Tag Archives: food

The Ripple Effect

Have you ever thought about how touching water makes a ripple? Think about when you throw a stone into the water how it affects all the area around the point of contact. From the start of the first small ripple it grows into a large ripple. You can throw a small stone and make a huge impact with the ripple, I call this the ripple effect.

The ripple effect applies to how we respond and interact with one another. Take the cashier at Wal-Mart for instance. She can be having a horrible day, not friendly to you because of what she is dealing with, and it will effect  your day. The ripple effect will be, you jumping in your car, driving aggressively and get a phone call and respond with an attitude to the caller. We will think how someone could have been so rude, and get offended over something that actually had nothing to do with us. The same is true if you get a phone call that someone wants to bless you with a gift, this will effect  your entire day in a positive way. The ripple effect will be, because of someone’s action it created in you a positive response, which will in turn causes you to be kind to someone else.

This brings me to a story that happened while living in Chicago. Wow, that was a culture shock living in such a large city. Imagine everything you need within walking distance. People packing the streets busy about their day. Cars and their horns blazing. Sirens blaring and the yellow of cabs flashing by as you walk to your destination. Many people make these very streets their home. A place to lay their head and a place where they may find food to eat.

I will never forget the lives I passed daily who lived on the very street I walked to school every day. Do you think the passersby thought about the ripple effect? What about those who pass by and give no thought to the fact that these are lives, not just something to walk by as quick as possible. Ignoring these lives has a ripple effect, it says you are not important enough for me to stop by and say hi.  Muchless ask if they have a need that could be met.

I daily passed by such a person when I would walk off of the “L” train.  She would stand in the same place everyday not bothering anyone. She had a shopping cart with her full of things that we would throw away. On the cart were plastic bags tied to the side, of what I would assume were items she didn’t want to get wet. She has such a sweet presence about her. Everyday she would be singing and humming with such a joyful heart. She didn’t know that she was having a ripple effect on me.

As I made it home each day I would have her on my heart. God began to really speak to me about her . I felt in my heart I needed to reach out to her and bring her a hot meal. I really wanted to do something that would really make her happy. As I stepped off of the “L” train I approached her, this was the day to reach out. I said to her I had some chili on the stove and if she would give me 30 minutes I would make cornbread and bring her dinner. She said to me, “oh sweetie thank you so much but if I want to get a bed I have to be on time, thank you.” Oh gosh I felt like I had been gut punched. I knew the Lord had told me to feed her and to reach out. The following day I didn’t even say a word, I ran straight up ( took the elevator) I lived 15 stories up, put some chili in a bowl and ran right back down. She was gone. Oh how my heart hurt, I felt I was missing the Lord on this one.

 The weekend rolls around, I look out my window and I see her in her usual spot. This morning I made bacon, eggs and biscuits. I pack her a nice meal up and take off down the stairs, as you can guess she was gone. At this point I gave up, I thought forget it, I tried. Isn’t it funny how we want to make sure things are “perfect” and “just right”?  Often times God just wants us to make the step and let Him do the rest.One evening I make my way home, I see this joyful spirited women and I say to her,” stay right here, don’t go anywhere I will be right back.” I booked it up to my home, I had zero groceries at the time because I hadn’t had time to shop. I  ran to my closet and found a pair of wool socks and new tennis shoes. I had noticed she had holes in hers. I grabbed saltine crackers and some more “whatever is in the pantry” and I grabbed my Bible, packed it all up in a box and ran down the stairs.She was still there, I was so excited to see her. I said to her, Jesus told me to bring you these and I want to give them to you. She looked at each thing, but much to my amazement was her response to the Bible. She grabbed me, hugged me better than I have ever been hugged before and started singing a worship song. She loved the Lord and could not believe she now had a Bible. She kissed me on the cheek and thanked me over and over. I told her, this was from the Lord. This still brings tears to my eyes today. I left her and never saw her again. She was never there to greet me with her singing as I got off the train. I never saw her pushing her cart around making her way to where she slept in the evenings. To this day I believe she was an angel of the Lord. The Bible says we will entertain angels and not even know.

What I thought was me doing a good deed and doing my best to listen to the Lord, turned into impacting me in a life changing way. She had a ripple effect on my life and I am sure on so many others. Today, this has set me on a course for helping those in need. To see the value in everyone. To take the time to talk with someone and make sure they know they matter. The one pebble of encountering one of the most beautiful people I have had the pleasure of meeting, created a ripple so large that it still reaches others.

As you go about your day, think about the impact you have on someone else. Something as simple as a kind voice tone and attitude can have a ripple effect to help change someone’s day. Next time you are at the check out counter, think about how many people the cashier sees a day and does anyone take the time to just talk and see how they are doing. When you go home to your spouse, take the time to notice one another. This list can go on and on. Jesus made a HUGE ripple when he went to the cross for us that is still making contact with lives every day. Jesus will lead you to someone if we will be open to listen and obey. Make a ripple today.

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Out of gas can somebody help me?

We live in a fast food, microwave society. If  I can’t get it now or do it now then I don’t want it, and forget working hard for it. It’s amazing to look at photos from 50 years ago and see how hard society worked for what they had.

The world wants amazing benefits with no effort. We eat whatever we want for years,gain a bit of weight and don’t want to put forth the effort to get it off.  We want diet pill or this and that workout machine to get the weight off quick. Instead of making healthy food choices and good ol hard core working out. We spend too much money on credit cards,it’s time to payoff the debt and we get new cards to pay  off the debt. Instead of working to pay it off by setting aside extra, make choices to not go out to eat or buy items we don’t really need.

This same thinking has now creeped into the church. Everyone wants something for nothing. Either they want from the Pastor with zero commitment or just “fix it” for me. We want our kids taught at church and to “change”, but don’t even crack the Bible. Much less pray with our children at home. We want to be taught the Word, come to church and be radically changed. However, we don’t spend time with Lord and forget about reading our Bibles daily. We want options to attend and connect at church, but don’t reach out to anyone and get offended when no one “seems” to notice us. As Joyce Meyer says, “it’s all, what about me, what about me?”

Of course we are to live by the grace of God. However the word grace means, “the ability to do what you can’t do in your own strength.” God doesn’t empower us to set on it. He empowers us to go and to do what you have been called to do. He empowers us to over come in His strength not on someone elses strength or anointing. Often times when someone prays for you, it renews your strength to continue by standing on what He has promised and the word of God. The problem is we don’t know what to do, because we haven’t built ourselves up on the inside. Think of the word built, it means we have to be active in the building process. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. We are grown from faith to faith. You build your faith on the Word and you grow it by exercising your faith.

The Kingdom of God needs you, we aren’t meant to just ask Jesus into your heart and then set in the church and just get fed.  What happens when you set and eat?  You get fat. We are supposed to go and do, exercise what has been deposited in your heart. Otherwise wouldn’t He had just taken us up to heaven?

We have to press on, it doesn’t matter if you have tried 10 things and failed, you have to keep trying. Sometimes we step out ahead of  God’s timing but that doesn’t mean we shrink back. We keep moving forward!

Thomas Edison failed over 2,000 experiments before he invented electricity. What if he would have given up or relied on someone else to do his work for him?  I can see him now, just trying and trying to get it right. I can see him staying up late thinking to himself, ” I will get this, I just know it.”

That is how we need to be with the Lord, put all our trust in Him by growing in Him daily. We have to get rid of the fast food-microwave thinking, make the decision today to dig our heels in and start pressing in. Say to yourself, ” I can do this with the Lord.” Commit today to grow more and more in Him. Reach out to someone today and share what God has done for you. Come to church with your vessel full not empty so you can pour out onto others not always with a “fill me up attitude”. A car without gas will not run. Fill your tank with the word of God.  You can do it, begin to live from the overflow that is in your heart!

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String-Cheese

Over the past few months I have been conditioning my body through boot-camp and a healthy eating lifestyle and the most important key; submitting to my trainer because he knows what is best for me. This has me thinking about how hard it is to get our flesh and “wants” in line with what is good for us; along with the difficulties that come with pressing through the hard part in order to reap the benefits.
 
 Have you ever made a commitment for a life change and found yourself wondering what have I signed up for? As with any commitment, you have the challenge of staying the course. For instance, eating healthy, giving up foods you once ate, that for some reason we find so good and at times make us “feel” so good to eat. Over time these choices can take a toll on our body not to mention the dreaded weight gain. So we make a change, for me it’s a lot of protein and loads of string-cheese, in spite of my constant carb cravings. This does not always fulfill my desire to eat chocolate & junk, but I know that these choices will bring  healthy living.
 
As I thought about the string cheese, the Lord began to show me how we are that way with growing more in Him. If you look at the string cheese it requires work to eat it, peeling away layer by layer, not to mention the most crucial part, the decision to eat the string cheese as opposed to cheese dip.
 
Our growth in the Lord is very similar. We start out with a heart to make a change and make a commitment to change our life by getting the junk out. As time goes on we pick things back up that are unhealthy choices for us and hinder our Spiritual growth. We pick up offenses, old habits, become lazy in our prayer life and forget picking up our Bible and lastly we start sleeping in on Sunday’s. Like the string cheese, part of our growth being God peeling off the layers and removing the things that don’t benefit us one layer at a time. He knows what is best for us as we submit our life to Him and make the best “Spirit” choices no different from  making the best “food” choices that benefit our life. It takes commitment, determination,submission and surrender to have the best life that God has for you. Start today with one layer of string-cheese.
 
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