Rocks & Hard Places

Sometimes I get in situations that seem “tricky” – like being squeezed between a rock & a hard place. I can’t say that I find these experiences to be very enjoyable nor pleasant. In fact, if I had a vote, I’d take alterior routes to avoid the rock & hard place spots. Nevertheless, we all have these kinds of situations & “opportunities” – so what do we do with & in them? Here are a few ideas:
*pray a lot & ask for God’s intervention
*work hard & keep you eyes on God (helps the attitude)
*work out / exercise because it helps to burn off some stress
*drink a lot of water (less caffeine & sugar)
*snag a few Bible verses to memorize so that if your thinking gets whacky, you have some healthy fall back thought replacements 🙂

Remember that God made rocks, rivers & erosion ,)

Risqué or Risky?

There was a chick in Jesus’ life who was very edgy (actually, most of the women that we read about who interacted w Jesus were pretty edgy for their day). This chick had an extremely severe health need & her problem had lasted 12years & only continued to deteriorate despite spending lots of time & money on doctors & various remedies, all to no avail. Her situation was extremely sad not only because of the horrible health problem, but her problem was exacerbated because under Jewish law, she was forbidden to be in public bc of her health problem.
She took a life threatening risk to go out in public & secretly touch the hem of Jesus’ robe – risky.
The conclusion of her risky faith is that she was healed – but here’s the part that really grabs me: Jesus didn’t allow her healing to remain a secret. He called her out to make her healing publicly known – that she was well & could therefore have normal public interactions & restored relationships. Whatever we allow to come into Jesus’ presence gets improved, restored, healed & redeemed 🙂

Poison or Fertilizer?

The dreams & visions that God places in our hearts require fertilizer & not poison. You probably are thinking, “No duh, Sarah.” But lets consider the difference between dream poison and dream fertilizer:
Poison has some distinct characteristics:
*it sounds like negativity & pessimism, sometimes masquerading as a “reality check”
*often looks innocuous / harmless until it’s too late
*says “can’t” more than “can”
*procrastination & “analysis paralysis” can be the slow death of any dream, using the words, “I’m waiting for, . . . , it’s not convenient, . . . . ”

In the flip side, fertilizer looks like:
*manure – what seems to already be used up & only waste could actually be the stuff of resurrection
*hard work & smelly: sometimes sweat stinks ,)
*encouragement – can do even when it looks / seems impossible

Lets be sure that we are fertilizing & not poisoning the dreams that God puts in our hearts 🙂

Having a good week?

Happy Wed to you (or whenever you read this)! We all have various things that happen on any given day – some good, some bad & some neutral. I find it interesting that many times we derive our contentment (or lack thereof) from the various things that happen to us. We are happy if we get a raise or sad if we have some negative feedback from school or work. It’s easy to get stuck in the cause & effect trap – only being happy based on our circumstances.
Let me challenge you to switch the premise of your happiness off of circumstances & onto God’s love for you, which never fails, decreases nor changes. We can consistently be happy because the Creator of the universe loves us very deeply & personally! 🙂

getting stronger

This has been a fairly crazy year for me with travel, particularly during the 1st half of the year.  As a result, it has come to my attention that I’ve put on a few pounds (did you like how I suddenly got formal? smile).  Thankfully, no one has made any overtly rude comments or observations, but I can most definitely tell a difference with my clothes.  So I’m getting my rear in gear to see what great things can happen from endeavoring to get back into shape 🙂

In order to be more fit, to be stronger & more healthy, I have to put some work into these areas – a truth that can apply to every area in our lives.  Discipline, effort, work & committment can have some very glorious results in our lives, particularly when we join with God’s grace & power working in our lives.  Without some effort & engagement I can quickly get flabby – just a little food for thought ,)

Extreme Adventure

Happy Monday to you, or whenever you read this 🙂

I’m a big fan of having adventures.  I like adventures with food, travel, sports, reading & lots more.  There is, however, one area with adventure that I’m not very bold nor risky & that’s the area of relationships.  When it comes to food, travel, sports, etc, whenever an adventure in these areas gets a little over the top, I know how to manage the risks & how to back off or resolve most of the difficulties.  With relationships, those adventures are more tricky for me to manage.  But here’s something that I’m discovering & learning:  a vibrant relationship with God is the most extreme adventure for which I could ever join.  Indeed, genuine love is bold, risky, thrilling, scary, extreme and audacious!  And jumping into genuine love is like swimming in God’s presence.  So let’s say yes to this adventure and living in an ever deepening & growing relationship with God – the Ultimate Extreme Adventure 🙂

Jesus Chick

What’s it like to be a crazy woman, living in a time when women were considered almost subhuman & without any protection, security nor steady income? Meet Mary Magdalene – a women from whom Jesus cast out 7 demons (über crazy). We don’t know lots about Mary except that she was part of a group of women who followed & supported Jesus for much of His ministry on earth.
But here’s the cool part for Mary – Jesus chose Mary to be the first person to whom He revealed Himself when He rose from the dead. Jesus chose a formerly crazy woman, who seemed not to have anything noteworthy about her except that she had 7 demons cast out of her. He chose to appear to Mary first & announce His resurrection from the dead. Jesus could’ve chosen Peter or Nicodemus, John or even His mom, but He didn’t. To me, this says that Jesus values people who have been broken & not only the those people who seem to be more important or significant 🙂

when things don’t work

Sometimes I can get frustrated when things don’t work particularly when I’m trying to get alot of things done & I’m being slowed down – very frustrating.  There are lots of things & situations that can break down in our lives & not work:  computers, cell phones, relationships, cars, work situations, communication, physical difficulities, etc. Sometimes, I can get frustrated with God & I can feel like God isn’t working like the Trinity is supposed to work – babies having terminal illnesses, toddlers watching their prostitute moms earn a living ( saving Moses ) , despots behaving with no seeming retribution or boundaries, employers cheating their workers from fair wages . . . . . and the list can keep going on & on.

But in my better moments, I know that God is very engaged in our daily living around the world and wants to use each of us to bring genuine love to the people with whom we interact, and possibly bringing this love into our communities most effectively when we feel the weakest & most frail.  So perhaps when things seem to be the most broken, maybe this is some of God’s best opportunity to bring divine solutions, presence, provision & help 🙂

Mawwage is what bwings us together

I’m trying to spell out the Bill Crystal line in Princess Bride about “marriage is what brings us together” & you probably think my computers spell check went funky ,)
I’m writing on marriage today as my husband & I are celebrating our 20th anniversary today & I think that’s some noteworthy evidence of God’s grace 🙂
Here are some things I’m learning about marriage along the way:
*lots of grace, patience & flexibility is a foundational necessity toward both myself & my husband
*dont say everything you think – it’s often better to think through my thoughts & feelings before I just let it rip
*relationships have ebb & flow so take off the pressure of expectations & performance & enjoy the moments for what they are
*speak life, hope, honor, grace & affirmation – these words help keep our relationship strong
*when there’s conflict, be mindful to discuss behaviors rather than attacking the person
*pray alot & understand that God is using your mate to help you grow in intimacy & as a person
*be gentle
*love is a choice more than a feeling 🙂

The Last Straw

Have you ever felt like you’re on your last straw? Sometimes we go through challenges, seasons & struggles that are well beyond our natural abilities & wisdom. If you’re like me, I can find myself getting quagmired in these things at the expense of trusting God. There are times when I get stuck in what seems impossible & I can get discouraged. Ever feel this way?
This morning I was having this kind of conversation with God about a few issues & I was reminded of a verse that is really helping me:
2 Corinthians 3:5 Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God.
So lets remember that God is more than adequate for the various “last straws” that may be happening in our lives 🙂