Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Living in Eternity Now

Happy Holidays to the Folks at Home!!

Often when I blog, I give you guys a little update about what's going on in my life. This time, I want to talk about that but from a different angle. I want to talk about something that is close to my heart. Its an idea that propels me and gives my life meaning on a day to day basis.
Its the idea of investing in people. As we all know, we aren't taking anything with us when we die. No money or possessions. So the question becomes, "What really matters? What is going to last?"
I believe that the investment we make in others is one of the treasures we will take with us to Heaven. And it's a treasure that we can start building now.
I want to tell you about a few of the people who have made an investment in my life, and also about a few people that I have had the privilege to invest in. Remember, these are just a few examples...there are many more people in my life who have made an investment and have shaped me into the person I am today.
The first person I want to mention is Penny Barrick. Some of you may know her already. She is my sponsor, and she taught me how to do the 12 steps. She was there to help me when I was finally ready to get my life cleaned up. She did two things that made all the difference in the world. She loved me unconditionally, and she told me the flat out truth. For the first time in my life, I told all my most damning secrets to someone, and they didn't judge me. Because of her own past, she very much understood what I was going through, and gave me a lot of grace as I moved to the next level.
The next two people are a couple that I'm certain many of you know--John and Cathy Lieb. I have spent countless hours on their couch, watching their TV and eating their food. I have debated with John about many political and spiritual questions and ideas. I have been put to work on the many projects that Cathy has around their house. I have borrowed many of their books. I have spent many hours crying and lamenting and laughing with them. Their patience and acceptance of me has brought immeasurable amounts of healing to my life.
I don't want to know where I would be today if it wasn't for these people. I'm sure that many of you have these same kinds of people in your own life. They may even be the exact same people that I have!
Now, I want to talk about some of the people that I have been able to invest in.

Some of you might remember my friend, Cleide, because I have mentioned her before in my blogs. She is a teacher at CDR, and has been around missionaries for most of her life. Through those missionaries, she has gain a relationship with God, an experience of family, and speaks fluent English. She is charismatic and extremely intelligent. Over the past year, our friendship has been a constant source of strength and laughter in my life. We have prayed together on several occasions about many things. We have been honest with each other, rather than putting on a 'happy face'. I have been able to help her on many occasions financially. And she has fallen in love with my Red Curry Chicken. I feel that I am just one more human notch that God has prepared along the way for Cleide and her family. I am just one person here at this special time in Cleide's life, helping her move on to the next level. 

I want to also tell you about my young friend, Manoela. Her and Cleide have been friends for years, and Manoela also works at CDR teaching English for the children's classes. She is also incredibly smart, but very shy. For Manoela, the longer I know her, the more I discover how amazing and gifted she is. Its like unlocking a secret. I have the privilege of teaching her English, and she is a member of my small group. Over the past year, it has been wonderful to watch her grow and be stretched as she becomes more willing to open herself up to others about her deep heart. I have made an effort to try and support her in anyway I can. I am currently working on trying to convince her to come with me to Portel. Her gifts with children would be a valuable asset there.
Both of these girls are my friends, but I have made a point to challenge them in different ways. I see all the amazing potential they both have, and my desire is to stand behind them and be a support whenever possible.
But you see, the only reason I am able to bless these girls in anyway at all is because someone first blessed me. We were all designed to do this, no matter where we are in our lives. We cannot measure in this life how many other lives we can touch just by simply taking the time to invest in one. Most people won't do something "big" to change the world, but we can all do something small consistently and faithfully to change the world. I believe this is one of the most important ways for us to go about "storing up for ourselves treasures in Heaven." Please, think of the people around you who could use your help and encouragement and support. What opportunities could you help give them? What potential do they have that you could help them reach? I hope you will think on these things.
I love you all and can't wait to see you soon! God bless you and your families!