My Reflections

BE THE CHANGE: Matthew 10:25-37, Mark 12: 30-31, John 3:16


Not to Act is to Act

Almost from the start of mankind, the existence of  evil and suffering have been a part of the human experience. While the faces and the circumstances may change, evil and suffering still persist. Watch the news and there is plenty of evidence of the horrific acts that have been happening in the Ukraine, the beheadings of Christians in Iraq or the fighting and killings in Israel, to name a few.

While these are indeed horrible, there are other acts of evil, of injustice, happening daily in our own country and world-wide. Sex trafficking is one issue many would rather ignore. According to F.R.E.E. International:

1)     There are more slaves in the world today than at any other point in history, including the trans Atlantic slave trade

2)     Commercial Sex Trafficking is the third largest criminal enterprise in the world

3)     Trafficking occurs both internationally and domestically within the United States

4)     It is estimated that anywhere between 100,000-300,000 children are exploited for commercial sex every year in the United States

5)     The average age a person enters into prostitution in the United States is between 12 and 14 years old(SOURCE: http://freeinternational.org/the-issue)

There’s also the issue of the abuse and neglect of children by the hand of those who are supposed to love and care for them. According to Royal Family Kids, which serves abused and neglected foster children across the globe, “Annually, 3.6 million cases of child abuse, neglect or abandonment are reported in America,” and “One of these victims dies every six hours due to that abuse” (http://royalfamilykids.org/about/our-history). Those are just the facts on the reported cases.

Actor, comedian and humanitarian Robin William’s suicide was another stark reminder that the hurting are among us. Many people put on a good face and say that everything is fine, when their lives are far from it. There are people going through domestic violence. There are people contemplating taking their lives, feeling there is no other way. There are people who wake up every morning wondering why they exist, because they feel worthless. There are those suffering from mental illness. Need I go on?

Unfortunately, we often ignore the obvious signs of the pain in others and the injustices that exist, because it makes us feel uncomfortable or we don’t realize that we can do something to help. What’s even sadder, is we don’t often even notice the pain and injustices around us, because people have learned to hide so much of it, recognizing that most people will sit by and do nothing.

Christians have been taught to serve, to love our neighbors, to get involved when we see someone in need.  Many who haven’t read Matthew 10:25-37, have heard of the Parable of the Good Samaritan.  In a nutshell, those who should have helped a stranger who had been victimized walked by him and did nothing, while the most unlikely person stopped to not only help him, but to get personally involved.

Jesus Christ died for all. As John 3:16 tells us, ““For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”  Notice that Christ died for ALL people.  He has and always will love ALL people, and yet, we don’t often do the same.

Love requires action.  Love goes beyond feeling.  Love sometimes involves us to get uncomfortable. Why?  Because it is not about us. It is about others, loving them, protecting them, serving them.

In Mark 12:30-31, Jesus reminds us, “And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.” To love God is to love people. To love people is to act. 

As my pastor, Dr. Ryan Darrow shared on a Sunday morning, “The Samaritan could have made many excuses to not help, like the others. What area is God asking you to get involved in another’s life? It doesn’t always mean getting involved with an organization, but the person who we see every day.”

We so often feel more comfortable conforming to what others do, even when we know we have the means to help, which doesn’t always mean money. We can help with our skills, talents, knowledge, time, whatever we have and are.  What is right is still what is right. Our lives are meant to make a difference in the lives of others. We are called to fight for justice with whatever we have within us and whatever we have to give.

The Lord calls us to be involved in a practical way. As Pastor Darrow reminded us, “Our neighbors, [at home, school, work] are often metaphorically lying in a ditch hurting. What can you do? What is God calling you to do?”

We are His hands and feet. There are people dying on the inside. You are not where you are without a purpose, a purpose to change the world.

We are called to advocate on behalf of others. They are counting on us. We all know that change is needed. Be the change.

Want to talk with me more about how you can be the change?  Let’s join our efforts. Are you already being the change?  I’d love to hear about what you’re doing.  Let’s inspire one another to do what we were called to do.  May Jefferson Bethke’s latest video inspire you that darkness is losing.

As with all of my blog posts feel free to COMMENT, to FOLLOW my blog and to SHARE. I value you taking the time to read my posts.

My Reflections

DREAM GOD SIZED DREAMS – Exodus 33:11, Numbers 14:5-9, Ephesians 3:20, Joshua 10:9-14, Ephesians 1:3, Matthew 13:23


This blog may be one of my longest ones to date. Over a long time, God has shown me to dream beyond my imagining to dreaming God sized dreams. I can remember a time, as a teenage girl, when my youth pastor encouraged us to pray for our future spouses.  He wasn’t encouraging us to focus on looking for the one God might have for us. He was encouraging us to pray “for” that person now, not after he/she entered our lives.  I can still remember him saying, “You never know if you are the only one praying for them.” Powerful words!

Well, as I prayed for the man who would later become my husband, God showed me the attributes that this man would and should have, if he was to marry me.  They seemed way beyond what even other Christians were hoping for, but as I continued to study the Word, I saw that they lined up directly with God.  Not only that, but focusing my eyes on who God would have for me, kept me from making some major mistakes.  Years later, when I did meet my husband, I learned that he came to know the Lord during his teen years, in a powerful way! God only knows how much my prayers may have helped to shape him into the man he was and would become. Even more, my husband is all God wanted for me, not an impossible dream.

I can also remember the time when I had to decide which colleges to apply to, and though I’m not advocating applying to just one school (unless God makes that VERY CLEAR), I knew that I knew that I knew that I was meant to go to a specific state college.  Others, especially family, thought I was nuts.  How could I put all my eggs literally in one basket? This was my future, we were talking about!

To help provide a peace to my loved ones, I decided to apply for early acceptance, which meant I would know months before others if I was going there that fall, but most importantly, I would know ahead of having to submit more college applications, before the deadlines to other schools.  Though I did fairly well through my school years, there was no logical reason why the school God wanted me to attend would send me an early acceptance.

As God would have it, I got early acceptance, and He did one even better. They offered me a good-sized scholarship.  What had already been clear to me, became clear to others. What’s more is that I grew more spiritually in that place, than ever before, not because it is some special school, but because of daring to dream and trusting God for the results.

I can also tell you of the numerous times I would feel God showing me who He wanted me to be and what He wanted me to do, down the road.  However, the location of where this would occur, was completely foreign to me.  Then, many years later, as my husband and I were traveling from the airport, for his final pastoral interview and for my teacher interview, I couldn’t help but notice something.  Outside the car windows, for miles and miles, I was looking right at the location of my dreams.  As we arrived, and did some exploring, more of what God had shown me for so long, were now right before me, in living color and in some cases, in flesh and blood!  I cried joyful tears, many times during that weekend.

I have long felt an affinity for Joshua, in the Old Testament. He was a man who clearly dreamed God sized dreams. As he was mentored by Moses, it spoke to me when I read, “Inside the Tent of Meeting, the Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend. Afterward Moses would return to the camp, but the young man who assisted him, Joshua son of Nun, would remain behind in the Tent of Meeting,” in Exodus 33:11. Here was a man God was shaping to see the Promised Land before he would ever step into it. Twelve men had been sent to scout out the Promised Land and report back to Moses, Aaron and the rest of the Israelites. Ten of the twelve could only see what was in front of them, and they passed along their fears to the others that this was not of God, without consulting Him. However, in Numbers 14:5-9, we see Joshua and Caleb not only dreaming God’s way, but truly seeing His reality, before they entered into all God had for His people:

“Then Moses and Aaron fell face down on the ground before the whole community of Israel. Two of the men who had explored the land, Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh, tore their clothing. They said to all the people of Israel, ‘The land we traveled through and explored is a wonderful land! And if the Lord is pleased with us, he will bring us safely into that land and give it to us. It is a rich land flowing with milk and honey. Do not rebel against the Lord, and don’t be afraid of the people of the land. They are only helpless prey to us! They have no protection, but the Lord is with us! Don’t be afraid of them!”

That’s what’s so amazing about dreaming as God desires us to dream. We can’t always see what He places in our hearts and dreams. They don’t always make sense.  Many times, they don’t, because they involve His intervention, rather than man’s, in order for them to come to fruition. But God tells us in Ephesians 3:20, “Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.”  That’s exciting! If we can think it, He is able to do even greater!!! That’s what He wants for us.

Even though that piece of Scripture was written many years after Joshua, Joshua knew the heart of God.  This is probably why in Joshua 10, we see five kings send their united armies to fight against Joshua and the Israelites, out of fear for what they had seen God deliver them from, in prior battles.  This would causes most people to run the other way.  Yet, God had given Joshua big dreams, dreams of who He is and what He wanted for His people.

In Joshua 10:9-14 we read:

“Joshua traveled all night from Gilgal and took the Amorite armies by surprise. The Lord threw them into a panic, and the Israelites slaughtered great numbers of them at Gibeon. Then the Israelites chased the enemy along the road to Beth-horon, killing them all along the way to Azekah and Makkedah. As the Amorites retreated down the road from Beth-horon, the Lord destroyed them with a terrible hailstorm from heaven that continued until they reached Azekah. The hail killed more of the enemy than the Israelites killed with the sword.

On the day the Lord gave the Israelites victory over the Amorites, Joshua prayed to the Lord in front of all the people of Israel. He said, ‘Let the sun stand still over Gibeon, and the moon over the valley of Aijalon.’

So the sun stood still and the moon stayed in place until the nation of Israel had defeated its enemies.

Is this event not recorded in The Book of Jashar? The sun stayed in the middle of the sky, and it did not set as on a normal day.There has never been a day like this one before or since, when the Lord answered such a prayer. Surely the Lord fought for Israel that day!”

Wow! How many of us would ask God to stop time, the revolution of the Earth around the sun, even stop time, very unnatural things, because His people needed more time, and Joshua knew that if he could think it, God could do greater, and God did! He allowed His people to get physically involved in the battle, and as if the sun standing still wasn’t enough to show them who was really at work here, God destroyed those who tried to escape, with a hailstorm. That’s the God we serve, a God who wants us to expect great things from Him.

Looking back at those who dared to dream God sized dreams in the Word, in the lives of others I have known or met, and in my own life, I couldn’t say this better than Paul did in Ephesians 1:3, when he stated, “All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ.”

Did you catch that? He has already blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms! It isn’t future tense.  He has already done it.  All we have to do is enlarge our vision and dream as God wants us to, because He has already ensured us that He is able and has already made a way.

This is why the Dream Centers, which began in LA, came into being and spread world-wide.  This is why the “National Community Church” in Washington, DC stands today and its pastoral staff and congregation continue to be testament to dreaming God’s way. This is why the Assemblies of God exists today.  This is why Wayne Tesch, an ordinary man (like all of God’s big dreamers) began Royal Family Kids Camp, a camp for abused foster kids, which is now over 150 camps strong world-wide!

Are you getting it? God wants us to dream big enough for Him to do even bigger things!  Jesus Himself told us in Matthew 13:23, “The seed that fell on good soil represents those who truly hear and understand God’s word and produce a harvest of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted!” He wants to go WAY beyond whatever we dream.

So start dreaming, but keep God in the equation. Ask Him to enlarge your vision. Dream in accordance to who God is and who He says we are in Him, because we serve a BIG God. Dream, remembering that what is impossible in our eyes is VERY possible in His, and feel free to share with me and my readers about God’s big dreams and what He’s done since you dared to dream!  Not only does it encourage all of us, but each testimony gives glory to God, the giver of great dreams.

As with all of my blog posts feel free to COMMENT, to FOLLOW my blog and to SHARE. I value you taking the time to read my posts.