A Glimpse of Heaven

CCC GradLogoFN rgb USE THIS ONEMost of you know that I recently attended a speaker’s conference in Asheville, North Carolina.  Participants were asked to blog about their experience for the Christian Communicators blog.  Here is what I wrote…



Whose Job Is It, Anyway?

pointer pointing at sunHave you ever thought about what your purpose is in life?  I’ve had so many jobs in my life that I often joke…I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up!  One thing is for sure…I am passionate about leaving a legacy for my kids, grandkids, and their kids, etc.  I am not talking about leaving millions of dollars for them when I leave this earth.  Rather, I’m more concerned about leaving them truths.  Truths, that if embraced, can change their lives for eternity.  I want them to know Jesus like I do and live a life that reflects His presence in their lives.  There is no greater joy on this earth that I know than to know your children have accepted Christ into their lives and are living for Him.

Jim and I were quite blessed a few months back to be invited to my son and daughter-in-law’s church to hear them sing.  It brought such joy to my soul to sit there on the front pew and hear them sing from the heart.  The song they were singing said, “I want to be more like You, Jesus…”    I was so blessed to see them serving in the church and using their talents for God.  Really.  There is no greater joy.

When I go to speak for Stonecroft Ministries, I share my testimony and offer others the gift of salvation by praying a salvation prayer with the group.  A few weeks ago, after I spoke, a lady in the audience came up to me and told me everything she does for God.  She worked in several homeless ministries, food pantries and the like.  In fact, she had a ministry for practically every day as she told me her busy schedule of serving.   Although I was hearing about a lot of service, I wasn’t hearing about her relationship with God.

I asked her, “So when did you make the decision to follow Christ?”

She said, “Well, you know, when I go to my Al-Anon meetings and they talk about a higher power.”

I then asked again, “So at what point did you decide to follow Christ?”  She couldn’t answer.

I engaged a little longer in conversation with her until I gave up on how to reach her.  I walked away that day feeling as though I had lost.  I just couldn’t help her to see that she could be serving every day and every hour but if she didn’t have a personal relationship with Jesus, it wasn’t going to get her into heaven.  Maybe she did, but I didn’t come away from the conversation assured of that.

That same day on my way to speaking, I stopped at Panera to get an ice tea.  When I left, I went to my car and went to pull out my phone to catch up on any messages I may have missed during the last couple of hours when I was driving.  However, it was nowhere to be found.  Hurriedly, I ran back into the restaurant thinking that I might have left it on the drink counter where I put my straw into my cup.  It was not there, so I asked the restaurant workers if anyone had turned it in.  One employee even made a long distance phone call to it for me to see if it would ring for us to figure out where it was.  I left defeated, once again.  No phone.  I left Jim’s phone number in case it showed up and headed for my car.  Opening the door, to my shock, there was my cell phone lying on my dashboard!  Oops!

I laughed the rest of the way there that I thought someone had stolen my phone and had everyone looking for it as it lay on my dashboard!   I really had no one to blame but myself.  No one had stolen my phone as I first thought.  It was my responsibility to keep track of it and I had failed.

I think God allowed this scenario to play out to show me that each one of us has been entrusted to our destiny and the legacy that we leave behind.  We all have free will to choose God and live for Him or not choose Him.  It is not my responsibility for others to be saved.  It is up to them to accept Christ into their lives.  Yes, I believe I am called to share the gospel with others, but I am not responsible for them if they don’t embrace it.  I can share, lead and even pray for those I encounter along the way in my travels, but ultimately, I am not responsible if they say no.

I love that God doesn’t allow me to be discouraged for long as I minister.  He gently shows me that it’s not about me.  It’s all about them and their personal relationship they choose to have with Him.  By sharing my testimony and explaining the gift of salvation, I might have done more than anyone else in their life has ever done.  I have to trust that the seeds were planted and someday they will realize that serving isn’t going to get them to heaven, but accepting God into their lives will.  I love my Boss!  He’s such a joy to serve!

Do you have someone in your life that you’ve been trying to witness to and they just don’t get it?  Don’t be discouraged.  You have been the seed-planter.  It’s really not about you.  God is calling them and speaking to them daily, as well as putting others in their lives to come behind you.  It’s not your job…it’s His.  Rest assured; He’s got this!

Acts 2:21 (NIV)  …Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

Romans 10:13 (NIV)  Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

In closing…I find it interesting that the exact same sentence shows up twice in the Bible.  It appears that God felt the need to emphasize that salvation is open to EVERYONE who calls on His name!  It demonstrates the need for each one to take action, not for someone else to do it for them.  Isn’t God cool?  Have a great week and don’t forget to be a blessing!

Diet and Exercise…the Keys to a Full Life…

I think I have a tapeworm.  I have been hungry for the last several days and nothing seems to satisfy.  Maybe I’m going through a growing spurt and am going to come out of this a couple inches taller in the next few days.  Just think, if I added a couple of inches to my height my weight would finally be perfect!

Have you ever felt that way spiritually?  You are starving for something more and no matter how much you read your Bible or pray, you just seem to be left wanting?  There are times in our lives that we seem to be more restless than others.  Do you agree?  What do you do to help feed the hunger pains of maintaining a consistent walk with Christ?  Do you just ignore them or do you push through trying to find the missing nutrients in your diet?  Do you have a spiritual tapeworm that is pulling you away from the full life God wants you to have?  Experts agree, a healthy life isn’t all about diet…it also involves exercise.

I am an independent woman and hate to ask anyone for help.  However, this house has taken me to the point of swallowing my pride and accepting someone’s help to get things done.  I tried to put a positive spin on things and said, “Paint party at the Kempton house this weekend!”  However, I was really saying, “We need help and it needs to free!”  We were blessed to have our son-in-law, Bryan, come help me with much needed lawn work.  Then a friend from church, Jason, and our two sons, Rob and Cristofer came and donated some time for the painting we needed to complete on a deadline.  Because of their help, we now have carpet-layers finishing the basement…right on schedule.

There are times in our lives that we simply can’t do it on our own.  We need to surround ourselves with others who will come alongside and help us get things done.  However, I think the most effective way to get yourself back on track and feel “full” again is to go do something for someone else.  Jim and I were truly blessed by everyone’s help this week.  I suspect that those who came and helped a bit to get us through a pinch, received an even greater blessing.  There is something about serving others that fills us up to overflowing.

How God calls us to serve is not always glamorous.  Sometimes, we don’t even get a thank-you for a job well done!  But one thing is for sure…we are called to serve.  It may be by giving of our time, talents, or possessions.  You might say, “Lori, I just don’t have anything to give.”  I would beg to argue with you.  We each have something, we just need to ask God how He can use us to bless others.  I’m thankful that He sent us Bryan, Rob, Cristofer and Jason this week.  They were an answer to our prayers.  I suspect though that it doesn’t stop there.  This hunger I’m feeling might just be telling me that I need to get my head out of the refrigerator and get moving.  He’s whispering…it might not be all about what you’re eating…perhaps you need to get out and exercise your faith a little.  How can I serve to be a blessing to someone else?  For when I am serving others–doing what God has sent me to do–I am full.  Man may not thank me or be thankful, but God is pleased for a job well done.

What is God asking you to do this week?  Actions can be way more powerful than words…even the simplest ones.  I pray that as you step out and do that which you are designed to do, you are blessed abundantly and fully satisfied in the Lord!  Have a great week and go be a blessing!

1Peter 4:10-11 (NIV)  Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.  If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen.