These are a few of my favorite things: peaches, pho, fresh coffee, clean sheets, snuggling with my kids, a good read, a heartfelt conversation, prayer, . . . . . And one generality that holds true for all of these things is “staying fresh”. For example, I recently bought like two boxes of peaches because I know that we are coming to the end of peach season & I ABSOLUTELY LOVE peaches. But the problem is that these peaches are getting “tired” – not as good as when they’re at the peak of freshness & season. Pho is another example of keeping stuff fresh – whenever I bring home leftover pho & it sits in the refrigerator, it gets gross.
I think this is also true in our relationship with Jesus. A stale, old and tired walk with Jesus can get pretty ugly. So here are a few ideas that could be helpful in keeping fresh with Jesus:
Bible reading: change your translation from time to time
spiritual conversations: talk with a friend about Jesus and what you like about Him
take a bath: sometimes we need to wash off some dirt & road wear;
fasting / prayer: periodically, it helps me to do something extra (fast a meal or a few days, take a lunch to pray, look for someone for whom to pray
time: it always takes my breath away when I consider that God considers my presence to be a present ,)
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!
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!! 🙂
All of us make decisions every day and as adults we get to manage the consequences of these decisions. If you want to get the best mileage or results from your decisions, consider making these “power choices”:
“Chill out!” It seemed to me during my prayer time this morn that this was what God was saying to me. Probably both of us (you & me) have plenary of activities, demands, responsibilities & stuff going on & I can easily get pretty tense with everything. Sometimes my prayer times can be jam packed with lots of requests, venting & pressures. Today, I feel like God is challenging me to chill out & enjoy God’s company & put the stresses, pressures, demands, responsibilities, etc on pause & take a deep breath.
Let’s remember that God is in control, has a plan & loves us more than anyone else. May today’s blog be your weekend “chill pill” ,)
Feel free to forward this to anyone you know who’s stressed 🙂
It seems to me that most of us like things clean & shiny more than we like the work & effort that goes into making something shiny & clean. Yesterday, my kids & I cleaned out some of our garage. Needless to say, I found lots of undesirable junk (half eaten otter pops, sticks that were used as swords, an ancient waffle iron, wood planks, etc). After lots of sweeping, washing, moving, organizing, etc, part of our garage is not longer a hazardous waste dump 🙂
Sometimes, I think we need to do the deep cleaning work in our thinking, values, time usage & relationships. Life gets filled with clutter over the course of time & it’s tremendously helpful to declutter our lives from time to time so that we manage our time, money & energies to reinforce our central & timeless priorities – shiny clean 🙂
Happy Monday to you! So you don’t think I’ve taken up cussing as my side hobby, a boomslang is a poisonous snake in Africa. When it bites it’s victim, it’s venom is highly toxic and disables any blood clotting. As a result, if a boomslang bites you, unless you receive a healthy dose of anti venom, you’ll die from bleeding out within probably 24-48 hours – gory & gruesome!
In my thinking, the devil is alot like a boomslang – slithery, slippery, sneaky & cunning. I think that one of the primary “bites” the devil uses to poison us isn’t like the overt attack of a lion or a bear making an outright offensive leap. Instead, I think the devil more often attempts to use a boomslang poison on us, someone offending us.
People can say / do things that can be very offensive (both intentionally & unintentionally). What people say & do to us isn’t nearly as important as our reaction. Ingesting unforgiveness is like letting the boomslang venom pump through our veins without any anti-venom. Eventually, we bleedout & our relationships fall apart. Forgivness is the anti-venom that we need to readily & generously apply. Don’t let the venom of unforgiveness settle into your heart!
I read this morning about some high school seniors pranks in NJ who have been arrested for pranking their high school last night. Now I can’t really say that their behavior would fall into the “civil disobedience” category because it’s May, they’re seniors & might have possibly watched “Ferris Bueller”. With that being said, I also read this morning in Acts 5 about how Peter & some of his friends disobeyed the direct commands of the Jewish leaders by preaching about Jesus in the Temple in Jerusalem, shortly after Pentecost & Jesus’ resurrection. In verse 29, Peter told these Jewish leaders they he had to obey God rather than man.
There’s a place & time for civil disobedience & some expressions of rebellion are even condoned by the Bible:
It’s not ok to passively watch someone get hurt or bullied.
It’s not ok to follow popular culture when it conflicts with loving God & loving people.
It’s not ok to blindly do what’s popular, trendy or hip.
It’s not ok to compromise your God-given identity to blend in for social acceptance.
Particularly when we are confronted with compromise, social acceptance and even being politically correct, let’s make it our fundamental priority to please God, end of story, full stop.
Just when we think we have everything planned & locked into place, God will often shake it up baby, causing us to twist & shout, sometimes in glee & sometimes with pout. It seems to me that human planning is the place God starts for divine upheaval. This makes me really appreciate when Isaiah says in 55:8, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD.”
Let’s be mindful to keep a tighter grip on God more than our plans 🙂