Friends

Job 2:4-5 (GW) Satan answered the Lord, “Skin for skin! Certainly, a man will give everything he has for his life. But stretch out your hand, and strike his flesh and bones. I bet he’ll curse you to your face.”
I recently received, what some would say is, bad news about my health. Honestly, when I heard the news it was not good timing for me because I was busy with a major fundraiser for the non-profit that I work for. I was already stressed with my big event taking place in just two days. Frankly, I did not have time to be stressed by the news from my doctor. I ask if I could council with her after the fundraiser and she said yes.
I called my husband, children and some of my closet friends with the news and told them not to worry because I wasn’t worried. I promised to follow-up with them after my next visit to the doctor.
The night before my big event a very close friend of mine called me. She and her husband have friends in high places and they had made a phone call to a very reputable surgeon friend of theirs. The surgeon had agreed to see me the day after the fundraiser. I was overwhelmed with their love and concern for me. And this is where God’s work through His people began.
I had the dreaded C word. Cancer. My diagnosis was Superficial Melanoma and surgery was necessary. I was on the phone again with family and friends sharing the news and continuing to tell everyone not to worry, that everything would be ok. I honestly, trusted that God was involved and His will would be done. I really was not worried.
My surgery was last Thursday and I have been on bedrest, which is very difficult for me. What has amazed me through this whole process from getting my diagnosis to after surgery is the response by my friends.
You see as a pastors wife, it is my job to care for others. I have been doing that now for about 27 years. My husband and I have been blessed to be pastors of small to medium churches for most of our life in ministry. God sends us a lot of new Christians who aren’t your typical church people with typical church talk or church celebrations. Some years Pastor appreciation month comes and goes and there is no celebration for us. Some years birthdays and anniversaries, marriage and church, go unnoticed and uncelebrated. This is not a complaint by any means. Just a reality that I had come to accept in our ministry.
For the last three days, since my surgery, my husband and I have been overwhelmed with the kindness from our friends. I have cried every day, not from the pain but from the joy that others care about us. They have shown their love by calling, texting, facebooking, mailing cards, and bringing food. My friend and boss ask her pastor to come in and anoint me with oil and pray for me before surgery.
What I have realized through this process is that no matter what happens to me physically, I can trust God. Like Job, I do not have to curse Him because of my physical ailments. The devil lost, again! I can trust God because I know Him and I love Him. I can trust Him because even though He can not be here physically to care for me He sends His children on this side of eternity to do it for Him. My friends have been Jesus to me. Their kindness in words and deeds have inspired me to be a better person and do even more for others. My heart is bursting with love.
Through this whole process I have trusted The Lord for His healing. I pray for His will in my life and place the final outcome in His hands. For those of you who may be struggling with a crisis in your life, whether it is a death, a divorce, a health issue, a financial issue or something legal etc, I encourage you to surround yourself with Christian friends. I can now testify from a personal standpoint how important it really is. With my friends, I can survive whatever the devil sends my way. It may be hard but my load will be lighter and more bearable because of them. THANK YOU AND MUCH LOVE TO MY FRIENDS and FAMILY who love me like Jesus!!!!
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Can Christians Really Make A Difference In the World Or Is It Too Late?

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Today’s Truth: Micah 6:8 You mortals, the Lord has told you what is good.  This is what the Lord requires from you:  to do what is right,  to love mercy,  and to live humbly with your God

From My Heart To Yours:

Can Christians really make a difference in the world or is it too late?  This question is one that is discussed in many pulpits and small group bible studies across America.  I believe there are a couple of different answers to the question.  First I believe yes we can make a difference.  We can make a difference in our own families, in our churches, in our communities and in our circle of Christian friends.  If you are a Christian, you know the Bible describes how the world will end.  The Bible tells us that as we get closer to the end of this world that sin will not get better, it will get worse.  True, however to me, that does not mean that we just lay down and prepare for death.  We still a responsibility to God while we are here.

I find the book of Micah to be a very interesting book of the Bible and I believe that it and this scripture reference for today can be used to answer the question, can Christians really make a difference in the world today.

Micah was a modern-day prophet for his time.  He was telling the people who God was a God of love but he was also a God of wrath.  The people were told that judgement was certain to come upon them if they did not heed His warnings about their blatant sins.  A lot of preachers and television evangelist today talk about promises and blessings for Christians but choose not to talk to about the sins we are committing.  Discussing sin is not popular now and it was not popular in Micah’s day either.

Micah was not the deliver of gloom and doom by talking about the sins of that day.  He told the people God loved them and provided hope that their relationship with God could be restored as it once was before.  He didn’t stop there though.  He gave them clear instructions on how to do it.  Micah 6:8 says, You mortals, the Lord has told you what is good.  This is what the Lord requires from you:  to do what is right,  to love mercy,  and to live humbly with your God.

God still requires these three things from Christians today just as He did in Micah’s day.  If every Christian would decide to follow this simple verse we could make a difference in this world and with all those we come in contact with.

….This is what the Lord requires from you:

1.  TO DO WHAT IS RIGHT –  We are to do what is right in our relationship with God. God is deserving of our heart, mind, body, and soul.  Jesus tells us (Mk. 12:28-30) that the first commandment is to “love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.” Because He created us in His own image, God rightly and justly deserves all of our worship and adoration. “This is the first commandment.”

We are also to do what is right and fair to our neighbor (to other people).  Not what is right and fair based on what man tells us but what is right and fair based on what God tells us. The world tells us to sue our neighbor, hate our neighbor, ignore our neighbor and the list goes on.  Jesus tells us (MK12:31) The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”

2.  TO LOVE MERCY – You must show love and kindness. Some people are weaker than you are and some are poorer than you are. You should be kind to them and help them.  For most Christians this means giving money to the poor person standing on the side of the road or giving money to the homeless.  But mercy comes in many forms such as kindness, benevolence, and charity. Sometimes mercy is just being willing to forgive the sins of others as God is willing to forgive our sins.

3.  TO LIVE HUMBLY WITH GOD – You must walk (live) humbly with God. The first two instructions tell us how to treat each other. But this one is about our actions towards God.  We should agree with what God tells us in His Word and show Him that He is important to us through our word, actions and lives. We should do what God wants us to, no matter how easy or how hard it may be.

You can not do the first two if you do not have a good relationship with God.  You must love him, trust him, depend on him and obey him.  With him all things are possible. Without him one and two will be impossible.

Can Christians really make a difference in the world?  Again I say yes.  Won’t you do your part?  Start today by deciding to focus on you and your family and then challenge and inspire other Christians to do the same.

Let’s Pray: 

Dear Lord, we know that in the times we live in today it is hard to stand for right.  Sometimes we become discouraged, want to give up trying to do right.  Sometimes we are convinced  that we can not make a difference because we are just one person or one family.  But Lord we know you are still the same God today as you were in Micah’s day.  Thank you for your promise of forgiveness through salvation and for the mercy and grace you give to us each day.  Help us to do what is right, to love mercy and to live humbly with you.  In Jesus Name. AMEN.