Saturday, June 25, 2016

This Side of Heaven

There are things we may never know this side of heaven, such as the impact of our words, thoughts and deeds on others.  We may never know the lives we touched simply by following our purpose. We may never see the success of someone else who watched us fail.  We may never know.

We may write books for the masses and sell only a few.  We may stand for a cause and wonder if our choice to stand will even matter.

We may pray for those who are lost, broken, or discouraged and wonder if they will ever find their way or see the light at the end of the tunnel. Will the hungry ever be filled and the poor ever be made rich?  We may never know.

Is not knowing a reason to quit? A prayer unanswered, a reason to stop praying?

What is the passion that drives you?  Is it enough to continue living for that cause, knowing that you may never see results this side of heaven? Sometimes I wonder. Sometimes I grow weary and am tempted to quit reaching out because the effort seems futile.

At the end of the day the only thing that matters is being true to ourselves and to the calling God has placed on our lives, because when we reach heaven's gate we will know. We will see the lives that were changed and we will know that our passion mattered to the One who instilled it in us. We will know because He will say, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of your Lord."

Press on, beloved soldier. Your battle is not in vain. Your scars are not invisible. Your failures are not your defeat. He who has called you is faithful. He sees your heart. He will reward you for your effort.

Live each day for God alone and you will know that what you did for Him mattered -- this side of heaven.


Copyright © 2016 by Dee Dee Wike. All rights reserved. www.deedeewike.com

Monday, June 20, 2016

The Privilege of Suffering

Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 
(2 Corinthians 4:16-18, NIV)

Most of us understand what suffering is.  We live in a fallen world where the evil hearts of men cause undue suffering for innocent people.  We lose loved ones.  Our resources dry up long before our needs are satisfied.  Our health declines.  We suffer.

But have we considered that sometimes it is a privilege to suffer?  Sometimes God allows suffering in order to refine us, to draw us closer to him, and to serve as a testimony of his grace to those who desperately need it.

When I look back on the most painful seasons of my life it is there that I see God's hand most clearly.  The broken relationships I have suffered have caused me to truly understand just how faithful he is.  The financial hardships I have suffered along the way have been opportunities for him to provide in miraculous ways.  Change -- as difficult as it often is -- has become an adventure and the chance to discover God's will and ways are higher than mine.

If your present season is one of hardship or suffering, I pray God will reveal himself to you in a profound way.  I pray that you will have faith to praise him even though your circumstances are difficult.  I pray that he will make a way for you, calm the rough seas of adversity, and use your experience to help someone else through theirs (2 Corinthians 1:4).




Copyright © 2016 by Dee Dee Wike. All rights reserved. www.deedeewike.com

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Stewardship: It's Not JUST About Money!

Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through a prophetic message when the body of elders laid their hands on you.  Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress.  Watch your life and doctrine closely.  Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers (1 Timothy 4:14-16, NIV).

Many of us grew up in church, where we were taught to be good stewards and to tithe our financial resources.  But stewardship is not just about money.

According to Merriam-Webster, stewardship is defined as "the conducting, supervising, or managing of something; especially : the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one's care."  That would include not only such tangible things as our homes and automobiles, but also our time, talents, and our own health.  The desire to become better stewards in every aspect of our lives is one of many reasons my daughter Joy and I decided to become vegans and launch a website to encourage and educate others who might consider adopting a healthier and more humane way of living.

As Christians, we give financially because we care for others and desire to make a tangible difference in the lives of those in need.  As vegans who love our family and friends, the earth, and the animals who occupy it with us, Joy and I are committed to sharing the knowledge we are learning on this journey so that others can reap the health benefits and understand that there are things we can all do to be better stewards of the earth God has created for us to enjoy.

God calls us each to make a difference by the way we live, and I believe he gives us each passions, gifts, and abilities so that we can. What is your passion, and what are you doing with it?  If you don't know your purpose or calling, ask God to show you.  The clock is ticking for all of us, but if we live each day with passion, purpose, and grace we can have a significant impact on those who may not know Christ.

May God bless you as you become a better steward of ALL that he has given you!




Copyright © 2016 by Dee Dee Wike. All rights reserved. www.deedeewike.com

Monday, June 6, 2016

For the Sake of One

Several months ago Steve and I were asked to teach a College and Career Sunday school class in our church. We were cautioned by some not to expect great things or anticipate stellar attendance, yet were pleasantly surprised when our small class nearly reached capacity a few weeks ago. Then no one showed up for two weeks in a row despite efforts to reach out to and engage these young adults.  We were faced with a decision:  Do we continue to invest time preparing lessons for this class, knowing that we may not have students to teach, or do we abandon the class, at least for the summer, and hope that there will be a need somewhere down the road?

Sometimes we are called to serve in a particular ministry or area of need, yet to us it seems we are not making any real difference.  My most recent royalty check is evidence of that--trust me, I won't quit my day job! But are we willing to lay aside egos and outcomes for the sake of even one?

In Zechariah 4:10, the prophet writes, "Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin." In other words, when God calls you to do something, obey and leave the outcome to Him. Trust that He is using you in ways you may not see to accomplish more than you can ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20).

Yesterday as I sat in an empty classroom praying for direction I was reminded of my Lord's great sacrifice for me, and I relished knowing that if I had been the only sinner in need of a Savior, Christ would still have died on the cross to forgive my sins. If He could do that for the sake of one, then so can we.




Copyright © 2016 by Dee Dee Wike. All rights reserved. www.deedeewike.com