Tag Archives: Kindness

Baggage

“Life is largely a matter of luggage.” -Frank Boreham, The Luggage of life

I’m always amazed at how much we are willing to carry with us that is completely unnecessary.

We are masters at gathering baggage.

The burden of the load slows our journey, distracts our minds and confuses our relationships.

John Bunyan wrote about baggage in his work Pilgrim’s Progress.

George Carlin talked about it in a comedy routine.

No matter who we are we find a way to carry our lives around with us. Often it’s emotional baggage we have accumulated over the years. Unforgiveness. Anger. Hurts. Old memories of wrongs done. Pain. And the list could continue for pages. But have you noticed that it’s always the negatives that become baggage? It’s all the hurts of life that weigh us down. The pain that handicaps us.

The good that God intended has no weight at all.  Joy is light as a feather. Happiness lifts us up rather than weighing us down. Peace carries its own load and helps us along the way. Kindness refreshes the weary traveler. Love makes the impossible possible once more. Mercy energizes. Grace empowers. The things God wants us to put in our backpacks help us on the way and have no weight to load us down. It’s only when we carry the results of sin that the weight and struggles begin.

That’s the invitation Jesus extended. “Come unto me….” It’s found in Matthew 11-12 if you want to read it. His invitation is to make the journey without all the baggage of the world in tow. When will we realize that this journey was meant to be a wonderful adventure with God instead of a grueling journey to be endured? When will we get rid of all that weighs us down and pick up the things that make the journey a joy?

I wonder sometimes about our fascination with baggage. It’s as if we have to hold onto something. I even see it in death. We are so reluctant to let go of this life. We want to hold onto all the junk we have accumulated, but find in the end that it’s just that….junk. I wonder if we will ever realize we have become a race of junk collectors….glad to carry the burdens of our trash instead of enjoying the blessings God provides.

A Recall Notice

This ‘notice’ has been posted around the internet before but having it come back around recently just brought to my mind just how important its point is on why we need Jesus, why sin is such a big deal and why we can’t just get by with it. 

The Maker of all human beings (GOD) is recalling all units manufactured, regardless of make or year, due to a serious defect in the primary and central component of the heart. This is due to a malfunction in the original prototype units code named Adam and Eve, resulting in the reproduction of the same defect in all subsequent units. This defect has been technically termed “Sub-sequential Internal Non-Morality,” or more commonly known as S.I.N., as it is primarily expressed.

Some of the symptoms include:

1. Loss of direction
2. Foul vocal emissions
3. Amnesia of origin
4. Lack of peace and joy
5. Selfish or violent behavior
6. Depression or confusion in the mental component
7. Fearfulness
8. Idolatry
9. Rebellion

The Manufacturer, who is neither liable nor at fault for this defect, is providing factory-authorized repair and service free of charge to correct this defect.
The Repair Technician, JESUS, has most generously offered to bear the entire burden of the staggering cost of these repairs. There is no additional fee required.

The number to call for repair in all areas is: P-R-A-Y-E-R.

Once connected, please upload your burden of SIN through the REPENTANCE procedure. Next, download ATONEMENT from the Repair Technician, Jesus, into the heart component.

No matter how big or small the SIN defect is, Jesus will replace it with:

1. Love
2. Joy
3. Peace
4. Patience
5. Kindness
6. Goodness
7. Faithfulness
8. Gentleness
9. Self control

Please see the operating manual, the HOLY (He Only Left You) BIBLE (Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth) for further details on the use of these fixes.

WARNING: Continuing to operate the human being unit without correction voids any manufacturer warranties, exposing the unit to dangers and problems too numerous to list and will result in the human unit being permanently impounded. For free emergency service, call on Jesus.

DANGER: The human being units not responding to this recall action will have to be scrapped in the furnace. The SIN defect will not be permitted to enter Heaven so as to prevent contamination of that facility. Thank you for your attention!

– GOD

P.S. Please assist where possible by notifying other of this important recall notice and you may contact the Father anytime by ‘knee mail’!
BECAUSE HE LIVES!!!

Giants

 

Guys are huge! Huge! Especially if you are a little girl, you look up and see a mighty man towering over you, your heart trembles a little. Men are giants in the eyes of children

I remember as a little, tiny girl being afraid of those towering giants in my life. There were only two giant men that I took to early on without fear and they were my Father and Grandfather.

While I understand that not every man is full of care, compassion and concern for the women and children in his world and those that are quietly observing, (make no mistake, they are observing and retaining what they observe) I also understand that there are men that want to be a force for good in this world.

I applaud you and want to encourage you to continue to be a Giant!

Here are some ways we can all be Giants, but Men, please…. Continue to stand up and be HUGE!

Giant of Compassion – Men in particular usually have a hard time comfortably displaying their emotions and showing compassion isn’t always the easiest. I know that kindness is there, filling your heart…let it flow freely.

Giant of Love – Continue to love and allow yourself to be loved – even when love hurts.

Giant of Giving – Giving of what you have doesn’t always come naturally, but we can condition our hearts to be a giant in this area. Don’t focus on what you are giving, or to whom. Just give what you can and show others that there is nothing like it.

Giant of Laughter – With the weight of the responsibilities that you bare, sometimes it is just good to sit back and do fun things. Laugh daily and share freely.

Giant of Family – YOU head up the family, you are responsible, you direct, guide and shelter. Be there, be part of what goes on, share your heart with those in your family freely. Be authentic and in doing so, you will raise up giants of your own.

Giant of a Husband – Men if you are married, the best thing you can do is to continue to date and spoil your wife. Find out, if you’ve forgotten, what little things she adores and spoil her with them. Yes, we ladies need to do the same thing, but we gals are creatures of response and she will react. But, honestly…don’t do this just to “get” something in return….do this because you are a giant and are willing to do it because it is the right thing to do.

Giant of a Friend – Men, go and do some men stuff. Encourage each other and have fun. Take time to be a friend.

Giant of an Example – There are little eyes watching you and you won’t even realize it. You will cause someone, somewhere to remember something that you did…something you considered insignificant and yet, in that moment it was larger than life to the onlooker. You are always inspiring someone and being an influence. The question is, are you inspiring great things or are you inspiring a lackadaisical attitude?

Giant of Wisdom – You have experiences that no one else around you has. You can share what you’ve learned and those around you that are truly wise will learn from you. Share freely.

 

Lastly guys, remember, you are completely loved and adored by someone.

YOU ARE a giant in their eyes. Treasure that, protect that and use it.

Gals – you can be a giant to! I hope you will be.

Your turn! How can we be giants to those little eyes that are watching everything we say and do? Don’t miss your opportunity to be heard here.

 

Dear Dad, you are already a HERO, just because you are a dad… be the best influence you can be without guilt

Dear Dad, I know you are busy with work &providing for the family, but provide memories too

Dear Dad, I know we are all special BUT never, ever forget that you are loved & adored

Dear Dad, even when I think I know it ALL, YOU still be the parent. I’m too young to make big decisions.

Dear Dad, laughter is the best medicine, but never forget tears are healing

Dear Dad, Even though guys are macho, we still need to hear “i love you”

Dear Dad, I know you want to give me the best of everything, but make me be responsible for what you give me

Dear Dad, we love big squishy bear hugs

Dear Dad, help me to own my mistakes, don’t enable me or excuse my actions

Dear Dad, I love you

 

 

Visit Marie at SpreadingJoy.

On Being A Light

Matthew 5: “You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.”

You are the light of the world. Yes, YOU. It’s part of your job description as a Christian….to be light in dark places. How’s that working for you? How are you doing with the light you have? Honestly, I don’t like the questions this generates at all! If people are looking to me for a little light to find their way I wonder if I’m any help to them at all.

Most of us want illumination for ourselves, for our own lives, but we are described by Jesus as illumination for those around us, light for others. Being the light of the world is a big task. It’s the task of helping those in the dark find their way, helping them find the right path and discover the light that illuminates us. Being the light of the world is a heavy burden and for the most part we do not wear it well. Frankly, at least for me, I think I’m a master at hiding my little light under a basket. I’m not good at helping others see the way with kindness and grace. I wish I was better at this thing called being the light of the world, but I’m still working on it.

And then Jesus goes even further and says this, “let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.” Part of the illuminating work of the believer is how we live our lives, our good deed. Let your good deeds shine out for all to see….why? So people will praise God. Our lives are meant to direct the world in praise to God for what they see because of us. How often does that happen? I think we have missed something in this job description of being lights in the world. Something has gone horribly wrong in the church! Instead of being lights to illuminate the way we have become spotlights in the eyes to blind the lost as they seek to find their way.

I think the thing we have lost is the very grace we received when we came to Christ. As I read Matthew and see Jesus interact with the world in darkness he doesn’t turn up the wattage to blind them, he gives them just enough light to make them want more. I still have much to learn about being a light in a dark world. I sure don’t know how to do this well, but if I am a light for those around me how is that supposed to work? How should I live so that, like the proverbial moth, those around me are drawn to the light that shines from me? I’m still working on this…..

Visit Mike at Finishing Well.

Thankful

“In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” -1 Thes. 5:18

Today is Thanksgiving day in our country. It started with a group of men and women pausing to thank God for his care and provision. It continues as a tradition that has lost much of its initial purpose.

Today it’s a day off, football, turkey, family, pumpkin pie, a nap…..

Today God will find only a brief mention for those who give thanks for the meal, but there is so much more to say. Paul’s exhortation to the church speaks volumes for us. All that we have, all that happens, all we experience gives us opportunity to thank the one who gave it from his great kindness. Let me share a portion of my list as I begin this day of thanksgiving.

I’m thankful for God’s great goodness to me, for the day, for sight, for health, for family, for a warm home, for salvation…oh how wonderful is that, for purpose, for hope, for love, for food, for clothing, for God’s love in my life, for his constant care, for feet that work, for grace to experience, for friends…oh what a blessing they are, for a God who hears when I pray, for my bible…I so love God’s word, for my wonderful wife, for children I dearly love, for grandchildren, for glorious parents, for life itself, for this moment to celebrate a good God, for stars that show me how grand God really is, for thousands of other things, moment by moment, I say thank you, God. You are glorious!

 

Visit Mike at Finishing Well.

Simple Instructions

I have to admit that I’m a very simple person. I don’t think about grand thoughts of glory or have amazing insights into life and eternity. I am just a very simple guy who is trying to follow God and walk with him. I honestly find that most people are just like me, trying to find their way.

This morning, as I read Micah 6, I once more come to these simple instructions,

“He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”

In my simple language I would instruct someone else with these directions, do what’s right, be nice and respond rightly to God. It’s not all that hard. Life comes down to some very simple instructions. That helps a guy like me.

Jesus repeated these instructions and framed it in an even clearer way. He said “Love God and love each other.” That’s Micah 6 in its simplest form. Basically scripture tells us to focus on eternal things- God and people. Those are the things, the relationships that will be eternal. Everything else will burn up, rust, rot or be thrown away.

So today, I hope to focus on the eternal things- God and people. I hope to respond to them as Micah describes, do what’s right, be nice and walk humbly with God. I’m so glad this is simple. It helps to know how easy this really is. The secret is this- it’s not about me, it’s about God first and others second. It’s a life focused outward, focused not on the frantic scramble for security and stuff, but on people and God.

Simple instructions…..for a simple race, do what’s right, be nice and walk humbly with God.

Visit Mike at Finishing Well.