Wednesday, April 18, 2018

How Do You Eat An Elephant?

They did it to me again!!!

I cannot believe they did it to me again!!!  Again Lord! Why? What?! HOW? How long am I supposed just take this?  

I know vengeance belongs to you, but are you paying attention to what these enemies of mine are doing?

“But to you who are listening, I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. Luke” 6:27-28 NIV

Now that’s COURAGE!  And that is a lot to swallow!

Well, they say the only way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time.  So here we go!

Love your enemy – This is the easiest bite.  Who is my enemy?  The only real enemy I should have is those that are an enemy of my God.  Not an enemy of my church, pastor or leaders… but God.  Simply >>> if one is not an enemy of God, they should not be my enemy either.

Do good to them that hate you – Again, much like our actions towards the enemy, is our action towards someone that hates me.  Someone may hate me, hate you, but that is their heart towards me.  Love can still come easy.

Bless them that curse you – Now we are at a possible pressure point.  To curse me means you may know something about me.  But if it is not true or undeserved, my bible says, “Like a fluttering sparrow or a darting swallow, an undeserved curse does not come to rest.” Pro. 26:2  The guiltless do not have to fear a curse. 

But what I have to do next, now this takes courage.

Pray for them that despitefully use you – What?

To tackle this one, we must break it down into bite-size pieces!  End piece first.

To use me implies that you had to be close enough to my person and my heart for me to break off a piece of it for you.

To use me means that I gave you the most important commodity I have … my time.  When I gave you my service, my care, my ear, and my helping hand, I gave you a part of me that I can never get back.

To use me means that ultimately, I was compliant.  You could not have “used me” unless I agreed on some level.  Wow. So, who am I really mad at?

Despitefully.  Why is this word here?  Merriam Webster Dictionary defines it as: ‘expressing malice or hate’.  Well, we dealt with how to handle those who hate, but what about malice?  “The desire to cause pain, injury, distress to another.”  Hmm, so the intent was there, but it didn’t work.  The second definition, “intent to commit an unlawful act or cause harm without legal justification or excuse”, back to Pro. 26:2.

Simply put, it was in your heart to bring harm to me without a cause … and it didn’t work, even if I was unintentionally complicit. #POW

So what is there left to do???   Pray for them! 

Yes, yes, yes… Courage’s first breath is always a prayer.  


Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Arise... It's April!

In January we were challenged to Arise in our Outlook! Everything that happened in 2017 really was not that bad, well it was but it was purposeful!   

In February we were challenged to Arise in our Conversations!  Our words frame our world.  In 2017 as situations became more difficult, trying and painful we let everyone and anyone that would listen to our complaints … listen. 

Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Tweets carried direct and subtle expressions of our frustrations.  Yet forgetting the one person listening most attentively to the words spoken … our own inner soul. 

In March, we were challenged to Arise in our Character!  It has been said that a crisis does not build character, it reveals character #True.

What did we learn about ourselves in 2017? For some, the revelations were not very pleasant. What changes are you making in 2018 considering what you have learned?  Remember, it is habits that form character.

Arise … It’s April!  

How is your Courage? 

Not the big courage like conquering 
Mt. Everest or Skydiving courage.  (unless that is on your bucket list).  This courage is the courage to go back and pick up what you sat down in 2017!  

There was something that all of us sat down, put away or gave up in 2017.  And if we are honest, some things, mindsets, and people had to go; and that was part of the 2017 processing.   

NOW.... Arise!  Embrace the courage to say I will try again, love again, invest again, and build again.  Now that is super-charged Courage!

Arise!  Take Courage! Move Forward!  Let’s do it together, step by step, day by day!