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Within Arm's Reach

Within Arm's Reach

This week at the Daily Fast Fuel we are looking to our local news for evidence of God at work. I am grateful for this, because local is tangible. It’s home town. Right up the street. It’s folks you know. Within arm’s reach.

The international news, by large contrast, is a whole other story. And those stories, of late, have been overwhelmingly sad. I don’t know about you, but when I read or hear about some of the crazy stuff going on in our world today I am overwhelmed with a sense of helplessness.

I ache to know how I can make a difference. Though I desire to have an impact, some of those issues are so far away and so BIG, I don’t know how I can help. I imagine you feel much the same.

Sometimes the heartbreaks of the world seem unreachable. But really, they are within arm’s reach.

Every person on this earth has the potential and, with Jesus, the power, to enact change. We just need to realize how powerful our arm’s reach can be. Can you imagine how different the world would be if everyone loved those within reach of them?

This is not to over-simplify very complicated problems in international news today. However, when you and I have days in which we wonder, “What can I do?” I say this. If you can’t enact change 2,000 miles away, then channel that energy and compassion into loving those within arm’s reach. If the person you reach for does the same, it won’t be long before we will reach around the world.

I looked no further than my local news to find an example of a gal who did just that:

Dr. Dixie Melillo is a co-founder of a non-profit breast health organization called “The Rose”. What began as an observation of local uninsured women who were missing out on vital preventative screenings, has evolved into an organization which serves women in 25 countries!

We can make a world-wide difference. We just need to embrace the power of loving those whom God has placed within arm’s reach.

Can I get an AMEN?

Katie Pickard is your server today! Find out more about her here and don't forget to sign up for updates by email or RSS before you go.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014 |
Read All About It!

Read All About It!

God is in the news. Sometimes we may not see Him...or the story. Maybe it was just a neighbor up the street who did something amazing for the local school. Maybe it was an outreach group who fixed an elderly man's fence. Whatever it may be, we know God is working all around us! 

This week, we're going to share with you a cool story or two of where we see God working in our communities. Let us know where you have seen an example of God working in your local news recently!

Lisa Arnold is your server today! Find out more about her here and don't forget to sign up for updates by email or RSS before you go.
Sunday, July 27, 2014 |
Love In Action

Love In Action

What God wants from us, most of all, is our hearts.

And so the Lord says, "These people say they are mine. They honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. And their worship of me is nothing but man-made rules learned by rote.” (Isaiah 29:13 NLT)

I’ve really been led lately to take a step back and examine why I do what I do, say what I say, feel and think what I feel and think. What is the condition of my heart? What motivates it? The closer I grow to Jesus the more love is a motivating factor, but there are many others at play as well.

I’m realizing just how motivated I am by self-protection. Fear of what others think of me is huge, too.  Selfishness. Pride. Impatience. Diminishment. Abandonment. Discouragement. Believing the lies of the Enemy. My heart is full of these things and they wrestle with love for prominence.

Jesus is slowly revealing all of these to me. It’s overwhelming at times. There is so much to be cleaned up and thrown away.

Jesus was motivated entirely by love, both for His Father and for us. Everything we see Him do and say in scripture needs to be understood through the fact that He is love in action.

It all boils down to our motivation. I want to be entirely motivated by love, to be love in action.

I know it will be a lifelong process. I know there will be setbacks. I know I will never reach perfection.

But with His love for me, with me, in me, through me, motivating me, all things are possible.

Create in me a clean heart, O God. (Psalm 51:10 NASB)

Debbie Legg is your server today! Find out more about her here and don't forget to sign up for updates by email or RSS before you go.
Thursday, July 24, 2014 |
A Whisper of a Moment

A Whisper of a Moment

For many years I managed under the delusion that big change requires big time. When in reality, sometimes all you need to implement big change is a moment. And then another moment. And another, and so on. Moments can move mountains.

God has been using moments to move my mountains this year.

If you are a regular reader, you know that my family has endured several major losses this year. Even as I write this, I feel the pressure (perhaps imagined) to “quit writing about that already”. But the thing is, and those of you who have suffered loss like me know this...the grief is still there. Some days it feels as fresh as the first moment I discovered one of my loved ones was gone.

It doesn’t seem right. Time should move that along. We should be “all better” now. Sometimes I remind myself of the extent of my loss. Losing three loved ones in almost as many months would be exceedingly hard on anyone. And then sometimes I pressure myself to brush off the grief and move bravely into a new day because, after all, life must go on. And in the midst of this tug-of-war, I am not functioning like I used to. I hate that. I keep trying to make that stop.

What’s puzzling to me is that I seem to have no control over grief. Grief remains whether I choose it to or not. What’s the deal?

I asked God this one night recently. As I said, I haven’t been functioning at full capacity this year and I was feeling defeated (big change requires big time...and this will take forever). And in a whisper (which is how you speak to someone to whom you are sitting very close),  He said to me, “Learn about grief. Dive in.” If you know me well, you know I avoid depressing books or movies. It's a self-care thing. But God reminded me of “A Grief Observed” by C.S. Lewis. And in less than five minutes, I had it downloaded on my Kindle, and on page two I found this:

“No one ever told me about the laziness of grief. Except at my job - where the machine seems to run on much as usual - I loathe the slightest effort.”

In a moment, a big part of me healed. “That’s me”, I thought. That’s me.
My mountain just moved. Perhaps just an inch. But it moved.

Big change. Small moment. One whisper.
That's what I'm learning about God this year. What about you?

Katie Pickard is your server today! Find out more about her here and don't forget to sign up for updates by email or RSS before you go.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014 |
Unending Waves

Unending Waves

Yesterday I spent the day at the Oregon coast.  Oregon is one of God's beautiful ideas.  I love the landscape and personality of this state.  The Pacific Ocean is endearingly framed by this land.  

I had some time to spend standing on a beach, watching colossal waves crash against rocks, then peter out near the shore where a group of carefree children where jumping and splashing and dancing in the white tides.  The Lord was speaking to me of His goodness.

Do you see the ocean, my daughter?  You can not fathom it's depth or it's breadth, and greater love have I for you than this.  My goodness towards you - my delight in you is like the waves, crashing on the shore, a rhythm with no end.  You think you have missed out, but look there again - another wave is coming.  And another one follows.
And another.
And another.
My love towards you is unrelenting.  

A young girl dancing in the waves caught my attention.  She was running to and fro in the tide, giggling with glee when she stopped and smiled at me.

"Is it too cold?" I asked wondering if the Pacific Ocean's frigid temperatures had given her toes a jolt.

"No," she she proclaimed, "I'm laughing because the waves are so BIG."

I smiled in agreement.

Jesus, open my eyes to see the goodness that pursues me.  And may I giggle with delight at the Truth that the love you have aimed at me is bigger than I could imagine.

"And may you have the power to understand, as all God's people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is." Ephesians 3:18

Sara Rust is your server today! Find out more about her here and don't forget to sign up for updates by email or RSS before you go.

Monday, July 21, 2014 |