Charm School

I was talking with my friend this morning about charm school & I’m thinking that maybe we all could use some charm school help, but not in the conventional thinking. Perhaps we could all use some charm school help with:
*being more thoughtful with our words and actions, particularly with people who work in service industries (baristas, waiters, police, flight attendants, hair stylists, etc)
*being quick to forgive & slow to judge
*teamwork more than narcissism
*selfless more than selfish

The best teacher for this type of charm school is the Holy Spirit particularly when we endeavor to be cooperative students 🙂

In the Middle

Busy, hectic, demanding, red zone & frantic. Our lives go through seasons where these are the only accurate adjectives & we would like to stop the merry-go-round & have a pause. But I’m remembering that Jesus stayed in the middle of many situations that were frantic, stressful & demanding. Consider Lazarus being raised from the dead, the water into wine miracle & Jesus frequently being mobbed by crowds. Regardless of what’s happening or not happening in your life, Jesus is in the middle with you!

School Shooting

I live in Colorado & I just saw that there’s been another school shooting here at a high school in Denver. While I don’t really know very much about what is currently happening (because I’m writing this as the events are unfolding), these kinds of incidents can make us super anxious & jittery – especially for those of us who remember the columbine high school shooting.
Here are some helpful thoughts:
*praying is extremely important when we have crises happen
*be careful that your mind & worry don’t run away w you
*ask Jesus for peace

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 🙂