Archive for October 2013

Loving the Unlovely

Recently, I attended a dinner for the Children’s Hunger Fund (@serveachild), an organization that provides food to needy children and their families around the world. The founder, Dave Phillips shared a little about his story, why he started this non-profit and how God has worked in his life in the 21 years CHF has been in operation. He told some amazing stories about how God showed up in His miraculous ways.

What grabbed my heart the most during his talk was a story of the early days of the ministry. He discovered a young person living in a dumpster near the CHF warehouse. Every day when he would drive to work, this person would pop up out of the dumpster and watch him drive by. This person had dirt ground into his face, and rags for clothes. Dave imagined what this person, who had obviously not bathed in some time, might smell like. He drove by the dumpster for weeks, each day, the person would pop out of the dumpster as he drove by.

Finally, God’s conviction got the better of him. He stopped, and took this person to the warehouse, where he and his one employee sprayed the young man off with a hose. They let the person go into the bathroom and clean up and put on new clothes. To his surprise, this was not a young man, but a young girl, 14 years old, who had run away from an abusive home.

His point and challenge to us was we need to look past our own prejudice toward the unlovely, the person living in the dumpster, whoever it is who crosses our path. God doesn’t smell the filth or see the dirt on that person. God sees the heart. This story went right to my heart as a place I can grow.

How does God want you to show His grace and mercy in a world of those in need?

Under Construction . . . Continued

It’s interesting what I feel God wants me to improve. Many times, it’s not what I expect it would be. Recently, I wrote a post where I said people were getting the Provider and His Provision mixed up. I think I’m pretty good at trusting Him in all things, and yet, if I truly believe He is the Provider, why would I get stressed out about consulting work?

I want to provide excellent service to clients because I believe God wants me to. That may sometimes cause stress, if I feel like I could have done a better job of things. Yet when I begin to worry that a client may not renew a contract, I’m walking in fear, not faith. My job is to do the best work that I can and work with people to the best of my ability. I have to trust the Lord with the rest of it. I have no control over corporate budgets.

God pointed out to me recently that walking in fear is a place of disobedience to Him, because I have not trusted Him with everything. So, in my effort to diligently obey Him, I’ve worked on trusting Him rather than worrying. When you get worried or fretful about how God will provide, stop and think about trusting Him. I’ll be doing the same thing.

He’s got a plan, we have to trust Him.

 

Under Construction

I live in an old neighborhood where homes are being torn down and rebuilt. One morning last week, I walked out on my back porch to the sound of a bulldozer on the street behind me. Next, I heard the creaking of framing wood being pulled apart. I thought to myself, they are tearing another one down. Sure enough, later in the day I happened to drive past the property that was being torn down so that it could be reconstructed.

It made me think of our walk as born-again Christians. Sometimes we have to get “torn down” in a sense, so that we can rebuild as Christians. Though we have the promise of eternal salvation, our lives on the earth are under construction.

God has been showing me opportunities for my personal growth in the last few months. At a consulting project I’m working on, something someone said to me in jest made me begin to wonder if this colleague was kidding . . . or not. I tossed it over in my mind, should I ask him if he really wasn’t kidding? As I prayed through this one night I felt the Lord gently reminding me that if I questioned this colleague, he might feel I was challenging him.

God asked me, would it hurt to be a better listener? I had to smile and agree with Him that it never hurts to be a better listener! So my construction work of sharpening listening skills, and being quiet longer, before I speak, began.

We are always under construction so that God can use us for the specific purpose He has for each of us. Ask Him to show you where construction can begin!

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