So What!

If you stopped by today because of the “So What!” devotion on Encouragement Cafè, then thank you! What a gift to share in the reading of God’s Word together. If you missed the devotion (which I wrote and I still missed seeing it online!), here is a replay. I’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback. Blessings to you as you work for Him today.

God Bless!

~Dawn

“When Peter saw him, he asked, ‘Lord what about him?’ “ John 21:21 NIV

It was none of my business. I really should have just stopped thinking about them and gone about my day, but I kept letting it bother me. “Lord, why are they getting away with it?! They are not living for You, or acting like Christians, but everyone thinks they are so godly!”

My simmering began to boil. This was not good. As it often is with emotions (especially strong ones), I let things get carried away and before I knew it I was on a full-fledged mental rampage. My thoughts were far from holy and had me thinking of myself as quite self-righteous compared to “those people.”

How did this happen?!

Why was I so angry and caught up in something that didn’t even concern me!?
I needed a soothing answer for my soul and a calm Word from God.
He showed it to me in John 21:21-22, and I laughed because The Lord knows I’m not good with numbers so He gave me an easy Scripture to remember. Thank you God!

Here Peter must have been feeling something similar to the way I was feeling that day (and have felt since, quite honestly!). Jesus tells Peter exactly what He wants him to do (feed and care for His people), but Peter had a different idea.

Typically human, with a touch of a short attention span, Peter sees John and asks, (picture Peter pointing and maybe even wagging his finger in John’s direction) “What about him?” The Son of God had just spoken a detailed job description to Peter (oh how wonderful that would be!) and all Peter says is, “What about him?” It was spoken in a nosey way too.In the spirit of, “John is your favorite. We all know it. I’m super jealous and I’m pretty sure John’s not as perfect as You think so what do You have for him to do, Jesus?”

The answer Jesus gave Peter is the same answer He spoke to my hot heart and seething spirit that day. In essence;

“So what.”

Jesus said to Peter, and He also says to me and to you in those moments, “…what is that to you? You must follow me.” He has so much for us to do! Jobs, hand picked for you and me, but we get focused and fixed on, “But she’s doing this…” or “But what are You going to do about so-and so…?”

There will be believers who will not walk in Truth, speak grace and mercy or practice the love and peace of Jesus. That’s not mine to own or manage. My spirit, my heart and my walk with The Lord is plenty for me to handle (plus I have a husband, 4 kids, 2 dogs, a dirty house, tons of laundry, a soccer game somewhere and dinner to prepare!) and I definitely do not always, “act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with God.” (Micah 6:8 NIV)

Fixing our eyes on Him, and not how others are living, is the only answer.
There will be times when the unfairness will be too much to take and it will seem like sin is going unpunished and you just need to right the wrongs of the world. Stop and pray before you act!

Sitting in the presence of our loving, calming God is the best thing to do when emotions are high and stress is out of control. Ask Him to take your desire to “fix it” and replace it with abundant faith. He will hear your heart and, in time, answer your need.

Heavenly Father, Help me when I get jealous and nosey because of what others are doing. I forget to fix my eyes on You and I quickly get sidetracked and forget Your loving plan for me. Thank You that You love me and care enough to have a plan, purpose and hope for me. I’m so deeply grateful that You don’t compare my heart to others and what they are doing. Please help me to stop doing that, but keep my heart focused on You. May our walk today be steady and strong with You. Amen!

 

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What’s on the List?

There is a list of spiritual gifts in Galatians chapter 5. It’s one of those lists that I can read and not feel badly about myself, unlike most other lists.  You’ve seen them, right? The lists of shoulds and shouldn’ts for your life that make you feel badly:

Here’s what you need to stop eating today, unless you want to die tomorrow!

10 deadly things lurking in your home right now, and why there’s nothing you can do about it! 

Why you might be a toxic personality and how it’s inherited from your mother, your father and possibly, your next-door-neighbor.

How the way you inhale and/or exhale is offensive to others and why you need to stop offending people!

But this list in Galatians is simple, non-offensive and easy to follow. It’s hopeful. It says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”

This straight to the point list is so good. So full of hope. It helps me on the days when I don’t want to love, be good or treat others with gentleness. This list holds me accountable and gives me something to aim for.

What will you focus on today? Do you struggle with patience? Is your self-control out of control? Are you kind to some people, but less so with others (there are those who just push our buttons, right?!)

Today, may your list have some items from Galatians 5:22 and my hope is that the Lord truly gives you abundant fruit for your day.

Thank you for stopping by and reading!

 

 

 

Encouragement Cafè

If you stopped by via the Encouragement Cafè link, then thank you, thank you! What a gift to be able to spend time with you and have you read our devotions. If you like what you see at Encouragement Cafè be sure to check out a live event with speakers, music and stage artists. Remember that you are loved!

Are you here today because of Encouragement Cafè? Then thank you for stopping by! I hope you enjoy what you read here and on the Encouragement Cafè website and may your day be blessed! Please feel free to leave a comment.

The Purple Van

img_0014When I called the dealership to inquire about a van in our price range, they said there was one in burgundy. We arrived to find it sitting outside the showroom and it was quite purple. Very much like Barney the dinosaur, but with tires. Naturally, because I was 6 months pregnant, I burst into tears. The hormones made me cry. Although, I cried last year when they hauled it to the junk yard and I was definitely not pregnant so I have no explanation for that.

The purple van was in our family for 16 1/2 years. The son we brought home from the hospital in it also used it to learn to drive. It seemed like more a part of our family then just a method of transportation. Just like a family member whom you adore, we made fun of the purple van. We poked fun at the color, the fact that it had crank style windows, it’s bench seats and, up until it’s dying day, it’s longevity.
It traveled highways from Pennsylvania to Florida, took us on vacations and hauled the men on their annual Appalachian Trail trips. We put our new puppy in it for the trip home and consequently learned that she got car sick and we found that you just can’t crank down a window fast enough.

As our family grew in number, then in stature, we realized we needed a larger form of transportation. The purple van was demoted to second in our fleet of vehicles, but she still was a valued part of our automotive family. We obtained something new and shiny from this century with luxurious automatic windows. Still, we used the purple van and had special appreciation for the way the seats felt homey and how the heater could roast you in under 30 seconds. Plus, we were the only people on the block who could still play cassette tapes while driving. We just felt special. Sometimes we’d slowly crank down the windows and share the cassette tunes with the neighbors. We are thoughtful like that.

Even as our children grew they knew to appreciate the purple van. Our oldest son, Nathan, obtained his drivers license and the day I watched him pull out of the driveway alone in the purple van was bittersweet. Part of me wished to be able to hand him the keys to a brand new car. The other part of me was so glad he flat didn’t care that he was 17 and driving a purple van. He was also going to work where he dresses as a cow, so maybe he figured this is just how things are in life. You drive automobiles that are purple and you dress as farm animals.

But as Scripture says….moth and rust destroys….I’m not sure what kind of moth or rust ruined our transmission, but we decided it wasn’t worth paying to fix an almost 17 year old van. So we made the sad decision to fold. We took out everything that wasn’t nailed down, we stroked the cloth seats and sat in them one last time and reminisced while the van sat in automotive hospice. We talked about the trips, memories and miles that are the glue for our family. The kind of glue that moth and rust can never take away. We took pictures of the whole van and were amazed at the 143,000 miles we’d traveled in it.

We closed those sliding doors that behind still had Goldfish cracker crumbs, beach sand and dog hair; the stuff of our life, and we said good bye. It may be just “stuff”, but sometimes the “stuff’ of this world holds a whole lot of good memories.

Are you here today because of Encouragement Cafè  (www.encouragementcafe.com)?! Thank you! Thank you for stopping by for some caffeinated encouragement. Please feel free to leave a comment on your way out. May your day be blessed!