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Christian and Socially-Conscious…One Woman's Expression

Archive for the tag “strength”

Bottom Line

Have you ever given out of your poverty?

As he looked up, Jesus saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury.  He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins.  “I tell you the truth,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others.  All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.” —Luke 21:1-4

I have pondered this.  Initially, I thought this entry would tell a story similar to this passage’s explicit scenario.  Nah.  That would be too easy, especially in this time when I am being pressed in a particular area.  Let’s reflect honestly.

Sometimes, financial giving is seemingly easier than the giving of your time and talents.  With so much hurt and pain in the world (in the nation, in your community, in your church), let us not continue to ignore the why in this.

  • Are you too “busy” to notice that your Brother or Sister (your neighbor) is depressed, suicidal, hungry…?  (Come here Elijah, Job, Jonah, and Jeremiah…I see you.)
  • Are you still feeling the sting from being rejected by the very people/person God continues to redirect you to minister?  (Long after the trend has faded, who continues to ask, “WWJD”?)
  • Have you stepped away from a difficult situation because your flesh said so, but His guidance is now saying, “Go back”?  (Moses, where are you?)

Hmmm…..I don’t think you are feeling the depth of these questions?  Have you ever been at the end of yourself, more than tired and exhausted, emotional spent, physically weak….just here, and barely that?  (Well, I can be a little dramatic at times but you get the picture right?  Anyway…)  It is at that point and place in one’s spiritual journey that I am signaling for recollection.  It was there, at that point of poverty, where I discovered, in a way unlike ever before, my bottom line.  I looked at the numbers—checked and double-checked the math, evaluated the equations, reviewed the formulas.  With great detail, I scrutinized.  I searched for answers, for comprehension.  Undeniably, I spiritually matured.

So, have you gotten to a point in life where you have consciously decided to truly become serious about growing in your faith?  Have you decided that if you have to live your faith all by yourself, you are all inAre you all in?

People do not always say it, but this faith walk is a continuous path.  There are so many things that could be shared, but are not.  Who knew a part of my journey would include discovering my bottom line?  It makes sense and was necessary, but who knew?  It was there that I prayed by faith for God’s blessings and protection of my life.  It was there where I began to have a deeper appreciation for the seriousness of ministry—of sharing my time, talents, and money.  How interesting?  It was there, where upon reflection, that I am able to see something that continues to amaze me.  Such awareness continues to press me.  In the midst of the delicate balance, between the breaths, the laughs, the tears, the ups, the downs…right there…in those moments…I still gave time, talent, and money.  Admittedly, in hindsight I can understand it better.  I can treasure and respect its symbolism.  Its lessons continue to empower me.  In my poverty, by faith, I gave.  Like the poor widow, in so many ways I put in all I had to live on.  I have an idea of what that feels like, and of what it means.  Do you?

Woman Praying

Once you know your bottom line, you understand what can be built upon it. 

Faith Activated

This time of year, I often find myself especially reflective. A few weeks ago, I reread the Christmas Newsletter I created a year ago. As I read it, I found myself smiling because every single goal I wrote for 2014 I accomplished. I know that God orchestrated them all, yet there are some in particular that I recognize as awesomely miraculous.

‘…Be strong, all you people of the land,’ declares the Lord, ‘and work. For I am with you,’ declares the Lord Almighty. —Haggai 2:4

There have been times during the year when I had to hold on to hope, to trust love, and to truly knowing that God was with me. In that knowledge, I found the security I needed which confirmed within me that all would be well. I continued to work; I continued to push–to grow stronger–through those times which seemed hard, but in hindsight I now rejoice. As a result of operating in faith:

I updated my blogging experience by starting this one;
I finished drafting a book which is being edited;
I have expanded my professional area of practice;
I am consciously surrounded by people who truly love, support, and encourage me;
I am focused and creatively developing my 2015 goals;
I am happier and stronger and I know that all is, in fact, well.

Through the ups and downs of 2014, I can honestly say, I have made progress from a year ago and am better positioned because I held on, believed, and put in the work. Now, at this year’s end, I find myself, when making decisions, asking one thing, “Is God with me?” The answer determines my presence which determines my participation. The answer builds my strength. The answer allows me to do it with greater faith than my fear—Faith Activated…is yours?

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