Monthly Archives: May 2015

Judging Outward Appearances

Yesterday morning, I was in a bit of a rush, trying to get the kiddos to school and myself to work. Normally, I have a quiet time before I leave for the day, but due to circumstances beyond my control it didn’t happen. However, I knew that I needed to begin my day with Jesus through prayer and Bible reading, so I decided to gather up all the needed quiet time supplies and take them to work with me. Thankfully when I get to the church early, it is nice and quiet before the craziness begins (*smile*).

In my rush, I reached in under the kitchen sink, grabbed the first bag I could find, plopped the stuff in the bag and out the door I went. As I got to my office, I set the bag on the table and noticed what type of bag it was.

VS bag

I felt somewhat embarrassed that I had chosen this bag because the contents inside the bag did not at all match what the outside of the bag was advertising. In fact, if people were to see my bag, a Bible, 3×5 notecards with my memory verses and a prayer journal would be the last thing they would suspect as the contents.

contents of bag

items on table

As I was pulling the contents out of the bag to have some quiet time, I sensed God speaking to me that a lot of people are like that bag. Their outsides disguise what’s on their insides. Yet, how often do you and I make judgments about what must be on the inside, based on what we see on the outside?

I was immediately reminded of one of the Bible verses I memorized in my earliest teenage years, 1 Samuel 16:7:

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

According to this verse, it is part of the human condition to judge by outward appearances. But, aren’t you thankful that God doesn’t do that? He looks beyond the package into the contents of what’s inside. I want to be a person like that, don’t you?  But how?

  • One of the best ways to start is by praying that God will give you the eyes to see people the way He sees does.
  • When you are tempted to make a quick judgment about someone, stop and take a closer look. It will take some time to dig a little deeper, but often what you will find are some admirable qualities that are waiting to be discovered.
  • As you find the good in others, call it forth and do what you can to encourage it and help it grow.

The next time you want to judge someone by what you see on the inside, remember the Victoria’s Secret bag. Packages can be deceiving . . .

Your Friend in Ministry,

1Signature

 

 

 

Passing Things of Value on to Those Who Need it

Yesterday morning I was making lasagna for a special meal last night. My daughter mustered up the courage to try out for a solo for last night’s choir performance. The fact that she even tried is a huge deal! The fact that she got the part is icing on the cake. (In our family, it’s more about attitude and effort than achievement.) So last night we had a special family dinner before we attended the choir concert in support of our little soloist.

So yesterday, as I was cleaning up the kitchen, my thoughts were on the lasagna. I found the recipe on “allrecipes.com” and the name of the recipe was “World’s Best Lasagna”. I was hoping it lived up to its title. Part of my love/hate relationship with cooking is that when I put a lot of effort into my cooking, I have visions of grandeur. You know the kind . . . your family in sheer delight while eating your food. Endless compliments about how great it is, etc . . . However, the reality is, usually only my husband makes positive comments about what I make. The kids try to gag it down (we are also a family of VERY simply tastes) and I think of how it could have been better. Anyhow, back to the lasagna, I did the dishes and cleaned around the computer where I found this “World’s Best Lasagna” recipe. I thought, why should I keep all my cookbooks when I can access any recipe I could ever possibly need through the internet? As soon as I had that thought, my mind immediately went to this cookbook right here.

Betty Crocker Cook book

And in that instant I knew, I could never part with that cookbook, or any other for that matter. Now, you may be wondering why this particular cookbook is so special to me. It was given to me as a special gift shortly after I was married. I was working at the Bible College I had just graduated from. One of my big bosses was a woman who seemed pretty old at the time, but in retrospect, she was probably just in her fifties (*smile*). She and I had a good working relationship, but I wasn’t very close to her. One day, on my desk, I found this cookbook with a note attached in her beautiful handwriting. I don’t remember exactly what the note said, but it said something about how it had been hers but she decided I could get better use out of it than she would. You see, this particular professor had never been married so she had neither husband nor family to cook for. Somehow, I instinctively knew that in passing this cookbook on to me, she was letting go of what could have been for her and passing on something of great value to me.

Now, I have to admit, I only use this cookbook for one thing, but I pull it out each and every time I need to hard boil eggs.

Eggs

And I think of this dear lady, every time I do.

Now that I’m a leader, part of my job is to pass things of value on to those who need it, just like she did for me:

  • Truths from the Bible that I have found
  • Belief in and for those who are serving with me
  • Insight into working with people
  • Tips about balancing life and ministry
  • Helpful books that I have read
  • Things that I have learned the hard way
  • An encouraging word
  • Time to listen and be a friend
  • Hugs and winks and smiles

What is something of value that you can pass on to someone who needs it today? I encourage you to make a difference. What may seem insignificant to you will have lasting value and impact for someone else. Just like the cookbook did for me!

Your Friend in Ministry,

Name3

To get new blog posts delivered directly to your email inbox, click on the subscribe button in the upper right hand corner.

Psalm 145:13

Psalm 145  13

Psalm 145:13 was my memory verse for April 15th. I was supposed to choose a new one for May 1st, but I am having a hard time letting go of Psalm 145, because it is so beautiful and meaningful to me.

First of all, I am so grateful that God is timeless and never changes. His kingdom “endures through all generations”. I have been experiencing lots of change lately, personally, in our family and in our church. Change is hard, because it makes me feel a little unsure. Yet, it is reassuring to know that even if everything around me changes, God remains the same. I take great comfort in that truth!

Next, this verse says that the Lord is “trustworthy in all He promises”. Have you ever had someone say something to you and wondered if you could believe them? Maybe someone paid you a compliment, but really they just wanted something from you in return. Or maybe they told you a story that just seemed too good to be true.

Have you had people in your life that weren’t completely trustworthy? Maybe a close friend says they want to spend time with you but you can never seem to connect. Or your husband says he will be home from work at a certain time, but you know to add a half hour to the time he told you. No matter how good-hearted your friends and family are, they are human and therefore they are not 100% trustworthy.

I find that I often transfer the untrustworthiness of others onto God. It is hard to wrap your mind around Someone being 100% trustworthy, 100% of the time, isn’t it? Yet, according to this verse (and many others in the Bible) God is trustworthy in ALL He promises! Every single promise He has made He will deliver on! Every. Single. Time.

What promise are you standing upon right now? If you haven’t seen it come to complete fruition, keep trusting. Your God is trustworthy!

In addition to God keeping His promises, Psalm 145:3 also promises that God is faithful in all He does. I think one of the reasons I have been so attached to this verse is because I have been regularly noticing God’s faithfulness these past couple of weeks. By the way, God is always faithful; we just don’t always recognize His faithfulness.

I have seen His faithfulness in the following ways:

  • Very specific answers to prayer for not only one, but both of my children and their friends.
  • In relationships where things could have gone bad, but God turned it around for good.
  • In growth in my life and others lives as well.
  • God’s provision of resources, abilities and time.
  • God’s protection of my heart through various circumstances.

Even when it seems like things are falling apart, God is faithful in the middle of it all. He can take anything that happens in life and turn it around for good. In fact (according to Romans 8:28) that’s His specialty!

Are you looking for God’s faithfulness? Are you praying for eyes to recognize Him at work? That’s a prayer He loves to answer. God loves to show off for those who are looking for Him to show up!

God never changes. His kingdom endures forever. He is trustworthy in all He promises and faithful in all He does. May this truth be an encouragement to you today!

Your Friend in Ministry,

Name3