It’s important to consider / take an inventory of the thoughts that we allow to run around in our minds. Such thoughts can have a significant impact on our decisions & behaviors. For example, there have been many occassions where I’ve been in situations that were way beyond my skill set & I was in way over my head (sometimes in various leadership roles, sometimes in athletic competitions & often in my role as a mom). There have also been situations where I’ve felt entirely confident, secure & proficient, to the point of being over-confident, cocky & even arrogant.
What we think in our minds is extremely important & I was reminded of this lesson from reading about the woman with the issue of blood in Matthew 9:21. In this verse it says, “. . . . ‘she said in herself, if I can touch the hem of His garment, I will be healed.'” The outcome of the story is that she was healed, but her mindset was an important ingredient for her healing. Some take aways from her internal conversation:
keep your eyes on Jesus more than fear, inabilty or even talent
Puking blood, bleeding through the eyes, ears and other areas, coughing, fever, headache and some delirium – these are all symptoms of a person who could have the ebola virus. As I’ve read up on the current outbreak, here are a few important things to note:
there’s no known medical cure nor vaccination
the current strain is killing between 50-60% of those who catch it
it’s spread through bodily fluid (blood, saliva, etc)
the World Health Organization thinks that this outbreak could kill 20,000 people before they can get it under control
it’s presently in these African nations: Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Nigeria & Congo (DRC)
two US healthcare providers with the ebola virus were medically evacuated from Africa & have recovered & been released
this outbreak probably started with the orginal victim in December 2013 – a two year old in Guinea #SavingMoses
Please be praying for Africa with this outbreak. While I know that there are many deadly diseases that are dramtically more common than ebola, let’s pray nevertheless for protection for the healthcare workers who are on the front lines fighting this awful virus and let’s pray that the leadership for each country will have wisdom in how they communicate and the decisions that they make for their citizens.
Seems like we all juggle lots of things: kids schedules with sports, practices, dr appointments, work responsibilities, relationship stuff, . . . the hustle, bustle & rustle of everyday living.
In all of these things, let’s be mindful to nurture in our hearts our relationship with Jesus. Lots of things want your attention so we must daily chose to fellowship with Jesus beyond the quickie “help!!!” requests. While these are important & good, our hearts are designed for deep fellowship with Jesus so lets yield to our design & align our values, focus & time to nurture the deeps with Jesus!
I’ve been thinking about this question because it’s another nice way to ask someone how they’re doing – how ya feelin? But here’s an interesting tweak on this question. Consider the idea that we could ask ourselves how do we feel in the sense of being sensitive, aware and attentive to what’s happening around us. Sometimes I can be downright insensitive, uncaring & inattentive not only to what’s happening around me but also to what the Holy Spirit may be trying to communicate with me. When I get in this mode, it’s easy to grieve the Holy Spirit by being insensitive. Consequently, it’s a good question to ask ourselves, “How ya feelin?”
You & I have lots of responsibilities & things we have to do. Every day we have the “must do” stuff & even the daily mundane. Sometimes my days don’t seem very divine & yet when I’m attentive, I can see & sense God’s presence. When I ask God to help me in my daily living, I begin to be more aware of God & I see God doing stuff & catch glimmers of God’s influence.
Daily + Divine = Incarnation 🙂
Recently, there was a shooting in a suburb of St Louis where a white police officer shot & killed an african american teen, Mike Brown. There has been massive outrage, demonstrations and upheaval from this altercation with lots of accusations being thrown around. The National Guard has been called in to the area, curfews have been enforced and there’s a tremendous amount of anxiety, pain, frustration, anger, hostility and even some violent reactions to these events.
My goal with this blog is not to throw more fuel into an already intense inferno. Rather, I would ask you to join me in praying a few brief but powerful points for this situation:
peace and clarity
comfort and healing for the family who lost their son / family member
wisdom, strength and grace for the leaders in Ferguson & those who are involved in these events
If you’re like me, I often pray that God would deliver me from stuff (hardship, struggles, etc). But often, I experience that God brings me through stuff (hardships, struggles, etc). While I prefer to not have to go through stuff, I’m grateful that God helps me regardless of how – from or through.
The value of through is that I often get stronger, learn more about God, deepen in my faith, understand who I am better & become more grateful for God’s help and moment by moment presence 🙂 – Noah went through the flood, Paul went through the storm
The value of fromis that I often stand amazed at God’s power, preservation & wisdom 🙂 – God delivered Daniel from the lions, God delivered Israel from Pharaoh, but through the Red Sea 🙂
From & Through – both are important ways that God participates in our lives!
When I woke up my son today to get ready for school, he wasn’t happy by a long shot. He was cranky & grumpy and unfortunately, by the time he got in the car, he was still in the doldrums – a very yucky way to start off on a Monday morning 😦
We all have times, seasons, days and moments when we are grumpy & here’s a potential quick fix: be thankful. Rather than looking at the grumpy stuff (back to school, bills, tired, physical pain, hardship, emotional stressors, relationship difficulties, job / school challenges . . . . ), take some moments to be thankful.
that the sun came up this morning
for the oxygen that we breath
that God’s love is vast yet personal
that God is both faithful and good
for a nice blog to give you this helpful reminder ,)
Seems like all of us want to grow & improve in at least a few ways. We want to be more skinny or more muscular. We want to be smarter, more athletic, less impatient, . . . . . . All of us have things in our lives that we want to improve. If there was a magic wand that we could wave to make the wanted improvement appear, we’d go to great lengths to get that wand & ultimately the improvement that we want. But alas, there is no magic wand.
But here’s the golden ticket for the improvements that we want: routine. Yep, the nitty, gritty and daily incremental efforts that we can integrate into our daily routines can produce life changing transformation. Diets, fads, trends, cool & swanky techniques and mental gyrations often lack the power to improve that comes from just the daily, small decisions that we incorporate into routine living:
A deeper walk with God: plan to go to bed 30min earlier everyday for two weeks, so you can get up 15min early to read your Bible & pray – spend some time training your body & soul to make spiritual investments
being more healthy: chose to decrease or eliminate a cup of coffee (gasp), the afternoon treat, the evening snack for two weeks;
physical fitness: chose to walk more (rather than the drive for that close errand, park in less conveninet places that require more walking, take a walk in the evening rather than watch the 30min of TV that turns into 2hours, . . . .)
be smarter: reading is a great path to help us with the smart stuff; consider joining a book club, get a library card – check out a book; read something that you don’t agree with or isn’t in the normal interest list (broaden your horizon)
Small but steady changes often create the sustained improvements that can seem elusive. You can do it!! 🙂
I was really sad to learn about Robin Williams’ death & it’s even more tragic to learn that he committed suicide. For my generation, he was a very significant person who made many valuable contributions in the entertainment industry and many other areas. When I learned of his death, I of course thought of all the different roles that he played and only recently learned about his struggle with addiction & depression.
Depression is nasty stuff & we would be wise to be sensitive to people who are struggling in this area. Cliche’ & quickie one-liners don’t usually help people who are depressed. The “snap out of” talk, “pick yourself up by your boot straps”, “it’s all in your mind” along with other band-aid phrases can sometimes be nothing more than vaporous cotton candy, frothy & flimsy. If you know someone who is wrestling with depression, here are a few helpful tips:
be gentle & patient
genuine prayer is always valuable!
giving them some company can sometimes help
If you’re struggling with depression, here are some things that may help:
keep some regular routines: prayer, Bible time, church, going to sleep & waking at normal times