Monday, March 26, 2018

BIG Inspiration from SMALL Packages!!!

It is like a mustard seed...
though it is smaller than all
the seeds...grows up and
becomes greater than all herbs..
(Mark 4:31-32)
We've had an unusual entry into Spring!  Two snow falls in one week (one breaking records at nine inches) and all within days of the official First Day of Spring posted on calendars.

Even so, I'm in a Spring Time State of Mind!  Like many of you, I look forward to more pleasant weather and the beauty of new blossoms God promises.   But if you just can't wait, let me share something that might jump start you into the light and hope this season brings.

Two things have weighed on my mind as we transition from winter. First, I wanted to recognize the achievements of women before leaving the month of March, Women's History Month and second, I wanted to help prepare hearts for Resurrection Sunday, coming up in just a very few days!  Thankfully, I found appropriate and timely inspiration for both this past weekend!

Nationally, on March 24th, men, women, boys, and girls of all colors were making history.  They were participating in March For Our Lives, a protest against increasing gun violence in America and a plea for gun control. Its epicenter was our nation's capitol, Washington, D.C. but other marches were held simultaneously all over the U.S. with a few countries abroad. I've been on a 40 day television fast but my smart phone prompted me to this important news flash.  When I read the promo for  11year old Naomi Wadler's speech at the March, I just had to give it a listen (click on the link below).

March For Our Lives Naomi Wadler Speech

This eloquently spoken, Nubian princess, articulated her concern for the safety of her generation in a way that grabbed not only media attention, but people everywhere affected emotionally or personally by gun violence. It showed the core of youth activism that became the catalyst for the Civil Rights Movement, The Voting Rights Acts, and the Anti-War Protests of our time. How appropriate that Martin Luther King, Jr.'s granddaughter, 9 year old Yolanda Renee King also spoke.  Her dream?  Enough is enough, this should be a gun-free world!  BE STILL MY HEART!  Each of these little girls made me proud to be a woman and an American!

On a much smaller stage (no pun intended), was a brief interview I did with a dynamic Christian Sister from my church, Amber Smith.  I invited her to be my guest at a teachers/leaders training on Personalization (Be Personal). It was designed to help Church folks get accustomed to loving, ministering to, and serving with people who do not look like ourselves.  These exceptional human beings (I prefer that word over special needs) are often ignored and treated as if they have no place in the body of Christ!

Amber, is a woman of short-stature. Other politically correct terms would be Little person, dwarf, or LP.  The word midget is highly offensive.  She has a form of dwarfism called hypochondroplasia. But Amber will tell you as she told us, no labels are really needed.  Simply refer to her as: A beautiful black little woman!  She is the mother of two girls (one short stature), and has a testimony of trials, wounds, and challenges in life that would humble the majority of us!

Her childhood was traumatic. She was bullied as both a child and an adult and suffered the heartbreak of personal and family relationships. She continues to be the victim of rude and insensitive remarks, yet Amber is overcoming it all!  She is tiny and shy but finding her way out of her shell to tell a story we all need to hear!  Her love for Christ and testimony of faith along with the affirmation of her children (they think she's the bomb) was the highlight of the day!

Musing over these ladies, I begin to think afresh about the call of the Prophet Jeremiah:

"I knew you before I formed you in the womb; 

I set you apart for me before you were born; I appointed you to be a prophet to the nations." (Jeremiah 1:5)

I came to this conclusion:

God makes no mistakes!! (Ps. 145:17)  He knew exactly what He was doing when He created you (Ephes. 2:10).  Stop complaining about not meeting the expectations or models of this world or even those we impose upon ourselves (Isaiah 45:9).  The potential for greatness is in us all (Psalms 139: 14-16).  God has a marvelous plan for everything we go through.  We must remain faithful (Jeremiah 29:11).

As we approach RESURRECTION SUNDAY, Celebrate with Joy!

There IS still HOPE and INSPIRATION in this world.  Look for it no matter how SMALL it may be.   When you find it APPRECIATE IT .... FOR IT JUST MAY BE FOUND IN YOU!!!!


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Sunday, March 4, 2018


"How beautiful are the feet
of those who bring good news
of good things. (Rom. 10:5b)
It's been a rough week!  Nearly ten days into a 40 day fast,  my husband came down with a terrible cough keeping us both up at night. The changes in my diet and from kicking television cold turkey (my personal sacrifice) was reaping great benefits, but  still having its effects on me.  And on top of it all he decided to undertake a minor bathroom project, that's still going on and is turning out to be a real nightmare!

Between the lack of sleep, lack of privacy (plumber in and out all day) and the Enemy putting his two-cents in wherever he could, our house was so tense and thick with emotions that the smallest spark would have set us all off in a blaze of flames!

Even with time spent in prayer, bible reading, and meditation, I still found myself wondering if maybe somewhere I got it wrong!  Perhaps the single life was God's perfect plan for me after all! I mean that's got to be better than dealing with all the stress and attitude I've been getting all week!

Singles have it made (I said)!  They have no one to listen to but the Lord.  They don't have to think about what to say or not to say before talking, so as not to stir up Mr. Grumpy Pants! And they can spend all the time they want going, serving, and doing all those wonderful things for the Lord!

And then, out of the blue a question came to me...What if this marriage is your mission field and your life, the gospel? Well, to be truthful, if it is, I now know why John Mark left the mission field in Acts 13:13!  Honestly, that's where I was emotionally!  But then I began to give
this some real thought.  Marriage is, in many ways, a mission field for wives!  Think about it!
  • A Missionary is specifically called of God for a distinct ministry.  The Grecian verb for missionary is apostello, the same word we get apostle meaning sent one!  Now I never considered myself an apostle in my own marriage but why not! 
           Proverbs 18:22 says, He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from 
        the Lord. Now consider James 1:17, Every good and perfect gift comes from above...,
          thus, I think it not too much of a stretch to believe that every good wife is one sent from 
        the Lord!  Sounds like an apostle to me! And what is more distinct (recognizably 
        different) in ministry than that of marriage?
  • A Missionary's duties are dependent upon the Word of God and Prayer. And we shall give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word (Acts 6:4). Listen, if you can get through marriage without these two, I need to come talk to you! To be a Christian wife and be faithful to the standards that God has given us without the Word and Prayer is an impossibility.  Wives are to be submissive! (Ephes. 5:22)  Wives are to serve! (I Peter 3:5-6)  Wives are helpers! (Gen. 2:18)  Wives are to be self-controlled and pure! (Titus 2:3-5)  To be faithful sexual partners! (I Cor. 7:5)  And these are only a few!
  • A Missionary's life is one of sacred sacrifice that often endures hostility. As wife to a non-Christian or even a spiritually immature husband you might find yourself dealing with jealousy,  even hostility toward the things of God simply because of ignorance (2 Corin. 2:14). In such cases, it does you no good to try to beat the bible into your husband but it's better to live the Gospel out every day, no matter what the cost! (I Peter 3:1). In this way you are very much like a missionary.  Going out winning the world for Christ while your unbelieving husband is going to hell, wins you no prizes with the Lord! 
As a woman of a certain age, who sometimes find marriage more challenging than I like, I'm beginning to find comfort in the spiritual insight that God provides (If I let Him!) Singles appreciate the freedoms you have to do for God everything your heart desires! Married ladies appreciate the years of service you have given not only to the Lord but to your family.  We have much to find satisfaction in for God's grace has given us dual blessings!!! In this way too, we are like some missionaries, serving bi-vocationally the Lord and our husbands! In any case remember the words of Paul: As a prisoner of God, I beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called. (Ephesians 4:1)


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