Yesterday I asked readers to give me a title for a blog and I would write on it. A friend gave me the word “PACE” so here I go.
The first thing that I think of when I see the word PACE is an awesome organization that I had the opportunity to work with while doing an internship. The name of the organization is PACE Center for Girls and the work that they do is outstanding. It was an awesome opportunity to work with some great co-workers and meet some very talented and gifted young women. I had the pleasure of being able to interact with the girls on a daily basis during the school week. One of the greatest experiences was organizing a talent show that the young ladies did. I was so impressed by all of the talent that they displayed and it was a day that I will never forget. If you are looking for a great organization to support with either time or money, I would highly recommend them. Here is the link to check them out: http://www.pacecenter.org/about-us
The word “pace” also reminded me of the term “set the pace” and that means to lead the way in doing or achieving something. Your pace is your manner of walking or running. If you are a runner or walker, you understand the importance of “pace” especially if you are a competitive runner. If you are a competitive runner, you want to set the pace so that others will have to run faster to be able to catch up with you but your goal is to keep up the pace or even pick up the pace so that you are the one who finishes first.
If you are a leader, you lead by example and go before to set the pace for others to follow. If you are a true leader, you enjoy seeing others pick up their pace and the best thing that can happen is to be outdone by those whom you were leading because that means that you have been a great example and have taught them well. The greatest compliment a leader can have is to have a person or people whom they have led exceed what they have done. If you are a good parent, you want your children to succeed and excel to the point of doing even better than what you have done in your life. That is why we try to teach our children about our experiences so they can learn and possibly avoid some of the pitfalls we have experienced. They do not always listen but we share with them anyway in order to help them.
I have seen some great leaders and I have seen some not-so-great leaders. Some are threatened by the success of others and that is sad. King Saul in the Bible was one of those. He loved David until he became jealous and then he wanted to kill David and tried many times. Read 1 Samuel 18 and keep reading past that to see the whole story.
The question for all of us is…
Are we setting the pace and leading by example so that others will learn, pick up the pace and finish well?
I just did a blog titled “The Weight of It” (a title a friend gave me when I asked her to give me a title for a blog). I am not sure of how many readers I have but I would LOVE to hear from you so I am going to ask you the same thing. Please give me some titles and I will write about the title you give me. Just a reminder that I am a Christian so as long as the titles don’t use profanity or include things that go against what would honor the Lord, I will do my best to entertain you!
Ready, set, go….
This morning I asked my friend to give me a title to write about on my blog. She gave me the title “The Weight of It” so here I go.
Weights can be either a good or bad things. If you are a body builder, you might actually like lifting weights because you know that lifting weights is good resistance training and will build muscles. If you are not a body builder, you might not like weights because they could slow you down or be cumbersome to try to lift or carry. If we try to carry even a small weight, after a prolonged period of time, it can feel like it is VERY heavy! A five pound bag would seem like nothing to lift out of a grocery bag and put on the shelf but if you were carrying it around for the whole day, it may seem like one hundred pounds!
Many of us have been carrying weights around for many years and we have been slowed down or burdened by them. They might have caused discouragement, depression, hopelessness and other negative things in our lives. When we first picked up the weight, it seemed small and insignificant so maybe we did not see it as a problem but after carrying it for a while, the weight of it has taken a toll on us. Maybe someone offended you at some point (that is inevitable in life) and instead of letting go of it, you have carried the weight of it! By now, it may have caused the weight of unforgiveness, anger, bitterness, hatred, resentment and other negative things. It is no longer a small weight that you carry but a huge weight that prevents you from living a joyful life of victory.
Hebrews 12:1-2 says:
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Are you carrying weights around that you need to drop? Decide to release anything that you have been carrying that should NOT belong to you and you will see how great life can be without the weight of it.
Have you ever thought or said the words “if only”? I have been guilty of thinking and saying that so many times in my life and still slip up and think or say it occasionally. I have wished many times that time machines and time travel were realities so that I could travel back and make different decisions for my life. Of course, I would want the wisdom I have acquired over the years when I did go back in time so that I would not repeat the same things a second time. I am sure that most people who are honest would admit that they also have wished they could go back and make different choices.
Have you ever tried to drive forward while looking in the rearview mirror? If you try to do that, you will crash because you are concentrating on what is behind you while trying to go forward! We all could learn from that analogy. Philippians 3:13-14 says:
13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
Paul realized that in order to reach forward, you have to quit looking backwards. If we choose to live in the past and concentrate on past mistakes, we will never move forward. When we repent for the sins, mistakes and bad decisions of our past, God not only forgives us but He forgets those things and wipes the slate clean. However, sometimes we hold those things against ourselves and have trouble letting them go. The good news is that, if we choose to do so, we can let them go and start moving forward. If we learned from our past mistakes, we have gained knowledge and wisdom to help us with future decisions so we don’t repeat the same things. Our past can either keep holding us back or help us with our future! The decision is ours so the next time we have that thought or start to speak those words, we need to stop that in its’ tracks and look forward!
Christians, be VERY careful about the words you speak about other Christians and what they are doing. If a brother or sister in the Lord is in error or sin, we need to correct them in a spirit of love and humility but I am not talking about situations like that. I am talking about visions, callings and ministries. Not everyone is called to do the same things in the same ways. Be very careful not to criticize someone because they don’t have the same vision or calling as you! Each of us will be held accountable to God for what God has told US to do. We must be faithful and obedient to God in that calling..even if it means that we are criticized and misunderstood! If God has placed something in our hearts to do for Him, we MUST be faithful and obedient to God, keep our hearts and motives pure before Him and do it! However, while we are doing what He has given us to do, we must guard against being critical and judgmental of others who are doing other things in different ways than we do them. Please read Luke 9:49-50 and be VERY careful not to judge and criticize others!
I posted the following comment on a post that a dear Brother in the Lord posted on his page: Every Christian has a calling and vision from the Lord. Some will not have the SAME vision and will not understand what God has put in YOUR heart. Just be faithful and obedient to what God has put in YOUR heart and do what God is asking of you. God will bring others with the same vision to join you. If we ALL do the things that God has put in OUR hearts to do, have the right motivations and are faithful to our callings, think of how the world will change! The main thing for every Christian to do is love and pray for each other and to stay humble and obedient to the Lord at all times! God bless you!
Back in June of 2016, I posted something on a Facebook page and it is just as relevant today as then. I just found this again and it is funny because I was just talking with a brother in the Lord last night about some of the things I had written in here back then. When I found it this morning, I decided to post it on my blog so here it is:
I am not perfect and neither are others who are Christians! People who are not Christians are sometimes quick to judge Christianity based our our imperfections. Please don’t judge a perfect God by His imperfect people! If you are a Christian and judge other Christians because they sin in other ways than you do, stop that! ALL have sinned and come short of the glory of God! We should be praying for each other.
I will be quick to admit that I am far from perfect and have made some bad choices in my life which took me wandering down a wrong path for awhile. The great news is that once we realize we are on the wrong path, if we genuinely repent, God not only forgives us but He FORGETS our sins! God is AMAZING! HE is perfect so He is the ONLY one who would have a right to judge us but He forgives and forgets!
In my case, I have always been my harshest judge! Even after I repent for bad decisions that resulted in sin (anything that pulls our attention from God and what He wants for us) , I have continued to lament those decisions and condemn myself. Satan wants to keep us down by reminding us of our imperfections even after we repent. Satan is the accuser of the brethren and he wants to keep us from what God has for us. The Christian singer Carmen says that whenever the devil reminds him of his past, he reminds the devil of his (the devils’) future! In my case though, I have been a harsher judge of myself than satan has. The funny thing about this is one of my main spiritual giftings from God is mercy! I have no problem extending mercy to others but it is different when I need to show myself some! Our judgment of ourselves can hold us down and back from what God has for us.
This morning I was thinking about times I have missed God and He spoke to me to “Get over it!” With God’s help, I will extend the same mercy to myself that I extend to others and learn from it!
What I have learned is that ALL failure is a prayer and relationship failure! When we become distracted and our one on one time with the Lord diminishes, we are opening ourselves up to deception and sin. Satan does not come to us and tell us to commit a sin because we would recognize that was wrong and not do it. What he does is try to distract us with things that will steal our time with the Lord and hinder our relationship with God slowly. This can even be done by seemingly good things like ministry. We can get so busy with ministering to others that we lack in our time ministering to the Lord and letting God minister to us! We need to watch out for anything that starts taking our focus off of the Lord and make sure that God truly comes FIRST in our lives!
This message is ONLY for people who profess to be Christians. Did you accept Jesus and become a Christian when you were 4 years old, 12 years old or at some other point in your life? I went to a church as a teenager and most of the congregation were probably between 40-70 years old. When it came time to give testimonies, it was not unusual to hear something like this ” I thank God that He saved me ____ years ago.” That is wonderful but I always wondered if that was the last thing God had done for them since that is all they testified about. Our Christian walk is NOT supposed to be a one-time experience but a way of life that we live out on a daily basis! Where are we now compared to where we were when we first got saved? We are NOT supposed to stay babies but we are supposed to grow and mature in Him. If we are just relying on what happened to us at one given time in our lives so that we can make it into Heaven, we have a very wrong mindset! God wants us to grow up and mature in Him. To do that, we have to have an ongoing, personal, intimate relationship with Him. We have to get close to Him, seek Him, pray, learn His Word, and let Him do the work in us that needs to be done so we are mature and Godly representatives of the Lord on this earth. It really has NOTHING to do with how many years we have been saved but it has EVERYTHING to do with what we have done in those years to grow and mature in our relationship with Him! Have we gotten closer to Him and become more like Him or are we still the same as we were the day we met Him? We become like those we spend the most time with so if we are spending time in God’s presence daily, then we will become more like HIM! We will find ourselves being transformed into His image. Our earthly, carnal way of thinking will begin to change and we will start thinking, talking and acting like mature Christians. We need to examine our hearts and take an honest look at our lives. Are we thinking, acting and speaking like mature Christians or would non-Christians look at us and be unable to see any difference between us and them? What fruit are we producing? Are we ABIDING in the Vine (Jesus)? Do we have a daily relationship with Him?