Updated: Nov 3, 2022
Day Two of Gratitude
Building on 56-plus days of gratitude, it will be 60-days to be exact; from start to finish, I'd like to share my gift in bible study. While the world was thick in "lockdown pandemic life," most friends were binging Netflix movies, and I was binging on sermons and Christian lecturers. Especially on Sundays, since I could make the time to watch up to five. Also, all these sermons are free on YouTube, Facebook, and sometimes on IG. I'm not claiming a special status hear, just identifying what was going on with me and knowing that my heart needed God's fuel! I came across a group on Facebook, Wake Up In the Word, hosted interchangeably by three hosts who partner up each morning, Monday through Friday, at 6:30 a.m. CDT., I listen to the replays since it is too early for me otherwise. I found myself drawn to their genuineness, dedication, and passion for reading the bible with others by sharing their heart through their lessons and commentaries. These three hosts do their homework and are extremely prepared!
At first, I was a little leery, "What are they selling? What do they want from their listeners" but that was soon put away with an appreciation for them on a mission to change the world through God's word and demonstrating God's love by reading and understanding the bible. They were incredibly down to earth, and I appreciated the vulnerability they shared by being open with their spiritual journey. They are genuinely helping others discover a pathway for an intimate relationship with God. Not only did I look forward to hearing their FB podcast in the morning, but I also found myself sharing what I learned that day from their show with others by quoting scriptures from that day or understanding what it meant in context to my life or the world we live in too. Mind you; I listened to them while listening to Pastor Rick Warren, John Maxwell, Pastor Joel Osteen with Family, Joyce Meyers, Father Antonio, Bishop Barron, Father Mike Schmitz, Christ Fellowship Church, All & One Sam Dimas, and the list goes on In other words, the "A-List" of wonderful saints Yes, saints, because I believe God calls all of us to try to achieve sainthood in this life Granted, we are all sinners.
I love the joke, "Where do you find sinners?" And the answer, of course, is "in church!" We are all sinners trying to achieve sainthood in our trials and tribulations, improving ourselves in God's eyes and not worldly desires or concepts So here I was amid all this enriching learning, soul nurturing, a-ha moments, and joy too, when I stumbled upon this morning podcast I don't think it was a mistake by any stretch of the imagination; instead, God blessed me with connecting me to them, And they made it on my list of 56 gratitudes this past 56th birthday! Plus, this community online was great company for me!
Today's podcast struck some cords for me, so why I'm going to share in my daily gratitude journey now. I had just explained to someone, "God isn't a vending machine; he wants a relationship with us!" Diane brought up this very same message! Coincidence? No, I think the Holy Spirit was leading me to this post. In other words, do you talk to God, Or do you only ask God for things? Another chord struck when Diane, one of the hosts, talked about "friends who only reach out to you when they need something." They don't call you to see a movie, grab coffee or dinner, but you hear from them only when they need something from you." This is a deep one for me since I had for many years my brand "411/911; I can be your 411 of information and 911 to call in emergencies." Well, that can be lonely, and I had to "hang that claim of fame hat up" before it swallowed me up in just being used by others and not having my feelings or needs count. I am the person to talk to if you are going through a divorce or cancer or even need a recommendation letter! I'm here. Yet, I realized this wasn't a friendship, and instead of feeling bitter, I turned it around to "what was God wanting me to know about this that can improve my relationship with Him? Realizing that maybe that was me in my relationship with Jesus, causing me to revisit who I was as a friend instead of judging others Did I only talk to Him when I needed something Did I limit my time with Him?
That is when I realized He gave me my personality, which has been such a favor in business, in handling 411/911 situations, and taking care of my loved ones, including clients and nonprofit work. Yet, was I sharing it all with Him too? Maybe God wanted more of my humor with Him. So I became more intentional in including Him in all parts of my day. These are the times I would be speaking to my parents, but instead, now I am talking with Jesus. So washing my dishes, I talk to God. Walking my dogs, I talk to God too. Always knowing He was there with us too. So why not speak to Him, joke with him, etc.? I could go on, but you understand my message here. Instead of feeling hurt by friends' only calling on me to "get something from me," I instead found myself anchoring the situation as an opportunity to be more of a friend to God! I am investing my time and energy here! In return, God has truly blessed me with such special friends on a daily bases. I don't have to worry about ever being lonely because I firmly believe God is placing who needs to be here in my life and moving out who does not. I feel these people in my life must be some of God's favorites because they are awesomely humble, kindhearted, and generous. Carol, over at St. Hedwig of Los Alamitos Church in California, has led their bible study programs for maybe 40-plus years, and I love what she shared about her morning talks with God. Per Carol, "God, do I make you laugh? Please help me make you laugh today."
Take the time to visit Wake Up in the Word on FB and meet Gens Johnson, Diane Cassel, and Brad Keeling. All truly wonderful people. Please note they will take off Thanksgiving week, but plan to tackle Revelations the first two weeks of December. Then they will be off the last two weeks to be with family too. Take the opportunity to listen and learn about the Word through the actual Word, the bible! https://fb.watch/gzTeDqHnkM/