We must be broken before we can shine

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A shared story about broken glow sticks…  (author anonymous)

Glow Sticks

The Story…

The solid truth about live is that we often must be broken before we can shine before the world.

“I was in Dollar Tree last night, and there was a lady and two kids behind me in the LONG line. One was a big kid, and the other one was a toddler. The bigger one had a pack of glow sticks, and the toddler was screaming for them.

Crying Child

The Mom opened the pack and gave him one which stopped his tears. He walked around with it smiling; but then the bigger boy took it, and the toddler started screaming again. Just as the Mom was about to fuss, the older child bent the glow stick and handed it back to the toddler. As we walked outside at the same time, the toddler noticed that the stick was now glowing; and his brother said, “I had to break it so that you could get the full effect from it.”

How do we react…..

I almost ran, because l could hear God saying to me, “I had to break you to show you why I created you. You had to go through it so you could fulfill your purpose.” That precious child was happy just swinging that “unbroken” glow stick around in the air, because he didn’t understand what it was created to do – which was “glow”. There are some people who will be content just “being,” but some of us that God has chosen… we have to be “broken.”

Broken People

We have to get sick. 
We have to lose a job. 
We go through a divorce.

We have to bury our spouse, parents, best friend, or our child…

Do you glow???

In those moments of desperation, God is breaking us. But… when the breaking is done, then we will be able to see the reason for which we were created. So when you see us glowing, just know that we have been broken but healed by His Grace and Mercy!!” (Anonymous)

Shining

I wish I had written this story, but I didn’t, but I couldn’t help but be touch by the message. My prayer is that you will understand that sometime the light will shine through you because you have been broken.

Shine for God

Russ Lawson

   

 

Is God mad at me?: Why is bad stuff happening to me? Did I do something to make God mad? Am I really a bad person? Why do bad things happen to godly people? by [Lawson, Russ]

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The New Year

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Life isn’t permanent

Life isn’t permanent

I opened up a magazine this morning and an advertisement for a wall hanging caught my eye. On it were these words, “Don’t take life so seriously… it isn’t permanent!” I read that and thought, “WOW! That’s a great concept!”

We tend to forget the important stuff…

Important stuff

Important stuff
It’s too bad that we forget that concept far too often! We take our problems, our lives, and ourselves so seriously sometimes that we leave ourselves no room to enjoy living. Some folks I know seem like they go through their whole lives upset about something. Do they really need to be that way? This has to be a serious problem in our society, because we have developed several other sayings that have similar messages. Saying such as, “this too shall pass,” “life is too short to sweat the little things and they’re all little things,” “In one hundred years what difference will it make.”

It’s a matter of perspective…

Perspective

What all of these sayings deal with is our perspective, our viewpoint or our perception of life! It’s about how we see the world and our place in it, it’s about our priorities! If we get our priorities right, then we begin to be concerned about the right things, perhaps the really important things. When we do, people saying hurtful things, people taking advantage of us, being upset when things don’t go as planned just are not as important any longer. We gain a new perspective on life and begin to enjoy living.

God tried to tell us…

God Said it

Two scriptures come to mind concerning this concept. First, Ecclesiastes 12:13, “Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.” The other is Philippians 1:14-16, “Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life— in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing.”

Adjust your priorities…

adjust your priorities

What should our priorities be? Simply put, living in accordance to God’s commandments and not just for the pleasures of the world!

How about setting some new priorities for the coming year? Some folks call it “making New Year’s Resolutions.” Whatever you may call it, isn’t it time for you to do it? After all, “this life isn’t permanent,” the one to come is…

May God grant you the strength to resolve to commit to the right things!

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When I remember….

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Child singing in church

I remember Early Blessings

I remember when, unlike many, I have had a secret blessing in my life, the blessing of having godly parents. My mother tells me the first place I went after my birth, (just a week and a half old or so), was to a church meeting with them. So, I literally was raised in the church as the saying goes.

Things Change

Things Change

As I remember when, I remember of course that, “Things were different,” back then, as they always are. But as our young people look back in 60 years or so, they will say the same thing, “I remember when”. That “things change,” is one of the universal constants isn’t it? Yet at the same time, some things don’t change  and one of them is the need for committed members of God’s church.

How do we train today?

Recently the young men of our congregation led our evening worship period. I was disappointed that I wasn’t able to be there because of illness, but thanks to the marvel of the Internet I was able to see pictures and video of some of what went on. The elders of our congregation recognize the need to train men, the young and not so young to participate in leading God’s church and we are thankful that we have those who can assist in doing that.

Memories fuel the fire to do God’s work

Leadership

As I “remember when,” I remember a group of young boys at the Vandalia church of Christ in Vandalia, OH. I remember sitting in a class and learning the basics of public prayer, public reading of scripture, public speaking, serving at the Lord’s table and other things. I remember the first time I stood before the congregation passing the emblems for the Lord’s Table, then reading a scripture and reading a prewritten prayer. A couple of us went on to be preachers, others elders or deacons, some, (much needed), faithful members who continue to serve God’s church today.

I remember that it worked then and still works

This is the same learning system we still use today. First we learn our self and then train others. One of our senior Christians, James Bolen told me recently, “I remember the men’s training class we had in your basement. That was the first time I had ever spoken before people,” that was around 45 years ago.

We need to keep on training men in leadership…

The point is that it is important for us to try and help men, young or otherwise to learn the skills they need to become leaders in God’s church. You see, I remember that we weren’t blessed with programs like Lads to leaders, but we were blessed with faithful men, faithful fathers and mothers and grandparents, who helped us learn what God could do with our lives and then do it. That is what we need to bless our young men with today also.

God directs us in this….

God’s Word instructs us

If you haven’t done so, give these young men, (as well as all who serve), a pat on the back and encourage them as they serve God in whatever gift they have to use. Paul wrote to Timothy in 2 Timothy 2:1-2:Therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit the same to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” That example still stands before us; let us continue to follow it.

 

Developing Leaders for the Church: Biblical Principles of Leadership Empowerment by [Campbell, Lattis]

Elders and Deacons in the church: A study of God's direction for leadership in His church by [Lawson, Russ]

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Posted in Church leadership, committment, deacons, Elders, eternal life, Faith, fear, Fellowship, God's Care, Imagaination, influence, our purpose, Remembering, Trust, trust God, Using Talents | Tagged | Leave a comment

Trying to resolve email problems

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I found out that my posts have not been sending out email notifications. I am working to try and repair this problem. Please have patience with me.

Russ Lawson

 

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It isn’t permanent – (It’s a New Year)

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Life isn’t permanent

 

I opened up a magazine this morning and an advertisement for a wall hanging caught my eye. On it were these words, “Don’t take life so seriously… it isn’t permanent!” I read that and thought, “WOW! That’s a great concept!”

We tend to forget the important stuff…

Important stuff

It’s too bad that we forget that concept far too often! We take our problems, our lives, and ourselves so seriously sometimes that we leave ourselves no room to enjoy living. Some folks I know seem like they go through their whole lives upset about something. Do they really need to be that way? This has to be a serious problem in our society, because we have developed several other sayings that have similar messages. Saying such as, “this too shall pass,” “life is too short to sweat the little things and they’re all little things,” “In one hundred years what difference will it make.”

It’s a matter of perspective…

Perspective

What all of these sayings deal with is our perspective, our viewpoint or our perception of life! It’s about how we see the world and our place in it, it’s about our priorities! If we get our priorities right, then we begin to be concerned about the right things, perhaps the really important things. When we do, people saying hurtful things, people taking advantage of us, being upset when things don’t go as planned just are not as important any longer. We gain a new perspective on life and begin to enjoy living.

God tried to tell us…

God Said it

Two scriptures come to mind concerning this concept. First, Ecclesiastes 12:13, “Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.” The other is Philippians 1:14-16, “Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life— in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing.”

Adjust your priorities…

adjust your priorities

What should our priorities be? Simply put, living in accordance to God’s commandments and not just for the pleasures of the world!

How about setting some new priorities for the coming year? Some folks call it “making New Year’s Resolutions.” Whatever you may call it, isn’t it time for you to do it? After all, “this life isn’t permanent,” the one to come is…

May God grant you the strength to resolve to commit to the right things!

The Pearl Perspective: How Changing Your Perspective Can Change Your Life by [Webb, Jennifer]               The Family: A Christian Perspective on the Contemporary Home by [Balswick, Jack O., Balswick, Judith K.]

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I Remember When…

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Child singing in church

I remember Early Blessings

I remember when, unlike many, I have had a secret blessing in my life, the blessing of having godly parents. My mother tells me the first place I went after my birth, (just a week and a half old or so), was to a church meeting with them. So, I literally was raised in the church as the saying goes.

Things Change

Things Change

As I remember when, I remember of course that, “Things were different,” back then, as they always are. But as our young people look back in 60 years or so, they will say the same thing, “I remember when”. That “things change,” is one of the universal constants isn’t it? Yet at the same time, some things don’t change  and one of them is the need for committed members of God’s church.

How do we train today?

Recently the young men of our congregation led our evening worship period. I was disappointed that I wasn’t able to be there because of illness, but thanks to the marvel of the Internet I was able to see pictures and video of some of what went on. The elders of our congregation recognize the need to train men, the young and not so young to participate in leading God’s church and we are thankful that we have those who can assist in doing that.

Memories fuel the fire to do God’s work

Leadership

As I “remember when,” I remember a group of young boys at the Vandalia church of Christ in Vandalia, OH. I remember sitting in a class and learning the basics of public prayer, public reading of scripture, public speaking, serving at the Lord’s table and other things. I remember the first time I stood before the congregation passing the emblems for the Lord’s Table, then reading a scripture and reading a prewritten prayer. A couple of us went on to be preachers, others elders or deacons, some, (much needed), faithful members who continue to serve God’s church today.

I remember that it worked then and still works

This is the same learning system we still use today. First we learn our self and then train others. One of our senior Christians, James Bolen told me recently, “I remember the men’s training class we had in your basement. That was the first time I had ever spoken before people,” that was around 45 years ago.

We need to keep on training men in leadership…

The point is that it is important for us to try and help men, young or otherwise to learn the skills they need to become leaders in God’s church. You see, I remember that we weren’t blessed with programs like Lads to leaders, but we were blessed with faithful men, faithful fathers and mothers and grandparents, who helped us learn what God could do with our lives and then do it. That is what we need to bless our young men with today also.

God directs us in this….

God’s Word instructs us

If you haven’t done so, give these young men, (as well as all who serve), a pat on the back and encourage them as they serve God in whatever gift they have to use. Paul wrote to Timothy in 2 Timothy 2:1-2:Therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit the same to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” That example still stands before us; let us continue to follow it.

 

Developing Leaders for the Church: Biblical Principles of Leadership Empowerment by [Campbell, Lattis]

Elders and Deacons in the church: A study of God's direction for leadership in His church by [Lawson, Russ]

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Posted in Church leadership, committment, deacons, Elders, Faith, our purpose, Remembering, Using Talents | Tagged | Leave a comment

I Remember When… (reposted)

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Child singing in church

I remember Early Blessings

I remember when, unlike many, I have had a secret blessing in my life, the blessing of having godly parents. My mother tells me the first place I went after my birth, (just a week and a half old or so), was to a church meeting with them. So, I literally was raised in the church as the saying goes.

Things Change

Things Change

As I remember when, I remember of course that, “Things were different,” back then, as they always are. But as our young people look back in 60 years or so, they will say the same thing, “I remember when”. That “things change,” is one of the universal constants isn’t it? Yet at the same time, some things don’t change  and one of them is the need for committed members of God’s church.

How do we train today?

Recently the young men of our congregation led our evening worship period. I was disappointed that I wasn’t able to be there because of illness, but thanks to the marvel of the Internet I was able to see pictures and video of some of what went on. The elders of our congregation recognize the need to train men, the young and not so young to participate in leading God’s church and we are thankful that we have those who can assist in doing that.

Memories fuel the fire to do God’s work

Leadership

As I “remember when,” I remember a group of young boys at the Vandalia church of Christ in Vandalia, OH. I remember sitting in a class and learning the basics of public prayer, public reading of scripture, public speaking, serving at the Lord’s table and other things. I remember the first time I stood before the congregation passing the emblems for the Lord’s Table, then reading a scripture and reading a prewritten prayer. A couple of us went on to be preachers, others elders or deacons, some, (much needed), faithful members who continue to serve God’s church today.

I remember that it worked then and still works

This is the same learning system we still use today. First we learn our self and then train others. One of our senior Christians, James Bolen told me recently, “I remember the men’s training class we had in your basement. That was the first time I had ever spoken before people,” that was around 45 years ago.

We need to keep on training men in leadership…

The point is that it is important for us to try and help men, young or otherwise to learn the skills they need to become leaders in God’s church. You see, I remember that we weren’t blessed with programs like Lads to leaders, but we were blessed with faithful men, faithful fathers and mothers and grandparents, who helped us learn what God could do with our lives and then do it. That is what we need to bless our young men with today also.

God directs us in this….

God’s Word instructs us

If you haven’t done so, give these young men, (as well as all who serve), a pat on the back and encourage them as they serve God in whatever gift they have to use. Paul wrote to Timothy in 2 Timothy 2:1-2:Therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit the same to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” That example still stands before us; let us continue to follow it.

 

Developing Leaders for the Church: Biblical Principles of Leadership Empowerment by [Campbell, Lattis]

Elders and Deacons in the church: A study of God's direction for leadership in His church by [Lawson, Russ]

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Posted in Church leadership, committment, eternal life, Fellowship, God's Care, our purpose, trust God, Using Talents | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Books by Russ Lawson for Christmas

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Books by Russ Lawson – I’m  having a few technical problems with my website, so please forgive the random posts as I try and work things out.

 

Natural Cancer Cure: How I beat Cancer through diet and herbs and found a life of health and hope (Health, Hope and Herbs Book 1) by [Lawson, Russ]

Living The Dream: Our Life and Adventures in Africa (Traveling and Adventures in Kenya Book 1) by [Lawson, Russ]

 

 

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Dealing with Back Pain

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Back Pain and God

Somewhat different from my normal style of writing I have written a new book. It is quite a bit different from the things I have written in the past, but hopefully it will be a blessing to the lives of many as I explain. You see, I trust in God completely! He is my life and my all in all, but sometimes God asks something of us also. I know it may be stretching the use of this scripture just a little, but James writes in James 2:18But someone will say, You have faith, and I have works. Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith from my works.”

To me that says that we can sit around and complain about how bad our life is, or we can do everything we can to make it better. We can can have faith in God and pray about it, but sometimes God works through people in this world to help us get better.

My Story: From Injury to Relief

If you have followed my blog you will have seen that I have become disabled this past year. 13 months ago I injured my back and have been unable to work since that time. I have found some relief from the pain through a device called a “Spinal Cord Stimulator”.

I wrote a completely new book detailing the entire journey from the injury to the recovery and a mostly pain free life now.

Spinal Cord Stimulator

Like many of you, I had never heard of this device before the doctor mentioned it and then found it very difficult to find the answers to the hundreds of questions I had about it. I wasn’t really keen about having an electronic device implanted in my back and spine. Because of this I did tons of research to learn as much as I possibly could about the device, the procedure to implant it and life afterwards. My new book details all of that.

Knowing is half the battle

Knowing the answers to your questions or at least where to find the answers makes like better. Like they use to say at the end of the G.I. Joe cartoons, “Knowing is half the battle”. In my book I detail my research into the Spinal Cord Stimulator implantation and all it entails. It is a one stop shop kind of book in which I do my best to answer your questions and tell you where you can find more information about the device and the procedure to implant it into your body.

My prayer is that this new book can be of help to many in our world who face the same situation as I. Buy the book and just maybe it will help answer your questions as the information did for me.

 

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A Merry Heart…

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Christmas Wreath

Some things just make you stop and think…

As I was driving yesterday a song came on the radio that proclaimed that we should, “Have yourself a Merry little Christmas”. At the same time as I looked at a vehicle I was passing I saw this scripture on the back of a large truck: Proverbs 17:22, “A merry heart does good like a medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones.” A paraphrase of this verse puts it this way, “A cheerful disposition is good for your health; gloom and doom leave you bone-tired.”

Perhaps it’s a question of priorities! 

Priorities

So, which is more important, to immerse yourself in the “Spirit of the Season” and have a Merry Christmas, or have a “Merry (cheerful) heart”? I guess you could argue that they go hand in hand and perhaps they do to some extent. The thing is that the Christmas spirit only lasts a short time, while we are looking for something with greater lasting power aren’t we?

Maybe laughter is the best medicine 

Girls Laughing

I read one time of a man who struggled with a physical problem. He said it wasn’t going to beat him so to counter the problem he got hold of every funny movie and television series he could find. He sat and watched them for days on end and laughed so much his sides literally hurt. In the end his problem disappeared. Now, I can’t guarantee that this will work for everyone or every problem, but God’s word tells us it is important to be “Merry” or “Cheerful”. If God’s word says it, it must be important, don’t you think so?

Get rid of the negative 

Stop negativity

Our world is filled with so much gloom and doom, the television and movies are dominated by the negative and often ungodly things that we really need to avoid. Several of our friends have decided to give up “Facebook” for that reason and a few more have stopped their television cable or satellite subscriptions to cut off the bad stuff.

Hard decisions change lives 

tough decision take courage

Just maybe it is time that we as Christians make a decision and take a stand and refuse to let the negative in. I believe that we should refuse to support, listen to or watch that which implants the negative or ungodly in our lives. There is an old saying that puts it very simply by saying, “Garbage in, Garbage out.” It may be hard to make that change, but when has anything been too hard for you and God to accomplish, (if you really want to).

Maybe it’s time to change your life… 

Time for change

Let me encourage you to laugh more, to smile more and to find those people or that thing which is a positive influence to your life. And remember, that’s where daily bible reading can make a difference also. As that paraphrase said, “A cheerful disposition is good for your health; gloom and doom leave you bone-tired.” God said it, I believe it and that settles it, now go and do it, go out and have a merry…

    

 

 

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