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Be the Change

I’d like to build the world a home and furnish it with love. Grow apple trees and honeybees and snow-white turtle-dove. I’d like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony. I’d like to hold it in my arms, and keep it company.

Growing up I remember singing that song from the Coke advertisements. It was a great ad but is singing a song or having a Coke with someone really going to change the world? We are called to live like Christ no matter what our age. Our lives are to be a reflection of who Christ is within us to all we come in contact with.

You may wonder how can I, one person; make a change in our world?

A changed world must first begin with you. Each one of us individually can make a difference. Micah 6:8 (NASB) says, He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? Loving what is right, showing kindness and walking humbly with God impacts everyone you come in contact with. If you want to be the change, start with yourself. Pray for God to change your heart. To break your heart for what breaks His. Ask God to give you His eyes, and His ears, so that you can see and hear the needs around you.

Starting with yourself, your desire to change the world will grow to include others who are in our life. As you walk humbly with God, like Micah 6:8 says, you will find in your day many situations that require you to show kindness. Your family, your friends and those in your classes will need you to show His love and His kindness to them. Moment by moment we affect the world by how we choose to react to those in our lives.

Your attitude towards others is either going to open or close the door to Christ. Your prayers for others are an act of love for them.

Your friendships are also a means of sharing yourself and your relationship with Christ.   As you share your heart with your friends, their hearts can be won for Christ. When that happens, you can walk with them and support them in their spiritual growth.

15036003_sYou can change the world. Start with yourself and then be willing to let God use you with others in your family, with your friends, and in your work place. No matter your age you can be the change in your school, the clubs you belong to or in the sports you play. There are so many people who would love someone to care enough to sit and visit with them over a cup of coffee, or even while drinking a Coke. This simple act can change our world.

Maybe the Coke song is on to something…

I’d like to build a world a home and furnish it with love. Grow apple trees and honey bees and snow-white turtle-dove.

I’d like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony. I’d like to hold it in my arms, and keep it company.

I’d like to see the world for once all standing hand in hand. And hear them echo through the hills for peace throughout the land.

It’s the real thing (Jesus is the real thing) what the world wants today (Jesus is what the world NEEDS today), that’s the way I’ll stay with the real thing. (With Jesus)

I’d like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony. A song of peace that echoes on and never goes away.

Today I want to challenge you to make an effort to really press into God and be willing to let Him change you and mold you into a reflection of Him for the world to see. Then I want to challenge you to pray and ask God to show you where there is a need and how you can be used to make a difference.

The change you want to see in the world begins with you. Are you willing to try?

Originally written for the Whatever Girls Ministry.

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Thanksgiving is not just about the turkey

A few years ago, we invited our friends to join us for Thanksgiving and I learned something very important. Although my friend is an amazing cook, I told her I would do the turkey and the main dishes if she would handle the dessert. “Are you sure you don’t want me to cook the turkey?” she said. I was excited to use my grandma’s roaster so I told her I had it covered.

The two of us began to plan the table decorations, and between both of our houses, we set one of the most beautiful tables I have ever seen. “Everything is going to be just perfect,” I told myself. I was going to make a Thanksgiving dinner to be remembered.

Sometimes the best-laid plans go sideways. Thanksgiving morning the comedy of errors began. As I set the turkey in the roaster pan, another friend told me, “You need to add water because if you don’t it will burn.” I questioned that, but then again, what did I know. I had never used the roaster before and cooking is not exactly my gift. An hour later the turkey was steaming, not roasting. The legs looked like they were going to fall off. Help!FullSizeRender

I tried to call my friend, who was also my neighbor, but she was not home. Her husband told me she was at our other neighbor’s house. In a panic I called, and when my neighbor answered the phone, I said, “I have a turkey emergency!” Within minutes, I had three women in pajamas standing in my kitchen. The first thing they said was, “Why is there water in here?” As one of them tried to lift the turkey out of the pan, she said, “You didn’t get everything out of the inside.” I had looked in the wrong end apparently. There I stood in my kitchen in tears as they tried to fix the turkey.

My friend, the amazing cook, said, “Let me take it to my place and cook it because I have a new electric thermometer.” Out the door the turkey went. Silently I cried, as I put the roaster away. I wanted so badly to cook the “perfect turkey” so I could have the “perfect dinner” to go with the “perfect table”. A few hours later my friend called to tell me the turkey was done. “Are you kidding me? It can’t be done yet,” I said. “We are not going to eat for a while.” Her response was, “My thermometer says it is.”

As we were getting everything ready to serve dinner, my husband began carving the turkey. I will never forget the look on his face as he informed us that it was not cooked all the way through. The turkey was then cut into pieces and placed on the barbecue. The poor thing was steamed, baked, and barbecued before it made it to the table. My “perfect dinner” was not perfect. Then again, maybe it was better than perfect.

I had put so much emphasis on the “perfect dinner” that I forgot what Thanksgiving was all about. It took a turkey to put things in perspective for me. As we sat down for dinner, we gave thanks and spent an evening filled with laughter about the stupid turkey. What mattered more than anything was the fellowship that took place around the dinner table. Too often we get so wrapped up in the production of the meal that we forget the reason behind Thanksgiving. Looking back, it was a Thanksgiving to be remembered. Maybe it wasn’t what I had originally envisioned but I am glad that it turned out the way it did. That day has become one of my favorite memories.

Now I am not saying I still don’t go a bit overboard on my table but I have learned that family and friends are more important than the turkey. Last year the same family came over and we shared what we were thankful for as we ate our dinner. We played Bunco and the room was filled with laughter. As I watched my friend hold her grandson, I gave thanks that she was responding to her cancer treatment. I had learned a lesson in what was truly important.

This Thanksgiving, don’t get so wrapped up in the table decorations, the “perfect turkey”, and all the other details that you forget to really enjoy the day, instead make memories that will last a lifetime. Take time to give thanks, and remember, Thanksgiving is not just about the turkey.

Also Posted on The Whatever Girls and on Living Better 50 Magazine.Whatever-Girls-ButtonLB50ContributorSQ

 

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Don’t hold back

11722370_865600210183967_6957533867493068254_oBy Kim Chaffin, The Midlife Domestic Goddess

Originally Living Better 50 Magazine

Growing up we spent a lot of time at our family cabin in Priest Lake, Idaho. My great-grandfather had a vision of a place where generations in the future could come and relax. Since 1947, our family has been enjoying my great grandfather’s cabin. At times there have been four generations there.

My dad’s mom, “Honey” was famous for saying, “F H B”… Family Hold Back. That simply meant, we have extra people we did not plan for this meal and we need to be sure our guests leave satisfied. FHB was perfect in those situations but when it comes to the family of God, FHB is the opposite of what God wants for us.

As the body of Christ, the children of God, we cannot be holding anything back. God sent His son for ALL of us, not just a select group. Every one of us is called to be a disciple. All of us were called to pray, encourage, and live a life that reflects the love of Christ. I wish I knew why so many people go through life keeping their faith hidden. We should not be embarrassed to call ourselves believers or Christians. So what if someone thinks you are weird because you believe?

We need to be more concerned with what God thinks of us than what someone else thinks of us. The family of God cannot be in FHB mode so we avoid hearing the term “freak” or having someone say, “You are a Christian?” with a tone full of disdain. So what if you take some ridicule for your beliefs? Christ was spit on and ridiculed, and crucified so you could be forgiven and have eternal life with Him.

God held nothing back. He gave his only son. Jesus gave his very own life. He did it of His own accord not because God told Him to do it. Jesus says it clearly in John 10:17-18 The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father. (NIV)

I read a medical description of what Christ went through during His crucifixion and the pain was beyond anything I could imagine. Jesus willingly went through that pain and held nothing back because He loved us. There is such an abundance of love in what was done for us and we are guaranteed that it will never run out. My question is…if His love will never run out then why in the world, as the family of God, are we holding back?

To my brothers and sisters in Christ, hold nothing back. Live for Christ. Live for God. If company comes over for dinner then by all means FHB and let your guests go home full from a good meal. During dinner pour out abundantly the love of Christ on them and don’t hold back, there’s plenty for everyone.

Kim Chaffin is the creator of Heartfelt Ramblings of a Midlife Domestic Goddess ®. She is also a monthly contributor for the Whatever Girls Ministry and for Living Better 50 Magazine.  If you are interested in having her speak at your next event please see the speaking link in the menu of the blog.  You can also follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

 

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Plant a legacy of faith

Today I chose to read from my great-great-grandmother’s Bible. The pages are yellowed with age and the outside is worn but the truth in it still remains the same . I found myself reading Ecclesiastes 3 because it was written in the front of her Bible.

The Bible is marked “to Mama from Paul”. Paul is my great-grandfather. As I dug in, God’s word filled me with a sense of excitement1939655_620380091372648_1537100982_n. A small glimpse of my great-great-grandmother was revealed to me and God had a lesson for me to learn. I began to understand that she knew the Lord, and upon her passing, the Bible went to her son Paul and his wife Ruth. Ruth Ann Turner, Grandma “R.A.T.”, was my great-grandmother. Ruth also seemed to know the Lord.

In the Bible, there are things that my great-grandmother Ruth added when it became hers. There was a newspaper clipping about President Lyndon B. Johnson, prayers she cut out of things she had read, a couple of bookmarks and a page out of a devotional. On the devotional page, someone named Minnie had written a note to my great-grandmother Ruth. It said,

“This is for your own self. I just read this and it made me think of your life. Your smile does bless lots of folks.” -Minnie

There were a few generations between my great-grandmother and me that became unfruitful soil. Holding this Bible, their Bible, I understood that I needed to pick up where they left off. I realized that I have been given a chance to water what was once planted and then neglected for a few generations.

In God’s perfect timing, I found myself in Ecclesiastes 3. I was reading what either my great-grandmother or great-great-grandmother felt was important enough to write in the front of this Bible.

There is a time for everything,

and a season for every activity under the heavens:

a time to be born and a time to die,

a time to plant and a time to uproot,

a time to kill and a time to heal,

a time to tear down and a time to build,

a time to weep and a time to laugh,

a time to mourn and a time to dance,

a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,

a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,

a time to search and a time to give up,

a time to keep and a time to throw away,

a time to tear and a time to mend,

a time to be silent and a time to speak,

a time to love and a time to hate,

a time for war and a time for peace. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

In this passage, I see that it is time for me to make a change in my own family to prepare for the generations to come. I want to leave a legacy of faith for my children, my grandchildren, and my great-grandchildren.

My kids know the Lord, but I don’t want to settle for that. I want to dig in and turn over the ground, pull out the weeds, and water the seed that was planted by my great-great-grandmother and her daughter-in-law all those years ago. I want to leave behind a legacy of faith. To have people remember me as a woman who loved the Lord with her whole heart, that is what I long for. It is so important for me pass my faith onto my kids and the generations to come.

As you are reading this, I hope you want the same thing for your family. Do you want to leave behind a legacy of faith? Then start with your own kids. If there’s neglected soil in your family, even if it has been left for generations, you can make a difference. Dig in! Tear out the weeds, plant your own seeds, and water them. Tend to them and grow something beautiful. Plant a legacy of faith.

Originally written for the Whatever Girls

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