Sunday, October 19, 2008

Can You Add Something Noticeable?

I must be really plain. Plain to the point of unnoticeable.

I have a limited wardrobe and wear basically the same things over and over.

Recently, I've made a few simple changes and the responses have been surprising.

For example, I have one outfit that looks very nice on me (or so I think). I've worn this outfit to both church and work. A few weeks ago, I wore the outfit to church with one small change. I added a necklace. Nothing more. Just a simple necklace. I received so many compliments on 'how nice' I looked that day. I repeated the same outfit with the same necklace at work a few days later. Same response. "You look so nice today."

Of course I resisted the urge to say "Oh as opposed to all the other days????" :-)

Another example of a small change with great impact involves my hair. If you know me at all, you know I rarely have a 'good hair day'. It's fine, thin, straight, non-existing (read balding in spots) hair. So one day, I simply pushed part of it behind each ear and left a tad bit hanging in front my ears. That's all. That's the simple change I made. But, oh my, the compliments I got. "You cut your hair! It looks great!"...."What did you do to your hair? I love it?" ..."Your hair looks good today. What did you do differently?"...Rare compliments for someone with my mane.

It took so little to have people take a second look and ask me questions about the changes they saw or thought they saw.

Little Lesson Life Expression
Isn't this a great opportunity that we have with our testimony as well? What small changes can you make in how you share Christ with others that will draw them to His message? What sincere thing can you do to attract them to what you have? What about in your church? What simple way can you serve the community around you so that they will want to take a closer look?

Proverbs 25:11 (The Message)
The right word at the right time
is like a custom-made piece of jewelry


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Are You Still Green?

The tree is beautiful. Fall is in full force here in Wisconsin. I've traveled here for business this week. Driving from the airport to the office, I traveled through the university campus and the beauty of the fall colors almost made me want to return to college.

Arriving at the office, I noticed the tree. The reds so rich. The oranges so bright.

But it was odd at the same time. It seemed the top half of the tree was red and orange while the bottom half appeared to still be solid green.

Why would only half a tree change?

I walked over to the tree and took a closer look. Sparsely among the dark green leaves, I spotted several yellow leaves...the more I looked, the more I saw. So the bottom half of the tree was indeed changing!

From a distance, I didn't see the yellow leaves. The brilliant red and orange ones out shined the yellow ones.

So many thoughts flooded my mind about the possibilities of Little Lessons from this tree. But I settled on this....

When the world looks at believers, what do they see? Do they see the changes that have happened in a believer's life? Or does their life look unchanged until you get up close and personal?

When the world looks at the church, does it look divided? Does it look like we just have some loud, outgoing, excited participants and the rest of the attenders are basically no different than the world is?

To me, we all go through changes when we accept our Loving Lord into our heart. Some are subtle changes that you can't see unless you look deep inside, like a 'good' person who gives up their selfish wants and let's Christ control their finances. They are the the yellow leaves you only see when you walk up to the tree. Others are radical changes, like the individual who is being held captive by the consequence of addictive behaviors who, upon accepting Christ, lets go of the addiction and lets Christ take control. Their change is the bright red and orange that you can see from a distance.

It's all the leaves being the color they are assigned that make the tree a sight to see.

Little Lesson Life Expression
Have your leaves started changing colors? Or are you the unchanged green leaves? Will you let the changes start in your life today? If you have not yet accepted our Loving Lord as Saviour, will you make that change today? If you have accepted Him but are not actively living the plan He has for your life, will you invite Him to bring more colors of change into your life today?

Matthew 3:8 (Amplified Bible) Bring forth fruit that is consistent with repentance [let your lives prove your change of heart]

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Can I Be Gay With You?

What were your thoughts when you read the title of today's Little Lesson? What did those six little words bring your mind to? (Note to parents: Today's Little Lesson may be rated PG instead of G.)

It's not what you think. I didn't say what you thought you read.

If fact, I simply want my word back.

In high school, I had a friend named Holly Gay. I loved her name. It always made me happy. See I knew her before the meaning of word in our society changed.

In elementary school, I had learned the meaning of the word gay. It was something bright, pleasant, that promoted a feeling of cheer. At the time, all children were meant to be gay. Holly was a delight to be around...always pleasant.

Then a few short years later, another group of people claimed that word for themselves. Suddenly, instead of gay meaning simply happy and cheerful, it meant you lived an 'alternative lifestyle'. Suddenly straight people no longer wanted to be described a gay...even though the former meaning of the word had held true for centuries.

Fast forward to my adult son's generation. They stole the word again. Now the word means "rubbish”. Or at least that's what the BBC Board of Governors has said. They have stated that in 'modern playground-speak' the word should not be offensive to 'gays'.

Oh but the media in America disagrees! This week I saw an public service announcement that encourages our young people not to use the phrase "that's so gay" to describe things that are stupid or rubbish. Why? It's not nice. It might hurt the feelings of those who call themselves 'gay'. So I have a question....did the homosexual community count my feelings when they took the happy meaning of gay away from me?

Side note: This Little Lesson is about the meaning of the word not about the lifestyle issues.

I looked it up. I am apparently a Sunday's child. Do you know about Sunday's children?
"But the child born on the Sabbath Day,
Is fair and wise and good and gay."

So I repeat...Can I be gay with you?

Little Lesson Life Expression
Our Loving Lord says what He means and means what He says. Will you do the same? Will you say what you really mean this week? Will you mean what you say? Will you choose your words for effectiveness and then stand by them never changing?

Matthew 5:33-37 (The Message) "And don't say anything you don't mean. This counsel is embedded deep in our traditions. You only make things worse when you lay down a smoke screen of pious talk, saying, 'I'll pray for you,' and never doing it, or saying, 'God be with you,' and not meaning it. You don't make your words true by embellishing them with religious lace. In making your speech sound more religious, it becomes less true. Just say 'yes' and 'no.' When you manipulate words to get your own way, you go wrong.


Thursday, October 09, 2008

What Can You Remember?

It was to be a zoo. Or perhaps a jungle. Monkeys, flamingos, lions, and, of course, tigers. I was to be a tiger. So chosen in tribute to my own two cats Tigger and Tiger. And perhaps in honor of my high school mascot from all those years ago.

It was actually crazy hat day at work. All of us leaders were wearing animal hats and either animal print shirts or camouflage. I had looked the previous weekend for a shirt to buy but didn't find anything that I liked. The night before crazy hat day I had planned to go to Wally-world and see if they had something camouflage in the sporting goods but....I never left the house that night.

So then it was zoo day, ah uh, crazy hat day and I had one question...what to wear with my tiger hat? Perhaps a solid brown shirt. I opened my closet to look. Suddenly I saw it and remembered. I saw my tiger-like print shirt that I have had for too many years to even try to remember.

Our Loving Lord does that for us. He provides the answers we need right when we need them. We make our plans. We think we will figure things out for ourselves. But when we come to the end of our selfish thoughts, He is faithful to be there reminding us of what we may already know.

Little Lesson Life Expression
What will you do when you have a need? Will you rely on your own thoughts and ways? Or will you rely on our Loving Lord to provide your need in His time?

John 14:26 (Amplified Bible) But the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My name [in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things. And He will cause you to recall (will remind you of, bring to your remembrance) everything I have told you.


Monday, October 06, 2008

How Does Your Light Shine?

Someone 'got it'. They really got it. When I started writing Little Lessons from my Loving Lord, I prayed that people would get it. That people would start to see the little lessons that are revealed to them as they go about living their lives...and that they would start sharing their own insights with others.



Yesterday, I received an email from dear hubby's dad...who is a faithful reader. My pa-in-law shared his own little lesson. Now I'm about to share it with you...basically in his own words, slightly modified...



"Every Sunday at church, being the back seat Baptist we are, we always sit it the same seat. Well, it's not because it's 'our seat', it's just there and I take the offering each Sunday and that's where they always put the collection plate.

That's not it either ... I like to sit on the back row.


Anyway, the area we sit in has been somewhat dark...that was until they just completed some remodeling by installing a new wall behind us. As I said, it was always a little dark. There has always been light, however it's been out. Well, now they have fixed it and it shines right down on me.


Now I can't go to sleep when the preacher delivers his sermon!!!! 'cause now he can surely see me and could think I am not listening !!! LOL!!! Just a joke unless you ask my wife how many times she punches me in my ribs during the sermon.


Then it got me to thinking...God's light is on us every day of our life here on earth and it's up to us how His light shining on us is reflected to others around us every day. I recall the song we sang in Sunday school:

'This little light of mine, I am gonna let it shine.
This little light of mine, I am gonna let it shine.
Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.

Hide it under a bushel - NO! I'm gonna let it shine.
Hide it under a bushel - NO! I'm gonna let it shine, Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine."



Little Lesson Life Expression

Are you reminded that everyday we reflect the Light to others around us as a witness? What does the light reveal about who you are as a person and how what others might see in you? How is your lite shinning today ? Will you shine bright everyday for Him?"



(Thank you Dad H.!!!)


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.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Getting The Unexpected

I went to Kohl's today. Don't you just love shopping at Kohl's?

I was a bit confused though. I had not been to this store in about two months. They had moved things around. Petites now occupy the space where my size used to be. I wondered around until I found clothes in my size. None of the garments on the rack shouted, "Buy me! Take me home with you! Come on, at least try me on!!!" So I headed back to the front door empty handed.

But something happened as I was leaving. I opened the door to leave and noticed a mom coming in pushing her baby in a stroller. I remember those days. One hand on the stroller and one on the door...how awkward it is to try to maneuver both with just two hands. So I did the only reasonable thing...I held the door open for her. She smiled weakly and said "Thanks." Then I saw another woman, this one did not have a child or any 'extra' baggage'. I held the door open for her anyway. She looked me in the eyes and her frown turned upside down and she expressed a surprised "Thank you." I smiled too. Smiled deep down inside as well.

As I walked to my car, I realized I 'got' something today. Something that didn't cost me a dime. I got the chance to add a small ray of Son-shine unexpectedly into someones life. AND...and I got a nice warm fuzzy feeling inside of me. Why? Because I got to practice what we teach children all the time but rarely think about as adults. I got to practice Ephesians 4:32a.

Little Lesson Life Expression
Will you take time today to be kind to someone you meet? If not, why not? If so, will you share with us the results?

Ephesians 4:32a (Amplified Bible)
And become useful and helpful and kind to one another,


Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Where Does Your Light Come From?

Dear Hubby was sitting on the love seat reading the paper. I was at the computer reading email. The computer desk and the love seat are very close neighbors. In fact, they share the same wall and the same light sources. Dear Hubby's aging eyes did not like the light in the room. He squinted at the paper and said, "We need better light in here. What happened to that lamp that use to be in here?" My aging mind does not recall the former lamp but I do recall the other light switch that is still on the wall.... So I walked over and turned on the switch which turned on the recessed light directly over his head. He said, "Oh, I knew that one was there but...."



But what? If you need more light, go to the source of the light and turn on the switch and let the light flow.



Why do we sit around wondering what is going on in our lives, in our homes, at work, in our churches, in our government, all the time sitting in partial darkness, when we have the source of light available to us? Our Loving Lord has set a lamp in our home to add light to our lives. It's His Word. It's called The Bible. Even those that do not own a Bible but are able to read this story on the Internet or in your email, can access several translations of the Bible at www.biblegateway.com. Some people choose to use a lesser light source or an alternative light source that leaves them at least partially in the dark. Our Loving Lord wants us to have the best light possible and has graciously provided it to us.



Little Lesson Life Expression:

What will you do today? Will you sit in the dark wishing for more light? Or will you pick up the Word of our Loving Lord today and find His light inside? Where will you find your light today? Where will your light come from?




Job 25:3 (Contemporary English Version)
Who can count his army of stars?
Isn't God the source of light?


Job 28:11 (New International Version)
He searches the sources of the rivers
and brings hidden things to light.


2 Samuel 22:29 (New International Version)
You are my lamp, O LORD;

the LORD turns my darkness into light.