Tag Archive: light

  1. Serve…and You will be Served!

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    Work with enthusiasm, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. ~Ephesians 6:7

    A few days ago, I arrived in Minnesota to visit my sister.  We haven’t really had a true visit since my 40th birthday so it was long overdue.  Considering the time constraints, we devised a plan for making the most out of our weekend.  One of the purposes for this weekend was the release of her second book.  Her daughter wanted to throw her a party to commemorate the event, which didn’t leave a ton of extra room.

    Use what you’ve got.

    As we were organizing our schedules, she realized that this same weekend was the weekend her family volunteers at the church soup kitchen.  Two events would take a chunk of our visit time from us, one we could potentially get out of.  She informed me that if I would rather not do the soup kitchen, she could probably get out of it.  I didn’t even hesitate in my response.

    I have a mission mindset when I go places–and this was no exception.  Jesus came to serve and I too have a desire to serve.  I was given plenty of opportunities this weekend to do just that.  The post isn’t meant to brag but instead to give my readers the chance to see things differently, to identify needs and help fill them for others.  You can be the salt and light, servant to others, even in the everyday ordinary routines of life.

    No Mission Trip Required!

    My first serving opportunity came in the form of doing dishes.  Traditionally, in my sister’s house, the dishes are her kids’ job.  I wasn’t altogether sure it was still the habit but I knew that someone would be blessed with the break if I did them.  Putting away most of the dishes, at least the ones I knew where they went, lessened someone else’s workload.

    The second serving opportunity began midday Friday.  Her daughter, the hostess for the book release party, had some sort of stomach issue the day before and was not feeling her greatest.  In an effort to make sure it wasn’t something someone could catch, she was kept at a lengthy distance from the food.  Quickly jumping in as a substitute, I was my sister’s sous chef, chopping veggies, baking goodies, making punch, decorating, and cooking appetizers.  It took nearly four hours to have everything ready for her guest arrivals but it went off without a hitch.

    Next serving opportunity was the start of Saturday.  We drove across town to a church to prep, cook, and serve a lunch meal to about 80 homeless people.  Our menu of choice was breakfast burritos, hash browns, fruit cup, and dessert bread.  I cooked all of the meat, warmed up the precooked eggs, assembled the burritos, and towards the end, helped package up the boxes.  We were there for about 3 hours but time flew by because our spirits were filled with joy.


    Find creative ways to serve.

    Saturday night was my final serving opportunity. I gave my sister and her husband a night off.  Usually when I come to visit, I try to babysit for her so that they can go out on a date.  This time around her daughter was gone to work at church camp and her sons are too old to be babysat.

    I had asked many people about things to do in her city and even googled it.  Coming up with several options, I read off a list of things I could take the boys out to do.  This may not seem like a big deal to some but for them it was bigger than usual.  She tried to stop me, knowing what it could cost, because she didn’t want me put out.  Unbeknownst to her, I had budgeted for big!

    While I was on a date with my four nephews, my sister and her husband were able to go on their own date for a couple of hours.  They do go on dates pretty regularly but don’t typically have extra things for their kids to do while they are enjoying date night.  The boys and I went to Adventure Zone.  We were going to do rock climbing, mini golfing, play arcade games, the batting cages, and play laser tag.  Unfortunately, most of those activities were temporarily shut down or our time ran out.

    Bless and you will be blessed; serve and you will be served!

    Although we didn’t get to do everything we set out to do, we had a fun experience.  When we discovered that things were not working, I approached the ticket counter to inquire about the situation.  I had already purchased the package that let us do all of those things.  The gentleman apologized for the inconvenience.  He stated he couldn’t refund my money but wanted to give me five wrist bands to come again another day–for the same attractions!

    Now the boys will have another opportunity to enjoy a fun outing, even if I am not their date.  They could even wait until their sister returns and all go together, enjoying sibling time.  Their parents could enjoy another date night at the same time.  Win/win.

    I get great joy in serving others, outside the box.  Yes, you can, and should, serve in the mundane.  Wash someone else’s dishes.  Clean the bathrooms for the church.  Carry groceries for an elderly person.  Help your friends move into their new home.  Babysit someone else’s kids, without expecting cash, gifts, or even a thank you.  Watch someone else’s kids before they ask!  Drive someone to the doctor.  Bring a meal to a person who has been in the hospital, lost a loved one, or even just because you want to surprise them for no reason.

    Be creative.

    Jesus, the King of kings, washed peoples’ feet.  The least you can do is take out the trash.  I promise you, your reward will be great.  You may feel it internally because the Spirit connects with your giving spirit.  Or you may receive the “well done, thy good and faithful servant” when your serving time finally ends.

    Serve as though you are serving the Lord.  He deserves all that we can give…and more!

    If you are looking for ways to serve, you can order Holy Hygge, The Power of Serving Others, or Developing a Servant’s Heart.

    This blog occasionally uses affiliate links and I may receive a small commission. Your purchase supports the website at no extra cost to you. I only endorse products or books I have personally used/read and approve of.

    Thank you for your support! 

  2. Being the Light

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    Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.” ~John 8:12.

    Have you ever seen people that just seem to be attractive and eye catching but you can’t place your finger on the why?  It isn’t that they are ugly, they just are not screaming gorgeous in their appearance.  You can’t take your eyes off of them.

    They have something in them different from ordinary people.  We are often attracted to the things we do not have.  “Opposites attract!”  You were once seeking out what you didn’t have, too.

    It is easy to be in their presence and you find yourself seeking more opportunities to be near them. 

    I once heard a story about a pastor shopping with his wife.  She wanted to go to the mall to find a few outfits for an event they would be attending.  Faithful husband that he was, he held her purse and followed her throughout the store.

    They moved from store to store, weaving in and out of clothing racks for hours.  She tried on outfit after outfit.  He would hold things up for her to see.  When she would try something on and it wasn’t the right size, he would go back to the rack in search for the perfect fit to bring to the dressing room for her.

    After many hours of shopping, they ended up in a large department store and he was tired.  His wife sweetly allowed him to take a break on a nearby bench.

    At the same time they arrived at the mall, miles away, another lady was driving around contemplating taking her life.  She had lost everything and felt as though she was in the depths of despair.  Grieving what could have been, not knowing what to do.  She had lost her job after calling in too much.  Having experienced the death of her child and then a divorce from her husband, she was alone.

    Grief causes us to think poorly and even appear crazy to others.  Seclusion from others was the only way she felt she could cope.  After many weeks of this, her boss let her go.

    One choice can change a person’s life drastically.

    Wanting to get out of the house to think, she drove for miles.  Driving in circles and for hours, she nearly ran out of gas when pulling into a parking lot.  It was there in that lot that she began to cry out to Jesus.

    Okay, Lord, I really don’t know if you exist.  I am not sure what it means to believe in you.  Things have been as bad as they could be.  I am not strong enough for this and I cannot handle it.  I have thought about being done with it all and then my misery would end.  People have told me that you are the answer but are you?  You haven’t been there for me before.  You don’t seem to care and probably don’t even know who I am.  If you are who they say your are then give me a sign.  I can’t do life by myself.  I need help!  To truly believe in you, I need to see the light.  Show me the way to you.  Illuminate my path because I don’t know how to walk this journey.

    As the lady opened her eyes, she noticed a beam of light coming from the doorway of the mall.  Her eyes couldn’t believe what she was seeing.  Blinking several times, she looked around to see if anyone was watching her.  Even thinking to herself, Is this happening?  Am I crazy or seeing things?

    Exiting the car, she walked slowly in disbelief to the entrance of the mall.  Cautiously looking around, she entered the doorway.  Defined on the ground was a path of light, bright as the sunshine.

    There is no mistaking the Light of the World.

    For hours, this lady walked the path being lit up for her.  In and out of stores, she walked.  Weaving between clothing racks and stopping near the dressing room several times, she diligently trekked on.  Nothing would stop her from seeing where this path was leading.

    Leaving a major department store she saw a man sitting on a bench by himself.  Puzzled by his appearance, she couldn’t take her eyes off of him.  There wasn’t anything extraordinary about him.  He was an older gentleman, sitting next to several shopping bags and holding a lady’s purse.

    The powerful light stopped right at his feet.  With bewilderment, she slowly approached the man.

    “Excuse me, sir?” she questioned.  Responding as he opened his eyes from praying, “Yes, what can I do for you ma’am?”  “This might sound strange, I believe you are supposed to pray for me but I am not sure why you,” tilting her head to the side, as she replied.

    Sitting down next to him, she proceeded to tell him the whole story.  Giving details of her sad events, sitting in the parking lot talking to God, and the mysterious light that led her to him.

    The pastor softly chuckled and shared that he had been praying for her.  Of course that made absolutely no sense to her and he could tell so he began to explain his side of the story.

    He shared the tail of his shopping excursion with his wife and how he almost didn’t come along.

    God needs us to be the light for others to see Him.

    Earlier that morning he arose to the task of needing to work on his sermon.  His wife wanted company while she shopped but he hadn’t even started preparing his message yet, for the next day’s service.  The Lord told him the title was “Be the Light.”  He began to pray for wisdom and clarity for that message.  God said to go shopping with his wife.  The pastor had no real desire and felt it would be wasting his sermon prep time but he obeyed.

    Walking around the mall, throughout each store and in between the racks, he prayed about his sermon.  Asking God, what would you like me to say to encourage people to “Be the Light?”

    For hours he prayed and walked until he was exhausted.  Resting on the nearest bench, with eyes closed in prayer, he heard “excuse me, sir.”

    This pastor chuckled to himself when she got done with her story because his prayer was answered through hers.  He knew how God operated and yet it still amazed him.  He began to tell her the story of the one True Light of the world.

    We are called to be the light of Jesus for others to see.  Use this example of the pastor to remind yourself that everyday is a new opportunity to be the light into the world, whether at a pulpit or in the mall.

    Be the Light!