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!!

A cheap gift

Last week I had the privilege of being part of a leadership development workshop & we did this exercise where we got into small grps. In our groups, we were each given 2min to share one our biggest & most proud achievements. The people in the group who were not sharing sat & listened with total focus – to be wholly present.
What I loved about this exercise is that I could give the gift of listening to the person who was talking, giving them my ears, eyes, focus / attention, without needing to say anything – just listen. I practiced this last night w a total stranger (a parent at my kids school) & it was an amazing experience getting to listen to this guy, hear his background & learn about his family, etc. I think that listening is a very inexpensive, but highly valuable gift – an important way to express love!!

I’m hungry

The guy at Starbucks just did a good job encouraging me to buy some food to go w my coffee, telling me that the latest research proves that we need to eat 5 small meals a day for optimum health – of course my mind immediately goes to Angola with saving Moses and the hunger that I often see there.
But I think that all of us are fundamentally hungry for God. I think if we strip away all of our achievements, relationships, wealth, looks, etc, when we are just ourselves, we are designed to crave our Creator. Yes, I’m hungry but I understand that the hunger of my heart isn’t to look better, to increase my popularity, nor expand my wealth of achievements. At ground zero, we are all hungry for God & His presence in our lives. Recognizing this hunger will increase our potential to live a very fulfilling life 🙂

jr high girls basketball

 One of my daughter’s friends had a basketball game last night & we we able to go, watch & cheer.  These kinds of games bring back lots of different memories for me because I used to coach both jr & sr high school girls basketball.  I thoroughly enjoyed coaching, but was also too competitive & I lived in the shortcomings of being too competitive (rash words, impatience, self-centered & more).  Last night, I found myself again being vocal & probably too competitive.

Do you ever have those areas in your life where you tend to struggle???  Here are some thoughts about how to deal with these areas:

  • avoidance – for years I never coached because I didn’t have the opportunity;  now I think I didn’t coach because God knew that this weak spot can be a downfall for me
  • celebrate progress – over the last year, I’ve been around coaching a bit more.  My celebration is that even though I’m not where I need to be, at least I’m not as bad as I was 🙂
  • accountability – last night I sat around some friends who would tell me to tone it down & I’m grateful for their help!
  • honesty – a problem that is ignored or downplayed won’t get better
  • be thankful – I’m grateful to God for helping me to grow, mature & become more like Christ through the power & presence of the Holy Spirit
  • humility – arrogance sabotages growth & change

an important question

 A few nights ago, I had a dream & woke up at 2:30am with 1 Cor 6:12 on my mind.  Not knowing that the verse said, I got up & checked it out.  It talks about things that are permitted but not profitable & about not being mastered by anything, save Christ.  From this experience, I’ve been thinking about many of the activities in my life & I’ve been kind of taking an inventory of things I permit versus things that are profitable.  We can allow lots of things, events, activities, etc in our lives & they may not be harmful.  But the real question to ask is if such things are profitable & profitable not only to ourselves, but more importantly, profitable to the kingdom of God.  Let’s be mindful, with the help of the Holy Spirit, to keep our lives as profitable as possible for God’s kingdom.

The operative question:  is this profitable?  🙂