UNPLANNED

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Jennifer K. Lewis

“It Shall Come to Pass That MY Burden Will Be Taken Off My Shoulders and The Yoke Will Be Destroyed Because of My Anointing Growth.”   Isaiah 10:27

Several years ago, I found myself becoming another statistic.  The ‘surreal world’ I  beckoned and thought I was building, came crashing down and faded into the hazy, black abyss forming a lengthy void in my life.

Fortunately, I had taken the initiative to speak with my Pastor and gotten an invaluable referral to a non-denominational group for people who found themselves in those beginning f-u-n days of separation or the recently divorced.

For sure, this non-denominational referral was part of God’s plan as he was positioning the ‘broken-parts’ to be used as stepping-stones in his anointed, jewel-lined path he created just for me!  Actually, I was lucky, huh!!

Then, a close sister-in-Christ, told me about another non-denominational home for destitute, mistreated ladies.  How could I know God was assembling another building block for me?  This home was another answer to petition providing a strong foundation for me to keep growing in my new life of freedom.

There were about ten ladies attending this ‘home’.  Our six-hour daily schedule included a variety of classes to help us enrich, and empower ourselves.  One of the classes required reading and studying the book, The Purpose Driven Life.  I learned a Lot about myself in this tome and I had developed a thirsty heart to share that love and, hopefully, embolden and inspire another.

I had maintained a life of little socialization stemming from shame and unease in the public mainstream.  So, unfortunately, I had grown semi-comfortable just remaining in my uneasy shell.

“Many People Will Praise God Because You Obey The Good News … And Because You Freely Share With Them And With All Others.”          II Cor 9:12

Unplanned events would open my eyes and give me an opportunity to encourage another dejected, hurting soul to realize he Does have a ‘purpose’ in this life.

It was a very c-o-l-d night in January.  Fluffy great white flakes now blanketed our city, quieting everything to a whispered lullaby.   But the piercing cold didn’t stop  robust football fanatics from getting-out to enjoy the Super-Bowl.

My relentless friends insisted on going somewhere to watch this event on a big-screen T.V.   We chose a local pub as we knew of it’s family-friendly atmosphere.

The place was packed!  The only vacant chair was beside some burly-looking guy.  So, I zigzagged through the crowd to the seat.  I ordered a Sprite and some chips with salsa.   (that man had taken a brief ‘break’ to the Gents room).

As soon as he got back, he introduced himself as, Michel B.     Michael sighed with a dejected, nervous laugh.  Almost instantly, I could feel his downcast persona.  (there had been a time when I mirrored his vibe.)

Michael just started talking.  (I must have displayed one of those faces that says:  open-up to me ~ you’re ‘safe’ here).

Throughout our conversation, it was easy to surmise that Michael was a highly intelligent man.  He was questioning just ‘why’ he is here and even his worth!  Anyway, after a couple of hours of sharing our common points of view, and general values, I tried to assure Michael that he Does have a Purpose in this life!

The game was over … the Giants had won!  But, my attention had not been on the game ~ as this moment had taken precedence.

A couple of days passed, and I kept thinking about Michael’s questioning.  I decided to share the wisdom in Purpose Driven Life by giving him a copy.  Several days later, Michael called my non-denominational ‘home’ and let me know how much he had appreciated that I had taken an “unplanned” interest in his life.

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Growing In Christ, Jen


 

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Jennifer Kay Lewis

 

 

 

 

LEGACY

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by Jennifer Kay Lewis

LEGACY

“He cuts-off every branch in me that bears no fruit, While he prunes every Branch That Does Bear Fruit So That Will Become even more Fruitful.”          John  15:2

What Legacy do you want to leave?  Once in a while in the course of our ‘normal’ busy lives, we need to STOP to consider what we stand for and what we are giving back to society.   Today, I am taking time to reflect on the meaning of my life and I am asking you to Please do the same.

Several years ago, I found myself surrounded by confused, apprehensive, yet smiling little faces.  I had chosen to pursue the ever-changing world of Foster parenting.    At first, I thought this venture would be like a sort of hand-up and a help to the many children I came to adore.  However, the blessings I first thought would be theirs to cherish became mine to hold and keep forever!

Jesus reminds us in John 12-13: “Love each other as I have loved you.  Greater love has no One than this, that he lay down his life for his Friends.”

Usually, when a person reflects on these words, one might conjure-up some image of a warrior gallantly fighting in some horrific battle-zone, or hearing about some average, run-of-the-mill Joe rushing-in to save another person’s life just in the nick-of-time.  Those were the stereotypical thoughts that first came to my mind, until I had the pleasure of hosting my thirty-one Foster children.

As my aging father, has recently reminded me, “Jen, in the end, it’s what you give away that truly matters.”

Deep in reflective thought, I analyzed Daddy’s meaningful words.  I also allowed my memory antennae to wander back to those exhilarating, happy days we shared in Foster care.  In doing so, I quickly surmised that it is no wonder why the memories of those eventful years provided so much warmth and even tears of joy to this day!  It is also an important part of Jesus’s command to “love each other as I have loved you” ~ I had done just that in giving unconditional love and supportive nurturing to those precious, children.

If your ‘passion’ is working with our youth, you may be well-gratified working within your church.  Do you enjoy assisting another person?   You might think about a rewarding unpaid assistant position with your local hospital.   Maybe you would rather offer your specific skills to a growing business.

Again, it’s all about Giving!  (it’s kind of like a boom-a-rang ~ good things just seem to keep coming back your way when you forego self and think of another.)    When we find our niche ~ we find ourselves and live for others.

      “Let me be Satisfied with your Favor and filled with your Blessing.”                                                                                          Deuteronomy 33:23

       “Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.”                                                                                                                     Romans 12:10

What are your values?  What are you teaching your Children? How you live each day will determine what you really want remembered about your days on this earth. Is your Legacy worth dying for?

Growing In Christ,

Jennifer

“THE ELDERLY GENTLEMAN”

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by Jennifer Kay Lewis

7-4-2016 ~ The Elderly Gentleman

Several months ago, I was most blessed and fortunate to secure a volunteer position with a large local hospital.

Recently, I was enjoying regular daily events as duties were fairly ‘routine’, that is for most of the day.  Then, an elderly man came up to our station.

In a few short-minutes, my ‘routine duties’ were unpredictably changed; and, little did I know just how welcome the change was to become.  A tall, thin, elderly gentleman seemed barely able to walk over to our work area.  He asked, “can anyone help me to my car?

“I think maybe I need a wheel-chair!”

I quickly volunteered to help the older gentleman, as waves of compassion quickly flooded my tender heart.  (it was plainly obvious he needed me; and as it ended, I needed him too!)

He said, “I think I can make it to that chair over there. (I wondered ~ in his dignified manner, was he trying to maintain his ‘pride’?)

I helped him get safely seated and off we strolled to the parking garage.  He informed me, “it’s a quite a piece down there little lady … are you sure you want to do this?”  I assured him, “it’s no trouble and that he shouldn’t think twice about my ‘choice’ to help him as I was most Happy to assist.”

We had gone about half of the distance through the long, concrete, parking garage, and he INSISTED he could probably “make it the rest of the way.”  (silently, to myself, I was thankful it was an inside, covered garage.)

Then, he exclaimed, “there it is ~ it’s that old white truck with the blue tailgate!”

For his safety, I maneuvered the wheelchair right up to his door so all he would need do was to stand and scoot himself into his truck.  He lifted himself up and got in his vehicle.

As I turned to quietly walk away, he said, “I KNOW this wasn’t in your job description … so I’m certain you didn’t need to do this; but, I just want to say, “GOD BLESS YOU LITTLE LADY!”

He had tears welling-up in his eyes as I left to go back to my station.  (me too)

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In purposely “offering” to do this assignment, I had visions of my own elderly Father, of eighty-seven.  I sure hope and pray someone would come to Daddy’s aid if and when he might also need the support and assistance.

Although it was “quite a piece” as he put it – our walk that day, was the best, longest walk I have ever enjoyed!

Growing In Christ,

Jennifer

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

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Jennifer Kay Lewis

 

The most important lesson Christ left for us to shadow and reflect is his ‘Perfect’ Love.  Love each other as Jesus commanded.  Do you want your little ‘corner’ of the  block to be at peace?  What can you do to improve relations with your family and friends?

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A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.  By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another”.  John 13:34-35 New King James Version 

 

Imagine a world where we actually knew our next-door neighbor.  What if we went-one further and actually helped our neighbor.  Wouldn’t it awesome if  everybody spoke to one-another in earnest love expressing compassion and care?

Doesn’t it seem all to surreal?  But what can you do, right?  Isn’t this what you are thinking?

Could you be a friend just like the kind friend you want to meet?