Don’t Be Consumed with Your Stuff!

“If I had continued to consume myself with myself and my stuff I would not have had the opportunity to engage with someone else, hear someone’s story, or share in someone else’s emotions.”

I had an interesting conversation with my Uber driver last week. After getting in the car I was intent on sending emails and messages out on unfinished tasks. Until the driver engaged me in a conversation that soon got my full attention. I then engaged him and a few minutes later we were laughing and talking like old acquaintances. We talked about life, the joy of life, death, jobs, family and before I exited the car the devastation in Mexico. Even through his heavy accent I could understand his pain and sadness when I asked him questions about family or friends effected by the earthquake. He shared no family but a friend. He was killed along with 50 others in a building. Only 4 survived. I expressed my condolences and offered my prayers. My heart was touched. If I had continued to consume myself with myself and my stuff I would not have had the opportunity to engage with someone else, hear someone’s story, or share in someone else’s emotions. It blessed me tremendously. Upon my exit from the car he thanked me. But I thanked him! He made sure he didn’t leave the curb until I entered the airport and we both waved goodbye. If you have a spare second, please whisper a prayer for Guillermo, his family and his friends.
Much love!

It’s Not Complicated

Is your heart screaming ‘HELP’ right now? You’ve tried and listened to every ‘popular’ suggestion, you’ve followed behind one too many celebrity-types and you’ve hidden your earnest plea to God with a dressed up and empty version, only to be disappointed. Our way to God is not a complex, filtered obstacle course. Rather, the way is simple with a simple approach. God shares with us in the Bible in Matthew 6:6-13,

“Here’s what I want you to do: Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace. “The world is full of so-called prayer warriors who are prayer-ignorant. They’re full of formulas and programs and advice, peddling techniques for getting what you want from God. Don’t fall for that nonsense. This is your Father you are dealing with, and he knows better than you what you need. With a God like this loving you, you can pray very simply. Like this: Our Father in heaven, Reveal who you are. Set the world right; Do what’s best— as above, so below. Keep us alive with three square meals. Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others. Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil. You’re in charge! You can do anything you want! You’re ablaze in beauty! Yes. Yes. Yes. ” (The Message Bible)

The world could stand some earnest and honest prayers right now. Not puffed up prayers for fame and glory that only stroke our ego, but dedicated prayers of deliverance, peace and healing, recognizing God as All Powerful. Can we connect on one accord for that? The news headlines, our families and our communities are begging us to. Prayer still changes things! Clearly, there are things in our lives that need changing. Take them to God, approach Him simply.  It’s not complicated.

Stop Fooling Around

I think one of the worst things to call someone is a hypocrite or a fraud. What a dreadful description! Sadly, we can admit there are more wearing that title today than ever before. Whether consciously or unconsciously, hypocrisy is becoming one of the fastest growing norms of our day. There’s probably already a t-shirt glamorizing the coolness of the trend. No matter which word is used (hypocrite or fraud),  they’re both epic fails because they don’t arouse our spiritual beings to press toward the mark of a high calling in Jesus Christ. God expects more from us than our complacent, self-righteous, two-faced, fraudulent ways. He expects us to be transformed and renewed daily, recognizing the signs of our time. God shares His concern in Luke 12,

” Then he turned to the crowd and said, “When you see clouds beginning to form in the west, you say, ‘Here comes a shower.’ And you are right. “When the south wind blows you say, ‘Today will be a scorcher.’ And it is. Hypocrites! You interpret the sky well enough, but you refuse to notice the warnings all around you about the crisis ahead. Why do you refuse to see for yourselves what is right?” (verses 54-57, The Living Bible)

Let’s get this right. No more doing it our way. God knows best and He said stop fooling around with the life He gave us. Wake up and pay attention! Be ye transformed!

This week’s Prayer Assignment :

Pray – God, I offer my everyday, ordinary life to you to be transformed, changed from the inside out. I no longer want to fit in the world around me, I only want to fit in your will for my life. My attention is on you! I want to live a life pleasing in your eyesight. God, hear my prayer. God, be my strength. In the precious name of Jesus I pray, Amen.

Prayer works! Complete the prayer assignment and watch God move in your midst. You can do this!

This week’s Helper is written in accordance with My church’s weekly Lenten devotions centering on healing and deliverance in seven areas during the Lenten season. This is the last week of the season. This week’s devotion is on transformation.

We Can Do It! Really, We Can!

Let’s face it. There are some things in life that are easier said than done.  One of those things is forgiveness. It’s the infamous ‘F word’ that has prevented many from enjoying a full and peaceful life.  I would even dare say that forgiveness is the miracle-working medicine God designed to cure and heal our families, communities and the church worldwide. But still, interestingly, easier said than done.  Why? Because the hurt, harm and pain one inflicts on another, intentionally or not, looks and feels differently for each of us on the receiving end. It digs in and rests in uncomfortable and sometimes volatile places and anchors there, allowing for no attempts of rescue. The idea of actually forgiving that someone or forgiving some group of people, organization, entity or even forgiving yourself may be repulsive to you, scary or offensive even to your spirit. The offense was too much, too major, too big of a deal to forgive. You may even be thinking, ‘If you knew my story you would understand why I just can’t do it…not now.’ Understood. I get it. If you prick me, I’ll bleed too. And then one day my weakened spirit got a transfusion from God’s word. God reminds us all in scripture, as Jesus hung on the cross, dying, with the unthinkable sins of the whole world upon Him,

“Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34)

What an example of forgiveness! I had always read that scripture from the context of Jesus’ resurrection, the chronological events of his death and rising, but never from a context of how to forgive others. Jesus endured so much from those who intentionally did Him harm, yet He still pleaded for God to forgive His offenders.  His offenders had not accepted who He was, who His Father was, nor had they accepted or understood what was to come. They truly did not know what they were doing! Yet Jesus was genuinely, not facetiously, concerned for them. We are expected to do the same and, surprisingly, when it seems we can’t, we actually can – in God’s strength! He is our Father and we are His children. God reminds us in Matthew 6:14-15,

“For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”

This week’s Prayer Assignment:

Pray – God, let me strive to be more like You and extend forgiveness to others. I realize now more than ever that by doing so my life will be better and it will be pleasing to You too.

Prayer works! Complete the prayer assignment and watch God move in your midst. You can do this!

This week’s Helper is written in accordance with My church’s weekly Lenten devotions centering on healing and deliverance in seven areas during the Lenten season. This week’s devotion is on forgiveness.