Reblog and Refocus

“Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Luke 16:10

I have recently been trying to get news from multiple sources, thinking I could get a balanced picture of the “whole story” that way. I have made several observations:

There seems to be very little “discussion” or “dialogue,” only arguing, accusations, and name-calling. Not the most mature way to get a point across. It seems the only thing we call all agree on is that our society is more polarized than ever.

No one seems to be listening to any opposing views. If a dissenting view  is recognized at all, it is mischaracterized, either deliberately or without thinking. (Is anyone thinking? Or are we merely emoting?)

The most significant and frustrating observation is that people are trying to fight a spiritual battle with the weapons of this world, and that is a huge mistake!

Racism, hate, rage, violence, murder, theft, destruction of other people’s property – these are all symptoms of Man’s universal disease of the heart – sin. We all recognize this disease (more easily in others than in ourselves), but our approach to fixing it has been like sending all our troops to Utah when we’re under attack on the East Coast.

The hard truth is, hardened hearts cannot be forced to change. Some leaders may cave under pressure and make superficial changes. But is anyone’s heart any different? And if hearts are not changed, will we ever see the peaceful solution we want – or say we want?

Sinful people can only be changed by acknowledging their sin and receiving the forgiveness made possible by Jesus’ death on the Cross. Only then can sinners truly be transformed and used to bring about the greater spiritual change this country needs.

With all the current effort to change the world! I would like to reintroduce the idea of an individual yielded to God and used by Him to bring about true change, one day at a time, one life at a time.

This is not a popular approach, probably because it isn’t very dramatic, doesn’t attract a lot of attention, and doesn’t yield the instant results our impatient hearts desire. But the only person I have any control over is myself, and even there I am limited. I can choose to ask God to transform me, as only He can, and He usually starts small.

Today I’m reposting a story that illustrates how we can get so distracted trying to change the whole world that we miss opportunities right in front of us.

June 12, 2020 My Life in Our Father’s World
Unexpected Loss
Reblogged from Sacred Cynicism by Pastor Doug Ward
I met someone for the first time 2 weeks ago. He came to church, and then was here again last week. He was a nice man, and he greeted me warmly. We had a nice conversation, and I was hoping to see him again this Sunday. I wanted to get to know him a little better. From the limited conversation we had, it seemed that life had been a little rough. That was just a perception. I found out this morning that this man took his own life this morning.
This news is crushing to me. I had no idea he was in any danger. I wish that something I said last week would have steered him away from this decision, but I do not know if that was even possible. I wish there had been more time. There is a sense of loss this morning. It is not a loss based upon a past relationship, I had only just met him. The loss is the removal of what could have been. Conversations that could have happened. The news once again reminded me of a simple truth – we have no idea which people are holding on to their very last bit of rope. I think this is a good thing for each of us to remember. It would be a great thing if our culture remembered it as well. We are probably too busy yelling at each other to listen to any wisdom right now.

This gentleman told me he had been watching us online. He told me he was hearing things that helped him. I wish I had the chance to follow up with him. I wish I knew more about his story than I do. Here are some things I do know. I know that I have no idea of the pain that this man was experiencing. I have no idea what things he was battling. I also know that Jesus died for everyone, including this gentleman, and I know that grace is far more pervasive that I realize. I do not know how grace, this gentleman, and the resurrection all interacted these past few weeks. I will simply say I hope.
In this current climate when we once again have retreated to our positions to lob verbal grenades at those people over there, a host of people just like this gentleman walk past us. They are probably unconcerned with all of the shouting – they just know that they hurt. This gentleman, and countless others – need someone to notice, if only we would stop shouting, and posting to social media. I just know that I am diminished today by this news. His name was Don.

From Barb: The man he is talking about has been my friend & neighbor for 18 years. I am still in shock but I have hope that when Don breathed his last breathe, Jesus was waiting for him with open arms.

(Ann again) In closing I want to share a song by Josh Wilson that has touched me. Enjoy, and be encouraged to do great things, even if they’re little things.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, forgive me for having such a high opinion of myself that I think I can make a difference without You. Fill me again with Your spirit, and use me in whatever way pleases You, even if it’s in something only You and I will know about. In Jesus name, amen.

38 thoughts on “Reblog and Refocus

      1. Exactly. The re-post made that point beautifully. May our Lord Jesus open our eyes to what is before us to do, not what we think we ought to be doing.

        Liked by 2 people

  1. Thanks, Ann. Great post.
    Jeremiah 17: 9-10 describes the natural condition of the human heart.

    Change can only happen, as you say, as individuals are surrendered to the Lord. It is the Holy Spirit’s empowerment that enables us to do ‘good’ things. And little things are important in God’s eyes.

    Let’s continue to pray for a change of heart for people. God is in the business of changing sinners into saints, if only they will co-operate with his grace. 🌷🤗


  2. Thanks so much for posting the link to that beautiful song, Annie. I loved it and, yes, if we all made sure to do our bit, however little, the world might just become a better place.
    The repost was so sad and it brings it home to be aware that others may be carrying a load that we could help them carry. Thanks for a great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re right, Lesley. Part of “the whole armor of God” is about “having your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace.” To me that means asking God to direct my steps and encounters, so I can be God’s peace to whoever crosses my path. We just never know what’s going on in their lives.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. The reblog was deeply touching. Who knows what could have happened if what happened had not.

    You are absolutely right – telling people what to think is not going to change their hearts. In fact, it might harden them even more.

    Thank you for a thought-provoking post as alway.s

    Liked by 1 person

  4. “The most significant and frustrating observation is that people are trying to fight a spiritual battle with the weapons of this world, and that is a huge mistake!”

    It is! I agree! Too much fighting going on among Christians over things that don’t even matter for eternity or that may not even exist, in reality. We need to be busy loving people with the love of Jesus and sharing with them the gospel of Jesus and how they can be delivered from their slavery to sin and be healed of their wounds and how they can have new life in Jesus, a life of hope, healing, purpose and direction and how they can have eternal life with God.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ann;
    I am sorry it took me so long to read this powerful post. It speaks eloquently to the times we are in right now. There is probably more anger being expressed today precisely because there is more pain being experienced. There is only one Healer capable of binding up the world’s wounds.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Most people who hurt won’t let you know they hurt, unfortunately. As to the rest…no, I don’t believe most people are thinking-except about themselves. And we have no way to find the truth in media! A young man reminded me that this isn’t a war of flesh and blood. I don’t know if it’s because I’m 55 and the mother of an 18 and a 27 year old daughters, but I feel that the enemy must be confident enough that brains are on autopilot and people are selfish and distracted enough to be safe showing his face. What we’re seeing is a lot of smoke and mirrors & slight of hand, but no truth. I think it’s time for Christians to put on the armor of God, remember who God is and remember who they are. Because it’s going to be about a whole lot more than coffee, donuts and carpet colors!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, you never know … I’ve got to where I pray every morning over my words/communications – my mind, my mouth, my voice, my hands, my laptop, my cell phone, and any pen or pencil I pick up. (Maybe overkill, but can’t hurt/might help. 😉 )

      Liked by 1 person

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