Tag Archive | making a difference

Be a Missionary On the Field

My eldest daughter, Erica, has always been quite an adventurer. Even from an early age there was talk of her becoming a missionary. I used to cringe at the thought of her going to a far away land; but, I quickly realized that it wasn’t my choice. .

Erica used to play softball many years ago. Her pitching coach at the time, said that Erica could be a missionary on the field. Coach Kay told Erica that you don’t always have to go to a far away land to be a missionary…that she could be a missionary on the field.Be a Missionary on the Field

Years later, the summer between Erica’s junior/senior year in high school became a turning point in her life. It  was when she heard the explicit Gospel of Jesus Christ. Her initial understanding of what it meant to be a Christian was that she needed to go out preaching on the street corners of foreign nations. Erica’s adventurer spirit, met with the passion of the Gospel, was a little scary. Then she found out quickly that was not the most feasible, or effective, way of doing things. Better news, she found out, according to Colossians 3:23 that ALL things can be done as a way of being a mission for God.

This was not her choice! God had chosen Erica to be a witness for Him…to further His kingdom. God wanted Erica to take the road of Acts 1:8.

Missionary: in Erica’s case, it is a person who received power to promote Christianity through everything…even on the field.

Later that same summer, Erica attended the Baylor University Softball Camp. She loved the sport, but more importantly she loved the Lord because He first loved her. While at the Baylor softball camp, Coach Glenn Moore and his staff, not only provided guided softball practice…they also provided an optional Bible study for the girls.

I remember picking Erica up at the end of the week and sitting in the stands with one of my former professors, Dutch Schroeder. We were listening to Coach Moore speak to the families who attended the visitor’s day to pick up our girls. Coach Moore was talking and said there was one young lady who had inspired him, and he continued talking. I wasn’t really listening well. I was busy looking for Erica because I hadn’t seen her all week, when Dutch said that Coach Moore was talking about Erica.

I thought, “How can that be? How would Coach Moore know Erica?”

I heard these girls cheering, and Coach Moore called her up. He asked her to share her testimony, and about what had happened the past week in front of a stadium full of people. She spoke wonderfully!

I had no idea what had happened that past week. Come to find out, Erica had taken advantage of the Bible study…and to be a missionary on the field. By the end of the softball camp, Erica had shared her testimony and helped lead over 40 girls to Christ. She came home from the camp, and made a special cd of Christian music & wrote each girl a letter of encouragement. She also decided that Baylor was where she wanted to go to college…even if she didn’t play softball.

Erica ended up attending Baylor because she was so impressed with Coach  Moore & his staff.  She was also impressed with the beautiful campus and what Baylor had to offer her. Erica recently graduated in May with a B.A. in religion. She has since become a youth pastor in Austin, Texas at the Austin Stone Community Church. Her time there is completely devoted to working with Middle School and High School students. Her goal is to share and grow in knowledge of the never-ending goodness of the Gospel with these kids. She will be doing that through Bible studies, having awesome paint wars, discipleship, attending church, eating dinner, going to football games, and spending time with students (particularly girls).

1669957_10153888297625249_599930412_o (1)Being a missionary “on the field” is definitely her dream job! Erica understands the importance of the eternal gift that God gives us, and she wants to tell all who will listen. This picture totally depicts Erica’s enthusiasm!  I know that God is smiling, and saying well done faithful servant.

Now, I’m going to get on a soap box. People don’t have problems sending monies to missionaries in a foreign country; but, some people seem to have problems sending monies (or partnering) with missionaries when they are local. I say missions are just as important locally, as in a foreign country. I’m not just saying that because my daughter has partners, but because God calls us to be witnesses…period.

My husband, and I, are educators in a public system. We don’t make tons of monies, but we have often partnered with local missionaries (RUF), as well as foreign missionaries (MTW). We think it’s important to further His kingdom where we are not able to go. We partnered as little as $25 per month, or $50 per month…if there was a spouse or family involved. It wasn’t much, but nevertheless, the missionaries appreciated it. We now partner with a missionary close to our heart…Erica.

This is what’s important to Erica. It excites her to no end because she first heard the explicit Gospel during her junior year of High School. Since then she has wanted to share the Gospel with everyone, especially those the same age as when she first heard. Erica’s passion is that young students would know Christ as their Savior, redeemer, and friend. She knows the pressures of this world all too well, and she knows what it’s like to grow up in today’s society. Erica also knows that the love of God is better than anything this world has to offer during those years, seemingly good or bad. She wants all of the students she encounters, by the grace of God, to know that as well.

As a new graduate, it’s tough beginning the next chapter in your life.  You have been independent for a while at college, but now you throw other factors in as well.  Erica wants to be the best missionary possible, but it’s tough being a missionary on the field.  The unknown of having to ask others to partner with you, either through prayers or  monetary partnering, is frightening.  People don’t know you, or maybe they  don’t understand the importance of partnering. Some don’t want to make commitments to partnering with local missions. It is very important though.

Erica has had opportunities to do missions in foreign countries as well.  She has been to Morocco, and this past summer she went to Israel. She shares a lot of her adventures on her blog called “A Freedom Ringer”.  You should check it out, if you have time at  http://afreedomringer.wordpress.com/,

Should after reading this blog about Erica  and her passion to be a missionary on the field, you may want to check out her link on how to partner with her.  It is a safe online link at https://secure.acceptiva.com/?cst=7ba521 .  Any type of partnering is appreciative: prayers, monthly, or end of year/one time gifts that are tax deductible.

Jesus said, “Follow Me!”

Erica stepped up to the plate…being a missionary on the field!

I’m so proud of my missionary for making a difference in His kingdom!

 

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An Unexpected and Undeserving Gift

Courtesies to live by!

Courtesies to remember in our daily lives!

No one told me that when I turned 50, I needed to take out an extended warranty. I was the person who dove after balls, and lifted things without properly bending down. Yet, when I turned 50, I began to quickly deteriorate physically! It hasn’t been pretty, and I don’t appreciate what’s happening to me! Despite me seeming to be falling apart, I recently received an unexpected and very undeserving gift…kind of like grace. It was definitely God giving me a much needed wake up call.

I will admit, I have begun to lose track of what’s important, especially in my daily walk with the Lord. I have forgotten many of the common courtesies about how I should live my life. I should love generously, be happy, help others, be grateful, and above all…count my blessings.

On the other hand I say, “What you talking about? Life is hard!”

I know what I’m supposed to do, and yet I’ve been miscalculating, and missing the prize altogether. I’ve been literally, and figuratively, missing the mark of the high calling of Jesus Christ. I’ve been stuck on family things, monetary things, not feeling well, and just not believing in grace…period!

I have posted the definition of grace before, but apparently I still struggle with its meaning. I’m like the prodigal son who hasn’t returned, and hoping to be forgiven.

Grace, n.: undeserved, unmerited, unearned, favor.

Grace is something that I most desire, but often feel that I’m not deserving of it for many reasons from past to present. I tend to forget that the amazing thing about grace is that it is an undeserving gift.

I know about God’s grace. It’s hard for me to fathom it at times. My daughter, Erica, is good about reminding me of this. She often talks to me, giving me pep talks, about how God’s grace is for the undeserving. Although it came at a big price, it’s freely given by God. His unmerited favor is that He sent His Son to die so we could live. He loves us unconditionally!

The word “grace” is music to my ears. Erica often makes me gifts with the words from the song “Amazing Grace” on them. I love it!

Now let me rewind to me turning 50, falling apart physically, and how His amazing grace has begun playing music to my ears.

I have had a mass in my stomach, and also in need of a hernia repair for a couple of years. I had been putting off surgery for many reasons: 1) I don’t like them, 2) I teach learning disabled children and they don’t like when I miss school, and 3) monetary reasons. I feel our monies could be spent better elsewhere.

Well, last fall things took a drastic change. The mass began to grow bigger, and was becoming more and more painful. I began to gain weight quickly. Then things took a twist. In December, I began to bleed. I ended up in the emergency room. The concern was endometrial cancer, and that took priority over the mass and hernia. Doctors began testing, but due to the holidays, appointments were hard to make with them. Early January, the doctor suggested I get a total hysterectomy. I was willing to do this, because I felt so bad. They would take a biopsy during this time.

I went to schedule the surgery, but to my surprise my insurance coverage had changed. My family pays almost $1,200/month for the various insurances we have. Yet to perform this surgery (because of the new laws), I was going to have to pay $3,000 up front for the hospital co-payment alone. This wasn’t including the doctor, anesthesia, and the rest of the hospital payment.

Tearfully, I had to tell the scheduler to stop! At this time we could not afford it. We are already in debt due to other family medical bills, and this would just have to wait. Since I couldn’t have the hysterectomy, the doctor said we at least needed to do a biopsy to check for cancer. I had cancer insurance, and if that were the case, then I could have the surgery.

Thankfully, the biopsy came back benign. We were relieved! I decided I would put that surgery off until a later date. In the meantime, the mass in my stomach continued to grow bigger. I knew it needed to be taken out, but we really don’t have the monies for that. We are just teachers, and we have a kid that was about to graduate college, one about to go to college, and one more at home. I just couldn’t think about it.

On Mother’s day, my oldest daughter texted me, and said she had a gift for me. She was about to graduate from college, and we would be going up for her graduation the following weekend. NOTE:Traditionally we don’t celebrate certain holidays, giving each other gifts, just because we try to save money. We are very blessed, and don’t really need some things…but family time is always good.

I texted back, and said I couldn’t wait to see her graduate, and that seeing her was gift enough.

I had no idea what was coming on the upcoming college graduation visit!

We arrived on Friday night, the night before Erica was to graduate. I dropped my husband off at the hotel because he was tired. My youngest, Jess, and I went over to Erica’s apartment to pick her up. I thought we might go out to eat. As we drive up to her apartment, I see Erica and her friend Kelli walking up. Erica had borrowed her whole graduation gown to save money and was walking up with the borrowed sash. She nonchalantly said let’s go up and get your mother’s day gift before we go eat.

I said okay, and we all went up. She put up her borrowed sash. As she was doing this, I saw on a table with a plaque that had the words from “Amazing Grace”. I didn’t think too much about it because I just figured it was some of their apartment decor.

I noticed Kelli beginning to film, but that’s not unusual. These girls are quite the hoot posting many a funny video online, or on Instagram. But this was to be no ordinary film. I was about to receive an unexpected, and very undeserving gift.

Erica picked up the plaque. I was kind of being silly quietly singing “Amazing Grace”, when Erica began telling me something that I never could imagine.

She said, “Dearest Momma! This gift is to show you one thing. ‘God loves you!’ Even if the mass were not removed we know that God loves you perfectly, but He has generously provided a way for your surgery through the body of Christ. No, you did nothing to earn it and that’s what makes His grace so amazing! I love you very much, and I know my love for you cannot compare to the perfect, unconditional, passionate, and proud love that God has for you!”

While this was going on, Kelli was still filming, and affirming what Erica was saying. Kelli was also telling me that God loves me!

Finally, Erica handed me an envelope, and in that envelope was the exact amount I needed for the hospital co-payment. I was going to be able to have my surgery! After paying the initial fees, I would be able to pay monthly on the rest of the bills.

I can’t explain what came over me in those moments. I began backing up away from them. I was overwhelmed with so many emotions: thankfulness, feeling guilty because I didn’t deserve this, excited, tears of joy, etc. .

I mean what does one do with such a great and undeserving gift as this?

Oh, but the story gets better!
Erica, and several of her college friends, prayed about needs and wants. She lifted me up in prayer with a need, and these beautiful students gathered up monies, among themselves, so I could have a surgery.

Mind you these are college students: some getting their masters, some about to graduate, and some returning to school next year. Most of these students have their own debts to pay off, and here they were graciously lifting me up in prayer, and giving me an undeserved gift.

I had the surgery almost two weeks ago. The mass was the size of a plum, and they fixed a hernia as well. As I lay here in bed, recovering from my surgery, I’m reminded of a Bible verse that I love so much!

“the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;” ~Numbers 6:25

The Lord has definitely shined down on me!

I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting most of the students who prayed for me, and who made it financially possible for me to have the surgery. I still can’t stop feeling a little guilty for this amazing gift. I have always had problems with asking for help, or accepting such gifts; but, I have been truly blessed. That said, I thank these students from the bottom of my heart. I can never repay you all except with the pleasure of you all knowing that I better understand that God loves me graciously despite my weaknesses. Thank you all for sharing, caring, and showing me through your actions that God loves me perfectly.

Thank you to Erica Hairston, Kelli Stenke, Kaitlin Daugherty, Paul Feghali, Jacob Imam, Jeremy Feghali, Drake Osborn, Allie Matherne, Joanna Calhoun, Katy Craft, Haley Barton, Madeline Sneed, and Carly Beckham.

These young Baylor University students have taken Acts 1:8 to heart. They are making a difference in the world, and furthering God’s kingdom. They are witnesses for Christ, and will go to the ends of the Earth. They each have many different gifts that God has given them, and I pray that you will continue to share those gifts wherever He sends you all. God bless each of you in your journey to love the Lord, and the freedom that you will bring to others spreading His word.

God is truly amazing! These young people help to restore faith within me. It’s been a distracting few years. The best way to deal with these distractions is to turn to God, read the Bible, and remember the common courtesies to live by. I’m so very thankful, and count my blessings…especially for God bringing these young students into my life. These students who love the Lord so much that they gave me an unexpected and undeserved gift.

P.S. If you would like to see the link to part of the video of this gracious gift being presented to me, please check it out: http://instagram.com/p/qwqcwTmQsk/?modal=true

Grace…and Paying it Forward

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Just over a month ago (December 14, 2012), the holidays were fast approaching, and I was looking forward to several things. For instance, all of my kids would be home for Christmas, I was about to turn 50, and some much needed time off from work.  On that particular day, the word grace had been on my mind.  I was thinking about how “Grace” is God‘s unmerited favor.  I don’t deserve His grace, and I definitely didn’t earn His grace.  God gives me grace despite my weaknesses.

The morning of the 14th, I posted a simple picture about grace. It was only the definition.

Grace, n.: undeserved, unmerited, unearned, favor.

On the afternoon of the 14th, when I got home from school, I drove up to my house to find my son, my husband, my youngest daughter & her best friend, my mom, and the police…all outside of our house.  I remember driving up and thinking that something was not right.  As I got out, I was met by many, to say that there was a break in and we had probably been burglarized.

The two police officers, one off duty (Officer Prichard) who heard the call and responded first, and the reporting officer both entered the back of the house to see if it were safe to enter.  The front door had been jammed so that no one could enter during the burglary. The burglars actually used our grill accessory to crash through the glass of the back door.

Upon announcing that the house was safe to enter, the officers asked if one of us would come inside with them to scan and make an initial report of what was taken.  I volunteered, and as I was scanning the house…it seemed so surreal.  While the officers were asking questions and taking pictures, I realized that things could have been so much worse.  You see, my youngest has been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, and sometimes stays home with the pain.  She is a high school freshman, and my mom lives across the street; therefore, I feel okay with her staying home if she needs to.  Needless to say, her room was one of the rooms burglarized.

In fact, the downstairs bedrooms were pretty much the only rooms hit.  Again, it could have been so much worse.  The burglars only went for things that could possibly be put in a backpack and/or carry out with straps.  The burglars pretty much took all the good jewelry I have ever owned…that I had collected over the last 35+ years.  Some were heirlooms, and some semi-precious items.  They took two laptops (one with our family photos), our family video camera, and some music and gaming devices.  There were some other things; but, I was thankful that it wasn’t worse.

I need to make a side note here before I go any further.  The last few years have been a big learning curve for our family.  We have experienced many ups and downs…with different family members moving out and some returning home (that’s another story).  The reason why I’m bringing this up, is that my youngest writes poetry (one which is on this site called “Beauty Is…”).  She also writes stories (with great details), and creates art.  She’s extremely talented, and yes…I’m biased.  Anyway, her laptop was extremely important to her.  Her inner most thoughts, trials & tribulations, and dreams were on that computer.  It was also a way to stay in touch with her best friends that moved to Alabama, and her older sister that had gone off to college. It was really like a safe haven for her.

Once we made the initial report, I returned outside to talk to the others.  Glancing to the side, I noticed that Jess had a metal pole in her hand.  It’s used to turn the water off at the street, in case of emergency.  I was talking with one of the officers, and my son and husband, when I heard this blood curdling scream.  My first thought was that Jess had fallen on this metal pole, and it stabbed her.

It was probably one of the worst feelings that has ever come over me…except from a bad dream.  After I realized she was not physically injured, I went over to her to see what was wrong.  That was when Officer Prichard had told me that he had told Jess the rooms that had gotten burglarized, and that the laptops had been taken.

That blood curdling scream was the agony she felt by someone invading her space, and just snatching up her very intimate thoughts.  I was just thankful that our cats were okay, or that would have just added to the injury.

I have never heard her say anything really bad.  If you read her poem (‘Beauty Is…”), you will have a better understanding of where her heart truly lies.  But, on this day she screamed a cry of disgust.  She asked, “Why would someone do such a thing?”  I thought I don’t know.  I’m sure they were in need of some quick cash before the holidays; but, no one really knows the burglar’s heart (except for God).  Maybe they needed money for something really important.

I remember that it was hard to console Jess.  It’s hard to say you understand, and sorry to something like that, unless you have really experienced something like that.  She’s young, and there is nothing I could immediately compare it too.  We all felt a little helpless.  She looked like an empty shell of a person.  She left the house to go stay at her friend’s house, because we were missing most of the back door…and frankly it’s a little scary.  You begin to wonder if the burglars might return for the rest of the items they left behind.

I realize some of you may be thinking that maybe she was being a little silly, and very dramatic; but, don’t judge her if you haven’t been in that situation.

I posted later that night about the coincidence of posting about grace earlier that day, and how humbling it was for me.  That I, in turn, should show grace toward these burglars.  I was thankful that no one, or cats, were hurt.  I had to accept that things were going to be okay, and that God was good!

Now to the paying it forward part…Officer Prichard, the first officer to respond came over the next day to see how we were faring.  What I’m about to tell you is so awesome.  He told me that he had fought in Afghanistan for eight years and had seen homicides while being an officer; but, he told me that the yell of Jess’ pain and the grief she felt, really touched him.  Officer Prichard went home and contacted some wonderful people. He told them about Jess’ story.  He told them that she was a good student.  He told them that she had experienced some ups and downs over the past year (some emotional and some physical).  He told them about her laptop, and then many of those kind people he contacted, responded to his story of Jess.

With the Christmas season approaching, Officer Prichard, and another officer, came to our house a few nights before Christmas.  Officer Prichard, being the Christian man he is, wanted to make a difference and remind Jess that yes there is bad in the world; but, that there is a lot of good, too.  He emphasized the reason for the season was Christ, and how Jesus gave us the best gift of all.  He died so that we could live.  His grace covers our sins…and even the sins of the burglars.

After reminding us that grace covers much in us that is not deserved, he also said that it’s important to make a difference with our talents that God has given us.  This is where he brought out a new laptop for Jess.  He also presented her with a backpack to carry it in, a jump drive so that she could back up her talent, and a card to upgrade Microsoft office so that she could excel at her school work as well. He also presented me with a laptop, and a printer for the family.

Wow!  I wish I had a camera to capture the look of our amazed astonishment on our faces as when we received our gifts.  God had used this officer’s talent to respond to the cry of one of His children.  He contacted others on her behalf, and others responded.  What a blessing, and for many reasons.  I will actually write  more about this at a later time.

Now, it’s time to use our talents and pay it forward.  Jess has continued to write and create art.  I’m beginning to write again, and we are currently housing a young boy who needed a safe place to live.  It is the least we could do, for what others had done for us…especially God.

So much about God’s love was learned this season.

“Let love be genuine.  Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.  Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.” ~Romans 12:9-10

God’s love is genuine!  Hold fast to what is good.  Show affection to others.  God’s grace covers us all despite our weaknesses.  God has shown/given unmerited favor to us.  None of us are deserving, yet He gave His grace to us freely.  He gave us His Son.

I know this isn’t much; but, at this time I want to personally thank those that were involved in paying forward and making a difference in our lives this season.  There were some that didn’t want to be personally acknowledged for their charitable acts, and I respect that; but, know that we appreciate your gift, and we are most thankful.  I know that God is adding jewels to your crown in Heaven.  A big thank you goes to Officer Prichard, Patty, Cat, Susan & Jack, Al, Terry & Carolyn, and to the many others that responded and helped Officer Prichard make a difference in restoring a young girl’s faith.  I also would like to thank the sweet teacher at my school who anonymously donated a grocery gift card to my family, and my Special Ed department at my school who bought each kid a gift card to help make their Christmas brighter.  God bless you all.  

Another Brick in the Wall

It is that time of year…getting close to high school graduation.  There is a lot of excitement, anticipation, and relief that leads up to and follows this important milestone in life.  When I checked the mail today,we received an invitation to one such event.  My mind wandered and I couldn’t help but to remember my high school graduation…many, many years ago.

I was thinking about how we voted for “Most Likely to Succeed”, “The Funniest”, and of course the “Class Song”.  It seems our class was a little divided at the time on what should be the class song.  There were several who wanted Pink Floyd’s, “Another Brick in the Wall” and others that wanted the theme song to Lavergne and Shirley, “Making Our Dreams Come True”.   I will tell which one was chosen in a bit.

Today, while I was laying in my hammock, I was listening to the K-Love radio station, and Natalie Grant‘s song “Human” came on.  All at once all of these emotions and thoughts came swirling into my head.  They were actually interrupting my hammock time; therefore, I got up and thought I should write this before I forgot some important points…because I am getting to the age that I forget lots of things.

Now where was I?  Oh yeah, Natalie Grant’s song.  I have heard this song many times; but, I don’t think it ever made as big impression on me as it did today.  I am including part of the lyrics because it leads up to a thought I had.

Natalie Grant’s “Human

Every life has a choice to rise up to fill the void.
Every heart has a mission and we are called to be human.

We gotta do better than this ’cause we only got one chance to make a difference.
We gotta do better than this ’cause we only got one life that we’ve been given.

A little love, a little kindness, a little light in this time of darkness.
It’ll be what makes us different.  It’ll be what makes us human.
I’m human, you’re human, we are human.

We are marked with His image and we are scarred with indifference.
Maybe now we should listen; hear the cry of God‘s children.

It’ll be what makes the difference.  It’ll be what makes us human.

Wow!  Isn’t this wonderful that God has given us life, we are made in His image, and we all have a chance to make a difference…because we are human.  Will it hurt us show a little love and kindness toward others?  What about those (like me) who have sinned?  What about those who have been sinned against due to sexual abuse,domestic violence,  addiction, or maybe made fun of because they are different?  Would it hurt us to give a little of His Light to shine in a time of darkness for others?

Survivors, of any type of brokenness, often seek answers to spiritual questions from non-spiritual sources.  Most often this happens because they have been pushed away by people who said they were Christians (like me).  I am guilty of raining down on someone rather than being a ray of sunshine.  Sometimes pushing one away is easier than acknowledging the pain that another may have experienced.  This may cause more wounds which prolongs the healing process.  Sometimes the scarring for the survivor covers much of their body, and they may begin to hide their goodness deep inside.

You know  I claim to be an okay Christian, but guess what?  I sin and make mistakes all the time.  I’M HUMAN!  I don’t always reach out when I should.  But, on the flip side, I am also a survivor.  In some ways, we all are survivors of some sort of battle that may be unbeknown to us.

Because we are human we are in constant battle with the prince of darkness, and we need to remember to put on the full armor of God for protection.  God provides us with many pieces of armor; but, the belt of truth is an important place to start.

The definition of “truth” is the state of being sincere, in accordance with fact and/or reality.  We all desire to know the truth…especially His truth.  We want to know that His mercy and grace is real  no matter what secret we may have.  We want to know that we will not be rejected by Him even when our past comes to Light in this present darkness.

Others may claim that they understand what you have been through and how you feel– even though they may have never been through anything like that.   But, remembering that we are all human, each of our experiences are unique to us and the situation.  We all have a certain degree of understanding of each other’s pain.  Nobody’s experiences should be taken lightly.

Being human, we all have many different strengths and weaknesses.  The good news is that  co-habiting in this world together, we are able to share them with each other.  Unfortunately, some may not appreciate other’s weaknesses over their own strengths…but that usually means they may be overlooking their own weakness.

I believe God places people in our lives to help bring out these strengths.  Sometimes, others may have to work hard to bring them out…more like pulling, and sometimes it can be as little as a word of encouragement, or prayer.  I will say that establishing a trusting relationship can help; but not always necessary.  Either way, one can make a difference in another person’s life by doing as little as random acts of kindness.

Know that “Trust can take years to build, but only a second to break.”  When trust is broken one, or both parties, may feel that they have been betrayed.  A person can be good, and still betray the matter of someone’s heart; for instance, look at Peter denying Christ.

Betrayal is devastating; but, when those you thought to love you betray your trust…the pain is always worse!

When we become wounded we want to retreat and hide rather than facing our fears.  We become (pardon the cliche’) “another brick in the wall.”  That is where the darkness wants us to hide.  He wants us to join him in the wall just blending and having no confidence.  The darkness begins to make the wound worse by telling us lies.  He wants us to crumble and fall.

This was when I began thinking about Pink Floyd’s song and thinking…in a way we could use the words of his song as a rebuke to Satan.  Think about it, we could change the lyrics to make our rebuke.

“…We don’t need no thought control!   We don’t need your sarcasm!”   So, Satan leave those who are wounded alone!   All and all, you are nothing compared to Him.  “All and all, you are just another brick in the wall!”

“When someone betrays you, it can become their problem as well because they probably betrayed their own conscience.”  Being wounded we must go to God to cry out for healing; but, there comes a time to go back to the betrayer and confront them. Time doesn’t heal all wounds; so, if we don’t act “quickly'”, we give Satan a foothold causing the wound to fester.  The only thing that really heals wounds is the soothing salve of His forgiveness.

This led me to think about the Gimble/Fox song “Making Our Dreams Come True”  We could take the words of this song to make new matters of our heart.  “Nothing’s gonna turn us back now.  Straight ahead and on the track now.  We’re gonna make our dreams come true.  Doin’ it our way.”

BTW, if you were wondering what became our class song, it was “Making Our Dreams Come True” by Gimble and Fox.  We took a chance and made it.  Go ahead and  take a chance trying to make dreams come true.   But, instead of “doin’ it our way”, how about we try doin’ it His way!

His way is to put on His full armor of protection, and not let those words of deceit pierce us when we are wounded.  We should try being a little “human” and make a difference in the life of others.  Don’t be “another brick in the wall”! Allow His Light to shine through you by showing a little love and kindness on someone’s brick in the wall!

Two Unlikely Friends

I have worked at a summer camp for many years. In fact, this summer will be my 30th year to work at the camp. There is a beautiful place called Church Mountain that the campers and counselors hike up to every Sunday. The camp director, and good friend, Nan Manning tells a story about two unlikely friends. She begins the story something like the following…

“Just up the road from my cabin is the corral. Next to it is a field with two horses in it. From a distance each horse looks like any other horse. But, when you walk by the field going up to the corral, you will notice something quite amazing. Looking into the eyes of one of the horses they will disclose that he is blind. They have a milky looking film over them; thus, the name given…Milky Way. The camp owners have decided not to have Milky Way ‘put down’ and they have made a good home for him.

This alone is truly amazing!

If you stand nearby the field and listen, you will hear the sound of a bell ringing in the distance. Looking around to see where the sound is coming from, you will see that it comes from a great horse, Vindicator, for whom all the campers want the honor of riding.
Along with the other horses, Vindicator is let loose in the field to rest at the end of the day’s activities. The small bell attached to Vindicator’s collar allows his blind friend knows where he is, so that he can follow him to the food and be able to eat.

As I was watching these two friends, l noticed that Vindicator, the one with the bell, is always looking behind for his unlikely blind friend Milky Way. Vindicator is making sure that Milky Way hears the bell and is able to follow him. Milky Way does respond to Vindicator’s bell by walking slowly toward him…trusting that he will not lead him astray.

After eating, Vindicator returns to the barn for the evening to rest. He is always looking over his shoulder for his friend Milky Way to make sure he is following him.”

Like the camp owner of the horses, God does not throw us away just because we are not perfect…or because we are broken. He watches over us and brings others into our lives to help us when we are in need. Sometimes we are blind like Milky Way and need to be guided by the bell of those who God has put into our lives to lead us. Other times, we are like Vindicator able to guide others and help them get to a point where they might not have made without the proper guidance.

Every one of us has the power to make a difference by reaching out to other. We should take a vested interest in the care of others. We need to get involved and be a part of another person’s world. We all have challenges and struggles. We all have some kind of brokenness and pain that we have experienced at some time or another. The biggest lesson we have to learn is that our choices can hurt or help others; therefore, learning to recognize those who may be blind may be difficult. Yet, don’t give up. We all have different strengths and weaknesses; but, the good news is that our weaknesses are sufficient through His strength. There are some who are gifted and are able to recognize when others are broken.

We must all think, “What can we do to help others overcome their brokenness, and reach their potential?” Making a difference may be being able to bring out someone’s weakness and help them turn it into strength. The strength is not to be advantageous for one’s self; but, to be advantageous in furthering His kingdom while helping others.

Establishing good relationships with others is a great start in helping others. Although we may not always “see” these relationships, it’s nice to know that they may be near. Sometimes it’s the hope that gives us faith in what we don’t see.

I have a friend who sends me surprise notes telling me how much I mean to her. That random act of kindness goes a long way with me. It’s like the “Golden Rule” that they remind of us so much at the camp, “Do unto others as you would want them to do unto you”.
Let’s try to “Do unto others” and make a difference by listening out for each other’s bells. We really don’t know what kind of brokenness that another person is experiencing. Your bell may be the only bell they can hear and may follow.

So look over your shoulder, and try not to leave anyone behind. You may be an unlikely friend that someone is following to His pasture.

…Come to me all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest… ~Matthew 11:28

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