Thursday, September 29, 2011

Simple...not Easy.

You may have heard this quote from Gandhi, "Be the change you want to see in the world." Or you may have heard the Golden Rule, "Do to others as you would have them do to you." Maybe you saw Bruce Almighty and heard Bruce tell us at the end of the movie to "Be the Miracle!" Or how 'bout when Jesus told us to "Love God and Love Others."

If we as Christ Followers want to make a difference in the world we need to be that difference. There are so many times each day that we have a choice to show God's love or to hide it. That is the theme behind the our new CD, Live to Love. When writing for Live to Love we wanted to focus on verses from scripture that enforce the idea that we as Christ Followers can show God's love in everything we do. Loving God and Loving Others is a choice, it is not something that just happens.

If we want the world to be a kinder, more loving place we must first cultivate that in our own lives, then choose to share that with the people we meet each day. By basing all that we do on the idea of Loving God and Loving Others, will help us see everyday situations differently. This is a concept that sounds simple, but to put it into practice is not always easy.

This week, make a difference, be the miracle, let God's love shine through!

Friday, September 23, 2011

I Sing the Songs...

I have often gone into a church service and thought..."I hope I get something out of this today" or "I hope they sing the songs I like" or "I hope the message is something I want to hear."

If you have been around me for any amount of time, you have heard me talk about how worshiping God is not just about singing songs or going to an event. We shouldn't go to worship, it should be the way we live our lives every minute of every day.

However, singing is a part of worshiping God!

I found this video today and thought about how many times I have sung these songs, and the right words have come out of my mouth, but my mind is wandering off somewhere thinking about what is for lunch or who is winning the the game or what I am doing later. When what I should be focused on in my loving God. He is my defender and my friend. He is my comfort and strength. He is my fortress and my salvation.

Yes, listen and laugh because this video is funny, but when you go to your church services this week, don't just sing the words because they are on the screen or handout, sing them so that God hears your heart, (whether it is your favorite song or not.) Don't think about what I can get out of this, but instead what can I give back to God for all that He has done in my life. Worship should not be about how much we get, but how much we give.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Gabi does it again.

The other night while on our road trip across America we stopped for dinner just outside Kansas City. We had been in North Dakota and were driving to Kansas City for the night. We had been in the car for about 13 of our 15 hour drive and stopped to eat at Olive Garden. Gabi was so excited because one of her favorite foods is pasta! Well, if you have ever eaten at the OG you know that at the end of the meal they bring you an Andes mint, who doesn't love chocolate and mint!?! Gabi may have had one before but did not remember what they were, and when she ate hers, she loved it! Michelle ate hers and John, who was playing with us over the weekend, ate his. I was so full I could not even think of eating another thing, not even a little piece of chocolate. So I decided to give mine to Michelle, and she said to go ahead and give it to Gabi.
Now, the other day when Gabi came home from school she was telling us that they had learned the 3rd person rule, Jesus - Others - You. JOY. She told us how we should always put Jesus first, others second, and ourselves third. That goes right along with what we are always talking about with Gabi, Loving God and Loving Others, and how we can do that every day even in little ways.
So, Gabi takes the candy, opens it, and without giving it a thought, she takes it and breaks it. She looked at it and saw that it didn't break exactly in half. She examines the pieces and takes the smaller piece and puts it in her mouth and hands the bigger half to Michelle. My heart nearly burst out of my chest! I could not believe this amazing little girl! We all immediately told her how proud we were of her for wanting to share, but more than that, how she decided to give the bigger piece away. She looked at us and said, " I was using the 3rd person rule. Jesus, Others, You." Which blew me away even more.
I realized how often I don't practice this simple rule. I like to keep the bigger, better piece for myself. I often times get the 3rd person rule backwards. Y - O - J. I think of myself before others. I am learning so much from my sweet 5 yr old!
I will never look at an Andes mint the same!