Investing Our Time

Needs. We all have them. Some have the need of transportation, or finances – others have the need of child care. What about those who have no husband or a husband who travels all of the time? They need someone to help them fix things up or help them with yard work. There is the mom who could use someone to fix meals for her once in awhile as she cares for a child with disabilities or the family who has no relatives nearby and just needs friendship and a support system.
 
What are your needs? Do you feel like they are being filled?
 
God tells us in Hebrews 10:24, 25  “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.  Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
 
To me that means being there for each other – being there – physically. Giving up of yourselves and your time.  It seems to me that it is so much easier for people these days to say, “I’ll pray for you” than it is for them to actually move to action themselves. It’s easier for them to talk to you and ask how it’s going than it is for them to give up their own valuable time to help in some way. And if there are people giving and making efforts; a lot of times it is for some big “cause.” The church can often make the mistake of looking outward to helping “others” rather than looking inward and helping its own.
 
I’ll give you an example.
 
When we first moved into our house we had A LOT of yard work to do. Living on an acre, we still do.  One day shortly after our move we asked some men and friends in our church to come and help us shovel some rock that we were having delivered. We offered to provide lunch for everyone. We must have invited over 20 men. Two came to help. 
 
We live in an area where the closest family members are five hours away. People who live near family don’t know what this is like. You have no one to count on for childcare, no one to help when you are sick and still have to manage to get your kiddos off to school or make their lunches, no one to help when your husband is out of the country and you are “manning” it up on your own – no one but the friendships you have made. So if those friends are busy with their own lives – that leaves… you guessed it – no one.
 
I’m coming to find out that giving up of your time is more valuable than almost any other resource you can give someone. It is one of the most unselfish, loving things you can do. To be there for those you love.  Make the efforts to invest in others. If someone is in town and it’s not a convenient time for you – so what! Let them come over and show them you value them and the desire they had to see you. If someone is celebrating a holiday all by themselves – invite them over or better yet – drive or go fly to be with them! Give up your time and finances to invest in them.  If someone is having a birthday and they live hundreds of miles away, figure out a way to show him or her how special they are by coming up with something clever that you can do over the miles. I have a friend who had everyone important to another friend of hers take their pictures with a heart and a birthday greeting. She put them all together and featured them on her blog as a birthday surprise for her friend. Now THAT is clever, and loving! Someone else I know flew in his wife’s parents for her birthday!
 
Time. Invest of yourself into others. We’re all busy. But maybe we’re so busy because we’re trying to do everything by ourselves and have no one to help us. Maybe if we all started leaning on each other and investing into each other we’d find things would go a little bit easier in our lives.
 
I’d like people to invest into me and my family a little bit more. I’d like to see my kids invest into others as they grow up. It brings out the richness of life.  Everyone wants to be loved – everyone has needs. What are you doing to help fill those needs in the lives of those around you?
 
~ God has been teaching Dionna how much He values her giving out of what He has given to her. She is the Editor/Founder of Emphasis On Moms – http://www.EmphasisOnMoms.com

Where Is The Sting?

Where is our morality?

We cannot stand up and say that homosexuality is wrong lest we be deemed “judgmental.”

We don’t flinch when we watch television shows with chronic infidelity. It’s the “norm.”

Our children wear clothing that show their rear-ends when they bend over, or declare statements that say things such as “It’s all about me.”

We allow computer and Nintendo games in our homes that depict shooting other people and killing them.

We watch movies that have scenes of women showing their breasts (or most of them) – and we wonder why our husbands have a hard time remaining faithful to us!

These are just a few examples of the road our society has gone down. And it’s not “them” that I speak of – it’s “us.” We allow it and we partake of it. We aren’t critical of what we watch or listen to. It doesn’t sting our hearts the way it should because we have grown cold.

What happens when our hearts grow cold? What happens when people don’t stand up in justified anger over sin? Can God work? Is there any hope? Have we given up? If we’ve given up then things will only get worse and we will get more corrupted just as much as the rest of the world.

I, personally, want God with me and for me. I want to call on Him and know He will come to me. But I have to keep my heart soft. I have to be wise and discerning about what I allow into my home, my life, and my heart. I have to be willing to correct areas in my life where I’ve grown cold or immune to God’s Word pricking my heart. I can’t “pretend” to be upset over something and then go and be a part of it. I can’t stand by and let myself succumb to peer pressure or thoughts and images that others say are socially correct. For only God’s Word is correct and He is my ultimate judge.

Let us fall on our knees and ask God to have mercy on us. Let us call out to Him and ask Him to permeate our hearts and lives and move us to action on behalf of our love for Him, our families, and this life that He has given us. Let’s not sit idly by and let others believe the “lie” that all these temporary thoughts and ideals will bring long-lasting happiness – for they will only cause misery.

We need to put ourselves in a position where we are stung by what is happening around us. It needs to hurt us – what we see – what we hear. It needs to move us to stand up for what is right, to pray, and to speak out.

We need to be either hot or cold. We need to decide which side of the fence we are on. Are we on fire for the Lord? He said He would spit those who are lukewarm out of his mouth. I don’t want that to be me. Nor do I want to grow cold and be immune to the hurting, the weak, or the lost. I want my heart to sting. I want it to sting for what is lost and what needs to be right.

Do you?

Dionna Sanchez is a freelance writer and blogs at http://beautyinthestorm.blogspot.com

God-Designed Living

Have you ever gone through a season of life where you’ve thought, “There’s got to be more to life than this?”
Ever felt called to do something, but just weren’t sure how to go about it? 
Ever feel God has given you a really big promise…and though you can’t wait to see it come to pass, wonder if it will?

I imagine if we were all in a room together most (if not all) of us would have to raise our hands to at least one of the questions listed above. So what’s my point?

Simply this, our feelings and struggles are not uncommon; which gives a whole new revelation to the truth, that, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy…” BUT the GOOD NEWS of John 10:10 is that Jesus has “come that we may have life, and have it to the full. NIV

II Peter 1:3 promises that God has given us everything that we need that pertains to life and godliness.

The key to God designed living is to come to the end of ourselves…our abilities…and our power…and recognize that it’s always been about God…His ability…and His Power…

When we exchange our best efforts and substitute our busy activity with simple obedience we will find the strength to declare as Paul did that “I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me.”

I feel the Lord gently encouraging us today, as He did Jacob when Jacob left Beersheba and set out for Haran, with these words:

Genesis 28:13-15
“I am the LORD, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are lying. 14 Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring. 15 I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” NIV

You are amazing. Created uniquely. Designed with and for a purpose. And…when you purpose to give your gifts in full service to the Lord you cannot fail. You will accomplish what He has destined for you to accomplish.

My prayer for you today: May God grant you wisdom to know His will and purpose for your life and the strength and passion to fulfill it.

For more encouragement on “Discovering, Developing, & Doing Your Passion” visit Julie at http://HisLoveExtendedMinistries.blogspot.com