Saturday, October 18, 2014

Anyone Can Cheer!

I was a cheerleader once...for a third-grade pee-wee football team forty-plus years ago.  So much has changed since then.  Cheerleading has become a competitive sport for which I would never have qualified as a youth.  Never pretty, fit, or athletic enough, I would have been sidelined for sure!

Everyone needs cheerleaders, and in God's kingdom we are all meant to be.  Even though we may not call it cheerleading we are commanded to "encourage one another" (Hebrews 3:11, 1 Thessalonians 5:11).  What are some ways you have been encouraged by others?  How did it make you feel?

One of the mock cheers I remember hearing as a child went like this:  "Rah Rah Ree...kick 'em in the knee.  Rah Rah Rass...kick 'em in the...other knee!"  Sadly many of us do tend to kick others when they're down rather than encourage them.  Instead of affirming the positive things others do to make a difference, we assume they have it all together and really don't need our help. How much could we maximize their positive impact if we actually joined them in the work they do by praying for them or rolling up our sleeves to work beside them?

Cheer may be a competitive sport but encouraging others is a command, and it is something we all can do without special training or expensive uniforms.  Often all it takes is a kind word, an offer to lend a hand, or the willingness to pray for and support organizations and individuals who are passionate about making a difference.

It has been my experience that those who offer encouragement often receive encouragement.  If you need a cheerleader, try being one in someone else's life.  At the end of the day, when you stand before the Lord, he'll be cheering you on with these words:  "Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!" (Matthew 25:21, NIV).

Copyright © 2014 by Dee Dee Wike. All rights reserved. www.deedeewike.com

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Thank you for visiting my blog! You are encouraged to post a comment and share this blog with a friend. By sharing, you are helping to encourage others with the truth of God's Word!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

The Struggle to Trust

"I don't trust you, Lord."  I have actually said those words to God, on many occasions in fact.  Wounding the heart of the God who created me and gave his Son to die for my sins is not something I enjoy.  Yet, I still struggle to trust him in one particular area of my life -- finances -- even though he has demonstrated his faithfulness to provide for my family and me time and time again.

God's Word has more to say about money than just about any other subject.  He promises to supply all our needs (Philippians 4:19, Matthew 6:25-34), to give to us as we give to others (Matthew 6:38), and to bless us when we are obedient in our giving (Malachi 3:8-12).  If God cannot lie, then why do I struggle to trust him in this one area of my life?

Perhaps my struggle to trust God comes as the result of focusing on the waves rather than the One who calms the seas.  When the car breaks down or the dog gets sick and I have to divert funds to those emergencies rather than to the creditors who expect their payments on time, I am quick to withhold from God what is rightfully his so I can still manage to feed my family, put gas in my car, and keep the bill collectors off my back. I manage my money under the premise that I can't afford to give to my Provider when in fact, I can't afford not to.

For the first three months we lived in our new home I was unemployed. Bills stacked up. Our aging cars broke down and required repairs. We stopped giving.  After all, God has all he needs so why should he miss what little we had to offer, right? But withholding our tithe and using that cash to fund repairs, buy groceries, and keep the lights on didn't keep us from having an empty fridge, riding on fumes, or feeling the despair of just making it to payday. And not giving deprived me of the joy of knowing that God could take my little to make much of his Son in the lives of others.

Obedience, especially in the area of finances, is not for sissies.  Without faith it is impossible to please God.  But with faith and trust in the One who holds true to the promises of his Word, there is hope and adventure and the sheer joy of walking in obedience.

I am tired of not trusting God.  I am tired of feeling like a spiritual failure everytime I write a check to pay a credit card bill for something I never needed in the first place when there are people in genuine need who can benefit from my giving.  From now on I will trust God.  I will give and tithe as Scripture requires and watch for the blessings to unfold in my life, however he chooses to send them.  I will repay my debts as God provides and teach my children God's money principles so they get it right from the start.

Not trusting God is not the answer to our financial struggles.  Obedience in giving, is. God blesses each of us to be a blessing to others.  Truly, it is more blessed to give than to receive!







Copyright © 2014 by Dee Dee Wike. All rights reserved. www.deedeewike.com

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Thank you for visiting my blog! You are encouraged to post a comment and share this blog with a friend. By sharing, you are helping to encourage others with the truth of God's Word!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Will We Be Different?

As I think about my father-in-law, who would have turned 89 today and is celebrating his first birthday in heaven, I find myself wondering how different life must be for him today and how his personality his changed. I remember how he was here -- funny, giving, sometimes a little unorthodox and cranky. His prayers were always filled with acknowledgements of God's holiness and sovereignty though his actions often reflected his own human nature.

Those of us who walk with the Lord can attest with all gratefulness to the fact that we are not the people we used to be. Still, we are flawed and unworthy--except by God's grace--to even speak the name of Jesus let alone stand in His presence.  It is hard to imagine that we could be any different than we are, or how we will be when we meet God face-to-face.

Scripture tells us that in heaven there will be no more pain or sorrow or suffering, that we will worship the Lamb of God, and that we will have perfect bodies. But what about our personalities? How will they change?  Will we be different?  Will we no longer be challenged by difficult people or subject to personality conflicts?  It is hard to imagine that every resolution will be peaceful or that conflict will be absent altogether, yet that is what most of us long for.  We want to get along with difficult relatives, impossible neighbors, and be more tolerant and loving of those who presently challenge us.

I have no doubt that we will will be different and better.  But how will we be different?

It is hard to imagine what my father-in-law is experiencing today or how he has changed. Would I even recognize him now? If we swapped places would he recognize me?

Before my day comes to make that final journey to be with Jesus, I hope that I will be so radically changed by Him that others will recognize Him in me.


Copyright © 2014 by Dee Dee Wike. All rights reserved. www.deedeewike.com

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Thank you for visiting my blog! You are encouraged to post a comment and share this blog with a friend. By sharing, you are helping to encourage others with the truth of God's Word.