Tag Archives: acting on faith

How to Know What You Do is Not Too Small via Under God's Mighty Hand

How To Know What You Do Is Not Too Small {Five Minute Friday}

I’ve walked into a situation before and immediately thought, Everyone here knows more about this than I do, can do more, and is valued more. Anything I can do wouldn’t contribute.

But that small thinking is toxic and paralyzing. It causes me to stop rather than act. That’s just the opposite of what a community needs.

I’m {slowly} retraining my mind to think differently, audaciously.

What I do matters. What you do matters.

How to Know What You Do is Not Too Small via Under God's Mighty Hand

3 ways to know what you do is not too small: 

  1. Is the intent love? Whatever you’re thinking, does it model love, give love, shine love? That action could be a small as holding the door open, but it is loving, do it.
    “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.” – John 15:12
  2. Does it build up the body of Christ? Our actions both present examples of faith to observers and can support members within the body of Christ.
    “From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” – Ephesians 4:16
  3. Does it do good? Does the small action harm? Don’t do it. Does it do good? Go for it.
    Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground.”  Psalm 143:10

Building a school in a third world country is huge. A massive action of love. But not everyone can build an entire school.

But can you give $1? Can you say a daily prayer? Write a sentence to cheer another? Fold that extra load of laundry?

These actions are small, but their effects combine to be oh-so-BIG.

Today, I’ve joined Lisa-Jo for Five Minute Friday. Five minutes where we “just write without worrying if it’s just right or not.” No editing or backtracking! Join in on the Five Minute fun, won’t you? This week’s prompt is “small.”

Five Minute Friday

How do you see the benefit of “small” actions in your life?

As Rain Falls {Five Minute Friday}

 As Rain Falls {Five Minute Friday} via Under God's Mighty Hand

You’ve heard it said that “one drop in the pond doesn’t make much difference,” but another perspective is if those individual drops didn’t show up, there wouldn’t be a pond.

I’m listening to the rain fall; it sounds a vigorous as a mountain waterfall this morning.

The plants soak up the wet goodness, the leaves and grass turn greener already, and the ground gulps the water like a kid after racing his hardest outside with friends on a sweltering summer day.

As Rain Falls {Five Minute Friday} via Under God's Mighty Hand

One drop of rain might not make a huge different to that tomato plant in the ground desperate for moisture, but it helps.

And a pure, soaking rain takes many drops working together.

And, I think: we each have our choices to make on what we do with what we have available to give.

Mother Theresa says, “We can do no great things; only small things with great love.”

What would happen if so many more of us did our part and choose goodness and kindness and love over all else?

As Rain Falls {Five Minute Friday} via Under God's Mighty Hand

What kind of effect could we have if we poured His love down on thirsty souls, and we did it together?

“We know only too well that what we are doing is nothing more than a drop in the ocean. But if the drop were not there, the ocean would be missing something.” Mother Teresa 

The rain strengthens now, but this morning what I hear falling is peaceful, soak-you-through-to-the-heart love.

You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” – Matthew 5:14-16

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Today, I’ve joined Lisa-Jo for Five Minute Friday. Five minutes where we “just write without worrying if it’s just right or not.” No editing or backtracking! Join in on the Five Minute fun, won’t you?

Five Minute Friday

What kindness and goodness can you pour out today, or what kindness has fallen on you?

Live Second by Doug Bender

Finding My Place {Book Review – Live Second by Doug Bender}

Love devotional-style books, but looking for something a little bit different?

Live Second: 365 Ways to Make Jesus First is from Doug Bender and the I am Second movement. Perhaps known most in the online world for their powerful, memoir-style videos interviewing peoples of all kinds in their faith journeys, I am Second aims “to inspire people of all kinds to live for God and for others.” The Live Second book holds the same mission. Live Second by Doug Bender

As the author states in the introduction, the devotions aim to “challenge you to consider what life would look like if Jesus were first” and “inspire your reflection and challenge your daily routine.” These devotions speak in a challenging way. Nothing here is fluff, but all focused on reminding us God is First.

This book is one of the first social media integrated books I’ve read. Set up in weekly themes of one-page daily devotions, each page offers a verse, a Scripture reading, a one- to three-paragraph devotion, and questions to spur action in our own lives. Each devotion includes a specific hashtag to interact with others pondering the same topic on Twitter. The first devotion of each week shares a link to one of the well-done I am Second testimonial videos (or a QR code to find the video in the print version). It’s honestly hard not to watch these videos. The last devotion in each week usually quotes a larger section of Scripture and offers a chance to worship, surrender, and praise. Readers are strongly encouraged to read these devotions in community, and act on the principles as a community, too (which would likely be most effective).

The reflection questions offered do allow for open-ended introspection, but the same questions were offered week after week. I hoped for some more specific questions or guiding questions. The devotions are strong, and as the author states in the introduction, are not always going to be “encouraging” in a positive, affirming sense, but rather a pow, make-you-think sense. The devotions remain truth-founded, convicting, and cause inward reflection to spur outward reaction. This devotional could serve as a solid reading plan (roughly 1-2 chapters of reading each day), easily incorporated into study time with a brief devotion and call to action.

Perhaps one of my favorite parts of the book (besides the social media aspects) are the prayers. Short but influential, these prayers can be earnestly prayed as is, or used to spur more thoughts in your own heart. One of my favorite prayers (and one I’ve prayed several times since reading it):

“God, I want to make you First in my life. I struggle and I stumble and I need your help, but I want to be Second.”

Amen.

Have you read any of I am Second’s materials or watched their videos? How do you remind yourself of God’s place as First in your daily life?

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book for free from the BookSneeze program in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Book Review – Love Does by Bob Goff


Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” – Ephesians 5:1-2 (emphasis added)

I love when a command to love or obey is paired with the word “walk.” To walk reminds me that we must be active.

Love acts. Love thinks, yes, but it doesn’t stop there. (How many times do I stop there?) Love puts those thoughts into action and serves.

This truth is what Bob Goff shares in his book, Love Does: Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in a Ordinary World.

Part memoir and part spiritual discussion, Bob Goff retells amazing stories from his life of seeking Christ through walking in love. Some of these stories are outrageous, almost too crazy to be true. But that’s how radical love can be when it’s acted upon. Within each fantastical, whimsy-filled story, Goff shares a relevant truth about what it means for Christ to love us and for us to love Him.

Most of these stories will capture any reader’s attention. A few analogies retold I couldn’t relate to (like the hunting stories), but Goff reveals lessons applicable to everyone.

Each chapter begins with a “I used to think… but now I know…” quote from Bob, sharing the essential point of the story to follow. I loved this structure and often would go back to read the quote again after reading the chapter to reemphasize what he shared.

As much as I would rather not need it, I want something to shake my heart alive sometimes and points like this book makes help me to resurface from drowning form uncertainties in our lives right now. Bob Goff accomplishes such because he exudes joyful love that comes from the most loving God.

“Nobody turns down an invitation to the White House, but I’ve seen plenty of people turn down an invitation to fully live.” – Goff, p. 80

Short chapters filled with action, humor, and discovered truth make this book a quick-moving, interesting read. But after reading it, I don’t want to just sit still and ponder (which is often my go-to state). I really want to act. And not just because Bob Goff inspires me to through his writing. But because God sets the first and best example of loving in action, and I want to follow and walk with Him.

Questions for you: What have you read lately that reminds you of the active nature of love? What about God’s love inspires you to share that love with others?


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


No Matter What Adventure

I almost titled this post “For When Parenting is an Adventure,” but isn’t parenting always an adventure?

Our family has gone through quite a bit of adventuring lately. You, no doubt, are experiencing your own adventures, too. A child sick. A job needed. A new skilled learned. Even a fun day exploring the park as a family.

Through our recent circumstances and the Run to Him psalms study at Do Not Depart, God continues to remind me of this truth:

He is always present.

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” – Psalm 46:1

No matter what you feel, God extends His love and mercy.

Answer me when I call to you, my righteous God. Give me relief from my distress; have mercy on me and hear my prayer.” – Psalm 4:1

No matter what you cry out, God hears.

Image from http://office.microsoft.com

“Praise be to the LORD, for he has heard my cry for mercy. The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me.
My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.” – Psalm 28:6-7

No matter what adventure you tackle – sad or exciting, God can provide peace – through us, His hands and feet on this earth, through His Word, and through His love.

In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, LORD, make me dwell in safety.” – Psalm 4:8

I pray today that you powerfully see how God protects, guides, and loves each of us through all of our adventures with Him.

Question for you: What has God been teaching you in your recent adventures?

This post is linked up with the Faith Barista’s Faith Jam. Check it out for more thoughtful posts on adventure (this week’s topic).

And linked with Do Not Depart for their Run To Him study in the psalms.