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All posts for the month February, 2016

Our Light and Momentary Troubles

Published February 27, 2016 by Dawn

Lately, my “light and momentary troubles” have been overwhelming. Neither light nor momentary. In fact, several of them have been recurring over many years, and sometimes, it feels like this battle hit me almost as soon as I got here. So, in the midst of turmoil, I began writing:

What if your light and momentary trials seem neither light nor momentary? What if life always feels like a battle, and an overwhelming one at that? What if you feel like a victim of circumstance that started way before you got here, and then to compound the matter, the devil just won’t let up? Everyone else looks so happy, and life for them seems so good. But for you? You go the short end of the stick. It seems like God is not “for you.” You were shafted.

I had a little pity party last night. Went out to my car, locked myself in and had a good heart-to-heart with God. Stopped saying all the acceptable things and told him all my real feelings. I have no idea what He is doing any more. I just need God to come into this mess. So I prayed.

I laid a lot of questions and emotions at His feet. I just wanted to be emptied of the things I wonder but never ask. I wanted to get real with God, and last night, I was finally desperate enough to be real. . I’m tired of being tormented by illusions. I will fight if I need to fight, in whatever way God feels I need to fight. I will go through things to be able to comfort others and see people saved. But I don’t want to hope anymore. I am sick of feelings, and being hopeful about things that are always just outside my grasp, though happening to everyone else.

God simply responded with peace. He lavished it on me. And I was grateful. I did not want to hear Him speak. I just wanted to be comforted. The truth is, life is both good and bad. But when it is bad, it’s usually right when I have been obedient in something and full of hope. Literally, all hell breaks loose. Demons I can’t fight with leave me feeling terrified, bewildered and completely defeated. 

Sometimes, it’s hard to hold on to hope. It’s hard to see past the things I long for. It’s hard to believe God when it hardly seems like He’s working on those things He has spoken of. Yet He is not silent when I ask Him not to speak to me of them again. He continues to fill me with hope and a vision, even when I’d rather not hear about it.

The hardest part is, I know God is trustworthy. He just seems unconcerned about my insurmountable needs. He gives peace when I cry out for something tangible. I plead for Him to “fix this!” and He just comforts me in it. He hasn’t rescued me from this mire. He just holds me in it.

I opened my Bible to read the next day and this scripture spoke immediately: “Be strong, and let us fight bravely for our people and the cities of our God. The Lord will do what is good in his sight” (2 Samuel 10:12).

My heart is set on things, like ministry and marriage. I don’t want to give up hoping for them. I am having a hard time accepting God’s timing. It’s confusing and painful. I want God to do what He said He would do. To fulfill the things He placed in my heart. Or take them! Take them away from me! I don’t want to pine after marriage and ministry. I don’t want to hurt over it anymore! How do I fight in this war? I can’t even understand it most days. It is beyond me and I feel incapable. So I ask, how do I fight faithfully, Lord?

Again, I opened my bible and the old scriptures that bolster my faith were right there:

“Before I was born, the Lord called me; from my mother’s womb he has spoken my name. He made my mouth like a sharpened sword, in the shadow of his hand he hid me; he made me into a polished arrow and concealed me in his quiver. He said to me, ‘You are my servant, Israel, in whom I will display my splendor.’

“But I said, ‘I have labored in vain; I have spent my strength for nothing at all. Yet what is due me is in the Lord’s hand, and my reward is with my God … because of the Lord, who is faithful, the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you.’

“In the time of my favor I will answer you, and in the day of salvation I will help you. I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people, to restore the land and to reassign its desolate inheritances, to say to the captives, ‘Come out,’ and to those in darkness, ‘Be free’ … For the Lord comforts his people and will have compassion on his afflicted ones … See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me … those who hope in me will not be disappointed” (Isaiah 49:1-4, 7-9, 13, 23).

As God continued to speak in spite of me, I began to feel guilty about my bitterness and the way I approached Him in my anguish. I began to plead for forgiveness, but the Lord silenced me and said, “These are the moments that define our relationship. These moments when you trust me with the things you often hide, choosing false piety over honesty. Trying to protect me from things I already hear and see. But then, you say what you really feel and find that I love you still. And realize anew how much you love me. These are the moments that show the strength of our love. These light and momentary troubles that reveal an even greater glory that does indeed outweigh them all.”

The beauty of this struggle is that His comfort is enough to get me to continue on even when I don’t think I can. Or want to. His comfort gives me strength I do not have. His peace floods me and fills places that would otherwise be dry because nothing else goes that deep. Can I hold on to God even when I wonder about His goodness and faithfulness? Can I trust Him enough with my feelings even when they don’t sound like something that’s acceptable to say to His sovereignty? Does He love me enough to endure my emotions? My doubts? It turns out, He does. And I am humbled and so very grateful.

 

Lord,

You are faithful, even when I am faithless. You love me in spite of myself. Thank you for your comfort and peace. Thank you for understanding my humanity. I appreciate the unconditional love you lavish on me, and how you aren’t swayed a bit in your devotion by my emotional storms. Thank you for being a rock and a fortress, steadfast though the tempest roars. Thank you for holding me while I fall apart, and restoring me when the storm is past. I love how you love me. How you love us, Lord, who are otherwise unworthy were it not for Jesus. Thank you, Jesus, for giving me access to the faithful, undying heart of God. Thank you for the greater glory you are preparing through my light and momentary troubles, no matter how heavy and insurmountable they seem. I praise you.

 

Socialism in the Bible

Published February 14, 2016 by Dawn

I have been praying about the topic of socialism for a while because it seems that many people are considering it to be the answer to our prayers. Bernie Sanders, a proud communist, is touting it as the next big step for America, and many people have taken his bait hook, line and sinker. Even many a Christian. So I began to pray about it and God reminded me of Genesis 47:13-21.

It started with a dream.

The Pharaoh at that time had a disturbing dream and could find no one to reveal its meaning. So it was that several years after Joseph had interpreted two dreams in prison, that the man who lived because of it remembered Joseph. He told the Pharaoh he knew someone who could interpret his dream. Joseph was sought and God gave him the revelation: there would be seven abundant years in Egypt followed by seven years of famine.

Pharaoh put Joseph in charge of Egypt, trusting his wisdom to get them through the next fourteen years. So Joseph began to collect the extras during the years of abundance.  Seeing devastation on the horizon, he had the whole land laying up for the famine. When the famine finally arrived, there were storehouses all over Egypt so that when the people’s resources ran out, they had a plan B. Sounds awesome, right?

“There was no food, however, in the whole region because the famine was so severe; both Egypt and Canaan wasted away because of the famine. Joseph collected all of the money that was to be found in Egypt and Canaan in payment for the grain they were buying, and he brought all to Pharaoh’s palace. When the money of the people of Egypt and Canaan was gone, all Egypt came to Joseph and said, ‘Give us food. Why should we die before your eyes? Our money is gone.’

“’Then bring your livestock,’ Joseph said. ‘I will sell you food in exchange for your livestock, since your money is gone.’

“So they brought their livestock to Joseph and he gave then food in exchange for their horses, their sheep and goats, their cattle and donkeys. And he brought them through that year with food in exchange for their livestock. When that year was over, they came to him the following year and said, ‘We cannot hide from our lord the fact that since our money is gone and our livestock belongs to you, there is nothing left for our lord except our bodies and our land. Why should we perish before your eyes – we and our land as well? Buy us and our land in exchange for food, and we with our land will be in bondage to Pharaoh. Give us seed so that we may live and not die, and that the land may not become desolate.’

“So Joseph bought all the land in Egypt for Pharaoh. The Egyptians, one and all, sold their fields, because the famine was too severe for them. The land became Pharaoh’s, and Joseph reduced the people to servitude, from one end of Egypt to the other.”

Socialism begins with a seeming noble cause. There are hungry people and we need to feed them. Poor people whom we need to care for. Sick people who should be well. Socialism steps up and says, “I can take care of all of this, but I need all of you to pitch in.”

Being the kind caring souls that we are, we give away the excess to the central government that will handle all the needs of the people in their appointed time. So the government holds on to all of it until it’s needed, distributing it to each and all. No one has too much, but eventually, no one has even enough. Which causes a greater dependency on the government.

Then the people find that the government is ruthless. Unbending. “You want to be taken care of? Fine. But we live in an age of quid pro quo – what will you give in return?” Desperation cries out, “Anything!” And before you know it, you are subject to the government in exchange for the excess that you put in in the first place. If, as a whole, a land can be thus brought under control, you have a situation where socialism had given way to communism. Communism can easily be replaced by totalitarianism at this point because there is one hundred percent devastation and desperation. And so it will come until finally, a man steps up and says, “I am your answer! Follow me!” And in place of your government, you will elect a dictator.

This is not conjecture. This is history. It has happened before and if we don’t defy it with our vote, we will acquiesce to it. Some will say, “But Jesus would have us to care for the less fortunate, the poor and the sick.”

Jesus did not ask the government to care for the needs of people. He told the church to. He told his followers to. If you have excess, share the wealth! Don’t expect the government to do that for you, because the truth is, it will not. With so much obvious corruption in that body, how can you expect it to be made well on the wishes of people alone?

Psalms 146:3 says, “Don’t put your confidence in powerful people; there is no help for you there.” We have the answer, church, and it isn’t Bernie Sanders or Hillary. It isn’t the government at all. It is us. Giving what we have. Full of power to heal the sick because Jesus said we could! Full of the knowledge that “The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective” (James 5:16). The answer lies in Jesus, and his Holy Spirit operating through the church.
 

 

If You Ain’t Got Love

Published February 14, 2016 by Dawn

Ah, love. It’s in the air, isn’t it? After all, it is Valentine’s Day. I purposed to spend the day with the Lord because He is the Lover of my Soul, so here I am, all dressed up and enjoying the peace and quiet of my house. My kids got snowed in at their dad’s house … what a gift! I got snow and alone time for Valentine’s Day! Can a man out-do God?!

I opened my Bible to pick up where I left off yesterday and found myself right there at 1 Corinthians 13. How appropriate, right? I read through it and realized, as Michael Bolton famously crooned, “You ain’t got nothing if you ain’t got love.”

Paul presents so many ways we serve God and serve others:

  • Speaking in tongues
  • Prophesying
  • Interpreting mysteries
  • Sharing our wisdom
  • Having immense faith
  • Giving to the poor

But he said that if we do all of this without love, it’s nothing. It’s annoying. It’s fruitless.

On a day where I’m loving my dog, loving my outfit and loving the fact that I am having cake and strawberries for dinner without kids, I begin to wonder if I really understand love. Because I feel like I’m full of it, but what does the Bible say?

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails” (13:4-8).

A few years ago, I created a poster with this and hung it in the dining room, only I left out the word “love” and left a blank where we all filled in our names. It created a fruitful challenge in our homes, because there in a place of prominence was the character of Christ we were trying to live up to staring at us in our weakest moments, bidding us to choose love. I loved that thing! In fact, now that I’m thinking about it, I might spend some time today creating another one.

Back on track: Paul went on the say that all of these things we do for God unto others will pass away. Will cease. “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love” (13:13)

When all else is gone, love remains. Want to leave something lasting of your life? Love. Want to make your mark or leave a legacy? Love. As Paul says further along, “Do all things in love” (1 Corinthians 16:14).

On a similar vein, it occurred to me that this is why love is such a target for the enemy. If Satan can destroy our love, he has rendered us completely ineffective in ministry, in our families. In life. Fight the good fight! Protect your heart! Put on your armor and protect the best weapon God has given you!

Are We Really Disciples?

Published February 10, 2016 by Dawn

Yesterday was a snow day, and I escaped to my bedroom for some time to study for my next book. I came across some really great stuff that will help me develop my characters, and also develop some of the internal conflicts I know I want to address. One document in particular blew my mind. It was about the path a Jewish boy takes in education, that begins when he is six or seven, and culminates in a discipleship. I was very intrigued!

Did you know that there were several phases to a Jewish boy’s education? The first step was called the bet sefer, which compares to our elementary education phase. It lasts until the student is twelve or thirteen and centers primarily on memorization and understanding of several key parts of scripture. Namely, the Torah, Shema, Halell, Creation and Levitical Law. These selections were Deuteronomy 6:4-6, Psalms 113-118 ( I bet they breathed a sigh of relief, seeing it stopped before 119!), Genesis 1-5, and Leviticus 1-8. After spending many years focusing on these key parts of scripture, they graduated into Beth Midrash – secondary school. In this part of their education, students learned to apply and debate the scriptures. The most promising of students then went on to Talmidim. That is, they selected a teacher who’s understanding and scriptural application they agreed with, and asked to become his disciple. The teacher would carefully examine the educational and spiritual history of the student before either accepting him as a Talmud or rejecting him. A rabbi could also choose a student based on his credentials, but this was rare.

Jesus blows my mind! He solicited the discipleship of 12 men who would have had this educational background and might possibly have not been selected by another teacher. He invited them to “come, follow me.” He was saying, in effect, “I see great potential in you! Come be my disciple!”

The disciple was not just an enthusiastic member of a band of traveling misfits. It was expected that when a young man took on discipleship, he would abandon himself to the life of his teacher. My favorite explanation was this: “To become a disciple, it was expected that  a Talmud would, with a passion and zeal, give up any and all of their preconceived notions on how to live and embrace their rabbi’s way as the best way to honor God.” **

The disciple would purposefully abandon his own understanding, his own thoughts, and agree that his teacher’s understanding was best. They would intentionally abandon their right to autonomy and agree to the submission and subordinance of their rabbi. That’s an extreme dedication!

With all of this new revelation, I began to wonder about the modern church and what kind of disciples we are. Is the Word we are following and preaching full of our own understanding, or is it the wisdom and knowledge revealed by the Spirit. Not any spirit, for we are told to test the spirits to see if they are from God. Are we following the wisdom of the Holy Spirit, or have we received a false gospel and called it good because it doesn’t challenge us to live a life worthy of the call we have received? Are we striving toward holiness? Our great teacher, Jesus, said, “Be holy, as I am holy.” Are we dedicated to His way of life? Are we loving? Are we full of truth? Are we the light of the world? Are we shamelessly pursuing God in a world that has all but rejected him? Are we dedicated to prayer? How do we respond to brokenness? Are we quoting His words, choosing them over our own? Do we even know His words?

Jesus did not come to rewrite the Gospel, he came to uphold and fulfill it. Are we like him in this respect? Do we acknowledge the law as good? Do we confront sin, and encourage holiness? Obviously, I’ve been very concerned lately about the perversion of grace. Jesus created grace, but he did not spit on the law in the process. He did not encourage believers to give in to their sinful nature because of their seeming inability to abstain. He preached, “Go and sin no more.” Do we believe our Rabbi, and have we abandoned our popular sermons for His truth?

I see a dangerous precedent being set in the church, and it is grievous. To accept the sinful nature is to deny the power of God within us. Jesus, being fully man, lived out a life of holiness because of the Spirit in him. This same spirit we have today! Will we never stumble? No, we might still. But this is different than embracing the darkness within. The Word tells us that light expels darkness! With Jesus in us, the darkness will flee. We will embrace either one or the other. Our Teacher was a force to be reckoned with. Are we?

A few treasures I take away from this: the disciple was first a student of the Word. He meditated on it day and night, and much of it by heart. He also spent hours expounding on it, and listening to the contributions of others. He did not accept everything he heard, but he did not hold so tightly to his own understanding that his mind could not be changed.  After achieving Talmidim, his thoughts, words and actions were no longer his own. He was led by his teacher in all things. His ultimate goal was to become just like his teacher. He was in a constant state of inquiry. “What does this mean to you, and therefore, to me?”

I wonder, dear friend, are we really disciples? Are we allowing Jesus to make his thoughts our own? Are we searching him out through his Word, that is alive and active, or are we learning about him through secondary means? Do we have fellowship with His Spirit, and are we walking closely with Him daily? Have we accepted his superior Lordship and acquiesced to His will in all things? Are we really disciples?

 

**https://www.thattheworldmayknow.com/rabbi-and-talmidim

Is Jesus a liar?

Published February 8, 2016 by Dawn

I was going to go to bed, but I know I’ll be up for hours to come thinking about this, and I just want to work my way through it. It’s been said that Jesus was inclusive, and loved everyone, which I don’t debate. What I do debate is the lack of address to Christ’s message on sin, and that in one of his most famous sermons Jesus revealed God’s exclusivity and ultimate dividing of the people into two groups: those on his right and those on his left (Matthew 25).

There’s such an emphasis on grace in today’s culture that is so liberating, but also deceptive. I believe in grace, and thank God for it daily. But I also know scripture, and one in particular throws a wrench onto the New Age grace. Hebrews 10:26 says very plainly, “if we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sin is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgement and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.”

The New Age grace says “don’t worry about how you live your life. God has no standards anymore because Jesus died for our sins. We can live it up however we want, because there is no more condemnation.” Romans 8:1 says something to that effect, but Satan had twisted it into something untrue. “There is now therefore no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.” But read further on and you will find in 1 John these truths:

“If we claim to have fellowship with him  and yet walk in darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth” (1 John 1:6).

“If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be liar and his word is not in us” (1 John 1:8-10).

“Whoever says ‘I know him’ but does not do what he commands is a liar and the truth is not in him … Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did” (1 John 2:4, 6).

“Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness. But you know that he appeared so the he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin. No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him” (1 John 3:4-6).

”Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. The one who does what is right is righteous. The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning since the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work. No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning because they have been born of God … Anyone who does not do what is right is not God’s child, nor is anyone who does not love their brother or sister” (1 John 3:7-10).

Do I understand that correctly?  That we are not all in Christ? That being in Christ comes with evidence so that we might know one another? I appreciate that about God. He told us we’d know one another by the fruits produced.

 

Those who are in Christ will live a much different life than the rest of the world. A true believer will not live in sin and justify their sin with the message of grace. That was never the purpose of grace. Jesus did not die so we could throw off all inhibitions and live a life of self-gratification. Many new Christians in Paul’s time had similar confusions and Paul told them over and over, “Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not! (Romans 6:1).

“Do we then nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather we uphold the law” (Romans 3:31).

God’s standards, then, still apply. Not as a chain around our necks, but as a loving response. We were unable to fulfill the law before Christ. Now we are free from the bondage of sin and have the law as a loving reminder of what God desires of us. Now we are able to live by those standards because sin has lost it’s grip on us. So then, the sin that exists in our lives can be expelled!

“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful: he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he wlll also provide a way out so that you can endure it” (1 Corinthians 10:13).

Sin, therefore, is a choice made against the better way God provides. It is intentional and devastating.

“Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness. Sin is lawlessness” (1 John 3:4).

“And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness”(Matthew 7:23).

And it is right to say that Jesus was inclusive and loved everyone. He himself said, “If anyone hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge that person. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world” (John 12:47). But Jesus did not say the world would not be judged. In fact, he talked a lot about the judgement to come.

Grace is not a cover for the sinful life. Grace is holding the door open that those who would come before the Lord for forgiveness of sin, a true act of repentance, might approach the throne with confidence. The person determined to live a life unto themselves instead of unto the Lord is hardened and will not approach the throne of grace at all. Because he doesn’t think he needs to be forgiven.

If the Word of God is true, and I believe it is, then Jesus is not a liar and neither is the Spirit of God that ministered the Word to the faithful men who wrote it. They all being in agreement, the liar is the man or woman who preaches a different doctrine than this.

Lord, give us ears to hear. Soften our hearts that we might perceive truth again, and give us discernment so that we can understand and rightly divide the word of God. We cannot understand it on our own, but we believe that your Spirit gives revelation. I pray that the blind will see and the deaf will hear your truth, Lord. We live in an age of compelling false doctrine, but I believe in the power of your Word to dispel the enemy’s lies. I thank you for revelation and I ask for freedom for captives today. Thank you, Jesus, for fighting for us. For dying to set us free and declaring that freedom over us again today. You are a tremendous blessing and a great savior. We love and magnify you. In your precious name, amen. 

The Open Door

Published February 6, 2016 by Dawn

See me. Tell me who I really am. Conquer my insecurities. Give me comfort in your hands. Tell me how you really feel. Reveal your heart to me. I want to know you. Really know you. You have cornered me, isolated me. Now speak, and give me ears to hear. I am dunb without your help. Overwhelmed. Insecure and unsure. Set me free from this grip, break the chains that bind my heart and mind. I’m still struggling to be sure of things. Accepting doubt though the Word is deep inside of me. I’m wasting time because I’m not sure if I can do this thing. I don’t see doors opening, so I still feel bound. Unworthy. Unable and incapable. Broken. In truth, I’m so weary. So tired of trying to figure out what’s wrong with me. Walking but getting nowhere. Talking but reaching no one. Thinking I’m being faithful, but creeping toward faithless because I’m waiting for you to RELEASE me. I don’t even know what that looks like but here, where I’m at now just burns me up inside. I’ve eaten so much of the Word and now I feel it intestinally, burning me up, beggin to be free. Come save me.

I wrote all of this last night in prayer, just listening to all that’s inside and letting it come out. I was writing it on a posterboard, free writing my thoughts and feelings because sometimes, I have to see them. In response, the Lord gave me a visual that I also drew on the posterboard. It was a picture of a caged bird crying. But the saddest part is that her back was to the door, and she had no idea it was open.

Maybe there is an open door, and things are wide open before you, but you haven’t faced it. You want ministry to look a certain way and because they don’t, you stay bound and unsatisfied. You are waiting for release, but not accepting that you are free already. Praying for something that’s already been done, and not walking through the doors you can see because things on the other side don’t look like what you envision. Ministry opportunities that look a lot like every day life, that go undone because it feels too normal. People you disregard because you aren’t sure how they “fit in” to the plan God has for your life. But what if all that God is doing is what He has called you to, and He’s asking you to do the normal and mundane while He prepares you for the bigger and better things? What if His will is quieter than you imagine, and happens inconspicuously while you live it up like Jesus, walking through whatever open doors God puts before you?

Pursuing Him with a Smile

Published February 6, 2016 by Dawn

 ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me. (Matthew 25:40)”

I have decided to not be passive about my relationship with the Lord, and committed myself to actively pursuing Him. But my decision was hasty and I realized right away that I didn’t know really what that even meant. What does it mean to pursue Jesus? I mean, I read my Bible and I pray, but what does it look like to really make an effort to catch His eye. This verse was a rather immediate reply to my inquiry. I asked the Holy Spirit how I can pursue Jesus in the most practical sense, and this is what He said to me. But His wisdom came with a visual that surprised me: it was a simple smile.

A smile is one of the most basic forms of nonverbal communication. Nonverbal communication accounts for 70% of a conversation … Seventy percent! That’s a whole lot of saying something without saying it, isn’t it? But truth be known, people make me nervous, and I really struggle to interact with them. That may come as a surprise given how easy I make it look sometimes, but I pray about most of my interactions before they happen, and plead for the Holy Spirit’s help when I know it’s coming. Honestly, I’d rather not make eye contact, and have no idea how to have a real conversation without some divine intervention. It’s awkward. I’m awkward … see?

I read somewhere of a man who was on his way to jump off of a bridge. He was done with life and decided to test fate: if one person smiled at him on the way to the bridge, he’d turn around and not commit suicide. To maximize his opportunities for a change of heart, he walked toward the bridge, passing so many people on the way. No one smiled. No one even acknowledged him. So when he got there, he jumped. Heaven spared his life. He told this story to illustrate how important our interactions with others can be, even if it’s just a smile. We could save lives!

With this new revelation in mind, I took to smiling this week, and it’s amazing what kind of doors open up, and how easily friendships develop. And how much I actually like my coworkers! I have really enjoyed seeing other people smile in response. Seeing their faces light up. And knowing that with each smile I give, I am really giving them unto Jesus, the Lover of my Soul. That’s something worth smiling about.