Posts Tagged purpose

Life Is

life, purposeLife is an opportunity; benefit from it.
Life is a beauty; admire it.
Life is a dream; realize it.
Life is a challenge; meet it.
Life is a duty; complete it.
Life is a game; play it.
Life is a promise; fulfill it.
Life is sorrow; overcome it.
Life is a song; sing it.
Life is a struggle; accept it.
Life is a tragedy; confront it.
Life is an adventure; dare it.
Life is luck; make it.
Life is life; fight for it. ~ Mother Teresa

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A Time for Tears

“To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven . . . A time to be born, and a time to die . . . A time to weep . . . and a time to  mourn . . . .” Ecclesiastes 3: 3ff (KJV)

A time for tears2014, for me, has indeed been a “season to mourn” and a “time to weep.” In fact, on this day of my birth (December 31), I am in tears as I try to listen to a phone message left by my son, last year. Since his passing On March 2, I discovered something about myself —  I cannot control anything — especially my tears. For months, I have either been crying or on the verge of tears. The mere mention of his name, a picture, a memory– recent or past, causes my eyes to water. At first I was embarrassed by these uncontrollable watery outbursts of emotion until I realized that they are simply the sweet relief of a grief-stricken mother over the loss of a precious part of her being. And I understand that whomever I was before his passing, I am now forever changed. I wholly trust God and believe everything happens for a reason and I know God does not make mistakes. These tears are just an external reflection of my internal heart’s cry.

What an awesome God to give us such a means  of cleansing our spirits and laying our utmost brokenness before His Throne. Like the moaning and groaning of prayers, tears speak to God in ways that words cannot express. Biblical commentators suggest, “tears are so precious to God that He gathers them drop by drop and stores them in a bottle. He takes note of our afflictions and troubles that cause our tears and places them in the book of his remembrance; they are taken notice of and numbered by him, and shall be finished; they shall not exceed their bounds. They are in his book of purposes; they are all appointed by him, their kind and nature, their measure and duration, their quality and quantity; what they shall be, and how long they shall last; and their end and use: and are all overruled and caused to work for their good.A time for tears

Beloveds, God never promised us life without loss, pain, suffering, or even tears, but God vowed so much more:

“I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.” John 11:25

“I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will heal you.” 2 Kings 20:5

“They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. Psalm 126:5

“Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” Psalm 30:5

“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain for the former things are passed away.” Revelation 21:4

On this the day of my birth; at the brink of a new year; and yet another day in tears – I am comforted by the fact that “God knows the way that I take,” and knew what was necessary for my will to break. I treasured the gift of my son for 40 years and today I am blessed with a daughter and son-in-law to continue the faith journey. We will all meet again never to depart and what a day of rejoicing that will be.

Beloveds, 2014 for me has been a year of challenge, change and serious choices. I vow this day, never to take anything or anyone for granted. I will trust God even more with my whole heart, mind and might. Even in my tears, God is strengthening me through His Word and is keeping me in every circumstance. Daily, I am reminded to pray without ceasing and to encourage myself.

Yes, this has been for me a “season of weeping” and a “time for tears.” But please understand– every sleepless night and tear-stained day drew me closer to God. I may not understand it all right now, but I have no doubt, I will understand it ALL better by-and-by. ButUntil Then,”

My heart can sing when I pause to remember
a heartache here is but a stepping stone
along a trail that’s winding always upwards
this troubled world is not my final home.

The things of earth will dim and lose their value
as we recall they’re borrowed for a while.
And things of earth that cause the heart to tremble
remembers there, will only bring a smile.

But until then, my heart will go on singing.
Until then with joy I’ll carry on
until the day my eyes behold that city
until the day God calls me Home.

Prayer:  Father, thank You. Thank You. Thank You—for everything in 2014 that moved me – to pray – to believe and yes, even to tears. In Whose Name Who Numbers Every Tear Drop and Records each one with Loving care ~ Your Son—Our Savior.  Amen

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Purpose

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A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps. (Proverbs 16:9)

Why do we exist? Why are we here? What gives our lives meaning? What is the enigmatic reasoning for our existence? WHAT IS OUR PURPOSE?

I spent years pondering this very question, when one day, a young woman simply said to me, “Pastor, what I love most about you, is that you don’t just TALK about “IT” (referring to my life and lifestyle) — you BE about “IT.” I wasn’t sure what she was saying at first, but later the point became clear. I have been about my purpose most of my life — positively influencing the lives of others.

 As I have grown older I am grateful to have grown wiser. I have learned that trying to analyze every intricate moment of life can result in what someone coined “analysis paralysis,” which can prevent you from doing anything. And so I  learned early on to “Do something –lest I do nothing.

In the past, like many of us, I believed I had to be perfect, rich, smart and beautiful, to impact the world. I waited, procrastinated, delayed and deferred even the smallest tasks. I convinced myself that I was not a “people” person and that my contribution would not be missed.  But I quickly learned the value of a simple smile, a kind and honest word or a “helping” hand. It’s wonderful how God uses simple things to confound the wise. A “loving” attitude has miraculous power to the broken and hurting. Unintentionally, many times, it is the “hurting” that hurt others out of their own pain. That is why we are witnessing so much bullying, violence, abuse and rage today. These are “trying” times and the world is in intense pain. But whatever else I know, it is that we were not created nor do we exist to exacerbate its suffering.

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That young woman’s words to this day, keep me humbled and focused on what I believe is important to God for us in this life–to love one another as God has loved us–unconditionally. We are not here to placate, pacify or to glorify ourselves. In fact, we have nothing to boast of. We own nothing–not even ourselves. We are merely stewards of everything we have and are. We exist to bless the lives of others and, in so doing; our Creator blesses us. No amount of pondering or planning will get the job done. It takes action–going–doing. It requires (“being” about) whatever our hands and hearts find to do to the Glory of God. And “to whom much is given, much is required.” Remember the parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-30).

One can make a difference, if only in the life of another one. Fulfilling our purpose needs no special preparation or discussion. Like the Nike slogan — “Just Do it!” Don’t just “talk about it”– “Be about it.” Help someone. Give to someone. Lift someone. Offer hope to someone. That’s our purpose. That’s why we’re here.

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All that is necessary to fulfill one’s purpose is a sincere heart and a genuine desire to help someone. This pleases our loving God who is love. Someone once said, and it is true,People don’t care what you know until they know that you care.” Nothing I ever learned in school or in life assured me more perfectly why I exist than that young parishioner’s words years ago. I have not just “talked about life, I have been about it– To God be the Glory!! Nothing keeps me so grounded as a smile from a child I teach. Nothing humbles me so completely as hearing from someone who has sought me out to say thank you for touching my life.

I know why I am here. What about you? My life has been and simply is my “reasonable service” to God. It is a prelude to a hoped for eternal “Well Done.”

And so beloveds, I share these favorite words a songwriter so gloriously penned:

If I can help somebody as I pass along,
If I can cheer somebody with a word or song,
If I can show somebody he is trav’ling wrong,
Then my living shall not be in vain.

If I can do my duty as a Christian ought,
If I can bring back beauty to a world up-wrought,
If I can spread love’s message that the Master taught,
Then my living shall not be in vain.

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