I heard those words from a grandson as I was about to pitch him the baseball.
“Focus Nana, keep your eye right here on the bat and throw the ball”.
Sounded odd for the batter to tell the pitcher to focus. Normally it’s the other way around. I have no picture to back this up–as I choose to “live” more without the phone in hand to record every single thing. I thought to myself later, “I really wish I had taken some pictures of them playing ball”…then suddenly the mission field came to mind. There will be a ton of days when possibly no image will be captured for me to share–but the image of the action will be etched in my mind.
This past week–I spent a few days “living”and very little “recording”. Spring break time with some of our grands–two more will be coming this week for a couple of days–and I’m hoping the energy level will return before they arrive!
I remembered my grandmother (Lois Bradley), Mamo, as we always called her, how she made memories for us. I believe she lived intentionally in everything she did–so to be intentional about making memories with her granddaughters–was as natural as rolling out dumplings for her. (She was a natural at this–and the BEST around–ever.)
I want our grandchildren–all 7 of them, to remember the fun–the lessons–the life and joy of being with us. I have to be deliberate about making memories–EVEN when I can hardly move the next day from playing ball with a 10 year old “pro”. Focus, Nana.
I heard it after he left. Focus. My idea of focusing is looking intently at the center, allowing the extremities to blur into the background…. Jesus must be the center. At all times. Everything else in our lives must fade into the background.
Early this morning I read part of my daily devotion from the LiveDead Journal. That book was a big part of my reading this past year. I hadn’t picked it up as often this year, turning instead, back to Jesus Calling by Sarah Young, and Oswald Chambers, “My Utmost For His Highest”. But this morning–I grabbed it. Today’s entry had these words:
“Where is Your Center? In the call to a crucified life, there is the sinister danger of making ourselves the center of our own Crucifixions. Even in death, even in suffering, even in sacrifice, and especially in dying to self, Jesus must be the center. Too often we accept suffering for the attention it draws to us. Jesus must be the center of our demise. If we are the center, we are not dying–no matter the depth of our pain. Death to self must result in the disappearance of the vessel and the illumination of the treasure within.” (Dick Brogden, Live/Dead -365 Days of Living and Dying with Jesus “JOY”, March 28, page 105)
Our focus MUST be on Jesus. If we are to be successful at anything–He must be the reason we are doing it–especially ministry–but not only ministry. Every job you and I undertake–Jesus must be the focus and guide for our steps. Only then can our lives truly shine for Him. Otherwise, the shining would be for ourselves…right?
I’ve watched other missionaries work on raising their support and it has been astounding! I’ve learned how to use “piktochart” and other online tools and then when I publish my “creative work”, God reveals to me yet again, “He’s in charge”. He has reminded me of this more than once–so I am stepping back to see how HE wants us to do this “support and budget” raising.
We have been BLESSED by several friends who have stepped forward to support–NOT the amount that I’ve posted with piktochart–but ABOVE and beyond what I was asking. They WANT to be in on the mission. This humbles and thrills me.
Mother gave me a check that a friend had given her for us on Saturday. She had forgotten it the last time we were together and so had told me about it–but when I opened the envelope and saw the check–tears. Oh my. But what got my attention were the words on the memo line:
This young lady who wrote this check was planting purposefully. So have all the other contributors and those who are committing monthly to support us on this journey of faith –headed to Bolivia. Planting seeds. Tears again. Because I know in my heart–that is exactly what Jeff and I are doing –as OUR part of this mission. We too are planting seeds. Ours takes on a form of obedience–and I trust and believe we are planting seeds for another to come behind us and water–and cultivate–and harvest. And I hope...that someone might even be our own grandchildren.
Thank you friends. Thank you for contacting Jeff or myself with your desire to partner with us on this journey. Thank you for listening to the Holy Spirit as He gave you the amount–and you didn’t just follow along with my suggestion. YOU heard from heaven when He asked you to sacrifice and stretch. Be assured….what you are doing for the kingdom will not go unnoticed…but they are indeed being recorded–and your actions have HIS focus.
God has my attention and I hope yours too. Christ our Redeemer–our Savior, God’s only Son, Jesus Christ paid the full price for our sins.
He is my focus. I hope He’s yours too.
© Angie Knight 2016. All rights reserved.
Photography- © Angie Knight. All rights reserved.
Quote directly from “JOY” Live/Dead Journal by Dick Brodgen, page 105, March 28 entry. Published by My Healthy Church. To order your copy, visit www.myhealthychurch.com