Thursday, February 25, 2010
Life can throw all kinds of things our way, especially when we least expect them. How we handle those challenges is what matters. Do we hide and not let anyone in, or do we share with some friends the struggles we are having, so they can step alongside us, support us, and pray for us? Do we keep things to ourselves, thinking we don't want to bother others with our problems, or do we have the courage to ask for help, to tell someone we trust that life is tough right now, and we just need to talk or to just sit with them and know someone cares? Relationships with others are important. God didn't put us on earth to face things alone. If He did, He would not have created Eve. He looked at Adam and said it is not good for him to be alone, so he created a helpmate for him, someone to walk through life, side by side. It may be a spouse, a family member, a friend, but we all need someone to be by our side, through the times of celebration and happiness, and through the tough times, the sad times, the difficulties.
I am thankful for friends, family, and a husband to walk through this life with, each with their own role to play in my life, and I in their's. I am thankful for a God who loves me as well, who never leaves me to try to do life alone.
Monday, February 22, 2010
I have posted two other Hands and Heart posts if you have not read them already. Post 1 and Post 2. These are suggestions for being helping others out, or encouraging someone. I would love to know if anyone has done any of the 21 listed! I have done some of them, and have been blessed so much by helping out or giving time to someone who needs it.
Write a letter of thanks to someone who is in the service (police/fire/soldier).
Take a plate of goodies to a neighbor you don't know very well.
Surprise your co-workers with a treat this week.
Volunteer to watch a friend's kid(s) so they can go on a date night.
Spend a Sunday afternoon with your parents - either in person or spend time with them on the phone if they live at a great distance from you.
Invite friends over for dinner
Give a family member the gift of some extra-special time
Volunteer at a local food kitchen
Volunteer to do a half day of cleaning for a new mom, someone who needs some help because they can't do it themselves anymore, or at your church
This thought on gardens is from Max Lucado:
“The Son gives life.” John 5:21
The Bible is the story of two gardens: Eden and Gethsemane. In the first, Adam took a fall. In the second, Jesus took a stand. In the first, God sought Adam. In the second, Jesus sought God. In Eden, Adam hid from God. In Gethsemane, Jesus emerged from the tomb. In Eden, Satan led Adam to a tree that led to his death. From Gethsemane, Jesus went to a tree that led to our life.
Then the Lord God planted a garden in Eden in the east, and there he placed the man he had made. The Lord God made all sorts of trees grow up from the ground—trees that were beautiful and that produced delicious fruit. In the middle of the garden he placed the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. A river flowed from the land of Eden, watering the garden and then dividing into four branches. The first branch, called the Pishon, flowed around the entire land of Havilah, where gold is found. The gold of that land is exceptionally pure; aromatic resin and onyx stone are also found there. The second branch, called the Gihon, flowed around the entire land of Cush. The third branch, called the Tigris, flowed east of the land of Asshur. The fourth branch is called the Euphrates.
The Lord God placed the man in the Garden of Eden to tend and watch over it. But the Lord God warned him, “You may freely eat the fruit of every tree in the garden— except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you eat its fruit, you are sure to die.” Genesis 2:8-17
Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. Genesis 3:8
Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, "Sit here while I go over there and pray." He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, "My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me." Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, "My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will."
Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. "Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour?" he asked Peter. "Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak."
He went away a second time and prayed, "My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done."
When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing.Then he returned to the disciples and said to them, "Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour is near, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us go! Here comes my betrayer!" Matthew 26:36-46
The place of crucifixion was near a garden, where there was a new tomb, never used before. John 19:41
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Monday, February 15, 2010
Continuing on with the Hands & Heart, helping and encouraging others' from my post last Tuesday:
Sign up to volunteer at your church or in some community organization and lend a helping hand.
Visit someone who is in the hospital.
Instead of saying "hi" on Facebook or Twitter, pickup the phone and have a conversation with them.
Compliment or affirm a co-worker who isn't your favorite to work with.
Send a note of thanks to one of the hard-working school teachers in our community.
Make a card, or little gift, and hand-deliver it to someone who needs a little love.
Invite a friend you haven't talked with for a while and treat them to coffee/tea/lunch. Use it as an opportunity to reconnect with someone.
Write an encouraging note to someone: church staff member, a coach, or volunteer in an organization you are involved in.
Make a new friend at a nursing home.
Take a flower or balloon bouquet to someone who needs a day-brightener.
Friday, February 12, 2010
Doesn't sound much like the love we are told about on movies and tv programs does it? Those verses don't describe the love we have come to know in our society, the "I will love you until it doesn't feel right or you make me upset," love, or the "someone better came along," love. I use the term love very loose here, because that's not love. Love sticks it out. Love is an action word. It pushes on through the tough times in life. To truly love a person, you stick by them no matter what is going on in their life. Love cares about others. Love lets hurts go, instead of holding on to them. Love is a safe place, that keeps striving to be better.
I admit, love is not always easy. Our human side wants to take over and make all things about us, not the other person. Sometimes love is just plain difficult if the person you love is pushing you away, or running and doing their own thing, but to truly love someone, whether it's a friend, child, spouse, sibling, or other relative, is to pursue them and not give up on them.
We can run and be difficult to love, pursuing our own desires, instead of love. The truest form of love came from Jesus as he died on the cross for each of our sins. He pursues us, and loves us more than we can ever phathom. He longs for us to be in a relationship with him. He gave up his life for each of us. That is true love.
For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him. John 3:16-17
Happy Valentine's Day!
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
The radio station I listen to has been encouraging listeners to step out and be an encouragement to others, to be the hands and heart of Jesus to those around us. There are some great ideas, I hope you get inspired to take part in them, as well. I will post some today, and continue to post a few each week.
Every day: Smile and say hello to everyone in your path. Saying hello is more than just saying hello...It's an acknowledgment of existence and affirms the worth of another.
Do someone else's chore, without asking or telling the other person.
Pray for your neighbors and not only that, get to know them better.
Give your child/spouse a neck rub while naming the things you love about them.
Write a letter or card to encourage a friend.
Thursday, February 4, 2010
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Today is a sad anniversary in our home. Ten years ago today, my husband lost his dad to cancer. It was a short battle, three weeks from diagnoses until the cancer won the battle, and the shock of the news didn't seem to wear off before his passing. It was a lot to process in a short amount of time. It's hard to believe it's been a decade already. He lives on in our hearts, but I know my husband misses his dad terribly.
Today, call or visit a loved one and make sure to tell them you love them. Life on this earth is short, even if we live to be 90. Moments spent with family are precious so use that time wisely, by saying words that encourage and lift up, not that tear down or hurt the heart. Make time with loved ones memorable, special, and something that will live on in their hearts; don't waste those precious moments!
Monday, February 1, 2010
Our niece is back in the States after being in Haiti on disaster relief. She had to come back to work with her command. She shared a few pictures yesterday of the devastation. The one photo looks like a bomb hit the area. Our prayers continue for those affected by the disaster.
I have a lot of photos I want to get on here, but my computer and I are having a battle, and so far it's winning, but I plan to tackle it more this week. So stayed tuned, because I am determined to overcome the computer.
I thought I would post a video to get your mind thinking on this Monday. It's pretty spectacular. This video shows just some of the vastness of God and His creation. Not sure how someone can say there isn't a Creator after seeing these images. This is not a random, cosmic accident. It is an amazing design by a loving Creator. Enjoy.