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Sunday, May 22, 2011

Dream and Live Your Life




"Dream as if you'll live forever.  Live as if you'll die today."   James Dean

Do you ever find your self in the doldrums?  Do you ever think that your life does not seem significant? Stop and do self evaluations whenever you get these stirrings.

Today, I do not feel insignificant, but change is in the air.  Next week I will walk away from something I have loved and done for over 22 years.  I am retiring.
   
I recently was thinking that my life was no big deal, until I started calculating how many people I really have touched just in my career.  

Elementary students I have taught:  417

Middle school students taught:  400
High school students taught:  360

Detention center students taught:  40

FCA:  200

(Not to speak of youth groups, children's choirs at three churches, Bible studies, book studies, Sunday school classes, co-workers, Japanese friends I made and spent time teaching American cooking lessons to in Tokyo, etc.)
Just of the figures from teaching school, I came up with 1,217 students that I spent a year with on a daily basis.  Some of my ESL students I spent two years with them and they had more than one class with me.

The point is, this is not a hurrah, or a "look what I've done in my lifetime".  Yet it is just one way of measuring my worth.  I imagine you can do just the same with your jobs, community work, voluteering, singing in choirs, tutoring, helping with menial tasks that make an event possible, send needed supplies and encouraging items to troops, or to rescue and emergency aid to countries hit by disaster, planting trees, recycling, giving to non-profits.

Then, consider this!  If you have children each of them has a sphere of influence.  My influence and input and love into my six children has touched many lives because of who they are and who they have become.  God gave them as a gift to me to train and raise up, but they are also a gift to the world.  

Just think of it!  I have influence in Afghanistan, because me son is there working for the government.  I have influence in California because of another son there.  I have influence in San Antonio because of daughters who live and interact in various positions, careers, and civic duties.  

I also have influence in South Africa because of my daughter who is a full-time missionary there with YWAM.  She loves on kids in schools, orphanages, aids clinics' patients, druggies and prostitutes, other students from all over the world who come to train on a half year mission journey in their lives to find God and their place in His kingdom.  I also have influence with my young son still at home as he matures and develops.

My husband also tell me that I am an influence on him.  I will quickly tell you that his love, faith in God, and generosity of love to me and my family has had a great influence to heal and he brings encouragement along to everyone he meets.

As I dream for the next venture in my life.  I am excited at the prospects.  I know that no matter which way I turn God can use me to encourage another person.  I know that if I decide to stay at home and write and just loved on my family and took care of them, that my life would be fulfilled.  I do want to dream big and touch the world.  I want all that I have and can give to be used to the fullest.

I want to live today like it was my last.  What would be on your to do list if today is your last day on the Earth?  Maybe that should be part of the routine everyday.  

Live life so that when you go to sleep at night there are few regrets.  Plan your days so that every once in a while there is some spice in life: something that you really love and want to do for others and yourself.  Follow your passion.  Use your natural gifts.  Follow God's heart.  

Then, when you get those nagging negative thoughts or feelings just remember to sit still before God to get your balance...let Him be your compass.  Your dreams will not be abandoned, rather... you will find that when you look back and reflect...they are all coming true.


  





Monday, May 16, 2011

Brave at Heart

"You can never cross the ocean unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore." - Christopher Columbus 
Imagine the courage it took for Columbus to actually set out to sail directly to the west, in the day that people thought the world was flat and if they went too far, that there would be a huge drop off.  
Imagine walking in marches for equality, knowing that as you leave the bus or while in the street you may be clubbed and jailed.
Imagine standing and silently praying or passing out pamphlets to young women before they entered an abortion clinic, trying to save them from a lifetime of guilt, as well as the life of the baby, and being the mother of three young children as well as a pastor's wife who is thrown in jail.
Imagine refusing to get out of your seat on a bus and seeing jail time because you believed that you were just as precious with your beautiful chocolate skin as the others who insisted in taking your place.
Imagine taking all of your land, your home, your finances and investing them all in a cause of freedom from tyranny, the colonies vs. England, which at the time was the greatest military power on the planet.
 Imagine that these people all had a choice to walk in fear, think of their losses, and could have backed down.  Where would we be without hospital reform, prison reform, child labor laws reform, meat packing reform, asylum reform, or church reform?  
Are these people special, destined, or were they just like us?  I think that they were just like us.  They had a faith in God.  They had the same God as we do.  But...they moved to make a statement, a change, with an urgency to do what God gave them to do.  No fear.  Only trusted Him.
Imagine the next time God has you in a situation where a word in season could make a difference in someone's life.  Make the move of love and compassion.  Care about their souls.  Care about the condition they are in.  Reach out beyond your comfort zone and just find out how big your God is.
That is my challenge to me.  I just thought you might want to take it up, too.  Brave at heart.   I like that.  Lord, help me push beyond the easy and go straight on through the tough stuff and into your heart.  The brave and the free.  I want to be free in deed.
 

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Quest



Thanks for your comments.  I appreciate the feedback.  I am getting my wobbly writing legs going here and one day I will write my first mediocre book. 

I read from another blogger who does gets published that I need to write my first bad book, then put it down for a while, come back and rewrite and edit about ten times before showing it to anyone... then show it and listen to the critique: learn from it.  Then write a better second book.

Now, I just am pondering, brain-storming, making notes, writing blogs, and as soon as I clean out my classroom I will begin in earnest to search for a story that is waiting to be told.

I'LL JUST KNOW

I can imagine having a whole new standard to live by when I see God face to face.  I will just know...like those little guilty kids, who when the adults show up...all of a sudden just amazingly "know" how to behave. 

I think I will have a sense of things that are beyond my reach now due to the scarring that comes from dwelling on this Earth.  The knowledge will be there.  I will just know when we are close to crossing the boundaries. 

More than that, His aura of love will be so strong that there will be no desire to be anything outside of who He is...perfect love.  It will just be so desirable and so contagious that with no questions or instructions needed, swallowed up in His goodness... I'll just know.

Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.  I John 3:2


Monday, May 2, 2011

MIXED FEELINGS

I am saddened at the cursing, and filthy talk surrounding the death of Osama Bin Laden.  Yet, I am so relieved that the nightmare of this personage is over.  The sobering reality is that he has indoctrinated, brainwashed if you please, and developed a huge network of like-minded fanatics who will want to carry out his assignments, especially after his death.  Those whooping it up only stirs more hatred for us as we do not show the face of our God to them.

It is sad when any person dies without a knowledge of Jesus and with hell as a prospect.  Many have attempted to work the diplomatic,  pacifist route and innocents still have been killed, tortured, families destroyed, etc. 

If we met him with that attitude in the spiritual state he has been in the past decade, a man from the USA may have been sacrificed for his beliefs.  I might have been raped and made a slave.  He was possessed, and that part is sad.  He did not find his deliverer in time to change his destination.

Yes, we should show proper dignity for his death.  I agree, but too many remember the undignified tapes mocking the deaths of many innocent in New York and the Pentagon as well as Pennsylvania.

God is not a God of violence, but he will come back on a white horse as the conqueror over the demonic hosts that have terrorized this planet.  They will be destroyed and all of their followers, no holds barred. He is also a God of justice.

There is a point where we as humans can choose to step out of the boundaries of grace and we are left without the Lord's protection due to our blasphemy.

That, sadly, left us with no choice, but to remove this evil man from doing more damage all over the world.

I pray for deliverance from evil in the Lord's prayer.  Sometimes the angels stop the evil and sometimes our warriors have to do the job.

I am thankful for the brave men who risked their lives, who cannot live with their families because of their secretive existence to protect us.  I am thankful that we still can live in this bastion of freedom here in the United States, but I do pray that we would regain reverence for life, reverence for God, and that we would put God on the throne again rather than our own selfish entertainment and desires.

Yes, I would love to see the millennium come to Earth today.  We have a little more time to wait, but we can each one live a life pleasing to God regardless until that day comes.  Some are teachers, some are preachers, some are businessmen, some are housewives, some are prophets, some are healers, and some are defenders of the weak and the defenseless.  My thanks to the defenders who are working for freedom.