I just landed at the airport. As we were making our descent I was struck with how little the world looks from this view. Gazing down I imagine people like ants, racing along the little roads in bug size cars that are taking them to their miniature houses. Life doesn’t skip a beat, it moves with a rhythm—day in and day out synching up with people that God created and loves.
And though life races along day by day…life is short. None of us are in a dress rehearsal. Today when you woke up, you had some choices to make about how your are going to live out this day in your one and only life. Being you were created to love God and love others, perhaps that’s where we start and stop….over and over again.
Each of us are in God’s development process. We are women in life-long development. Day by day, situation by situation, step by step, God is working in us. We might not see his work, but he is at work, completing the good work that he started in our lives ( Philippians 1:6)
All of the next dares have to do with how we treat other people. They are challenging and practical. They might grate against your flesh, snap your very last nerve and frustrate you….but if you will push yourself to explore your heart and expose your actions before the Lord, you will experience God in the practical place of relationships.
Loving people sounds poetic and lovely until we have to love a real person who disappoints us. Forgiveness is great in theory but harder to practice when there is a real person or situation to forgive. Putting others first sounds heroic and spiritual until we just don’t want to do it! You get the picture!
My prayer has been to love from the center of who I am, and if the center is ugly and negative, then the outflow will not be that of the beauty of Christ. Being accountable for my mouth is to love in a way that impacts the center of me.
Years ago I had a friend who stopped at a mini-mart while on a road trip. Looking for some quick energy she picked up a candy bar, and continued on her way. Without looking at the candy she ripped into the wrapper and sunk her teeth into the chocolate…only to find that in the center were maggots. Yuk.
The chocolate was wrapped right, appeared to be the right thing…but the center was spoiled, rotting with bugs. In the same way, we can look right, appear to be the right-Christian, and be spoiled on the inside of us…rotting away with things unspeakable or with things spoken in private conversations, ugliness can permeate us from the center place.
This last week is the time to pay attention to your mouth, your words, your attitude, and the idea that kindness in speech can be a blessing to help in the wholeness and healing of other people.
I would like to close with a word of thanks….
God knew I needed each of you. It’s humbling to be so vulnerable but I know it’s what I am to do. I need to thank you. Because as you all signed up to do The Faith Dare, I have decided to join you. This time each dare struck me differently than they have in the past. My reference point is now tender, grateful and appreciative. As bad as cancer is, the softening of soul that comes with a cancer diagnosis makes everything seem different than before. This summer, more than ever, I have needed this accountability and challenge. I have also needed your prayers.
As a result, I am handling a real life drama very differently than I would have if my perspective was not focused on truth. On September 4th I will begin 6 weeks of daily radiation treatment. This will be followed by a drug that I am scheduled to take for 5 years. The prayer is that the cancer will not come back. Why is this a concern? Because, with the what I have, it often does. Can I change things by worrying over them? No, but just as the world below me looked so small from the plane tonight, my problems seem little when seeing things from above the problem rather than trying to push up from underneath.
I hope you have enjoyed setting aside 30 days towards having a more focused heart. It is my prayer that the ripple effect of these dares will begin to draw people to Christ through you. Bless you, my sisters, together our lives can make a difference. Because, Jesus is the difference maker!
Assignment For This Week
- Pray for Debbie as she goes through six weeks of daily cancer treatment starting Sept 4. Put a reminder on your cell phone. Pray for Carla Brooks our ministry leader also going through breast cancer treatment.
- Post an Amazon Review on this book when you click here.
Group Discussion- Answer here or with your small group
- Complete this sentence: If I neglect to forgive (name or first initial) then I’m in bondage to (what)?
- Anyone can easily act like a Pharisee as the Devil sets traps. How do we go about laying down the stones so we don’t injure others with our words or actions? (page 187 )
- When is the last time you overlooked an offense? What helped you to overlook the offense and respond with humility and grace?
- Think of an act of kindness that blessed you in the past. Why did that bless you? How can you pay it forward and bless another person?
- Which of the faith dare’s had the most impact on you during our study?