The Blessing of Shoes


When I met my husband and we became engaged, I packed up my belongings to move to his hometown.  As I packed, I realized that I did not need all the stuff I had so my mother-in-law taught me a phrase called “bless someone with that” so into the blessing box went the things went I no longer need.

With this phrase in mind, over the last few days we have been going our belongings to figure out what to put in the blessing box including several pairs of shoes.  If I’m not wearing them, why bring them with us to Nevada?  I mean, how many pairs of shoes does a person need?  One item in particular was a pair of high heels that I wore once since my feet do not like high heels.  This pair was placed on the blessing chair in my building and was soon off to a new home as they blessed another person.

What does it mean to bless someone?  According to dictionary.reference.com, blessing is defined as an act bestowed by person by giving a gift, mercy, favor, or even special words to another person.

God wants us to bless people and help the needy.  After all, according to Acts 20:35 (NIV), it is more blessed to give them to receive.  A needy person could be someone who is barely scraping by or someone who may need something like a pair of shoes but money just happens to be tight.  Thus, when they see something like a pair of shoes, they have been blessed with a gift.

These shoes were no longer valuable to me yet the person who has them probably finds them to be quite valuable.  We often have something that has some intrinsic value to it.  On the other hand, when you bless someone, this item becomes a completely different value to the person who received the gift.  After all, someone’s junk could be another person’s treasure.

For example, I think of the time when I was young and my grandfather worked at a local dump (the kind that was in the middle of nowhere and not so big as they have them now).  He found an old radio at the dump and brought it home and it was given to me.  The radio was a blessing even though someone probably dumped it thinking it had no value.  This radio was eventually passed on to another family member but I’ll always remember the blessing I received from it as I listened to my favorite music as a kid.

Finally, not only does an object have value, people have value as well.  God especially values people no matter what they have done.  Even if they have gone so low that they feel like they are living in a dump, He picks them up and restores them.  He delights in blessing His children, even those who have not called upon the name of Jesus.

How do you view your life?  Do you see yourself as valuable and that you are a blessing?  A gift as well someone who has been blessed with a gift?

Advertisements

Trust and obey…simply trust and obey


I wanted to write a blog about the Fourth of July and the freedoms we have to write blogs; however, life has taken an unexpected turn.  Last night, I had to rush my husband to the hospital after he had a fall.  This was the final straw after watching him grow weak and barely function for the last several days.  The docs believe he may just be dehydrated; however, he will be in the hospital for another day or so as they run tests and monitor his condition.  Tonight he is already looking better and we – the cat and I – miss him.

Tomorrow will be a more trying time since my neighborhood streets will be closed due to a local parade.  I won’t be able to make it to the hospital until early evening so I will trust that he will be okay even though I will miss him like the dickens.

Yet, I must trust and obey as the following song reminds us to do so…

  1. When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word,
    What a glory He sheds on our way!
    While we do His good will, He abides with us still,
    And with all who will trust and obey.

    • Refrain:
      Trust and obey, for there’s no other way
      To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.
  2. Not a shadow can rise, not a cloud in the skies,
    But His smile quickly drives it away;
    Not a doubt or a fear, not a sigh or a tear,
    Can abide while we trust and obey.
  3. Not a  burden we bear, not a sorrow we share,
    But our toil He doth richly repay;
    Not a grief or a loss, not a frown or a cross,
    But is blessed if we trust and obey.
  4. But we never can prove the delights of His love
    Until all on the altar we lay;
    For the favor He shows, for the joy He bestows,
    Are for them who will trust and obey.
  5. Then  in fellowship sweet we will sit at His feet,
    Or we’ll walk by His side in the way;
    What He says we will do, where He sends we will go;
    Never fear, only trust and obey.

Trust…we are told to trust and obey for there is no other way; yet that can be a difficult way especially as you trust that all is well with the love of your life.  Yet, as I walked away from him, I felt at peace that he will be all right when I see him tomorrow night.

This trust and obey can be difficult especially as you prepare for a new journey in life.  We wonder if this setback is God’s way of saying “stop” or the enemy trying to discourage us.  All we can do is trust and obey…

Finally, A friend stopped by the hospital tonight and he reminded us that sometimes we just need to wait on the Lord, even if it is almost the last moment.  Therefore, we will trust and obey as we wait on the Lord.

What difficulty are you facing now?  Are you struggling to trust and obey?  If so, simply put your trust in the Lord and pray that He will help you through it.

Reference:  http://library.timelesstruths.org/music/Trust_and_Obey/.  Retrieved 07/03/13

www.google.com/images

Did the world end when the FM station disappeared?


Okay, so today, I drove down to my folks’ place to celebrate my mom’s birthday.  On the way down, I slammed on my breaks when I saw a deer o the side of the road.  Fortunately, he or she ran back into the woods.  A few moments later, I saw another deer that was not so fortunate at the side of the road. Afterwards, I began to worry that what if I had not started to slow down prior to seeing the first deer or hit the brakes?  I could have been an accident or even worse, destroyed the life of a deer…

Later, I was listening to a local FM Christian radio station when all of a sudden the radio switched to what I though was an AM radio station.  I almost panicked and tried to remain calm as I went in search of my radio station.  My worried mind went through all kinds of scenarios like “What if something is wrong with the van?”  or “What if someone took over the FM radio frequency or whatever that is called?”  Yes, I was worried.

Worry – we all do it.  Our minds try to think of the worst-case scenario when something seems to go wrong or even if it almost happened; however, we were not meant to be stressed.  Worry only distracts you while you are doing something like driving or trying to have a conversation with people or God.  Furthermore, worry and stress are not healthy for us since it can raise blood pressures and lead to other medical problems.

What can we do with stress and worry?  Matthew 6:34 (MSG) reads ““Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow.  God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.”

Furthermore, Matthew 11:28 (MSG) reads ““Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me.  Get away with me and you’ll recover your life.  I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.  I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you.  Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”  Though life won’t always be easy, it’s great to know that I have Jesus at my side.

Therefore, we need to let go off worries about rather or not the world is ending when the FM radio station goes missing.  I need to be thankful that nothing bad happened with my car, the deer, and me.  That I discovered that the FM radio never disappeared since it was my tired mind playing a trick with me.  However, I have yet to figure out how the radio switched like it did on its own…maybe a bump in the road?  Oh, well…that is something that I don’t need to worry about.  Life is too short to worry about things like that especially as we prepare for this journey.

What are you worried or stressed about?  What do you do with this worry and stress?  I know one thing; you can pray about it and cast it at the feet of Jesus.

Good night everyone and may you get a good night sleep filled with peace…

google.com/images

Rejoicing over a Lost Battery…and Souls


Have you ever lost something important or valuable?  Do you remember the feeling of fear or panic?  Not too long ago, I had that feeling while on vacation when I realized I was missing part of my camera. 

Before going on vacation, I prepared my camera for the trip on to discover that we were missing the battery charger – probably misplaced in our last move.  As a result, I ordered a new one and charged the battery.  On the way out of the state, I stopped to take pictures and could not find my battery.  After frantically searching my bags, I could not find It; however, I was so thankful for phone cameras so I could get pictures of the first leg of our trip.

After arriving in Reno, after more searching, we discovered that the battery was indeed missing so my hubby bought me a new camera with his birthday gift card.  What a sweetheart! 

Throughout the Bible, there are parables about people who went in search of something that was lost.  For instance, there is the woman who lost a valuable coin in Luke 15:8-10.  When she realized she lost this coin, she went on a frantic search until she found it.  When she found it, she asked her neighbors to rejoice with her.

The person who spoke these parables in the Bible was a man called Jesus, who cares for the lost.  The lost could be those who have wondered from the church or have never accepted Jesus as their personal savior.  When they are found, Jesus rejoices with them even though they have violated His will and have committed sin because He still loves and cares for them. 

Over the years, I have learned to pray when something is lost and listen for that still small voice that tells me where to find the lost item.  It is usually where the still small voice told me to look just like it told me where to find the battery once we arrived home.  However, I went to the spot yet still no battery so a new one was ordered.

So what happened to the battery?  Well, a month later, just today, we found someone to take our couch set and as the couch was removed, there was the battery, right under the couch! 

Yes, we rejoiced just as we will rejoice when someone finds something that is valuable to them.  However, above material things, the most valuable of all is their soul as we reach out to the lost through the coffee shop by listening and ministering to their needs.

So, what do you do when you lose something?  What are you seeking?

Does Mr. Rogers Live in Our Neighborhood?


Okay, so, just as we were about to doze off last night, a piercing alarm shattered the semi-quietness of our apartment building.  I tried to remain calm but a bit panicky as I realized it was a fire alarm.  Things became a bit chaotic as I dashed to get decent clothes on, round up the cat, and get my wheelchair-bound husband out to the balcony.  Then I stuck my nose out in the hall to see what the rest of the neighbors were doing…only one was leaving the building from our section of the floor and the elevators were closed off.  Fortunately, the alarm turned out to be a false alarm…though I wondered why no one checked on those who were wheelchair or otherwise unable to escape down the stairs?

With this thought, I was reminded of how little we know our neighbors, even after over three months in our building.  Yeah, we say hi and talk to them in the hallways; however, we do not have a whole lot of communication with them.  It took one neighbor coming over last week needing some salt and pepper before we found out that he similar taste of music as my husband, and he is a Christian.  He was impressed that we let him keep the salt and pepper – something we do not use a lot –since he does not know too many people who are kind or enjoy blessing one another.

We have learned that we have an interesting collection of neighbors in our building that includes young families, single parents, disabled people, and even quite a few elderly people.  For instance, there is the neighbor who is shorter than I am (I’m only 4’11”) and she is one of the kindest ladies I’ve ever met.  Furthermore, there is the man who seems to know everything about the building since he has lived here for a long time.  Then there is the neighbor above us – a single mom – who we complain about because her young son keeps us awake some nights.  Though recently, I keep getting reminders from God that we need to pray for neighbors even if we are not happy with their behaviors.

As humans, we were meant to connect with each other and have fellowship with other people.  Unfortunately, we are becoming a society that spends too much time with social media and not a whole lot of face-to-face contact with our neighbors.  I’m just as guilty as anyone reading this blog or a stranger on the street.

That is why we want to start a community style coffee shop so people can re-learn to interact and fellowship with each other without pressure.  Hopefully.  We know – it will be a long shot since people attached to their personal electronic devices.

Therefore, in conclusion, Mr. Rogers does not live in my neighborhood; however, as commanded by Jesus, I will love my neighbors (even the noisy one) and find ways to connect with them.  Even if it is just a simple hi with a smile and asking them how they are doing.

So, who are your neighbors?  How do you think you can connect with other people in your neighborhood?

Overcoming Fear and Doubt with Faith…


The lyrics of the following song remembered and sung by millions, sings:

’Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to take Him at His Word;
Just to rest upon His promise,
And to know, “Thus saith the Lord!”

Refrain:
Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!
How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er;
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
Oh, for grace to trust Him more!

As we prepare to move, as humans, we do have some doubts and fears like will we find the right movers, the right temporary housing, the right rental, will our cat survive…and so on goes the questions and some fears. Above all, the biggest question is – will we make it in this new land with our dream to open a community-style coffee shop?

After all, my husband and I have spent most of our lives close to home, family, friends, and familiar sights here in Washington State. He was born in Hawaii and I’m a true Washingtonian – born and raised here. Now, we are preparing to step off into this new adventure….Will we be blessed on this adventure?

After all, James 1:6-8 (NIV) reads: “But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.”

After all, I truly believe we will be blessed on this adventure as we prepare for this move.

After all, prior to this passage, James commands us to consider is pure joy as we face trials like this adventure as James 1:2-5 (NIV) reads “Consider it pure joy…whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”

After all, we are putting our trust in Jesus and know that He will be there for us as we prepare for the biggest adventure of our life. And, as He continues to protect and bless us even during hardship, we will continue to be thankful and trust in Jesus through it all.

Therefore, after all, I am finding it joyful and exciting as we face this testing with this new adventure. I am looking forward to this adventure and the new life my husband and I will be facing in a new land.

After all,
I’m so glad I learned to trust Thee,
Precious Jesus, Savior, Friend;
And I know that Thou art with me,
Wilt be with me to the end.

What fears are you facing as you prepare for a new journey or vision? Who or what are you trusting to see you through your trials, temptation, or even testing of your faith?