At times, common sense is intensely thought provoking. It can leave you feeling smacked by a 2×4 between the eyes.
I am experiencing many of those aha moments while reading Becky Halstead’s book, 24/7: The First Person You Must Lead Is You. Now that I think about it, I’m surprised I am not suffering from cranial hemorrhage after these frequent blows. 🙂
This is a book filled with sound advice and encouragement for those desiring to be at their personal best in their sphere of influence. Why not check it out for yourself? It is available from Amazon in paperback and on Kindle.
Come on, don’t be afraid of a few strikes on the forehead. Surf on over to Amazon or Becky’s website, www.beckyhalstead.com. I guarantee the ride is worth it!
A section of my daily work commute never ceases to amaze me with its beauty; ash, oak, and maple stand majestically with their arms arched over either side of this route. The last few days while dressed in winters finest, their limbs tirelessly stretch to reach as far across as possible creating a canopy for travelers that is just as visually pleasing to look at through the rearview mirror as it is through the windshield. The New Year and the Old Year are much like those hardwoods; persistently working so carefully to create a beautiful merging of the past and what will be. It is the shaping of who we are. We look back through the shade of the previous year to see triumph and failure, health and sickness, joy and tears, birth and death. Then as we peer into the uncertainty of the new, we hope for more of the good and less of the bad. However, it is not the circumstances that create the beautiful vista, but how we deal with them. (Proverbs 11:14, Proverbs 16:9,Galatians 6:7-9)
My child, do not forget in every situation each person’s motives will be exposed, but it is My job to bring them out in the open for all to see; each one will receive the “Well done” they deserve. (1 Corinthians 4:5)
A multi-colored view of a kaleidoscope (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Mirrors, haphazard objects and light when put together can create the most complex and colorful reflections. With each turn of the kaleidoscope, a mish mash pattern of beads and bits of glass changes into a beautiful symmetrical pattern created by the reflections in the mirrors. Without the light entering into it, there can be no beauty. Our lives are much like a kaleidoscope with their random and radical, mundane and miraculous events, but without God’s light shining through us, He cannot transform us into beautiful reflections of Him. ( Luke 11:35-36, John 8:12)
A water bearer in China had two large pots, each hung on the ends of a pole, which he carried across his neck. One of the pots had a crack in it, while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water. At the end of the long walk from the stream to the house, the cracked pot arrived only half full. For a full two years, this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water to his house. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, perfect for which it was made. However, the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it was made to do. After 2 years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream. “I am ashamed of myself because this crack in my side causes water to leak all the way back to your house.”
The bearer said to the pot, “Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of the path, but not on the other pot’s side? That is because I have always known about your flaw, I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back, you have watered them. For two years, I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate the table. Without you being just the way you are, there would not be this beauty to grace the house.”
Hmmm… like that cracked pot, God finds value in each one of us and gives us special abilities to accomplish amazing things for Him… if we are willing.
Picture a pond, its surface as smooth as glass. Suddenly a small pebble cast into the water causes ripples to extend outward. Paying it forward, passing on a kindness to someone instead of paying it back, is the pond and blog awards are the pebbles. The water’s stillness is time spent with God, asking in what direction to throw the next pebble, while each ripple is encouragement to the blogger to remain strong, courageous, and persistent in the effort to express the truths of God’s Word. (Hebrews 10:24-25)
It may be unusual to pay forward more than one award at a time, but after many conversations with a dear friend and Sister in Christ via e-mail, I am encouraged to toss them into the blogging pond. Holding these pebbles because their requirements unsettle me is not the focus, but God in the spotlight Who gives each blogger his/her skill in expressing Truth. So, I will not be including the original requirements for each award, but instead encourage you to creatively highlight our Savior, just as Drusilla Mott and Spirit Sisters have done with the ABC Award.
If you read any of my earlier posts about awards, you know how I feel about the requirements attached to them. It is not my desire to bring the focus back to myself, but to my Creator, which is the reason for God in the Spotlight in the sidebar. Thank you, Jesus, for giving me this platform and skills to express the many hmmm moments You teach me about Yourself. More thanks to Drusilla for passing this on to me, but especially for the tweaking of its requirements. Dru, you creatively brought the spotlight back to The One most deserving of any credit.
Like Dru, I will try to describe my Creator using the ABC’s, since it is not about me but all about Him. Hmmm… will I be able to describe Him differently than Dru already has?
Breaks the chains of sin
Chases away darkness
Draws people to Him
Forever and ever
Is a person
Just wants you to acknowledge Him
My refuge in times of trouble
Never turns His back on you
Offers second chances
Quick to forgive
Very great reward
Waits patiently for you
Xalted (I know, the e is missing)
Zeros in on the truth
As for paying forward this award and others like it, I will spend time with my Creator seeking His advice because I want to “give with the right heart attitude, which is to encourage others in the body of Christ as they seek to Glorify God” (Anne at Freedomborn)