Lorri Dudley

Be moved. Be changed. Love because you are loved.

Tag: opportunity

Woman overlooking city

Made for This

As an author, I love to play the what-if game.

What if the hero believes the heroine is dead?
What if the heroine gets robbed and thrown in the poorhouse?
What if the heroine falls overboard?
 
As a mother and wife, the what-if game isn’t as much fun.
 
What if they get bullied at school?
What if there’s a car crash?
What if we fail?

If worrying burned calories, I could quit the gym and eat ice cream all day.
 
You’d think as Queen, Ester wouldn’t have had much to worry about, but that wasn’t the case. A decree had gone out that all Jews were to be killed, and their possessions confiscated on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month. Ester was Jewish, but she’d never told King Ahasuerus. If she sat back, her beloved Uncle Mordecai and her people would die. 
 
Wouldn’t telling the king be an easy fix? All Ester needed to do was explain to the situation. However, the punishment for approaching the king when he didn’t request the person’s presence was death unless, by chance, he extended his golden scepter to them. Already thirty days had passed since the last time she’d summoned by the king. What if she’d fallen out of favor? What if she failed? What if she perished?
 
What if it was the moment for which she was created?

Her Uncle Mordecai set things into perspective. He asked her if perhaps she was placed into her royal position to save her people.

Sometimes we, too, need to have a shift in perspective. In her Mark of the Lion seriesFrancine Rivers writes a scene where one of the characters suffers a stroke and can no longer speak—a terrible situation. However, the woman realizes God allowed it to happen so she could focus all her energy on praying for her daughter’s salvation.

I may not like it when my son is bullied, but I get the opportunity to tell him who God says he is. I wouldn’t wish for my boys to get into trouble, but it’s an opportunity to show them my love is unconditional. I hate failing or making mistakes, but it’s a chance to demonstrate humility.

These moments we can take for granted.

But what if they are the moments for which we were created?

Don’t miss a post! Signup for my weekly blog by clicking here: Lorri’s blog

man checking watch

Oh, the Waiting Places You’ll Go

Man checking watch

According to theFactSite.com, the average person will spend five years waiting in line and an additional six months waiting on stoplights. In Dr. Seuss’s book, Oh the Places You Can Go, there are a couple of pages dedicated to The Waiting Place. Reading to the boys, I would switch to a monotone voice and list out all the things for which people wait. By the end, I’d exhale a deep sigh, and the boys would be slumping in the rocking chair, begging to turn to the next page. How do we reclaim our waiting time? How do we turn our stalled moments, especially during a pandemic, into preparing?

Objects in motion tend to stay in motion. Objects at rest tend to stay at rest.

Dog laying

Newton’s first law was created to apply to physics, but it applies to people also. People at rest tend to stay at rest, whereas people in motion tend to stay in motion. I can see this in my boys and their friends. The ones who’ve been kicking back and sleeping in during their “second” summer no longer desire to hang out, leave the house, or pursue activities. Complacency has set in. I’ve had to force my boys to get up at our usual waking time, workout, and stay active, or they default to all-video-games-all-day mode. The challenge is to get them moving. They need to stay in mental and physical shape, or they will fall behind, and life will catch them unprepared.

 “it’s not the will to win, but the will to prepare to win that makes the difference.” – Bear Bryant

The apostle Paul had to do a lot of waiting. He spent two years in jail in Caesarea, and two years under house arrest in Rome. However, Paul didn’t sit idle. He wrote a good chunk of the New Testament during this period. And then there was the time he was shipwrecked on the island of Malta. If Dr. Seuss had a page in his book for Malta, it would have been The Stuck Place. We’ve all been there—stuck between jobs, careers, relationships. Many of us are there now, stuck sheltering in place. But this is not the time to waste.

There’s no time to wait. Act now, while the offer still lasts! – practically every infomercial

While stuck in Malta, Paul didn’t sit on his hands. He saw an opportunity to convert the natives. Waiting not only is an opportunity to strengthen and equip ourselves. It’s a chance to relook at how we’ve done things. Scrap the old habits that are bad for us or aren’t working and try something new. Ready our hearts so we can be on our mark, get set, and go to the new thing God is preparing for us.

start of running race

Don’t miss a post! Sign up for my weekly blog by clicking here: Lorri’s blog.

child's surprised face

God Never Gasps

Surprised face

While we panic and run out to stock up on toilet paper because we didn’t see this pandemic coming, we can be reassured God did. God is all-knowing. There are no surprises for Him.

 In October of 2001, I remember sitting at my desk and the phones not ringing for months. The world was still in shock after the 9-11 terrorist attack, and commerce had shut down. My husband and I had just purchased our first home, and his business was still in the toddler stages. No phone calls meant no customers, which meant no income to pay the new mortgage or other incoming bills.

To quote Dickenson, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”

I say this because it was the 9-11 realization that evil existed in the world and it was trying to kill us that drove my husband and myself to find God. We warily stepped into church seeking answers, hope, and connection, and God met us at the door like an old friend with open arms.

God didn’t create the terrorist attack, nor did he create the coronavirus, but He will use it for His good. As I look back, I can see how his hand has been preparing things within my sphere of influence behind the scenes.

  • Within the last year, my church felt compelled to launch an online campus. With Massachusetts not allowing gatherings over 25 people, we were able to hold church at home.
  • A year ago, I started writing The Merchant’s Yield, which has a main character who struggles to release the fear of sickness and death to God after moving to an island where disease is prevalent. Little did I know how relevant it would be today, and I’m praying it will get into the hands of people who need encouragement and the message that we can’t live in fear.
  • In the past six months, my husband took on the financial costs of hiring a Chaplin service for our employees who needed prayer, and it has been utilized significantly, especially recently.  

Could these be coincidences? Perhaps. But, then I remember how Jesus stood whipped and beaten to the point of death. He’d been nailed to a cross, experiencing a pain I can’t even imagine, but He called out to the disciple John, “Here is your mother.” (John 19:26-27). While His lifeblood was being poured out for us, He was arranging for the care of his mother, Mary.

God is working. He knows every detail, every need. He doesn’t drop the ball. Evil may work to create chaos, but God turns all things around for His good (Romans 8:28).

We need to seize the opportunity. Now is the time to text, call, or use social media to reach out to those who are scared. We have a chance to be the hands and feet of Christ. God has prepared us for this moment. Fear may rule them, but we know God is in control. The world craves the peace we have, and God has given us an opening to talk freely about our eternal perspective. Now’s our chance to checkmate evil.

“For we are to God, the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.” – 2 Corinthians 2:15

Hands holding earth

Don’t miss a post! Sign up for my weekly blog by clicking here: Lorri’s blog.

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén