Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Will You Take It Up A Notch?

I love to write. Not that you could tell it by coming here recently. But I do. I love to write.

Each week I write at least one thing. Each week I write an entry for the FaithWriters Writing Challenge. A few weeks back, I was awarded first place for my entry on Evangelism called Breaking It Down. This meant I had to move from Level 1 and now compete at Level 2. It meant I had to step it up and be sure I was improving and writing stronger.

This week, my niece sent me a link to her new ministry page on MySpace. Then she sent me an email asking me if it was okay to place a link to Little Lessons from my Loving Lord on her website. I told her of course it was fine to do so. I also told her that this meant that I had to start writing again...which of course I already knew that I needed to do.

What is it that you are gifted to do that you need to re-start doing? What is it that you need to take to the next level in your life, home, ministry? What is that you need to improve upon and be stronger at starting today?

Colossians 3:23 (Amplified Bible) Whatever may be your task, work at it heartily (from the soul), as [something done] for the Lord and not for men,

Thursday, November 15, 2007

What Is Your Idea?

Yesterday at work, I saw a video about Johnny the bagger. I had heard the story before. If you are not familiar with it, either click the link or search for it on the Internet. There are several places you can read his story.

Anyway we were talking about it at dinner last night and this was the conversation..

"That's great but it would never work where I work. People are too beat down."
"But it start with one person. You could be that one person. Johnny, a down syndrome boy, changed his whole store."

I don't know about you, but I'm not sure I remember the last time I complimented a bagger at the grocery store. I'm usually too concerned about whether they put the ice cream in the bag with the cereal. (Which makes me crazy by the way. Dry with dry. Cold with cold. Meat with meat. That's how I want my groceries bagged. Oh and don't put my milk in a bag.) Bagging groceries today is pretty much a thankless job. Since they don't 'carry them out' any more in most places, you don't even tip baggers any more. Yet in this thankless job, one person, being 'thoughtful', changed his world.

Then this morning, I read a quote (after I read my Bible) that says:

If a man cannot be a Christian where he is, he cannot be a Christian anywhere.
-- Henry Ward Beecher


So I thought to myself, if Johnny can change his whole grocery store with his idea and if we are to be Christians no matter where we are, how would we impact the world if our idea was to be a Bible-believing, God-fearing Christian every day no matter where we are, no matter how depressing our circumstances?

What idea will you find today to impact your world? What will you do to live the Christian life in your place of business or in your home? How will you be Jesus to those around you today?

Matthew 5:14-16 (The Message) "Here's another way to put it: You're here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We're going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don't think I'm
going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I'm putting you on a light stand. Now that I've put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you'll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven."



Tuesday, November 13, 2007

What Is Your Job?

So this morning I wanted to follow the challenge from yesterday...however...I'm still not a 'get up' early morning person. So a stayed in bed, quoted some scriptures I know from memory, spoke with our Loving Lord about them then finally got up and got ready for work.

I was in the bathroom and noticed the sink needed to be cleaned. I got a tad bit frustrated about this as it seems I am the only one in this house who knows how to clean the sink.

Then I noticed it.

I noticed the empty wastebasket next to the sink. I had not emptied it. In fact, I rarely empty it. Dear hubby almost always empties it.

I almost always clean the sink and he almost always empties the trash. Teamwork. We complement each other. We each have our jobs and they are not the same jobs but they are both important jobs nonetheless.

What job (teaching, benevolence, ushering, cleaning the worship center, others?) are you always doing for our Loving Lord where you wonder why no one else does that job? What job are you NOT doing for Him that someone else always has to do? Will you decide today to quit complaining about what you are obviously gifted to do and instead find those who do what you don't want to do and thank them for being in His service?

Matthew 20:26-28 (New International Version)
26 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."

Monday, November 12, 2007

Are You A Morning Person?

I'm an 'OK' morning person. I can wake up and have a conversation before my eyes are even open but I don't like getting up. Planning to get up 'early' takes a lot for me.

I have recently discovered a truth that makes me jealous of morning people and of older people.

Yes, I said jealous of older people.

Why?

Well because, based on my experiences, I think most older people prefer 'traditional' worship services. (Actually modern traditional not ancient traditional but that's a lesson for another day.)

And most traditional worship services are now the 'early' service. (But I can remember years ago where the 'contemporary' service was the early service...my how times change! But I digress.) Stay with me here, Okay?

OK. Let's recap.

* I'm not a morning person.
* I've recently discovered a truth
* I'm jealous of older people
* Most older people like traditional services
* I like blended services
* Most blended services are the later services

So why am I jealous? Because the older people that go to the early services get to experience it!!!

What is 'it'?

It is the Biblically modeled time to spend time with our Loving Lord. Yes that's right! Check it out...

* Early in the morning Abraham returned to where he stood before God. (Genesis 19:27)

* At daybreak, LORD, You hear my voice; at daybreak I plead my case to You and watch expectantly. (Psalm 5:3)

* O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is. (Psalm 63:1)

* I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me. (Proverbs 8:17)

*And all the people came early in the morning to him in the temple, for to hear him. (Luke 21:38)

*And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them. (John 8:2)

Early. First. The best part of the day is the first part of the day.

Are you a morning person? If not, when do you meet our Loving Lord each day? What part of your day do you share with him? Does He get what's left over at the end of a long, stressful day? Or does He get the good stuff, the first fruit of your day? How do you think your day would be different if you refused to do anything at all until you first spent time with Him? What if you left the TV off until you read His Word and had a chat with Him? What if you didn't even go get the paper (let alone read any of it) until after you share time with Him? Don't know where to start? Would you consider printing off this link, http://www.biblegateway.com/resources/readingplans/survey.php, and putting it with your Bible? Will you commit two months, just two months, to giving Him the first moments of the day He has blessed you with? Will you come back to Little Lessons and share with me what impact spending time with Him is having on your life?

Psalm 119:97-98 (New Living Translation)
97 Oh, how I love your instructions!
I think about them all day long.
98 Your commands make me wiser than my enemies,
for they are my constant guide.


Friday, November 09, 2007

Are Your Doors Open or Closed?

Tiger, my boy cat, often spends time in the bathroom with me. The other day he was in there and the door was closed and he wanted out. So I turned the door handle just enough so that Tiger 'could' simply nudge the door with his nose and walk through it. Verbally, I encouraged him to "go...go on" but he just sat there. He sat there meowing at me. Seemingly he was saying "open the door, open the door". So I told him "It's open. Go on. Push the door and go." He turned his gaze to the door handle and meowed again. He just did not recognize that the door was open and he would not take a step of faith towards it to see if indeed it was open.

Today he was again in the bathroom with me. This time the door was really closed. The door was closed and I was too far from it to open it for him. He wanted to go through this closed door so bad that he took his paws and reached under the door and scratched and pulled and whined and tried his best to go through the closed door. The door won. Tiger stayed where he was until I opened the door a few moments later.

Tiger has it backwards. We need to stay away from the doors that are closed to us and with faith walk through the doors that are open for us.

What door is currently closed for you that you are trying to open? Is it a promotion? An engagement? Fame? A Mansion?

What door is open to you that you won't take a step of faith toward? Is it a missions opportunity? Is it a position of leadership where you would be held responsible for the outcome as well?

Will you assess the door before you today and see if it is really closed or not? If it is closed, will you take time to seek our Loving Lord's will and find out what other door you need to go through. If it is open, will you take the step of faith toward it and then step through it?

Acts 14:27-28 (The Message) On arrival, they got the church together and reported on their trip, telling in detail how God had used them to throw the door of faith wide open so people of all nations could come streaming in. Then they settled down for a long, leisurely visit with the disciples.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Are You Prepared For The Tests?

A while back my son lost his job with a major package carrier. He was very disappointed about this event in his young life. He knew what he had to do. He had to get a new job. He wasn't sure what he wanted to do or where he wanted to work.

So what do you do? How do you find a new place to work?

He immediately went to the mall and put in some applications. He came home and joined Monster.com and CareerBuilder.com. He applied for several jobs and got a few responses.

First he got an offer to work for a home improvement store chain and was delighted.

Then I saw a sign on my way home advertising that a major airline was hiring for it's frequent traveler program's customer service team. His application was submitted that night.

As soon as he got started at the home improvement store, he was offered a position at the airline. He started at the airline just over 3 weeks ago. He has been working both jobs. To keep the airline job, he had to pass four separate tests. After each test, if you failed, you were out.

He really likes the airline job. He has discovered what he wants to do and where he wants to work.

Today was test four. He has studied, practiced and prepared for today since before his 1st day on the job (they had to learn city codes before they actually started). He passed! He is now ready to do the job he was hired for.

How did he get here? There were signs that were heeded and tests that were prepared for and passed.

Do you know where you are going? Do you need help to determine where you should be? Are you watching for the signs our Loving Lord is showing you? Are you heeding the signs? Are you in the Word daily preparing for what is ahead? Are you prepared for the tests that are sure to come your way as you journey with Him? Will you pass the test when the time comes?


James 1:2-4 (The Message) Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don't try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

What Are You Hiding Under?

Smokie and Safire are two cats that allow my sister-in-law (s-i-l) to live in their home. She, of course, loves those cats as if they were her children.

Recently my s-i-l was accepting a delivery at their home and after the deliverymen left, Safire was no where to be found. No where!

She looked high and low for her. Inside and outside for her. She had never ventured outside so everyone was pretty sure she hadn't left but since she could not be found inside, what was the other option?

My dear hubby went over to help look. They looked in the bedroom where Smokie and Safire spend much of their time. They looked under the bed. One cat. Sure it was him. Sure it was Smokie. Looked around some more. No second cat. Looked back under the bed holding on to the top of the bed for stability. What? What is this? There's a cat on top of the bed under the bedspread. And one under the bed too! Two cats! One must be Safire. She was found.

There was much rejoicing in that home and throughout our family. Safire, who we thought was lost had just been hiding. Safire was safe.

Are you hiding today from the One that is seeking you? Are you ignoring those He has called in to help lead you back to Him? What are you hiding under? Are you hiding under alcohol? sex? work? sports? money? What are you covering yourself up with that is preventing you from enjoying and experiencing the love and the presence of our Loving Lord? Will you come out right now and be found in Him? Can the rest of the family of God rejoice over you today?
Philippians 3:8-9 (New International Version) 8What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Will You Slamma Jamma Today?

Tigger, my girl cat, loves to boldly walk up to me when I am sitting down and slam her body into my legs. We call it 'slamma jammin' herself into one's legs. Sometimes she also slamma jamma's into my side when I am laying down.

The interesting thing is that when I am sitting down and she slamma jammas, if I reach out to pet her, she moves away. Moves out of reach. Which, of course, starts a conversation.

Me: Tigger, you slamma jamma'd me...don't you want me to pet you?
Tigger: {stares blankly at me}
Me: Come on girl...let me pet you.
Tigger: {more stares and a couple of steps backward}
Me: Tig's come on, Mommy wants to pet you.
Tigger: {Takes one step towards me and turns and walks away}

Me: Okay then...don't slamma jamma me if you don't want my attention!

Today when she did this to me, it got me to thinking about us and our relationship with our Loving Lord and His church.

I wonder how often, when one has wondered away, I wonder how often we come back to Him and slam right back into His side saying "I'm back. I'm here. Notice me. Love me." Then when our Loving Lord or the people of His family reach out to share and show that love, we back away and say with our actions "Don't touch me. Don't help me. Don't reach me with your love."

Wherever you are today, will you boldly go to Christ today and 'slamma jamma' into His lap and say "Here I am, Lord." Then, instead of jumping down and running away, will you stay right there in His lap and let Him show His love to you? Will you let Him touch you today in great and mighty ways?"

Matthew 14:36 (New Century Version) They begged Jesus to let them touch just the edge of his coat, and all who touched it were healed.