40 Days

If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head, and the Lord will reward you. Proverbs 25:21-22 (NIV)

This is the time of year when several of my friends commit to giving up “things” for the next 40 days. Chocolate, coffee, Facebook … I’ve seen each of these noted as items (or in the case of Facebook, habits) deemed necessary to give up.

I am doing the opposite this year. Instead of giving up, I’m committing to giving:

Time
Resources
Me

My word for 2014 is “Focus.” My reasoning? Urgent issues happen but they aren’t always important. I dedicated 2014 to focus on the IMPORTANT. Specifically, God and family.

The Lord is faithful to help me stay focused. For instance, my home church, Northeast Bible Church, started compassion challenges last week.

The first challenge was to provide a meal to an “unsung public service worker.” Personally falling into that category, I had a difficult time figuring out how to do this until I began to think about all the staff that work with me behind the scenes of education. Which led to a joyful lunchtime surprise for one of my campus clerks.

Our current challenge is a lot more challenging for me. We are challenged to write a note each day telling the person we’re writing to what we like about them. Easy enough. But wait, there’s more: we’re also challenged to write at least one note to someone we struggle to be around. Whoa. I have one of those and that note will definitely be drafted by the Holy Spirit because if I try to write under my own power, it will come out all. wrong.

These challenges are providing opportunities to be grace & compassion in action!

Wonderful news! Our Lifegroup began a new study last week titled, Love Does.

The lessons? Be there for others, take risks, follow God’s leading. Okay, wow. I’m sensing a theme here. 🙂

My big-picture takeaway from these 40 days is to not stop finding compassion challenges on Resurrection Sunday but to dedicate the rest of my life to share God’s grace & compassion with those around me.

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