The Lunch Invitation

Nancy looked at the lunch invitation with delight. Meals at her friends’ house were always an adventure. They liked to experiment with their recipes, often finding creative ways to tweak the ingredients to make the dishes unique and unforgettable. This meal, scheduled for the following week, should be no exception.

Each day she tried to imagine what they would be serving.  Probably nothing as ordinary as spaghetti or grilled cheese, unless they added some fun ingredients, of course. Maybe something with lobster, she thought, mentally licking her lips.

Finally the day came and she drove to her friends’ house with great anticipation

“Come on in! I’m so glad you’re here!” Susan exclaimed as she held the door open for Nancy.

“Thank you for the invite,” Nancy replied. “I love your cooking!”

They walked down the hall towards the kitchen. “Bob is finishing the salad right now. We kind of burned the main dish so we added some extra ingredients to make the salad larger. I hope you don’t mind.”

“Not at all. Salad actually sounds good.” Nancy knew whatever they served would be amazing.

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The large salad in the center of the kitchen table did look amazing. So full of greens with lots of colorful veggies, eggs, and cheeses mixed in.

Bob held the salad fork and motioned to the salad. “We weren’t expecting to have to make such a big salad and didn’t have enough greens so I added some lettuce leaves from our backyard garden. It’s the first time we’ve ever grown lettuce and I’m so excited that they were ready to use today.”

Nancy glanced out the window to the back yard, then stared with horror. A dog was peeing on the bed of lettuce. Was this the same bed that Bob got his lettuce for the salad? It had to be.

“Umm…” she began. “Your dog is… umm… peeing on your lettuce.”

“Oh, that’s OK,” Bob said. “He does that all the time. It doesn’t hurt the lettuce.”

Nancy looked at the salad. Was some of that peed on lettuce part of this salad?

Susan saw her look and said, “Don’t worry. I’m sure Bob rinsed the lettuce before adding it to the salad.”

“Of course,” Bob agreed. “I always do.”

Nancy thought of the quick rinse she usually did to her own vegetables. Surely he did better than that.

“Besides,” Susan went on, “even if he happened to use a lettuce leaf that had gotten peed on, it’s such a little part of this salad that you won’t even notice.”

Somehow, Nancy had lost her appetite and began wondering what excuse she could make to get out of there without eating.

Later, much later, she thought… is this like us and sin? We think we do so many wonderful things that a little sin here or there doesn’t really matter. But is that how God sees sin? That it’s OK to accept small sins as long as we basically try to do the right things? Would that be like Susan and Bob accepting that salad since it was basically all good ingredients? A little contamination wouldn’t be noticed?

No, God was pure holiness. There was no darkness in Him at all. So all sin, no matter how small, must be as despicable to Him as the possible yellow lettuce had been to her.

Wow! That sure puts sin in a whole new light.

Three Day Quote Challenge, Day 2

Here is my second quote:

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It seems there’s drama everywhere I look. Lots of emotional people expressing their opinions and disagreements. And it’s soooo easy to be drawn into it. However, as Christians, I believe we should be influencing others, not being influenced. After all, Christ lives in us and we should be allowing His peace as well as light to shine through us. If we get pulled into other people’s storms, our light is diminished just as storm clouds diminish the light from the sun. And our peace is destroyed just as the winds destroy the peace of calm sunny days.  We have the peace of Jesus in us  but only by staying out of the storms will be able to share it with those who come seeking refuge.

In the same vein, I also like the visual from the following quote. Repeating it usually helps me stay out of other people’s drama:

Not my circus. Not my monkeys.  (or zoo or jungle).

I’ve heard it from several places and I don’t know who to give credit to for it. If you know, kindly tell me so I can add it to this blog.

Thank you again Sue Love at Run With It for nominating me for this Three Day Quote Challenge.

Now I would like to nominate God’s Warrior at Taking Up My Cross for the 3 Day Quote Challenge because he has a wide range of interests and is completely bible based. I can’t wait to see which quotes he decides to share!

Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.

For 3 days, provide a quote each day and why you like or chose that quote.

Nominate one or more bloggers each of the three days for the Challenge and then send them a comment letting them know they have been nominated.

(When you receive a nomination, if you’re too busy, you can do it later if need be.)

Light of the World Award

I was delightfully surprised to be nominated for the Light of the World Award again, thislotw-award-200 time by the awesome dancer, photographer, and writer BibleBloggerGirl of Teen, Meet God.  Her love for God at such a young age is an inspiration to me!  This award was created by Joe from Lighthouse Devotions. I like this award because its name is all about what I’m trying to do with my blogs – shine a little light into the world. To be nominated twice is the highest compliment I could receive! Thank you so much, Shae!

Here are the rules:

  1. Save and add the award image on your blog. (Here is the link for the award post with image and rules of award.)
  2. Create a page/post to mention the award nomination and thank the person/blog that nominated you. Make sure you provide a link to their site.
  3. Give credit to the creator of the award (Lighthouse Devotions) and provide a link to the site as well.  (http://www.Lighthousedevotions.blog)
  4. List the rules.
  5. Answer the next four questions on the same post:
    1. What three words would you use to describe your blog?
    2. In what way(s) can a Christian shine for Christ?
    3. What bible verse (quote it) talks about being a light in a dark and lost world?
    4. What Christian song do you know that has the word “light” in it? Provide a link if available.
  6. Nominate 7 or more people/blogs to receive the award. Briefly explain why you think they should receive it and provide a link to their sites.
  7. Contact them and let them know that you nominated them.
  8. Provide them with a link to the Rules page.
  9. Say a prayer thanking God for His light and ask that He continue to shine it through you and your blog.
  10. Keep shining the light of Christ wherever you go and in whatever you do!

 

My new answers:

  1. God-focused, variety, encouraging
  2. by walking the talk – by really believing what we say we believe, and being open about that belief
  3. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.
  4. Lights Shine Bright by TobyMac (feat Hollyn)

 

My nominees:

I have nominated many amazing bloggers for this and another award, and most have not accepted them. I know of a few reasons, but most I can only guess. The last thing I want to do is bother anyone by nominating them when they’d prefer not to be involved. So, instead of trying to guess who’d appreciate being nominated, I’m going to do this a different way.  If you’d like to be nominated, or know someone who would love to receive this award, leave me a comment. I will choose seven who, as the award says, shine Jesus’ light in a dark world and list them here. 🙂

Light of the World Award

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Wow! What a great birthday! Most years my birthday passes as just another day – nothing special happens and there’s no celebrations. I expected the same this year.

But I was wrong. I feel like God celebrated my day with me by giving me several gifts – an unexpected check in the mail, a unexpected gift from my husband, an ultrasound and good news about my soon-to-be-born first granddaughter, and now… the Light of the World Award!

Thank you Joe from Lighthouse Devotions for nominating me!

Joe created this award to honor authors (bloggers) whose presence on the web serve as a shining light for Christ and His Gospel of salvation. (You can read his words here.)

There is no greater honor he could have given me!

 

 

Here are the rules:

  1. Save and add the award image (pictured above) on your blog.
  2. Create a page/post to mention the award nomination and thank the person/blog that nominated you. Make sure you provide a link to their site.
  3. Give credit to the creator of the award (Lighthouse Devotions) and provide a link to the site as well.
  4. List the rules.
  5. Answer the next four questions on the same post:
  6. What three words would you use to describe your blog?
  7. In what way(s) can a Christian shine for Christ?
  8. What bible verse (quote it) talks about being a light in a dark and lost world?
  9. What Christian song do you know that has the word “light” in it? Provide a link if available.
  10. Nominate 7 or more people/blogs to receive the award. Briefly explain why you think they should receive it and provide a link to their sites.
  11. Contact them and let them know that you nominated them.
  12. Proved them with a link to the Rules page.
  13. Say a prayer thanking God for His light and ask that He continue to shine it through you and your blog.
  14. Keep shining the light of Christ wherever you go and in whatever you do!

 

 

Here are my answers.

A.  creative, glorifying, unique

B.  The people I’ve known that seemed to shine the brightest were people who had a heart for Jesus and lived by what He taught. By all of what He taught. What HE taught. No matter how hard.

C.  1 Peter 2:9  But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you  may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light.

D.  Shine Jesus Shine    an old worship song I loved!!

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And my Nominees…

His Perfect Timing – always positive, great graphics and even songs

Pastor Tommy Grace for the Race – relates scripture to everyday life, makes me feel like I really can be a light in this world

Sue Love Run With It       –  shines the light of His Word through scripture based commentary and song

T. R. Noble, Inside Cup – songs, devotionals, commentaries, – her light shines through all of it

Efua Grace Over Pain  – several kinds of posts, always interesting and positive

Amy Blount A New Life  – God’s power to redeem and restore is a powerful light to those with traumatic backgrounds

Becoming His Tapestry – uplifting, makes me feel she’s writing directly to me

 

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. – Matthew 5:14 (NAS)

You Are the Nightlight of the World

Feeling sad and discouraged, she read the words in Matthew 5: “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.  (v.14-15)

Really?

Where was that light when an old friend told her, “I don’t need Jesus. I don’t want Jesus.” She had been too confused to respond. How could anyone not want Jesus?

Where was that light when she visited her siblings? The discord she found there had worked its way inside her until she had gotten drawn into it. OK, maybe not as deeply as they were, but still. Where was her light?

Sadly, she read Matthew’s words again and thought, if Christians are the light of the world, I must be a nightlight. And I don’t seem to be doing a very good job at even that.

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That next couple of days, she kept getting the message to persevere. To take things one step at a time and not compare herself with others. She sighed. She’d rather be a bright light in the lives of those around her, but if the best she could be was a nightlight, then she’d persevere in being that nightlight. Yet, deep in her heart, she continued to struggle. How could Jesus be happy with her when her light was little more than that lamp under a bowl?

Years later, she received a letter from a friend.  In it, he described a vision he had had. He had seen a small girl, standing before Jesus, head down, ashamed because she feels she’s disappointed Him. He saw Jesus lift her head and tell her…

“I’ve told you time and time again – I love you just as you are. I didn’t create you to be a flame that bursts forth with brilliant light. You are my glowing ember and you will warm the hearts of many, many souls.”

Astonished, she knew this had to be from God. She had never told this friend about her struggle with not being a bright enough light. As peace replaced the struggle in her heart, she thanked God for this friend’s courage to share that message with her. And she thanked God for caring enough to let her know that being a low level light – a nightlight – was exactly what she was made to be, and it was OK.

“God, after all the times I ignored Your reassurances out of fear and doubt, You never gave up. Thank You for loving me enough to find a way to get Your message to me loud and clear. You’re amazing!”