Tag: Faith

Kindness Matters

Have you ever dreamed of making a huge impact on the world? The best way we can make a difference is not through one big action. The deepest and most profound impact we can make is through daily acts of kindness.

A smile. A friendly greeting. Giving up a seat to someone else. Standing up for the underdog. Sharing a meal. Caring enough to stop and listen. One act of kindness can make all the difference in a friend, neighbor, or stranger’s life.

Kindness matters. Especially in a world where so much negativity swirls around. We can all use a little (or a lot!) of kindness to brighten up our days in the midst of the good, bad, and ugly. An act of kindness makes a big impact and can turn the tide of the day for us or someone else.

Let’s be intentional and spread a little kindness in the world around us by committing to one act of kindness each day. This doesn’t mean we limit ourselves to one kind act. But in the middle of a routine or extremely difficult day, it can be hard to extend some kindness. That’s where the intentionality comes in. We all need to look up and look out because it will do someone else a world of good to know that someone out there cares.

This is a challenge to you and me to spread kindness in this crazy world. Be creative. Do what you can where you are to make a difference in your corner of the world. Kindness begins with you and me.

Have a story of an act of kindness that’s impacted you? Share your story here. You just might see it featured.

 

Acts: Get Up and Go

Acts is the fifth book in the New Testament and a story of the beginning and spread of Christianity following the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This is the story of the early church and their challenge to get up and go into Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the ends of the earth to share the good news of Jesus (Acts 1:8). Acts demonstrates the power of the Holy Spirit and the unstoppable progress of the gospel.

The stories of Peter, Paul, Lydia, Stephen, Barnabas, Silas, Mary, and Matthais are woven through the pages of Acts. Peter – one of the original 12 disciples. Mary – the mother of Jesus. Stephen – deacon and martyr. Matthais – joined the team of disciples. Silas – traveled with Paul. Lydia – merchant and convert to Christianity. Paul – transformed from persecutor to missionary. Barnabas – traveling companion on the first missionary journey. Through their lives we see Jesus. We realize that each of these people are ordinary people through whom the Holy Spirit worked. Our lives may look a little different than theirs, but the power of the Holy Spirit can fall on you and me just as it did on each of these greats.

I haven’t encountered Jesus on the road to Damascus like Paul did, but I have encountered Jesus. I didn’t get to go on the first missionary journey, but I do get to go out into the mission field God has called me every single day. None of us knew Jesus as a baby like Mary did, but we can celebrate the birth of Jesus and the gift of eternal life. Because of the obedience of the disciples and so many others, you and I have an opportunity to know Jesus and help make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19). Our lives become intertwined with their lives because we are all part of something bigger. As we run after God, we get to play a role in His story.

Join me on a 35 day journey through the book of Acts as we dig deep into God’s word. We’ll get a glimpse into the lives of Peter, Paul, Stephen, Lydia, and more. We’ll learn the value of community from the early church. We’ll be wowed by the miracles on the pages of Acts and begin to see the miracles God is working in our own lives.

This reading plan is basically the She Reads Truth plan for Acts, but I’ve shortened it from a six week study to five weeks. There are six days of Scripture readings each week. The seventh day of each week is set aside for a time of prayer, reflection, and memorization. If you miss a day of reading during the week, use day 7 to catch up. Use this time to reflect on what you’ve read and learned through the week. Challenge yourself to memorize one verse a week. You can pick a verse of your choice to memorize or follow along with me as I work on memorizing the five verses listed at the end of this post.

 

Suggested Verses to Memorize

Week 1: “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come on you, and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8

Week 2: “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20

Week 3: “Repent,” Peter said to them, “and be baptized, each of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Acts 2:38

Week 4: “Believe on the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved – you and your household.” Acts 16:31

Week 5: “From one man He has made every nationality to live over the whole earth and has determined their appointed times and the boundaries of where they live.” Acts 17:26

 

Our “get up and go” begins with knowing Jesus, experiencing the power of the Holy Spirit, responding in obedience, and running the race God has set before us. Let’s boldly proclaim the gospel message through our lives – both in word and deed.

The Thief

It can rob us of our joy.

It leads us to discontentment.

It distracts us to the point where we lose our focus.

It destroys our passion.

It steals encouragement and breeds criticism.

Who is this thief that steals and destroys if we give it the opportunity?

It’s the thief of comparison.

Sometimes the thief of comparison catches us off guard. It can be kind of sneaky after all. Sometimes this thief is blatantly obvious, staring us down. If we’re not careful, comparison will steal and destroy our joy, contentment, focus, passion, and encouragement of others.

How does it happen?

Continue reading “The Thief”

In the Midst of the Storm

We all face storms. Grieving the death of a loved one. Losing a job. A dream unfilled. A rebellious child. A friend that lets us down. A flood that sweeps away our belongings. A disappointment.

We can let the storms of life push us away from Jesus or closer to Him. What is our response going to be in the midst of the storm?

There are some amazing lessons to glean from Matthew 14 on life in the midst of the storm.

Continue reading “In the Midst of the Storm”

You Have a Calling

The Great Commission…

Have you heard of it?

Do you know what it is?

Are you doing your part in fulfilling it?

If you have been a Jesus follower for a while, you have probably heard of The Great Commission. But in case you haven’t or maybe aren’t familiar with the phrase, I want to give you a little background. Matthew 28:16-20 is often referred to as The Great Commission. This isn’t just because your Bible might have this heading before that section of verses (those headings are not part of the original biblical text); it’s because this is a place in Scripture where Jesus commissions, or commands, His disciples to “go and make disciples of all nations.” Jesus, both fully God and fully man, had just been crucified (Matthew 27:32-56; Mark 15:21-41; Luke 23:26-49; John 19:17-37), buried (Matthew 28:57-66; Mark 52:42-47; Luke 23:50-56; John 19:38-42), and risen from the dead (Matthew 28:1-10; Mark 16; Luke 24:1-12; John 20:1-10). Jesus was soon to ascend, or return, to heaven (Acts 1:1-11). At this point, Jesus would no longer be walking and living upon this earth as a man. He would still, and always will be, fully God. Between His death/resurrection and ascension, Jesus charged His followers with continuing the work of making disciples and teaching the word of God to all nations.

Continue reading “You Have a Calling”

Your Circle of Influence

You may have anywhere from a few seconds to a lifetime to influence the people in your life. There are people whose lives will intersect with yours momentarily, and you have a split second to smile and brighten up their day in some small way. It might be the cashier at the grocery store, the man you pass as you walk through the parking lot, the teenage girl at the drive-through window, the person sitting the next cubicle over, or the woman working in the toll booth. You may see this person again or this may be your only opportunity to influence them.

Continue reading “Your Circle of Influence”

Friday Favorites

This is the first edition of Friday Favorites. Every Friday I am going to share a few of my favorite things. It might be my current favorite products, quotes, travel destinations, Scripture verses, or something completely random. I hope you join in on the fun and share a few of your favorites with me.

For the launch of Friday Favorites, I’ve decided to share what inspires, motivates, and encourages me the most – 10 of my favorite Scripture verses!

  • 2 Timothy 3:16-17 “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” I believe that all Scripture is God-breathed. God speaks, encourages, inspires, sharpens, and challenges me through His word. The more time I spend reading the Bible, the more I am stretched to be a better reflection of Jesus Christ to the world.
  • John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” If people know just one verse from the Bible, it is often John 3:16. This is a verse I have heard my entire life, but I don’t ever want to take the message for granted. God loves you and me so much that He gave of Himself. He wants us. He wants us to repent (turn away) from our sin and live in such a way that shows we truly believe that God is who He says He is.

Continue reading “Friday Favorites”

You Have a Purpose

You have a purpose.

Yes, you. Not just the person behind you or sitting next to you. They have a purpose, but so do you.

You have a purpose uniquely designed for you.

Do  you know you have a purpose? Do you believe it?

If you are reading this right now and are struggling to believe this, please hear me. You are wanted, and you are needed. You may feel like no one cares. You may feel all alone at this moment. Don’t quit living. Your life matters. You matter. You have a crucial role to fill. You have so much value to add into the lives of others. You are worth it. Continue reading “You Have a Purpose”