Saturday, July 23, 2016

The Granola That Changed My Day

This adventure I'm sharing with Sam (my elderly neighbor) has been quite a change for both of us. 

If you've been reading the blog for a while, you know that Sam's wife of 60 years died back in October. Since then, I've been looking out for him, as I gave my word I'd do. That promise was given in 1989, when we were both much younger, but a promise is a promise, and I've tried to live by it. 

Sam always says, "You're only as good as your word." I intend for my word to be as good as I wish I were.

Because of that decades-old promise, I've helped manage his finances, pay his bills, and buy his groceries. When he stopped driving because of his poor vision, I became his driver. When cooking was too much of a challenge, I became his cook.

Lest you think I'm doing a noble deed, let me dispel that thought. Sam is probably the greatest man who's ever lived. The joy and the blessing are all mine. He's already given me far more than I'll ever give to him. After all these years, we're family and there's lots of love in our relationship.

Sam, at 86, likes to eat "country cooking". He wants sausage and eggs for breakfast. Preferably accompanied by homemade biscuits and gravy. I prefer homemade yogurt and granola with a little fruit. 

Sam likes well-cooked peas, turnip greens, and cornbread. I like my vegetables a little crunchy, and my bread gluten-free.

It's been quite a change for us both, even though Sam agreed to eat whatever I cooked without complaining. I've tried to cook his favorites, but they aren't my usual fare. He's stuck to his bargain, despite my struggles, and has learned to eat cottage cheese and tuna salad, among a variety of new foods.

Day before yesterday, I fretted about our menus all day long. I couldn't think of a single thing I wanted that would also be palatable to Sam. I prayed about it. I cried about it. I whined about it.

After dinner (which wasn't Sam's favorite, and which, after my modifications, wasn't my favorite either), I was downcast. Okay, pitiful might be closer to the truth. Sam had balked at spinach madeline (too spicy) and didn't much care for spaghetti, either. He ate it with a smile and a thank you, but admitted it wasn't his favorite.

I realize, in the big scheme of things, the menu is not important at all. I know that better than most, because I've spent hours this week reviewing all the terrorist attacks of 2016. I've been sick with grief. Maybe that's why I needed something to feel familiar.

I plopped down in my comfy chair and blinked back tears. "I don't know how to do it, Lord. This is hard." There wasn't any one thing that was hard. It was the accumulation of responsibility, and fear of the future that had me rattled. The new schedule. Cooking three meals a day. Continuing to write and do all the other things I do. Rhythm and balance had been hard to achieve.

"I don't know what to do. Just tell me something. Anything. I'll do it."

This sounds crazy as I write it, but the thing that came in my mind was a picture of my orange-pecan granola recipe. "Granola? What kind of answer is that, Lord?" 

I'm not sure that making granola was a word from God, but it definitely helped me. I laughed so hard that all my despair faded as I preheated the oven, gathered my ingredients, and went to work. In less than 30 minutes, the granola was cooling and the aroma of brown sugar, cinnamon, and freshly grated nutmeg filled the house. 

Yesterday, Sam heated the sausage and eggs I'd prepared for his breakfast and I had homemade yogurt, granola, and fruit. He ate at his house and I ate at mine. (He likes to eat breakfast about 8 am. I like to eat breakfast at 5:30) For just a few minutes, life felt normal again to both of us, and it was enough. 

I still find it hard to believe how much emotional strength I gained from that granola, but it was exactly as much as I needed. God knew what would make the biggest different, and that's what He gave. Admittedly, I had to cook it, but even that was therapeutic.

What's equally amazing is that Sam had a container of left over tuna salad and another of leftover creamed style corn. He combined the two and heated it up as a kind of tuna casserole. "It was delicious," he told me later. Sam prepared a meal for himself and it felt like normal to him, too.

We were both equipped to go a little further on this journey of life we're doing together.

It's easy to forget, but we serve an on-time God who loves us and provides everything we need, exactly when we need it. Whether it's finances, strength, or encouragement, our Lord is able to supply, and He does. Every single time.

Sam and I have seen that truth over and over again. This isn't how either of us expected life to be. Sometimes, it's just plain hard. The sweetness, though, outweighs all our struggles. There's not a day that I'm not grateful for Sam, nor him for me. No matter what we decide to eat. 

Just in case you thought Sam is missing out, today we're eating breakfast together. Eggs, sausage, biscuits, and gravy. All his favorites. 

"Consider it all joy, my brethren, who you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing." 

James 1:2-4 nasb
In case you missed it, here's the link to yesterday's post: There's Still Good in the Midst of Evil
Here's a link to The Prayer List 
#persevere #SamWiley #disciple #loveoneanother

Friday, July 22, 2016

There's Still Good in the Midst of Evil

As I drove through town on my way to church one Sunday morning recently, I glanced toward the town hall. The Little Free Library (the only library we have in Blue Springs) was leaning to one side. I didn't have time to stop, but later in the afternoon I went back to check. Mamie's Book Box was so loose it could just about spin on its stand.

I thought, at first, that I could lift it up and reseat it on the screws that secured it to the post. Looking back, I don't know why that made sense, but I gave it a try. 

I lifted it up and quickly found that the only place that wooden box was going was to ground. It was much heavier than I remembered. I managed to lower it with the tiniest of crashes. It scattered the books, but nothing broke.

Well, nothing broke that wasn't already broken.

As it turned out, the Little Free Library had been vandalized. Someone had wrenched it off the bolts that held it. 

Vandalized. The little library I'd done in memory of my mama. With the brightly colored flowers and decorations I'd made by hand. The library Ronnie Rogers had spent hours sealing and painting. The library our citizens had stocked with donated books. 

I was heartbroken. How could someone do something so mean to such a sweet little memorial?

I hate to admit it, because I love Blue Springs more than you can imagine, but there was a little bit of a hard place in my heart about the damage to the library. I wanted to have it repaired, but I didn't have the heart to risk it being vandalized again. Instead, I dragged it into the town hall and left it. Right in the middle of the floor. 

I was at the town hall one day a week or two later and Mike Matkins came over. He'd seen the damaged book box and noticed that it was still not back in place. "I could fix that box for you, if you want. It won't be a problem. I'll put it back on the stand. It'll be easy to fix."

He was so sweet, I nearly cried.

Over this past weekend, he and his brother, Conway Allen, repaired the book box and put it back on its stand. 

My hard place was still having a field day. I drove past there repeatedly and wondered if the vandals would be back. I wouldn't put the books back inside, because I was afraid they'd be damaged, too. 

I hate to admit it, but my desire to protect the book box was more about my anger at the vandals than about the box. 

Yesterday afternoon, I dropped Sam off to get his hair cut and went to check the flag. I could see the little library box from the flagpole and, right there in front of the flag and the roses, I had church. 

I forgave the vandals and gave the box back to God, who gave me the idea for it in the first place. I repented of my anger and thanked God for the ones who'd been so generous in repairing the library. 

Once the box was back in His hands, instead of mine, I gathered the books and arranged them in the box. There's everything from legal thrillers to romance to biographies to devotional books and classics in that library now.

As I closed the door and secured the latch, I was reminded that, in the midst of all the strife and evil of this world, there is still plenty of good. God is still on His throne. He still works through His people. 

And He alway will. 

"Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you." Ephesians 4:32 esv
In case you missed it, here's the link to yesterday's post: The Wine-Tasting Wall-Building City-Saver 
 #kindness #littlefreelibrary #forgive

Thursday, July 21, 2016

The Wine-Tasting Wall-Building City-Saver

Sin is expensive. It always costs us more than we expect. That's what Israel learned. Because of their sinful rebellion, which included idolatry, immorality, and infant sacrifice, God sent them into captivity. He offered mercy and forgiveness first, but the people refused. 

If you read through the book of Hosea, you might not be able to tell pre-captivity Israel from current-day-United States. Sin isn't new. We're doing the same things Israel did, and they're just as costly today as they were in ancient times.

Exactly as God had warned, the people of Israel were carried into captivity in Babylon. Esther, Daniel, and Nehemiah were just a few of the young people who lived in Susa, one of the largest cities in Babylon. All three of them saw a chance to help save their people and they took it.

Today, we're looking at Nehemiah. He was a brave man, in many ways. His job was cupbearer to the king. He tasted the king's wine (or other beverage) before the king drank it to be sure the king hadn't been poisoned. The theory was if it didn't kill Nehemiah, it wouldn't kill the king. 

One day, Nehemiah's brother, Hanani, and a few of his friends came to visit from Judah. They told him about the conditions in Jerusalem. It was bad. The city walls of Jerusalem were still down. The gates were burned up. The people were in danger and distress.

As Nehemiah listened to them describe the horrors in the beautiful city of Jerusalem, his heart broke. The city he loved was in ruins. The people he loved were suffering.

He couldn't get the situation out of his mind. He was worried sick, but what could he do? He was just one man, stuck in Babylon, a captive in the king's palace. 

Nehemiah did the only sensible thing. He fasted and prayed around the clock for days. Finally, he decided to talk to the king, if he could find an opening.

I love his prayer (found in Nehemiah 1:5-11) He recalled God's promises to Israel, confessed his sin and the corporate sin of Israel, and begged God for help and favor with the king.

Nehemiah didn't work his connections first. Nehemiah didn't devise a plan to begin. He prayed. He fasted. He waited. He asked God to make a way for him, and He did.

There came a day when the king asked Nehemiah. "You look sad all the time. What's wrong?"

Nehemiah told him. 

"What do you want me to do?" 

"Send me to Jerusalem and let me rebuild the walls. Let me help my people." 

"Okay. I'll help you," the king promised, and he did.

Nehemiah headed to Jerusalem, knowing he had a limited time there. He had to work fast. 

He met resistance all along the way. There were death threats and arguments and whining people who didn't want to work, but God helped him. In a mere fifty-two days, the walls were rebuilt.

Rebuilding the walls made the city safe, but it was the faith of the people that needed the most repair. Everyone gathered in the center of town and Ezra read the law from early morning until mid-day. The people wept so hard that the Levites had to calm them down. People studied the law in order to understand it, and they tried hard to obey it.

I love what happened next, and it gives me great hope for our messed-up world.

"And the entire assembly of those who had returned from the captivity made booths and lived in them. The sons of Israel had indeed not done so from the days of Joshua the son of Nun to that day. And there was great rejoicing." Nehemiah 8:17 nasb

For the first time, the people obeyed the law completely. This time, they weren't obeying because of habit or because someone forced them. They did what God said because they understood the law and they wanted to obey.

Nehemiah wasn't a supervisor of large numbers of people. He wasn't a builder. He wasn't a teacher. Some people probably looked at Nehemiah and wondered how a wine-taster could possibly do all that needed to be done.

Nehemiah's leadership was fueled by the equipping of Almighty God and driven by his compassion for his city and his people. He was, in many ways, an ordinary man who saw a need and tried to meet it by the power of his extraordinary God. 

God doesn't require us to be "great" men and women to save our nation. He needs willing men and women who will step outside their comfort zone and allow Him to work through them.

He needs people like us, you and me, who will pray and fast, then take the opportunities God gives us. He needs those who are willing to work as hard and as long as it takes.

If God judged the nation of Israel for their sin, He will judge ours for the same sin. Have we passed the point of no return? There are some who think so, but I believe the mercy of God is still possible. IF we repent and return to Him.

As in Nehemiah's day, one man or woman, committed to doing God's work God's way, can still make a difference. Once Nehemiah started, God sent others to help along the way, and He will do the same for us.

What can we do?

Pray and fast. Ask God to break our hearts with the things that break His heart, then ask Him to show us what He needs done, and do it.

He is faithful. The question is whether or not we will be.

One at a time, doing what we can do, God will use all of us to make a difference, so pray. Fast. Listen to God. Allow Him to make a path of favor and aid. Step up. Step out. Do what only you can do. 

A nation looks to you to do your part. Small or large, it matters. 

Be the one.
In case you missed it, here's the link to yesterday's post: The Power of One 
#powerofone #disciple #saveournation 

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

The Power of One

I wrote yesterday about the problem of worldwide terror and the desperate need for individuals to step up and make a difference. 

I often wonder what impact one silver-haired woman in a tiny Mississippi town can make. You may feel the same way about yourself. 

When I look at the lives of people like William Wilberforce, who helped to abolish slavery in Britain, Mother Teresa, who loved the least of us, and Anne Frank, a teenager whose diary humanized the struggle of the Holocaust for the rest of the world, it becomes obvious that one person can make a difference. 

Even an ordinary person like me can make a bigger impact than you may think.

Scores of people have invested in me, loved me, encouraged me, and mentored me over the years. Their investment has reaped dividends in my changed life. 

When I held women as they wept at the recent prayer vigil, my tears mingling with theirs, all those Leanna-investors, in a sense, held them with me. When I spoke about hope last week, all those Leanna-investors, in a sense, spoke with me. Any fruit in my life belongs to those investors, as well.

When I write, the influence of those who've gone before me is evident. Mentors. Fellow authors. Much loved writers from the past. They all have a part in what I do.

What's truly amazing to me is that, when the people I've mentored, loved, and influenced reach out to those around them, my mentors and I have a tiny little part of their reaching out, too. 

It's an ever-increasing ripple. One person can have an impact that's magnified over and over again. My pebble of love can make a ripple that touches hearts around the globe.

We can change the world. One person at a time.

George Muller was a 19th century minister who was a great man of prayer. If he had a need, he took it to the Lord and waited for his provision. Muller never asked anyone for help. Not even once. 

With the provision of God alone (through the donors God prompted), Muller managed to feed and educate more than 10,000 orphans. 

Once, Muller began to say the blessing before a meal without any food in the house. Before he was done praying, the baker arrived with bread for the children. A milk truck broke down outside and the milkman gave him all the milk he needed. Every need was met. His only request went to God alone.

Muller impacted thousands of children and adults during his life, but his story continues to impact people today. One ordinary man, surrendered to God, was used to change the world.

We, too, can be a modern-day Muller. We may not rescue orphans from the street but we can love with the passion of Muller. We can give with the generosity of Muller.

I can't do everything, but I can do that which God places in my path with the passion and love of Christ. You can, too.

Today, let's look around us and do what we can do by the power of God.

Who needs the love we can give? Let's give it. 

Who needs a word of encouragement? Let's speak it.

Who needs a helping hand? Let's offer it.

What one problem are we equipped to impact? Let's do it.

If we all do what we can do, by the power of God, we will make an enormous difference in the world around us. If those we impact do the same, the effect will be more than we can imagine.

Exceedingly abundantly more.

It will never happen if we wait, though. Today is the day. Now is the time. Let's allow God to direct our hearts to the task He needs us to do, and do it. 

A world in turmoil waits for one person to step up and speak the peace and love they long to hear. 

Be the one.

"Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ to all generations forever and ever. Amen." Ephesians 3:20-21 nasb
In case you missed it, here's the link to yesterday's post: Terror and Waging War with Love  and also to After Baton Rouge.
Here's a link to a post about how our efforts are combined: The Blended Fruit#powerofone #disciple #prayer #GeorgeMuller 

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

The Worldwide Problem of Terror and Waging War with Love

I was still reeling from the deadly attack on Dallas policemen when, a week later, there was a terrorist attack in Nice, France. Before I could catch my breath from that, the policemen in Baton Rouge were murdered. 

"This has gotten out of control," I thought, but I had no idea how far out of control the problem of terror has become. 

I've spent some time on Wikipedia over the last few days and found more information than I ever wanted to know. Their facts are well documented. These numbers do not come from the ranting of a political pundit or the rage of a fear-monger. 

I'll share the information for this month, but do not be deceived. The preceding months of 2016 look no better.

In the first 18 days of this month, July 2016, there have been more than 100 "terror incidents" worldwide. At least one incident every single day of this month. 

28 of those events were perpetrated by the Islamic State, with Islamic extremists committing another 8 attacks. Lest you think they are the only terrorists at work, there were attacks by Boko Haran, Taliban, Al Qaeda, PKK, and Al Shabaab, among others.

More than 1,554 people have been killed this month in terrorist events and well over 1,029 have been injured. (Dozens more are known to have been injured but not counted.) 

The Islamic State is responsible for at least 1,312 of those deaths and more than 741 of those injuries. 

Not counted are those who grieve, those who have fled their homes, those who cower in fear of the next attack.

We cannot continue to look the other way. This is a worldwide problem. 

Police, Christians, and even Muslims considered "not Muslim enough" have been killed. Four members of a football team were killed because "football is anti-Muslim." 

Is this jihad? I don't know. It looks to me as if it is killing for the sake of killing.

The terrorist organizations have a strong online presence and have been extremely effective at recruiting new members. Angry, frustrated, marginalized people are drawn into their web of terror on a daily basis.

People are hungry for something to live for, something to die for. That much should be clear to even the most casual observer.

Children of God, we have the answer.

We have something to live for, and Someone who has already died for us.

Sometimes our faith requires that we give our lives rather than denounce Christ, but our faith requires that we LIVE for Him first.

We know the One who can change everything. The One before Whom the entire world will eventually bow the knee. The One all creation will one day proclaim as King.

It's our job to be salt and light in this dark and perishing world. We may not be able to go throughout the world ourselves, but we can certainly help those who do. 

What we cannot do is continue to live life as usual. We must recognize our problem and dedicate ourselves to solving it.

Of course, only God can solve this problem and His solution will require much more than guns, bombs, knives, or machetes. His solution requires the greatest weapon of all, and the most difficult to wield. 

God's solution is love.

I read those words and wonder how love can be a weapon, but I know it's true. God used that very effective weapon of love on my own heart, and completely changed my life.

I saw love soften hearts and break down walls during my 24 hours at the Prayer vigil. 

I've seen love change the hearts of men and women, boys and girls, over and over.

I know love can do its beautiful work again, even now.

How? You'll have to make your own plan, but here's mine. (You are, of course, welcome to adopt my plan.)

I have begun by repenting of every prejudiced, hateful, angry thought and attitude I can recognize. I've asked God to change my heart, and He has. He is.

I've asked God to break my heart with the things that break His heart. Just so you know, His heart is breaking over so very many things these days. A God-broken heart will help you see the world in an entirely different way.

As an individual, I've committed myself to making eye contact with as many people who are different from me as possible, every chance I get, and doing it with a smile attached. 

I want the people I greet to know they are not invisible to me, because they are not invisible to God.

I am making an effort to speak to all those who are outside my usual circle of acquaintances. If I think someone might feel marginalized, I'm trying to speak to them. 

Those are little things, but to a hurting person, they are huge beyond words.

Since all life is important to God, all life must be important to me. The born. The unborn. African. Caucasian. Asian. Middle Eastern. All. And I'm choosing that.

You may not remember when I prayed for the terrorists by name, but I'm about to start that again. If God hears our prayers, and He does, and if He answers prayers that are in line with His will, and He does, it's a vital part of our war on terrorism. I invite you to join me. We'll have a terrorist of the week again, starting one day this week. We need to pray for those leaders who are committed to peace, as well. 

There are thousands of missionaries around the world, many in the most dangerous places imaginable. Your church probably supports and prays for them. (If not, I can recommend a few.) Give your prayers, your concern, and your money. Send them letters of support and encouragement. 

Get involved, here or abroad, but remember, love must start at home. Love the people around you and the people of the world. 

When you love everyone, you're loving like Jesus, who loved us so much that He died for us all, even when we were the least lovable.

How does smiling and greeting someone at the grocery store help with the worldwide problem of terrorism? The solution always starts with one. If each one of us does our part, we will be surprised at how quickly it spreads. Attitudes are contagious, so share a good one. 

Tomorrow, we'll look at the power of just one person. We can make a difference, even with little things, so make a start. Share a smile. Open your heart.

"So now faith, hope and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love." 1 Corinthians 13:13 esv
In case you missed it, here's the link to yesterday's blog post: After Baton Rouge

#terrorism #powerofone #disciple 

Monday, July 18, 2016

After Baton Rouge

The flag was lowered on Friday in a demonstration of sorrow and respect for the victims of the Nice terrorist attack. Before it could be raised again, three more law enforcement officers in Baton Rouge were murdered yesterday. 

I shook my head and blinked back tears. One of my first thoughts was, "We can't even lower the flag for them, because it's already lowered." 

Raising and lowering the flag for Blue Springs has done something deep in me. In a way, I am symbolically grieving on behalf of our town, our state, our nation, as I move the flag up and down the pole.

It's something I can do, but I wish there were more.

Today, I'll go to the town hall, raise the flag for a moment, and lower it on behalf of the men who died needlessly yesterday. I know our President hasn't ordered it, but it's the only tangible thing I can think of to do.

Besides pray.

And I'm doing that already.

Baton Rouge followed too quickly on the heels of Dallas. I'm still reeling from the last massacre of law enforcement officers, my heart still in shock. I guess we all are. When I heard the news yesterday, I was filled with sorrow and horror at a world gone wrong.

We are sin-broken and only a sin-fix can help us. 

We all have a sin problem that began in the Garden of Eden and has shown no sign of dissipating since the beginning of time. We are born in sin and we live in sin, but there is hope. 

God loved us so much that He gave His only Son to die and be raised again to pay for our sin. We can live in His power, His grace, His love. We can be different.

Sin is inherent in our nature but it does not have to control us. It does not have to take control and incite us to plow down men and women who have vowed to serve and protect us. 

Murder is sin.

It's not the only sin, but it is sin. Not an act of heroism. Not an honorable act of martyrdom.

There is nothing to celebrate in murder, and those who think there is are deceived, if not criminally insane.

There is hope, but it is not found in more laws, military or civil might, or social fixes. 

The only real hope is found in humility, repentance, renouncing our sin, and seeking God's face. People of God, it's our turn to demonstrate the kind of repentance that brings change.  

Let's do it together.

Almighty God, You alone are righteous. We confess that we are a sinful people and, as a nation and individually, we have not followed you as we ought.

We confess that we have not loved You with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. We have loved the things the world offers, and they have become idols to us. 

We have tried to balance with one foot in the world and one foot in faith, and we have failed.

We confess that we have not loved our neighbor as You have loved us, much less as we love ourselves. 

We confess that we have allowed our differences to separate us, whether that be skin pigment or socioeconomic status. 

We have not loved life the way You do. We have not stood for life. 

We have not fought against injustice.

We have loved busyness rather than righteousness.

Oh, God, forgive us and make us different. 

Help us to renounce the sin we love and embrace Your righteousness. Help us to love You and our neighbor. Help us to study Your Word and obey.

As a nation, we are perishing, and we beg You to intervene. We are killing ourselves, slaughtering our unity, and destroying our own hope. 

We beg You to heal our land. Save us, Lord, for we cannot save ourselves.

We ask it in the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

"If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land." 2 Chronicles 7:14 nasb
In case you missed it, here's the link to yesterday's post: The Blended Fruit 

#BatonRouge #repent #sin #policeshooting #yourlifematterstome

Sunday, July 17, 2016

The Blended Fruit

I spoke at my church one night last week. While I spoke, several of my friends prayed for me. One was at their own church. One was at home. One was driving on the road. None of them were members of "my" church, although people at my church were praying, too. 

As it turned out, I was surprised at the very last minute with extra time, but God helped me. He gave me words and filled up every minute. I don't know how the listeners received what I said, but it felt to me as if the Holy Spirit handled the entire time.

Afterward, I texted my friends to thank them for praying. One friend seemed surprised when I said, "Thanks for sharing in the work." 

I was reminded again this morning that the fruit of our labors is not our own. Jesus said He is the vine and we are the branches. (John 15:5) When the branches bear fruit, the vineyard keeper doesn't gather the fruit from each branch separately. He gathers all the fruit together into one big basket. 

The juice from the vine is made from the combination of the fruit of every branch. 

In that same way, when we "bear fruit" in our service for the Lord, it's combined with all the other fruit from all the other branches. We are co-laborers for a common goal: Loving God and loving others through the service that love motivates.

Any fruit I produce will be combined with yours, as well as the fruit my pastor bears and the fruit of Billy Graham and every other believer. It's an amazing work of God. Everyone's efforts make a difference. 

Just as our bodies are made of multiple parts, two hands, two knees, one mouth, so the body of Christ is made of many parts. Some speak. Some pray. Some go. Some serve. 

Every job matters. 

None is expendable. 

It takes all of us to get the job of sharing the gospel of peace done.

Whether I'm speaking, writing, or going, it's all done in tandem with the Holy Spirit and the Body of Christ. Those who've invested in me by teaching, discussing Scripture, guiding my steps, encouraging, praying (or any other aid) all have a part in whatever God does through my meager efforts. All those who've helped you have a part in what God does through you, as well.

As the body of Christ, our work is not a competition. We're a team, and I'm grateful to be a part. You're a part, too. If you've read my blog, made a comment, or liked and shared a post, you've encouraged me. Strengthened me. Helped me along the way. You're a part of what God is doing through me, and a part of any lives that are changed.

Thank you for sharing in the work. 

We may not see what God does through our efforts in this world, but one day, we'll taste the blended fruit of all our labors. We'll take one sip, rejoice at the depth of the flavor, and know its was worth it.

"I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth." 1 Corinthians 3:6 ESV
#givethanks #bearingfruit #fruitblend #disciple