Monday, June 29, 2015
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
- Consider mentoring a student
- Volunteer to work with students at church, YMCA or other civic organizations
- Be intentional to get to know your friends children. Show them you care.
- If you have a teenager, get to know their friends.
- Go to sporting events or plays to support youth you know and to show you care.
- Commit to pray daily for students in local schools.
Tuesday, May 5, 2015
We all listened with disbelief as the Great Nik Wallenda announced his plans to walk on top of a 400 foot tall ferris wheel without a harness or safety net. For him, its about balance and about faith.
I am learning that the same is true for me. Life is about balance and faith. Last week, I experienced a grown-up meltdown as I collapsed under the weight of life's constant demands. I realized that while I spend hours teaching other people's children and counseling others, I had little left to give to my own family and friends. Surely this is not what God meant when he encouraged us to pour out our lives as living sacrifices. In order to continually give to others, I must also continuously receive. Think of it like a sponge. I can only squeeze out the water that is in it; if it is not doused with new water, then eventually it will dry out.
Friends, we know in our heads that we need to make time for the Lord and for our family and friends -- why is it so difficult to do so? I think one of the greatest tools of the enemy today is busyness. I fall into this trap far too often.
So what do we do? The answer is simple -- LESS.
Do less. This is so challenging for me; I want to do it all! The problem is that I can't do it all, and its my own stubborn pride that thinks I can. I am entering a time in my own life where I am seeking God's wisdom to help me to discern what He wants from me versus what everyone else wants from me.
This is a path I've trodded far too often, but I will trudge ahead and take time to rest along the journey. With a little faith, perhaps my LESS will accomplish much MORE.
Monday, April 13, 2015
I am so grateful for family. I don't live near my family so anytime I am able to spend with them is a blessing. A couple of months ago I visited my aunt and uncle, and in the middle of the night I woke up and went to the bathroom. When I went back into my room, I could hear their dog breathing and wagging his tail. It was pitch black so I couldn't see the little fellow; I began reaching for him to put him out, but could not seem to get my hands on him. Reaching for the light switch, I slid my hand down the wall. Where was that blasted switch? I reached and reached to no avail.
Pausing to think, I decided to go back into the hallway and turn on the hall light so that I could see to get the dog out of the room. As I turned to exit, I felt clothes on all sides. What? I was somehow in a closet. I went back into the bedroom and tried to leave again only to find myself once again in the closet. What in the world? Startled and disoriented, I stopped and pondered what to do. Aha! I would get my cell phone off the bed and use it as a flashlight. Why didn't I think of that sooner?
So, I practically leaped out of the closet and over to the bed. When I reached for my phone, I jumped in terror as I grabbed a leg! Where was I? My uncle sat up in the bed as my aunt asked what I was doing. Mortified, I turned and ran back into the closet. I turned around and couldn't find another door. I rushed back into the closet as I frantically tried to leave the room. My aunt was calling out to me, "No Natalie, the other door." I couldn't see another door. Finally, my uncle turned on his phone so that I could see well enough to race out of the room. Embarrassed does not begin to explain my plight!
While I can laugh about this now, at the time I was both confused and lost. This is what happens when we walk in darkness. One wrong step and our path changes. We make one seemingly small compromise and it leads us down a path toward other compromises, taking us further astray. The alcoholic convinces himself that just one drink is harmless...thus begins the journey away from sobriety and toward a path he swore he'd never walk again. The teenager justifies that she can make out without crossing her boundaries only to find herself slowly progressing down a slippery slope to a path she swore she'd never take.
There are times when all it takes is a little light to set us back on track. Just as the cell phone lit up the room illuminating my exit, God's Word will guide us to a path of hope and restoration. May we take time daily to fill our lives with the Light so the darkness will flee from our lives.
Sunday, March 8, 2015
God sees the big picture. He not only knows where we are, but He also knows where He is taking us. When our perspective is limited, we can trust in His ability to see the big picture.