Thursday, April 30, 2015

"Where is Your Faith?"

Jesus asked His disciples, "Where is your faith?"  They had all been traveling in a boat together when a huge storm came up.  Jesus had been sleeping in the boat after a day of ministry.  His disciples woke Him up because they were afraid of the storm.  After Jesus calmed the storm, He asked them this very relevant question.  (Luke 8:22-25)

I have found myself in situations where I should have asked other people, "Where is your faith?"

I didn't think of that question at the time.  However, looking back now, that was the right question to ask other believers.

Awhile back, I was having a phone conversation with a friend who I hadn't talked to in a couple of months.  I shared with her some personal good news as well as some of my prayer concerns or requests.  As I shared with her my concerns, at every turn, she gave me a negative and worldly view instead of a good and Biblical perspective.  It caught me off guard.  I didn't expect it from her because normally she was a supportive, encouraging, and praying-type friend. 

We previously had shared some good times in life and ministry when we lived physically closer together.  Yet, the distance had not only separated us physically but also spiritually over recent months.  We weren't in the same place physically nor spiritually.  After our conversation, I was just stunned.  What had happened?  Or, better yet, what had not happened?

A personal conversation with another friend also surprised me.  After a women's Bible study and prayer group meeting, I requested to speak to the leader in private.  I shared with her some personal information regarding my spiritual journey.  I expected her to speak life to me and over the situation that I shared with her.  Instead, she spoke death.  She even told me there was no hope. 

What?  No hope?  I thought to myself after our conversation.  Unbelievable!  A leader of a Bible study group telling me, 'There's no hope'.

Afterwards, I had to encourage and pray for myself as well as pray for her.  There is always hope.  Jesus is our hope!  With God, all things are possible (Matthew 19:26). 

Why didn't she think that?  Why didn't she say it?  Perhaps, she was having a personal crisis of faith at the time.  I couldn't believe it though.  We had finished Bible study earlier where she talked about speaking life.  Now, she was doing the opposite.

Anyway, to both of those ladies and any others who are now lacking faith, I have to ask..."Where is Your Faith?"

Copyright 2015 by Dawn Freeman. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

We Learn What We Live

Children learn what they live.  I am sure that you have heard that one before.  It is actually the title of the written work, Children Learn What They Live, by Dorothy Law Nolte published in 1972.

Recently, I was reminded of specifically the title because it is also a good and true sentence.

I was working on a paper for seminary in the last couple of weeks.  I was having a difficult time finishing it.  It was already late.  I had already missed the deadline for the on-time submission.  However, as I was working on finishing it up, I heard my mother's voice inside of my head saying, "Get it done!  Just get something down on paper, and get it done."

It has been more than 20 years since my mom passed away.  Yet, while growing up and being in school, those kind of words came from my mother to me usually when I was working on a paper or another school assignment.

I have always been somewhat of a perfectionist and, at times, procrastinate until the last minute on projects such as research papers.  My mom on the other hand was not that way.  She was more of the get it done, matter of fact, straight forward, practical type of mother.  Of course, I am also a lot like that in my life. 

But, when it normally came to doing school work, I was not that type.  I believe it helped me having her there with me telling me, "Get it done, Dawn!  Get something down on paper.  Get it done!"

We all need people like that in our lives.  People who will motivate, challenge, and inspire us to be our best selves.  People who will push us to the limits in a good way.

I am glad that I had her there with me at the time.  As I mentioned earlier, I can sometimes still hear her voice after all of these years which brings me to another point.

"Train up a child in the way (s)he should go, and when (s)he is old (s)he will not depart from it." (Proverbs 22:6, NKJV - emphasis added mine)

By my mother helping me during my earlier years in school, I am able to still hear her voice in the way that she would want me to go in school---specifically during seminary now. 

God is so good and amazing!  He give us our parents, siblings, relatives, friends, and others in our lives.  Everyone has a part to play in God's purpose and plan for us (See Jeremiah 29:11).  They all help lead, guide, and direct us into the path that God has for us. 

Who has influenced you in your life?  Will you take the time to tell them, "Thank you!"?  If they aren't still living in this world, will you then "Thank God!"?  Thank Him for giving you that person, those people, whoever they may be or may have been to you for all the years they have been in your life.  They influenced you.  They helped mold you, make you, and shape you into the person you are today.  God used them whether they acknowledge, realize, know, or understand it.  You are now better for having had that person or those people in your life.

"For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."  (Ephesians 2:10, NIV)

Copyright 2015 by Dawn Freeman. All rights reserved.