I was away at a conference this week…I don’t usually get much time alone, so I’m trying to take advantage of this time as I sit looking out my hotel window at the last bit of light in the sky and trying to process everything I’ve heard and seen these past few days. There’s so much, but I’m reminded of three things. They’re things we all know, but they’re so easy to lose sight of. So I thought I’d process through my thoughts with you if that’s okay.
I was away this week at a conference in Atlanta for a client I have through EAhelp. I’m a virtual assistant (among all the other hats I wear), and I’ve had this client since December. They host a conference for all their affiliates nation wide every year, and they invited me to come help and to meet everyone I work with.
It was awesome. It was tiring. It was work. It was overwhelming. It was challenging. I laughed at times. And I sobbed (I mean the ugly cry) through devotions this morning as I listened to statistics about how many unreached people groups there still are and how many languages still need a Bible translated into their language and then hearing testimonies of people working to change those very stats.
There were several speakers, and they all talked about amazing things they’re doing for God (it’s a Christian company). They all do different things in ministry, but they all have the same goal: Advancing the Kingdom. It was impacting.
So now I’ve finished packing, I put the finishing touches on a message I’ll be sharing at a Brunch Saturday, and I’m sitting here in my hotel room processing through all I heard this week. There’s so much, but I’m reminded of two things. They’re things we all know, but they are so easy to lose sight of. So I thought I’d process through my thoughts with you if that’s okay.
Number 1: It’s easy to forget…
Sometimes we can get so wrapped up in our day-to-day lives of running kids and making dinner and getting everything done at work and laundry and grocery shopping and…well – you get the idea….that we can forget about the bigger picture. About the people in Africa without clean water. About the people in Tacloban who lost so much in the tsunami or even closer to home….Arkansas. About the people who’ve never even had the privilege of holding a Bible while I have AT THE VERY LEAST 20 Bibles in my house.
I wonder if we often block it out because we feel we’re too small to make an impact. (I call it the “What can I do?” syndrome) But if I learned anything this week, I was reminded that EVERYONE can make an impact. It’s as easy as choosing to. We sometimes just need to think outside the box.
Case in point: My brother-in-law James Lagaras started a plumbing company last year in Maryland. It’s called Clean Water Plumbing. He and his wife Kelly determined they wanted to use it not just to make a living but also to make a difference with it, so 5% of all their profit goes to clean water projects in Africa. Amazing! They’re making an impact. And it’s inspiring.
We can all do something.
Lord, help us not forget. Break our hearts for what breaks Yours and show us our part…what we can do. Help us think outside the box to see where we can make an impact for You right where we are.
Number 2: People want to talk story.
There was a recurring theme I kept hearing from each speaker. People want relationship. People want to talk story. There is power in the telling. They want to tell their story and they want to hear yours. And powerful things happen when you share it. You’ll never know how much you telling your story can empower someone else to step out.
I heard one story of a young girl whose heart was just broken for a certain country. She had a desire to raise $5,000 for it. She didn’t let fear stop her. She didn’t let the “What can I do?” complex hold her back. She forged ahead….and guess what?!?!? She raised $90,000 for her mission. You heard me…ninety thousand dollars!
Then I thought of the things I haven’t dared to do yet because of fear or intimidation and thought…”Well if she can do it…so can I!”
Lord, give us boldness to step out on what You put in our hearts. I pray fear will not hold us back from reaching the potential You see inside of us. Give us the boldness to share our story to bring You glory.
I’ll end with this quote from our devotion time yesterday morning with Jeff Shinabarger:
We are all called to something unique and incredible. The ones who don’t reach that potential usually fall short and hold back because of fear. Don’t let fear paralyze you. Just go for it.
These may be things you are already walking in, but I needed a little reminder….or a good kick in the pants….Thank You Lord for reminding me and rekindling some things in my heart.
And now I have one question for you.
What are you waiting for?