We CAN Make a Difference

1f4161e8b426d5767fbb679c31371e82“You didn’t do anything to help, mom?” My teenage son’s question hung in the air as we drove. I had been telling him about an employee that fell at a store I had been shopping at. The guy had fallen hard, and as the sound of him hitting the floor rang out, my head quickly turned to see what had happened.

There on the floor lay a middle-aged man. He held his hand to his nose and was not getting up. People quickly crowded around him, as a co-worker ran to the back room for help. A passer-by shouted out, “He needs an ice-pack,” and kept shopping. I knew he needed much more than an ice-pack, as he was not getting up and continued to groan and keep a hand up to his head. I thought to myself. What can I do? And with that thought, I did the only thing I knew to do. I prayed for him and his healing, and quietly slipped out the door.

All that day that fellow lying on the floor kept coming to my mind. And, with each remembrance, I lifted him up in prayer. However, as the day progressed and after my son’s shocked response, I began to question myself. Perhaps I could have done something more. And so, I began praying… Lord, how could I have been of assistance? What should I do if I am once again in a similar situation? What are trying to teach me?

I am not typically a take charge type of person, especially in a crisis situation. I am more the soft spoken type who would wait for someone else to jump into action. As I prayed and mulled this over, I realized the Lord was telling me that I am actually very capable of helping. I could have called 911 or sat by his side and offered words of encouragement.  I could have prayed with him. How often do we walk away from a situation due to feelings of inadequacy, believing we have nothing to offer?

As believers and followers of Jesus Christ, we can make a difference. We have the Holy Spirit within us. He will provide wisdom and discernment. If we listen, we can help others even when we feel insufficient. “Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God.” 2 Corinthians 3:5. However, it takes willingness on our part to take the risk of stepping out in faith. We need to put ourselves out there and be vulnerable to make a difference in the lives of those the Lord puts in our path.  “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9.

We can pray for healing but, there time could be up. As a believer we must realize in an emergency situation lifting someone up in prayer could mean the difference of someone living or dying. And, ultimatley, their eternal destination of going to heaven or hell could be at stake. So, we must choose to be proactive in our Christian walk and faith. We should be alert and ready to be called into action. “Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us? And I said, “Here I am. Send me!”  Isaiah 6:8.

It is easy to cop out during a crisis situation. It is much harder to step out in faith and get involved. It comes down to this. Do we want to make a difference in the lives we touch in our daily walk? If so, we should be active in our faith and living boldly. 1 Thessalonians 2:12 says, “We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.” We are to be encouraging, comforting, and live lives worthy of the Lord our God.

Since this emergency situation had such an impact upon me I couldn’t help asking about the employee’s condition upon my return visit, the following day. His co-worker told me he was in the hospital with a concussion, a broken nose, and a broken arm. He suffered some serious injuries, but thankfully he will recover in a matter of time. To God be ALL the glory!

 

 

Clothe Yourself in Kindness

20150517_SundayScripture_Colossians-3-Graphic-Image-SMALLThe Lord has been speaking to my heart about kindness. He has gotten my attention by showering me with more kindness than usual lately. It is amazing how an act of kindness can change a person’s day or even complete outlook on life. There is power in the act of being kind to one another and even more so is the power of a prayer.

Simply said, kindness is the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate. It is far reaching and can be accomplished in countless ways. I enjoy trail running and am fortunate to live in an area where I can easily access mountain trails.  It is the norm for me to be running along in my zone when all of a sudden I am face to face with a guy whizzing towards me on his mountain bike. I usually jump off the trail out of harm’s way or stop running so he can fly by me on the single track trail.  However, the other day, a guy who was approaching me on his mountain bike completely stopped. He got off his bike and moved to the side of the trail, then waited for me to run on by.  As I did, he was smiling and cheerfully greeted me and wished me a good day! This never happens so when it did, I felt like I was being treated as a lady of honor and with great respect. It was almost as if he took a knee for me! This random act of kindness was very courteous and polite and left me feeling flattered and even a bit smitten!

The act of pay it forward is always such a blessing. This happened to me twice this month. The first was when I was in a drive-thru at Star Bucks and a complete stranger in the car ahead of me bought my hot latte and morning inspiration. What a surprise that was! I left that drive-thru in shock and a bit beside myself that a random person would reach out to me when I did nothing at all to deserve it. I was so caught off guard and touched by the kindness of this stranger. It made my day and I felt like screaming it out to everyone on social media! Just a couple weeks later my neighbor was in the Taco Bell drive-thru and guess what she did? Yep, you guessed it. She bought the tacos and burritos the kids and I had ordered. I was blown away! I was filled with gratitude, which caused me to want to bless her back. So, the next day she got brownies and a bouquet of flowers from me to brighten her day. When someone is kind, it is contagious and can inspire us to be tender-hearted in return. It’s a win win. The giver is blessed by the act of giving, as it is a very rewarding experience. The one receiving the kind act is pleasantly surprised and ever so grateful.

When my dad passed away unexpectedly, my Aunt reached out. She provided nutritious homemade food that could be ready to eat with minimal effort on my part. She had my favorite comfort soup, fresh bread, prepackaged salad, a roasted chicken, and delicious pumpkin bread made from scratch. As if that wasn’t enough, she included a fresh bouquet of flowers to brighten our home. Having her reach out to me encouraged my grieving heart. She made a hard time more bearable. I was able to easily sustain myself and my kids over that next week. Her act of kindness was far reaching into both my heart and home.

It was during this same period of time while I was grieving the death of my dad that I became completely overwhelmed and depressed. It was one of those complete meltdown moments in life. I had gone to my quiet place in my home where I could be alone with the Lord to pray. I had my Bible, my journal, and had also been texting a friend who was concerned about me. The tears began to flow and quickly turned into loud sobbing. It was not only the pain of the loss of my dad I was feeling, but other hurt that I had been carrying, which all came tumbling out. It was in the middle of all this pain and crying that my phone rang. It was a long-time Christian friend of mine who rarely called. But, call me she did and it was all I could do to say “hello”. This friend went right to prayer, speaking loudly and with authority, as I cried into the phone. She continued in prayer for me until the sobs quieted and completely stopped. We then discussed why my heart was so troubled. As she listened, the heaviness of my heart lifted. By the end of our conversation she had me laughing and planning a girl’s getaway together with her! Her phone call and intercessory prayer changed me, for good. Her timely call and prayer lifted my spirit and broke the bondage of past hurt that was burdening my soul. I am so thankful for my friend who cared enough to reach out to me during a painful time in my life. Because of her prayer covering, listening ear, and encouraging words I was able to pull out of what overwhelmed my heart and soul. I thank the Lord for my praying friend!

These different acts of kindness each had a tremendous effect upon me, each one in a completely different way. The result of each was, of course, all good! They were all uniquely different and with equally diverse outcomes. I thank the Lord for the people who touch my life with their love, kindness, respect, compassion, and most importantly, the love of Christ. When people are thoughtful and caring it brightens our day, encourages our heart, and can lift our spirit! It can also inspire us to reach out to others. And when kindness is paired with prayer… “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Psalm 147:3 Thank you Lord… Amen!

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Breathless!

Struts_00[1] (2)The door slammed shut, grabbing my attention. There, across the room, stood my son, a young man of 14 years old. He was distraught and trying to speak, but all he could say was, “the…” and then gibberish, followed by incomplete thoughts that made no sense. I abruptly ended my phone call and ran to my son. He was shaking and out of breath. He finally pulled together his first sentence. “The hood of the Toyota slammed shut on my hands and I was stuck!” I immediately sat him down, then dashed to get Advil and an ice pack. He quickly swallowed the pain relief pills and we soothed his hand with the ice. I then began to pray, “Dear Lord Jesus please heal my son’s hand…”

He was still shaking as I held his hand to examine the extent of his injury. As I did this, he recounted the incident. He had been under the hood, replacing a valve cover gasket when the hood shock broke. The hood slammed down on him, pinning his left hand. He was trapped and in tremendous pain. He had called out to me, but with the house being tightly sealed, I heard nothing. Thankfully, he had been holding a flashlight with an extended handle on it. It lessened the blow to his hand, and, as a result, was completely cut in half by the weight of the hood. His cell phone was within eyeshot, but he could not reach for it. In his desperation, pain, and panic, his adrenaline kicked in and he was able to partially lift the hood off his hand and slip it out, leaving a large warp in the hood that is now our visual reminder of the incident.

I thanked the Lord my son still had his fingers. But, I thought we would probably be taking a trip to the doctor followed by x-rays in the morning. I dreaded the thought of a possible break or even worse, nerve damage. His hand was pretty banged up and one finger was especially cut and traumatized, plus, he was having trouble moving his fingers. As the evening progressed I watched for swelling and discoloration and asked about his pain level. It was not swelling as I had anticipated and he kept telling me, “Mom, I can’t feel anything.” This led me to believe he may have some kind of serious damage. We continued icing and praying throughout the evening. By bedtime the Advil had worn off and my son still told me he couldn’t feel anything. It was then that I realized what he meant was, he had no pain! The fingers that he could not move earlier were now beginning to bend. We continued to pray and thank the Lord for saving my son’s fingers and for the healing work He was doing. Then, we drifted off to sleep

The next morning, I expected to see swelling and possibly black or blue bruising on my son’s hand and fingers. However, there was none. He had no pain and had almost completely regained mobility in his injured fingers. The Lord had healed his hand! Jeremiah 30:17 says, “I will restore you to health and heal your wounds, declares the Lord.” What an incredible promise. Yes, God, the Creator of the Universe is our Great Physician.

I continue to thank the Lord for His faithfulness in taking care of our son and how our Heavenly Father gave my son the power he needed to get out from under the hood of that car, saved his fingers, and miraculously healed his hand from the trauma of the weighty hood that crashed down on him. I thank the Lord that as His children, we are never alone. He is always with us taking care of us. Joshua 1:9 tells us, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Thank you, Jesus, for your faithfulness, always. Great and mighty is the Lord our God.

Get Covered

praywithoutceasingIt wasn’t but a few short weeks and those darn stains were back and the carpet seemed as dirty as before, if not even worse! The spots weren’t lifting as easily as the prior scrub, so my mind began to formulate an alternative plan. We needed a type of covering to help keep the filth from getting into the carpet. The use of a clear carpet runner to cover the areas that were prone to stain would be helpful. Yes, a covering was needed to help remedy this problem from continuing to fester. Just as the carpet needed a covering to keep from stain and harm, how much more the children of God!

Let’s look at the meaning of the word covering. The English definition is, an object or substance that goes over or on top of something especially in order to hide or protect it. Source Merriam-Webster Learner’s Dictionary. Now let’s see what the Hebrew translations have to say. There are three Hebrew words we need to look at. Sakak, which means to overshadow, screen, cover. Kasah, which means to cover for clothing or secrecy. And, kaphar, which means to cover, purge, or make atonement for sin, make reconciliation. Source Strong’s Concordance.

praywithothersWhen we pray to our Heavenly Father, we are covered in prayer. Looking back at the above definitions we can derive from this the importance in having such a covering. For this reason, we are to have other believers that we can call upon for prayer. We need people we can be accountable to that will listen and lift us up in prayer, as needs arise. Romans 7:18 tells us, “For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh, for I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out.” When struggling with sin in your life, don’t go at it alone. The enemy wants to isolate and condemn you, and tell you how rotten you are. As you share with another in words and heartfelt prayer, the darkness will be brought into the light. You will enter into freedom as the Holy Spirit ministers to your very soul. Matthew 18:20 tells us, “Where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” With Christ you can overcome and will be victorious.

Philippians 4:6 tells us “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made know to God.” We are to pray without ceasing. Whatever is bothering you, upsetting you, causing you pain and misery, or confusion, bring it to the Lord. He will give you the strength and ability to deal with the situation. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 6:12. During our times of intense spiritual battle, we must unite in prayer with other believers by sharing our troubles and sin issues. The Lord will be faithful to hear your cry and deliver you from all your troubles. Psalm 34:17

wingscoverIn Psalm 91 of the Bible, the Lord provides us with a complete shield of protection that can only be found in Him. He promises in Psalm 91:4 “He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall find protection; His faithfulness shall be your shield and wall.” If we faithfully pray this prayer of protection, the Lord will be faithful to protect you and your loved ones from all wickedness and harm. What an awesome promise the Lord has given to us! Our hope is not is our own strength or wisdom, but from seeking divine protection from our Creator. Yes, the One who created the heavens and the earth will also take care of you. “Why, even the hairs of your head area all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.” Luke 12:7

The stains on the carpet are a consequence from an unchanged behavior pattern that is still occurring, that being, living life and making messes! These stains, like sin, are ever recurring as we live and make messes in our lives, some intentional and others unintentional, due to our sin nature. With God as our strength and refuge we will be victorious over sin and able to live a life that glorifies God. Enlist the help of other believers to pray with you. Do not be anxious about anything, but instead, pray without ceasing. And most importantly, pray the shield of God’s protection over the ones you love. You will be safe under God’s covering, for great and mighty is He.

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This article, “Get Covered” is protected by copyright. You are free to share the link via social media, but this article may not be copy and pasted in its entirety to be republished and redistributed elsewhere without permission (this includes pasting entire story to Facebook, Pinterest, email, etc.).