Tell Them Your Story

Then Joshua told the people…your children will ask you why these rocks are here. Tell them “The Lord our God dried up the Jordan River so we could walk across….”  He wants everyone on earth to know how powerful he is. And he wants us to worship only him.

—Joshua 4:21-24, CEV

I knew a woman once who was not exceptionally talented; however, she was undoubtedly the best liar I have ever met. She could tell you something without flinching and absolutely none of it would be true. Consequently, I learned to discount anything I heard her say. And, I want you to know that I consider lying to be deceitful, dangerous and an unacceptable habit to develop. In fact, bogus stories can lead to great risk for everyone whose lives are touched by these fabrications. In the end, I came to realize that, if everything I discerned about this person was a hoax, I never really knew her at all.

Real stories, on the other hand, can be uplifting, healing and extremely helpful. Think of the best real stories that have been published in modern literature, like “The Perfect Storm.” Real stories can be a powerful form of communication that connects us to one another.

One of the reasons I am committed to writing a book about my healing from stage four cancer is that I want to document my journey for others. I am convinced that people don’t actually believe that God does the hard stuff anymore; I want them to know that He does. In fact I read an article recently that declared: stage four cancer cannot be cured, only treated. “Wait just a minute,” I said out loud (to no one). “Medical science has just declared me an impossibility.”

The power of sharing your true story is that it helps people understand that they are not alone. It becomes much easier for others to know for certain that, if the Lord provided an inexplicable miracle for me, He will do the same for you.

Scholar and author, Dr. Brené Brown teaches that the path to understanding involves being vulnerable about our imperfections.  As you tell your story, don’t be reluctant to show your warts. Don’t erase your experience “wrinkles” with emotional Botox; our faults and failures are what make us real.

Why not practice telling your personal story? Starting today, share the good news about how you are living out God’s purpose in the world. Someone needs to hear from you.

Summer Is As Sweet As Apple Pie with Ice Cream

I marvel at the funny actions of my one-year old great granddaughter, Lizzie. She often walks around looking up at the ceiling…it’s as if she can see angels. When we look up and follow her gaze, we see nothing. Perhaps the cares of the world and the mundane concerns which come with decades of daily living have dimmed our abilities to see whatever it is that Lizzie sees. There is something remarkable about the uninhibited gaze of a toddler.

How wonderful it would be to see the world without eyes dimmed by years of skepticism or unbelief or hazed-over by life’s many disappointment. When I took Lizzie outside for a stroll the other day, I noticed that she does the same thing outdoors. She looks up and beholds something beautiful.

Life is wonderful all year long, but it is especially so in the summer. Summer is just sweeeet! I have decided that I will apply my “Lizzie gaze” to all that I behold in God’s beautiful world. I want to truly see the things I would ordinarily miss.

There is something about summer that allows us to recognize that God is everywhere! God is in every  movement; He is in every word that we speak. Whatever actions I take or perceptions I have, there is God!  When I rise up in the mornings and greet the summer sun beaming through my wide bedroom window, and whenever I eat or drink, rest or work–I meet God at every turn.

and he gives us the power to live, to move, and to be who we are.

“We are his children,” Acts 17:28—Contemporary English Version

God’s eye is upon us. He sees every action, every movement that we make. He feels every emotion of our hearts; He knows every thought before it is fashioned. He understands the words we are preparing to speak, even before we utter them.

Summer is another season of bliss, a time to rejoice in all that God has given us to enjoy. I rejoice in the angels seen only in the eyes of a toddler. And in a short summer rain falling softly on the roof. And in a slice of apple pie with a scoop of ice cream, eaten outdoors beneath a canopy of trees. All is of God. Since all is in God and of God, and since we are alive in Him, this is the day to rejoice in Him.  Today I thank Him for the deep, blessed, love-filled treasure of every breath that He gives.