watched a movie called “Patch Adams”. It was based on a true story about a man who went to medical school and took on their idea of what a doctor should be. The most amazing thing about the movie was watching the character played by Robin Williams consistently lead with love for others. He took it as a personal challenge to reach everyone with love that he came in contact with. This was especially true if they went out of their way to shut him out. He was relentless at spreading love in his wake. That is the goal I aspire to and believe what God is looking for from me. Maybe we could all take a lesson from this movie and learn to spread the truth with love and leave our pride at the door.

Who can you love on today?

Broken Dreams

My husband and I dreamed of having a child for over eight years. My daughter, Asia, dreamed of having a baby brother or sister. This dream never came true, but God had the plan. I was able to get pregnant that first year, but we lost that child in the first trimester. I never got pregnant again.

After over eight years of trying, something deep inside me told me that I needed to let go of this dream or it would destroy me and my marriage. I believe it was Gods’ voice even though I didn’t recognize it at the time. It’s the first time I remember willingly letting go of something I so desperately wanted.

God says He will give us the desires of our hearts, but only if we put His kingdom first. I wasn’t seeking His Kingdom first at the time; wasn’t tuned in to His plan. This may seem cruel, but God wants only the best for us. Like a parent, God will deny us some things because He knows what’s best, not because He’s trying to hurt us.

I don’t know why we weren’t able to have a child, but looking back over the last seventeen years has made me realize that having a second child may not have been the best thing for us or the child.

When my husband and I were struggling to have a child, we didn’t know that my health was about to take a turn for the worse. My poor health would’ve made it very difficult to give the attention that another child would have required.

Our finances had always been a struggle and I don’t know how we would have managed with another mouth to feed. When we finally reached our breaking point with our finances it was easier to navigate without the worry that another child would have to suffer due to our poor choices.

We may not have been able to move to Florida. Asia may not have been able to move in with us after graduating from high school. Moving to Florida opened doors that may not have been opened otherwise.

I don’t understand why it wasn’t in God’s plan for my husband and I to have a child together, but our lives are rich and full and we are so blessed.

There is not a day that goes by that I don’t think about the child that we lost, but I thank God for the life we have and the knowledge that we will meet our child one day.

Do you have a “why” you are struggling with today? Have you struggled with a “why” in the past that now makes sense?

Please share.

This entry was posted on June 12, 2013. 5 Comments

The Quick Fix

Our culture today is usually looking for a quick fix to our problems. We want to have our problems taken away, but many of us are not willing to do the work to get there. When we get sick so many of us will go to the doctor to get a pill to cover up our symptoms instead of choosing to change our lifestyle to get to the root cause, so our bodies can heal.

God isn’t interested in giving us a quick fix; He wants to give us something more. One example of this in the Bible is the interaction Jesus had with the Samaritan woman at the well. John 4:7-42.

The woman at the well had a history of putting her hope in men. She had been in five marriages that had ended and was currently living with the sixth man when she met Jesus at the well.

Women of that day were thought to have little value, and the Samaritans were a despised people. She was not accepted by the people who were the lowest of the low of that day. She had built a very thick wall around herself to protect her from the disappointment of the rejection she had no doubt lived with all of her life. Then Jesus came and lovingly revealed the truth to her, despite her attitude toward Him. He came with humility and love and revealed why she was in the mess she was in.

She thought she wanted to have her shame hidden and what Jesus had for her was to remove her shame! In verse 15 the woman said, “Sir, give me this living water, so I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water.” She wanted the quick fix, but He gave her acceptance, identity, security and purpose in their short interaction. He gave her far more than she ever thought she wanted, but she had to choose to believe and surrender what she thought she wanted to receive all He had for her.

In Isaiah 60:17-19 God says He will give us gold for our bronze. I believe He’s telling us that He will give us our deepest desire instead of what we think we want. Our part is being willing to trust that He knows what we need and want more than we do.

Isaiah 61:1-7.

1 The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor;
he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives,
and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor,
and the day of vengeance of our God;
to comfort all who mourn;
to grant to those who mourn in Zion—
to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit;
that they may be called oaks of righteousness,
the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified.
They shall build up the ancient ruins;
they shall raise up the former devastations;
they shall repair the ruined cities,
the devastations of many generations.

What has God given you in the past that was different from what you thought you wanted?

Do you think God knows what you really need?