Rewind and Be Kind

“Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see” (Mark Twain).

That’s your to-do list for tomorrow: be kind.

The saying goes that you never know what any of the people you run across are going through or what battles they’re facing, so be kind always.

I truly believe it takes more energy and effort to be a jerk than it does to be kind. The payoff for kindness is much more rewarding, too.

All it takes is to remember a time when someone was kind to you when you didn’t deserve it and how it felt. Then all you have to do is pay it forward.

That’s it for tonight. Short and simple and sweet. Be kind.

The end.

To All the George Baileys in the World

Recently, I was the recipient of some unexpected and overwhelming generosity. I didn’t seek it out nor did I even have a hint that it was coming.

I felt like George Bailey at the end of It’s a Wonderful Life when all the people he’s tried to help all those year come back and pay it forward back to him in droves.

I’ve decided that I won’t ever be able to match that kind of generosity, but I can do a few things:

  1. Pay it forward whenever is in my power to do so.
  2. To always have my eyes open to the need around me and to pray for a heart that yearns to meet those needs
  3. To live in continual gratitude and thanksgiving, because life all by itself is a gift and salvation even without any blessings attached to it is the greatest gift.
  4. To never forget that many are still living the part of George Bailey’s story where things aren’t quite so hunky-dory and who are feeling like they’re at the end of their rope.
  5. To be a better version of me than I was yesterday, or more accurately, to be a little more like Jesus every single day that He allows me to wake up.

I echo the words of Clarence, George’s guardian angel, when I say, “No man is a failure who has friends.”

If that’s  the case, then I am one of the most blessed individuals to ever live, due to the amazing family and friends God has placed in my life.

Thank you. You rock.

The end.

Just Another Sleepy Sunday

I have been sleepy all day today. Maybe it’s because it’s been grey and overcast just about the entire day. Maybe because it’s Sunday. Maybe it’s because I didn’t take my customary Sunday afternoon, choosing instead to watch an old movie on TCM.

Regardless, I have a feeling I’ll sleep really good tonight.

I’ve never been more aware of my dire need for God than lately. I need him desperately every hour of every day, every minute of every hour, and every second of every minute. He’s the one who holds me together.

I’ve also never been more aware of the abiding peace of knowing that God is in control of my life. I don’t know what the days and weeks and months ahead hold for me, but I know God knows.

So instead of seeing problems and obstacles, I’m choosing to see blessings. Like the blessings of family and friends, good health, freedom of worship, and life. I hope I never get over the joy of celebrating each and every day as a gift and every person in my life as a blessing that I don’t deserve but I get anyway.

So many will go to bed hungry. So many will end the day alone. So many will have to wake up tomorrow without purpose or meaning or God in their lives.

I need to remember that I’m not blessed so I can grow fat and happy. I’m blessed so that I can in turn be a blessing to someone else who needs it.

So my questions to you are the same ones I’m asking myself. Who are you going to be a blessing to today? Who will you pray for? Who will you encourage? Whose lives will you speak into, whether through a phone call or a text or a facebook post?

If you woke up at all today, you’re blessed. If you had at least one meal today, you’re blessed. If you had shelter from the rain and a car to drive, you’re blessed. If you had family and friends to cheer you up, you’re blessed.

So, how will you pay it forward?

Paying It Forward

There’s a story by Henry Van Dyke about a fourth wise man who gets a late start in his quest to find the Christ. In his journey to find Jesus, he is constantly delayed by stopping to help people in need. By the end of the story, though he never meets the Christ-child, he finds that he indeed was able to serve Jesus through all the people he touched.

In other words, he payed it forward.

How have you payed it forward today?

Maybe it’s sending someone an encouraging text for no reason at all other than you have been blessed by one.

Maybe it’s paying for your fast-food order and then picking up the tab on the person behind you.

Maybe it’s finding one of the homeless people on the street selling their newsletters and not only buying one, but giving them a cold drink on a hot day as well.

Maybe you make time for someone in your life that you’ve been too busy for lately and sitting down for a cup of coffee and conversation.

It could be any number of things. Whatever it is that God puts on your heart, don’t say, “I’ll do it tomorrow.”

No one is guaranteed tomorrow and that chance may never come again.

Don’t live with the regret of words left unsaid, encouragement not given, visits not made, and the blessings you missed out on because you didn’t act.

I’ve said it before but you will never have the time to be a blessing unless you make the time.

A special note for those who are going into ministry or missions: your calling is not just a future destination, but it’s on the way there. Your calling starts now with the people around you who need to see the Jesus in you.

So pay it forward today.

Footprints in My Heart

I’ll give you a bit of insight into my blogging process. Often, I will have no idea what to write about until I hear a line from a movie or a song, or hear a sermon, or see or hear something random.

Many times, I still have no clue even as I begin the blog. I just start writing and the words come out and I am more amazed than anybody and what comes out. I bet that’s what some of the writers of the Bible felt like. And no, I don’t think my blog is anwhere close to being inspired on the same level as the Bible.

Tonight, it was a quote I read a while back and have posted on my facebook page more than once. It’s about people that come into your life and change you for the better. You are never the same after.

I know I have several sets of footprints in my own heart. Family members and friends have touched the deepest part of my heart and blessed me in ways that they will never even know.

People who have seen the worst in me and still believe the best of me. People who have seen my dorkier moments and have stuck around. People who have shown me Jesus time after time and have helped me be more like Him.

Even seemingly small things like getting invited to volleyball games and pizza have meant the world to me. And if you’re reading this, you know who you are and you should know that I am honored and privileged to call you friend,

I am who I am because of these people. I have found healing and freedom and release to be me because of the words spoken over me that I finally had the courage to receive and believe.

I know I’ve probably said this too many times, but I am grateful for all of you. I am blessed way more than I deserve and way more than I can begin to repay. The only way that I know to even try to pay it forward is to be the best me I can and try to be a blessing as much as I have been blessed.

May each of you know the joy of having footprints in your own hearts that you will carry with you until you die. And after.