Thank God For His Sunshine people

Isn’t it amazing how some people can bring a ray of sunshine into the lives of others.  Truly, they are God’s gift to the rest of mankind.  No matter what is going on in their life, they deal with it, walk beyond it, and spread joy and happiness to all fortunate enough to know them.

They stand out like a ray of sunshine coming through a hole in the window shade of a darkened room.  While the rest of the world is grumbling about the darkness, and refusing to light a candle to dispel the darkness, these blessed people bring their own version of light to others.  Wow, however do they do that?

I literally asked a friend who was such a ray of sunshine that very question.  He was dumbfounded and humbled that I saw him that way.  He said he had no idea, that he did not do anything special, he just was genuinely happy to be around other people and maybe that happiness he felt just came out that way to others and they felt happy, too.

What an incredible way to look at a gift that God has given, to see it as an ordinary happening.  It certainly kept his head diameter in check while blessing others with his unique gift of brightening their lives.  Maybe we should all pray for that gift and change the world around us, one person at a time.

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The Ministry Of Letting Others Tell Us Things

There is something in the human psyche that makes us love to be ‘in the know’.  And, it gets even better if we have the opportunity to share that knowledge with other people.  Somehow it makes us feel good about ourselves and gives our lives meaning.

Unfortunately, there is also something in the human psyche that loves to interrupt and say, “Oh, I know that already”.  Even that behavior has its roots in the desire to know and stirs up competitiveness in us when another person knows, as well.  Lord, we are so complicated aren’t we.

With all those complications to consider, what a wonderful ministry it is to just “Let Others Tell Us Stuff”.  Stand there and smile and listen to the same story all over again and don’t interrupt.  Let the other person tell the story that we already know.  Don’t interrupt and don’t tell them when they finish that you already knew that.  Allow them the share pleasure of feeling good about their story.  It won’t cost us a thing, except a little ego, to just listen and enjoy the other person’s pleasure.

Why Do We Work So Hard And Get Such Puny Results?

There are times in our lives when we work very hard and yet the results we seek seem to elude us.  We may even cry out to God to that effect, “Lord, I am trying so hard and getting nowhere; why don’t you help me”?

Truly, God calls us to make sincere efforts and leave the results to Him.  Unfortunately, when we work hard we want to see good results, and when we don’t see them we can become angry with God.   We grumble to Him and about Him to others, all to no avail.  In His time He will act.

Zechariah 4 tells us, that it is “not by an army, and not by might, but by the Spirit of God” that things come into being.  Yes, we must work at it, yes, we must give our best effort, but it will be in God’s time that His Spirit will bring about the result He intends.  If we really want to see good results then we must determine God’s intentions in a given situation.  How do we discern His intentions?  By drawing closer to Him so that we learn of His ways,  and can more easily walk in His truth and see those intentions.  That in itself is not an easy task, but it helps if we have made a clear committment to let Him be the Lord of our lives.

That Was Then, This Is Now!

Surely those words, “That was then, this is now” must come from the Lord millions of times each day.  So many of us carry around our past and the guilt that goes with it.  We struggle to receive God’s forgiveness and move on.  Yet, that is exactly what He tells us to do.

Maybe as teenagers we caused our parents grief as we struggled with individuation and now today as we all get older we feel badly about our behavior toward our parents.  We’ve told them hundreds of times how we wish we had not acted the way we did.  They’ve told us each of those hundreds of times that they have long ago forgiven us, and how proud they are of us now.

Maybe we caused some other form of hurt to another person, being unfaithful, being mean-spirited, taking something that did not belong to us, whatever, there are times when asking forgiveness just doesn’t seem to be enough.  It is at those times that being a member of a sacramental church that offers a formal confession experience is worth its weight in gold.  The grace that flows from that sacrament can make all the difference in being able to lay down our guilt and move on with our life.

Doesn’t It Seem Like We Have Known Some People Before

Over my lifetime I have run across several people who I ‘feel’ like I have known before.  The more time I spend around them the more certain that I am that I have known them at considerable dept long ago and far away.  I am so quickly comfortable around them.  And yet, there is no way on God’s green earth that our lives have ever crossed paths, at least not in this world.  What is that experience all about?

That remarkable experience could well be the source of some religions embracing the concept of re-incarnation.  It really does, in fact, feel like we have known them in a previous life.

As I think about it, I am convinced that it is God’s way of saying that He brings them together with that unexplainable comfort level so that they feel like they can let their normal guard down to share and minister, each to the other.  It is not a one way street.  Each has a piece of truth that the other needs at the very core of their being, and it is so important that that truth is shared, that He goes to that length to get it shared.

Another way to look at it, is to see this experience as a preview of how it will be when we get to heaven.  We will have that level of trust and knowing with everyone there.  Isn’t that a happy thought!

 

Loving Our Defaced Friends

My friend, Nickolas, told me a story about taking a quarter and defacing it by scratching the surface with a knife to the point of being unrecognizable as a quarter.  In that condition, has it lost its value?  Well, it will still work in a vending machine.  There may be other situations where when people look at it, they won’t want to accept it, but yes, it is still worth a quarter.

Applying that to our friends who are defaced by some physical trauma caused by a birth defect or an accident, most of us would agree they have not lost their value as a human being.  Maybe we are a little uncomfortable around them because our eyes wander to their wounds and we worry that we are making them feel uncomfortable.

But, how about our friends who are defaced by their own behavior, maybe behaving negatively, or talking about others to us, or just complaining or whining about life in general.  It’s actually harder to be around them than someone with a physical handicap, because their emotional negative behavior is contagious and gets our spirits down.  We come away mumbling about not wanting to be around them.

Jesus calls us to love everyone, even the unlovely, the unloving, and the unlovable.  Hopefully, our positive behavior will rub off on them.  In all truth, probably not, but we are called to try nonetheless.

We don’t have the option of writing off another human being when Jesus valued them as much as He valued us and died for all of us.