Posted in Uncategorized

What Happened To Compassion?

Our world is filled with cynicism, busy-ness and ‘me first’ mentality. We are a people quick to judge and quick to become annoyed. How many times do we see someone fall down and we laugh and continue on our way? Or gossip about someone different from us behind their back?

make fun of

Our “news”casts are filled with sensational stories of people cheating on their spouses and doing outrageous stunts at the expense of others. Stories of kindness and compassion rarely show the sensationalism to make the cut.

As I write this I am convicted of conforming.

I am guilty too often of becoming part of this fast-paced world of “me first”.

How many times does a conversation include mention of a concern or hurt and I choose to skip over it and move forward as to not get drawn into more details? Am I in too big a hurry to get on to my own agenda instead of having compassion on a friend or a stranger?

Do I find amusement when something goes wrong for someone else?
Do I chuckle instead of lending a helping hand?
Not always, but perhaps too often.

Jesus calls us to have compassion for each other:

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved,
clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
Colossians 3:12

This is something He modeled for us throughout His ministry on earth:

When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd.
So he began teaching them many things. Mark 6:34

Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes.
Immediately they received their sight and followed him. Matthew 20:34

Jesus was a busy man. He had people to reach and disciples to teach. But over and over we see Him model for us compassion as he stops to spend time with someone hurting, sad or in need of compassion.

It didn’t cost Him anything but His time, and often the results were eternal!

As we go into this weekend may we follow Jesus’ example of compassion.

compassion hands

I pray that each of us will not be too busy to give our time and lend an ear to someone who needs a touch from someone who cares. Watch for opportunities as you go through your days.

You could be the peace in someone’s puzzle today!

blessings and peace to you!
Paula

Posted in Uncategorized

Missing The Mountain For The Mountaintop?

Ah, the mountaintop. The view is breathtaking, it seems we can see forever and we often feel so close to God. Whether it’s a physical mountaintop, relational or spiritual the mountaintop brings a high that leaves memories that linger.

mountaintop

Moses went to the top of Mount Sinai to meet with God and receive the Ten Commandments. (see Exodus 19)

Elijah went to Mt. Horeb where God spoke to him on the mountaintop. (see 1 Kings 19)

Even Jesus went to the mountaintop: He allowed satan to take Him to the mountaintop to be tested and Jesus was transfigured on a mountaintop where He went with His disciples. (Matthew 4)

So often we search for the mountaintops in our lives an yearn for those times of exceptional experiences to mark moments to remember.

But are we missing something in our quest for the mountaintop?

As I was spending time with the Lord the other day and wishing for a mountaintop experience to snap me out of the winter doldrums and inspire me in areas of my life God showed me something completely different. While I was looking for the top of the mountain and wishing for what was up ahead I was missing the precious times I can have with Him along the way.

trail

Searching the scriptures I found the example Jesus gave us when He met with God during His time on earth.

After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray.    Matthew 14:23a

One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God. Luke 6:12

Each day Jesus was teaching at the temple, and each evening he went out to spend the night on the hill called the Mount of Olives.  Luke 21:37

While Jesus had mountaintop experiences during His time on earth He didn’t need a mountaintop experience each day.

When Jesus needed to get away and meet with God He went to the mountainside – not all the way to the top. He separated Himself from the everyday routine and went to a place where He could be alone with His Father and recharge.

Where do you go to meet with God and recharge?  Do you have a place – and a time each day where you separate yourself from the world around you and focus on what God has for you that day?

If not, I encourage you to find that time. No matter how busy your schedule you can carve out a few minutes if you make it important. It may mean getting up 10-15 minutes early or turning off the tv for a while.

While you don’t need to dedicate hours each day to study and prayer, a few minutes is vital to your walk with God. It is in those minutes where He can refocus you, encourage you, even redirect you along the path.

And it is here where He brings peace to the puzzle of your life!

Where and when do you meet with God each day?

blessings & peace to you…
Paula

Posted in Christian, Gardening, Women

Uncovering Treasure

I love to garden! But I have to admit this year was not a stellar year for vegetables at our home. The soil was tilled, fertilized and rows marked. The anticipation that came from laying the seeds in the freshly turned dirt was soon rewarded by little sprouts pushing their way up through the soil. The excitement built…until the challenges set in.

First it was the woodchucks…sure they have a cute little tongue twister written about them and in February we like to believe they help predict the coming of Spring (yes, the groundhog & the woodchuck are the same varmint) but when it comes to gardens they are downright EVIL!! Not long after the beans and other veggies popped their heads up, the woodchucks helped themselves to a little snack. The beans were blinged, zinnias zapped, even the squash had been snacked on. I was not happy. We replanted the beans, sprayed some sort of stuff that was supposed to keep away the varmints and hoped. It didn’t work.

While disappointed at the loss of crops, there were a few plants left in the garden. The tomatoes were thriving, and the yellow squash had escaped along with a few others. There was still some hope. Then I turned my back for just a day or so. When I turned back all I could see were WEEDS! I couldn’t believe how quickly they had grown and how hard it was to see anything in the midst of them. Again it seemed hopeless.

Then it happened. One day I walked past the garden and saw something round and green where the tomatoes were planted. “No” I thought, “A tomato couldn’t possibly have survived amidst those weeds, could it?” A closer look revealed it was indeed a healthy green tomato. I weighed the options. I could pick that green tomato, fry it up and no longer think about the weedy tomato patch or I could clear a little space around it to let more sunlight in. The third option was to take the plunge and attack those weeds. It didn’t seem possible that there could be much more hidden in that patch but one day I decided to give it a shot.

I pulled.

I dug.

I sweated.

I got really, really dirty.

But I uncovered the treasure!!

 

Somehow beneath the piles of weeds the tomatoes had not only lived, they had thrived! They began to mature and develop fruit. The more I cleared the more excited I got. Not only was there one thriving , there were several. In fact all that we planted escaped the woodchucks, and even the weeds couldn’t beat them!

Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.                      Philippians 1:6

While I was clearing those weeds I began thinking about what might be hiding beneath the weeds in my own life. I thought about the hopes and dreams that I have allowed to get drowned out by the weeds of discouragement and fear. Instead of being confident in God’s promise to complete the works He has started in me and working hard to overcome the things that get in the way I gave up hope and just allowed the “weeds” to have their way. I lost sight of the treasure within me but that doesn’t mean the treasure is gone. It may take some more digging and sweating, and certainly faith and determination. But if God began those works in me I can be confident that He will complete them if I allow Him to help me uncover the treasure and fit the proper pieces back into the puzzle in my life.

Are there hidden treasures in your life that you’ve lost sight of? I’d be honored to pray with you that you would begin to believe once again that with God’s help you can uncover those treasures and find the peace that’s hiding beneath the weeds. Drop me a note and let me know how I can pray for you!

Wishing you blessings and peace today!

Paula