Posts Tagged "strengthening"

Do They Know You At The Coffee Shop?

Do They Know You At The Coffee Shop?

I have a dear friend who regularly gets coffee and sometimes a breakfast sandwich at the same place every workday morning. For many years she has purchased and given away little “pass-along” cards that have words of encouragement and blessing. Usually she writes a note on the back and, when she knows the name of the individual, she personalizes it. Over the years this small gesture has given her the opportunity to sow hundreds of small faith seeds into the lives of people in all kinds of places. Because of this act of caring, she’s formed casual friendships with them. The coffee shop isn’t the only place she leaves her cards. Grocery stores, the local bank, restaurants and other locations are ripe for moments of personal connection. As a result, the people who work in these places have come to know and trust her—they look forward to getting these tokens. One told her, “I still have the first one you gave me.” Another said, “I have all of them.” Then she let her see where they were displayed in her work area. She’s an amazing example of finding a way not only to share the love of Jesus, but to demonstrate that these people matter to her. One time a person commented, “This is a great ministry. How did you come up with the idea?” God gives each of us ideas we can use to spread His love in ways suited to our personalities and lifestyles. As Colossians says, “Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity.” Think about it today. What can you do to sow the love of God into lives around...

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Another Cup, Another Day

Another Cup, Another Day

Does your routine wake you up or wear you out? Whether you rise early or late, how you start your day affects the way it goes. Most of us have times that we look forward to, even if we admit that the best part is arriving home from work and relaxing in a favorite chair with a hot or cold drink of our preference. Few of us escape the boundaries that we create with the patterns in our lives. When I reflect on the habits I indulge in, I discover a mixture of things I find pleasure or benefit in. A few are stumbling blocks I succumb to when I’m weary or bored. Because I’m an early morning person, I relish beating the sun up and waking before it’s light outside. My pre-rising pattern has been consistent for years. Before I turn on the light, I say internally or aloud the familiar words, “This is the day the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it.” That one thing helps set my heart and mind in a good place. Then I make coffee. Although at times I’ve chosen to forego it, coffee remains a morning ritual. I enjoy the pool of light my reading lamp makes, positioned so it shines over my shoulder onto my Bible or book I’m reading. I use a plain spiral notebook to jot down thoughts about pertinent passages. I even write down questions I have. Afterwards I go for a long walk in my neighborhood, continuing to think and pray about the day and people who are part of my life. I return and go to work. Another cup on another day represents the rhythm of my life. There’s richness in my ritual. How do you start your...

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Do You Trust the Glue?

Do You Trust the Glue?

If you break a special piece of pottery, like your favorite coffee cup, consider Super Glue. One afternoon, I basked in sunshine on the patio, talking on the phone to a friend and munching on apple slices in my favorite bowl. I wouldn’t have had a problem if I’d been inside where there’s carpeting, but with one awkward move of my hand, the bowl slid off of the wide chair arm and fell to the concrete. Why did I think sitting outside was a good idea? Immediately I blamed the weather and my choice of where to relax, defaulting to the blame game, the oldest strategy in the world. I collected, cleaned, and then carefully glued the pieces back together. Examining my handiwork, I decided it was almost as good as new—except for the visible lines on every side. Likewise, sin breaks us into pieces. Sometimes we fail and at other times people wound us. Yet God can be trusted to take our brokenness and mend our lives. Like the noticeable repairs I made, we retain scars from sin which remind us of our failing and his work. I still use that bowl, but rarely for hot liquid, because my glue job isn’t as reliable as God’s restoration work. I trust my repair under mild conditions, but avoid exposure to heat. When people fracture me, I look to God for answers and help. Paul writes, “But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen and protect you from the evil one.” It would please our adversary if our fractures worsened leading to devastation. When I’m wounded, my first reaction is withdrawal for self-preservation, an unreliable adhesive. Leary of potential attacks, I recall that the saying, “Once burned, twice shy,” comes from experience. Yet, because the Lord forgives and restores me, I remind myself to do the same. Whose glue do you...

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