hot topic: miracles

I hear and see lots of situations that need miracles – including stuff in my own life.  I was talking with God about this whole topic of needing miracles yesterday and I was expressing some of my own needs in my prayers.  It was an interesting time of prayer because I had the distinct impression that God is always doing miracles, even when we’re unaware.  Some of God’s miracles are small & we can easily overlook them because of the busy-ness and demands of everyday living.  Some of God’s miracles are camouflaged and aren’t as obvious because they’re not very dramatic.  Some of God’s miracles are so big that we altogether miss the experience because we can be so easily focused on something that’s relatively minor.  And sometimes we miss God’s miracles because we get too focused on our methods rather than leaving the method stuff in God’s hands.  So God is always doing miracles because that’s Who God is – miraculous!

Here are some miracles to consider:

  • strength to go through a difficult season
  • wisdom in areas where we are totally inept
  • time
  • provisions that come in unexpected ways
  • healing from bitterness, hurts, unforgiveness, etc
  • nautre – sunrises, sunsets, ocean tides, the immensity of the universe and the minuteness of a quark

Being Offended

There was a woman in Jesus life whom He treated gruffly, He even called her a “dog”, which isn’t quite in the realm of chivalrous behavior. Here’s what was happening: this chick was harassing Jesus’ disciples because she wanted Him to come & heal her daughter but Jesus was ignoring her. When His disciples got fed up with her efforts, they asked Jesus to do something, to which He replied to His disciples that He wasn’t called to help dogs, i.e. this woman. What a slap in the face! He ignores her & then insults her! I know lots of people, myself included, who would sulk away insulted by this kind of treatment. But this chick held on & wasn’t deflected by how Jesus treated her. Her faith was stronger than her feelings & the goal (her daughter getting healed) was the main goal. Lets learn some great lessons from this chick that our faith stays stronger than our feelings & that we keep our eyes steady on the goals that conform to Jesus’ will 🙂

the problem with pain

There are all different kinds of pain: a broken arm, a sunburn, rejection, aggressive words, neglectful behavior, perceived exclusion, disappointment, grief, . . . . . When we are in pain or have pain in our lives we don’t like it, not one bit. But in my mind, a significant challenge with pain is not that we have pain, but rather what we do with it & even how we manage it (rather than letting it manage us). Here are a few bullet thoughts that might merit some consideration:
*forgiveness can interrupt the continual cycle of pain in our relationships
*when we have pain, it’s important that we don’t perpetuate our pain by hurting others
*Jesus came to heal the brokenhearted, He is our ultimate Healer
*we must be vigilent to ensure that pain doesn’t become our identity – a painful person
*focus is an important component with pain – it seems to me that the more we focus on the hurt, the worse it gets
*on the flip side, I’ve discovered that when I keep my focus on Jesus, The Healer, the pain decreases in the light of His majesty

May we experience Jesus as our ultimate Healer for every pain in our lives 🙂

OUCH! rest, ice & elevation

I recently slipped in our big snow storm and hurt my ankle and no, I’m not any good at injuries of any sort.  My norm is just to ignore them & keep going – no time to be gimpy!  Unfortunately, this little ankle thing isn’t responding well to being ignored.

I think the same can be true with us spiritually.  Sometimes there are injuries in our hearts that require some attention.  Here a few ideas that could help:

  • ice:  it cuts back on the swelling and the agitation;  when our hearts are hurt, it’s helpful to cool down before making any decisions or having some conversations (cooling down doesn’t mean simmering to re-load ammunition or nit picking to fester the injury more)
  • elevation:  lifting up our hearts to the Holy Spirit gives space and opportunity for divine involvement, where there is always healing, repair and rejuvenation
  • rest:  sometimes we need to give our hearts a chance to recover and “breath”;  heart trauma or injury often requires some time and processing to get to a place where there can be constructive progress (just be careful that rest doesn’t turn into withdrawal)

Just some helpful ideas for a hurting heart

understated

iguanasi called a friend a few days ago to talk w her about what God had been speaking w me about in my morning prayer time.  i was so thoroughly rocked that i started crying as i talked w her & if you know me at all, crying isn’t part of the normal operating routine.  crying was an outward expression of total amazement at the sense of God’s presence w me in the car at that time, as i tried to share the amazing things God was speaking w me about.  these last few days have been extremely powerful for me on a deeply personal level.  i’m sensing God dealing w me about things that have been difficult for me for a very long time . . . & i feel God walking and talking w me deeply, clearly and with healing. 

This kind of reminds me of an experience i had w God when i was 14 at a summer church camp – i came home w such an intense awareness of God that i sensed Him throughout my entire summer before high school.  My experience over the last few days has been similar & even now as i write, i feel His presence.  i pray that your needs, questions, unknowns, etc serve as paths to a greater interface w God in your daily living, in an ongoing way. 

i’m eager to watch God over the next few weeks, as I begin a series on Wed nights related to fasting & Jesus’ words on fasting in the Sermon on the Mount – come if you can, but at least check out the blogs & feedback from a few days ago about the experience of fasting from lots of different people (their insights, suggestions, frustrations, experiences, etc). 

i’m amazed by God