Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Hello, my name is...

For several generations,  my grandparents and parents owned several businesses in a small Oklahoma town. Because of this, many people knew my family . 

My parents were good and decent people. My dad, a God fearing man, helped anyone that needed help as did my grandfather before him. One of our family business was a restaurant and anyone hungry, knew where they could find a meal. 

Because of their love, kindness, and generosity, my family had respect. There were many times as a teenager and young adult, I would use my family's position in the community as a means to succeed in what I was doing or to obtain what I wanted. 

I could call a mechanic, tell them whose daughter I was and I was sure to get good service at a good price. I could request help or assistance with a project from other people and would end up with a crowd willing to pitch in. There were times I was in a place and just gave my name and people would recognize my maiden name and I would receive extra kindness and attention. 

My parents and grandparents and family name having respect wasn't a result of good works, it was a result of obedience to who they were. They behaved like the Christians they were called to be. They didn't find their identity in their family name, they recognized their identity as children of God. 

But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. (Isaiah 43:1 ESV)

What I have learned as I have grown in my walk with the Lord is that it isn't just my family name that I want people to respond to. I love my family and appreciate when people still recognize me and stop to share a story they remember but what makes me feel complete and purposeful is when people recognized me as a daughter of the one true king and they stop to share their struggles, victories and prayers requests with me. 

If we can find favor with people by relating to good people, imagine the favor we can find by relating to God. When we let him use us and work through us, we find ourselves drawn into community, where we are of service and where we also receive compassion and help. 

God called us his. He called us by our name. He made us his children. He wants us to stand with one another and he wants others to see that in us so that they can be led to Jesus and then they too can be called His. It's a beautiful process, one that advances his Kingdom.

Today, how do you want to be identified? Do you know who you are and is that who you present yourself to be? Praying for all of you to find your identity, in Christ!

A Grateful Believer in Jesus Christ, 

Monday, August 4, 2014

The courage to be called

It takes courage to follow Jesus! When Jesus called his followers, he told them simply to come on. He didn't sit down with them and help them figure out a plan of action, he made a request and expected obedience. 

There are several examples in the bible where we see uncertainty from people. Jesus tells us he will take care of those that follow him. 

“Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. (Luke 12:32 ESV)

What we have to do is have the courage and faith to follow through with our calling. Fear creeps in as soon as something bigger than ourselves begins to happen. 
The reality is, circumstances bigger than ourselves are sure to happen when following Jesus. It's his plate not ours and his plate is greater than anything we can imagine.

So when we find ourselves scrambling and searching for answers, the best answer is to be still and listen to that still small voice. Jesus has the answer and he will take care of it all, we have nothing to fear! 

A grateful believer in Jesus Christ,