Tag Archives: change one life and change the world

Secret of the Stairs

We might imagine our life as a sequence of stairs,  like climbing the mountain of God.

Each stair Includes a riser and a platform. We have to take action to ascend and step up the riser and onto the next platform of our life. Once on the platform of the next step, we are filled with new insight and understanding that changes how we view things. It’s like the difference between peering through the trees to see a marvelous landscape and rising above the trees for a better view.

But each step also requires action, leaving a place of comfort to a new level.  If we get stuck on one step, becoming too comfortable with our lot in life, we will not move forward/upward. Our view will remain the same, and a deeper and more fulfilling understanding will not be ours to claim…unless we step up.

What causes us to get stuck?

  • Contentment. Being satisfied with lesser things. CS Lewis observed we become  “too easily pleased” and so content with ordinary life that we lose sight of the extraordinary. “Content to make mud pies in the street when could be enjoying a vacation at the seashore.”
  • Attachment. We have such attachment to earthly things and endearing hobbies, we have no time for meaningful relationships. We like our little treasures but who in the end of their time really wishes more of them?
  • A small world view. We see life with blinders that shut out the rest of the world. With our vision restricted to our family and close friends, we fail to see others in whose hands God has carefully placed some of the pieces if our own life puzzle.
  • A small view of God. Is he a small and distant God unrelated to your life story or is he the powerful and loving main character? Is he a God of anticipated hope who delights in  bringing blessings to your every new day? Or do you find him a hard taskmaster you’d rather ignore?
  • A lack of heavenly vision and aspiration. Being so earthly minded we become of little heavenly good. Keeping the vision of heaven alive opens our eyes to our earthly purpose. We realize that in changing the world for just one person we change the world entire.

What are we to do if we find ourselves stuck in the stairway of life?

Ask God to search our heart, to reveal to us what is always true and forever good. Remove the veil from things of little value that only waste our life.

Seek God’s Word – Listen to how he speaks to you, nudges you, and guides you with his truth and grace. Discover the real purpose for your life and the power to live passionately and victoriously despite your present circumstance. Be who you were meant to be

Give Jesus a chance to speak healing to your wounded soul and peace to your anxious heart.

Look for opportunities in your normal (or chaotic) day to worship him, celebrate his goodness, give thanks, and be intentional in blessing to others.

Reevaluate your priorities and life goals while there is still time. One of the saddest sentences in the world begins with the words. “I should have.” Live life large and generously.

One  wants to save as big a pile of money as they can with a treasure hoard of comforting memories; the other wants to give as much away as possible, living a life of faith and love that really counts. It’s the same with our time and energies.  Who wins in the end?

The stairway of life continues, calling us ever upward. Just how beautiful of a view do you want to have?


Greetings and conclusions that change the world


The efficiency of email and blogs and social media posts have obviously expedited the speed with which we can communicate with multiple people at once. At the same time, the brevity of our comments to one another often lacks the thoughtful expressions that once characterized our communication.


In years gone by, people would communicate with letters, carefully inscribed by hand on chosen stationary, and often sealed by special mark. Words were chosen carefully. Often the letters began with greetings like “Dear Mary,” or “Dearest Tom.” And they were signed with similar affection often with a summary of closing thoughts. Communications and greetings were marked with a concern for the protection of our relationships, especially the other person. Maybe you remember.


Such was the custom of Paul when he wrote to the churches under his care. He would often begin with a sincere and endearing greeting: “Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ..” And following his purposed writing he would conclude with a closing summary as he does at the end of 1 Corinthians 16. And though the letter was written nearly 2000 years ago, he closes with an encouragement to each of us today. It seems appropriate to whatever task awaits you this day.


“Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. Do everything in love. Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” (V 13-14, 23)


We are well advised to be on our guard, to stand firm, to be courageous and strong because our lives are lived in a spiritual battlefield that threatens to claim our mind and hearts. It’s played out in what we pay attention to, our ambitions and desires, our activities, and our relationships with others. We’re tempted to think our arguments are with people who disagree with us, with political persuasions, and physical ailments. And while true that is, our most serious battle is won or lost in the spiritual realm. And so we are well cautioned to put on our daily spiritual armor to protect our thoughts and emotions from falling captive in battle.


Our lives are lived relationally. It’s how we were created. As poet John Donne penned, “No man is an island unto himself.” Our lives are inextricably connected. When you impact just one life you change the world. This is played out in so very intentional many ways: by teaching, helping, encouraging, giving, by opening doors of opportunity, and by praying. But it is also played out quietly in greeting and concluding our communications with others.


It’s not only for letters, emails, blogs, and posts. It’s a good reminder for how we engage with those around us this very day:
Standing firm in faith
in reaching out to others
Strong in our persistence to do everything in love
Filled and exuding with the grace of the Lord.


However imperfectly we carry it out, it’s how we change our lives and others, and in the process, change the world.