Marriage Letters: On Outside Influences

Huni,

Outside influences.  This is a good one.  Well, you took away my cable.  All the good influences are now so far from me . . . I can’t hear from them like I used to . . .Kardashians, Braxtons, Ice -T and Coco . . .  :0)     joking . . . tee hee hee . . .  :0D

I’m thinking of the sweet comment you made this past Saturday about one of your closest friends, wishing that he and his wife lived closer.  I wish they lived closer too.

I’m thinking of another of your close friends who has moved away and how I saw you grow and change as the two of you grew even closer while he was here.  I’ll miss him and his wife when they have completely transitioned to their new city.

I’m thinking of the couples with whom we spend our Thursday nights, the older couples in our life and other friends who form a circle around us and cover us with their love, encouragement and prayer.  The Lord has been so good to us, blessing us with people who love us, enjoy spending time with us, pour into us and are honest with us.  We have manifestations of Proverbs 27:17  all around.  And we are sharper.

As we’re being thoughtful and prayerful about this next transition in our lives, it’s important that we have relationships with people we can trust, with whom we can share what the Lord is doing in our lives and in our hearts.  There are so many outside influences clamoring to taint our bond, so we have to cling to Christ and be open to the people He gives us and the ways He chooses to love us and guide us through them.

We are a reflection of each other and our support groups are a reflection of who we want to be and what we can become.  If we want to be great, we have to surround ourselves with greatness.  Influence is a choice, but the people and objects that influence us can be subtle and therefore blur our ability to determine when something has changed the way we think or relate.  We need to be careful and protect our hearts and minds through prayer and the word.  If our marriage is a ministry, and through it the Lord can reach people, change and save their lives, we need to be driven closer to Him and closer to each other so that we can show up for Him and be effective.

I’m so grateful for who you are and the kind of people you attract.  We have a beautiful life partly because of the beautiful people in it.

Loving loving you,

pamela t.

This concludes the marriage letters for now.  Please visit http://therunamuck.com/2012/04/29/marriage-letters-on-outside-influences/  to read more letters.  The letter written by Amber today was just plain good.  Seriously.  A must read.

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Sisters Praying

So, usually on Wednesdays I write a bit about what Beth Moore is teaching.  Thus far I’ve focused on her series on the family which has been aired on Life Today with James and Betty Robison for the past couple of months.  There was no new part of that series played today, in fact Beth Moore wasn’t on Life Today, today.  So, I wanted to take this time to see if there were any out there who need prayer on behalf of their family?

If I can be honest, but delicate (because some of them may read this and I don’t want to embarrass or shame anyone–at all), I’d like to expose myself a little bit.   If you could know anything about me, you’d think I have it pretty together, not perfect by any means, but a pretty solid chick.  You’d never guess how much I have to overcome daily and how much I have already overcome through God’s grace and love alone.  Why?  My family of origin is quite dysfunctional, broken and in great need of redemption.

It pains me deeply when I think about all of the things my family is ridden with–alcoholism, infidelity,  jealousy, low self-image, domestic violence, drug abuse, pridefulness, lack, depression, illness, adultery, fatherlessness, and the list goes on and on and on.  It makes me very sad because these are people that I care about and who mean a great deal to me, but also because there is a such thing as generational curses and I am having to fight these demons off of me and my children so that the vicious cycle doesn’t repeat itself and satan have his way.  No.  So I pray for my family and I attach the word to them, name by name and one by one.  It starts to get over my head a bit at times and feels like too much to handle, but I have a Father who holds my whole world in His hands.  Surely He can work miracles in my family.

Perhaps there are others out there who’s family can use a little prayer?  If it’s your family or the family of someone you know, I’d love to pray for you & yours and invite you to pray for me & mine.  Please leave your prayer requests in the comments and pray for the person who commented before you.  I’ll personally pray for each prayer request left here, with pleasure.

The family is soil, fertile and rich, ready to receive good seed and a able to produce a wealthy harvest.  It is a training ground for great people to be formed and, often, the roots of  how people develop the type of relational styles they use to engage others everyday.  In families right now, both brilliant people and broken people are being formed.  God desires to reign in homes and families all over the world.  So does satan.  People get ready.  It’s time to pray.

Marriage Letters: On Loss

Hey Huni,

I had to think about this one for a minute.  At first I was thinking, we haven’t really suffered any loss.  But then I remembered that we walked down the aisle in complete bliss and love but our faces were still moist from fresh fallen tears due to the hurt from mourning Grandma Willie Mae.  A few short months later, we were back at it again when we loss Granddaddy WJ.  And recently when I cried and said goodbye to Linda, you were there with hugs and prayers and “It’s gonna be okay” enough that I believed you.  So, we have experienced real loss as we said goodbye to people who had been in your life all of your life but who made an indelible mark on me in such a short time and vice versa.

But some how I felt that I should dig a little deeper and really think about other ways that we have experienced loss.  And I don’t mean to whine because by God’s grace we have had such a blessed life, but we have certainly had some losses from which to recover.  One that comes to mind is when we were expecting Izzie, had just moved back to NC from MD and there was just no money. None.  And the promise of money was like a watermark; hard to decipher and very uncertain.  Times were hard, but then they got harder!!  Whew!!  The threats and losses almost overwhelmed us.  The loss of peace of mind, security, and, at times, faith, was a sure sign of how much trust we needed to gain.  I am so thankful for you and how you stood strong, a man, the man, taking care of us and doing whatever it took to make sure that we were okay.  More than your efforts though, I appreciate your walk with Christ because that is what gave us strength to keep looking for hope when all signs read “Give up!”

I wouldn’t dare downplay losing comfort in comparison to losing people.  To lose any person is a priceless and irreplaceable loss. We face that every time we visit 410.  I am so thankful that I got to lose comfort with you first, though.  Having those extremely hard times with you made me feel a little safer in the case of a more tragic loss.  I have an example of how you’ll handle yourself and an illustration of your heart.  Lord knows that loss is not a way that I would choose to experience Him but I thank Him for you and pray that He’ll allow me to keep you when loss knocks again.  I’ve been learning so much about how God chooses to show us His love and you are one of the ways.  I’m grateful that I get to hold your hand to take some of the sting out of loss.  Thanks for all the ways you’ve been there so far.

Loving you,

pamela t.

Next Monday will be my last letter in this series.  This has really been some sweet writing for my marriage.  I am grateful to share it with whomever chooses to read it.  There are some other really good letters out there that have pulled me toward my husband in real ways and they may be a joy and a help for you to read as well.  Take a look at http://therunamuck.com/2012/04/23/marriage-letters-on-loss/.

Marriage Letters: I Trust You Because . . .

Huni,

I trust you.  And trusting is so hard for me to do.  Me?  Trusting anyone or anything?  Me, the one who’s been so dangerously betrayed by those who were supposed to be trustworthy.  The little girl in me always remembers that and she begs me to protect myself and trust no one.  I have had to fight fear and try so hard to receive your good and know that you are safe and it’s been a fight.  A struggle.  But I do trust you.  Or I, at least, am trying to because I know that it is important for our marriage and my growth, (and your growth, for that matter) and I try to live believing that you are trustworthy.

The first glimpse of just how trustworthy you are came after a series of Impact retreats and conferences.  I remember telling you that I appreciated how your character remained the same; when everyone was watching, and when it seemed that no one was watching (because I was watching . . .more than I care to admit :0)  I knew then that I could trust you to be yourself.  And that this cool guy with a heart for the Lord and great character, was truly that . . . and more.

That palpable sense of trust covered me still when, through our dating relationship, you showed me yourself, your family, your God, your heart, your love.  Emmanuel, you surrounded me, every time you got the chance, physically and emotionally.

And here we are, almost seven years into our marriage, but ten years of walking together, striving to know the other, striving to truly love one another and make each other happy and I know it, strong and sure:  you are trustworthy.  I’m thinking about how you let me lay all of my fear, shame, sin and ugliness before you and instead of judging me, you loved me and became angry for me, seeking a way to protect me from further hurt and harm.

So when I act like I don’t trust you, please continue to be patient with me and continue to love me through it.  This trust thing is a huge plunge for me.  At times it glides and at times skids, rough and rocky.  The opportunity to trust you is hardly about you, but more about all that that moment represents.  You think, “Pam, you know me.  You can trust me.”  I think, “You’re asking me to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro and I don’t even exercise on a regular basis.”  Huni, I do know you.  You are the sweetest person I know.  I know you want good for me and you mean good for me and I want to allow those truths to blanket me and make me feel safe.  Because that’s trust’s right hand man–safety.  I’m the one in this situation who needs to work harder for the trust to flow better.

As I grow to show you how much I love you and trust you, I try to remind myself that it’s safe because your love for me is another way that God shows me that He loves me.  And I want to give you the same grace.  I want to lavish you in the freedom of knowing that I trust you to make good decisions for the health and benefit of the girls and me.  I want my love and trust for you to make you feel strong, confident and capable in the world, daily, because I know that God desires to use me to show you just how much He loves you and what He thinks of you.  What a privilege and a high calling to trust you and to represent Christ in loving you.  He loves you best, but He must think a great deal of me to give me the charge of loving a man like you.  I know that as I lean into Him and rely on Him, loving you and trusting you in a way that He desires will accomplish all that I hope for you, and greater, all that He has in store for you.

I love you E.T.

pamela t.

If you haven’t joined me yet, please consider writing your spouse a marriage letter.  This experience has been rich for me, to ponder these things, to share my ponderings with my husband and plant seeds on behalf of my marriage.  I’ve also enjoyed reading the letters of others and being encouraged at the glimpse of the way other marriages work.  Visit:  http://therunamuck.com/2012/04/15/marriage-letters-i-trust-you-because/  to see what I mean.

Black Bean Burgers! Ole!

My huni and I recently watched “Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead.”  For those of you who haven’t seen it, it’s a documentary about a man who started a small revolution when he realized that by changing his eating habits, he could not only lose weight, but he could become healthier to the point of getting off of medication that was sustaining his life after being inflicted with a very serious autoimmune disease.  His idea was to go on a juice fast for 60 days during which time he would only consume fresh fruits and veggies, slid through a juicer.  It’s a very inspiring movie and we really enjoyed it. By the end, I was rooting for one of the guys and I nearly cried near the end.  For reals.

After watching it, E got all kinds of ideas about what we should be doing and what our family eating habits should be.  Mostly, we have pretty healthy eating habits but he wanted more.  So we settled on making a drastic change and decided we would become (mostly) pescatarian (hey, I loves me some Bojangle’s!!  I can’t COMPLETELY give it up!! . . .right now).  It’s been tough coming up with recipes because it requires a lot more thought but I’m pulling out some oldies but goodies to get us started.  Last night, I got in the kitchen and made some black bean burgers and homeade tortilla chips.  Thought I’d share the recipe.

Black bean Burgers:

1 tall can black beans (I used a 26.5 oz can which yielded about 8 burgers)

1/2 cup bread crumbs

2 eggs

fresh cilantro (you decide how much; if you love cilantro, go crazy, if you like it, use about a handful)

2 tsp cumin

dash of salt

dash of pepper

dash of onion poweder

dash of garlic powder

(by dash, I mean to taste, you decide how much you’d like based on how well seasoned you’d like your burgers and how you’d like for them to taste)

whole wheat tortillas

shredded cheese (optional)

Olive Oil

Salsa Sauce:

1 tbsp sour cream

2 tsbp salsa

Chips:

Corn Tortillas

Olive Oil

Kosher Salt

For the burgers:

  • Gather all ingredients into a bowl.
  • Using a blender, mix all ingredients until a nice, well blended mixture forms.

        

  • Pat out burgers to desired size.
  • Heat olive oil in a warm skillet and place burgers into skillet, about three at a time depending on the size of the skillet.
  • Cook burgers on each side for about 3 minutes. (If you try to flip too soon, the burgers will fall apart. If you flip too late, they may be a little charred, but still tasty.)

  • In a separate pan, place a bit of butter (or non stick spray) in a pan and begin to toast the whole wheat tortilla.
  • (optional) As the tortilla is toasting, add a bit of cheese to each side so that it may melt simultaneously with the toasting tortilla.

  • As the burgers finish up, take them out of the pan and place them onto a lined pan to drain (won’t be much draining happening but excess oil will be collected by the lined pan).
  • Then, choose one burger patty and place it onto the toasting tortilla.
  • Add the special sauce and continue toasting to desired color and texture then close the burger!

        

For the Salsa Sauce:

  • Simply stir salsa into sour cream and there ya go!

        

For the Chips:

  • Using a pizza cutter, slice approx three corn tortillas at a time into desired chip size.

  • Place cut chips onto a lined baking pan.
  • Drizzle chips with olive oil (as much or as little as desired) and sprinkle with salt.

  • Place chips in a 400 degree oven and bake for 10 minutes or until desired brown, crispy goodness!

            

The verdict . . .

      

With a little help from my Pinterest board “Healthy Biology,” maybe I can keep this up.  Check it out:  http://pinterest.com/pamelovely/healthy-biology/

Would love to see what else is out there and for you to share your recipes with me!

Try Thankfulness Instead

There are many things to complain about.  Most often when we complain it seems so legitimate.  Righteous even.  But it’s not.  And it never, ever makes anything better.  At least not for me.  See, watch:

1.  I am so tired.

2.  I couldn’t complete any of the things I wanted to get done today.

3.  That girl was so rude to be using her phone while trying to serve me at the check-out line at the grocery store.

4.  I’m getting so frustrated with my family and all of our drama.

5.  More dishes in the sink for me to wash?!  I just finished washing two piles!

Anybody feeling better?  Me neither.  Okay, now watch this:

150.  While my girls were napping, I enjoyed reading a page turner and it was thrilling!

151.  Spending time laughing with Nit and KiKi.

152.  Seeing Iz light up at the sight of her cousins, no matter how many times she sees them.

153.  Peanut butter Cheerios.

154.  A chance to see God move on behalf of my family as I intercede on their behalf.

155.  Hot, running water with which to wash my dishes.

156.  A visit from Mini, complete with dinner, conversation and giggles.

157.  DeeDee’s trust and vulnerability.

158.  KiKi’s new journey to NCCU.

159.  Calvin’s new journey to ECU.

160.  Victory seen on the hopeful faces of two soon-to-be high school graduates, both college bound.

161.  Restored relationships.

162.  Jamaica, serving me ice cream while she ate liver.

163.  Leaping into the wind at the sensing of the presence of courage and fearlessness . . .couldn’t miss the chance . . .couldn’t let them pass me by.

164.  Lisa and Sarah.

165.  Growth.

166.  Determination to pay down more debt.

167.  A plan.

168.  A weekend home with my family.

169.  Honesty.

170.  Expectation.

and the list goes on . . . try counting blessings the next time you want to complain. . . I really do feel so much better!!

As long as thanks is possible, then joy is always possible.  Joy is always possible.Whenever, meaning–now ; wherever, meaning–here.  The holy grail of joy is not in some exotic location or some emotional mountain peak experience.  The joy wonder could be here!  Here, in the messy, piercing ache of now, joy might be–unbelievably–possible! ~Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts

See my running list here:  https://pamelluce.com/my-one-thousand/

 

photo found on google, from myfitclinic.com

Wednesdays with Beth

Beth Moore was back on Life Today, today, with part six of the series Family Calamity and Restoration (http://lifetoday.org/video/family-calamity-and-restoration-part-6).  Point 6:  God can add to your family.  Point 7:  Christ can bring honor back to the family.  The overall message that she gave was something that was on my heart last night, laid with me and slept heavy on my mind even through my dreams and greeted me as soon my eyes opened this morning.

Once a month, the second Tuesday of each month to be exact, I slide out of my home after the girls are quietly lying in bed pondering their day, the way little people do, to meet with other moms.  Together we gather, tired and excited to be together, yearning for fellowship, connection, answers, hope.  We share little bits of our lives, we laugh, we cry.  We each slip in and out of vulnerability, easily, and, I believe, we walk away fuller just for having gathered together.

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. (Hebrews 10:25)

Each time we gather we have a topic to discuss.  Last night it was how do we, amidst starting families, ministering, having careers, raising families,  make time to spend with the Lord.  I shared about how I am in this season of life where it seems like everything is hard.  It’s hard to get up in the morning, hard to get out of bed, hard to lay down at night.  Hard.  Everything.  And, because of this, how necessary it is for me to connect with my Savior daily, and best first thing in the morning, before I step foot out of the bed as a reminder that He is there with me, in that moment, and that He will continue to be with me throughout my day, moment by moment.

After I said this, I went on talking with some of the women throughout the night and I heard my words echoed back to me.  Either they were in agreement, could feel where I was coming from because they had been there, were currently there, or they simply couldn’t relate.  I thought about the ones that couldn’t relate.  I thought about the ones who said they knew and had been there.  I thought about myself and how I have been singing this song of desperation for some time now.  This having a hard time song.  And why am I still singing it?  Why have I not overcome and passed over from hard times to good times?  What’s going on, Lord?  I’m so, so thankful for the gathering because without them, it would have taken me just a little while longer to come to this:  I have not surrendered my hard time to the Lord.  I have not embraced my hard time as weakness, have not cherished the opportunity for a 2 Corinthians 12:9 moment each day, moment by moment.

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.

I writhe and wiggle and struggle to produce a good day, each day, and each day I get frustrated and come up unsatisfied because I have not surrendered, truly surrendered to my Psalm 46:1 God

 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.

Selah.  And I need to Selah my way through my day, moment by moment by moment to give my God a chance to rescue me, instead of me rushing in to figure all of this out by myself.  I need to push, but I need to push in a Psalm 121 sort of way.  I need to adjust my vision and really see.

1 I lift up my eyes to the hills—
where does my help come from?
2 My help comes from the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.

3 He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;
4 indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.

5 The LORD watches over you—
the LORD is your shade at your right hand;
6 the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.

7 The LORD will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;
8 the LORD will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.

Beth Moore spoke today about other forms of family.  Perhaps you need to tap into the family that God has provided for you that is right in front of you.  It may be your family of origin.  It may be a community of people outside of your family.  It may be both.  It be several forms of both.  Surely He desires for you to be connected through community.  Figure out who and what that is and get plugged in.  You may be missing life and, due to your absence, so may they.

Thank you, Lord, for the community of moms who help me see you more clearly.

Marriage Letters: On the Names I Call You

So, Monday came and went and I didn’t get a chance to post but I still wanted to write my marriage letter, because this is something I really believe in.  As best said by Amber over on www.therunamuck.com, “Call your marriage what it really is. Every Monday in April we’re writing letters because we believe that when we bless our own marriage, we bless the marriages of others.”  I’m right there with you, sista.  Check out some other letters here:  http://therunamuck.com/2012/04/09/marriage-letters-on-the-names-i-call-you/  Would love for you to join me and share your marriage letters on her site!

Dear Huni,

That’s my most favorite name to call you, Hunibun, because you really are so, so sweet.  I remember this particular point in our relationship, after we had been dating for a while, and your character had remained consistently honey-sweet, I asked you how long it would last.  I expected that just like all the others, it would soon run out and you’d be just like all the others.  But not you.  You’ve remained one of the sweetest, most consistent, most wonderful people that I have ever known.  Thank you for that.  Hunibun.

When I saw this topic, I knew exactly what I wanted to post for my letter.  I wanted to post an actual video of the song, but YouTube failed me (they had one, but not one that I liked enough to post here for you).  So, go and listen to Brandy sing He Is and know that, exactly what she says, as I said to you so many years ago, you are to me.  I know you’ll remember this. . . Prince Charming, angel, friend, lover, my one . . .  And more.  I love you.

Love,

pamjam, cornbread, babycakes, bae, your wife.

The Real Reason He Suffered on Speaking of Truth

So!  I received my daily email today from (in)courage (http://www.incourage.me/), and I was totally moved.  The post came from the site Speaking of Truth (http://www.speakingoftruth.com/) and was written by Sarah Nutter.  I so enjoyed the post that I emailed her to see if it would be okay if I posted it here and she agreed!  Please take a look at it and continue reading over on her site.

The Real Reason He Suffered

Incourage 2 The Real Reason He Suffered

I used a tissue to wipe up the blood that trickled down my left index finger. Always the clumsy one, I hadn’t been holding the crown of thorns carefully enough.

And all it took was one measly thorn prick to get me in tears.

This Good Friday prayer walk I was in charge of for our church wasn’t supposed to affect me like this. It’s just that that prick hurt a lot.

Mostly, emotionally.

Because it was only one thorn. One out of, like, a hundred. One condemning thorn that confirmed what I’d spent my whole life denying:

That if it had been me…

Read the rest here:  The Real Reason He SufferedSpeaking of Truth.

Salt . . .Light . . .Us . . .

I’ve always had high educational aspirations.  When I left to get my bachelor’s degree, I was already thinking about my master’s. And as I finished my master’s degree, I worked hard to quiet the roar for a doctorate.

After finishing undergraduate school I was bound to explore the world.  First stop, Manchester, UK.  I fell in love with my college sweetheart and he loved me back so passionately that just before I left he asked me to be his wife.  I said yes but I went to Manchester anyway.  Not wanting love to anchor me just yet, I moved forward in learning, exploring, discovering and then caught the first love train coming back this way when my stint was over.

Moved to his city just before the nuptials so that we could begin to build on some common ground together since our whole relationship had basically been long distance.  God, in the way that only He can, hooked me up with a job that included commission and a new apartment convenient to everything I’d want and need since I didn’t have any wheels just yet. (He’s so efficient, right?!!)

Then came marriage and we were happy.  We were thrilled, in fact, and our love for each other was so thick and full that it had us believing that we were fulfilled in every area of our lives.  For a time.

The ache for more came pounding, palpable and unrelenting.  My job was . . . cool . . . but I knew that it wasn’t supposed to be mine but for so long.  So I prayed and explored some more and even though I knew it would disrupt our comfort for a short time, I left it all. (here’s where I thank God for giving me wisdom to wait on and accept the man that He chose for me, ’cause my man was with me all the way, so supportive and genuinely concerned about my emotional well being.)  Again, God blessed me.  This time with a career as an educator and a position at a great school that offered an opportunity to obtain my M.Ed. (score!!!!!)

Then came baby girl one and we were ecstatic.  Prior to her conception, I had never made room in my mind or heart for children of my own.  Not sure why, just didn’t think I’d be fit to be a mommy.  But God softened my heart and gave me the desire for children and then gave me the desires of my heart.  E and I thought that life couldn’t get any better. We felt abundantly blessed to have Israel Grace.  For reals.  And things seemed . . .right.

Then came baby girl two and I was stunned.  Thirteen months later, she came sweetly into the world.  So many negative emotions flooded my mind and heart simply because I felt that I wasn’t ready for another baby and I wasn’t trusting God to know better than me. (covers face in shame)  I was terrified of what it would be like to have two children, much more two children less than two years old.  Terrified.  But I knew that I had to repent and get my mind right because whether or not I was ready He wanted to give me this gift and my, oh my, what a gift she is.  Ava Joelle is a blessing of massive proportions.  Absolutely.

My life seriously changed after she came.  But not for the reasons you might think.  Yes, it is difficult being mommy to two little girls.  So much to do.  So much to manage. SO much.  But after we had Ava, we decided that I would stay home full time, instead of part time as I did once we had Izzie.

Staying home full time has been amazing and hard and on another day I’ll elaborate.  It’s like a whole new world and nothing like what I imagined (I’ve watched too much t.v.).  As much as there is to do and as busy as I am on a daily basis, loving my family, caring for them, educating the girls, training the girls, caring for and cleaning my home and so much more, the Lord completely opened up my life and showed me that I was missing something.  One morning, I walked into my girls’ room and I could hear my Lord speaking to me, saying, “You can have the life you want.  You can do what you want to do with your life.  You are not in control but I have empowered you to make decisions.  But first, you need to figure out what you want. ”  And it felt like freedom to hear that.

I had recently heard an inspiring and exciting talk by my pastor’s wife, Mrs. Lynette Lewis (for more visit http://www.lynettelewis.com).  As she excitedly and confidently spoke about dreams and their power to energize, she awakened something in me.  And as she spoke practically about personal mission statements and how to put your dreams in action with the 1-1-1 rule (work toward one dream, once a week, for one hour) I became as the runner at the starting line at an Olympic track event; in ready position, just waiting for the sound of the gun so that I could take off running with the determination to win.

It appears to me that most of us have dreams and goals that we are not fulfilling for whatever reason–fear, lack of time, lack of resources, I could go on.  But I am discovering that none of these issues are powerful enough to hold us still, except for the power that we give to them by making them legitimate.  And what’s more, many of the dreams that I have are things that God placed inside of me and are related to my gifts and inclinations, unique only to me because of the purposes, works and people He has set aside for me to reach.

This week we had dinner with a sweet, sweet, funny couple (more on the wife, Whitney, soon).  After dinner Whitney and I got to talking and she spoke about how her giftings, at one time, didn’t seem to be life changing because some may not take it seriously (but I’m telling you, this woman is amazing and her art is a reflection of the creativity, innovation and beauty of our God) as say, moving to a third world country, adopting orphans and building homes while  sharing the gospel.  But then she spoke about how we, as God’s people, the representation of the Kingdom, are called to positively change and effect our culture, in. every. way.  That includes moving to third world countries and working there as well as it includes making a difference right where we are.  We are called to be salt and light (Matthew 5:13-16).  So let’s figure it out friends.  What is it that makes your heart beat?  What would you do if you knew you could not fail?  What work would you do even if you knew that no one would pay you a penny or a compliment for doing it?  And where is God in these things?  Speak to Him.  Offer yourself up to Him and ask Him how He’d like to use you to change the world for His glory.  Listen closely and carefully.  Then get going! I believe that there is no job too big or too small, too silly or too meaningful when it is set to the tune of His course and purpose.  Let’s lay aside every weight and get busy.

13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men. 14 “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

 

photo taken by raine, found on flickr.com