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“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”
I think God is trying to talk to me about fear today. I was standing in line this morning to get a cup of coffee, and the lady in front of me had a shirt on that said “God did not give you a spirit of fear, but a spirit of love and of sound mind.” Then I ran across this quote by Eleanor Roosevelt.
Everyone feels fear; however, if we stay in that state, our amygdala (the emotional center of our brain) kicks in and we could respond by either flight, fight or freeze. It is imperative at this time that we force ourselves to go the logic part of our brain (the frontal cortex), and figure out how to get through the fear.
What are some of the things you have done to get through the fear?
Have you ever had something happen that propels you in a special direction? Once the direction is taken,are you amazed at the outcome? You find yourself saying that it was serendipitous the way everything fell into place. You are amazed at the coincidences that occurred. Well, that is a God-noodge.
The dictionary definition of noodge is: To push against gently, especially in order to gain attention or give a signal. I vividly remember a God-noodge I had many years ago. I was asked to be on a search committee at First Christian Church of Birmingham to help the church find a new Director of Christian Education. The committee worked at it for several weeks, perhaps even months. We found three possible candidates and picked our first choice to offer a position. (During the search I remember thinking that I would love to do the job myself and felt I would be very good at it. Because of my position on the committee I never said anything because I didn’t feel it would be appropriate).
We made the offer to our first candidate and she declined. We made the offer to the second candidate, and she accepted and then sent her regrets. We went to the third candidate and she and her husband just found out that they were being transferred. God kept noodging me throughout all of this. Finally, I asked to speak privately to the senior pastor and told him that I would like to be considered only if he thought I would be a good candidate. If so, the committee would have to give its approval and if not, that would be fine also.
To make a long story short, everyone was in favor and rather excited about the possibility. I look back on that event now, and I know, that God wanted me there for several reasons. The most important of which, was that the position forced me to read the Bible continually. I learned to love the Bible like I had never experienced before. That experience — God-noodge — helped me grow in my faith and truly understand how awesome God is. I know God gives us noodges all the time. We just have to listen.
Share your God-noodge with the “Magic in You” community. Someone out there in our community needs to hear about God’s awesomeness. Perhaps your story will help noodge someone else.
I recently was watching a show on the biography channel on TV that featured four people who had near death experiences. Even though I started watching the program half-way through, I was struck by the experience each of the people related. They all said that when they were ‘physically dead’ each of them felt an incredible peace and an overwhelming sense of love—unconditional love. Everyone of the people said the experience changed them for the better and made them more loving and caring towards other people. God is Love( 1John4:8).
Mother Theresa says, “Love cannot remain by itself–it has no meaning. Love has to be put into action and that action is service. How do we put the love for God in action? By being faithful to our family and to the duties that God has entrusted to us. Whatever form we are, able or disabled, rich or poor; it is not how much we do, but how much love we put into the doing—a lifelong of sharing love with others.”
Let’s be purposeful in our approach to the world. Let’s use our special talents that God has given us to show His great love through us. How do you use your special talents to spread God’s love?
Valentine’s Day is fast approaching and it is the month that people take a day (Feb.14) to purposefully share their love with the special people in their lives. When I used to teach school, I was always totally enthralled with the happiness and enthusiasm of the children when they got to pass out their special valentines to their classmates. It was the day that it was “acceptable” to show love.
As I reflect on that, I am somewhat bewildered that we get so guarded that we hesitate to show love. Yet, we all want love.
Euripides said, “Love is all we have, the only way that each can help the other.”1 Corinthians 13 “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, , it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrong. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
My challenge to all of you, including myself, is to purposefully do an act of love/kindness this month every day. Sometimes, that translates to something as simple as smiling at everyone who comes into your path when you are out in public. Look for ways to show love.
The question of the month is : What have you done today to show love to yourself and another person? I can’t wait to hear about all of your acts of Love/Kindness.
Today is January 26 and I was just reading “My Utmost for His Highest” by Oswald Chambers. This reading forced me to consider Matthew 6:28 “Consider the lilies of the field…” Oswald commented that the lilies grew where they were planted. As I pondered on that, I so totally understood that each of us is supposed to be where we are at this moment. Each of us should be asking ourselves the real question which is , “How am I growing today?”
How have you lived your “Magic” today? Are you using the greatness God has bestowed upon you or are you simply moving through life not using your gifts? “You are the light of the world” Matt. 5:14. Let your light shine.
God has gifted each of us with unique talents. Understand that you are a miracle. Albert Einstein said, “There are two ways to live your life. One as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as if everything is.” I choose to live as though everything is a miracle. How about you?
It’s Monday, December 14th, and I’m excited to have completed initial work on the R.E.N.E.W. blog. I’ll be updating it frequently, so I hope that you will visit me often here, but also contribute to the dialogue.
If you attended the recent “Magic In You” workshop, not only would I appreciate any comments from you, but also I’m certain others would like to hear from you as well.