Making Progress!

I like to accomplish things & can sometimes get discouraged when it seems like I just slough along seeming not to get anywhere. I’ve had some really big projects on my plate for several months & I finally seem to be making progress & this is WONDERFUL!! Nevertheless, I’m learning some important lessons for “in between” trying & achieving:
*persistence & patience – nothing worthwhile is achieved without these important pieces
*stay encouraged – this is no one else’s responsibility but mine
*teams are important – I can achieve WAY MORE on a team than by myself
*keep your eyes on Jesus – a great immunization for distractions & discouragement 🙂

Goliath’s sword

Recently, I read the story about David killing Goliath – it’s always inspiring & encouraging!  As I read the story leading up to Goliath’s death, David recounted how he had fought off a lion & a bear to protect the sheep under his care.  David used this memory to encourage Saul that with God’s help, David could overcome Goliath.  Futhermore, when David confronted Goliath, he boasted that he would use Goliath’s own sword to cut off Goliath’s head, which is exactly what happened.  Later in David’s life, David again acquired Goliath’s sword from a helpful priest for his own weapon as he was running away from Saul to save his life.  Goliath’s sword was a turning point for David’s life – shifting away from sheep & moving toward kingship.

In our lives, there are turning points, like Goliath’s sword.  God uses unique things & experiences in our lives for both victories & encouragment at very strategic times, particularly for me with Saving Moses.  We can trust God to direct our steps and give us the resources necessary for each step 🙂

balancing multiple demands

Well friends, I’m back from Angola with Saving Moses & life continues to maintain its seemingly hectic pace.  Do you ever feel like there’s more work than time or energy?  It seems to me that often when I return from int’l trips that I have lots to catch up on & this return home seems no different than any others:  using a snorkle to keep swimming until I can come up for air.  But here’s something that is really encouraging to me today as I try to catch up from last week’s travels:  keeping my focus on Jesus helps me to not get overwhelmed with all of the things I need to get done.

As I was praying this morning, I just was encouraged to remember that Jesus already knew about everything that I need to get done with the limited quantity of time that I have.  With this in mind, I receive great strength knowing that if I keep my eyes on Jesus, He will help me.  It’s when I get my focus off of Jesus & onto the Mount Everest size work in front of me when I seem to get discouraged.  So, let’s keep our eyes on Jesus & keep swimming ,)

What’s the point???

I was reading this morning about how Joseph was unfairly accused of trying to sleep w Potiphar’s wife & how Joseph was thrown into jail because of the wife’s fiasco. At some point, sitting in jail, Joseph could have easily said, “What’s the point? I should’ve slept with the chick. Jail isn’t worth it.”
At various times, we all feel like quitting & throwing in the towel. Maybe we quietly say to ourselves, “what’s the point?”
Here are some good things to consider when you’re asking yourself about what’s the point:
*God doesn’t say to us, “well done my good & quitting servant”
*strength, character & integrity grow in the furnace of hardship, struggle & opposition
*good results & desirable fruit come from persistence & not giving up

I like what St Francis of Assisi said, “Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.”

Frankenstorm Sandy

I’ve been watching the news & updates on the horrible weather on the East Coast & I’m really praying for everyone who is enduring this catastrophe. As I was thinking about this, I remembered a storm that Paul endured in Acts 27 & this was a storm of massive proportions: lasted 14 days, they couldn’t tell night from day, they threw over the boat all of their cargo & tackle gear, along with not eating for several days. For all practical purposes, everyone on the boat had given up hope for staying alive, except for Paul. Here were a few things Paul did in the middle of this awful storm:
*he stayed practical, advising everyone to eat some food to keep up their strength
*he kept his confidence & focus on Jesus more than anything else
*he encouraged the people in the boat with him, giving them hope that things would get better

Paul is a good role model for us when we go through storms!

some advice when someone you love dies:

My dad died over this past weekend and it’s been an interesting journey over the last few days with lots of emotions, kind & gentle people along with some rough spots.  If you’ve lost someone who is close to you, or have a friend in this situation, here are a few things that have been helpful to me so far:

  • be gentle with yourself and others:  losing someone who is important in your life is hard so being tender and gentle is a necessary counter-point for this hardness
  • grief is illogical & doesn’t need to be justified:  the “why” questions and appropriate answers don’t help, at least not for me up to this point
  • time versus busy:  some people need activity and to be occupied with doing things while others need some space, but too much time or activity can lead to some bad results
  • presence:  what I’ve found helpful is together-ness, someone being present (but not necessarily chatty – smile)
  • encouragement:  let everyone’s encouragement, kind words and supportive efforts come into your heart;
  • God:  involve God at all levels;  grief and death are not the times to pull away from God

Are there more things that you’ve found helpful?  I’d be keen for your input

Full of Grace

I had an interesting conversation with a friend yesterday for whom I’ve been very concerned of late. It was interesting because they explained that they had been distant lately because of lots of different current stresses in their life. Then another friend told me that she was having a rough day earlier this week & almost broke down in tears on a particular day. Both of my friends are important to me & when they explained their struggles to me, I totally wanted to reach out & help not only after the struggle but also during their rough time. Just like me, these are very strong & independent friends & I wholly respect their strength. It’s interesting bc I think that God absolutely respects our free will & independence. But I also think that God wants to be involved in our struggles & not just watch from a distance. Lets be kind, gentle, full of grace & supportive with each other – thereby letting God love through us 🙂