Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Do Something


Rock your city. I dare you. Rock it. What do I mean? Be a light, make a difference! My church is knee deep in the middle of an annual, state-wide volunteer project that we call Rock This City. We are joining with churches in our respective communities and being the hands and feet of Jesus. Practical application of our faith. It’s a pretty fantastic event! But the thing is, we shouldn’t be waiting for August to roll around to be putting our faith in action. We should be serving those around us ALL of the time!

James 2:17 sums it up best: faith, if it has no works, is dead (NASB). We are commissioned be there for the humans we encounter every day of our lives. And I’m not talking about things that we are “required” to do—like donating for charity jeans day. Or the things that we like to publicize to make ourselves look good—on Facebook, Instagram, etc. Especially not the things we are asked to do an grumble about the whole time. We are to do these things with a joyful heart. If somebody asks you for help, and you complain bitterly during the entire process, you are not being an example of Christ’s love.

I am inspired by a group of wonderful ladies who have decided to take a collection at Bible study every week to help people or charities that they know of in our community. The best part? They’re planning to stay anonymous. They’re not doing this for their own glory, they’re doing it to better the Kingdom of God.

If you’re poor (like me), don’t fear! Being a servant to others certainly is not only for those who have money to spare! We can serve the Lord with our time as well. Joyfully donating your time to projects is just as valuable in eternity.

To my fellow Fresh Lifers—I’d like to challenge you to keep serving your community after RTC is long over. To my other readers—get out there. Make a difference. Don’t be the one who could have, but didn’t.

Always,
Jaci

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Through Thick And Thin

A lot has happened in this past year. A lot of good. A whole heck of a lot of difficult. But it's amazing to look back and see all of the wonderful people that God has placed in my life to help me through. Whether it was friends who gave me stuffed animals, flowers and hugs in the many times of mourning. An amazing mother to call and pour my heart out to. Friends who dropped everything to come be with me when I was sick. A roommate who saw me depressed, called in sick, got me ice cream and Channing Tatum movies. Someone who held me close while I cried over the distance of my family. Or even the people who just made me laugh, told me God has plans for me, high fived me at church, made my life a beautiful place. I've had so many selfless, supportive people by my side. I just want to say thank you. To all of you. I love you all so much, and I'm so lucky to have you in my life.

These people are an amazing example of what God wants for us: to love our neighbors. Everyone goes through stuff. We all have our struggles, our pain. That's why we need each other. We need to be the kind of friends who are there when nobody else will be. Not like Job's friends, like Daniel's friends. When things started going bad in Job's life, his friends turned away and mocked him. They stabbed him in the back and dug the knife deeper. On the opposite end of the spectrum, when Daniel and his friends found themselves in the worst situation of their lives? They stuck together. They followed God wholeheartedly, and when they were on the verge of being killed for their beliefs-they endured.

No matter what is going on in someone's life, they need someone to stand by them and be there for them. They need real friends. Loving your neighbor isn't simply being polite to the people you don't like. It's being genuine and real, willing to look past differences and see the plans God has for both of you. Don't be a faker. Be a true friend. God will bless you. Even if you don't see it now. Don't let selfishness get in the way of His plans. Love your neighbor.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Get A Life

What are you doing with your life? It's a menacing question. Some might get offended, "Who are you to ask me what I'M doing with MY life?" But it's a question Christians should be asking each other daily. WHAT ARE WE DOING WITH OUR LIVES? Are we living each day to the fullest? Or are we falling prey to the monotony of the daily grind?Are we doing everything we can to make a difference in our world? We should be. So many people have so many reasons, "Well, my job ties me down. So I can't do much for God." "My children take up all of my time." "I try to talk about God, but nobody listens." The list of lame excuses continue on and on. You can make a difference in the world without being an international evangelist, bestselling author, recording artist, etc. God doesn't expect us to impact every person in the WHOLE world, He expects us to impact the people in OUR world. You don't have to be a public speaker or stellar writer to make an impression. Live for God, surrender even the most mundane moments of your life to Christ. HE will make the difference. When people see the way you treat your children in the grocery store, they will notice. When you smile at someone at work who really grinds your gears, and wish them "Good morning", people will notice (I need to work on this one). When people see you tackle even the most basic of daily activities with joy and patience, they will notice! Believe me, encountering a truly joyful person in this world is like finding a daffodil in the desert. It is an experience people remember.

In the Bible, humans are compared to sheep. A. LOT. We're followers. It's what we do. A new trend comes out, and a herd of people throw down their life's savings to fit in. When there's something interesting to see, a flock of humans gather around to check it out. The same goes for a variety of actions in life. If someone sees you behaving in a godly manner in your daily life, they're likely to pick up some of your Christ-like habits. Others will pick up on their newly found good behavior, and on and on. Before you know it, a whole crowd of people are serving others in their community because of the one time you cared for someone else.

Every action you make every day of your life can have an eternal impact. Don't let the constraints of your current circumstances hold you down. Get out there. Life your life. Make a difference.