Curtain Call

  
Last night, on PBS, my Wife and I saw a play. As in all Broadway productions, at the end, the players walked out together, holding hands, for a curtain call. It was then that my mind turned to this Scripture.

Revelation says that The Lord will return to Earth, at the end of the tribulation, with His saints. After everything is complete, He and all of us, will return for both a curtain call, and a new act. As one play is ending, and the participants are celebrating, something new starts.

Then it will be the end of the seven years of testing, and the beginning of the thousand years of peace. Now, it could be the finishing of your trial, and the birth of your blessing. If you don’t yet know Christ, it could be the end of a life without Him, and the beginning of an adventure with Him.

Either way, an altar is a great place for endings and new beginnings. Whether it’s a lifetime of running, or just a battle you’re facing, let it end there. Allow an altar to close one curtain, while opening another.

Soon, and very soon, as the writer penned, we will see Jesus. The question is, will we see Him as a part of our life, or from a distance? The difference between an audience and a cast member when the lights go out is this; both leave the theater, but cast members attend the after party.

When this world ends, and it will. It doesn’t take a Theologian to know that it’s tearing at the seams. I want to be holding His hand at that, and every other stage of my life. You see, sometimes I forget the words I need to say, or I’ll almost miss my cue, except for Him. 

He is there to calm my nerves, provide direction, and to see me through to the end. No matter where you are in your life, first, second, or third act, He can rescue you. Let Him walk onto the stage of your life, and rewrite a few scenes. You’ll find that things look better beside of Jesus, when the time arrives for the curtain call.

Mentoring Like Jesus

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Alfred was an out of work architect who set out to build a board game. The result was Scrabble. Perhaps your familiar with the board, the tiles, and the rules. The man who invented it, had been trained to translate his vision from a drawing to concrete, glass, and stone.

As I write this, one of my mentors sets a chair away. He’s preparing for a message. I began to think of how his words, and God’s Word through him, has shaped my life. It is more though, than just what or how he has said it, but also when he said it.

I’ve been playing a lot of Words With Friends lately, and I know the difference that a well timed triple word square can make. It isn’t only about the weight of the word, it’s knowing how to maximize its potential. A good Mentor will do just that.

The question I have today is, are you and I good Mentors? I can truly say that I am who I am because of the influences of great leaders. My hope is that we can influence others, as helpfully as others have impacted us.

The path to do this, doesn’t involve power, prestige, or position. It’s about pure motives. The men and women in my life never desired to have power over me, they simply wanted to pour into me. What they unselfishly placed inside me has helped to sustain me through the hardest trials of my life.

Am I doing the same thing? Am I seeking to bless them, or impress them? If my concern centers around me, then I’ll never make the type of impact that others have made on me. If, instead, our focus is the welfare of those we care for, we can’t help but add value to their lives.

It isn’t about impressing them, nor is it about propelling them towards our idea of their future. It’s about equipping them to become what God has intended for them to be. In Scrabble, you never know what word the other players will connect to yours. Even The Divine Creator isn’t going to force His children to step into His hope for them.

He will reveal their potential, and supply the tools to get there. The Lord Will provide the opportunity, but it’s our choice if we’ll listen. The reason we listen to Him, and others, is we know they truly love us. They have proven that their only goal is our well being.

Have we truly reflected this same love in those we know? The difference between interacting and impacting is investment without seeking a personal return. Once we commit wholeheartedly to serving them, our viewpoint shifts much higher.

We go from pointing to where we expect them to arrive, to strengthening them for the trip they were called to make. Too often I’ve forgotten, the destination doesn’t produce the result, the journey does. May we provide them with words of inspiration along the way.

If we can do this, then what we say, how we say it, the skill of our words, all that means nothing. What means something is this, we seek to build, not their future, but their well being. Our desire to influence will then take it’s cue from where all good things originate.

John 13:34-35
34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

The object of a Christian is to be like Jesus. The Lord knew this, but instead of focusing His Earthly Ministry on this, He focused on loving people. He sought to friend them, in order to free them, even though that meant Calvary.

If we wish to impact others, the only word we must concern ourselves with, is the word servant. If we seek to serve, and serve unselfishly, then we will make a difference in every life we touch.

Famous For Building

imagePsalms 74:5
5 A man was famous according as he had lifted up axes upon the thick trees.

In American folklore he is a legend. His mighty axe felling trees that no mere man could cut down. He was famous, not for fighting crime, or rescuing worlds, but cutting down trees. It may not sound as impressive now, but you have to understand what Paul Bunyan’s story represented.

He was clearing land for houses in an expanding country. Paul also represented progress. America would become a rich nation, thanks in part to hard work, and harvesting our resources. You and I know that Paul’s story was greatly exaggerated, but what it meant wasn’t.

2 Chronicles 2:8-9
8 Send me also cedar trees, fir trees, and algum trees, out of Lebanon: for I know that thy servants can skill to cut timber in Lebanon; and, behold, my servants shall be with thy servants,
9 Even to prepare me timber in abundance: for the house which I am about to build shall be wonderful great.

Recently I found a much more real set of heroes in Scripture than Paul and Babe his blue ox. They are in Psalms 74:5. These men, both Jew and Gentile, worked together to supply the timber for the Temple. These nameless citizens to you and I, were not kings or priests, but they were famous in the congregation. They were known for the trees they selected and secured for Solomon.

In Gill’s Commentary, he offers this note from Kimchi. “When the temple was built, he who lifted up his axe upon a thick tree, to cut it down for the building, was known, as if he lifted it up above in heaven before the throne of glory; all so rejoiced and gloried in the building.” It is a beautiful picture, these normal men, producing something that reached to Heaven.

I can’t help but imagine it, picture two of them. One man, a member of Israel, who may have never been outside of his borders. The other, called to secure trees for a God that he had never known. Over time, friendships were formed, and stories exchanged.

“If you’ll hold your axe this way, you’ll get more results.” The one instructed the other. “This isn’t just any building. The God that we serve, brought us out of Egypt. He vanquished the Philistines, and took down Goliath. Our God sat David on His throne.” He taught his new friend about The God of Israel. There was a sacredness to what they accomplished, isn’t it amazing?

What is so incredible is the fact that you and I can be a part of this in a different way. As Christians, we can be a part of the very real work of building the Church, one soul at a time. Throughout Scripture, God has compared Christians to trees planted in the courts of The Lord.

We can, in our every day lives, form very real relationships with those in need of God’s love and mercy. We can show them that both He, and we, care about them. People will hear our message once they’ve seen our hearts.

Like Paul Bunyan, logs weren’t the only part of the industry, there was the running of the camps. Things had to be maintained, equipment had to be oiled, and food prepared for the loggers. We can volunteer in the local Church to make a difference.

These men weren’t Solomon and Hiram. They weren’t architects, but tree cutters, yet they built the Temple. You and I don’t have to sing, preach, or play an instrument to build the Church. We don’t have to have great ability to make a difference, only to be available.

When we involve ourselves in the work of The Lord, we are lifting beams to Heaven. Jesus said that we are laying up treasures there that can’t be corrupted or destroyed. In the end, making a difference isn’t magical or mythical. It’s the act of mortal men in the hands of a Divine God, directed by the Man Of God He has placed in our lives!

The Shepherds Tent

Painting By Charles Jaque
Painting By Charles Jaque

Song of Songs 1:8

“8 If thou know not, O thou fairest among women, go thy way forth by the footsteps of the flock, and feed thy kids beside the shepherds’ tents.”

This verse represents part of a conversation between Christ and His Church. He is The Shepherd, and The Church is the Fairest of all. In it, He tells her the way to find Him. The Lord says to follow the path of the footsteps of the flock, and to feed thy children beside of the Shepherd’s tents.

This is beautiful for so many reasons, one of which is this, sheep don’t leave footsteps. Only Shepherd’s leave footprints. We know He isn’t only referring to Himself as The Chief Shepherd because shepherd’s tents is plural. This is a reference to the Pastors in our lives.

The men who, while following The Good Shepherd, walk every mile of our journey with us. They go ahead, securing the path to our future, to make sure it is safe for us. A shepherd would only take a tent with them when the journey was a long one. They would spend more time outside of it than inside it.

Most of their time was spent carving for their flock. It is no different today, Pastors spend most of their time bearing our burdens, caring for our loved ones, and smiling through tears. The life of a Shepherd is bound up in the life of his sheep.

The Lord Jesus gave His life for the sheep on Calvary, and spends every waking moment watching after us. He has positioned His Pastors to do the same through the sacrifices of their every day life. He never sleeps, Yet He did while here on Earth. Jesus knew His Under Shepherd’s would get weary, even as they gave their heart for His people.

That is why He gave them a tent, a refuge from the weariness that they gladly experience for the good of the people. As a Minister myself, and as a member of the flock, I’ve seen firsthand the sacrifices of The men, women, and children that commit all to the care of the sheep. Pastor’s and their families sacrifice for the Church. I’ve watched them work, not tirelessly, but in spite of fatigue if a sheep was hurting.

Aches, pains, and their own problems are placed on pause when they hear a cry from the flock. The Only trouble with this that we, as sheep, have been guilty of expecting this to be their pattern. The Lord intended it to be, not merely a blueprint for His leaders, but an example for His flock.

Just as The Lord said that we are all to be Kings and Priests, we are to care one for another. It is also our privilege to show care to those who care for us. October is Pastor Appreciation Month, one month out of the year, we honor those who are there for us all the other days of our lives.

When I think of the births and the goodbyes, the happy moments and the tear filled ones, I see my Pastor there. Smiling, while sleep deprived, skipping meals because of a hospital call, or just listening to someone for hours. Wishing he could be spending time with his own children while at the hospital for one of God’s children.

The Lord never takes lightly their sacrifice. This is why He tells His Bride, The Church, you’ll find Me in the footsteps of the flock, which are the shepherd’s prints because only shepherd’s leave footprints. He also tells her something else, feed the children by the shepherd’s tents.

It’s not only because they provide us the Preached Word. It’s because of the lesson in the manner they share it. They serve selflessly, honoring their God, loving His flock. That is why He provided rest for them, by supplying a tent for the journey. Christ brings that tent to the attention of His people too, reminding them to make sure we care as much for the caretakers, as they care for us.

A New Season

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I love the line in the old song, “It’s a new season, it’s a new day… .” It came to mind this morning concerning this post. Yesterday, when The Lord blessed me with the new iPainting, “Autumn”, I didn’t realize it was for this post. We are in a new season at PruittWrites.com.

This month, on Saturdays, we will begin “The Adventures Of The Sea Horse.” Over the last year, we have ran four ongoing serials, and it has been exciting and fun. For now though, we want to focus our full fictional attention to a series that we hope, will be for young and old alike. It will run every Saturday starting October 18.

Last month we began something that is very exciting for us at PruittWrites. The S.T.A.R.T. Workshop gives us an opportunity to give back. To help turn readers into writers. Have you always wanted to write a novel, or start a blog? Let us help. Yes, there are numerous voices out there, but that doesn’t mean that they are saying what God wants you to say.

Our most important posts are, and have always been, our Inspirational posts. That will only intensify over the next few months. Along with our weekly Inspirational posts, we will continue our Bible Study “The Native” through at least the Christmas season.

Going forward, our Saturday Art Posts will become our Sunday Art Posts. Although we will still feature Collage Friday’s on Instagram. We hope that you enjoy all of the changes at PruittWrites. “It’s a new season, it’s a new day… .”

Storm Of Mercy

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Job 37: 9-13

9 Out of the south cometh the whirlwind: and cold out of the north.
10 By the breath of God frost is given: and the breadth of the waters is straitened.
11 Also by watering He wearieth the thick cloud: He scattereth his bright cloud:
12 And it is turned round about by His counsels: that they may do whatsoever He commandeth them upon the face of the world in the earth.
13 He causeth it to come, whether for correction, or for His land, or for mercy.

Job said many things in his book, and some of them were wondrous, like when he said, “I know that my Redeemer liveth”. Also, when he said, “In my flesh I shall see God.” There is one thing that Job didn’t say, and that was “Lord, please deliver me”, or “Please save me from this trial.” The words save, and deliver are mentioned more than once in the book, but not in that context.

Elihu sits and listens to Job and his three friends for several chapters, and then he begins to speak. In Job 37:11, he says something very important. He states that the ‘bright cloud’, or storm, comes for three reasons.

The storm arrives either for correction, for His land, or for mercy. Some battles are for correction, and thank God, for rescuing us from a much greater and eternal storm of judgment. Others are for His land, some battles are for the growth of The Church. Calvary was very much a personal battle, in the sense of Christ suffering alone, but it was a corporate battle for the Salvation of man. It, and the last of three sparked this article, the storm of mercy.

To you and I, a storm isn’t about the rain, it’s about the thunder, lightning, and the lighting. As kids, we played in rain showers, but most of us hid in storms. The difference was the conditions surrounding the rain. These were the darkness, the lightning that repelled it, and the thunder that broke the silence.

[tweetthis]A Heavenly action touches Earth to cause a natural reaction.[/tweetthis]


We know that the thunder represents God’s voice, and that the lightning represents His movement, or the movement of His instruments. The two work hand in hand in the Heavens to produce something in the Earth. A Heavenly action touches Earth to cause a natural reaction.

A good friend of mine, Lucian Linkous, explained to me recently that lightning produces nitrogen. This acts as a fertilizer to cause things to grow. Scientists say that the sudden increase in pressure and temperature from lightning produces a sonic expansion. This expansion, much like a sonic boom, causes thunder. Pressure and intensity therefore produce a sound, a cry if you will.

When we are going through our trial, and we cry out to God, He will answer us. The problem is that often, we mistake the answer as just the noise of the storm. The lightning isn’t meant to scare us, but to cause growth in both the Christian, and the Church. At times, trials are long, and they are so dark, but then God moves, not to end the trial, but to give us relief from the darkness.

What we think is the noise of the battle, often is God responding to our cry. They say that in history, when the Apostle Peter was forced to watch his wife dying on a cross before his death, he did something. He yelled out, “Remember Christ.” He was saying, “In the midst of your pain, remember His Sacrifice. He is with us in the agony that we face.” God is neither silent to our pain, or ignoring of our sorrows.

The trouble is, as humans, we are more in tune with the darkness than with the thunder. As a child, darkness scared me less than thunder and lightning. I would hide my face from the lightning, but I couldn’t ignore the thunder. As a man, I can now say, rejoice in the thunder and rebuke the darkness.

Light is God’s plan for His Church, not darkness. From the beginning, we were made to hear His voice, and not the silence of being without Him. That all changed after the fall, yet God returned things to normal at Calvary. Was there darkness at Calvary? Yes, six hours of it, but the same God who created the worlds raged against it. He did this all while nailed to a cross. He thundered “It is finished.”

His lightning, or His actions, not only saved the world, but rescued a thief. A man who’s business had been darkness, that’s when a thief works. He existing by becoming one with the darkness. The lightning was not his friend, it hampered his movements. The thunder no doubt unnerved his stillness. Now, it was dark again, but this time, it couldn’t help him, it was time to try the opposite.

In Luke 23:39, he turns to The One that had, in Luke 23:34, just five verse before said this, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” I’ve often wondered what changed the thief, because the other Gospels explain that he began mocking like the other thief. I think it was this verse that changed him.

[tweetthis]If you had told that thief, at any time in the past, that the greatest day of his life would be this day, he would have laughed.[/tweetthis]


In the same verse that Jesus said this, it records the soldiers parting His raiment. Christ forgave, essentially the equivalent of a personal mugging, in the throes of death. What if, this act of forgiveness, was what gave the thief hope that The True God Of Thunder could forgive him?

If you had told that thief, at any time in the past, that the greatest day of his life would be this day, he would have laughed. Now, I can say confidently, he would not have traded this day for all the others. The pain of a wooden cross was nothing compared to the redemption that he experienced.

Job’s storm wasn’t for correction, it was for the other two reasons. It was for both God’s land, (His Church), and for mercy. It was an example to all who follow after, that the purpose of a storm isn’t to destroy, but to produce. A storm isn’t only about the rain, like the nitrogen, it’s about what can only be produced in a storm.

We purposely skipped over verse 9, “Out of the south cometh the whirlwind:” As I said, the storm isn’t about the rain, it’s about what is produced in it.  For several chapters, Job asked to speak with God.  He failed to ask for rescue, he wanted to know why.  Like us, Job asked an inferior question.  God never answered the inferior one, Job never learned in his book why.

Job 38:1

1 Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said,

Instead God responded to the better question, He talked with Job.  In the heat of our battle, much like the song, “He walks with me, and He talks with me, and He tells me that I am His own.”, it isn’t about the current need, it’s about the reassurance of our place with Him.

[tweetthis] One word from His lips will reveal it’s not a tempest to destroy us, but a storm of mercy to help us grow.[/tweetthis]


The most important thing is who we are talking too.  Friends can bring comfort, or they can bring pain.  We can receive council that will shed light on our situation.  In the end though, only two conversations mattered.  They were the one that the Man Of God had with Job, and the one that God had with Job.

Every service, the Man Of God shares God’s Message with us.  It is our responsibility, and our joy, to follow that up with a daily conversation with Jesus.  Whether in peace, or a raging a storm, a conversation with The Master will transform our battle.  One word from His lips will reveal it’s not a tempest to destroy us, but a storm of mercy to help us grow.

Unlocking The Doors

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The keys were in the ignition. The car was running, and the seats were warm.  It was ready to go, the only problem was it’s two normal passengers.  We were also excited, but for a very different reason.  I had locked my Wife and I out of the car.

In thirty eight years, I don’t think that I’ve ever had to call a locksmith to open my car.  Thankfully, it was covered by insurance.  However, I lost roughly two hours in the process. It may not seem like a lot of time, but a great deal can happen in two hours.

In reflecting back on this, The Lord directed my mind to His Church.  We’ve been in a series at our church, Point Of Mercy in Nashville, TN, called “Season Of Sacrifice”.  In it, our Pastor Denny Livingston, was calling us to a deeper place in the work of The Kingdom.  It was a truly great day this past Sunday.  The two images paralleled this afternoon, a ready Church, and a running vehicle.

Like our car, the Church is fueled and ready for the work of God’s Kingdom.  The keys are in the ignition, The Lord Jesus gave them to us before He ascended.  While, not locked, it is secure, and it is warm and inviting.  The problem is, too often, my focus is outside of it. For my fellow drivers, I have one question?

We attend Church, but do we attend to the Church? This vehicle isn’t only a means of personal Salvation, it’s a rescue vessel. Will its mission continue, or succeed without my involvement? Most definitely! However, if I neglect it, or give less than my all; I rob myself of being part of so many blessings.

There is nothing like seeing revelation on the face of a new convert. Or the feeling of praying with someone that you had a hand in witnessing too. There is excitement in everyday Evangelism. While I love the Mission field, we don’t have to go overseas to change lives.

My incident with the car robbed me of two hours. It robbed my coworkers of my help, and it made my Wife late. Aside from the great things I’ve robbed myself of, what have I cost those that I would have reached? Had I not been too busy on my ________ , who would have received this Message, hope, or encouragement sooner?

Thankfully, a Locksmith, wedged something between my car and the door. I received another chance to drive. Sunday was God’s way of stirring us to a call to action. Every day, we are given an opportunity to reach the person that we weren’t able to reach yesterday.

Maybe you’re doing all you can, if so, refuel, and keep going. If you’ve allowed yourself to focus on the traffic beside, and behind you, take heart. God knows how to clear the clutter. Breathe, focus on that person that needs a smile, and drive towards a new day. He unlocked the doors for us. It’s time for us to pick someone else up along the way.

Paper Bags, Cardboard Boxes, and iPhones

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Ephesians 3:20

20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,

My supervisor bought doughnuts for our office today. It was a nice gesture, and then something happened. I had trouble closing the box, it was a simple crease issue. I put down what I was juggling, and closed it. Then a thought struck me, “Who created the paper/cardboard box?”

The first paperboard, not cardboard, box was produced in England. However, the pre-cut paperboard/cardboard box was invented in Brooklyn in 1890. His name was Robert Gair, a Scottish born Brooklyn printer and paper-bag maker. Through an accident involving a metal ruler while printing seed bags, he made his discovery. From that, he literally built an empire out of the box.

It’s amusing that the first person to create the box, did it by thinking outside of his current container. We always say to think outside of the box, but he thought outside of the paper bag. The saying has become so cliché that we miss something in it’s wisdom. It isn’t only about thinking differently, it’s about taking your thinking to the next level.

This week, we tech geeks, computer nerds, Apple fan boys, or whatever you want to call us, are excited. The new iPhone(s) are out. The fact that there are two models, is in itself an innovation. There used to be only one new model a year. Whether you are an Android user, or Apple user, we can both agree on one thing. We get excited about innovation.

The thing about innovation is that it’s not only about thinking what has never been thought before, it’s about thinking in a way that you’ve never thought before. In other words, going from the paper bag to the box may seem like a small step today. It wasn’t in 1870, and in many ways, that innovation lead to the smart phones of today.

God doesn’t expect us to think like Him immediately, but He does expect us to think more like Him continually. When He looked at Isaiah, He said, “My thoughts are not your thoughts, and my ways are above your ways.” When we arrive at The New Testament, He says “Follow Me!” “He causes us to sit together in Heavenly places”, and reminds us that now, “We have the mind of Christ.

Is your thinking right now paper bag thinking? If so, then explore your borders. The difference between a paper bag and the cardboard box isn’t just the folding, it’s the weight. The more we seek His Will, we start to think like Him. The more we think like Jesus, the more we act like Jesus. The more we act like Him, the stronger we become.

The stronger we grow in Him, the more we can bare the burdens of those in need. The Apostle Paul said, “Follow us as we follow The Lord”, we are to be examples. As we step out of paper bag thinking, into cardboard box thinking, and so on, we can connect with others. We do this, not through a wireless connection, but by being wired to a new way of thinking, thinking like Christ Jesus.

If you’re going through a mental battle today, hear this through the noise. Christ loves you! The noise’s only purpose is to disrupt this. It’s designed to keep you from thinking clearly. Yes, it’s plan is to get you to do what you normally wouldn’t think of doing, but it’s more dangerous than that. It wants to keep you from thinking like Him.

The battle you’re fighting, you’re not fighting alone. You also aren’t only fighting for your own survival. The Lord is fighting with you, and together, you are both fighting for someone else. Yes, He is fighting for you, but you are both warring for the benefit of someone else.  You are also fighting for all of those people that, with His help, you are capable of reaching.

When the battle reaches the fiercest level, and you are so tempted to give up, or to give in, ignore the noise and think. Think, not of today, but of tomorrow. Think of those faces in Children’s Ministry that depend on you to hear more about Jesus. Think of that friend that you love, that needs encouragement. Finally think of Christ Jesus, who rescued you with His own blood.

Think out of the situation you are in to the victory a few feet ahead. Think of the fact that on the darkest day of Christ’s life, He thought of the brightest day of our future. He thought of when He welcomed us into His Kingdom.

The battle you are facing is by no means trivial, it’s tormenting and terrifying, but compare it to your future. When you do this, you’ll realize that this is just a paper bag battle trying to keep you from the gift box that God has in store for us all. He is calling you into a greater place in Him.  He is doing this to empower you to carry others tomorrow, through what you have defeated today!

All The Time In The World

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Matthew 11:19
19 … A friend of publicans and sinners.

I love reading the Gospels. I love seeing the different things that God anointed these four men to write, the events that they all shared, and those occasions that only one or two mentioned. It is my heart felt belief that everything in The Bible, whether written or not written, was for a purpose. If God placed something in The Bible, it’s important. Those times that He chose not to say something, are equally important.

As I was reading, a question came to mind, “How many times have I missed saying something to someone.” The only difference is, they were anointed to write, and anointed not to write certain things. Too often, I simply fail to share what I’ve been anointed to take to a hurting world. How many words of encouragement have I failed to give?

Oh, there are at least a hundred excuses, I was tired, I was sick, I was in a hurry. The Robin Williams tragedy is still fresh in my mind. I don’t pretend to understand the struggles that he faced, nor do I judge him. I wonder though, how many struggling people have I ignored? What opening to reduce their struggle did I miss?

I was guilty of hurrying through a conversation just last night. I intend to remedy that, but how many times did I do this without knowing? This article isn’t meant to discourage, or condemn, just point out an opening to possibilities.

Today, someone is hurting, someone is sad. Maybe someone is even angry, bitter, or lonely. I don’t have to solve their problems, they’re not asking for me to. They may just need a smile, a set of ears, and a heart that cares.   I know how to smile, my ears work, and I do care about them.

We don’t have to have big ideas, we have a great big God. He knows how to do all things, but He says, “Let me take care of the big things. You just do the little things.” The little things, that we can do, a cup of water or coffee, a kind word. In short, be a friend.

Friendship is underrated, and the term is overused. We have acquaintances in life that we call friends, and friends that we show little care too. “They’ll understand, they’re my friend.” “Don’t worry about how grumpy you were. He’s your friend, he’ll understand.” “He knows your friend, he knows you didn’t have time to talk.”

Jesus literally made time for His friends. Before it existed, He created it so He could place man in the garden. Time was made before the fall, before Adam, and before Eve. Time isn’t evil, we redeem the time, not because it’s evil, but because the days are. Sometimes, we must redeem the time.

Lord, help me to make time for my friends, and to take the time to make friends with the hurting. Those that need someone who cares about them, to know that they’ve got a person in their corner. You don’t have to be another Stallone to stand in the corner, he was content with a short old man named Mickey in his. For my younger readers, Jimmy Fallon is no Justin Timberlake, but Timberlake likes standing beside him.

Stand beside someone today, be in their corner, be their friend. Don’t miss an opportunity to introduce yourself to that person who is up a tree and out on a limb. That’s how Jesus met Zacchaeus, and it changed the publican’s life forever. It wasn’t a coincidence though, The Lord came looking for Him.

The Lord was looking for a Zacchaeus, and he was looking for Jesus. Jesus didn’t only look for those who were looking for Him. He searched out those who weren’t reaching out to Him. Just a few examples are the woman at the well, the man at the pool of Siloam, and so many of us.

Too often, I think our problem is we’re not looking. It’s not intentional, but in the midst of busy lives, we ignore the purpose of our lives. As a Christian, my number one calling is love God, and to share His love with others. We think we do pretty well with the first part, but if we’re not fulfilling the second, we’re really lacking in both areas.

One of the greatest lessons our Lead Pastor Denny Livingston has ever taught us is simply this, look for someone that’s hurting. Search out a person that needs your kindness, not your message. Give them your kindness, and they will ask for your message. It may not be verbally, but they will read you.

They will know that you are real, that you’re different, and that you have something that they need. That’s how so many came to Jesus, and never left Him. Will you be hurt? Oh yes. Taken advantage of? Most definitely! He was, but He still opened His arms wide, even as they were bleeding. His enemies didn’t betray Him, His friend did. At the same time, when He needed someone to care for His mother, in the midst of His pain, His true friend was there.

One of the greatest titles that Jesus was ever given was when He was called a friend of publicans and sinners, I pray we make the time, so the same can be said of us. It won’t always be easy, but we were never promised easy. Besides, if everything was easy, we’d only complain about the lack of challenge in our lives. Along the way, they’ll be some rejection, a few conflicts, and some battles. At the end though, if you’re able to stand beside one friend that you’ve brought to Jesus, it’ll be worth all the time in the world.