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Thread: Just sharing.

  1. #2541
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    My Reputation Points: 4932 / Power: 3

    Default Re: Just sharing.

    Turnaround Action

    We need to understand our turnaround God because He speaks from a turnaround perspective. He may ask for actions that make no apparent sense to where we are currently living but make total sense for where we will be going.

    Have you ever felt God ask you to do something that seemed to make no sense? Maybe He asked you to sow financial seed when you were in a financial crisis. Perhaps He asked you to take on a new business venture when you were already stretched with your current business. Or as a parent God asked you to include more people into your already overstretched family.

    At times, God’s counsel can seem insensitive or out of touch, so we misunderstand or even reject what we hear from God.

    I remember the day my husband, Steve, and I went to what we thought was a regular doctor’s appointment. We had gone to receive news of our recent test results. We entered the room laughing and chatting with the doctor to find ourselves only moments later sat in complete silence at the news we had just received. My test had shown that I might not be able to conceive a child.

    Reeling from the casually delivered news, Steve and I left the office with our world now rocked and our faith about to be tested. During the next few months, we experienced a variety of emotions trying to seek God in this situation.

    Then one day amid our tears we sensed God asking us to do something that seemed ridiculous. We felt God instruct us to throw baby showers for other people in our church who were pregnant; some of the people we barely even knew. I didn’t feel like celebrating what I had been told I couldn't have, but I had to come to the realization that God was not being cruel to me.

    He was asking if I believed that He could turn anything around. If I did, then did that include my barrenness?

    Though I was unsure how God would bring about our miracle, I first had to start acting as if I believed God could provide a miracle. In my disappointment I had closed down every avenue for God’s provision. I had closed my heart to the many ways in which this barrenness in my life could be removed. Therefore, I needed to start acting in accordance with my future and not my present.

    This experience brought a new realization of why God would say in Isaiah 54:1:

    Sing, barren woman, you who never bore a child; burst into song, shout for joy, you who were never in labor; because more are the children of the desolate woman than of her who has a husband.

    In this verse, God required an action that would begin the turning. By singing and shouting for joy, the barren woman was lining up with the promise and moving away from the problem. While you are singing, you can’t be complaining, questioning, or moaning.

    God wanted the barren woman to hear a different sound. God wants all His people to sing in the struggle because they know barrenness is not the end, but just the starting point of their turn.

    Jesus loved people. Yet if you always want His love to be expressed within your own personal levels of your sensitivity, you may feel let down. Jesus was criticized in the way He performed miracles, the days on which He would carry them out, and to whom He would extend them.

    The Bible is full of stories where God’s answers seemed insensitive, where a prophet’s behavior looked more crazy than sane, and where Jesus’ ministry seemed careless and wasteful. One time, a prophet asked an influential ruler to wash in a dirty river, an instruction that was both disrespectful and insensitive to the ruler’s position in the community (2 Kings 5).

    The prophet Elisha instructed a woman with nothing to go and find more emptiness that she would be required to fill (2 Kings 4). God told a starving widow who was about to use her last handful of flour and oil to feed her son a last meal to take those ingredients and feed a hungry prophet instead (1 Kings 17).

    Turnarounds by nature are radical; they bypass nice and sensible, they freak out the orderly, and they do not line up with agendas. But turnarounds reveal our miraculous Savior to our messed-up world.

    Isaiah 54 continues to unfold God’s counsel as He instructs the desolate to enlarge, stretch, expand, and advance (v. 2). God does not want merely a slight improvement for His people but a complete turnaround. We have to be careful that we don’t downsize God’s ability and become satisfied too easily. I know how tempting it can be to take a small success as the ceiling for what God wants to do.

    We are grateful for the two or three we have reached, but we can’t allow that to become the capacity level at which we settle when God has the nations in His heart. We say size doesn't matter, but actually it does because we should be seeing people added to His church daily. We have to be careful not to downsize the Great Commission to one that is more manageable.

    On too many occasions, I have allowed a sensible theology that said, “When the money comes in, then we will go out; when the right people join our ministry, then we will advance to reach more people.” The enemy loves sensible planning, as it is no threat to his kingdom.

    If you downsize yourself, the enemy will become involved in your ministry, sending you more problems to manage and more people to help you keep things tidy. Yet there is nothing about God that downsizes, and He certainly isn't tidy! His strategies often do not seem sensible or His counsel logical.

    God asked an elderly couple, who were ready for retirement, to have a baby. He instructed a stuttering shepherd to speak to Pharaoh and to deliver an entire nation. He told a boy on a hillside to leave the sheep and kill a giant. He chose a teenage girl to carry the Savior of the world.

    God doesn't downscale people; He super-sizes them. He removes their comfort zones and throws them into the unknown, where His capacity overshadows their ability and they participate in the turnaround ministry of the God they serve.

    Jesus came to turn the world upside down in the three years of His public ministry. He called a group of young men, mostly made up of teenagers, to come help Him turn around an entire world. He asked them to leave the tranquil lake for the sea of hurting humanity.

    Jesus’ ministry was not safe; it was revolutionary. He came with miracles, not slight improvements — and often it was people’s willingness to believe in His turnaround power that determined whether they went away healed and whole.

    Jesus could have seemed insensitive when He said to cripples, “Get up and walk!” or to grieving relatives, “Open the grave!” His methods were questioned, but His miracles always brought answers. Turnarounds are not polite or politically correct; they are not people pleasing or protocol appeasing. Jesus wasn't trying to fit in; He came to turn things around.

    Throughout His ministry — in persecution, torture, misunderstanding, and betrayal — Jesus carried on undaunted, seeing a joy set before Him that would only be attained with a complete turnaround commitment. God sent us a turnaround Jesus and then He gave us the turnaround facilitator, the Spirit of God.

  2. #2542
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    My Reputation Points: 4932 / Power: 3

    Default Re: Just sharing.

    A Hope

    An abandoned, neglected child,
    Left to wonder the streets wild.

    A faithful yet beaten wife,
    He continually threatens to take her life.

    Why would God permit these things?
    Why won't He give the hurt ones wings
    To fly away from all the pain,
    To fly away from the insane?

    How can we understand
    Why He won't stop them with His mighty hand?
    Why can't the blind be made to see
    And the innocent be set free?

    So many try to hold onto this life.
    They are willing to take it all in strife.
    Yet God has so many higher plans.
    Far beyond all of man's.

    Men cannot see into eternity,
    And they do not know who can set them free.
    But God wants to give us a heavenly home.
    One we can truly call our own.

    He looks forward to the day
    When He can wipe all their tears away.
    He offers a hope and a peace
    That can set their minds at ease.

    All they must do to receive
    Is simply to believe

  3. #2543
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    My Reputation Points: 4932 / Power: 3

    Default Re: Just sharing.

    A Final Good-bye

    "I am going home to Denmark, Son, and I just wanted to tell you I love you."

    In my dad's last telephone call to me, he repeated that line seven times in a half hour. I wasn't listening at the right level. I heard the words, but not the message, and certainly not their profound intent. I believed my dad would live to be over 100 years old, as my great uncle lived to be 107 years old. I had not felt his remorse over Mom's death, understood his intense loneliness as an "empty nester," or realized most of his pals had long since light-beamed off the planet. He relentlessly requested my brothers and I create grandchildren so that he could be a devoted grandfather. I was too busy "entrepreneuring" to really listen.

    "Dad's dead," sighed my brother Brian on July 4, l982.

    My little brother is a witty lawyer and has a humorous, quick mind. I thought he was setting me up for a joke, and I awaited the punchline - there wasn't one. "Dad died in the bed he was born in - in Rozkeldj," continued Brian. "The funeral directors are putting him in a coffin, and shipping Dad and his belongings to us tomorrow. We need to prepare for the funeral."

    I was speechless. This isn't the way it's supposed to happen. If I knew these were to be Dad's final days, I would have asked to go with him to Denmark. I believe in the hospice movement, which says: "No one should die alone." A loved one should hold your hand and comfort you as you transition from one plane of reality to another. I would have offered consolation during his final hour, if I'd been really listening, thinking and in tune with the Infinite. Dad announced his departure as best he could, and I had missed it. I felt grief, pain and remorse, Why had I not been there for him? He'd always been there for me.

    In the mornings when I was nine years old, he would come home from working 18 hours at his bakery and wake me up at 5:00 A.M. by scratching my back with his strong powerful hands and whispering, "Time to get up, Son." By the time I was dressed and ready to roll, he had my newspapers folded, banded and stuffed in my bicycle basket. Recalling his generosity of spirit brings tears to my eyes.

    When I was racing bicycles, he drove me 50 miles each way to Kenosha, Wisconsin, every Tuesday night so I could race and he could watch me. He was there to hold me if I lost and shared the euphoria when I won.

    Later, he accompanied me to all my local talks in Chicago when I spoke to Century 21, Mary Kay, Equitable and various churches. He always smiled, listened and proudly told whomever he was sitting with, "That's my boy!"

    After the fact, my heart was in pain because Dad was there for me and I wasn't there for him. My humble advice is to always, always share your love with your loved ones, and ask to be invited to that sacred transitional period where physical life transforms into spiritual life. Experiencing the process of death with one you love will take you into a bigger, more expansive dimension of beingness.

  4. #2544
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    My Reputation Points: 4932 / Power: 3

    Default Re: Just sharing.

    The 1st Step Out Of A Mess

    When everything is a mess and when you try to clean up,
    where do you start?

    In life, some messes are bigger than others.
    Some situations are more traumatic and distressing.
    A flat tire is different from your car being repossessed and you
    lost your job and are facing eviction.

    I believe the subscriber who wrote that question was facing a
    situation far more challenging than a flat tire, but it was a
    question that struck me.

    What do you do when everything is in a mess?

    Let me give a pointer on the first part that may help someone.

    "When everything is a mess..."

    First, as long as there is breath in your body, realize that
    it's impossible for everything to be in a mess.

    Something has to be right.

    The first thing is to find the things that are right.

    Car repossessed?
    Be thankful for a great bus system.

    You may not think that's much until you ride on some of the bus
    systems of the world that I've seen.

    Got a terrible bus system?
    Be thankful for legs that allow you to stand on a crowded,
    non air-conditioned bus with people hanging out of the doors and
    windows plus a bumpy ride.

    Imagine for a second that you have just been told that you have
    AIDS or terminal cancer.

    Now imagine the relief when the doctor tells you it was a
    mistake and your health is fine.

    Don't have AIDS or terminal cancer?
    Then EVERYTHING isn't in a mess is it?

    That's the first thing; when you really stop and take count,
    EVERYTHING is NOT messed up, just some things.

    Even if you did have a terminal disease, if you are headed to
    heaven then EVERYTHING still isn't messed up.

    That's the first big step;
    realize the "other" things that aren't messed up.

    When this issue was first published a subscriber wrote who had
    AIDS and said their life wasn't messed up just because they had
    AIDS. They were living with it and had great hope.

    There are two other steps that I'll get to later.

    Want to know the next two steps right now?

    Patience my friends, patience.

    All messes take a little time to clean, and patience is one of
    the necessary cleaning agents.

  5. #2545
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    My Reputation Points: 4932 / Power: 3

    Default Re: Just sharing.

    A Key In Hand Is Worth A Thousand On My Desk

    A key fault I have, and I can only talk about one fault at a time, is the tendency to get busy. I often find myself chasing my own tail. What I will do with it when I catch it is beyond my understanding. However, this notwithstanding, I fall into the trap time after time of getting too busy for my own good.

    Submitted_story: A key fault I have, and I can only talk about one fault at a time, is the tendency to get busy. I often find myself chasing my own tail. What I will do with it when I catch it is beyond my understanding. However, this notwithstanding, I fall into the trap time after time of getting too busy for my own good.

    The faster I try to go; the less I seem to accomplish.

    This past week proved no exception; in fact, everything came to a head on Monday. I had my To-Do-List all prioritized and neatly written on several 3 by 5 cards stuffed in my shirt pocket. Earlier I went through them item by item to make sure I could maximize the day. After all, "The early bird catches the worm."

    Being the turkey I am, I have no idea what I'm going to do with the worm when I catch it, particularly if it's early in the morning when all I want is a good cup of coffee. Yet, I can often be found imitating that "early bird" scurrying around with my list of important things to do.

    Getting back to my Monday catastrophe, and I can't think of another word that adequately describes last Monday. Sure, I've had catastrophes before. But this one was the wicked stepmother of all catastrophes.

    After organizing my 3 by 5 cards, I made some mental notes as to how long each job would take. Returning those cards to my shirt pocket, I smiled the smile of one who has conquered his day. I felt good about myself and was anxious to get started on my day.

    My day started out rather well. In fact, I discovered by mid-morning I was ahead of schedule. I chuckled to myself and thought, "next time I'll have a longer To-Do-List."

    Suddenly, everything came to a screech owl halt.

    I needed to pick up something at my office, which would only take a moment. I pulled up to my office door, jumped out of the car and unlocked the office door.

    The office door can only be locked from the outside, with a key. The inside has a handicap bar according to the building code. I thought I would save time by unlocking the door and then locking it while I went inside to retrieve the item I needed. This would mean when I came to leave I could walk out, shut the door behind me and it would lock automatically.

    This would save me exactly .00003 seconds of time. As time is precious, I thought it worth the effort.

    The plan was going fine. Walking past my desk, I laid my keys on top of my desk. About this time I remembered something I needed from the car and dashed out to retrieve it. Just as I got to my car, I heard the door slam shut and one thought meandered through my stunned mind; "the keys."

    The keys were exactly where I had left them - on my desk in my office.

    My first thought was to panic. So, for about seven minutes I luxuriated in sheer panic.

    My second thought was, "how am I going to get inside the building?"

    I must confess my second thought drowned out my first. Some may have the luxury of indulging in panic, but I was on a schedule. My To-Do-List was begging to be done that day.

    I circled the building three times and then laid down in sheer bewilderment. Not one door was unlocked. Not one window was accessible from the outside. All the effort put into making our building burglarproof was my nightmare in shinning alarm.

    I thought of breaking a window but what if someone saw me? Also, I'd have to pay for the damages.

    In my mind, I went over everybody who had a key to our church. Everyone I could think of was out of town or working. Even my wife was in Daytona Beach.

    Then I had a brilliant thought. I must confess I don't have many but when I do, it brightens up my day. "The builder of the church might have a key." For some odd reason I had my cell phone with me, so I called the builder.

    Unfortunately for me, he did not have a spare key to our building. My heart sank into the sole of my right foot because I had no options left.

    Then the builder said, "I'll send one of my carpenters over to take a door off and let you in." I did not know that could be done, but I was glad for any help I could get at this point.

    Within a few moments, the carpenter showed up. As he got out of his truck, I could see a sly smile smeared all over his puss. I took it like a man; a man locked out of his own office.

    He spent about an hour taking the door off its hinges. Just as he finished my cell phone rang. A lady from the church with a spare church key was five minutes away.

    I never told the carpenter about the last minute key because he worked so hard taking the door off and then putting it back on again.

    Only one key in life really matters and that is Jesus, who said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." (John 14:6 KJV.)

    He is the only key that opens the door to heaven and I can never lose him.

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