stress relief

Ok, here’s some transparency – I’m kind of stressed at this moment.  There are alot of moving parts in my life right now & it seems that whatever topic that I focus on leaves me stressed.  I know that there are seasons of pressure times in life & we all get to learn to manage through those seasons with hopefully few, if any, casualties. 

Nevertheless, the last few days & evenings have had some intensely stressful moments, but here’s also some encouragement:  this morning in my quiet time, as I’m doing my normal Bible reading routine, the verses I read in the NT were about Jesus calming the storm (when He had been sleeping while everyone else was freaking out).  Furthermore, I read Ps 94:19, “When my anxious thoughts multiply within me, Your consolations delight my soul.”  Finally, the verses I’m memorizing in John start with Jesus saying, “Do not let your hearts be troubled – you believe in God, believe also in Me.” 

So here’s my take aways that you might also find useful:

  • I can have peace in my heart as I fellowship with Jesus regardless of the storms occuring around me
  • When I bring Jesus into the storms of my life, He brings peace
  • There are times that Jesus wants to work through me to bring peace to stormy situations – blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called sons of God (Matt 5)

May the peace of Jesus guard your heart and mind today, my friend

doing what we don’t like to do

My kids have a list of things they don’t like to do:  wash the dishes, pick up their room, fold the laundry, homework before playing, . . . .   So when we grow up, what happens to this list?  Hopefully, we get good at the tasks we didn’t like doing as kids so they’re not such an issue.  Or maybe we just suck it up & do these things anyways since we don’t like the negative results if we neglect to do the things we don’t like doing. 
I’ve been thinking about doing the things I don’t like to do – maybe as an attempt to avoid doing them ,)

But here are some things that are rolling around in my thoughts:

  • if I only do what I like to do, what talents & areas in my life would remain dormat from such neglect?
  • character development – I still think these words should be in the “four letter word” category, along with the other cuss words I avoid
  • love: a good “four letter word” that also includes doing things I don’t want to do (I love God, love my family, love my friends, . . . . )
  • Jesus endured the cross & decided to do what He didn’t want to do because of the joy on the other side of the cross.  Could there be more joy on the other side of the work than my dislike & procrastination?

These are just some ideas I’m considering when I think about doing things that I don’t like to do – like I’m now wrapping up this blog so I can go to the Dentist 😦 

What are your thoughts?  I’d be keen to hear your ideas, insights & observations 🙂

the right fight

Fighting is an interesting concept that gets practiced in many different ways:

  • the guy who flips me off because I cut in front of his car
  • fighting in Afghan, Iraq, Libya & other areas
  • fighting with our spouse over little things portending a bigger issue
  • fighting with a friend over a misunderstanding or something that is wrong

There are lots of ways of fighting, some of which are better than others.  When I was first married, Reece & I would have some normal disagreement, but my way of handling the conflict was to just shut down & disengage (aka – silent treatment).  Reece didn’t really put up with that technique, saying that there was nothing constructive accomplished w my silence – it didn’t help resolve the conflict, make any progress toward a common goal or do anything constructive.  Quickly, I realized that he was right.  Since then, Reece & I can definately have some fights & heated conversations, but we don’t clam up & get silent.  We also don’t take shots at each other’s person – we may not like the other’s behavior, but we don’t attack each directly.  Consequently, while we’ve had some pretty sturdy conflicts, we also have developed some really good honesty & intimacy over the years.

I think the idea of working through a conflict with God is even more important than when we work through a conflict w our spouse.  I don’t think that God is into a passive intimacy with us, where we just roll over & play dead.  Think about some of the great men in the Bible:  Job, Abraham, Jacob, Moses, Peter, . . . .  These men all had conflicts with God – good honest “fights” where they disgreed with God, wrestled with Him, challenged His integrity, confronted the discrepencies in the world with God’s character & sometimes just flat out debated with God.  If we genuinely want a close relationship with God, there will be times when we will disagree with Him & I don’t think this makes Him nervous.  Engaging with God whether through intense love or frustration & even anger is better than indifference & passivity.  There is such a thing as a “right fight”.