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From the monthly archives: March 2012

We are pleased to present below all posts archived in 'March 2012'. If you still can't find what you are looking for, try using the search box.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

1 Corinthians 12:4-6 4There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men. I am a witness. I am a believer. I know that God’s Grace is plentiful, a bottomless chalice, Always replenished and given freely to those willing to accept it. I have been given Grace. Some years ago I made a commitment to be ‘mindfully aware’ of God’s Graces in my life. To recognize people and experiences that have touched my life, helped me to grow and are absolute gifts chosen by God, just for me. My husband gave me some advice during a rocky time that I was having with a girlfriend. He told me that people flow in and out of our lives. It’s up to us to pay attention and accept their gifts, grow because of them and smile at the experience as they move on to touch other’s lives. That will be the time our own life opens for the next wave of growth or in my ‘mindful awareness’ ...

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Friday, March 30, 2012

1 Corinthians 12 We had been working side by side in the kitchen for more than 90  minutes one Saturday evening when she confided, “I don’t’ really like this kind of work.” Totally surprised, since she had seemed cheerful, joking and talking as we cut fruit for the next morning’s mission brunch, I probed for more information. “I don’t really like cooking, but I do it, for my family. It has to get done, so I do it.” She was volunteering 2 hours of her Saturday evening, not because she enjoyed the activity or didn’t have enough obligations to fill her calendar, but because the urgent email had pleaded for help, and she was one of the mission team members who would benefit from the money raised by this brunch. Commitment, not personal enjoyment, motivated her. Two thoughts struck me as I processed this conversation. ❤ Thank You, God, for dedicated, committed servants who look beyond their own comfort and preferences, who see the needs and respond out of love and discipline. Praise God for Christians ...

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Thursday, March 29, 2012

1 Samuel 16:7 (NIV) The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart. Colossians 3:23-24 (NIV) 23Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, 24since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Whenever I hear the word servant – it has a negative aspect to it, and I think of work. Yet, God is calling us to be servants of His love. Whenever I offer to do volunteer work of any kind, I always think: no problem; I can easily fit that into my day. But when the day comes to deliver the flowers or whatever act of service I am doing, it never goes as planned. If I’m taking flowers to the church, the doors are locked. If I’m taking flowers to the sanctuary there is a service of some kind going on and I can’t get in. So, Plan B comes into action. Go home. Wait an hour, come back and try again. Sometimes I feel th ...

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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

1 Kings 19:9 - 16 Twice in this passage, God asks, “What are you doing here Elijah?” Twice Elijah responds that he was zealous but now he felt alone. Those who serve the Lord in difficult times and in difficult ways sometimes have a heavy heart because they feel alone and isolated. Even though Elijah felt alone, he listened for God and to God. Elijah again accepted divine instruction and continued to serve. If you read on, you see Elijah was not the only one still serving the Lord (the prophet in 20:13 does not even get named). Elijah found other to serve with him and continued his service. The servant’s heart may go from elation to despair or a feeling of isolation only to again return to having a sense of purpose. Through the story of Elijah we can see that perseverance and a willingness to continually seek guidance may be at the core of the servant’s heart. Gracious and Loving God, Guide those who are called to serve, Give courage to those called to serve, Grant peace to all who heed the call t ...

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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Deuteronomy 32:2 (NIV) Let my teaching fall like rain and my words descend like dew, like showers on new grass, like abundant rain on tender plants. Many summers ago, I volunteered with a summer reading program. Many children from the city attended this reading program. Some were excellent readers but many came from homes where reading was not a treasure. These children often began the program anxious for the time to end so they could go back to playing. Every week there was a new adventure to read about or a lesson to be learned as the pages were turned. The days were spent with Green Eggs and Ham, Curious George, Beezus and Ramona, The Giving Tree. The greatest joy of this experience was when a child who was struggling with learning to read fell in love with books and showed significant improvement in their reading skills. I can still recall many of the big smiles and eyes bright with excitement and achievement as the children read the stories to me. For the children, the summer reading program int ...

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Monday, March 26, 2012

As Paul’s letter to the church in Galatia transitions from Chapter 5 to Chapter 6, he includes two of my favorite verses. In Galatians 5:26 Paul says, “Let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another.” Then he urges help from the faithful for the downtrodden among them by urging, “Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2). These are good words to live by. I try to keep them in mind, especially when I see somebody who needs some help. Ask yourself, “If I am to receive grace from God, how will he deliver it?” Grace isn’t going to come through your iPhone or Computer. Grace probably won’t come from a bolt of lighting either. Grace will come from the angels. Who are the angels? Some of them could be the people walking amongst us now. The word angel comes from the Greek word for messenger. Grace will come through the workings of your fellow man. It amazes me and humbles me to realize that God uses imperfect humans to transmit his perfect love. ...

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Sunday, March 25, 2012

1 Samuel 16:7 (NIV) “The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” Sometimes, I think I’m smarter than my coworkers. Sometimes, I think I’m better than my boss. And sometimes, I think I deserve better. I attend graduate school and work part time at a national bagel chain, making—you guessed it—bagels. My coworkers are mostly female college students; one is a teenage mother. They’re loud and outgoing, and quite frankly, somewhat immature. My boss can be a bit high strung, always worrying about the store or the customers. She hovers, too, explaining a routine task several times. I start work at 5 a.m., sometimes even earlier, and then work a 10- hour shift. It’s not an ideal situation. But neither is my attitude. I’m generally dismissive of my job and my coworkers; however, God makes his attitude clear about my behavior. In 1 Samuel, God ignores David’s brothers—taller, stronger, more handsome—in favor of the youngest ...

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Saturday, March 24, 2012

Matthew 5:16 In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. This verse clearly tells us to be doers! Doers for the Glory of God. Not the most popular image today, as you can see when browsing Christian websites and bookstores. There you will find many self-development and leadership guides. There are stories of leaders, leadership strategies, and how to become a leader. Many of these books and sites promote servanthood but really are about leadership. Serving for the glory of God is the work of all Christians, yet we seem to shy away from the tasks of serving. Perhaps the appeal of leadership has hijacked the biblical call to servanthood. As a result, we study a role that will only ever be held by a few, and we largely ignore the role that ought to be held by every Christian. Whatever happened to servanthood? Christians must grasp a biblical understanding of their calling to serve in the church, motivated by the grace that is ours in ...

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Friday, March 23, 2012

Psalm 119: 33-40 I had been actively participating in some sort of study for many years. I really enjoyed learning more about the Bible, prayer, and other topics. Then one year, I felt God calling me to lead a study instead of just participating. But I did not want to lead a study. I don’t have enough knowledge to lead a study, nor did I want to spend all that extra time preparing. Also, there was the additional responsibility of having to be there each week if I was leading. I was busy; I was already participating in many church activities, and there were other people definitely more qualified. But God kept putting it on my heart. I finally gave up and told God I would do it… but there needed to be at least five people there or it wasn’t worth it. I chose to be obedient, but I certainly did not have a servant heart attitude or anything even remotely like the right attitude. But God works in amazing and mysterious ways, always for our good. Five people showed up that first night. Can you believe it? Fiv ...

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Thursday, March 22, 2012

James 1:2-4    2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. Some years ago, I decided that during the harder times in my life, that there was a lesson here somewhere. I started asking God to “show me what I am to be learning during this time,” and to adopt  an “attitude of gratitude” for whatever is yet to be revealed. I think by that time I had learned that on the other side of the trials in life was a greater good, lessons to be learned, and always a chance to grow. I have had plenty of times since then to practice this “prayer” of patience and perseverance and essentially hope. And I’ve found in the midst of the tough stuff, it may be hard to keep the focus on the “Light” at the end of the Tunnel, but God has NEVER failed to show his grace, to walk beside, me, and to help ...

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