Help!


In the season I’m in,

It’s just help I need.

School is now in session,

And it’s like a steed.

I climbed it last Thursday;

It took me dashing

Through the very first day,

My thoughts all flashing.

What was his name again?

What does she study?

That starts at eleven?

My mind is all muddy!

Where do I go from here?

How do I get there?

I’ll be tardy I fear;

Should I take the stair?

Oh someone please help me

In all of this stress!

I can’t even half-see

This whole ‘college’ mess!

But in all this worry

Have I thought of me?

My life is a hurry

To find who I’ll be.

But maybe I am not

Who I need to help.

Maybe I’m to be wrought 

As I hear their help.

More than any other time in my life, I can truly say, “I need help.”

I started college, and I need help with homework. I need help with balance. I need help with my thoughts. I need help with my dreams. I just need help.

And also, more than any other time, I am given numerous opportunities to get help. Questions to professors and other students are rarely treated as insignificant. Often they are answered gladly and promptly.  

But as I seek and take all this help for myself and my future, I am forced to think of how much I am helping others. How am I helping others? How am I encouraging others and assisting them in becoming the great people they want to and can be?

So, no matter what your situation or season, help others. You are never too busy to give away even just a little bit of what you are given so freely.

“Don’t forget to do good. Don’t forget to share with others. God is pleased with those kinds of offerings.”

(Hebrews‬ ‭13:16‬)

Cell Phony?

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You can be here,

But also there.

It’s what I fear

To do you dare.

If you are here,

Do not be there.

For if you’re here

You can’t be there;

You can’t be here

And also there.

How often do you get onto your phone, computer, tablet, or any other electronic device?

Once or twice a day?

No.

Several times a day?

Probably not.

Much more?

I would guess that most people do so at least dozens of times a day.  Some may even come close to hundreds of times.

I use my electronics fairly often.

When I wonder what time it is, I look at my phone.  When I check my email, I often pull out my phone to do so.  When I blog, I crack open my laptop.

Seconds turn into minutes, and minutes turn into hours.  Then suddenly, we have spent the majority of the day glued to some technological display.

Don’t misunderstand me.  I like technology.  It is incredibly useful and increasingly versatile.  But it can also be an enormous distraction.

There are times when the use of electronics is mandatory or very necessary.  But that is not always the case.

It is not always a good time to check that screen of yours.

Sometimes it pays to just listen to others or talk to those surrounding you instead of the ones who are on your device.

The famous martyr Jim Elliot once said,

Wherever you are – be all there.

 

courtesy of brainyquote

If you are with someone else, be all there.

Don’t “phone snub” them; listen to them.

“Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.”

(Philippians 2:4 NLT)

Don’t Be a Heifer

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Once upon a time

Cows could show emotion.

Sometimes they did rhyme

And cause some commotion.

They would write and speak

To express how they felt.

Some were bold, some meek;

But others’ hearts they’d melt.

Frowning and scoffing

They went all through their days.

Smiling and laughing

Is how they used to graze.

Because they showed them,

Does not mean they were good

Heifers to the brim.

Sometimes in grief they stood.

But despite all this,

They were all better off.

They weren’t all amiss;

They all shared the same trough.

Such days are far gone.

The beasts rarely do place

Another face on

Which they let warmth encase.

Why has this ended?

Why do they refuse to

Show undefended

Feelings to just a few?

 

Just think with me for a moment.

Have you ever seen a cow make another face aside from a blank stare of inescapable boredom?  

I have not.

They seem like miserable creatures, never changing, never revealing what they are thinking or feeling.

In this way we are much like them.  To often we pass by dozens, scores, hundreds of people without changing.  We never reveal our true emotions because we have the false idea in our minds that we must appear perfectly calm.

We think we have to look like we have it all together.

Many see tears as a sign of weakness.  They see problems as abnormal or imperfect.

But let me just tell you right now: No one is without problems.

We are all imperfect creatures that need each other to make it through this crazy world.  We all need that person we can go to with our true emotions.  We all need to have that person who comes to us with their honest feelings and struggles.

So I say, “Don’t be a heifer; be a human.”

It will do us all some good.

“Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ.”

Galatians 6:2 (NLT)

Peach Perfect

 

tuscany-grape-field-nature-51947.jpegFor the last several years my family has been searching for a piece of land, a bit of acreage, a simple homestead, or anything else that would give us some freedom from the dreaded Home Owners Association.  Periodically one of us would come across a property for sale, ranging anywhere from ten to nearly one hundred acres, and suggest we go check it out.  Many times we quickly ruled them out, but sometimes we took much longer to pass up a deal.

Our land-purchasing excursions were sometimes more frequent and other times more sporadic.  We would be sure we wanted to move out of our neighborhood, but then we would question that desire.

Eventually, our zeal for life in the country died down.  We somewhat gave up on our property hunt.

Then, suddenly, after a very quick and surprising opportunity arose, we purchased a twenty-acre, peach orchard.  

No, we didn’t know anything about orchards or peaches or what it takes to run a successful farm, but we pressed on in faith.

Soon after the transaction, my brother began remodels on a small farm house that sat on the farm.  Our parents then started plans for a custom home to build on another portion of the property.  Meanwhile, we were thrown into the middle of our first peach season with no knowledge of how to grow the fruit.

Before we began harvesting, we did some research on peach trees and growing fruit.  But, even equipped with this limited amount of knowledge, we were practically clueless when it came to running an orchard.  Even so, we pressed on.

Although we were overwhelmed with the preparatory work, we were probably most surprised at the amount of peaches we had to pick in the first week of harvesting.  

Then we had our first sale day.

I’m not the most outgoing person when it comes to strangers, but selling peaches made me have to try to be.  Dozens of people of all types came to our farm in search of the soft, sweet fruit, and I was often made to speak to them.

I think I did a descent job of this, but I didn’t do it as passionately until I realized something.  Our orchard–our peach sales–could be a form of ministry.

Sporting our custom t-shirts that read,

“Love, Joy, and Peaches

Fruitful Family Farms”

we were proudly displaying our beliefs in a subtle way.  Although we did not shake a Bible and shout at our customers as they drove by, we were still ministering.

We openly spoke about our faith if it was brought up in conversation, but we did not force it on anyone.  We smiled at everyone as they walked up.

One particular man that visited our farm touched me and drastically changed my viewpoint of orchard work.  He came and purchased a small number of peaches, thanking us with a smile on his face as he began to walk away.  Then, in a way that I can’t quite recall, his wife was brought up.

She was in the Hospital; doctors had only given her a few days to live.

This was his current predicament, yet he still came to us smiling.  My dad said he would pray for him, and that seemed to bring the stranger a bit of joy.  He then got into his car and drove away.

We were all disheartened to hear the man’s story, but I was also given a sense of purpose in my farm work.

Later, my dad said he regretted not offering to pray with the man immediately.  I felt the same way.  Why had we hesitated? What difference could we make in even just one person’s life if we just prayed for them?  It wouldn’t have to be intricate; it could be simple.  So, as peach season is coming to a close, I realize that even selling peaches on a small farm in Tulsa, Oklahoma can be a ministry.

What do you already do that you can use as a ministry?

 “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

(Acts 1:8 NIV)

Don’t Worry About a Thing

Life is tough.

I’m almost positive that everyone in the world would agree with this statement in some form.

There is sickness, war, death, grief, despair, hunger, poverty, and so many more things that mar our world.  I don’t go a single day without coming into contact with one or more of these things.  They are unavoidable.

And although everyone must react to these facts of our world, not everyone reacts to them in the same way.  Some get angry; some get depressed.  But, especially in America, one of the most common responses to the trials of this earth is worry.

People worry about what others think.  They worry about what they should wear and how they should talk. People worry about what they should do and what they should eat.  They worry about how much money they make and how big their house is.

People worry about everything.

I worry about a lot of things–a lot more than I am proud to say.

But what would life be like if we stopped worrying–if we stopped stressing out about the things we can’t control and started doing something about the things we can control?

What if we stopped worrying about how “cool” our caption is and just started being ourselves all the time?

What if we stopped worrying about having the newest gadget or the nicest car and started enjoying the simple things in life?

What if we stopped worrying about how much we “have” to work and started spending quality time with family and friends?

Life would be less stressful if we would just quit worrying.  And if there is something crazy, something bad happening to you, you have another option besides worrying about it.

You don’t have to worry.

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.  Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”

(Phillipians 4:6-7 NLT)