I have a friend and her husband who have just been “commissioned” to go on a mission in Ecuador. Being “commissioned” is a big deal! To be commissioned for a specific mission is to entrust that person or group of people with supervisory power or authority. It is authority granted for a particular action or function (Dictionary.com). In their case, they will be helping and taking care of those who do not have a means for dental care. While not all of us have those specific skills, we are commissioned by God every single day for the sake of the Gospel!
You may remember hearing about Steve Jobs, founder of Apple, when he had cancer and was dying. It was said that he was not a religious man. In fact, he never wanted Apple devices to have an “on/off” switch because it reminded him of what death may be like – When we are alive, we are on, but when we die, we just turn ‘off.’ Like most of us, I would say that Steve Jobs was afraid of death. It is fear of the unknown.
Did you ever play the game where you stood with your back to someone, trusting the person would catch you as you let yourself fall backwards? Of course, the whole point to the game is allowing to put your trust in someone else other than yourself. Did you know that sheep demonstrate “trust” in a profound way? They put their trust in the one who is leading them – they hear his or her voice and follow – trusting they will be led to safety.
I have a cure for depression. Every single day when you get up in the morning, write down 5 blessings in your life. Each day must be 5 new blessings – you can’t repeat your blessings. At first, it’s easy – you see the obvious and you begin writing. Day 2, not so hard. Day 3, you have to begin digging a little deeper. By day 6 or 7, it begins to get harder and you begin to realize that even in the smallest of things, you have been blessed. By the second week, one can know without a shadow of a doubt, that God has blessed their life abundantly.
I’ll never forget the day when I was dreading my husband to come from home work. I had made a decision, but, I didn’t know how he was going to react. So, when he walked into the house that evening, I just came straight out with it – no beating around the bush, no hints, just right out it came – “I want to go to seminary.” He says, “You want to do what?” I told him, “It’s what I want and it is the only thing that will make me happy.”
Every New Year that rolls around, I begin to make my list of my resolutions. I’m almost certain that it is about the same each year: Exercise, eat healthy, spend more time with God, and on and on. Every year, I do well the first week. However, by the second and third week come around, I am already back to my old habits and nothing has changed. Why is this so difficult? Why can’t I just do what I need to do – and do it?
Life is about priorities. We do the things that we do every day because it’s what is important to us. We go to work because it is a priority that we earn a living to pay our bills. We send our children to school because it is a priority that our kids get a good education. We exercise because it is a priority that we stay healthy. We make choices every day and rate our choices by what is most important to us. Our actions demonstrate our priorities and what is most important to us.
We often get so caught up in the mundane things in life, that before you know it, we are sitting in the same place – morning to evening – and not doing the one thing we are passionate about and that will bring us joy.
In 2011, the civil wars in Syria resulted in the displacement of more than 11 million people within and beyond the country’s borders. This means that these people have no money, no jobs, no food, and no shelter.
The meaning of faith, “Is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen…By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was made from things that are not visible” (Hebrews 11:1-3).
‘Faith’ is one of the hardest things for us to understand and grasp. I believe that ‘faith’ must be experienced and once experienced, faith grows and we gain more faith. Faith is the work of the Holy Spirit that stirs within us – giving us the strength to ‘let go’ of the things that we can see and can understand – but, does not hold the power of the Spirit.