Friday, August 24, 2012

What's your purpose?

Ever wonder what is your purpose here on earth?  Let me assure you, we each have a specific purpose for being here, even if we don’t   feel like it sometimes.  Point in case ME… this morning, on the porch having a pity party ( I have those sometimes, no one’s invited though…sorry).  As I took inventory of my life; well into middle age, widow, work as a secretary for the past 15 years, who really needs me, I move slower, I wear jewelry with a sweat suit, I strike up conversations with strangers in a store, sometimes they respond, sometimes they look at me like I’m Osama Bin Laden in drag…yada, yada, yada…what do I do that rocks the world…I mean REALLY?

So with that baggage first thing in the morning, here comes the pity and the heaviness you get when your joy has dissipated, in my case intentionally. Why do we do that to ourselves?  I dunno…

As I read my devotional by Chuck Swindoll he said this “Two words will help you when you run low on hope: Accept and Trust. Accept the mystery of hardship, suffering, misfortune or mistreatment. Don’t try to understand or explain it…then deliberately TRUST God to protect you by His power from this moment until the dawning of Eternity.”

Many of us have quoted this scripture “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28  But do we really mean it?  Do we really believe that those not so nice things that go on in our lives that have not been blocked by God, can serve as a purpose to mold and make us into the person that He wants us to be?

Purpose…what is my purpose? We all have as Anne of Green Gables says “visions of grandeur” but is that necessarily our purpose?  Maybe it is, but maybe it is not.  My purpose is to be HIS purpose.  Dictionary .com says that purpose is “the reason for which a thing exists…”

So instead of me sitting around feeling sorry for myself and singing my greatest hits “Oh Woe is me”, “Nobody knows de trouble I seen” and “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot”…I better get off my Dukus and be thankful for the “Purpose” that I am walking in day to day.  Things in this life may not have turned out the way I wanted them to, but I must ACCEPT and TRUST that as I submit and commit my life to God, the One that knows all the details, will certainly work all things out for my good.  May not understand everything, but isn’t that what faith is?

My purpose?  Being me…Oh! He has a lot to work on with me; I am definitely a work in progress. But as I’m on this road that He has set before me, hopefully I will fulfill my purpose in Him. Accepting my not so perfect self but realizing that a perfect God is in control of my life.   That’s my goal and I know He will help me every step of the way.
(Pictures courtesy of my Teapot collection)  :-)

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Seeds of Hope

“ I have nothing in my own self and yet I have it ALL in Christ. Can God use a life that has made so many mistakes, has fumbled so many times and has been such a disappointment to myself and others?  I believe so…humbly, humbly recognizing that I am but a vapor and yet God can use me to plant a seed of hope into the heart of someone searching for the Truth.”  I wrote this on a piece of paper and stuck it in my Bible a while ago.  I found it yesterday and it started a flood of memories…
I cannot remember her name; only that she was a neighbor that lived up the street.  She would see me sitting on my porch and would stop by and somehow the conversation always got around to her past life.  She would openly share how she was a bad mother, going out late at night, partying all the time, neglecting her family, until one day God came into her life, changing her, making her the person that she really wanted to be.  I remember listening, but thinking “I’m not such a bad person as she was.”  But deep down inside, I was hurting, and needed a Savior, someone to love me through all my mistakes, heartache and secret shame.

The seeds of hope were planted in me through that woman being so transparent with me so long ago; and even though I did not get it then, a short while later when I was at the end of my rope, her words came back to me crystal clear, “Jesus saved my life”.  I wonder sometimes how she is and if she knew that what she was telling me would one day change my life forever. In  the book of  First Corinthians 3:7-8 Paul talks about how one person plants, another will water, but it is God who actually gives the increase.  Each of us have a very important job to do, we may never see with our own eyes the fruits of our labors and really we should not look for a reward here on earth for any good we may have done, but we must be faithful to do what we are called to do.
To plant seeds of hope may not be as big as your dreams but if you are faithful it will give an increase down the road.  Because someone planted hope into my neighbor years ago, she planted in me, bringing an increase in my family, so that now I see that increase in my grandchildren…

What about the person that planted seeds of hope into Billy Graham…and now millions of people have been planted with seeds of hope and it continues…
To my neighbor, wherever you are now dear lady, thank you for being faithful and obedient to share your story of hope to me on that North Philadelphia porch that day. I may not see you again on this earth, but somehow I pray that God will let you know that the seed you planted in me was good seed and it not only saved my life, but the lives of my husband, son, relatives; opportunity to plant seeds of hope to many in the prison systems of New Jersey that we visited for 18 years; through song to many and hopefully many more to come.  Even though we may plant and others water, it is God Almighty that ultimately gives the increase…all praise and Glory to Him!