Mouse-like Devotion

A couple of summers ago, we found evidence of mice in our garage so my husband put out a mouse trap. The next morning he called  me to a strange scene. A mouse had been caught and killed in the trap. But next to the trap was another mouse, dead.

We could only speculate that the second one, witnessing the demise of his buddy or mate, had expired from shock.

It was the first time I had ever witnessed such a phenomenon.

I tried to put myself in the second mouse’s shoes…er, paws.

Do I identify that strongly with the sufferings of my own loved ones? That their sufferings or misfortunes become mine as well?

Not like the Apostle Peter who declared that he was willing to follow Jesus even to death, but then denied that he knew Him at the crucial hour.

But more like Priscilla and Aquila, Paul’s fellow workers who risked their lives for him.

Or Andronicus and Junius who were in prison with Paul.

Our little nocturnal intruders into our garage teach me that I, as a human, do not corner the market on loyalty and empathy.

No indeed.

Sometimes we learn about love and brotherly affection from creatures many of us consider vermin.

May I be so devoted.

“Be devoted to one another in brotherly love.” Romans 12:10

Ten Ways to Live Your Own Life

I think I spent at least the first forty years of my life living out other people’s expectations for my own life.

My parents.

My friends.

My family.

What I thought my spiritual leaders expected.

One day I asked myself: What will I regret about my life when I reach the very end of my days?

That my secret and wonderful ambitions will never have been realized because I’ve spent my whole life doing what I believe others expect of me.

And I am by no means suggesting that anyone should shuck their God-given responsibilities and live selfishly.

What I am saying is that I believe God has planted in each of us some glorious image of the kind of person He intends for us to be. And He intends for us to accomplish great and marvelous things.

But instead, we look at a successful sibling, or our best friend, or our pastor, and we imagine that we should live the same life they’re living.

Someone once said, if you imitate some person, the best you can ever be is second best. Because they are the original.

God did not make you to be a carbon copy of another person.

He wants you to be you.

But how do you discover the you He intends for you to be?

Here are ten actions to get you closer to your goal of discovering God’s best for your life:

  1. Get right with God by repentance and faith in Jesus Christ.
  2. Stay in close contact (prayer) with Him throughout each day.
  3. Read and study His Word.
  4. Ask Him what He would have you do. He is the Master!
  5. When you hear His voice prompting you to do something, obey!
  6. Cultivate many relationships with other Believers.
  7. Volunteer for many different types of helps within your church and community.
  8. Take a spiritual gifts test.
  9. Construct a plan for using your specific talents or gifts to bring glory to God.
  10. Remind yourself: Almost anything noteworthy and great is also risky and scary, but the Child of God is noble, adventurous, and courageous!

“Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” (Mt. 10:37-39 NIV Bible)

Seeking the Creator in nature and the arts

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