are you a picky eater?

 I know that I’m a bit of a strange bird: I go to weird places and enjoy the experience, I do some crazy things and think about it later, I find it to be alot of fun to try new and unusual sports, etc.  Furthermore, I love to explore culinary adventures.  There’s this bald guy on TV who goes to some really strange places and eats food that is nothing less than thoroughly bizarre – I like watching him because he challenges me to push the envelope with trying new things to eat.  My latest claim to fame is eating a bug off the fender of one of our vehicles in Angola last year (that was on the heels of the bugs I ate with my friends in Cambodia).  ANYWAYS, my point is that my parents raised me to eat and “like” all foods.  When I was growing up, we weren’t allowed to say that we didn’t like a certain food.  We always had to try a teaspoon & omit the subsequent critique ,)

So this got me to thinking about how I perceive people.  If I can enjoy such a wide array of food options, why not let God develop a love in me for a wide array of people.   Today, I felt that God challenged me to be less picky and finicky about people and to love them with less criticisms and pre-requisites.  Perhaps you’re really good at loving a wide variety of people – please pray for me that I would continue to get better at loving people and being less picky.  thanks muchos 🙂

Back Stage Pass

There’s something really cool about the term “back stage pass”. To me, it has this idea of exclusivity, seeing how things work, who the performers are when there’s no audience around & even kind of an intimate feeling. I’ve never had a back stage pass to a concert but it sounds kind of cool.
I’ve been thinking about this idea of a back stage pass & it seems to me that God would like “back stage” access to our lives – not just the public personae that we try to project. But more like the notion that God could have exclusive access to:
*the less obvious mechanics of our lives,
*any secret thoughts or struggles we may have
*the weak spots we may try to disguise in various ways
Let’s give God back stage access to all of our lives 😀

what’s the right answer?

Lately I’ve been trying to coach my kids about how to properly respond when I ask them to do something. Instead of arguing with me, telling me why they can’t do something, why it’s not their fault, or the plethora of other answers (including the new family member I’ve yet to meet – Not Me Bowling), I’m trying to coach them to say, “yes mom” or “yes, dad”.
There are lots of great examples in the Bible on how to respond to God. Two of my favorites are:
Samuel: speak Lord, your servant is listening
Mary: let it be to me according to Your word
How we respond to the visible & tangible authorities in our lives can often reflect how we respond to God – just something for your consideration 🙂

an interesting chat w my mom

 My mom & I were driving home & talking about lots of different things, but one of my favorite things to talk about w my mom is the Bible.  We both share about what God is talking with us about in various relevant events, etc of our lives & it’s often a very rich discussion.

Today, we were talking about the diversity of Christians that we both know & love – lots of MAJOR cool people.  Everyone has such good & rich things to contribute to others.  Despite all of the incredible differences, what causes Christians to be unified is love – genuine love.  Regardless of our theological positions, our beliefs about law, grace, healing, faith, prayer, . . . . pick any subject, what makes us distinct as followers of Jesus is our love for one another.  Indeed, that is to be fundamental stand out point based on John 13:35 – love for each other.  I think that the better we get at genuine love, the easier people will see Jesus 😀

Busy & Engaged

It seems like my life, of late, has shifted into a higher gear – translation: become busier. I’m not so sure how that could happen, but it feels like that. But this “style” of being busy doesn’t leave me feeling frazzled – I’m tired at the end of each day, but not drained. As I think about this, here are some things that I’m learning:
*be present: wherever my body is, I’m making an effort to keep my mind, emotions, etc altogether w my body (this seems to make me less tired, fragmented & distracted)
*be prioritized: I’m trying to be more focused on a few key priorities & let the things that are lower priorities slide more
*be attentive: this is a little different than being present because with being attentive, I’m trying to listen for Gods voice better throughout each day & not just at random & haphazard seconds here & there
It seems to me that God has quickened the pace but I’m not feeling worn out 🙂

your feedback please

Greetings!  I made a concerted effort in 2011 to blog more consistently & I’ve found this I like this format quite a bit.  If you’ve noticed, I try to do a couple of things:  stay brief, relevant & insightful.  At the same time, I’m not very interested in jumping into uber controversial subjects (politics, etc).  Sometimes I’ve done this better than at other times.  So what I’d like from you are suggestions:

  • are there topics you’d like me to write about?
  • do you have suggestions of things you’d like me to do or not do?
  • general thoughts?

Your feedback would be greatly appreciated and thanks MUCHOS for reading!!  I want to get better this year & I appreciate your help 🙂

hold on a second!

 I’ve been reading about Joseph in the Bible & this morning I was going through the part where he translates the dreams of the baker & cupbearer.  At the end of his dream translation, he asks them to help him to get out of jail since he was wrongly put there.  The cupbearer was restored back his royal position & promptly forgot about Joseph.  So Joseph got to rot in jail for probably a few more years.

Here’s my point:  sometimes when we’re impatient & neglect to wait for God’s timing, sometimes we settle for 2nd best when we should have waited for God’s best.  If the cupbearer would have gotten Joseph out of jail, as he had requested, perhaps Joseph wouldn’t have been available to interpret Pharoah’s dreams & ultimately to save the life of his family & the future of the Jewish nation.

Let’s understand that God knows the times, seasons & purposes of our lives better than we do & He is certainly trustworthy with time, since He made it in the first place ,)

do you ever struggle with love???

I’ve been talking with God recently about some situations for me that have been super difficult.  We’ve had some interesting discussions & I’ve expressed some of my frustrations & disappointments to God.  It’s been an interesting wrestling season of late & I’m not sure that I’ve totally turned the corner with some of my questions & uncertainties.

Nevertheless, I felt God really encouraging me a few days ago about His love for me.  When I asked Him about His love in relation to some of the difficulties & struggles that I’m going through, He challenged me to know that His love for me isn’t based on circumstances or situations.  Maybe you have also had this struggle – looking at the challenges in your life & asking God about His love in light of hardship & difficulty.

Just because we go through tough times, let’s never doubt His love for us – indeed, He causes all things to work together for good to those who love Him & remain true to His purposes in their lives.  Be sure to doubt your difficulties before you doubt God’s love

some really AMAZING things from mom’s Pakistan trip!!

My mom was ministering in Karachi Pakistan last week & seeing some totally amazing things from God. She’s been going to Pakistan since around 1995 & has made more than 5 different ministry trips to various large cities throughout Pakistan. Here’s a quick summary of what happened last week:

  • Ministry Training School: she had more than 2,800 leaders come for a day of leadership training to help them be more effective with their ministries & outreaches
  • Political favor: she met with many key government leaders & had the honor to pray for healing for many of them & their families
  • Media favor: when she landed there were 6 different TV stations there to document her arrival & she was also on the front page of the English newspaper in Karachi
  • 3 nights of city-wide healing meetings – there were approximately 90,000 in attendance on the 1st night, about 130,000 on the 2nd night & almost 200,000 on the 3rd night
  • lots of totally amazing miracles – deaf ears, blind eyes, back problems, paralysis, etc.

I write this because I know that God totally loves Pakistan & the Pakistani people. They are very wonderful & it brings tremendous joy to my heart to hear of God’s extravagant love being poured out on this wonderful nation. Let’s celebrate! 🙂

A helpful challenge

There was a time in my life when I wanted to be really smart & I wanted to be sure that I understood things well. If I didn’t understand something, either I would try harder to understand or I would dismiss what I was unable to grasp. The problem w this strategy is that it limited my experiences, particularly w God. Unfortunately, I’ve met many people who make the same decisions about their understanding w God – they limit their experiences w God because of their limited understanding.
Let’s make the commitment to God that our relationship w God will be based upon the Infinite & not our finite understanding – say yes to God!!