I’m approaching my 36th birthday and all I can think of is what all I accomplished this year. What goals did I check off this year?

I cried. I laughed. I felt pain. I felt joy. I prayed. I loved. I hugged. I kissed. I prayed some more. I laughed a lot. 

I saw desperation over and over again. 

But I’ve also met HOPE and held on to it as tightly as I could. 

I would say that 35 was such an amazing year. So many adventures in hope, in love, and life, that I feel so insanely blessed and a fraud, at the same time.

Around the world, hearts are breaking and people are choosing sides. I pray for change of hearts and a better tomorrow as my children get older.

This morning, I had the urge to write. As the feeling grew, so did this little voice that kept whispering, what is your faith without actions? Yes, I stand up for my faith when asked. Yes, I have openly prayed in public. We do bedtime prayers but not as often as I should or like. But when the world is chaotic, how much of a Christian am I, if I just knelt and let the world crumble around me? 

“Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” – Matthew 4:19

How do we, as Christians, expect for our family, our friends, our loved ones, to follow Jesus, when we turn our cheek, or run the other way? Our faith is wonderful and lovely. I hope that you keep praying for me, and for each other. But we’re caught up in the goings on of our own shelter that we fail to look what is happening outside. It makes us blind to other people’s suffering and deaf to those who are screaming for sanctuary. 

We are “fishers of men.” We need to be out there with the hurt and lost to show people that there is a light in the darkness. We need to let our brothers and sisters know that there is a Savior. There is a God, and He loves us, and by His mercy and grace, we are saved. 

But saved doesn’t mean we can live life in auto pilot. Yes, Jesus, please take the wheel but when He stops the car and asks you to take care of His children, get out of the car! We are called to love. Sometimes that means, we need to get out of our comfort zone, and be there to help the needy, give to a stranger, pray for our enemies’ hearts, and not bear ill will towards those that are different, or those that may not see what we see, and may not have hope.

I hope and pray that when I am called to the stand, I will say that I did more than pray. I acted on love, on behalf of His Grace. And I will be thinking of that when I blow out my candles this year.  I’m done with just praying. I’m going to get out of my comfort zone this year and help people, and let them know that there is truly more to life than all this hate.

There is Love and by helping them, I will show them Love. 

What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such a faith save him? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.”

Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that – and shudder. – James 2:14-19