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Relationships Matter

It is my prayer that this long weekend be the start of us (me included) going the extra mile to spend time with loved ones and those that are less fortunate. It has been my experience that the busyness of life coupled with low tolerance of others causes us to isolate inside of our own bubbles. The more people that I converse with the more I am finding that only spending quality time with our immediate family is the new normal. The immediate family generally includes those that we live in the same house with. This is not the plan of God. I can honestly confess that time just gets away from me. I intend to reach out or to go and check on family but I fail miserable. A lot of my failed attempts can be attributed to my preconceived notion of the visit or call.  Guilty.  This past week the Holy Spirit dealt with me personally on this topic so I am sharing.

How can we ever expect to truly understand one another if we don’t put in the time? Ministries can truly be effective when the members take the time out to develop real relationships with one another. Families can heal sooner if we set aside our intolerable differences and accept people for who they are. We have to remain humble and come to grips with the fact that we too have habits and quirks that are less attractive than we think. Patience with one another in any group setting is possible through the act of love.

The bottom line is that we have to stretch ourselves with the instruction of the Holy Spirit to show love to God and to others through our efforts to develop relationships. The world would be a better place.

I encourage you to make the phone call today. Drive over to see your Aunt or Uncle. Face time your best friend from high school. Call a member of your ministry for no reason at all but to say hello. Go the extra mile and expect a difference in your life and in the life of others. To God be the Glory!

The Audacity to have Expectations!

I so love this time of the year when we get to share with family and friends all of the joys of moving forward as we ourselves or our children, grandchildren, spouses, siblings and/or friends graduate. I thoroughly enjoy scrolling through social media and taking in all of the memorable photos and videos. I can always feel the corner of my mouth turning upwards; smiling from the inside out. What a fantastic feeling of celebration that comes over us as the completion of a goal has come to pass! I remember receiving my graduate degree in 2013 and all of the emotions that consumed me on that day. I was full of excitement and great anticipation of what the future would hold. All of those long hours of studying and writing, meeting with project team members and grueling exams gave me the right to expect something in return. I expected to have more confidence and greater self-esteem. I expected my daughter to have another reason to look up to me and to know that she could accomplish this as well. I now expected to get a better job. I now expected a greater salary. I expected a return on my investment. The commitment, dedication and completion gave me the audacity to have expectations. Imagine that! I yielded some of these expectations right away and others I still had to work hard at achieving. Today, I am still striving at some of them. When I achieve one goal, I’m on to the next.

What I’ve concluded is that as children of the most high, we should never become satisfied with the mundane, low level, grasshopper accomplishments that even non-believers can achieve. Life as a co-heir with Jesus Christ gives me the bold audacity to always want more and to believe in dreams that I haven’t dreamed yet! I am a recipient of the investment that Jesus made on the cross. I have access to super natural achievements and miraculous success. The challenge in all of this is staying focused on the assignments and not to be overwhelmed by the processes. It’s going to take a lot of work at remaining to be a vessel that can be used. God does the work but we are the vessels that he uses to do the work. So just as academic matriculation requires studying, working on teams, being tested, learning, making mistakes etc. so does being a student of the gospel of Jesus Christ! There never has to be a stopping point and the results are much greater. The price has been paid, there won’t be any student loan debt and the final reward is eternal. To God be the glory! I have the audacity to have expectations!