A blog about finding God's way on the journey with our children, our family, our jobs and our community.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

What Do Your Ripples Say About You?

I stood on the shore of the lake last Friday afternoon and watched my precious grandchildren throw rocks into the water. Whole fistfuls of pebbles or stones flew through the air. Each one hit the water with the same result…ripples. Ripples that circled out and intersected with the other ripples, ripples that went far beyond the spot where each stone landed.
This image of the ripples never fails to bring the same thought to my mind over and over.
Small as each pebble is, not one touches the water without these resulting ripples.
We are like the pebble. No matter how influential or insignificant we see ourselves, we each send out ripples that circle out further than we might ever dream.
Words and deeds of kindness or cruelty, gentleness or abrasiveness, generosity or greed - all ripple out and touch other lives far beyond the boundaries we think they go. Our families, co-workers, neighbors, and even strangers are often touched by an act or a word that we never dreamt would get as far as it did.
My husband is good at skipping rocks across the water. The girls count the skips; the more the better. Sometimes we think we, too, can skip through life, independent, not touching others, hurrying on without time to stop and be concerned about anyone else. The inevitable ripples still flow out.
We do influence, we do touch others, even when we are not aware of it. God even reminds us of our ripples…“…you be an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12).
As you go through your day today be reminded that you are sending out ripples. You have no idea how far they go. Ask your Heavenly Father to help you bring His heart of love and grace into your setting and be conscious of the ripples you are sending out.

Prayer for Today~Heavenly Father, I sometimes forget that I am an influence in the places I walk each day. Help me today to be aware of the ripples I send out with my words and conversations, and even with my tone. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit today so that the ripples from my words and actions touch and encircle those around me with strength and encouragement. Help me to be an example of love and faith and purity today because You have placed me in this very spot to bring Your love to the people around me. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

White Gloves and Children Don't Mix.....Or Do They?

I still believe that some of the greatest blessings are the ones that take us completely by surprise. I was reminded of this beautiful part of God’s storehouse of blessings tonight at church. The youth group hosted a fundraiser for an upcoming youth trip. Our three teenagers are a part of this youth group and I love to watch their interaction with the rest of the group. I love to watch their growth as they come into their own place of being a teenager taking a hard stand against this world.
Our youth group has formed a worship team called “Sign 4 Life” - a glove ministry using black lights and white gloves. (It’s quite inspiring to see signing to music and song and I would encourage you to check it out if you have never seen it before.) But for this Mom, tonight was strangely different. Tonight I “saw” my girls in such a different light and I will never, ever be the same…
Now mind you I have seen Sign 4 Life perform for Jesus many times in many settings. But tonight in that little sanctuary when the lights were turned out, the music started and the black lights illuminated the pairs and pairs of white gloves on that stage, something amazing happened. God completely took me by surprise. Although I couldn’t see any faces in the dark, I saw their hearts! I could see my girls worshipping Christ, loving their Savior, witnessing with pure love in such a special way. I could see them the way Christ sees us! I sat there amazed and overwhelmed by the fact that I was “seeing” my girls – and all these kids that I know so well – in a whole new way! It was like God had allowed me a glimpse into their insides – into their very hearts and souls! Although my natural eyes couldn’t discern one pair of gloves from another in the dark, God allowed me to see them clearer than I have ever seen them before!
I could “see” Olivia, beautiful, sensitive, loving Olivia, keeping her hands in perfect unison with her Lord. I could “see” my Avery, so full of life, happy-go-lucky-make-the-world-laugh Avery - A pure heart dancing before her King. And I could “see” my Sara, my dear, sweet, resilient adopted 13 year old beauty, stepping out with courage and praising her Heavenly Father for loving her so very much and keeping her safe for so long.
I can’t tell you how emotional and spirit-filled this experience was for me. I normally see their brown eyes (and Sara’s blue eyes) and big smiles, but tonight I saw my children through the eyes of Christ and it was the most beautiful thing I have ever experienced. Tonight 1 Samuel 16:7 actually CAME ALIVE for me! The verse says, “The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart." And what a beautiful sight it was for this mother, this Christian, this woman on her earthly journey. God “sees” His children this way – God actually sees you and me this way! What a blessing to know that my Father feels exactly the same way about His children as I felt tonight about mine. I will never forget tonight. And I will never look at a pair of white gloves the same way again! Hallelujah!