We had a really cool lunch with some friends yesterday & we talked about what we most liked about our 2012. It was cool to listen to everyone & my kids had some very insightful observations. For me, here are a few things I’ve liked about 2012:
opening our first nightcare with Saving Moses has to be one of the greatest highlights of the year – check out this short video to see some cool stuff on this: https://vimeo.com/55815063
taking my whole family on our first family missions trip – watching everyone minister in their unique ways 🙂
people’s gracious & kind words and thoughts with my dad’s death
lessons learned with lots of grace to mitigate the full potential from bad mistakes – whoops with lots of grace!!
What has been really good for you in 2012? I’d like to hear your thoughts?
Now that we’ve finished Christmas, I’m starting to reflect back on this year and thinking of many of the totally great things that have happened in the last 12 months. Watch this to see some really cool stuff:
We are having a very nice Christmas break with our kids & I’ve noticed that they haven’t once said, “I can’t wait until . . . ” This says to me that they are enjoying now, this present moment & this is a great lesson for me!
Sometimes I get stressed out about the future or discouraged looking at the past. Whenever I get I these weeds, I neglect to see the beautiful flowers of today. Even worse, my awareness of Jesus’ presence seems to deteriorate & I can easily become stressed & depressed. So lets decide to let the past be over & relax that when SE get to the future, Jesus will be there, just as much as He is with us in this moment 🙂
Well, I’m not sure if I’ve managed this week or if this week has managed me. At this point, it kind of feels like I might be a victim of this week’s crazy, busy & seasonal madness but there’s a chance that I can still win ,)
If you’re also feeling the similar seasonal pressures and demands, hopefully the thoughts below can give some peace:
God loves you and nothing can increase or decrease that love
Jesus, the Prince of Peace, still calms storms, heals hurts & provides essentials
there is no hardship or struggle that is bigger than God
I read this morning in 1 Sam 13 about how Saul got really stressed out & jumped ahead of Samuel & offered a sacrifice without Samuel. In verse 11 Samuel confronts Saul to find out why he acted so brashly. Saul’s reply is really interesting to me. Basically, he says there are 3 reasons why he wrongly did the sacrifice thing: the philistines were closing in, the Israelites were slowly leaving him & Samuel hadn’t shown up. Personally, I think these are all really legit reasons. But the core problem was that Saul made the decision not to trust God & to take matters into his own hands – and this behavior is
extremely familiar to me & maybe to you as well. It didn’t turn out well for Saul, nor does this technique usually work for me either. So the moral of the story is that no matter how many good reasons we may have, our trust in God can never be a negotiating point 🙂
I just had an interesting conversation with my kids about how they treat each other when they’re struggling or have had some failure. I’ve noticed that they often don’t want their siblings to know about an area in which they’re struggling because they don’t want to get teased or picked on. Sound familiar? I’ve been thinking about this problem not only with my kids but also with my brothers and sisters in Jesus. Far too often I’ve seen Christians “eat their own”& when we see this kind of treatment it makes us distrustful & reluctant to share about areas in which we struggle or have failure. In my mind, this is a super effective strategy the devil uses to divide & conquer. Jesus personifies redemption & when His disciples failed & had shortcomings, He didn’t toss them in the trash & sever His relationship with them. Jesus is in the restoration & redemption business. As His follower, I want to let His redemption & restoration flow not only to me, but also through me. Just some friendly food for thought on this happy Wednesday 😀
I had an interesting conversation with someone yesterday that seemed to be really out of character for them. I found this interesting because I often believe that it’s impossible to change the spots on a leopard. The problem with this way of thinking is that I can get really rigid in my attitude toward various people & not allow them to change in my thinking.
This is a really big problem because this way of thinking entirely ignores the transforming power of Jesus’ redemption for us. People can & do change, so lets be full of gratitude that God isn’t only helping us to grow & change, but God is also working on other people with redemptive & transforming power. Lets give each other the gift of space & grace to grow & change 🙂
I’m a huge fan of convenience & things that make my life less complicated & more efficient, especially in this busy holiday season. But if I’m not careful, convenience can be a deceptive sinkhole – if something is inconvenient I don’t do it or it falls down to a low place on my priority list. While this may seem logical & effective the “convenience” approach to life can potentially sabotage my intimacy with God, simply because God isn’t always convenient. In fact, I find that God is sometimes very inconvenient – requesting my time, attention & presence at inconvenient times. With all that being said, perhaps the convenience test is more about my priorities & less about my achievements – just something to think about 🙂
Yesterday our country saw another violent atrocity happen whose victims were mostly small little children. As I’ve learned about the events over the last 24 hours, I find myself beyond sad, angry, frustrated, shocked and incredibly disturbed. Over the next several weeks, we’ll learn about the families of various victims & the shooter. We’ll hear clamorous demands for gun control and politicians expressing sorrow and sympathy. Some of us will try to understand what causes a person to do such unthinkable violence and we will all have this sick and empty pit in our guts as we learn how this tragedy unfolded.
If there is anything good that come out of this atrocity, let’s decided that whenever we hear or discuss news related to the events from Friday, December 14th, we will pray – be that a short prayer, an intense prayer, a long prayer, or just a simple prayer. Let’s pray for the families of the victims, the children at the elementary school, the family of the shooter, the school’s teachers and administrators, . . . . Let’s allow these horrific events to make us more prayerful and spiritual people.
When I was a teenager, I wanted to fit in & be cool. If I’m honest with you, there are times when I still want to fit in. But alas, I’m unique & from God’s perspective, that’s wonderful! When you look at the world in which we live, it is filled with individuality, distinction & uniqueness. Think about snowflakes, flowers, zebras, clouds, etc.
So if you ever have those insecure moments when you feel like you don’t fit, be sure to turn your thoughts to the immensity & intensity of God’s love for you because you’re really cool!!