The Light

Nope, perhaps not a video you’d expect to find on this blog, but I’ve been a lover of all kinds of music for my entire life.  Recently I was listening to some random songs and “The Light” by Disturbed came up in the playlist.  As I listened to the lyrics, I thought of how truthful these words truly are.

When you think all is forsaken,
Listen to me now
You need never feel broken again
Sometimes darkness can show you the light.

As we begin our celebrations of Christmas today, we are reminded of the birth of Jesus into a fallen, dark world.  Jesus, the one who brings us light and hope, shines brightly in the darkness.  In our own lives, think back to a dark time in your life, one where you walked away from God or where you didn’t know him yet.  Sometimes that darkness is what shows us need for the light of Jesus.

The truth is waiting there for you to find it
It’s not a blight, but a remedy,

In your dark times when you’re feeling lost, the truth is there just waiting for you to seek it out.  The darkness will amplify the light that shines in God’s love for us.   We often seek our own solutions to our problems, or when tragedy strikes, we can turn to hide our sorrows in drugs, alcohol or some other addiction.  Those, while seeming to be comforting at first, is never the answer we are looking for and often leads to further tragedy.

The answer isn’t where you think you’d find it
Prepare yourself for the reckoning

The birth of Jesus brought a light to this world.  His birth and life lead right to Easter, his death on the cross.

At noon, darkness fell across the whole land until three o’clock.  Then at that time Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”  – Mark 15:33-34

Darkness literally fell across the world.  Through the darkness, we see the awesomeness of Jesus and his resurrection.

With the light of Jesus, now we never need to feel broken again.  The darkness has shown us the light and we never have to live in darkness again!

Merry Christmas!

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How to Change the World Today!

So many of us what to go out and change the world.

We find the perfect job, make plenty of money, move up in status and say…now we can go make a difference in the world by doing big things. Maybe we start a foundation or setup a movement to help some disadvantaged people. Or maybe we purely use our wealth and donate much to groups already in existence. All in all not a bad thing, but my question is Why Wait? What I’ve heard people say, myself included, well when I get financially stable, I can do this or that to make a difference. Or when I reach a certain status or level in my company, I’ll then have time to devote to this cause or that group. But will it ever be enough? Will we ever reach that point where we can say, “finally, I’m there…I can finally change the world!”

Or how about another scenario. We are on the other spectrum. We’ve spent our lives just trying to make ends meet, living paycheck to paycheck. We think, if only we had some stuff or didn’t have to work so many hours, then maybe we could finally make a difference. We feel we spend so much time just trying to change our own world, that we don’t or can’t make a difference anywhere else. Do we say, “If only I had a little more, then it would be enough…then I could finally change the world!”

Or how about a third scenario. We have good jobs, we’re not wealthy but we live comfortably in our small town. We provide for our families and while we don’t have much, we have enough. So we come home from work, eat dinner, and sit down to watch the news and we see the troubles around the world or even just in our own community and say, “If only there was something I could do…but I’m really no one important, so there’s not much for me to do.”

Well, if you haven’t watched the video above, watch it now. I’ve had all the excuses I listed above. Those have all been me at some point in my life. The last few weeks, I’ve been reevaluating how I’m trying to make a difference for God, but trying to find out what Jesus really means to me and what his plan for me really is. I’ve been slowly realizing that while I’ve felt that the only way to make a difference was to do something BIG, the way God tells me I can change the world now is by Going Small.

The other day when I was listening to some music on the way home from work, these lyrics from the Newsboys song “That’s How You Change the World” jumped out at me and really smacked me across the face.

It’s the prayer in an empty room
Little things we do when nobody’s around
A hand reaching out to a heart in doubt
It’s the smallest spark that can light the dark

That’s how you change the world!

You don’t know when God will use the small gesture, the smile, the simple “How you doing?” to change someone’s world. To make a difference in someone’s day, perhaps in their life.

Somewhat coincidentally (well God driven to be sure) I’m reading through the book “Go Small: Because God Doesn’t Care About Your Status, Size, or Success” and starting off in Chapter 1 is this little snippet, that I read just a day before God sent the Newsboys song my way.

There was a suicide note collected a few years ago that was written by an anonymous person as they made their way to the Golden Gate Bridge. The writer remarked that they were walking to the bridge with the intent of ending their life; but one sentence of the note immediately leapt out at me.

“If one person smiles at me on the way,” this person wrote, “I will not jump.”

They jumped.

It’s the small things that God can use in big ways to change the world. Go out and change the world today, I am.