Inner Activist

“Seek justice, encourage the oppressed, defend the cause of the orphans, fight for the rights of the widows.”  Isaiah 1:17

 

This past weekend, I was feeling depressed.   Nothing in particular happened, I just felt my burdens and other people’s sadness around me.   There was a heaviness in the atmosphere that would not leave.  

 

Early in that week there were reports the talented musician, Chester Bennington of Linkin Park, took his own life.  I read about a local man who did the same thing.  He felt the hopelessness and couldn’t find a way to go on.

 

I had nothing to write about that could encourage anyone, because I didn’t feel very encouraged.  That saddened me too and questioned why am I even trying to be a writer.

 

So, I asked some of my friends, if they were feeling what I was feeling.  They came from all walks of life.  And they all said, “I don’t know what it is, but I feel depressed.”  One said, she was so tired of people not being responsible and here I am trying to make a good life for me and my family.  Another one said, she was in so much physical pain that she just wanted to sleep all day.  

 

The world has always been in an upheaval, but it seems more depressive than in a long time.

 

I never wanted this blog to be a political one or tout one side over the other.  I believe that both parties want the same thing,  a thriving life for themselves and for their children.  We just believe in different ways in arriving to that outcome.

 

Helping others seems to be the way to help ourselves.

 

Here are some examples of doing something…

 

A friend of mine who loves nature and camping in the great outdoors wants to help an organization that serves in protecting the environment.  She is an amazing artist.  She has begun drawing and painting landscapes and sells them.  All of her proceeds go to the environmental organization.  

 

Another friend, donates her time and her awesome cooking skills once a month and feeds 100 people at a facility who are transitioning from being homeless.    I know she is  forever changed by her selfless action.

 

Living in a first world country, most of us have the means to help in some way.  Whether it is with our time or money, we can help bring light to the world.

 

I know that I can longer be complacent and hope that the government-city, state or federal brings forth the change.  I can pray for our leaders (I have prayed for every President, even if I didn’t vote for them) and remain vigilant.  If I don’t like something, I can learn about it and see how I can bring forth change.  

 

One of the reasons, I get depressed, is that I see so many problems.  This causes me to get overwhelmed and wonder how can I make any difference.  That is just another lie from the enemy to do nothing and stay depressed.  Taking to Facebook to complain and ridicule the other side, DOES NOTHING but create discord and muster hatred.  

 

I am taking a deeper look into what causes speak to me and start helping.  A few years ago, when my daughter was younger, I decided to clean the nursery rooms at church.  I saw a need and instead of complaining, I did something.

 

So, let’s evaluate our lives and a be a part of the greater good.   There is an inner activist in all of us!

 

Lesson Learned:  Complacency has no place in the Kingdom of God.
Prayer:  “Dear Heavenly Father, I bind and rebuke this spirit of anxiety and depression over this county and the world.  Help us realize you are our Living Hope.  Speak to us, what people or causes you want us to be a part of in our community or the world.  Protect us from danger and equip us with what we need.  Let us be your hands and feet.  In Jesus’ Name, AMEN!”

Unknown Meddler

“He that passes by and meddles with strife belonging not to Him, is like one that takes a dog by the ears.” Proverbs 26:17

There are times where meddling is obvious. Then there are times where you mean well, but it ends up causing more problems. This is evident when we get in the way of God working in our lives.

A couple of weeks ago, I heard a fire truck pass my home. I looked out my window and it stopped in front of my neighbor’s home. As most nosy people, such as myself would do, I went outside. A lot of neighbors were outside. My next door neighbor asked if I heard a woman screaming. It thought there were children playing on the green belt behind my condo, but that was not the case. There is a space between condominium units that gives access behind our condo unit to that community green belt. Another neighbor pointed over to the large group of people who were surrounding a young woman sitting on the grass. She was in great distress, crying and sweating.

I saw an ambulance pull up behind the fire truck . I told the paramedics that there is a better area to park the ambulance and to access the situation. Another night or gave them directions and they drove off. A firefighter came out to the fire truck  and saw the ambulance driving away. He started waving his hands feverishly in the air and yelling for them to stop. I told him what the neighbor and I suggested. He gave me this glaring look that could have burned two holes in me. He angrily said, “NO! NO! NO!” And stormed off.

I thought I just messed up big time. Time is so valuable in emergency situations, a matter of life or death. Thankfully the delay didn’t cost the patient her life. The paramedics got her on the gurney and into the ambulance quickly.

I began to pray for the woman and her situation. But God spoke to me and said, “you do that sometimes…you get in the way.” Thankfully God is more patient than that firefighter.

However, I am sure God is a little frustrated at how little I trust Him and try to do it my way.

I give myself a lot of worry and stress figuring out the different scenarios of how a situation could go. More grey hairs and wrinkles.

There are many situations that I had no working plan where I saw God take care of it all. We just need to trust the all-knowing, eternal expert. Whether it is trying to solve an argument or a situation, wait and see what God is doing instead.

Lesson Learned: Don’t get in the way of God or emergency personnel.

You Don’t Have to be a Pastor to Serve The Lord

“All of you together are Christ’s body and each of you is a part of it.” 1 Corinthians 12:27

 

There is a will that God has for each one of us.  Am I to be a pastor, a missionary in a foreign land,  a teacher or gifted to heal?  It is a daunting task trying to figure it out.  There is a possibility that it may not be something that sounds that special.  

 

There are a lot of parts that make up the body of Christ.  Every part is important.  One cannot function well without the other.

 

I assumed being used by God meant one had to be a pastor, evangelist or missionary.  And we all know what happens when we assume?  I learned my lesson one Sunday after service.

 

Our old church started in a school auditorium.   Every Sunday there was a team of people who set up and tore down the church.  After every service, my husband stacked all of the chairs to be put into storage.  Even when the church bought a building, the chairs needed to be moved sometimes.  My husband continued to help.

 

One Sunday, as usual, my husband was stacking the chairs after service.  My friend’s mother said, “your husband warms my heart.  I have noticed over the years that he always has cleaned up the chairs after service.  What an amazing ministry!”

 

“Ministry?”  Then it dawned on me.   My husband voluntarily did this for 9 years!  I never realized how important this job was for the church and how it was a ministry.  My friend’s mom opened my eyes.  As long as you are serving the Lord, there is a will and a purpose in life.

 

God Bless people who volunteer in children’s ministry, hospitality  (we love coffee and donuts, right?) and greet us when we walk into church.  Whether God calls you to be a pastor or clean up after the service, it is all to serve Him.  Our motives must be examined when we choose to serve God.  We must do it for His glory not our own.

 

Lesson Learned:   God’s perspective differs from the world.  Serving Him and others in any capacity is valuable.

 

Prayer:

“Dear Heavenly Father, enrich my talents and show me where you want me to serve.  Forgive me for believing the lie that it has to be a big job to follow your will.  Let my standard be from you not my own.  In Jesus’ Name, AMEN!”

I Was Left Out

“My friends, we beg you to warn anyone who isn’t living right.  Encourage anyone who feels left out, help all who are weak, and be patient with everyone.”  1 Thessalonians 5:14

 

Sharing pictures of gatherings on social media should represent fun.  However, when you are not invited and you find out about said event through social media, the hurt feelings come rising to the surface.  Now here’s a party you can attend “pity party for one”.

 

This happened to me, I found about about an event I was not invited to on Facebook.   In these pictures  I see a bunch of my friends taking part in the event.  I could feel all kinds of feelings: hurt, anger, and sadness.  So, I react how any level headed person would do, I post a comment and ask indirectly about the missed invitation to the event.  (Yeah, real classy.)  

 

I received an explanation that I was invited months ago but she said I didn’t give her an answer to helping out.  However, I remember things differently.  I was so angry.  All the bad thoughts started pouring in…“Am I that forgettable?”  “No one likes me.”  “I am always left out.”

 

God gently reminded me that I have a choice, I can either hold a grudge or be responsible for my own feelings and not be hurt by the lack of invites.  Life goes on and my life is still good even without the invites.  

 

No one knows what people are thinking and why they do the things they do.  The burden is too great to figure out how people think.  Move on and be the friend to others that you would want for yourself.  I went back and deleted the comment, since it was a mistake to even write it.

 

Lesson Learned:  You won’t get invited to everything and it is okay.

 

Prayer:

“Dear Heavenly Father, may I see that I am valuable even if I am not on people’s guest lists.  Let me be encouraging to people who feel left out.  Reveal in me areas that need change to be a light towards others.  In Jesus’ Name, AMEN!”