Pursuing the abundance of a closer walk with Christ

Posts tagged ‘forgiveness’

Shine Your Light


cell-light

 

They say things come in three’s and for the third time in a few days, I’ve been impressed with specific illumination for the year 2017.

“In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Mathew 5:16 NIV)

What does that involve?  Are there specific things you must do so others will see your light? Is my light shining bright enough or does it flicker here and there? These are some of the questions I have thought about relating to the repeated theme.

I first heard the prompt to shine your light when a friend called my cell while I was in the grocery store on December 31st, 2016.  She announced that she was a great-grandmother of a baby boy and that she wanted to pray for me. She prayed specifically that I would be in the right place at the right time doing the right thing to glorify God and added a request not normally used in her prayers for me:

That I would shine my light and point others to Jesus.

Would you believe within a half hour, I did exactly that?

I put the groceries in the trunk, entered my car, sat behind the wheel and prepared to head home when I noticed a young lady in the car parked in front of mine, was upset. She mumbled a few things and slammed a door, then proceeded to look on the ground for something she apparently dropped.

I said a prayer for her and looked over in her direction again before I started my car. She was shining a light from her phone that not only was dim but too small to see well enough to find the item she lost.

I reached for my cell phone, pulled it out of my purse and pressed the LED flashlight app on the home screen. I walked over and offered to help her search.

She seemed relieved to have some help and commented how bright it was as she continued to search for a key.

She explained her predicament, “It must have dropped off the key chain after I opened the car door. My grandmother is waiting for me to pick her up and I can’t do that until I find the key to start the car!”

I tried to reassure and comfort her with the fact that I had just prayed for her before I came to assist her with my light. I empathized with her plight of being in the middle of an anxious frantic search. I told her, “These situations don’t get any easier as you get older. I still have moments where I get upset when I misplace something that I need and have to stop and pray for help.”

She searched again on the ground and rummaged through the numerous bags laying on the front and back seats and rear floors. It wasn’t until the third time going over each step since losing the key, that she finally found it.

“Thank you, Lord”,  I exclaimed as I looked up. I then said to her, “He answered prayer!”

She replied, “Heaven knows.”

She thanked me as I returned to my car.

I wished her a Happy New Year and paused in prayer once more before starting for home.

There have been more occasions to shine my light since the encounter with the young lady who searched for a lost key. And there is more than just shining your light applications that come to mind when reflecting on this story.

Basically, I want to list additional suggestions that I have been challenged with and that we as Christians can do to shine our light for Jesus.

 

  1. Stay plugged into the source to become brighter. Loving God with all your heart mind, soul and strength is essential.
  2. Pray without ceasing. Pray for: our leaders, others in need, the sick, our military, our schools, family, loved ones, neighbors, missions, unsaved people and your own personal list.
  3. Meditate on God’s Word. Read a devotional, start a Bible reading plan or write a Devotional yourself.
  4. Avoid listening to or initiating Gossip.
  5. Be slow to speak, quick to listen and slow to anger.
  6. Be who God created you to be and ask for His help to keep moving in the direction He is pointing you to go.
  7. Speak the Truth and balance it with love.
  8. Praise God for His answers to prayer and count your blessings.
  9. Do your good deed for the day as God opens an opportunity to help a stranger. Little random acts of kindness preceded by prayer cause you to glow outwardly and inwardly with His love.
  10. Eliminate complaining. If you find yourself falling short in this or another habit/s, as I have, ask forgiveness and begin again with items 1, 2 and 3.  God is merciful to forgive and help us grow into becoming more like Christ. Staying close through humble communication and obedient submission is key.

 

 

Maybe your list may look differently than what is posted above or you have a few things to add that would be helpful.

Be encouraged with the hope of a great new year filled with wonderful opportunities to connect with others and help them pursue a closer, abundant walk with Christ.

We are both privileged and blessed to partner with the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

Shine Your Light!

candle-lit-glow

Advertisements

The Heart of Hope


The Heart Of Hope

The Heart Of Hope

 

When searching for an illustration depicting hope, I clicked on Google Images and viewed a large number of various pictures and a few quotes. From an unknown author, a profound expression of vision; “Hope sees the Invisible, Feels the Intangible, and achieves the Impossible.”

One image in the group representing the category of hope showed soil so parched it cracked leaving deep furrows. It reminded me of  the desert in the Death Valley Days western series, yet in this visual, the life of a tiny seeding grew in the midst of an impossible environment.

My quest to provide a picture of Hope brought to mind a few of the Bible verses I’ve committed to memory over the years. “Hope deferred makes the heart sick…”. When confirming the reference of verse in my Bible,  I realized there was more from Proverbs 13:12  I didn’t include, “ but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.”

In this post, I chose to include  the image of an open book illustrating Hope, the inner pages folded toward the center to form the shape of a heart. I would venture to say the book shown here is the Holy Bible.

I can see much more that the graphics of the photo. I see God’s love perfectly binding the pages together with Promise, Wisdom, Truth, Light,  Mercy, Grace, Forgiveness, Salvation through His Son, Jesus, Deliverance, Restoration, Life, Liberty, Peace, Joy, Direction, Purpose and Hope.  I have come to experience a deep wealth of this abundance after accepting Christ as my Savior and as I continue to grow in a daily walk with Him.

Another encouraging verse of hope I memorized was from the Davonne Lee Hide and Keep Ministries. It’s catchy tune plays a melody of blessing in my thoughts and heart from time to time. “The Lord delights in those who fear Him, Who put their Hope in His unfailing love.” (Psalms 147:11 NIV)

Hope in His UNFAILING LOVE! The heart of hope is putting our trust in His Son, Jesus! He is the Heart of Hope and His Word is filled with the Heart of Hope. And He never Fails!

“For God so loved the World He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have ETERNAL LIFE.”  John 3:16 (NIV)

While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. The Heart of Hope is there for us before we are aware of our sin, but, we are not condemned by Jesus!

For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him. John 3:17(NIV)

Once we realize we are in need of a remedy for the sickness caused by sin in our life, God’s Grace and Mercy leads us to the Cross on which Jesus died for our sins. The forgiveness He lavishes on us also cleanses us from sin.

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sin and purify (cleanse) us from all unrighteousness. I John 1:9 (NIV)

Our Creator has placed a longing in our hearts to know Him, love Him completely,  serve and follow Him. More simply put, a relationship with the HEART OF HOPE.

We can be one with our Savior, the Lamb of God, the Creator of everything, who is All-knowing, All -powerful, Omnipresent, Wonderful Counselor, King of Kings and Lord of Lords, best friend ever. Forever!

 

 

“…But a longing fulfilled is a tree of Life.”    

Dear Reader,

Welcome me back to the writing of my blog.

I hope you know and trust the Heart of Hope, Jesus. What better way to begin a New Year than rejoicing together, helping each other and sharing in the Family of God!

I encourage you to grow into His Grace like the tiny seedling mentioned earlier in this post and mature into a tree of Life, where the Heart of Hope lives within.

Blessed to be a Blessing,

 

Greenginger

                       

Love is Sublime


Love is Sublime copy

A Stitch inTine


article-new_ehow_images_Tractora07_8k_06_2-acre-tractor-tillers-1_1-800x800<KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

You may have seen them out on the rural back-roads these past couple of weeks. Planting season is upon us and some of us have been delayed because of driving slowly behind a tractor that was either on its way to or coming from a field.

My neighbor owns a 1957 401 Case Tractor. He obliged my request to plow a new patch of ground where I planned to plant a strawberry patch and a few vegetables. As I returned home from an errand, I heard a tractor running. I turned off my car, got out and walked around to the back of the house hoping find out why it was idling.

At first glance, I thought, “He’s hurt!” My neighbor was laying on the ground beneath the rear of the tractor near the tines. As I hurried closer, he seemed to be wrestling with the cable that we took down earlier that morning; the one I wanted to drag completely out-of-the-way so the tractor wouldn’t be encumbered. However, my neighbor thought part-way was far enough. A “stitch-in-tine” in this Case(tractor)could have saved two hours if I had pulled it back into the woods.

The cable, formally used as a dog-run, became an entangled nightmare around the tines of the tiller head. Have you ever been vacuuming a rug when a piece of the unraveling rug yarn gets tangled in the brush-roller head? I have. It can become embedded in the ends of the roller making it difficult to untangle. But this cable couldn’t be pulled free like the unraveled rug yarn from a sweeper head. The cable had to be put through one side over a tine, then pulled through to the other side again and again until we could begin to reach the horrible tangle. The wires of the cable had to be painstakingly cut through. It then required an oversized screwdriver to pry the cable loose, one wrapped rotation at a time.

Just when I thought we were making headway, we would encounter another tangle, time after time. My neighbor was more patient then I; I wanted to take the end of the tiller that held the tines off. The cable wires looked like they were melted together in some sections, but thankfully, they were not.

While working on this tangled mess, I couldn’t help but think about how it related to my personal life. My life had at times become so entangled with the things of this world that I could not get myself free. It took the patient help of Jesus to free me from addiction, relationships and sin. Many times His love would reach down and pry loose the grasp that bound me by the cable of consequences, resulting from choices that I’d made. Choices that cost time and kept me from becoming what God wanted to be.

Has this been true for you? Has the Lord been merciful to you providing you forgiveness and Grace in spite of your faults, failures or wrong choices that you’ve made in your life? If not, I want to encourage you to seek his help in untangling any cable that binds you from becoming free to serve him and live in joy, love and peace.

Heavenly Father, help us to be at the right place, at the right time, doing the right thing to Glorify You. Bless those that need your comfort and forgiveness and draw them ever closer to You.

Sowing Seed


sowerAbout this time of year, in the colder regions where  some of us live, many people come down with a case of cabin-fever.  You know, the blahs, doldrums, sick and tired  of this cold, dreary weather that is putting its damp on my style.  Among the remedies for cabin-fever  featured  on television  are construction projects, home improvement ideas and beautifully  landscaped displays resembling the Garden of Eden. I, myself,  begin to dream of the possibilities of what the planting season will bring and get the “green-thumb urge” to go out into the fresh air wearing my work clothes, gloves and boots and begin sowing seed.planting seed_upd

Jesus spoke of sowing seed that is of a spiritual nature but illustrated it so simply in the Parable of the Sower.  “As he was scattering seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop-a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. Whoever has ears, let them hear.” Matthew 13:4-9 NIV

I thought about this passage many times before, but in regards to  the context of verse nine; primarily how much of a crop is produced. Recently, a friend spoke to me about my writing and the neighborhood ministry I had been working on for the past several years. She expressed how I had let it fall by the wayside.  I couldn’t get the phrase, “fall by the wayside” out of my mind so I  googled it . There in verse four of the King James Version,  I read a similar expression, “some seeds fell by the wayside, and the fowls came and devoured them up.”  I’ve thought about the neighbors/readers who may have been  searching for Christ, and how I neglected sowing the seed of love. How many opportunities to reach out to them fell by the wayside? I’ve resumed writing and have gotten the “green-thumb  urge” spiritually  to  plant the seed of love by helping others in my neighborhood find peace, love and forgiveness through Jesus.

I encourage those of you  who read this post to think about how God may want you to sow seed. Do you sense an urgency to do something God has planned for you alone to do?  Perhaps you have a desire to visit the sick, work the line in a soup kitchen, donate clothes that you don’t need to those who have little,  or reach out to a neighbor.  Perhaps you have an emptiness within, the blahs or lack an interest in spiritual things? Are the activities in your schedule crowding out time that could be spent serving God? Do you hear God calling you to plant seed for his kingdom so it will produce a crop that is a hundred, sixty or thirty times greater than what was sown? Let’s get busy about his business of planting seed.

Father, help us make you our priority each day. Forgive us for missed opportunities and help us sow the seed you’ve given us while it still may be planted in the hearts of men and women.

Tag Cloud