Sunday, May 30, 2010

A Project, A Purpose or A Person

Today while I was at church I was speaking to a woman and it came up that she had no food at home. She didn’t feel comfortable asking the pastor because she had already asked for food a few times and she didn’t tithe so she felt like she shouldn’t ask again. I told her that it didn’t matter that she did not tithe. Pastor would still want to help her. That is what families do. She walked off uncomfortably and I felt I had to do something. I live close by so I just buzzed home and picked up a few things that I thought she could use for a couple of days until the first of the month when she got paid. My cupboards are not full but I want to be a tool that God can use. If God can trust me to give food to others when we have a little then when we have more food I hope to be able to give out more to others. You do not have to wait until everything is perfect before you do something for God. For instance, our home it is about 1100 square feet. I love our house. Our home is just perfect for us. The only thing is when we have people over it gets crowded real quick. We probably will never move to a bigger home but I am a social butterfly so I need to have people over. We have found that a good way to get to know someone is by having them over for a BBQ or a dinner after church. If we waited until we had enough room to have people over at our house we would never be able to have people over. The time is now. If God is calling you to do something than do it with what you have and let God provide you with the rest when he is ready.

When I get back to church I give her the food and she is very thankful and I told her that I cared about her and that God loved her. You would have thought I had just said something awful. It reminded me of when one of my children would come into the house from the back yard and say,” Mom, look what I found!” Then they would put their hand out and in it would be some kind of bug or spider. Dead or alive. Now as a homeschooling mother I try to use moments like this as a teachable moment so on my face I show how wonderful this discovery is and ask questions about this exciting find. But on the inside I am cringing and I want to run away screaming. This woman’s response looked a little of how I feel on the inside when presented with creatures from the back yard. She cringed and backed up. Shook her head like she was saying, “Not her.“ Did she think that she was not worthy? That she was not good enough, smart enough, whatever enough. This is a woman who has sat in church for a number of years. She is able to read her bible and has sung songs of the love of God many, many times. How could she think that God didn’t love her. Maybe if she believed that God loved her, she would find out that it was a lie and that she will look like a fool. Maybe she can’t trust God to love her because he may hurt her like others who have professed love for her but it was really just a way to get close to her and then take from her. I am working on a project that I believe God will use to show people how much he loves them but as I sat in church it hit me that it is not a project or a purpose that is going to ultimately be what God is going to use, it is going to be people. You and me showing others the love of God by how we speak and how we treat them. I don’t mean just at church either. Think of the people you come in contact with during your week. Does someone stand out to you that may need to be shown by word or deed that God loves them? Could it just be your friendly smile or patient attitude while being served at the bank or a grocery store. Some kind gesture that would put someone at ease and enable you to share your faith in Christ. If someone who goes to church doesn’t look like she believes that God loves her, then how can we be unconcerned for people that we meet who do not even know God and his love for them. It could be the reason why people act negatively toward the subject of God and the Bible. Maybe it’s not heaven with streets of gold and pearly gates that they are finding hard to believe. It could be the simple truth that God loves them. God loves you. God loves me. God really, truly is madly in love with us.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Japhthah, a Mighty Man of Valor

I was recently talking to a friend about our upbringing and the difficulties we had to deal with as very young children. Her story stayed with me for a while and during my bible reading today God brought this man’s story to my attention.

In Judges 11:1 we find Japhthah being described by God. First of all, how awesome is that. It makes me think, hmmm, how would God describe me? Anyway, back to Japhthah. God describes him as a Gileadite, a mighty man of valor, the son of Gilead, and, oh yeah, a son of a harlot. According to the bible Japhthah is run out of town by his own family because of who his mother was. They did not want anything to do with him. How tragic to be paying the price for your parents sins. Japhthah did not have a say in the matter just like so many children today do not have a say in how they come into this world. They are born into the most horrendous circumstances and are made to pay for their parents’ poor choices.

As the story goes on, the children of Ammon come and make war with Israel. Well, the elders of Gilead go and find Japhthah and not only do they want his help, they offer him a leadership role in this war. (vs6) Long story short Japhthah ends up going to war and with the Lord's help Israel defeats the Ammonites. (vs.32) Yeah!

What struck me about this story was the way Japhthah was brought into this world and how God used him in spite of his lineage. The fact that Japhthah’s mother was a harlot is not something to be taken lightly. I see this as hope for us that have been born in to unfavorable circumstances and through Christ we can be victorious. I was encouraged by Japhthah’s story because it illustrates God’s mercy and grace on our lives. God can use us if we are willing no matter what we have been dealt with in life.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Am I His Only Child?

Today was such an awesome day! I started out with a list and how much I had to spend and God did better than my list. Does He do that to you or is it just me. I do not think for one minute it is just me but sometimes (well, most times) it feels like it's just me. That I am the only one that needs all this extra attention because I just can not manage to do it on my own. God makes me feel that special.

Here is what I got today for $4.50:

12pk Cottenelle toilet tissue
Dove candy bar
La Choy Dinner kit
Kraft Mac & Cheese
Dole Salad mix
Gallon Milk
Nivea Men's Body Wash
48pk #2 pencils
Pink 3 hole punch
Avery file folder labels
Cap erasers
2-jet puff marshmellows
2-hershey 6pk candy bars
2-nabisco graham crackers
If I would have paid for all of this I would have spent over $60. Praise the Lord I did not!