What is your goal?

There was a time in my life when making money was my goal. I thought success was measured by how much money my husband and I made and how much “stuff” we accumulated.
Then one of my best friends and her family moved to Nicaragua to work in the mission field. That was when my life began to change. I started to question the purpose of my life and career.
While I had been a volunteer at our church for most of my life since accepting Christ as my Savior, I began to think the things I was doing weren’t enough. I felt like I needed to do more, but I didn’t have a clear answer as to what I should do.
A few months after our friends went to Nica, I felt the unexplainable and compelling urge to visit them. I rationalized that I was going to help my friends, and to take them some much-needed supplies.
As I was planning for my trip, I had no idea that God was working in and thru me. I had friends who had been on mission trips, and while I supported them both prayerfully and financially, I felt mission trips were not for me. I liked the luxuries we find as necessities in the States too much to sacrifice them. Things like air conditioning, hot showers, and dependable cars seemed like things I couldn’t live without.
I had never been outside the US before, with the exception of a cruise to Puerta Vallarta. Being on a luxury cruise ship and visiting resort towns hardly qualify as visiting a third world country. It was an exciting and frightening thought. It was also part of God’s plan for my life.
To make a long story short, going to Nicaragua, spending time with my friends there, and assisting them as they ministered to the local people changed my life completely. I came back a different woman. My goals were no longer based on accumulation of money and things, but on what I could do for others. Enhancing relationships, my renewed purpose in life, and utilizing my time to serve those less fortunate became my goal.
I thank God every day for showing me He had a greater purpose for my life. My hope and my prayer is that in some small way, God will allow me to use my experiences and my new-found purpose in life to show others His love for them.
Fear and uncertainty held me back for many years. God showed me that there is no fear when you look to him for hope and strength.
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” ~ Mark Twain

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=james%202&version=NET

What Can You Do Today?

As I write this, I’m tired, sore and covered in dust and dirt. I spent the day at a Habitat for Humanity site with some friends and co-workers. We were all given the opportunity to help someone realize the dream of owning their own home. Today has been the most tiring, yet most rewarding day I’ve had in months.

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I believe in serving others and it’s one of the greatest pleasures I have in life. In James chapter 2 we read:

14 What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? 15 Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, 16 and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do?

17 So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless.

18 Now someone may argue, “Some people have faith; others have good deeds.” But I say, “How can you show me your faith if you don’t have good deeds? I will show you my faith by my good deeds.”

How can you serve someone today? You don’t have to help them build a house. Simple, small gestures can often be monumental to the recipient. A cup of coffee and a few minutes to listen to a friend may be just what they need. Sending a few snacks and a card to a college student will brighten their day. Serving food, folding clothes or planting flowers at a local shelter is fantastic! Find something you love to do, and do it for someone else. Then step back and determine who benefited from your act of kindness more. Many times, the answer is you.