Sunday, September 16, 2012

Little Lesson: What Happens When a Door Closes?

You know the saying well. We all do. Go ahead, finish it.

"When God closes a door, He _____ ___ _____."

What was your answer? Was it "opens a window" or "opens another one"?

This week another answer came to me. Are you ready?

When God closes a door, He has a reason.

He has a reason. He knows His will for your life. And, yes, that reason might be that He's preparing to open a window or another door for you.

But I ask you, might it be that He has you right where you need to be? Might it be that you don't need an open door or window at that point in your life? Might it be that you still have lessons to learn from your current situation or that you still have opportunities to minister to those around you?

Too often we try to encourage people who are disappointed or discouraged by giving them platitudes. Even well-intentioned, Biblically based, platitudes can be inappropriate. 

How often have you tried to console someone with one of these....?

  • I know it's hard. We've all been there.
  • You're strong. God won't give you more than you can handle.
  • You can't see it now but it will all work out.
  • I don't know why you're going through this but everything happens for a reason.
Little Lesson Life Expression
Will you try to avoid platitudes and cliches of comfort for the next 30 days? When someone shares a hurt with you, will you focus on what they are sharing with you and seriously, immediately, pray with them for God's guidance and direction? Will you put your love into action and follow-through with them a few days later by phone or in-person to see how they are doing?

Psalms 119:105, 107(The Message)

 By your words I can see where I’m going;
    they throw a beam of light on my dark path.
 Everything’s falling apart on me, God;
    put me together again with your Word.

Jeremiah 29:11 (The Message)
I know what I'm doing. I have it all planned out -- plans to take care of you, not to abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Little Lesson: What Are You Sharing?

You know some days as I scan Facebook, I find nothing interesting on there at all.

Other days...well, other days there are 'must share' pictures, 'must share' quotes, and other 'must share' items.

Things that I think my friends will appreciate or 'need' to see. Funny things. Inspirational things. And occasionally even political things.

It's so easy to click that "share" thingy so all my  'friends' can have the opportunity to see or read what I just saw or read. 

I was doing that today. I shared several things back-to-back. I thought to myself, "I hope I don't annoy anyone." I don't want to lose friends over things I share.


Then I thought...

How often do I "share" my Loving Lord with those who need to hear about Him? Oh, sure, I click "share" on lots of things about Him or about our faith on Facebook. And I put Bible verses in my status from time to time. But do I share Him with those I meet along my path? 

We had the privilege to partner with our church this week to buy school supplies for children in a local school. As we were shopping, several times I mentioned that the children we were buying these for weren't ours. And I shared about the backpack drive through our church. I talked about our church but not about our Loving Lord. I shared about the works but not about the Word. I shared about our church but did not invite a single person to come check us out.

It's easy to share political views and religious views on Facebook and keep the balance so you don't lose friends. Isn't it more important to share our life-giving Loving Lord even if we risk losing the friend's friendship?

Little Lesson Life Expression 
Do you share our Loving Lord only through social media? What keeps you from sharing Him during face-to-face conversations? Will you invite someone to join you in worship next weekend? 

Hebrews 12:13-16 (God's Word Translation, GW)
So we must go to him outside the camp and endure the insults he endured. We don’t have a permanent city here on earth, but we are looking for the city that we will have in the future. Through Jesus we should always bring God a sacrifice of praise, that is, words that acknowledge him. Don’t forget to do good things for others and to share what you have with them. These are the kinds of sacrifices that please God.       

Thursday, August 16, 2012

What's Holding Up Your Hem?

I had an interesting conversation with the young woman who was cutting my hair.  She's a bit short and said that she has a hard time finding pants that fit and aren't too long on her. 

To prove this, she showed me the "hem" of the pants she was wearing.

What I saw was masking tape where the hem should be. Wide masking tape.  

She said she had to do that because neither she nor her mom knew how to sew. Not even enough to hem her pants. It was sad.

I grew up with a Mom who knew her way around the sewing room. No! I did not inherit her gift. But I am aware of the basic tools of the trade and the tricks of the trade.

So I said to her, "You know they sell stuff that you can just iron that hem in place, right?" She was intrigued but clearly had no idea what I was referring to so I said, "It's called Stitch Witchery."

I demonstrated how it would work if she purchased some. She was fascinated and asked, "Where would you get that?" I said, "They sell it at Joann's" and she responded, "I'm going there tomorrow!" 

I was so surprised that I had met someone who had never heard of hemming tape/Stitch Witchery. I've known of this product for years.

Of course, it got me thinking...

If it's possible that someone, with a need to have pants hemmed but didn't know how to hem them, had never heard of Stitch Witchery ... isn't it even more possible that someone with a need for the Lord (whether they know they have that need or not) has never even heard His name?

Little Lesson Life Expression
What do you do when you see people with tape holding up the hem of their future? Do you introduce them to something they may have never heard of by sharing our Loving Lord with them? If they look baffled because they don't have the spiritual history you've been blessed with, do you help them find the Truth? 

Matthew 28:18-20 (God's Word Translation, GW)
When Jesus came near, he spoke to them. He said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. So wherever you go, make disciples of all nations: Baptize them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Teach them to do everything I have commanded you. “And remember that I am always with you until the end of time.”