I went to China for the last few days & returned home yesterday, so I’m finding that my thinking is kind of jumbled up & random, say nothing about my sleep. With that excuse, here are a few thoughts:
- being kind & patient with others tends to also be a generous gift to ourselves 🙂
- genuine love is like a reverse prism – it takes the fragments of life & helps us to see the beauties of daily living
- long-term investments often have the most fulfilling rewards
- Saving Moses is doing some very magnificent work!
- I’m thankful that God doesn’t give me everything I want 🙂
- relationships can help us to see and experience different facets of God
- take a walk outside 🙂
I promise that tomorrow I’ll write something more cohesive 🙂
I’m just finishing my weekend in Shanghai & I’m always astounded by several things when I get to visit China (possibly one of my favorite nations in the world):
*the number of people in this nation is 100% boggling. As we were driving today, I was trying to figure out how to show you 23million people in one city – Shanghai (picture of a “few” apt buildings in this monstrosity of a city)
*God’s immense love for people – there’s not one person in the 23million who live in Shanghai that is irrelevant to God; the quantity of people doesn’t compromise quality of God’s love
*God’s hand is engaged throughout all things massive & micro
*these reflections help to encourage trust in my heart that God is totally involved throughout my life & is altogether trustworthy – for both of us 🙂
I started coming to China more than 25 years ago & I totally love this place & the people even more! China is wonderful in lots of different ways – rich history, very cool people, great food, diverse cultures & much more.
But let me encourage you that wherever you are at, God is present & eager to have fellowship with you. I believe with all of my heart that God made you for the purpose of enjoying your company in all places: whether you’re
*at home in the routines of daily living,
*in a really difficult season of life,
*swamped with an ocean of demands & responsibilities,
*going into a busy weekend
*enjoying China ,)
God loves your company!
From time to time, we all get to hang out with or be around grumpy people, no matter how well refined our avoidance skills are. So here are some brief thoughts for your consideration:
*check yourself first – is the person being grumpy because of your actions, words or attitude?
*be gracious – Proverbs says that a soft answer turns away wrath
*be soft & gentle, looking for words that repair rather than escalate
*generous forgiveness is always a handy resource
*be kind for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle – Plato
*confront dysfunctional behavior with constructive timing & opportunity
*seek to reconcile more than dominate 🙂
When I was growing up, I had a 2nd family with whom I was really close & I noticed after some time, that the husband / dad had some hearing difficulties. When I started to watch him more closely, I noticed that he could overhear “quiet” conversations in the next room, but would be oblivious to some conversations within his immediate hearing. I thought this was really strange until someone pointed out that he had a hearing condition called “wife deafness.” I had never heard of this condition & they explained to me that sometimes husbands or wives develop this impairment after several years of marriage – I got it, it was a joke, kind of ,)
While it was kind of funny to learn some of the quirky dynamics of my 2nd family, there’s some really good application that I use with this observation on a regular basis: there are some voices & conversations that don’t need my attention nor do they help me to grow closer to God. So some selective hearing is a good thing – like Jesus said in John 10, “My sheep know my voice & the voice of a stranger they won’t follow.” 😀
Have you ever felt like you’re in a holding pattern? Sometimes, it seems like God has me in pause mode & I’m continuing to try & faithfully do what’s been given to me, but it’s like I’m on hold. When I’ve been on airplanes that have been in holding patterns it’s usually for a few reasons:
- bad weather could make the landing dangerous – preventing danger
- our timing for landing was off schedule & we have to wait for our turn – timing alignment
- the land crew isn’t quite ready for our arrival – proper preparation to prevent a mishap
If you’re in a holding pattern season, getting impatient usually doesn’t help but using the time to nestle into a deeper walk with God is always a great plan regardless of whatever season in which you find yourself 🙂
You & I have various challenges that are happening in our lives & sometimes the challenges are big & many but other times the challenges are small & few. Nevertheless, we all have challenges.
Here are some benefits of the various challenges that we have:
- challenges can force us to look outside of ourselves to get help and for resolving
- challenges can help us to get stronger
- challenges can foster teamwork & creative solutions that can be amazing!
- for me, challenges often force me to trust God more and trust myself less, which ultimately helps me to be closer to God
- challenges often help me to get more focused & less distracted
- challenges make me pray more 🙂