Tag Archives: Blessed in order to bless

The other shoe

Most of us have encountered some difficulty that perplexes and challenges us to the point of frustration or deep sorrow. In times of persistent and relentless troubles we often ask, “Why?” Why has this sorrow knocked at my door? Why has this pain barged into my life? Why has this burden weighed upon me like a crushing boulder?

We ask “Why?” hoping that an answer will appear and calm our anxiety. It’s not just the big things like a life-threatening diagnosis, a devastated relationship or financial ruin. We ask “Why?” about the small stuff too. Why, when I’m in a hurry, are all the stop lights red? Why did it have to rain when I was going to take a walk? Why was my flight delayed, my luggage list, my request denied, my wallet stolen or my keys lost?

You’ve been there and so have I. Even if we’ve learned to not dwell on the “Why” of our circumstances, the question continues to pop up. “Why?” “Why ME?”

But you know, there’s another question to ask that leads us to a place of gratitude and humility. It’s asking questions like, “Why was I born in a country of such riches when others struggle to survive? Why do I get to access clean water while others travel miles for this basic commodity? Why am I allowed this job I grumble about when others who are eager to work can’t find employment? Why am I burdeed by how much extra weight I have when so very many have no food? Why do I complain about medication side effects when so many have no access to the most basic medical care? Why did I benefit from the sacrificial gift of Jesus WHILE I was still a sinner? Why am I so blessed?

Why? Why me?

The answers may vary but they all speak to the loving and amazing grace of God. It’s not that I’m blessed and “they” aren’t. The “favor of God” falls clearly on the poor as on the rich. In fact, God blesses the poor and warns the rich. While God allows both wealth and poverty, neither of them are marks of his grace. The mark of God’s grace is indelibly imprinted on the heart that chooses to follow him and honor him in all situations. The joy of the Lord is not only found in celebration parties; it’s displayed openly in a faithful life that is unshaken by the circumstances that surround.

We are blessed in order to bless others. Walk a mile in another’s shoes and discover a new way of asking “Why? and a sufficient reason to give thanks for all you have – to share so they can ask, “Why am I so blessed?!”

It’s not too late to be a blessing!

Dear readers,

Three years and 975 blog posts later, we hope you are growing ever closer to the one true God who sees you where you are and loves you. These blogs are mostly memos to challenge ourselves, a journal of God’s goodness to us through these three difficult years through cancer and life threatening blood infections.


Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called children of God.

image imageThese same three years mark the birth and growth of the Go Light Our World (GLOW) nonprofit ministry. Originally focused on bringing practical expressions of God’s love to the most poor and outcast Quechuan people in Bolivia and the unreached Romani people in Bulgaria, we now also support vital gospel ministries in Corinth and Athens, Greece; in the poorest neighborhoods of urban Scotland; an outreach to the Digo people group in Kenya, and a number of missions in the USA to the homeless, people in prison, college students (USA and Puerto Rico) and those in New Orleans who don’t yet know Jesus and others beginning their faith journey with him.

Some of you already support GLOW in yearly or monthly donations. Thank you! You know your gifts go directly to the mission field, not to salaries, insurance plans, buildings or other admin costs. Your gifts have provided native language bibles to 100 people who were so excited to have a bible they can read!

You gave a little boy his first pair of leather shoes, medicine for a teenager who helps in the Josias program we support. You have literally clothed the naked and fed the hungry with nutritious meals and the hope Jesus offers. You have taught them to read and write – one has gone on to nursing school. You’ve visited “the least of these” in prison.

We continue to offer the free daily devotional blog to all. And we invite you, (no obligation), to consider supporting the GLOW ministries in 2016. A monthly recurring gift of just  25 cents per post ($6/month) provides a nutritious meal for 5 hungry children each month. 50 cents per blog  ($12/mimageonth) provides 144 meals over a yeaimager. One dollar per post ($24 per month) provides needed educational supplies and basic medicines where access to clean water is difficult.


We invite you to partner with us in 2016 in following Jesus when he said:


“In as much as you do this to the least of these you do it unto me.” – Matthew 25:40

Tax deductible gifts may be made online through PayPal or credit card: Go to www.GoLightOurWorld.org/giving OR by check to: “Go Light Our World” 1020 N 5th Ave W, Newton, IA 50208



Rejoice! Always rejoice in the Lord!

And there are three other ways to partner with GLOW that don’t cost a penny:

1.  Join us in regular prayer for GLOW and its recipients. Email us if you want to receive regular mission updates: thayers@GoLightOurWorld.org

2: Simply press “Forward to a friend” or “Friend on Facebook” (bottom of this post) to others you think might be blessed by our daily message. Spread the light among your friends and build the GLOW community.


3.  Reimagead and write your own review of Go Light Our World at Great NonProfits: http://greatnonprofits.org/org/go-light-our-world.


We are blessed in order to bless others, to live simply so others can simply live.

Marcia and Bryan Thayer for Go Light Our World

Marcia and Bryan Thayer for Go Light Our World (at Mercy Hospital)

Thank you for prayerful consideration of partnering with GLOW.

It’s not too late for a one-time or recurring gift that begins in 2015 and continues bringing the light of Jesus to a dark and needy world in the new year!  Be blessed in your daily reading and in growing closer to God.



Why does God comfort you?

Surely, you’ve been in the place where a child was distraught, perceiving their whole as crashing down upon them. What do you do? You comfort them. Filled with love and compassion and no small amount of insight that assures you the whole world is not coming to an end, you console them to ease their pain. You let them know they are not alone and you give them hope. It’s what we do for our children because we love them and want to reduce any unnecessary pain. We don’t want them to be destroyed by sorrow.

But it’s not just for them, is it? Our hope is that they become people who comfort others with great sensitivity and compassion; that they become messengers of hope in a world of despair.

Have you ever considered that our Heavenly Father does the same for you? Filled with such unimaginable love and compassion for his children, he comforts us in times of trouble. Why? Is it because you are so special to him, like your own child is to you? Yes, of course. But there’s more. Just as you comfort your child with the hope of them comforting others, so God comforts us so we can comfort others.

We are blessed in order to bless.

The purpose of blessing is not only to fill our cup but to be poured out into the lives of others who need blessing. It’s the purpose for our lives. (See 2 Corinthians 1:4-5)

Troubles are part of the design of life, so “we might not rely on ourselves, but God who raises the dead.” (V 9) If we had everything we needed and more…how easy it would be to rely on ourselves. But we don’t have all we want or even all we need. We need the resurrection death-defying power of a loving and caring God who comforts and strengthens us in our time of need. We need him to resurrect life-giving hope from the ashes of our grief. No doubt, you well know that our troubles do not always go away when we are comforted. If they did, I suppose we would all come to God only for what relief he could bring, instead of seeking him for who his is. But still we need not only to be comforted but also to be available and usable as a vessel that brings his comfort to others. It’s the design for our life.

How do we comfort others? How do we even know their needs?

Doesn’t it always start with awareness? We can only comfort others if we know their pain and grief. And we can only know this if we look beyond our own happiness and intentionally pay attention to those around us. We notice their sadness, their absence, and the struggles they’re facing. We can only notice by being in the presence of others, by calling, writing, or visiting them for the purpose of listening to their hearts. By asking,”How are you really?” While we can increase our own sensitivity to others simply by paying attention, how much more will we increase our awareness if we pray daily for God to let us see others through his eyes. While we see through eyes of apathy or disdain, God sees through eyes of compassion.

I love the story of the woman who touched Jesus’ cloak and instantly he felt power leave him to meet her need. Isn’t that a picture of who we’re intended to be, compelled to overflow with the comfort which which God comforted us? When I asked one of my earliest mentors what it means to be a real Christian he replied, “It is to bear the mark of Jesus in even my unconscious thoughts.” And if we’re to bear the mark of Jesus in our unconscious thoughts, how much more in our conscious and intentional actions!

God of all compassion, who comforts us in all my troubles, help me to see others through your eyes so I can comfort them with the very comfort you have given me. Even as your sufferings flow into our lives, so also let your comfort overflow and bring blessing.

The balance of our life


Wouldn’t you like to live a balanced life in this unbalanced world? You can, by weighing things on God’s balance. But…God’s balance will seem contrary to the world’s ways. His ways involve intentional choices to weigh things on His eternal scale to find its true weight or worth. Consider for example:


To hold one thing sometimes you must let another go.
We want to have and fill our lives with so many things. You already try to balance work and family, friendships, health, bills, church, devotions, your interests and activities, AND keeping up with Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Consider the natural order of things: God, family, others. Maybe it’s time to make room for the truly important things and let something go.

Where you look is what you see.

When our eyes are constantly focused on what the world has to offer we see ourselves as consumers whose duty it is to follow along.  If our focus is on making a living we will probably lose sight of what we make of our lives. If we’re always evaluating ours lives through the eyes of others we miss seeing things through God’s eyes.

You catch what you chase.

In a similar way, whatever we pursue ends up pursuing and catching us. God says we become a slave to whatever we chase. What parts of your life are being shackled by unnecessary and harmful influences or ‘lesser’ ambitions? Stop chasing them and pursue a closer walk with the God who loves you.

Empty your cup to have it filled.

We frequently run ourselves dry. We need to be refueled and filled up. But if your cup is already partially filled with stuff that’s harmful – distracting thoughts, deeds, ambitions – you need to empty it out…every day. Then ask God to refresh it, fill it to the brim, and overflowing with His truth and grace.

What you give is what you receive.

“Love is something if you give it away you end up having more.” But if we give away contempt, bitterness, gossip, apathy, sarcasm and mockery, those things quickly poison our own lives. Be intentional and purposed in handing out goodness, grace, forgiveness, gentleness, kindness, and patience.

You are blessed in order to bless.

The purpose of our blessing is to bless others, not keep it to ourselves. And blessings most always travel on two-way streets. The blessing you give returns to bless you, perhaps not in the same way or some manner you think it should. But blessings given in God’s name do not return void.

You find real victory in surrender.

There is a very strong temptation in this unbalanced world to achieve and conquer, to become victorious in every battle. But some battles aren’t meant for us to fight. And in most others we are not called to fight, only to stand firm in God’s Word. If we don’t stand firm in God’s protection we will easily fall for anything and everything. Contrary to worldly ‘wisdom’, the key to victory is in surrendering all your burdens, even your ambitions, to God.  He is the only one who can weigh everything in your life and hold them in proper balance.


PS- Happy birthday to my wife and best friend! I won’t tell you her age, but I can think of *65* reasons I love this beautiful woman!

When it is NOT good to share

We recently had all the grandchildren here to pick apples. Afterward, they had fun playing with the toys we keep for them here. As expected, a certain toy would go unnoticed until one grandchild picked it up. Then, another child would suddenly realize that particular toy was JUST what they needed to play with at the time. And thus began another lesson on sharing.

As adults, the Bible reminds us also to consider the needs of others and share our blessings; we are after all, blessed in order to bless. We are called not only to share in physical tangible ways, but also in the time, energy, focus, and priority we place on others. And it’s a calling that ends up blessing US in return!

But there is another kind of sharing that actually bears disastrous results for us. And that is sharing our affections for God with other entities (“idols”). Loving God a little but loving other things more is one form of worshiping idols. God warns us that we should have only one God and not bow down to other ‘gods.’ Jesus summarizes everything we need to do by calling us to love God with ALL our heart, soul, mind, and strength and to love others as He loves us. Our loving gracious God is also a Holy and just God. His wonderful plan for us is not to participate in some kind of time-share. He wants us to have ALL of Him, and we need Him to have ALL of us.

Imagine newly weds gazing into each other’s eyes, repeating words of commitment and devotion to each other, saying, “I will always and forever love only you. There will never be another who claims my affection or attention…except maybe football, or my career ambitions, or when I want to watch certain movies that dishonor you, or I have to have my own way, or I want to complain about you to others, or if I feel unloved, or …” (the list goes on.) Our desires and our actions must match our words if we are to bring honor to each other.

It is the same way with our relationship with God. We can’t simply bring words of praise on Sundays and then allow other ‘competitors’ to spoil our daily relationship with Him. If we want all his blessing we need to bring Him a heart that is satisfied with him more than anything else. There we find, and give, honor that is due, and honor that brings mutual joy.

Sharing blessings and truth and grace is good, but not letting other desires compete with our love for God. What other ‘gods’ need disowning in your life? Today is a great day to tell God about them and ask to help you remove them.

“I am the Lord; that is my name! I will not yield my glory to another or my praise to idols.” Isaiah 42:8