Posts Tagged ‘purpose’

See You On the Stage!

Posted: August 30, 2011 in Life
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Life is strange sometimes.  Just when you think you have it all figured out…the script changes. Like a play in which you have rehearsed your role but suddenly find that all of the other actors are improving: so you have to join in.  The show must go on. The unexpected takes place. Tragedy makes an unwelcome appearance on the stage of existence and the script has to be rewritten. New actors appear, sometimes uninvited, and you have to rewrite the dialogue in order to include them.

Again…the show must go on.

You stop and ask…who’s directing this strange play?  Am I?  My friends?  My relatives?  My spouse? My Boss?

I keep making choices, so am I the director? But are my choices simply reactions to what the other actors are doing?  Am I following the right script? Who did these rewrites?  Wait…is it time to improv again?

Then the scene changes, and more actors appear.  But the script they are using doesn’t sound like the one I was just in.  This feels like a different play all together. New director? Maybe. But who is it?  Who is controlling the action on the stage?  I thought I was, but I couldn’t be.  I would not write this.  But I must read my lines, play my part.  The show must go on.

The show sometimes makes me tired.  It feels that each scene requires a different role.  But I am just one actor. Sometimes all of the other actors behave as if they are the directors.  Could they be?  Could I be reading the script they wrote for me.  If so…it does not feel right.  But, my improvs and rewrites aren’t much better.

Oh wait…now I hear the voice.  It must be the director.  He just said, “Cut”.  Good time for a break. He’s motioning to me. I think He wants to talk to me.  Just a minute, the show will have to wait.  The director wants some time with me.  I’ll be right back.

Ok…how long was I gone? It felt like hours and just for a moment.  But, I am ready to get back on the stage.  The director assured me that He wrote the script and He is directing all of the action. There are many who are trying to rewrite what He wrote for me, but as long as I listen to His direction…the show will go on. He told me not to worry.  He has it under control.  Just do my best with the lines He has given and He’ll keep directing me into the next scene. Some scenes feel like a tragedy; some like a comedy. There is even some action, mystery and romance. But he weaves them all into the story He has written for my life.

He also said not to worry if the other actors seem to go off script, because they have their own.  Some of them are listening to the director and some are not.  What is important, He said, was that I love them, treat them well, and follow the script…or scripture He has given me.  Keep inviting them into the play I have written He told me.

So, off I go into the next scene of life. So glad the Director has it all under control. Oh wait, I think He’s calling you.  Go ahead, listen to what He says; He wrote the script and makes it all make sense.

See you on the stage.

Garbage?

Posted: July 26, 2011 in Life
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I recently went to Dunkin Donuts to get some coffee, because… I loves me some good coffee.  When they play those commercials that say, “America runs on Dunkin’” I know they are talking about me!

As I got out of my truck to go in, I saw some garbage, and decided to pick it up and go throw it away.  I threw it away and then headed in for my coffee. Suddenly, I realized that I didn’t have my wallet, so I went back to the truck to get it. But as I went back, I realized that I didn’t have my key to the truck. It wasn’t in my hand, it wasn’t in any of my pockets.  So I got my wallet out of the truck, then I checked all through out the truck, and still… no truck key!

Then, a thought hit me, could I have let the key go when I dumped all of the trash?  So I went to the garbage can, took off the lid, looked into see if I could find my garbage.  I recognized my garbage way down in the receptacle and reached in to pick it up. As I did, I saw it.  My truck key!

Unbelievable!

I was so happy!  However, I couldn’t believe that I just threw away something so valuable, with all of the garbage!

You know, in life it is easy to lose what is most precious, what is most valuable, what is a true treasure because of all of the garbage that can pile up in our lives.  We have the garbage of disappointments, of lost dreams, of broken relationships, of unexpected hardships, of hurts and offenses. Garbage, garbage, garbage!  And when garbage piles up, what is most valuable can be lost.

My truck key is valuable.  Without it, I am not going anywhere.  It doesn’t belong in the garbage.  It belongs with me, in my pocket or in the ignition, being used for the purpose it was created for.

You know what, we are all valuable.  We have all been created by God for a purpose. But, it is easy for us to get lost in the garbage and then, because we are surrounded by garbage, we can begin to feel like garbage.  It is easy to feel thrown away, forgotten, discarded, unusable.

The truth is… you are not garbage.  You are valuable, simply because God created you, died for you, and desires to have a relationship with you.

Check this out:

Luke 15:3-7 NASU
So He told them this parable, saying, “What man among you, if he has a hundred sheep and has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open pasture and go after the one which is lost until he finds it?   “When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing.   “And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’

And here’s another…

Luke 15:8-10 NASU
“Or what woman, if she has ten silver coins and loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it?   “When she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin which I had lost!’   “In the same way, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

God looks at each and every one of us as valuable.  To Him, we are like lost sheep to a shepherd, or a lost coin that is worth so much. And just like we read in these biblical parables, God is looking for that which is lost, he is looking for restored relationship with us, His creation.

We are separated because of sin, garbage.  But He sent His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ to pay for all of our sins, all of our garbage.  And He loves us in spite of the garbage! In Romans 5:8 we are told that God demonstrates His love for us, in that while we were sinners, Christ died for us.  This is saying that on our worst day, in our worst moment, in our worst failure, God loved us and sent His son to pay the price for our lives.

So, no matter what Garbage you or I may be facing or dealing with, God loves us more than the garbage and is looking to reach into the garbage can and pull us out and hold us in His hands and then postition us in the place of purpose He created us for.

Launching Forward In Life

Posted: January 26, 2011 in Life
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From the beginning of childhood, most everyone begins to dream of what they want to be. We all develop hopes of doing something great. Baseball player, fireman, tv star, singer. Some even dream of being moms and dads. Little girls dream of being a beautiful bride, they fantasize of meeting their prince charming and being swept off their feet. In addition, little boys start off dreaming of being a cowboy, a sports star, or an army man and end up dreaming of mortgages, bills, life insurance, and college tuition for their children!

We all have dreams, but as life goes on, we learn that we will never go forward, unless we start right where we are. Going forward is all about taking the right steps. Where you start from is not near as important as where you are going. You just need to make sure you have the right destination. Too many people let their starting point hinder their ability to going forward. Just remember, your starting point does not have to be your ending point.

 One of the greatest inventions of modern times is the GPS. Being able to type in a destination and have your GPS guide you there is an incredible convenience. However, 20 people can all start from different places but end up at the same destination if they have the right directions. Some will take longer to get there, but they will get there if they will stay on track. Nevertheless, there is a problem with GPS units, they are not perfect. And they do get people lost sometimes. And they don’t always account for weather, storms, traffic, accidents, detours and construction. Life can be that way. Sometimes, even when we think we are headed in the right direction, the storms of life can take us off course.

I have found that the greatest way to launch forward and stay on course is to listen to the One who made us and gave us life. Check out this scripture found in God’s Word.

Ephesians 5:15-17-Therefore be careful how you live, not as unwise men but as wise, 16 making the most of your time, because the days are evil. 17 So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.

God gives us three keys in launching forward in this scripture:

 • Be Careful how you live

• Make the most of your time

• Understand God’s Will

When we are pondering our future, our destiny, our purpose in life, we will take steps in the right direction by heeding these three simple keys. When we are careful how we live, we won’t create obstacles by bad decisions. When we use our time wisely, we will do the things that will take us towards our destiny. And, when we seek to understand God’s will, we can live our lives doing what we were created to do.

 So…go ahead. Launch forward! Nobody’s stopping you!

UnWritten The Book

Posted: October 21, 2010 in The Book
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UnWritten – The Book, will be out in November.  Here is a brief synopsis.

There are many angels, but there is only one Raphael. He dreamed of doing something great. Then he received an assignment that was top secret. To him that meant unimportant. Little did he know how wrong he was.

As an angel, prior to his new assignment, his contact with humans was limited. Nevertheless, he thought he knew them. As his story unfolds, he soon discovers that he did not know them at all. UnWritten tells the story of this novice angel and the discoveries he makes about humans, existence, and the Commander. UnWritten reads like a series of short stories seamlessly sewn together in order to convey some of life’s most important lessons.

Every story and encounter takes the reader on a journey to his or her own heart. The exploration of the painful places of life will bring hope to those who have suffered loss, encouragement to those seeking meaning, and faith to those who are drowning in an ocean of doubt and fear.

UnWritten leaves the reader wanting to live a life of purpose. It will inspire many to forgive and let go of painful obstacles of the past in order to reach for the shining promise of tomorrow. In the end, it provides a challenge for us all to live each day without regret and to leave no part of our lives UnWritten.

You Matter. God Says!

Posted: September 30, 2010 in Life
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Have you ever had someone ask you a question that you just were not ready for? Maybe they asked you to do something that caught you off guard. I remember a time this happened to me. My wife, Melissa, and I had been married for a little over two years.  We were at a celebration for something, a party for someone…all those details are vague, but her request…that, I remember.

In the middle of the party, in the middle of a conversation, someone asked Melissa about one of our family members.  And my wife says, “Oh, they’re doing fine.  In fact, I have a recent picture.”  Then without missing a beat, she looks at me and asks, “Honey, will you go into my purse and get that picture?” Seems like a simple request, should be no problem. However, you should know that at this point in our relationship, I had been asked to go get her purse before; I had even been asked to carry the purse.  However, I, as a man, did not have the proper training to open the purse and find anything! In my mind, I thought you needed a degree, or special training or at least some kind of manual.

 Why was this a dilemma for me? Well, let me be honest.  As a man, I don’t know what all is in the purse, and I don’t want to know!  In addition, for my wife to ask me to retrieve something out of it caused me stress.  I immediately began to wonder… “So, how do you find something in the purse…is there a filing method? Is it organized by most used items first? Is it alphabetical? Because, one thing I do know, there is a lot of stuff in the purse; and somehow, by, what I can only assume is God Given magic female powers, out of that purse, my wife can retrieve whatever is needed, when it is needed. And, if there is something that I can’t find or I am in need of, I have learned to ask my wife, when she’s holding her purse, cause I figure “hey…you never know. ”  

I first observed the mystery and the power of the purse when our first child came along. With the child came the “diaper bag.” Now the diaper bag I had no problem with.  I often carried the diaper bag; sometimes I filled the diaper bag, and took things out of the diaper bag. And… I even changed my share of diapers!

One day, we went out shopping and Melissa asked me to bring the diaper bag and make sure it had diapers.  I said “OK” and away we went. As we were shopping, a moment came in which it was evident that our little two year old needed a diaper change. We knew this because other people in the Mall began to make faces and move away from us as we walked toward them.

Melissa found a place for us to change our little one, and I did my duty to open up the diaper bag and get the diaper. However, when I opened the bag, it was empty.  And I was the one who was supposed to make sure it was stocked with diapers.

I sheepishly told Melissa of the dilemma, and let her know I was sorry. My amazing wife looked at me and said, “Oh, no problem, I think I have a spare.”

I watched with amazement as she effortlessly reached into her purse and pulled out a diaper. The emergency was thwarted and I was off the hook.

As well, I once again was in awe of the power of the “Purse”!

Ladies, this is why men do not want to get stuff out of your purse.  Besides being afraid of what’s in there, we are also afraid we will mess something up!

Here’s the point: As complex as the workings of a woman’s purse is to a man, it is nothing in comparison to the complexity of the world we live in.  And just like I honestly feel some anxiety when asked to get something out of my wife’s purse, I think we all, as humans can feel overwhelmed, even stressed at times when we experience the complexity of life and wonder…where do I fit in? We can begin to ask, “Do I even matter? Does my life even count? What is my purpose? Well, I believe there are answers to these questions, and the best place to begin is in listening and reading a thought given to us by God, our Creator.

In Jeremiah 1:5, God says: 

Before I shaped you in the womb, I knew all about you.

Before you saw the light of day, I had holy plans for you.

Now that is a powerful truth we all need to embrace.  God made us with a holy plan. Think about that, we are not just an accident of nature; we are a well thought out creation of Almighty God.

 No matter where you are today in your life. No matter what you think of yourself, what other people think or say about you; whether you are up, down, battling depression, struggling in a relationship, facing a mountain of impossibilities… no matter how complex your life appears…whatever is going on in you…

You Matter, simply because God created you. Your life counts; God has plans for you.

This truth can be alive in you today, simply by surrendering all you are and hope to be to the one who made you.

You Matter; God says so!

You Matter

Posted: September 15, 2010 in Invitation
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I meet so many people that are looking for purpose, a reason to live.  I meet so many people who are longing for something more than existence.

That is why I am so excited about what our church – New Hope Worship Center, Batavia, NY – is doing. Over three Sundays, we will be presenting the You Matter Connection. 

Three Messages about why you matter!

You Matter because:

God Created You

God Loves You

Christ Died for You

Simple Messages that will change your life.

Check out this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M_BBOyhvd7A

And the Church website: www.newhopebatavia.org

If you’re in the area…stop by!  We’d love to see you!

Give it away…

Posted: August 4, 2010 in Life
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RYAN ARNOLD

I hear a lot of talk about giving our lives away. People have many causes and agendas that cry out for full commitment: giving of yourself selflessly for the sake of others. As a follower of Jesus Christ, I would say that I embrace this type of call.

I believe in living for something greater than yourself. Treating others the way you want to be treated. Nevertheless, it is easy to live life for ourselves.

But in the end…the question does have to be asked… “What did I do that mattered?” Tough question: one that I do not always want to ask myself. Much less, one I want to answer.

At times, life seems meaningful and I feel that I understand what it means to “give my life away.” Then, I hear a story. Not just any story, but a story of someone who truly gives away their life for the sake of someone else.

Just this last week, a young man by the name of Chad Arnold had gone into the final stages of liver disease. His life was coming to an end. Then, his brother Ryan decided to do something heroic. He decided to give 2/3 of his liver in order to save his brother’s life. The operation went well and was a success. Chad is in recovery and it appears his life has been saved.

However, Ryan…well, He is now in Heaven. He gave his life for his brother.

My heart is broken for the family. Moreover, I am crying out prayers from deep within for God to fill them with the peace and grace for this season that only He can bring.

At the same time, I am personally filled with some shame and conviction. I feel ashamed that I have ever acted as if I know what it means to give my life away. I am convicted that I too often choose my own comfort over the inconvenience of giving of myself.

Ryan, your life…your sacrifice is already affecting the lives of many. Your sacrifice is causing me to reassess my life, my choices and the time I have left on this earth.

Lord, be with Chad and the rest of the family.

Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13

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