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B Moments, mercy

Always Show Others Mercy and Compassion

This is our B moment. Our moment to be still…to be fed by the Word of God…to be grateful.

Scripture reference: Galatians 6:2 (ESV)

Today, I am thinking about how Jesus expects us to show mercy to one another.

Recently, we sent an inspiring message to our brothers and sisters in Texas who recently endured Hurricane Harvey and its grueling aftermath. We also have been watching the scenes on TV, observing everyday people helping one another. In fact, very little seems to divide us in times of tragedy.

However, Jesus teaches us that we don’t have to wait for a time of tragedy to show compassion and mercy to our brothers and sisters. This is seen particularly clearly in Jesus’ illustration of the Samaritan man.

In the story, a Jewish man was traveling from Jerusalem to Jericho when he was attacked by a group of bandits. They stripped him of his money and his clothes, beat him badly, and left him for dead on the side of the road.

A Jewish priest came along, saw his injured form, and crossed over to the other side of the road. Shortly thereafter, a temple assistant walked over, looked down at the man, and then went on his way.

After some time, a Samaritan man came along, knelt down beside the injured man, soothed his wounds with medicine, bandaged him up, and paid for him to stay at an inn where he could heal even further.

When Jesus finished telling this story to a man he was teaching, he asked him which of the three men had been a neighbor to the man in need. The student quickly answered that it was the one who had shown him mercy. Jesus replied that he was correct and asked him to go out into the world and do the same.

As we’re thinking about our fellow brothers and sisters, let us cling to these words: “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2 (ESV)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, take a moment to show a little more mercy and compassion.

blog, tragic

In Tragic Times, Christ Will Heal You

blog, tragicWe’ve all seen the devastation Hurricane Harvey has wreaked. Whether or not we’ve been personally affected, the hurricane has left us thinking about what we can do in the wake of terrible tragedy. In truth, the best thing we can do in these tragic situations is to help others while worshiping Christ.

Here are 3 methods to cope with tragedy when it strikes:

  1. Trust that Jesus is the resurrection. In the gospel of John, Jesus taught an incredibly important lesson through one of his last miraculous acts. In the Scripture, he allowed Lazarus to die so that he could bring him back from the dead four days later. The purpose waiting was so that God’s glory could be showcased through Lazarus’ revival. It showed that Jesus is the resurrection and that his light can be seen in the darkest of circumstances. Therefore, during those difficult times, the times when it feels as though everything has been taken from you, recall that Jesus, the resurrection, will restore everything to you. So today, hold Jesus’ power of resurrection in your heart and remember these words: “And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by His power.” 1 Corinthians 6:14 (ESV)
  2. Make time for real worship. In stressful times, it can be difficult to remember to worship in the way God intended. For example, after Lazarus was raised from the dead, his sisters threw a gigantic celebration to thank Jesus. During the party, one of the sisters spent all of her time running around, trying to make everything perfect for Jesus. Because of all the stress she was under, this first sister neglected to sit by Jesus and hear his stories. However, the other sister spent the entire time sitting at Jesus’ feet and clinging onto his every word. Although the first sister meant well, Jesus pointed out that while she was chasing perfection, her sister had already found it and, in doing so, had worshiped him in the truest way possible. In other words, in times of stress it might be hard to focus wholly on worshiping Jesus in the unfailing way he intended, but it is more important than anything else you could possibly do. Therefore, hold these words in your heart: “Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised.” Psalm 145:3 (ESV)
  3. Show others endless mercy and compassion. Sometimes, it can be all too easy to ignore those in need. Take the story of the Good Samaritan. When a Jewish man was robbed, beaten, and left on the side of the road, several people passed him without helping before a Samaritan walked up to him, bandaged his wounds, and took him to an inn where he could further heal. In other words, the injured man was left for dead by numerous people before the Good Samaritan finally came to the rescue. So, in times of tragedy—and in your everyday life—make sure you treat others just as you would your neighbor since we are all brothers and sisters in God’s love. The next time you are debating whether or not to show compassion and mercy to another, keep these words in your heart:“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2 (ESV)

Today, turn your blues to blessings by remembering that Jesus will lead you through tragic times.

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep.” John 10:11 (ESV)

Share this reflection with 5 others, and click here to order your copy of Blues to Blessings: from Fearful to Faithful today.

B Moments, retaliate

Embrace Compassion Rather Than Retaliation

This is our B moment. Our moment to be still…to be fed by the Word of God…to be grateful.

Scripture reference: Genesis 50:20 (NLT)

Today, I am thinking about the times when we have the perfect opportunity to retaliate against someone, particularly against someone who has hurt us badly, but we choose not to engage.

When I think of someone who had the perfect reason to retaliate but chose not to, I think of Joseph. Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery, and he ended up in a prison cell for more than twelve years.

As we know, Joseph did not become obsessed about how he would repay his brothers’ cruelty. Instead, he accepted his reality and looked to God for his release.

He also knew that if he was in jail, that was where God wanted him to be at that particular time. He trusted the Lord and His plan for him.

Joseph was eventually released, and when he gained his freedom, he went from his prison cell directly to the palace. Once he reached the palace, he was appointed second in command only to Pharaoh, who was Egypt’s ruler.

Given his new prominent position, Joseph’s brothers assumed he would surely retaliate against them since he had the perfect reason and the perfect opportunity.

Instead, Joseph did the opposite. When his brothers approached him, pleading for forgiveness, he responded with compassion and not revenge.

The words that I will use to inspire us to do the same are: “You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good.” Genesis 50:20 (NLT)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, release your intentions of retaliation and embrace compassion.

b moment, retaliation

I Could Retaliate, But I Won’t

b moment, retaliation

This is our B moment. Our moment to be still…to be fed by the Word of God…to be grateful.

Scripture reference: Genesis 50:20 (NLT)

Today I am thinking about how we can have the perfect opportunity to retaliate against someone, particularly someone who has hurt us, but we choose not to engage.

When I think about someone who had the perfect reason to retaliate and chose not to, I think of Joseph. Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery, and he ended up in a prison cell for more than twelve years.

Although, Joseph did not allow his brothers to steal his power. The Scriptures show us that once in prison, Joseph did not become obsessed with how he would repay or retaliate against his brothers.

Instead, he accepted his reality, and looked to God for his release.  He also believed that he would have not been in jail if God didn’t want him there, or if his prison stay was not serving a greater purpose.

As I recently mentioned, Joseph went from the prison cell to the palace in one day.  Not only did he reach the palace, but he was appointed second in command only to Pharaoh, Egypt’s ruler.

Given his new prominent position, Joseph’s brothers assumed that he would surely retaliate against them since he had the perfect reason, and the perfect opportunity.

Joseph did the exact opposite.  When his brothers approached him pleading for his forgiveness, He responded with compassion, not revenge.  I think we can say we’ve come full circle when we can replace the desire to retaliate with compassion.  

The Words that I will use to inspire me are, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. ” Genesis 50:20 (NLT)

Share this B Moment, because others desire to be inspired.

So today, release retaliation and embrace compassion.

 

b moments, compassion

The Need for More Compassion

b moments, compassion

This is our B moment. Our moment to be still…to be fed by the Word of God…to be grateful.

Scripture reference: Matthew 7:12 (ESV)

This morning I am feeling that there is a growing need for more compassion in our society. Recently it was reported that Chicago hit the devastating milestone of five hundred homicides in 2016 – a figure that breaks my heart especially, because Chicago is my home city.

I was talking just the other day with a girlfriend who works a couple of days a week at one of the community-based organizations working to help first-time offenders get their lives back on course.  One day she started talking to one of the men there just out of the blue.

She said that they engaged in conversation for almost an hour. “It really seemed like I was just talking to a man about his life’s journey and some of the pitfalls of his journey. It did not seem like I was talking to a criminal per se,” she told me.

After talking with him and learning more about his story, the man said to my friend, “Even though I’ve been with this organization for a while, you are the first person who has taken an interest in me to understand my story.”

This reminded me of when Jesus told his disciples in Matthew 9:37-38, “The harvest is so great, but the workers are so few.  So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send out more workers for his fields.”

The Words that I use to teach me are, “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.”  Matthew 7:12 (ESV)

Please share this reflection because others also desire to be inspired.

So today, take a moment to share just a little more compassion wherever you are.

Fail Forward

Fail Forward

Fail Forward, Failing Forward

This is our B moment. Our moment to be still…to be fed by the Word of God…to be grateful.

Scripture reference: Philippians 3:12 (NLT)

Today I am appreciating that I am finally learning how to fail forward. I’m learning how to make mistakes more gracefully, how to learn from them, and not always chide myself for my imperfections. The ultimate change that I have been experiencing is in not seeing myself as the mistake. I MADE an error; I am NOT the error. As I pondered this concept, I thought back to when this may have started for me. I can remember in grade school when I would get a test back.  The results were great –  95% A..  Although, instead of celebrating myself in that moment, I would gravitate to the one error that I had made.

Even as an adult in the professional realm, when I got a performance review, the reaction was the same. Even though the review itself may be a good review, my eyes would immediately roam to the wording in the margins.  Consequently, I would internalize those remarks rather then using use them to add to my personal depth and wisdom, should growth and learning be warranted.

The Words that I am using to encouraging myself to fail forward are, “I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things, or even reached perfection, but I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me.” Philippians 3:12 NLT 

Tomorrow let’s talk about gratitude. Please share this reflection with compassion, for ourselves and those with whom we meet.

Today, if you fail, fail forward!

B Moment icon

God Has a Different Path for Me

B Moment iconMy moment to Be still…to Be fed by the Word of God…to Be grateful.

Scripture reference:  Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT)