Can’t We Just All Get Along!

Romans 12:18-19 – If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.  Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written:  “It is mine to avenge.  I will repay”  says the Lord.

Can you imagine if everyone lived by this rule?  As far as it depends on you and me – as much as we can possibly do – live at peace with everyone.

WHAT?  But they did this to me!  They said that about me and it wasn’t true!!  They took my money.  They stole my job.  They broke up my marriage.  They were mean to my child.

Yes.  All very good reasons to not want to be friends with someone or hang out with them.  Agreed.  Amen.   YOU.. ARE… RIGHT.  Now……feel better?  BUT Paul says that as far as it depends on each one of us individually we are to live at peace with everyone if at all possible.  And that is so very hard.

How is it possible?  I believe it is only possible by reading verse 19 and believing that  God is in control of everything.  That verse goes on to say that we are not to take revenge ourselves.  We are not to try to pay back the person for the wrong they did but rather to trust God that He is going to make it all right again; that He is going to repay and to avenge.  He can handle it much better than we can.  All we would do is make a bigger mess out of it and build up hatred and anger and allow the devil to get a foothold.

This is a hard one for me but I felt God drawing me to these verses and teaching me to LET IT GO!  With all the hatred in the world and the backstabbing in the political realm (no matter what side you fall on) and the conniving and devious behavior, this verse needs to be shouted from the mountain tops!!

Can  you imagine if everyone would try to live at peace with everyone else?!  Just try.  It doesn’t mean you agree with them or you hang out with them or you go to dinner with them.  It just means that you live at peace – no planning revenge, no hatred, no talking behind their backs or making fun of them – just smiling, being kind, praying for them.

My challenge to myself and to you today is to try to trust God in absolutely everything today and let Him take care of repaying those who are not kind to you or who have harmed and hurt you.  Try very hard to pray for them.  Try very hard to live at peace with everyone.  For one minute say a prayer for every person you come in contact with in that minute and ask God to bless them and help them find salvation if they do not already know Jesus.

I’m looking forward to seeing how this “everybody getting along” thing can look like – even if for a minute as far as it depends on me.

Bucket Buddies Delivers 5,000th Bucket!

June 13, 2017 – Bucket Buddies Mission delivers its 5,000th bucket to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio!  We have been blessed beyond belief at the way God has opened the doors and allowed us to make a difference to so many children across North America!!

Thank you to everyone who supports us in any way – through monetary donations, donations of items, volunteering to fill and deliver buckets or praying for our mission.  Read more about Bucket Buddies Mission here. 

5,000 Buckets Delivered in 21 States and Canada since July, 2014!!

Thank you, Anna for being a part of our journey with Cincinnati Children’s Hospital!

Keep Or Pitch?

I’ve been doing a lot of decluttering this year.  One of my New Year’s goals was to get everything OUT that I didn’t want IN.  It’s a simple concept really but the action takes quite a while.  Probably the bigger chore though is the decision of what you keep or what you pitch.

Some things are obvious but others may have sentimental value or you may think “I might be able to wear that someday” or “what if I need that in the future”?

One of the harder decisions for me was some of the art work the girls made when they were younger.  I know….I know.  They are 27 and 23 years old but some of those things have sentimental value as I can remember their sweet little faces as they gave it to me or even the agony of trying to create something just perfect to display at the art show or get a decent grade from the teacher.

Some of the art pieces themselves had sentimental value to them as well.  Although I have it saved in pieces because it fell apart over the years, Morgan made a mobile that had Styrofoam cones on it with pictures of people she had lost in her life and wanted to honor.  One of the cones had a picture of her grandma.  Another one had a picture of her favorite teacher, known as “Sned”.  Two cones included pictures of her uncles and they were all held together by a cone that was made into an angel.  Who could get rid of that!!!

The green turtle jewelry holder or fish toothbrush holder; the paper mache “Hang Loose” Hawaii hand; the mask that had the Tennessee Lady Vols names on every petal of the flower; the painting of the village with sports equipment as the buildings.  Who could seriously part with those things?  Answer:  probably anyone who wasn’t the mom or dad.

But to parents those things are precious.  To us, those kids didn’t make junk.  They made creations.  That’s how God looks at us.  We are all different in looks and personalities and attitudes and talents.  But God looks at us and says “I’m going to use that one to help bring my other wayward child back home.”  Or “I’m going to let this one wait on the shelf a while until she learns to trust me.”  Or “I’m going to create the most beautiful experience by using this one and that one to bring glory and honor to me.”

God didn’t make any junk and He will never pitch us away into the trash.  He wants to keep us.  Do we want to be kept in His loving arms forever or do we want to throw it all away on the junk and the sin in this world?   It’s your decision.

I choose to keep Him.

World’s Largest Pitch-In!

Tis the season of backyard BBQ’s and pitch-ins.  It’s always so fun to gather with friends and family for a pitch-in meal and enjoy the beautiful summer days.

I know when we have a pitch-in, we all usually have our specialties that we bring.  For me it’s baked mac & cheese and desserts.  I love to bake.  When I am hosting a small group, my go-to meal is baked chicken breast casserole and twice-baked potatoes.  My friend, Pam makes the best fruit salad with this awesome glaze.  It’s funny how we all seem to have a favorite dish to share at pitch-ins.

I was thinking today about how this world is just one big pitch-in that God has invited us to be a part of.  He has provided the location and the most important part…salvation. He invites us to bring what we do best to make a difference to the world.  He gave us talents that we can use for Him to spread His word to this large world.

Why would we not want to be a part of the biggest event in history – bringing the word of Christ to a fallen world?!  Your contribution may not be evangelism or preaching or teaching.  But I guarantee you that God has given you exactly what He needs you to bring to this pitch-in.

Can you show His love to others with a card, a meal, a visit, or a phone call?
Can you share His word with an act of kindness to a stranger at the mall or the grocery store?
Do you have an extra couple of dollars to pay for the meal of the car behind you in the drive-thru line?
Do you feel God calling you to pay a bill for someone or buy groceries for a struggling mom?

Whatever God is calling you to bring to the pitch-in, don’t let Him down.  You have a specialty just like your Ooey-Gooey Chocolate Cake or special Baked Mac & Cheese.  God wants you to be a part of making a difference to those who don’t know Him by bringing your specialty to the pitch-in.

Get out the recipe book of Life – your Bible.  Spend some quiet time seeking the Host and asking what He would have you bring to the gathering.  There’s no starting time and it goes on until He calls us home.  I look forward to seeing what you will bring to the World’s Largest Pitch-In as we serve the Lord together!