Saturday, September 14, 2013

Rejected, but not rejected

Jesus ate with the rejected. The oppressed (and the oppressers). The sinful and dirty. The "bad people" according to His church.

We claim to be His followers, to be like Him. But do we do the same? Do we welcome the outcasts, or do we reject them? Do we show love to the oppressed? Perhaps go the extra mile to set them free even?

The Jewish nation was God's church at that time. They made the same claims we do, yet they were far too busy being "good" themselves to take time to help someone else. And leaders? They outright rejected them. And the "church members"? They went along with their leaders, never questioning their course. And so those who sinned were rejected. Outcast. Left alone.

But Jesus ate with them. 

Jesus ate with them because of love. 

And what of us? Whose example are we going to follow?

Saturday, August 17, 2013

What if...I give up?

Warning: this was originally a journal entry and is quite long and very personal. ;-)

What if, in reaching out to others, I grow weary and give up? Reaching broken hearts is a hard, slow process. What if they're slow learners? Likely sorting through the pieces of their own broken heart? Hiding most of their struggles; sharing but a few?

What if I say I'm too tired or too busy cleaning up my own mess, finding my own way to help them with theirs? What if I'm not there for them? 

What if I realized that every look, every word, every act, even my attitude--or the absence thereof--is shaping their impression of God, encouraging or discouraging, making the way easier or harder--both for now and the days to come? And what if I kept that in mind every moment of my life? I'm afraid it would change the way I respond. But not afraid, for I know it would only make me a better person and it's part of accomplishing my mission of reaching hearts. Let me never lose sight of the high calling to which each of us is called. For what if that look or quick text is the very thing they need to keep going? Or even just knowing that I'm willing to help, that I'm praying for them, that I haven't given up on them? Or what if the opposite? What if I turn them away by my neglect, by my absence, by my coldness?

Oh, but I don't know what to say. So what? Say something. At the very least, hold them. Let them know they're loved.

So what if I'm tired of dealing with the same old problem? Help them anyway. It could change their life. (And don't forget, you yourself on an expert putting people through this one.)

So what if I'm too busy? Make time. They are more important.

So what if I don't feel adequate? Sure, someone else may be more qualified. Someone else could do a better job. But what if they don't? They are better off in your care than on their own. You are better able to care for them than they are for themselves. (And chances are, if you don't, no one else will and they will be left on their own.)

And remember, whether they are going through a difficult experience right now or not, you are shaping their view of God. Will they be more likely to follow Him all the way because of my influence? Or will it be harder for them to choose that path?

What if, even when it seems like I'm not getting anywhere, even when it's discouraging, I keep in mind the far-reaching results of my influence?  Could it give me the courage to continue?

Saturday, July 27, 2013


I believe having a life purpose is vital to living a worthwhile, happy life. They give direction and focus to our lives. It is the only way to do great things.

Ever since I was little I knew what my life's purpose was: to help people.  I didn't know how I was going to accomplish that, or which people group I was called to help. But as the days and years have passed God has been showing that to me. This passed year especially has been a time of learning and growing, but also a time of discovery. My life calling: to teach. My life purpose: Isa. 58:6-7. To loose sin's chains, to undo heavy burdens, to break yokes, and most importantly, to "let the oppressed go free." To do this involves more than just reaching their heads. It involves reaching their hearts. It's hard, dirty work. It requires tact and skill, and that I myself be a perfect reflection of God to them. But it is the best work. It is the only work that will truly last. Reaching their heads is not enough, we must reach their hearts. I am in no way qualified for this work, but I know One who is. And with His help, I am learning.

What about you? What is your life's purpose? If you don't already have one, ask God to help you see it. He has a purpose for you.

Friday, February 1, 2013

The Gift of Grace

"...But I'm not worthy..."

"The only prerequisite to receive my grace is unworthiness."

"Hmm. I think I could meet that condition."