help, I’m drowning!

Greetings & happy Friday!

I read this yesterday & found it super helpful so I want to pass this along for your weekend thinking 🙂

This is from my pastor friend in CA, Joel Phillips – joelphillips

 

 

Shunned!

The Office’s Dwight Schrute enjoyed using the Amish technique of shunning people who were guilty of some kind of infraction.  Although I laugh when I watch this clip, something about it reminds of how people in the church treat others who have messed-up or fallen.

We can wrap it with all sorts of holy sounding language, like “holding them accountable,” or “stepping them down,” if we’re honest it’s really just shunning. I once heard a leader use the verse, “godly sorrow produces repentance” to justify being flat-out mean to someone under him who had sinned.

Condemnation, guilt, shame, never produces righteous results. Instead, they push people even further from God.  What’s weird is that there is a sick side to our souls that actually likes condemnation.  We feel like we deserve it, and as the guilt and shame mount within us, we think that it’s all a part of the process of getting back on track, and reinstating our good standing with God.

That’s not the gospel!

I could quote tons of scriptures that point to the fact that those who are in Christ are fully and permanently justified and declared righteous, but the passage I want to go to is the familiar story of Peter walking on the water, falling, and being rescued by Jesus.

So much has been said, preached, written about this story, but one key part of it is hardly ever referenced.  It’s the part when Peter got back in the boat.  There was no browbeating.  No heavy sighs.  No, “You’re all wet!” Here’s all we’re told,


“And when [Jesus and Peter] got into the boat, the wind ceased. Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him, saying, ‘Truly You are the Son of God.’” (Matthew 14:32–33)

 

I wish the church was more like that.  Somebody falls, Jesus saves them, they’re soaking wet from their mistakes, but they’re alive and the storm is over!  And as they come on board with us we worship God for how He saved them.  It reminds us of how he saved us, after all, we’ve all been wet at one time or another.

Hello from Brazil!

Greetings from beautiful Brazil! This is my first time to visit this amazing country & thus far, it’s really lovely. The people are super friendly & the sites are captivating. Today, we are doing some touring & we get to do an outreach to one of the slums in Rio de Janeiro – I’ll keep you posted & try to upload some pix as well.
Brazil was a Portuguese colony for over 300 years & in 1931, the massive statue, Christ the Redeemer, was made & it’s over 100 feet tall. Here’s a pic

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Look Up!

I find that whatever I focus on is usually where I wind up or what I begin acquiring. I learned this lesson when I was growing up & playing basketball. If I didn’t keep my eye on the basket, it was 100% certain that I would not score. This lesson continues to be true in the various areas & responsibilities in my life: my kids, marriage, work life, volunteer world & more. With this thought, I always need to check my current results & they can help me to see what I’ve been focusing on. If I’m not keeping my eyes on Jesus, The Way, I can easily get lost & lose the plot. So my dear friends, lets encourage each other to keep Jesus at the center of our focus 🙂

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! 🙂

Some Important Secrets for Staying Happy

Happiness can sometimes be an elusive goal & on occasion we can miss some happiness that’s sitting right in front of our nose. With that being said, here are a few ideas that could help us to stay happy:
*dont say everything you think – an obvious morsel of wisdom
*look for good bc we usually find what that for which we look
*keeping a generous mindset prevents the selfish lack deception
*be positive bc complaining can be a severe energy drain
*chose love over apathy w a healthy dose of forgiveness 🙂
*keep a relentless focus in Jesus!

Better thoughts

I’ve had some interesting interactions with people of late. Some of these interactions were in the intimidating & bully category. Being on the receiving end of the intimidation efforts, I can’t say that it was a pleasurable experience. And there have been more than a few occasions where I wanted to return some of that bullying.
Nevertheless, I decided with God’s help to look in my mind for some better thoughts & here are a few ideas for better thoughts:
*if God is for me, then who can be against me?
*I am more than a conqueror because of Jesus’ resurrection
*love never fails
*in God’s hands, a temporary affliction can turned into some heavy duty glory
*all things work to my benefit as I
Continue to stay in love with Jesus & true to His purposes in my life 🙂

Make the decision with me to choose better thoughts 🙂

Guilty!

We can be guilty of lots of things, but here are some things for which I want to be wholly convicted:
*complementing more than criticizing
*encouraging more than discouraging
*loving more than using
*listening more than impulsive comments
*wisdom more than foolishness
*redeeming more than rehearsing
*faith more than doubt
*progress with www.savingmoses.org more than enumerating problems 🙂

What are some other things you would include??? Thanks for your input & for your time to read this & reply!! Appreciate you 🙂

The big picture

Sometimes I can get discouraged when I look at things in incremental or small ways. For example, when I’m trying to get in shape, I can easily get discouraged with one workout – it hurts, I wish I were more fit, etc. But when I look at the big picture (no pun intended), I can find some encouragement that I’m trying, growing & on the right path to get better, little by little.
This is also true with God, who sees the overall scheme of our lives with precision clarity & not just the small & seemingly incongruous puzzle pieces that can so easily frustrate us. Ultimately, we can rest in the truth that God is working all things to good as we continue to love God & stay true Their (Trinity) purposes & designs for us!! Be encouraged dear friend! 😀

Being Contagious

Something I’ve noticed is that often one of my kids gets sick, that bug can sometimes work it’s way through our family. I’ve also noticed that when I walk down an airplane aisle & smile, people tend to smile back. These observations have caused me to be more aware about how I can be contagious either positively or negatively – but the choice is mine. I can be an agent of positive or negative influence. I can be constructive or I can be hostile or destructive but God has given us, as individuals, the power to make such decisions. So lets be positively contagious, spreading joy, hope & love 🙂