Posts Tagged gift

AT FIRST LIGHT…GOD’S DIVINE PROVIDENCE – Thomas Crowl

JOB:37:16…dost thou know the workings of the clouds…the wondrous works of His which is perfect in knowledge?

In a number  of recent articles I have written of special signs God has sent to remind me of His presence, often when I was at a low point in life and without much hope. On a cloudy Monday morning recently I awoke in another hospital bed trying to get my heartbeat regular and allow me to go home. On a particular Monday of late I opened my eyes to a solid wall of gray cloud and just then my blessed family physician appeared. A constant smile on his face and the look of possibility in the air. As he spoke his opening lines I saw the solid bank of clouds break and a piercing light emerge to chase the gloom from the air. This would be the beginning of hope and divine intervention!. His mastery of my problems would quickly disappear as he called a close colleague to resolve a urinary emergency. It went on like this for some time til I realized the completeness of  God’s mercy. In hours I would have all my issues dealt with, an expert at arms length and what would have been a very long day shorten considerably. Being named Thomas doubt kind of went with the name!

     You are always the possibility of success and when God is in your corner that possibility expands considerably. This was the special lesson of the day God intended. As the day wound on I learned of the incredible work of my doctor. His calls to associates, his re-working appointments and bringing in the cooperation of many others. In a world of “what’s in it for me” I was confronted by God’s special instruction…that the best of what we are is available as a gift to be given at the first call for help. The glow of that day will last with me for many years to come…that love and kindness are His greatest gift and not to be doled out piecemeal…and that we can join this cadre of souls anytime.

     I thought on other issues then, the special gift in life of a loving wife, who though troubled by her own ailments, would rise each day to gather and solve my problems. The welcoming door of my home, though not perfect, was as warm and welcoming as any.

     It is my sacred prayer for you this day that God will open those clouds in your life and help you welcome in the brilliant life of promise…available in that next minute. 

JOB WOULD GIVE US SO MANY EXAMPLES OF THE POSITIVE FORCE THAT LIVES WITHIN THAT NEXT REQUEST…A FORCE THAT DRIVES AWAY

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The Most Effective Thing You Can Do While Ministering – ethicsdaily.com

The Most Effective Thing You Can Do While Ministering

Mitch Carnell

The Most Effective Thing You Can Do While Ministering | Mitch Carnell, Communication, Kindness 

When we are too busy or too distracted to listen, we demonstrate a lack of concern, Carnell writes. (Image courtesy of Ohmega1982/FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

The ability to communicate is a gift.

We can bless others with this gift by using it to heal, to build up and not to harm. Conversely, we can use it to tear down, to harm and to destroy relationships.

We all need and search for connectedness. We know how it feels to be in a crowd and yet feel utterly alone and isolated.

We need and want to belong. We need to touch and be touched. We can be warmed by another person’s smile or simple acknowledgement.

Good conversation, like good music or a good book, nourishes the soul. Good communication builds relationships.

Nothing says more about a person’s caring than his or her willingness to listen without judgment or interruption. Sometimes our greatest ministry is simply to be 100 percent present in the moment.

One of my most cherished books is “As a Man Thinketh” by James Allen. Allen stresses that what we think about is what we will become.

We can control our lives by controlling our thoughts. If we fill our minds with goodwill toward others, that is what we will express and demonstrate.

Don Kirkland, retired editor of the South Carolina Baptist Courier, states in his book, “Something Ventured,” that what Jesus did in all of his time not accounted for in the Bible is clear: “He went about doing good.”

Goodness was in his heart and so it expressed itself. Kirkland goes on to say that, “Our Christianity must be visible to others or it is not Christianity at all.”

My mother and my late wife had the same favorite Scripture passage: “Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable unto thee, oh God, my strength and my redeemer” (Psalm 19:14).

They both understood that what comes out of our mouths is a result of what is in our hearts. If our heart overflows with love, that is what we will speak.

Every Sunday morning, Clyde stands at the front door of our church and gives butterscotch candies to every person who enters and is willing to accept his offering.

He is greeted by broad smiles and a lot of hugs. When he is absent, everyone asks about him. Goodness overflows from him. His gesture of kindness helps create an atmosphere for worship.

Sister Sandra Makowski makes a case for kindness as a central ingredient for the ministry of good communication in her book, “The Side of Kindness”

“Could we say that saints were kind people? My guess is that kindness became their constant companion,” she writes. “It is what they carried with them when they prayed, when they worked for justice, and when they were martyred for the sake of the gospel. It became their companion in their life of prayer and the gifts that they developed in the service of others.”

The tremendous role that listening plays in the ministry of communication is expressed by Pope Francis in his book, “The Name of God Is Mercy.”

He asserts, “Mostly people are looking for someone to listen to them. Someone willing to grant them time to listen to their dramas and difficulties. This is what I call the apostolate of the ear and it is important. Very important. I feel compelled to say to confessors: talk, listen with patience, and above all tell people that God loves them.”

I asked my friend, Monty Knight, both a minister and certified counselor, “How do you talk to God?”

“Mitch,” he said, “a much more important question is how do I listen to God?”

When Mother Teresa was asked how she talked to God, she answered. “I mostly listen.” When she was then asked, “What does God say?” she replied, “He mainly listens.”

There are times when there are no words capable of conveying what is in our hearts, but there are no times when being 100 percent present with another is not effective.

Raymond DeSchazo, former professor at Mars Hill University, was fond of saying, “The way you know when you really love another person is when you can be in a room together for hours and neither of you says a word. Just being present is enough.”

For communication to be effective and work its magic as ministry, what we do and what we say must be congruent. There must be no conflict between our words and our actions.

Active listening is an essential behavior for showing concern and compassion for the other. When we are too busy or too distracted to listen, we demonstrate a lack of concern. We can change this perception by being 100 percent present in the moment with our communication partner.

Never underestimate the influence of an encounter no matter how brief it might be. It leaves an impression for good or bad. A simple act of kindness has the power to transform lives. An act of grace never goes unnoticed.

Mitch Carnell is a consultant specializing in effective communication. He and his wife, Carol, are members of First Baptist Church of Charleston, South Carolina. He blogs at MitchCarnell.com and ChristianCivility.com

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Fifty- Two Keys for Living, Loving and Working

Rest

The body and mind need quiet time. The body needs rest. The need for rest has been recognized since the beginning of time. Realize that there is a time to rest. Even the finest machine cannot perform at maximum output indefinitely. You are no exception. Rest your mind and your body. Turn off everything that makes noise. Sit and enjoy the quiet. We live hectic lives. We need time to pull away even if it is for just a few minutes. You will be amazed at the results. Quiet time is a gift you give yourself. It delivers both inspiration and healing. It helps us center ourselves. It renews our energy for what comes next.

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Thankful Thursday – Love

On this Thankful Thursday, which is also Valentine’s Day I am thankful for love. One of the first things I learned growing up in a loving family is that God is love. Several decades of life have simply strengthened that early belief. As an adult I have learned that where love is God is. We are bathed in love by family and friends. God continues to shower us with blessings. Of course, there are the trials of daily living, but they are miniscule when compared to the constant flow of blessings. Life is a gift. Love is a gift. Today is a gift. Today let someone know how much you care for her or him and express your thanks to God for the presence of that person in your life. Paul Bear Bryant speaking about the importance of relationships said, “Imagine that the person with whom you are speaking will not live past midnight. How would you treat her or him?” The people in our lives are gifts. The wonderful thing about love is that the more you love the more you have the capacity to love. You cannot exhaust the supply of love. Thankful Thursday is a day set a part to recognize the importance of someone to our lives and to let her or him know of our gratitude. Develop and attitude of gratitude. Say Something Nice; Be a Lifter. You will be glad that you did.

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