Two years ago I decided to text inspirational texts to friends every Friday as a way to encourage them for the weekend ahead. Now friends are asking me to make my “Friday texts” into a blog. Some of my Friday text topics relate to what I see going on around me and others are random. So now I’m opening up my Friday texts to a larger audience to offer thoughts, wisdom, love, and shine the light of Christ to those that just need to read an encouraging word that’s based on the Word- every Friday! Below you can find my two previous Friday texts from 2015 so far.
Friday, January 2, 2015
For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland. (Isaiah 43:19)
This is a new year. For some 2014 was a challenging year. But in order for us to move forward we must let go of last year, trust God, and push on. This life is not a dress rehearsal and so the next 364 days will be the real thing- the live show. We have 364 days to let God do something new in us- to help others. We've got 364 days to live for Jesus. 364 days to step into the dark parts of this world and shine His light.
God has created all of us for a reason (Jeremiah 29:11). Firstly, to have a relationship and know Christ personally (John 3:16). Secondly, to go out into the world and make disciples of men (Matthew 18-20). And thirdly, to go out and be Jesus' hands and feet in this world to help those who can't help themselves. (The Bible is full of passages where we are called to help the poor: James, Deut 15:11, Prov 21:13, Matthew 25: 41-45) We're to not just bask in our accomplishments- our university degrees, our flats, our cars, our holidays, our material things. We're called to use our degrees and skills to help people. There's so much need:
-At least 80% of humanity lives on less than $10 a day.
-According to UNICEF, 22,000 children die each day due to poverty.
-If you have any amount of money in the bank, some in your wallet, or spare change lying around your house or car then you’re in the top 8% of the world’s wealthy.
-More than 125 million girls and women alive today have been cut in the 29 countries in Africa and Middle East where Female Genital Mutilation is concentrated (World Health Organization).
-There are an estimated 100 million children living in the streets in the world today.
-Less than 1% of Europe is Evangelical Christian.
-Every day more than 5,700 people contract HIV—nearly 240 every hour (AmFar). -Fathers are fast disappearing from American homes and one in three children, or approximately 15 million live without one according to the U.S. Census.
-According to the Munich health research institute IFT, 1.8 million people in Germany are alcoholics. A further 1.6 million drink a lot although they are not addicted. In total 7.4 million people drink more than the recommended amount.
It's easy to write a check. It's easy to stand back and pray. It's easy to say "what a sad world and poor people." Ask God to show you where you can make a difference. I will start with Germany's refugees and intercultural gardening.
Happy New Year to you! “The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you. The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace.”’ Numbers 6:24-26.
Friday, January 9, 2015
Rejection. It’s defined as: to discard as useless or unsatisfactory. And not only that, it hurts. I’m sure we’ve all felt rejection in one way or another, or maybe we’ve rejected someone. To be on either side of the coin doesn’t feel good.
The Bible tells us that Jesus experienced all kinds of rejection on earth. Here’s how:
- HE WASN’T ATTRACTIVE, HE WAS OFTEN FILLED WITH GRIEF, AND WAS HATED: For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, and as a root out of dry ground. He has no form of comeliness; and when we see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him. He is despised and rejected of men; a Man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid, as it were our faces from Him; He was despised, and we esteemed him not." (Isaiah 53:2-3)
- THOSE CLOSEST TO HIM AND HIS FAMILY THOUGHT HE WAS CRAZY: “But when His own people heard about this, they went out to lay hold of Him, for they said, ‘He is out of His mind.’ ” (Mark 3:21)
- HIS OWN PEOPLE- THE JEWS: “He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him.” (John 1:11)
- HE GREW UP IN A NOT-SO-GOOD PART OF ISRAEL- NAZARETH: "And Nathanael said to him, can anything good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip said to him, come and see." (John 1:46)
There’s many more ways that He was rejected or epitomized every sense of the word. He understands when we feel the stinging pain of rejection. Happiness is a choice. Overcoming rejection and life’s challenges is a choice. And so how did he overcome rejections, Jesus knew whom He was and that His identity rested in God. He forgave and He loved right on. So we must die to self everyday, and we must remember that our identities are in Christ - and that we too must forgive and love people right on! Because our savior experienced these things, we can move forward with confidence in life, clinging to God when such things happen.
Happy Friday! And let’s continue to make 2015 count by stepping into the darkness by shining His light to help others. There’s 357 days left in this year!