speak out!!

Spectrum_SpeakingOut-3

When I was in 2nd or 3rd grade, I spread a rumor about my teacher that she was drunk.  She was behaving strangely & given my limited experience in life, I tried to explain her unusual behavior, not considering that my explanation was slanderous & inappropriate.  The next day, I was summoned to the principal’s office where I was severly reprimanded & returned to class with great embarrassment.  My take away lesson was to speak less & think more – not a bad lesson in general.

however

Sometimes we are too quiet.  Sometimes we need to speak out & be an advocate for ourselves, for those who are less fortunate & to oppose disgraceful & belittling  situations, events & circumstances.  The Bible has many examples of situations where people spoke out on behalf of the downtrodden, disenfranchised & belittled.  This is a very significant reason that I’m so passionate about our work with nightcare – the shelter & safety we give to the babies of sex workers while they work.  I’m speaking out on behalf of these babies, who have no power or ability to articulate their needs, hurts and concerns.

God Goes B4 Us

Sometimes I can get jittery about the future – lots if uncertainty, some fears, concerns & more. But as I was praying this morning, God reminded me that God goes before me & is waiting for me in the future. So friend, lets trust God in these truths:
*God loves us more than we can comprehend
*God is working in our lives to create good outcomes as we stay in love w God
*God is in control #fullstop 🙂

dealing with concerns

I totally get that Jesus says not to worry about what we eat, wear or what’s going to happen tomorrow and I totally want to align myself with His instructions.  And I’d also venture to say that from time to time, we both have a little bit of a challenge in the “concern” area.  Here are some ideas / thoughts that may be useful:

  • break big issues into smaller pieces or components and they might not seems as overwhelming
  • memorize some verses from the Bible that you can lean into when you feel like you’re drowning in the “worry” zone – Ps 55:22 is a great resource, as a starter
  • health upkeep – here’s the normal nagging of drinking lots of water & maintaining an consistent exercise routine
  • worship tunes that lift up Jesus always help me to put any problems or worries into a better perspective
  • It always helps me to remember to put my trust in God & to lift up my soul to God (Ps 25:1)

These are a few ideas that have been useful to me.  What helps you?  Please share 🙂

friendships & reciprocity

I have some really fun friends in my life & enjoy them lots & lots! Truly, I’m thankful for the various friendships that I have in lots of different contexts. But something that’s important to me is that I want to be sure that I add value to the various relationships that I have. I don’t want them to be one-way streets, where I’m always receiving & not reciprocating.
This morning I was thinking about this idea of reciprocity as it relates to God & I was thinking about how I could be value added to God in my relationship with Him. After some reflection, it seems to me that one of the best ways that I can add value to my relationship w God is by loving others well, being concerned about what’s important to Him & by looking for ways to improve the situations that break His heart. For me, this is one of the reasons I’m so devoted to saving Moses 🙂

another courageous conversation: concern

 I know I worte yesterday about Joseph having a courageous conversation related to his boss’s wife trying to hit on him, but Joseph had other courageous conversations as well.  Another example of his courageous conversation is his discussion with some servants of Pharoah who had been thrown in prison w Joseph – the cupbearer & baker.  In this conversation with these men, Joseph interpreted their dreams.  One would live & be restored to his position under Pharoah & the other would die. 

Now, here’s why I think Joseph’s conversation with these men was courageous – he was concerned.  The reason I think Joseph’s concern was courageous is because the opposite of concern, apathy & selfishness, are the coward’s reply to the needs of others.  When these men told Joseph their dreams, there wasn’t much that Joseph could do to help them, but he could use his God-given talents with interpreting dreams to express his concern. 

In a similar way, there are probably some people in our lives with whom we need to have a courageous conversation to express our concern & care – maybe concern about their choices, relationship w God, etc. 

Apathy is for cowards, but concern is for the courageous

change

Change can be frustrating, exhilarating, empowering, difficult & fun – all at the same time 🙂

Lots of things are in a state of flux right now, with uncertain outcomes.  This morning in my prayer time, i found myself thinking about a variety of things that are really bothering me at the present – areas needing & undergoing changes.  Unfortunately, these things seemed to get more of my attention than praying.  Now of course i brought these various issues to God & asked for His help, but i found myself still dwelling on these things & trying to figure out ways to fix & improve various situations.  When we’re in the middle of change (in small or big ways), its really easy to fixate on problems, needs, frustrations, etc. 

The truth is that we desperately need to focus on God, especially in seasons of change.  Lately, i’ve been reading about Paul & the shipwreck he endured in Acts 27.  Paul was in a tremendous season of stress & change – but if you watch his words & behavior, he was totally aware of his circumstances, but kept his eyes on God.  Truthfully, i don’t think he had any alternative. 

So here’s my bottom line – in the middle of change, we’ve got to keep our eyes, attention & heart set on God.  What are some things, actions, ways that help you do this???