Our Point Of View!

Why do we find it so hard to walk away from letting others really know “our point of view” and run like a bat out of hell when God gently taps us on the shoulder to say, “Excuse me daughter/son…could you please move? You’re in my way.”? I believe, it has a lot to do with perspective. The Encarta dictionary explains perspective as this…a particular evaluation of something; a situation or facts from one person’s point of view. Simply put…
…Perspectives…2-people looking at the same thing: different views: doesn’t make it wrong, just different

So why do we push and work so hard at trying to get “our point of view” across to others? Perhaps it is because each of our perspectives is very personal and can stem from a variety of many different things that we are going through at that time or have already gone through. From our perspective we make choices; good and bad, and, as a result there are consequences; good and bad, but far too often we press in so hard that we find ourselves emotionally attached to something that is, just what it is…our point of view.

For me, I have far too often found myself in this very place…ok let’s be honest…just this morning I found myself at this very place. However, this I know to be true…when I am in personal relationship with my Heavenly Father, I lay down my rights to my point of view. God doesn’t need me to try and get “His point across”! I trust that the Holy Spirit will work on my behalf. Only then, when my eyes are fixed on the cross, does there become the rippling effect of a paradigm shift and my perspective then becomes eternal. Just like Paul writes in Phil 4:11, I too, will strive for excellence in my relationship with Christ; entrusting my life’s circumstances (or perspectives) to God’s care.

So, what’s your point of view…will you continue to work hard at getting it across or will you allow God to show you his eternal perspective for your life…entrusting it all to His care?

In Christ’s Love,
Donna Whiting

Nothing Tastes as good as skinny feels!

Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels. Try asking that as a question to the 3,000 children who head home every Friday from school, knowing that their skinny feeling is not by choice, their hunger pains they can’t prevent and the next meal they look forward to will not be until they arrive back at school on Monday.

This was just one statistic we heard today as a team of us went to meet with one of our local food banks to find out how we can partner with them and make the most of our time, effort and calling. It was just days earlier when I had first seen the inside of this warehouse, amazed and astonished at the boxes of food and house hold goods, all just waiting to be given to those in need. The hungry and the hurting of our community, those who are skinny not by choice, those who are the least of these, lost in the shadow of the business of our world.
There was an overabundance of food, stacked throughout this warehouse, “how could anyone go hungry?” was my thought. Boxes of fruits and vegetables, pounds of dry goods and electric coolers just waiting to be picked through, yet, as we sat with the director of operation, he made it clear of the need to feed. It all seems so simple, just pick up and put out, just drive in and drop off but that just is not the case, if that were so, many would not go to bed hungry every night in our own backyards.

As we sat in a circle, huddled together like a team waiting to hear the play, the director of operations walked us through what the day and the life of the bank looked like to those who came seeking to join the game. He was a man on a mission with a passion to be in community, he was not searching to be a lone ranger and it was clear that he was not looking for a pat on the back. He seemed to be content with the role he played on his team, tucked away in the massive tin box, on a back road where many pass by everyday. How many cars go by this place not even knowing the extent of the needs that are being filled by the hands of those inside?

“Do not be afraid,” floated off his lips, into the air and straight to all of our hearts. We went from being a little anxious to the information given to us to relaxing and coming to complete peace as he reminded us of the Kingdom we were truly serving. The passion in his voice and the stride in his steps made it more evident that this was not just a job for this man but a call.

I could feel unity in our huddle, I could feel the fire burning in each of our bellies as we all agreed that it was all about being in community. Sharing our resources and coming together to feed the least of these, to clothe the naked and give water to the thirsty. We as a team came to this man searching for direction and that is exactly what we got.

As our meeting came to an end, I could not help but ask if we could pray with our new friend and fellow servant, as he pointed to his arm and proudly displayed his tattoo of praying hands, he quickly said “yes” and shared how he never turned down prayer. With hands held together and eyes closed, we just came in agreement with grateful hearts for the time we had together and for the future of the call.

Those of you who had been praying for today’s meeting, thank you, this is just the beginning. We have been given favor as a group of people chosen and called to reach out to the least of these. We will keep you informed as we head out to watch and learn from those who have gone before us. We will ask, invite, and engage our own community to do the same.

If there is anything I learned today is this, “skinny should be a choice.”

Cris Perez-Nole
“Running My Race”

Pausing In The Moment!

This has to be one of my favorite parts about Running My Race. Pausing in the moment and reaching out to others. Today I had the privilege of celebrating our friends 30th birthday, not with a cake and a party but rather by serving those in our community who are in need.

The warehouse that stores the food for this actual food bank was huge. Boxes and boxes of food stored all the way up to the ceiling. The gentleman that was helping us was someone who had just left the gated community. He had a smile written all over his face that just said, "someone believed in me!" I got to spend someone time with him, he shared how he had been homeless upon his release, and thanks to certain programs, and he was able to get back onto his feet.

As he continued to share, I couldn't help but think about how many lives could be touched by his story. How many people in the community need to see someone who is making it because of the way others had chosen to step in and reach out. I wanted others to see his incredible contagious smile. I shared with him about the call I had on my life as well as that of the group of people I hang with and I asked if he would be willing to share his story with the group sometime. And with a grin that said thank you, he answered with an enthusiastic yes.

The morning came to and end, food was boxed oranges were sorted and relationships were built. We all gathered around for a simple prayer of thanksgiving and then took this photo. I walked away with a grateful heart and a deeper understanding of the call to make the most of every opportunity to give the reason why we have hope.

I pray that when Ralph looks back on his 30th birthday that he will remember it with a smile and know that he is writing a great story and running a wonderful race.

Cris Nole

Deliberately Running My Race!

My Story For 2010

Cris Perez-Nole

Running My Race

"Let Us Run With Perseverance The Race That Is Set Before Us..."
Hebrews 12:1

My shoes have been tied, my muscles have been stretched and the gun has gone off, the race has begun! This is the year of Running My Race! I will Run The Race that has been set before me, with purpose and intention. I will deliberately pursue my maker by choosing to live in the moment. During this race, I will pause to meditate on His word and truth and carve out daily, weekly and monthly time to just sit before Him and listen to His still quiet voice directing my race. I will work on running my race with integrity, bringing both my thoughts and actions into line with one another, I will be known as one who says what she means and means what she says. Authenticity, integrity and gentle boldness will be a trademark of my character. I will not be afraid to say no and I will live fully in the yes.

During this race, I will value my family and friends with my time, silence and stillness, learning to listen more and speak less. I will run with respect for all relationships, celebrating the victories of other runners and not interfering with their struggles. I will listen more, laugh often and forgive much. I will be deliberate about my relationships with other brothers and sisters, remembering how important it is to stay connected to the family of Chris followers. During this race, I will use my life experiences to serve Him well through and with other Christ followers.

I will never forget where I came from and where He is sending me. Brokenness will not be a burden but something I will embrace. As I continue to dedicate my life to embracing, spreading and teaching the word of God to others, I will focus on reaching out to my community and beyond, being a Character witness for Jesus Christ. In doing, so I will help others find the race, they have been called to run and I will cheer them on.

I will honor the voice and promote the story. I will be a woman of prayer, not because I have to but because I want to. While running my race this year, I will put myself in others shoes, esteeming those who have gone before and those who are to follow. I will listen well and pray often. I will be intentional about reaching out to the hurt, lost and forgotten of the world not forgetting what true and pure religion is, taking care of the orphans and widows and not allowing myself to be swallowed up by the things of this world. I will love the unlovable, reach out to the lost and search for the suffering. I will accept, encourage and include others more often. While running, I will passionately help create community, looking for the good in everyone I meet and teaching others to do the same.

Running my race will mean choosing to stay physically, mentally and spiritually fit by working out my body, soul and mind daily, laughter and humor will be a key to balancing all three. I will make music, write stories and paint pictures just for the fun of it. I will dance with my flags and sing to my God. I will promote collaboration, believing that the whole is greater then the sum. I will encourage and welcome others ideas and insight into my life.

During this race, I will live by faith and not by fear! Giving up or giving in to others will not be and option. I will be a facilitator not a fixer a minister not a preacher. I will be a storyteller, a student and a teacher all along the way. I will read, study and learn something new everyday. I will keep a written account about this race I am running, I will be the one narrating my story.

I will run my race as if every step was a brand new adventure. I will take more breaths, pause more often and fold into the moment whenever it is possible. My life will be about being about His business. I will live from the well of Thanksgiving and walk on the path of Faith. I will wear Jesus well wherever I go. I will choose to only Run The Race set before me, focusing on His Face and staying in the lane marked Grace.
Cristina D. Perez-Nole

The Gun Goes Off!

On your mark, get set, go! The gun goes off and race begins. Happy 2010. So many goals, so many dreams. I can't wait to see what this New Year will be like. I am learning so much about my voice and the story I have been called to live. Below is a list of core values that I came up with while I was away for a few days. My life mission statement and goals will reflect these values and help me to stay the course and Run The Race! Please feel free to share with me some of your core values and how you plan to live them out this coming year.

My Core Values

1. The voice

2. The story

3. Relationships (Marriage, children, family, friendship, strangers.

4. The Moment

5. Discipline/Order (A place for everything and everything in its place)

6. Time

7. Waiting

8. Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

9. Art/Music

10. Knowledge (Reading, studying, learning)

11. Fitness, physical, mental and spiritual (balance)

12. Intentional living

13. The Struggle

14. Authenticity/Integrity (Mean what you say and say what you mean)

15. Gentle boldness

16. Brokenness (hurt, lost and forgotten)

17. Those who have gone before me and those coming after me.

18. Imaginations, new ideas.

19. Teamwork.

20. Loving others well.

21. Adventure

22. Quality of life.

23. Humor/Laughter

24. Prayer

25. Community