“Who Do They See When They Look at Me?”

By R. Duuane Cragun

I was told last evening of a man that during his
churches passion play had been the actor that played the role of Jesus for
several years. This was a big production that always drew people from the
entire area. Within the rural community was a well-known child that was gravely
ill, in fact she was in attendance this performance and this would be her last
Easter season here in earth. The play went on and by all accounts the young
sick believer age 4 loved the program even though she was very weak, she had a smile on her face during the program, then came Jesus turn to enter the city (no
donkey in the church) the other actors ran in front of him yelling “Hosanna
here comes the Messiah” everyone watched as this actor now playing the Lord
walked and waved at the people smiling and loving them, when all of a sudden
the actor felt a pulling at his robe, he turned around to find this frail sick
little child looking up at him and crying “Help me Jesus!” the actor did not
know what to do, he looked down and recognized the child from her pictures
asking for donations at the local store, he could tell she was in very bad
shape and how she was asking him as Jesus to heal her, and he did not know what
to do. What would you do?

I wonder, who do they see when they look at us? When
the sick, scared, hurt, abused, dying, and lost look at us do they see people,
or do they see the God of the universe in our eyes, in are voice and in our
actions? After all, we who are called into His ministry called to be his
Ambassadors? Who do they see in us and who will we show them? Do we see them
with His eyes or ours? O God, forgive us when we get so involved in ministry
that we forget what it is to minister. It’s not about schedules, programs, or
church numbers, it’s about God, it’s about loving His people.

You see, It’s about the Lord. His love for everyone
and our being obedient when he gives us the opportunity to be Him to someone. I
know your tired and pulled a thousand ways, but please brothers and sister, let
us never again get so wrapped up in life that we won’t stop when someone looks at
us and see’s the Lord upon us and cries for help. I know some can be draining,
but what about the one that maybe hasn’t much time left, or has no one else to
turn to, what well we do? Please allow me to end this with a prayer from my
heart for you. “Lord, please keep us ready to act when the need shows its self.
Keep us all ready to serve you by serving those in need and Lord, please let
each of us be you to someone today. Amen!

Blessings to all of

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Our Attitude

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By Robert”Duane” Cragun

Have you ever taken a Spiritual Gifts exam? It seems like when I was going to college and Seminary I took about 100 of them. In fact, it was only three but it sure seemed like there were more. The funny thing to me was that the results came out basically the same each time. Don’t get me wrong, I understand the importance’s of knowing the areas we have gifts from God in and I understand that these areas may change over the years so retaking it I a good idea. But have you ever wondered about how much our attitude has to do with the ministry God has called us to serve in?

The thing here is that if we have a bad attitude we will attract few people if any at all. So, a positive attitude is vital for the minister, as well as for the church body. Who would want to be a part of a church that acts as if you are not welcome? Unfortunate, as it sounds however there are  churches that project a bad attitude and they don’t realize it. Yes, they may smile and shake a visitor’s hand and welcome them in, but then later they set and talk about others in front of the guest. I was speaking at one church and was setting on the platform watching as the ushers took the mornings offering. One older man must not have liked that a lady did not give anything as the plate passed down the pew, so when she handed it to him he stood there and refused to take the plat. Finally, a man setting behind her reached up and took it and passed it down the next pew. I bet she never darkened their door again!

But I have also seen this bad attitude displayed by some in vocational ministry as well. This  does very little for the cause of Christ. I understand that some people just drag us down. But our attitude may be the only glimpse of the love of Christ they will ever understand.

So, what are some ways to display a better attitude? First it must be real, people can tell of you mean it or not. Second, take time to listen. I understand that right before we preach is not the best time, but saying something like “I want to make sure I fully understand you, so can we talk about this right after service when I can give you my full attention?”  In short, treat them like we would want to be treated.

Blessings.

Duane Cragun

Our lives are a portrait

I am including a picture, a doodle, which my son Matt drew last night. If you look close there are 8 faces, hearts, dice, and a multitude of other items. I actually turned the paper around several times, as I sat studying it this morning. I amazed me at how many things appeared in the drawing.

Our lives are really like that. There are many parts to each one of us. Some of the things that make us who we are, may not seem important to us. Some things we would rather that other people never knew. There are the times when the pressures overwhelm us and we feel that we would just rather forget. We may feel our life really has no beauty at all.

In the hands of God this jumbled mess, begins to take shape as a beautiful portrait. He can see all the details, mistakes, and victories. In the end what God is looking for is the complete picture of who we are, and in His skilled hands we can shine brightly.

Let God take all the pieces of your life today. He can see the masterpiece within who you are, and He can mold your life into a beautiful thing.

– Keep on your journey with Jesus today.