I Am Loved

GodisLove_slide1x_365_y_273

We have been singing a new song in Church and it has literally been going through my head nonstop. I wake up with it in my noggin, I hear it when I am doing dishes, I am singing it at the sewing machine, and humming it while reading!

I don’t have anything memorized except the chorus, and this is it: “You’re a good, good Father. That’s who you are, that’s who You are. And I am loved by You, that’s who I am, that’s who I am.”

This is a great improvement on the toddler  songs that normally run through my head (I keep my two year old grandson Mon-Fri).

I didn’t sleep well last night. I stayed up too late to finish a good book, then Hubby was snoring, not a normal thing for him. Finally sometime after 11:30 I drifted off, only to wake up at 3:30. Sometimes God wakes me up to pray, this wasn’t one of those times, but I figured I didn’t have anything else to do, so I prayed. I prayed for some situations in my life that needed changing, but mostly I prayed for others. After a bit, God brought to mind some of my students from years ago and I lifted them in prayer. I prayed for some family members that are struggling, and I prayed for my children (and theirs). In fact I fell asleep praying.

The alarm was way too early at 5:30. I’ll give you three guesses as to what was going through my head… Yep, “You’re a good, good Father. That’s who you are, that’s who You are. And I am loved by You, that’s who I am, that’s who I am.”

My usual morning routine consists of reading my bible, while Eddie gets up and gets ready for work. Then we pray together, and he leaves. After my morning devotions, I head down for a cup of coffee and wait on my boy. This morning, Eddie got up, and I laid in the bed, not moving and half asleep. Before I could even wake up enough to think about reading my Bible, my sleepy mind contained this thought, “There is only two things I need to know. One, He’s a good, good Daddy, and two, He loves me.”

I woke up then and thought about the simple, profound truth in that. That’s the answer to everything!

“Now, Jodi, that’s overly simplifying things,” I hear you say.

However, I am sticking to it. Do you need healing? He’s a good Father and He loves you. Do need a financial breakthrough? He’s a good Father and He loves you. Do you need help in your marriage, or another relationship? He’s a good Father and He loves you. Are you broken and hurt? Grieving? Depressed? He’s a good Father and He loves you.

A loving Father wants to see His children healed and whole, lacking nothing, happy and at peace. Here is the good news, listen, HE HAS THE POWER TO GIVE YOU THOSE THINGS!

Ephesians 3:19-20 (NLT), “May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.”

Surrender

633bdaab1c6c6470264889e1ca2d6846[1]

Proverbs 3:5-6 (NLT), “Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.”

Surrender has to take place in so many places in our lives. First, we have to surrender our hearts to Him. Then we give Him our past, our mistakes, and our sins. Once forgiven and restored to the Father, then we have to daily surrender ourselves to Him. Did you mess up today? Surrender it to the Lord. Did you have a great accomplishment? Surrender the glory to Him. Have loved ones that need saving? Surrender them into the Lord’s hands.

For me, one of the hardest things to surrender to God has been my worry, and my plans. (Or my worrying about my plans). We sing in Church, “I surrender all my plans and dreams” and last time we sang it, I thought to myself, “have I done that?” The expo is coming up and I am always anxious that everything goes well, that I don’t disappoint anyone, that vendors and shoppers are thrilled, and successful. Then, I worry if my stuff is good enough, if I will have to bring it all home, if I will make enough money to make it worthwhile, and the list goes on. Finally, I tend to second guess the whole crafting thing in general. I have to purpose in my mind to go back to the day that God showed me the craft show in our gym, remember the gifts and talents that He gave me, and all the prayers and agreement of the leaders.

Satan likes to use your past against us. There have been times that Eddie and I jumped on the bandwagon and moved way ahead of God. So the enemy likes to remind me of those times. Or he lies and says that I am not allowed to have dreams or plans of my own, that my plans aren’t good, Godly, or important. But when we surrender our plans and dreams to God, it doesn’t mean we give them up, or that we shouldn’t have dreams or plans. In fact we are encouraged to dream big! Let’s look at what it means to surrender our plans to God.

One synonym for surrender is submit. Submission means “under the mission” so when we surrender our plans to Him, we are simply submitting our plans under, or unto His will, His timing, and His direction. So practically speaking when we have a dream or a plan we give it to Him. We surrender it. Then we ask for direction and wait for the leading of the Holy Spirit. Not something super spiritual, just allowing the normal communication between your spirit and God’s to take place. Don’t get so caught up in your own plans that you aren’t putting God first, or shutting out that still small voice. Sometimes He is going to ask you to wait, sometimes to slow down, and other times He may ask you to change your plans. The ideal situation is to be so hooked up to Him, to practice being led by His Spirit, that your plans just line up with His. However, in reality sometimes we just want something to happen, or have some great idea that is only from our flesh. By submitting them all to Him we are giving Him permission to mess up our plans, or to confirm and expedite them.

Matthew 6:32 (Net Bible), “But above all pursue his kingdom and righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

We can put the cart in front of the horse and end up with a lot of back peddling, or we can give our plans to Him, keep dreaming and open our hearts to direction. He knows what we need. Sometimes what we need, is different than what we want. He is faithful and loving. As a good Father, He wants us to have only the best.

Philippians 4:19 (NIV), “And my God will supply all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.”

Apathy

58061-Stand-In-Faith[1]

Hebrews 3:12 (ISV), “See to it, my brothers, that no evil, unbelieving heart is found in any of you, as shown by your turning away from the living God.”

I have often drifted away from God. Never intentional. Even when I was very angry with Him, blaming Him for some trouble in my life, I still didn’t intentionally turn away from Him. Yet, time and time again, I find myself off the path…in a dry place, with a lack of excitement for the things of God. The true word for this condition is Apathy, and I have had to repent several times in my walk with Him for an apathetic heart.

The definition of apathy is: “The absence or suppression of passion, emotion, or excitement.”

No passion. That pretty much sums up the apathetic heart. You can have passion in your life for more than one thing, being cold towards our Lord, doesn’t mean you lack passion in other areas. In fact sometimes the way we drift away is by being too passionate about other things!

Our real enemy, the devil, has one plan. That plan is for us to forsake the Lord. Like Job’s wife, he wants us to “curse God and die.” He tempts us to do wrong, then when we cave, he constantly reminds us of how unworthy we are. He attacks with the most troublesome circumstances, and then whispers that we deserve it, or that God doesn’t really care, and worse yet, that God isn’t able to get us out of the situation. If we believe it and turn our backs on God, then Satan wins. He gets the glory and God doesn’t.

However, if that plan doesn’t work, we continue to profess God as savior no matter how hard life may seem, then Satan has a “plan B”. That plan is to distract us! “From what?” you ask. From our Heavenly Father, from His plan and purpose for us, from His path. In my walk with God, I have often wondered away. Again, not intentionally, but a step here and a step there, until I found myself apathetic. The good news is that no matter how many steps away from God we have taken, it’s always only one step back. That step is repentance. Admitting we have strayed, asking Him to forgive, and turning back to Him. We don’t have to do penance, we just move ahead.

So what is the big deal?

If we allow ourselves to be distracted by things of the world, Satan’s attacks on our bodies, finances, families, churches, whatever, and take our eyes off of Jesus, we aren’t doing what God has purposed for us to do. We weren’t created on accident. God made us, birthed us into this world, (right now, during this time) to do something for Him. We are to Glorify Him, build His Kingdome, and do good works. When we are too focused on our own issues that we can’t see anyone else’s, let alone intercede in prayer, we are distracted. When we believe the doctors report, or the financial advisor, or (God forbid) the media, instead of what God has to say about it, we are distracted. It is just as if Satan has tied us up so that we are paralyzed. We lose our passion for Him, we lose our compassion for others, confusion sets in, and we begin to make bad choices.

If we continue on this path the enemy has led us, it won’t take long before our hearts will be hardened and full of unbelief. Sin. Anything that is not of faith is sin. The only way to please Him is living in faith. Faith in the finished work of the cross, faith in the love of the Father, and the sacrifice of His Son. We have to believe that God is for us! No matter what any other voice tells us. And NEVER, ever perpetuate Satan’s lies. When you repeat the negative doctors report to everyone you meet, when you use the words, “I can’t afford that,” “I am always sick,” “I don’t know what to do anymore,” or any other negative thing that doesn’t line up with God’s word and perfect will, you are giving the enemy the glory that belongs to God alone.

That is a big deal.

Hebrews 2:14-3:1 (NIV), “Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives. For assuredly He does not give help to angels, but He gives help to the descendant of Abraham. Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted. Therefore, holy brothers and sisters, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, whom we acknowledge as our apostle and high priest.” (Emphasis mine)

Isaiah 50:7 (ESV), “Because the Sovereign LORD helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore, I have set my face like a stone, determined to do his will. And I know that I will not be put to shame.”

Fix your eyes on Jesus. Keep a passion and a zeal for Him. No more apathy!

Romans 12:2 (Berean Study Bible), “Do not let your zeal subside; keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.”

Amen? Amen!

Book Review for “Searchlight: Crystal’s Story” books 1-3 Christian Fiction

41tyiaa1wll__sy346_

 

 About the Books:

Follow Crystal as she battles for freedom from celebrity cult, the S.O.T., and forms a team of ex-S.O.T. members, including a male model and the lead singer of a boyband, to bring the S.O.T. down. Will the A collection of the first three books in the dazzling Crystal Series, from Amazon Bestselling Author Dayo Benson. Expect glamor, nail-biting tension and gritty suspense.

Follow Crystal as she battles for freedom from celebrity cult, the S.O.T., and forms a team of ex-S.O.T. members, including a male model and the lead singer of a boyband, to bring the S.O.T. down. Will they succeed or are they too spoiled to pay the price?

“Searchlight” :
A heart-rending tragedy. A passionate love. A firm resolution.
For as long as Crystal remembers, she has wanted to be a singer.
For as long as she remembers, her parents have feared the SOT, a celebrity cult that will make you famous, but destroy you in the process.
When Luke, leader of the SOT, sets his sights on Crystal will she have the courage to stand her ground, or will she give in?
After the SOT deals a deadly blow, Crystal has no choice but to obey their orders to sign up for Searchlight. Searchlight is the biggest talent show on TV. With the SOT’s backing, Crystal could win, but is she willing to pay the price? When she unexpectedly finds love, she is afraid that darkly handsome Juda could become an SOT target too.
At Searchlight, her dreams and nightmares collide. According to Juda, it’s the darkest places that need light the most, but the SOT is much darker than Crystal imagined.
Not everything is what it seems to be, and not everyone is who they say they are. Crystal is tough, but she’s only human. There’s only so much heartache and betrayal one girl can take.
Then she is tested and forced to make a choice.
It’s a choice between light and darkness.
Good and evil.
Faith and despair.
But choosing God could mean choosing death.
The SOT is back, and this time they mean business! Lexi escaped. Will her daughter, Crystal?

“Surrender”:
Everyone has a limit…
…and Crystal is steadily getting closer to hers. She thought she could escape the SOT, but now they have her and there seems to be no way out. Some people think she has everything, but she knows she has nothing. Is she ever going to break free? And is the mysterious Juda a friend or foe?
Everyone is scared of something…
…and fear is the worst enemy of all. Crystal wants to hold on, but her fears enable the SOT to drag her to darker depths than she ever thought possible; depths from which she must claw her way back if she is ever going to regain her freedom.
The pressure is on, and Crystal must either fight or be broken. It all comes down to one question: Who will she surrender to?

“Insurrection”:
The Determination of a Victim.
Crystal has survived eighteen months of trauma at the hands of the SOT. She now has two options: she can either fade into obscurity, or fight. She chooses to fight—along with her team of unlikely alliances. But as their plans come together, doubts are never far away. Can she really trust her team, or will they give up at the first hurdle? And, are they on a suicide mission, or can they really bring down the SOT?
Crystal will stop at nothing to achieve her aim, but she must pay a high price, and decide whether the cost is worth it.

My Review:  This author has several books in this storyline and these are Crystal’s stories. I read the first three in this nine book series and plan on reading them all. Good YA Christian. Suspense, conspiracy, and demonic activity. I really enjoyed these! The characters are well developed and not perfect. An edgy Christian suspense that will keep you reading. I can recommend for ages 16 and up. There is violence, and talk of torture and rape in this series, adult content. Great writing. At the time of this review all three of these books are free on Amazon.

 About the Author:Dayo Benson is passionate about using fiction to convey powerful messages about redemption and God’s love. When she is not writing she enjoys music, reading and going for long walks. She lives in North West England with her husband and their two beautiful daughters.

 

What I Do Is Not Who I Am

a3312493b2359f2de8cdf72c7a6ba388

 

Genesis 1:26 (NIV), “Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.””

We all have something that we do. I sew, crochet, and love to read. My husband is handy with any tool, can fix everything from cars to blenders. I write, he runs a splitter at a plastics factory. I have a friend who is a nurse and one who makes jewelry. These are all things we do. We also tend to have some bad habits like leaving the toilet seat up, putting off chores, watching too much TV, or spending too much time on the computer. All of these things I have mentioned, both good and bad, both helpful and harmful, are only things that we do. They are not who we are!

In the world we live in people frequently ask this question, “What do you do?” I am aware that they are referring to our line of work; however we have adopted the answer to this question as our identity. People say, “I am a doctor, a teacher, a lawyer, a childcare provider, etc.” Then those same people have an identity crisis when it comes to knowing who they are. There has been some work in trying to get past this issue. You can watch people, especially cute little children, on YouTube saying things like, “I am strong,” “I am gifted,” “I am healthy,” and so on. All good things. What we think about ourselves is important. Yet, am I just that list of character traits? God has a call on each life. He has a purpose and a plan for them that will benefit their own lives and those around them. Some are called to be doctors, to take care of children, or to run a business. Those are specific calls. Before we can even begin to walk on that chosen path, we have to surrender ourselves to Him. Then, after we find ourselves (by acknowledging our need for Him as our Heavenly Father) then we begin this journey.

Each one of us also has a general call on our lives. It includes many aspects of being a child of God, but today I am focusing on this one.

“Our general, primary call is to be Christ like.”

Romans 8:29 (HCSB), “For those He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brothers.

First, before anything else, we need to be like Him.

That’s who we are not something we do.

Then we go into the world, on our jobs, doing those things that we do, and we represent Him. We show the world what He looks like, how He loves them, and what it means to belong to the Family of God. We love, first each other, and then those who haven’t joined our family yet.

I John 4:17 (ISV), “This is how love has been perfected among us: we will have confidence on the day of judgment because, during our time in this world, we are just like him.”

His love is perfected, made perfect, in us during our time in this world. We can be confident! Of what? That we have been conformed to His image and that we are just like Him.

When we walk on this earth just like Jesus did, things happen. Lives are changed. Nations are humbled. Peter tells us what happens when we set our hope on the grace that came through the revelation of who Jesus is.

I Peter 1:13-22 (ESV), “Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God. Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart,”

Will we do everything right? Heck no. Does it matter? Not a bit.

Learn from your mistakes, stay humble (teachable), repent when needed, and move on. It will take the family of God to change the world. Jesus already gave us everything we needed to do this. Let’s get moving.

Book Review “The Oneness Cycle Series”- Christian Fiction

51fks8oqiol__sy346_

 

About the Books: Book One- “When Tyler fishes the girl out of the bay, he thinks she’s dead. She wishes she was. For Reese, life ended when the supernatural entity called the Oneness threw her out. For Tyler, dredging Reese out of the water means life is nothing he thought. In a world where the Oneness exists, nothing looks the same. Dead men walk. Demons prowl the air. Old friends peel back their mundane masks and prove as supernatural as angels. The Oneness changes everything. And getting Reese home, making her One again, will change Tyler–and his roommate, Chris, whose connections with the Oneness have been buried most of his life–forever.”

Book Five: “When the battle with the hive ended in flames, the village Oneness expected to pick up life where they left off.
But fire does not leave anyone unscathed. Haunted by images of the fire and desperate to know the truth about her destiny, April wrestles with inner demons that threaten to cut her off from those she loves most. Meanwhile, Andrew Hunter faces the reality of life with a wife and daughter he does not know–a wife whose resurrection has made her more than a stranger to him.
Six hundred years before, Teresa is equally embattled as questions of life, death, and revelation bring her to the edge of the greatest war of all: the war for humanity’s soul.
As their stories converge, the Oneness across the ages must press into the Spirit they hardly know, with only one certain promise: From the ashes, truth will rise.”

My Review: I received the first two books as a gift and right of the bat knew this was some good writing. The characters are fleshed out and flawed, just the way I like them. Though at first I struggled with talk of “the Spirit” and nothing about God, Church, or Jesus. So I read the information about the author and ordered (paid for) the rest of the series. I am glad I did. The books unveil more about where their power comes from and how the enemy got such a strong hold in some lives.

These remind me of Ted Dekker and Frank Peretti’s writings. And now that I am finished with all five of them, I am sad to say goodbye to the characters I came to know. There is fighting (with demons) and some content that I think make these best suited to ages 16 and up. I do believe they are written for YA crowd, yet I m 52 and loved them. I give the complete series 5 stars.

About the Author:Rachel Starr Thomson is in love with Jesus and convinced the gospel will change the world.

Rachel is a woman of many talents and even more interests: she’s a writer, editor, indie publisher, singer, speaker, Bible study teacher, and world traveler. The author of the Seventh World Trilogy, The Oneness Cycle, and many other books, she also tours North America and other parts of the world as a speaker and spoken-word artist with 1:11 Ministries.

Adventures in the Kingdom launched in 2015 as a way to bring together Rachel’s explorations, in fiction and nonfiction, of what it means to live all of life in the kingdom of God.

Rachel lives in the beautiful Niagara Region of southern Ontario, just down the river from the Falls. She drinks far too much coffee and tea, daydreams of visiting Florida all winter, and hikes the Bruce Trail when she gets a few minutes. A homeschool graduate from a highly creative and entrepreneurial family, she believes we’d all be much better off if we pitched our television sets out the nearest window.

LIFE AND WORK (BRIEFLY)
Rachel began writing on scrap paper sometime around grade 1. Her stories revolved around jungle animals and sometimes pirates (they were actual rats . . . she doesn’t remember if the pun was intended). Back then she also illustrated her own work, a habit she left behind with the scrap paper.

Rachel’s first novel, a humorous romp called Theodore Pharris Saves the Universe, was written when she was 13, followed within a year by the more serious adventure story Reap the Whirlwind. Around that time, she had a life-changing encounter with God.

The next several years were spent getting to know God, developing a new love for the Scriptures, and discovering a passion for ministry through working with a local ministry with international reach, Sommer Haven Ranch International. Although Rachel was raised in a strong Christian home, where discipleship was as much a part of homeschooling as academics, these years were pivotal in making her faith her own.

At age 17, Rachel started writing again, this time penning the essays that became Letters to a Samuel Generation and Heart to Heart: Meeting With God in the Lord’s Prayer.

In 2001, Rachel returned to fiction, writing what would become her bestselling novel and then a bestselling series–Worlds Unseen, book 1 of The Seventh World Trilogy.

A classic fantasy adventure marked by Rachel’s lyrical style, Worlds Unseen encapsulates much of what makes Rachel’s writing unique: fantasy settings with one foot in the real world; adventure stories that explore depths of spiritual truth; and a knack for opening readers’ eyes anew to the beauty of their own world–and of themselves.

In 2003, Rachel began freelance editing, a side job that soon blossomed into a full-time career. Four years later, in 2007, she co-founded Soli Deo Gloria Ballet with Carolyn Currey, an arts ministry that in 2015 would be renamed as 1:11 Ministries. To a team of dancers and singers, Rachel brought the power of words, writing and delivering original narrations, spoken-word poetry, and songs for over a dozen productions. The team has ministered coast-to-coast in Canada as well as in the United States and internationally.

Rachel began publishing her own work under the auspices of Little Dozen Press in 2007, but it was in 2011, with the e-book revolution in full swing, that writing became a true priority again. Since that time Rachel has published many of her older never-published titles and written two new fiction series, The Oneness Cycle and The Prophet Trilogy.

Over 30 of Rachel’s novels, short stories, and nonfiction works are now available in digital editions. Many are available in paperback as well, with more released regularly.

The God she fell in love with as a teenager has remained the focus of Rachel’s life, work, and speaking.

Do What You Can

Making-a-Difference-giving-back-picture-quote[1]

Mark 14:3-9 (NIV), “While he was in Bethany, reclining at the table in the home of Simon the Leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head. Some of those present were saying indignantly to one another, “Why this waste of perfume? It could have been sold for more than a year’s wages and the money given to the poor.” And they rebuked her harshly. “Leave her alone,” said Jesus. “Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want. But you will not always have me. She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial. Truly I tell you, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”

This woman did what she could for Jesus. To some it seemed a waste, to Jesus it meant everything.

I read the story of Fanny Crosby who was blind from shortly after birth and she wrote over 8,000 hymns and gospel songs. Her personal life wasn’t great, marital rift, death of her only baby, and living destitute in the slums. Yet, at age 60 dedicated her life to serving in Rescue Missions. She wrote “Blessed Assurance” and “To God Be the Glory.” Her tombstone read: “Aunty Fanny, She hath done what she could.” Her songs are still blessing people today.

Then there is Irena Sendler, a Polish nurse who smuggle over 2,500 babies out of Warsaw ghettos during Hitler’s reign. She used her imagination smuggling them out in suitcases, mechanics tool boxes, and even coffins. Keeping detailed information of where she put each child, she did what she could to reunite the families after the war. She couldn’t stop the war, but she didn’t let that stop her from doing what she could.

Victoria Soto, hid her students during the school shooting at Sandy Hook, and died protecting them. This teacher couldn’t save the whole school, or even her own life, but she did what she could.

What about Jael, in the Bible. Sisereas was attacking Israel and Deborah and Barak were leading the charge against him. They finally got him on the run and this unknown, unimportant woman invited Sisereas into her tent. When he asked her for water, this smart woman gave him warm milk, hid him under some blankets and when he dozed off drove a tent peg through his temple. In those days women didn’t go to battle. It was already a miracle that Deborah was along for the ride. (Judges 4) Yet this one woman won the war. She did what she could.

There are literally millions of stories about people who changed the world, or changed a life, by their actions. Most didn’t plan to do it, but when the opportunity came, they took it. Had Irena Sendler rescued only one or two children, her accomplishment would have been no less. If you have ever read Chicken Soup for…they are filled with stories of people who did small things and changed lives.

Sometimes the battle looks too big, circumstances huge, and like there is no way one person can help.

This unknown author says, “Instead of doing nothing because I am overwhelmed, today I will do something, even if it is small, because it will be one step closer to the goal.”

Mother Theresa said, “In this life we cannot always do great things, but we can do small things with great love.”

I love J.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy. One of my favorite saying from Gandalf is this one, “Some believe that it is only great power that an hold evil in check, but that is not what I’ve found. I have found it is the small things. Everyday deeds, by ordinary folk that keeps the darkness away.”

Think about that. Kissing our kids goodnight, giving someone a ride to church, smiling at the girl in the checkout, leaving a larger than expected tip at a restaurant, reading your bible, not letting the world get you down, or laughing and sharing a meal with friends. These things are the opposite of darkness, and when we do them the light of His love drives the darkness away.

Our society is obsessed with long life and anti-aging, but it isn’t the duration of a life that matters, it is the donation!

Luke 16:10 “”Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.”

If we are faithful in these little things, God may use us in a big way, or He may just want us to keep heaping up these little things until they are all one big thing. My father-in-law loved to find pennies. He never did the “lucky penny” thing, but he would smile put one in his pocket and say, “pennies make dollars!” Small things turn into big things!

Can you share a meal, sew on a button, make a cake, babysit for a friend, spend some time in prayer, donate some time at school…?

Do what you can!