So Much to Live For

by Christina Rose

 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.  Ephesians 2:8-10 NIV

When we have faith in Christ, we become a new creation, with hearts so filled with love that we feel called to share our blessings. We become a reflection of Christ who brings his Good News to the poor in spirit. Our desires begin to mirror his desires to spread His love throughout the world. Our deeds become a reflection of our hearts that are continually being transformed and renewed by God.

When my daughters left for college, life felt lonely, so I busied myself with finding a better job.  I prayed for a job close to home yet after months of searching, the only job offered to me was in San Francisco. This meant a three-hour round trip each day, which was challenging, but it was a beautiful office, and I enjoyed the daily ferry ride across the bay.

A few weeks after I accepted this first offer, I received a second offer just minutes from my home. I felt this was an answer to my prayers. I quit the first job and took the second offer. Within weeks, I knew I had made a serious mistake. The second offer close to home was a grueling sweatshop with constant overtime and explosive tempers.

One day, an attorney I worked for called me into his office.  He said, “I’ve just been fired, and I’ve been thinking about killing myself for a long time. When I do, I may as well take a lot of people out with me.”  I froze, yet had to think fast.  I knew I was on assignment and silently called for God’s help. I then stood up and commanded, “You’ll do no such thing! You’re going to dinner with me right now, and we’re going to talk you out of this nonsense. You have so much to live for.” 

This man had a 21-year-old daughter.  My father had taken his life when I was 21 over a despondent situation at work which devastated our family. I knew God was calling me to give this man the real deal of how hard his daughter’s life would be if he took his life and how much he would miss out on – weddings, grandkids, holidays. We sat at a restaurant talking for hours and I could sense he was starting to soften. He then lifted up his sleeve and showed me a tattoo, “Micah”, a prophet of the Old Testament whose name means “who is like God”.  I said, “You believed once, you can believe again – have faith.” He then made plans to move near his daughter and look for work there.  Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.” ( Galatians 6:10 NIV).

The next day my daughters came home from college for the holidays.  I regretfully left for work, wishing I could stay home and spend time with them. When I arrived at work, I was given notice that I was being laid off with a full month of severance pay!  My co-workers were dumbfounded as I burst out laughing, “Wow, that’s awesome – Merry Christmas!”.  I had just been handed a month’s paid vacation with my daughters after completing God’s assignment.  Not only that, but the first job offered me my job back with a big raise which I gratefully accepted.

When God calls us to serve the task may not be easy, but he always equips us through the process and then shines his grace on us in gratitude. I went back to work in San Francisco. One evening we had a live hula show on the ferry while commuting home. A glorious sunset filled the sky as the sun set over the Golden Gate bridge. I watched the hula dancers gracefully swaying to the Hawaiian music and I then heard a whisper, “There is so much to live for.”

As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ.  To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. (1 Peter 4:10-11 ESV)


This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

About the author: Christina Rose is an author, trainer and speaker certified by the John Maxwell Team of Leadership.  She is a DAR (Daughter of the American Revolution) whose ancestors fought in the Revolutionary War. She is a world traveler, surfer, foodie, cappuccino loving chocoholic and a devoted mom to kids and dogs and auntie to many nieces and nephews who live around the world.

Christina’s book, My Appeal to Heaven, is her story. With her young family on the verge of falling apart, Christina finds herself in a desperate situation with no resources other than herself.  After appealing to heaven, the Lord takes her on a journey of awakening and miraculous empowerment. That power is available to us all, especially those who need hope and freedom.

Join the conversation: Has God given you a hard assignment lately?

Called to Serve

by Christina Rose

 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.  Ephesians 2:8-10 NIV

When we believe in Christ, we become a new creation with hearts so filled with love that we feel called to share our blessings. We become a reflection of Christ who brings His Good News to the poor in spirit. Our desires begin to mirror His desires to spread His love throughout the world. Our deeds become a reflection of our hearts that are continually being transformed and renewed by God.

When my daughters left for college, life felt lonely, so I busied myself with finding a better job.  I prayed for something close to home, yet after months of searching, the only job offered to me was in San Francisco. This meant a commute of three hours round trip each day which was challenging, but it was a beautiful office, and I enjoyed the ferry ride across the bay each day.

A few weeks after I accepted this first offer, I received a second offer just minutes from my home.  I felt this was an answer to my prayers, so I quit the first job and took the second offer. Within weeks I knew I had made a serious mistake. The second offer close to home was a grueling sweatshop with constant overtime and explosive tempers.

One day an attorney I worked for called me into his office.  He said, “I’ve just been fired, and I’ve been thinking about killing myself for a long time. When I do, I may as well take a lot of people out with me.”  I froze yet had to think fast.  I knew I was on assignment and silently called for God’s help. I then stood up and commanded, “You’ll do no such thing! You’re going to dinner with me right now and we’re going to talk you out of this nonsense. You have so much to live for.” 

This man had a 21-year-old daughter. My father had taken his life when I was 21 over a despondent situation at work which devastated our family. I knew God was calling me to give this man the real deal of how hard his daughter’s life would be if he took his life, and how much he would miss out on – weddings, grandkids, holidays.  We sat at a restaurant talking for hours, and I could sense he was starting to soften. He then lifted up his sleeve and showed me a tattoo, “Micah”, a prophet of the Old Testament whose name means “who is like God”.  I said, “You believed once, you can believe again – have faith.” He then made plans to move near his daughter and look for work there. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers” ( Galatians 6:10 NIV).

The next day, my daughters came home from college for the holidays.  I regretfully left for work, wishing I could stay home and spend time with them. When I arrived at work, I was given notice that I was being laid off with a full month of severance pay! My co-workers were dumbfounded as I burst out laughing, “Wow, that’s awesome – Merry Christmas!” I had just been handed a month’s paid vacation with my daughters after completing God’s assignment. Not only that, but the first job offered me my job back with a big raise, which I gratefully accepted.

When God calls us to serve the task may not be easy, but He always equips us through the process, and then shines His grace on us as we obey. After my daughters returned to college, I went back to work in San Francisco. One evening we had a live hula show on the ferry while commuting home. A glorious sunset filled the sky as the sun set over the Golden Gate bridge. I watched the hula dancers gracefully swaying to the Hawaiian music, and I then heard a whisper, “There is so much to live for.”

As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ.  To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. (1 Peter 4:10-11 ESV)

This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

About the author: Christina Rose is an author, trainer and speaker certified by the John Maxwell Team of Leadership.  She is a DAR (Daughter of the American Revolution) whose ancestors fought in the Revolutionary War. She is a world traveler, surfer, foodie, cappuccino loving chocoholic and a devoted mom to kids and dogs and auntie to many nieces and nephews who live around the world.

Christina’s book, My Appeal to Heaven, is her story. With her young family on the verge of falling apart, Christina finds herself in a desperate situation with no resources other than herself.  After appealing to heaven, the Lord takes her on a journey of awakening and miraculous empowerment. That power is available to us all, especially those who need hope and freedom.

Join the conversation: When is the last time you knew you were on assignment from God?

Nothing to Give

by Terri Clark @TerriClarkTCM

She was called Joyce, a young, fifteen-year-old girl who’d come to live with the Mubiru family. When she came, she had nothing but her brokenness. Her family had put her out on the street. Poverty and abuse was all she’d known until my friends took her in. I met Joyce on my first trip to Uganda, when I too stayed with the Mubiru family.

Early in the morning, I woke to children quietly scurrying around, sweeping and mopping floors, washing clothes in tubs in the back yard, preparing food and various other family tasks. Typical of Ugandan families, everyone in the house had assigned chores to do. At the time, there was no running water in the house, so when I got up, water was heated on the charcoal burners outside for me to bathe. Of course, without plumbing, I also had to make my morning trek to the pit latrine behind the house. It was in these treks that I met Joyce. She didn’t speak English and I didn’t speak Lugandan, but we had no trouble understanding each other.

When I came out of the pit latrine, Joyce was standing at a respectful distance holding a plastic tub, a bar of blue Ugandan soap, a cup of clean water and a towel. Her assignment was to make sure, whenever I emerged from the pit latrine, I could wash my hands, and she took her assignment to heart. Motioning for me to hold my hands over the tub, Joyce gently poured clean water over my hands from her cup. She then gave me the soap to wash and poured water again to rinse, finally handing me the towel to dry my hands. When I finished, Joyce smiled sweetly and disappeared.

The first time Joyce poured water over my hands, I was touched by her humility. Naturally, I never announced when I needed the latrine. But over the next three weeks, Joyce somehow always knew. She never failed to be waiting for me with fresh water and soap when I came out. In fact, it became a game between us. I tried to be especially discreet in my exit, but Joyce was always watching. Her love and gratitude to God in rescuing her from a life of pain was reflected in her serving.

Have you ever looked at your life, your experiences, family circumstances, financial status, talents, gifts—or lack of gifts and thought, “I have nothing to give”? Maybe you’ve watched others around you and thought this person or that person has it all together and it’s easy to see why God would choose to use them—but me? I have nothing to give. How can I serve God?

Service isn’t about qualifications or talent. It’s not about skill or whether you have money. In fact, if someone has a heart to serve, that’s what qualifies them. The smallest gesture offered in love is a sweet sacrifice in God’s eyes. Joyce probably thought she had nothing to give, but her humble hand washing was right up there in value with the widow’s two coins. Both the widow and Joyce gave all they had—from a heart of gratitude. (Read the story of the widow’s coins in Mark 12: 41-44)

If you’ve been thinking you have nothing to give, remember Joyce. There are many ways of giving to God to express your love and gratitude for what He has done for you. Does your neighbor need a friend? Be that friend. Pour water over their hands with a smile. Rake some leaves, go to the grocery store, listen to their stories, feed their cat… I think you get the idea.

Jesus is our example: “For even the Son of Man [Jesus] came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45 ESV)

Jesus Himself said, “Truly I tell you, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to the Messiah will certainly not lose their reward.” (Mark 9:41 NIV)

 As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God…so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. 1 Peter 4:10-11 NASB

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Nothing to Give – insight from @TerriClarkTCM on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

Terri ClarkAbout the author: Terri Clark works with women to prepare and equip them to receive God and the blessings He wants to produce in their lives. She began to answer God’s call on her life in 1994 and has since impacted women all over the world with His news of salvation, edification, and healing.

Her book, Fanning the Flame: Reigniting Your Faith in God, identifies and addresses the issues which most affect a believer’s spiritual flame: the busyness of life, Christian service, pride, and worldly temptations. Join her in this pilgrimage and reignite your spiritual lamp with a fresh, empowering faith–a faith that will stand through a time of testing.

Join the conversation: What are some acts of simple service that have touched your heart?

Have You Discovered Your Purpose?

by Sheri Schofield

The truck’s headlights shot twin beams out into the darkness as it slowly negotiated the hairpin curve. Tomas Bencomo, our driver, backed up, tightened the wheels, and moved a little forward. It was the first of twenty such curves on our descent into Mexico’s Copper Canyon. The dirt road had no guardrail, and the drop below was over a thousand feet. One false move, and we would be toast. I was so glad that I could not see that drop in the darkness!

At the bottom of that fearsome cliff, Tomas pulled up to a parking area carved into the rocks. The headlights shone on a group of Tarahumara and Mexican Christians who smiled broadly as they sang a welcome.

For centuries, the Tarahumara had lived in the Copper Canyon, hiding from those who would destroy them. They still live in caves scattered along the canyon walls and occasionally in primitive, adobe houses. The mortality rate among their children is about 50%, as many of them starve to death.

There is no word in their language for love.

About twenty years ago, God called Tomas to reach the canyon Tarahumara for Jesus. At first, he was not welcomed. But he brought mule trains of beans and corn down the dangerous cliffs and left the food for the Tarahumara. Gradually, they accepted him.

Now there is an orphanage/boarding school clinging to the cliff, where a hundred children come each week to study. On the weekends, those with families bring food home to them. Tomas put out a call for someone to run the school as it was being built. A young Mexican woman in her early twenties volunteered. Her name is Sandra.

One day during her first year, a Tarahumara came by the orphanage and told Sandra of two toddlers who were starving. When they cannot feed all their children, the parents are forced to choose which ones to feed and which ones to let die. These were two that had been left to die.

Sandra hiked for two hours to find the cave where the children were. She was given permission to take them home. She adopted them as her own, and they now attend the boarding school along with the other ninety-eight youngsters.

This determined young woman has given her life to the care, feeding and spiritual development of the Tarahumara children. Our pastor once asked her once why she did it.  Sandra answered fiercely, “Here I have purpose!”

Purpose. Sometimes it can be difficult to feel that we have purpose. Young mothers caring for their babies may wonder if all their repetitive work has purpose. Sunday school teachers who serve year after year, investing spiritually in the lives of children, can sometimes wonder if they are making a difference. Those who serve God in quiet, unacknowledged ways, like taking meals to those who are sick, are seldom noticed by the more flamboyant leaders. Yet each one serves in her own way, and each is necessary to Jesus and his church.

Like a jigsaw puzzle, each of us fills a place in the picture of God’s redeeming work. No one piece is the whole picture! Each is only a part of the whole. Yet without that piece, the picture is incomplete. When we discover God’s purpose for our lives and do it with all our might, we find fulfillment, just as Sandra did.

“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ.” I Peter 4:10-11, NIV

sheri schofieldAbout the author: Children’s ministry veteran Sheri Schofield was unexpectedly called on to save her husband’s life, a battle that took her to the Pentagon, Congress, National Security and the President of the United States. At her website, www.SheriSchofield.com, she shares this journey in her book One Step Ahead of the Devil. Sheri’s new book, The Prince And The Plan, will be launched June 1. It is designed to help parents lead their children into a saving relationship with Jesus.

Join the conversation: Has God shown you His purpose for you?

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