Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Encouragement: Your Love Will Always be enough!

Welcome Back Readers ~
The following lyrics from Hillsong's "Forever Reign" came to me as I went to sleep on Monday night. Like many people, I had spent the night watching the season finale of the Bachelor and got caught up in seeing Sean's fairytale unfold...
Every girl wants to find Mr. Right and live happily ever after. It's perfectly natural, but we must not forget God in the process. His love will always be enough to sustain us through the highest of highs and lowest of lows.

This is something I had to remind myself of today!

"Forever Reign"
You are good You are good
When there's nothing good in me
You are love You are love
On display for all to see
You are light You are light
When the darkness closes in
You are hope You are hope
You have covered all my sin

You are peace You are peace
When my fear is crippling
You are true You are true
Even in my wandering
You are joy You are joy
You're the reason that I sing
You are life You are life
In You death has lost its sting

(Oh) I'm running to Your arms
I'm running to Your arms
The riches of Your love
Will always be enough
Nothing compares to Your embrace
Light of the world forever reign
You are more You are more
Than my words will ever say
You are Lord You are Lord
All creation will proclaim
You are here You are here
In Your presence I'm made whole
You are God You are God
Of all else I'm letting go
My heart will sing no other Name
Jesus Jesus

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Encouragement:Purple Shoes and Pink Shoelaces

Dear Readers,

Many of you may recognize my next guest contributor -my father- as he has written for me here before. He has a very unique perspective being the parent of a disabled person. I would ask that you pay careful attention to his story; it not only applies to  coping with news of a unexpected disability, but how  powerful words can be! 

Without further ado...

Purple Shoes and Pink Shoelaces

 “I’d get purple shoes with pink shoelaces,” the doctor said with a dry tone of indifference. He continued, “Your daughter won’t walk anyhow”.    My wife was shaken. 
We had just moved to Baltimore in 1982 from Ann Arbor, Michigan and immediately began locating new doctors to care for our 2-year-old daughter, Debbie, who had just been diagnosed with cerebral palsy.  My wife, Barbara, and I were just beginning to realize the potential impact of raising a daughter with serious disabilities.  High on the list of medical concerns was the need for a good orthopedist to advise us of the affects our daughter’s disability would have on her motor development and muscle tone.   My wife took our daughter to a highly recommended orthopedic surgeon who examined our daughter. After his examination, my wife asked with concern,  “Should we see about getting special shoes?”   The doctor had blurted out his careless reply and his words cut deeply. The thoughtlessness in his response had revealed to her the prospect of a disability no one had yet predicted for our daughter. No one had ever told us Debbie might never walk.
After recovering from the incident, we began looking for an orthopedist that could help us deal with our daughter’s physical needs but in a more compassionate manner.  We both took Debbie to a second orthopedist.  After the doctor completed examining her, we again asked about a need for special shoes. The doctor answered, “Because she won’t be bearing weight on her feet right now, you don’t have to worry about special shoes. I think you should buy the prettiest little pair of shoes that you can find.” His compassion and concern for our pain was evident, and we left the doctor’s office encouraged.
Barb and I later discussed how both doctors had said essentially the same thing, but the critical difference was in the way it was said, and the compassion and sensitivity in it’s delivery.
The Scriptures indicate that the way we say things, as well as the content of our words can have a significant impact on others.  “Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing  (Proverbs 12:18).  Our words can be pleasant and bring healing to others (Proverbs 16:24). Carefully spoken, they can be a work of beauty (Proverbs 25:11).  Not only our spoken words, but also our silence can speak much compassion, rather than a rash remark. This silence of self-control and compassion is a sign of wisdom (Proverbs 10:19).
Because our sinful nature is not inclined toward compassion and interest in others, we must rely on the Spirit of God to control our mind and tongue – if our speech is to bring healing and beauty. Untamed by the Spirit, our speech can be like a spark that starts a destructive fire, or a toxic poison that destroys a life.  Rather than spreading healing and beauty, untamed conversation can bring hurt and pain (James 3:1-10). In fact, James indicated that the control of our conversation is one outward measure of our inward spirituality (James 1:26). Paul encouraged Timothy to display his faith in this sequence:  “in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity” (1 Tim. 4:12, emphasis added).  Paul recognized that Timothy’s conversation was the first visible evidence of his inward spiritual condition.
Let us today commit our tongue and the conversation of our lives to bringing healing and beauty to others  – revealing to them the love of God expressed by our lives.  This will bring blessing to others, and it will bring joy to us!
     “A man finds joy in giving an apt reply-- and how good is a timely word!” (Proverbs 15:23).

Friday, March 1, 2013

My Take on Missions

  Hey Everyone~

This week our focus is Missions back at CBC (my church). Until my teens, I didn't quite grasp the idea of being a "missionary" in my everyday life. I'd always thought of the job being for a select few-those willing to leave everything behind and follow God's Calling for their lives. I now realize how wrong I was..

As Christians, we tend to shift the responsibility of ministering to others; thinking that we are not qualified or capable of completing the task. But that's simply not true. While God has elected missionaries to go to foreign countries to preach the Gospel, He has given us the talents and tools necessary to reach people right where we are today. Sharing my faith through my blog is my gift- being able to show His Love and Presence in my life through my trials and tribulations of having CP. It is my hope and prayer that through each post people can not only see my heart but that it makes God even more real!

   I know you may asking, "But what if I'm not good at it?" My answer is quite simple: no one is.. That's when His Power shows its brightest as it says in 2 Corinthians 12:9, " But he said to me, ' My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me." Still it's hard to rest in that fact knowing how inadequate I sometimes feel-but that's what it's funny.. Jesus does not ask us to do it alone! That's why he sent His Holy Spirit to dwell within his disciples (that includes all Christians) after His Ascension and until he comes again.

While Jesus mostly talked in parables during his time on earth, the commission in Matthew 28:19-20 is more desperate. He says to "go and make disciples of all nations"; going even farther, it says they should baptize them and teach others the ways past down to them by the Lord himself. No longer is it a request, but a command. Now that doesn't mean it should be done of obligation, God would rather it be done out of a thankful heart-grateful for the things God has done in my life and that he will continue to do.
Take that to heart as you conclude this week. Open your heart to the opportunities the next week will bring. You might be surprised!

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