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WARNING: CONTENTS UNDER PRESSURE

That warning label is not uncommon. Do you have a gas grill? A can of hair spray? Ever seen that warning on a huge truck going down the interstate? That label means don’t mess with me too much, or in the wrong way, or I just might explode. On you. In flames.

Pressure isn’t always a dangerous thing. You want your tires to have pressure. Otherwise, you have a flat. That means you are calling Dad for help. Or AAA. The pressure of the school bus arriving at a specific time in the morning means that you get up and get ready when you are supposed to. Pressure of good grades means you turn in your homework. Completed. Extreme heat and extreme pressure turns carbon into a diamond (and then earrings and rings and other fabulous bling)! Thank you, Mr. Pressure!!

Pressure is unavoidable.

YOU will be under pressure.

You WILL be under pressure.

You will be under PRESSURE.

What if we had warning labels on each of us? 

Would your label read:

CONTENTS UNDER PRESSURE. FLAMMABLE.

Or

CONTENTS UNDER PRESSURE. READY TO CRY.

Or

CONTENTS UNDER PRESSURE. PLEASE MAKE ME LAUGH.

Or

CONTENTS UNDER PRESSURE. READY TO FIGHT.

Or

CONTENTS UNDER PRESSURE. LEAVE ME ALONE.

Or

CONTENTS UNDER PRESSURE. PRAY WITH ME.

Or

CONTENTS UNDER PRESSURE. PLEASE LOVE ME.

Maybe we do have a label, if we would just let it show. Knowing that others are under pressure just like us will help us deal with them in patient and loving ways. Showing our label may help others be patient and loving with us.

Here is a label we all need to wear:

CHILD OF GOD. LOVED.

Put this label on. Write it on your heart. Write it in your journal. Wear it. Show it. Love it. No matter what the pressures are, you are LOVED. BY GOD. (and that’s a whole lot!)

“The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:18 (NIV)

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4 Ordinary Ways to Change the World

I’ve been thinking about this concept a lot lately:  Ordinary people doing extraordinary things.  Normal folks doing amazing tasks.  It’s what God calls us to.  No ministry degree required, no special gifts necessary. Here are four ordinary ways to change the world:

  1.  A burden: Those folks that are on your heart, mind (and prayer list) constantly.  If you have a desire to see people change for the better, you’ll do extraordinary things.
  2. Time: In order to be used by God, it is going to require sacrificing some of our “free time”.  A cup of coffee, a trip to the Basement, a conversation on Facebook, etc.
  3. Listening skills: Everyone wants to be heard.  Making eye-contact goes a long way and showing an interest in something or someone other than yourself can really impact someone’s life.  Caring for someone else will invite relationship.
  4. A loving heart: Love melts the hardest heart.  Love breaks down walls, it defeats opposition.  Get it?

Our beliefs need to be seen, felt, double-checked, and tested.  They can’t be purchased from the library or the local Christian book store.  Beliefs aren’t given out in “freebie bags” at church.  They’re developed over time and create the whole of who we are.

I just want to encourage you to be unashamed in your love for Jesus and your love for each other.  To love God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself. The only way we’ll ever change the world is by learning to love past our differences and see each other through the eyes of Christ.

So how do ordinary people do extraordinary things?  It all starts with a little love.  Love goes a long way.  What you love is valuable and you value what you love.  If we loved each other more, and Jesus the most, we would truly be unstoppable.  Love is the catalyst for changing the World.

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