So, What’s Your Angle?

Every morning my husband and I have our coffee at the kitchen table and share in some casual conversation which varies from day to day. It may be about past or future events, our children or grandchildren, the message the pastor preached last week, or any number of things. It’s kind of our way of waking up to the day together. A few days, ago as we sat chatting, our conversation moved to an observation my husband made outside our kitchen window.

We live in a lovely mobile home park and outside our window is a large grassy area we call the green space. On school days some of the children in the park cut across the green space to go to the bus stop. On this particular day my husband commented, “Hey, that kid is going the wrong way.” I didn’t actually see the boy but simply responded “He probably forgot something or isn’t feeling good.” We went on to other topics but after a few minutes I noticed a boy walking across the green space toward the bus stop and the conversation that followed went like this:

Me: Looking out the window, “Is that the same boy you saw earlier going in the wrong direction?”

Husband: Also looking out the window, “What boy?”

Me: Pointing in the direction of the boy, “That boy right there!”

Husband: “I don’t see anyone.”

Me: “How can you not see him, he’s right there!” (pointing out the window again)

Then getting up and going to his side of the table (to prove my point) I found that I couldn’t see the boy at first either and it finally dawned on me that we had been looking out the same window but from two different angles.

After that first cup of coffee to wake us up we are ready for our devotional time looking for some insights from God’s Word, but today it became clear that God was already speaking clearly and giving us some insight, or at least me, from this observation about angles.

Following our discussion regarding the differences in what we could see from out two different views, two lessons emerged for me.

First, God can speak to us from anyplace He wants, even in the ordinary, seemingly insignificant events of our life. Those, often obvious, things we sometimes overlook can be great teaching moments.

Second, we can only see a part of the picture and what we see depends a great deal on which angle we are looking from. We actually never really see the whole picture at once because even if it is right in front of us we must look up and down, side to side and even behind to get the whole picture. Only God, from his view, sees the whole picture including the past, present and future.

When my husband and I were sitting at opposite ends of the table our views were determined by the angle which we were looking at through the window. I couldn’t see the boy going in one direction and he couldn’t see the boy coming from a different direction. Until I went to his side of the table we were at odds with what we saw out the same window. Only when we looked out the window together, from the same vantage point could we see clearly. It was when I made the move to come along side of him that I could see his view and the conversation could continue and come to the conclusion, there was a boy. On that we could agree.

Whether strangers or friends; fellow believers or unbelievers; as God gives us opportunity we who are followers of Jesus Christ need to be the first to go to the other side of the table, walk across a room, or whatever it takes to come alongside and listen. In order to try to see from the other persons perspective we must let Christ lead us as we share His love and light from our own view, our testimony.

In our relationships with people we must remember we are all, as born again believers, in the process of getting to know God. There are some who have very obstructed views of God for various reasons related to past experiences and they may not be as far along in the process as we are. There are some who are much farther along in the process than we are as they have been changed by God in the process in such a way that they have changed position and are able to see from a new angle out of a larger window.

For those who are not yet believers, they are not only looking through a distorted angle that has been drawn by lies, but they are looking into darkness and unable to see the true light and love of Christ.

In the case of the schoolboy, the fact was that he was there. I knew he was there. But until he came into view for my husband it wasn’t a fact for him. He couldn’t see him.

Those living in darkness, not yet believers, have no point of reference, the angle of their view is distorted by the darkness. They, most of all, need someone to come to the table and let the light and love of Christ shine into their darkness so they can see God’s truths.

So, what’s your angle?

Is there someone your sitting at opposite ends of the table with, at school, at work, in the board room, or maybe at church?

The good news is that God is good and He is patient with each of us.

Scripture tells us:

“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish but everyone to come to repentance.” 2Peter 3:9 (NIV)

“In your relationship with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus.” Philippians 2:5 (NIV

 

 

 

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Back to Basics for a New Year — Lori’s World

Morning Meditations have kinda gone by the wayside for me during the holidays. Time to reflect? What’s that? Recently, though, I’ve heard the Spirit whispering that it’s time to get back to the heart of worship, which for me is writing. Reading God’s word and recording my reflections on it, that’s where my strength comes […]

via Back to Basics for a New Year — Lori’s World

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January 24, 2019 · 1:08 pm

“This Old House”

 

old house

 

If you are a DIY TV addict like me you will more than likely remember, first a magazine, called “This Old House” which in more recent years is better know by the TV show of the same name.

Having a large family and a pretty small income our family lived most of our years in two story fixer uppers. I attribute the start of my DIY addiction to those years. However it didn’t start during those years. All that time I had been hoping to have a new home one day that didn’t need any work done. After all the kids left home I finally got my wish  and we were able to build a new home with everything on one floor, functionality, comfort and all new, just the way I wanted it!

Yet something was missing ?

After several years the new house began to show some wear and the realization of how much work it was going to be to keep it looking new hit me. I thought back to the old fixer uppers. Once they were new, functional for their day and comfortable for large families. But over years of wear and tear they needed to be taken care of and updated in order to keep them that way for the generations who would come to make a home there later. Some of the work we tried to do by ourselves but when we were in over our heads we had to call in the experts.

The stress of many seasons of wind and weather were evident on the outside of each house but the foundations were still strong.  The old houses had a lot of character but also needed a lot of care and updating to return them to at least some of their former beauty. But a closer look revealed that it was in the aging of the house and the wear and tear it carried that it’s  character was built. And I realized it was the character of the house I was missing most in that new house.

Although, in the process, the houses sometimes changed in their form and function  they remained faithful in their purpose, to provide a safe and comfortable home for our family.  We put a lot of time and energy in those old houses in order to keep them functioning to meet our growing needs and though they continued to creek and groan at times they remained true to their purpose.

As we moved from one house to the next, only to start the work of fixing and updating again, the house we left behind would be taken up by another who would continue to care for and update to meet their own needs. But as long as the house was cared for it remained stable,with it’s foundation strong and ready to continue in its purpose for yet another season, another generation.        Related image

I turned 70 this year and I was awakened to the similarities between myself and those old houses. As I have moved from one season in my life to the next the wind and storms of this life have left this old house weary and worn at times, but along the way they were, unknown to me, building  character in me. As I moved from one season to the next another generation would come and build on, repair and update the foundations I had left behind.

This old house was once new as well, created by God in my mother’s womb with a purpose. The care and maintenance of this house was taken up by my parents from infancy through adolescence. Their care began to mold me and shape me, sometimes in positive ways and sometimes not so much. But, as a young adult the care of this house and the work of maintaining it fell to me.  At first it was exciting. I had it all youth, energy and freedom to make my own choices, There were those times of struggles and uncertainty but after 19 years of marriage, having 5 children and having a good job, I had arrived, I had all I wanted.

But something was still missing!

The house and all that was in it began to deteriorate and life and maintenance as usual was no longer able to keep it together. I needed help. I needed the expert builder and restorer of broken things to come in and do a complete “gut job” and remodel  on this house.

Since that day when I surrendered this house and all of it’s rooms to Jesus Christ, He has been doing an amazing repair, and update on me. He is making me new inside and outside. He has assured me that what will change on the outside is actions and reactions that come from what He is changing on the inside in my heart and mind. He is using all the bumps and bruises and all the wear and tear over the years to build His character in me. Though my body is wasting away my spirit is renewed day by day!

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.  (2 Corinthians 4:16)

My foundation has remained strong because it is built on Jesus Christ. Over the years my form and functions have changed (especially my form) as daughter, wife, mother, grandmother and now great grandmother. But my purpose has not. From the day I was born it is to love the Lord God with all my heart, soul, body and strength and love my neighbor as myself. I have not always been faithful to that purpose but the purpose was always the same and God has remained faithful to me.

I still like to watch “This Old House” on occasion but now I live in a nice mobile home that needs little maintenance. Now I am looking forward to that new body and a mansion in heaven, neither of which will ever see decay from the cares of this life.

What an amazing journey living in this house is and I wouldn’t trade one day of it because of where it has brought me and where it is yet to take me. I have been changed in times of blessing and even more in those times of struggle. And the character that is being produced in me is the very character of Jesus.

By faith, like Abraham,  I dwell in this land, an heir with past, present and future believers who have the same promises from God, the same promises that are available to all who will trust Christ. I am now waiting for my purpose to be fulfilled and to go to my home in that city “which has foundations whose builder and maker are God! ”   (see Hebrews 11:8-10) But until it is His time for me I will continue the work in and through this old house for God’s glory and praise!

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WRAPPED IN GOD’S GRACE

It appears to me that God has given this young lady wisdom beyond her years. Encouraged and motivated by this blog post. Naoma

The Godly Chic Diaries

Measure your success only by what truly matters: Your happiness and the happiness you bring to others. If today you laughed, felt inspired or consoled a friend, smiled at a stranger, stood for a cause, or inched closer to one of your dreams, then today was a resounding success.

There are times: when you feel young and excited about what God has in store for you and then, there are those other times where you are anxious and worried because it seems like time is passing you by. In that moment: don’t look to your friends or to someone you look up to. Please don’t look to someone else’s life on Instagram. Don’t even look at your past accomplishments. Look to God. Let him wrap you up in his grace and and wait for what he is about to reveal to you.😊

There is nothing like walking in your lane…

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LEAP OF FAITH

This young lady has enlightened this very Senior Lady and brought the encouragement I need to keep on keeping on and not let my age or the opinions of others hold me back.

The Godly Chic Diaries

Close your eyes and imagine the best version of you possible. That’s who you really are, let go of any part of you that doesn’t believe it…

Lilly Singh, the infamous (iisuperwomanii) has over 13 million subscribers, has written a New York Times Bestselling book “How to be a Bawse” (which is definitely worth reading) launched a bombshell lipstick with smashbox cosmetics, is one of the most humble humanitarian out there and that is just the beginning. She is honestly so cool, hardworking, hilarious and everything. She’s had a YouTube channel for over half a decade and despite everything going on in her life. She still manages to post two content videos a week for her fans.(fangirl right here😍) And when she started, she probably had no idea how far it would take her.

You know what breaks me? When someone is visibly excited about a feeling or an idea…

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Forgiveness

I have heard this story before a long time ago but it is a good reminder to read every now an then. Thanks for posting it.

Inspire Someone Today

Two friends were walking through the desert. At one stage in their journey, they had an argument and one friend slapped the other one in the face.

The one who got slapped was hurt, but without saying anything he wrote in the sand, “Today my best friend slapped me in the face.”

They kept on walking until they found an oasis, where they decided to have a wash. The one who had been slapped got stuck in a mire and started drowning, but his friend saved him. After he had recovered from his shock, he wrote on a stone, “Today my best friend saved my life.”

The friend who slapped and saved his best friend asked him, “After I hurt you, you wrote in the sand and now, you write in stone, why?”

The other friend replied, “When someone hurts us we should write it down in sand where…

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Why We Serve Matters

Image result for serving others
Serving is generally the action of helping or doing work for someone. It could be at a job or just doing a favor; a kindness; a good turn or giving a helping
hand.
Ever since I was a small child I have found pleasure in serving others, making them happy, helping them out. I wanted everyone to be happy. But I later found that, because of my own insecurities, what I really wanted was for everyone to like me; to be happy with me.
In the last several years I’ve become more and more aware of what motivates me to serve and I have to say it has in some ways been a pretty rude awakening.
The desire to serve has afforded me many blessings and opportunities in many places and ways, some by choice and some by chance. In some situations there were blessings reaped but some went on without any notice or recognition at all. And I would say to myself “It doesn’t matter.” but underneath I was hurt and I let it define me in both situation.
In part, I believe there is genuine concern for people, especially those who are what some call “down and outers” and probably because, at least in my observation at the time, that was my own social status most of my life. The other side of it isn’t quite as noble.
Recognizing several years ago that my service, though I did enjoy helping others, was born of a deeper desire to be liked, accepted by others, and to be significant in some way in this life . In other words, to feel better about myself and get recognition and confirmation from other people.
At times there would be brief feelings of superiority over those “down and outers”  After all  I was doing better now, more educated and yet willing to help them. Wasn’t that grand of me? When I received the kudos, ata girls and pats on the back for something I had done pride would sneak in. Oh, beware when pride comes in, it takes over and it is followed by a great fall!
However these feeling of superiority were short-lived Soon I would be beating my self up for feeling prideful and it would confirm, in my own mind, that I really wasn’t worthy of the love and acceptance I was looking for. I couldn’t win on the superiority or the humility stage.
In this bodies of flesh we are prone to serve not necessarily seeking but expecting something in return, maybe a gift, a favor in return or recognition. However the old saying,”you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours” does not apply in serving others in Jesus name. It is often difficult to recognize what our motives are and even more so to address them. But as we ask God to search our hearts and show us any wrong motives He will. And He will also change move and work in our hearts so we recognize the right motives, the same motive Jesus had for serving us, LOVE!
We can write our own script and rehearse it for the applause of men, playing to the wrong audience for sure! Not realizing God has written the Script-ure for us to read that reveals our part in His plan and that part is for the audience of only one, God himself.
God will reveal to each of us that real significance doesn’t come through the accolades of people; how much we do; or how much we have or know. It comes through knowing Christ and who we are in Him. We are His children and therefore  loved and significant in His eyes. Recognition isn’t gained through how much or how many are served. It doesn’t come from the approval of men and women. As His children, who have accepted Christ and His gift of salvation, we are free to serve out of the love He  pours into us. That love is unlimited. We can love others without conditions and it doesn’t take anything away from who we are in Christ but instead enhances our lives and our love of others and Him.
As for me, I’m learning that I can and should use the gifts and abilities God has given me to serve others; to make people smile and to encourage and maybe even make life a little more bearable for them in some way. But I must follow God’s script, His part for me. With regular prayer and self-examination regarding the motives of my heart and remembering it isn’t about doing, it is more about my being. I will serve less out of compulsion, to meet my own need to be needed or guilt. And more to be who God made me to be. Then the motivation to serve will be out of God’s love for me and His command to love and serve one another.
God’s Word tells me and He shows me daily that I am significant to Him and loved by Him all at all times. He makes me aware that He is a good Father and leads me in what He would have me do to be His hands and feet in this world. I need only to let Him lead.
Like Paul says in the New Testament, I have not arrived but “I press on” to make sure that my purpose in serving is to show the love of Christ to others as He has shown love to me and with the expectation being that my life might be an example of God’s service, love and mercy and to direct others to Him, doing all things for the praise of His glory.  (Philippians 3:12-14)
We don’t always get to choose where, how, or who we serve but we always have the choice of how we serve. Sometimes our service matters to many people, sometimes to only a few or may go unnoticed all together. Whether we serve those who appreciate or those who don’t; when it benefits us and when it doesn’t; when serving hinders us or even hurts us or if no one even notices. What matters is obedience in serving and the motivation of the heart that drives us.
I’m not saying it is wrong to receive blessings when we bless others for that is God’s blessing to us, but the key is that we are to bless them not expecting anything in return. Serving even when we know the other person can not give anything back. Our return on our investments will be paid out in huge dividends when Christ returns. And don’t you know we are blessed daily in the here and now whether we are able to serve or not.  Our service is for our good, the good of others and for God’s glory.
Our motivation and our purpose in all things is to serve out of love, sincerely and “to the praise of God’s glory.” (Eph 1:13-14) then there will be joy in place of self centeredness in the service, whether serving at work, play, in relationships, in learning, in teaching; with friends and enemies and in times of blessing and trials. For men may look at the service and the benefits, but God is more concerned with our motivation, purpose and expectations. He looks at our heart attitude. (1 Samuel 16:7) NIV
What motivates you?
Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.  Proverbs 16:18 (NIV)

Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides,    1 Peter 4:10-11  (NIV) (emphasis mine)

Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion for God loves a cheerful giver.   2 Corinthians 9:7 (NIV)

 


 

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