Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Small Minded People Sabotage Other People's Success

Loneliness, Isolation, Trust & True Friends

Before the Covid-19 shutdown of businesses, I had an appointment with a new optometrist. I hadn’t seen an eye doctor for more than a decade but age has been creeping up on me & I knew it was time to get an exam.

While I was sitting in the waiting room, filling out the new patient paperwork, I looked at one of the questions & begin to reflect.

I’ve been asked this question many times & breezed through it without batting an eye. But this time, I just sat & stared at the question because it stood out to me.

Ok, you’re probably wondering what the question is...here it is: "Who Should We Contact In Case Of An Emergency?"  

Beverly is the name I write down, without hesitation. But as I sat & looked at that question, my thoughts went to anyone who might not be able to answer that question rapidly.  Perhaps at one time in their life, they could think of 3-4 names automatically. However, due to situations they no longer can.

My heart began to feel heavy for anyone that feels alone or feels like they have no one to trust.

I had a misty-eyed moment in the waiting room. I was thankful that I could name at least 20 or more names…people I know who will be there for Beverly or I if we needed help.

If I can be honest with you…circumstances, betrayal & time can reduce that number to the point that you lose trust in people & find it difficult to trust anyone at all.

The natural thing to do is to focus inward, to trust no one - to spend as much time as possible alone & isolated, because at least you don’t have to worry about being betrayed, hurt or disappointed.  

I grew up listening to a song that said this…

Me and Jesus, got our own thing goin'
Me and Jesus, got it all worked out
Me and Jesus, got our own thing goin'
We don't need anybody to tell us what it's all about

After all, all I need is Jesus, right?  
Jesus said He would never leave me or forsake me - that He would always be with me - so why do I even need anyone else?  


Yes, I need a strong, growing relationship with Christ, but I also need a strong, growing relationship with others...if I am truly going to experience the abundant life that Jesus promises.  

That’s not always easy. Risk is involved. You can get hurt, betrayed & even abandoned over & over.  But just because it's hard doesn't mean we should not try.  

We need relationships!  God designed us to do life with others. He designed for us to have the help of others.

I’m not sharing this because I’m looking for new friends or for people to text me & say, “we love you.”  I’m sharing this because I know there are people out there who feel isolated & lonely.  People who don’t want to feel that way & they wish things were different but due to circumstances they don’t know if they can ever trust anyone again.

Believe me…I understand.

Look at this verse in Proverbs 18:24 “One who has unreliable friends soon come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”

It’s not easy…but it’s worth it!

Isolation is not the answer.  Rather, I believe true joy comes in the context of a group of people who will stand with you & love you – no matter what!

Are those people hard to find? Yes.

But, when you do find them…I can honestly say you will one day look back & know it was worth it.

If you’ve been ISOLATING yourself because of lost hope…today, I want you to rethink that decision.  I’m not asking you to simply make superficial friends who you always feel like you have to pretend to be someone else when you are around them…I’m saying don’t stay stuck in isolation!

There’s a powerful passage in 2 Samuel 23 that stands out to me.
“Next to him (David) was Shammah son of Agee the Hararite. When the Philistines banded together at a place where there was a field full of lentils, Israel’s troops fled from them. But Shammah took his stand in the middle of the field. He defended it and struck the Philistines down, and the Lord brought about a great victory.”

David was in a battle, it was intense and all of Israel's troops fled and left David in the middle of a field all alone, surrounded by the enemy.  

But there was Shammah...

He wasn't the guy who always told David, "I've got your back," but rather stood back to back with him when everyone else ran & they (together) brought about a victory.  

After this battle David could have mourned the loss of "all his friends" or he could have celebrated the victory he & the one friend who stood with him won.  

Personally, I think he chose the latter.  

Friend…we are only here on planet earth for a short time. I want to encourage you to do your best to try & be a good friend!  Ask God for wisdom & discernment so that you can truly say the friendships in your life are real & not based on anything except a true love for Jesus & one another.

Proverbs 18:24 A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.

God bless you!

Saturday, May 9, 2020


How you treat your parents really does matter to God. It doesn't matter if you're 2 or 52. 

The Apostle Paul instructed us in Ephesians 6:2-3 "Honor your father and mother, which is the first commandment with promise: that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth."

I don't know about you, but I want it to be "well with me" & I want to "live long on the earth."  It's really a remarkable things that there are several stern warnings for children who mistreat their parents by the words they use & the things that they do.

In honor of Mother's Day, here's a few things to consider...

1. Unconditional Love. No matter if your mom is young or old...love her.  Moms give, give & give some more. They are always giving everything they have to their children. Without hesitation a mother will lay down her life for her child. So, love her when she has much to give & when she has nothing left to give.  

2. Be Affectionate. When is the last time you walked up to your mom & just hugged her real tight?  Moms, for the most part, are affectionate with their children. It's amazing how we can take for granted that our mother knows that we love her. Surprise her today & give her a huge hug!

3. Be Understanding. Women go through a lot of changes. Mothers go through a lot of changes. They wear many hats...they cook, clean, arbitrate, mend, work in & out of the home, etc. They do so much, and we need to appreciate the great job that they do for us every single day. 

4. Pay Attention. Everyone likes a little attention. Husbands do. Children do. When is it mom's turn?  Give your mom your undivided attention for Mother's Day. Make it about her. Let her choose where/what to eat...talk with her. Put your phone away. 

5. Say "Thank You". Moms do things that money cannot pay people to do. They are always watching out for us, picking up after us, doing things no one else would probably do. Show your gratitude. Say, "Thank You." (Say it often.)

6. Tell Her She's Needed. Moms are nurturing by nature & every mom wants to feel needed.  The enemy will whisper in your mom's ear, as she moves into her golden years, "you're not necessary, no one has time for you, you're an inconvenience to everybody."  That's a lie. Let your mom know that you have time for her & that you need her. 

Consider this...

1. Whether you mother is still alive today or not: Rate your relationship with your mother on a scale from 1-10, with ten being amazing. You may need to have two separate totals...one for when you were growing up & the second total for today.

2. What would it take to move that total closer to 10, or what would it have taken for it to have been closer to 10...then and now?

3. Which of the 6 points above do you need to work on to improve?

Today, I want to thank my mother for being a prayer warrior in our life.  Whenever there has been trouble or a need, all I've had to do is pick up the phone and ask her to pray...and she does.  Never underestimate the power of a praying mother. When she can't work anymore, when she can't give anymore, when she can't serve anymore, even when she can't do things for you anymore...she can still PRAY for you!

Happy Mother's Day!