Mundane can be magnificent

I finished my trip to Angola with Saving Moses & one of the things that continues to hit home with me from this trip is the power of mundane. Having watched the moms of the babies who receive malnutrition formula from us, I’m extremely impressed with the daily commitment to be present & fully engaged in their families. In some ways, these moms exude genuine love. But in some ways, their daily routines could be considered boring & dull. But may we never believe the deception that genuine love is dull or even unimportant just because it can be expressed in daily routines. Genuine love is magnificent!!! And the picture is the “kitchen” our moms use in Angola at our malnutrition clinics w Saving Moses 🙂

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Valentines Day is not a “SAD” day

One of my friends told me that for people who aren’t married or dating, Valentines Day can be SAD – Single Awareness Day. Initially, I kind of chuckled at this acronym, but it also made me think about this. In my opinion, I think it’s very “sad” that we’ve allowed a holiday that’s about love to be turned into something almost entirely devoted to romance. Of course genuine love is more than just romance. Genuine love is about connecting with God & connecting with people – celebrating the amazing ways that we can experience & give love. Genuine love isn’t “sad” 🙂

Valentines Day is not a “SAD” day

One of my friends told me that for people who aren’t married or dating, Valentines Day can be SAD – Single Awareness Day. Initially, I kind of chuckled at this acronym, but it also made me think about this. In my opinion, I think it’s very “sad” that we’ve allowed a holiday that’s about love to be turned into something almost entirely devoted to romance. Of course genuine love is more than just romance. Genuine love is about connecting with God & connecting with people – celebrating the amazing ways that we can experience & give love. Genuine love isn’t “sad” 🙂

Friends are cool!

One of the ways that God expresses Their love (Trinity) to us is through friendships – and we get to also be a conduit through which God can express Their love through us! What a cool way for genuine love to be multiplied 🙂
And here’s my thinking, I think that genuine love is unlimited & cannot be confined, so friendships are one of these ways for love to be demonstrated. God is so cool in all of the different ways that They express love to us!! Saving Moses is another way that God shows genuine love as well 🙂 YAHOOO!!

catching your breath

Well, I’m not sure if I’ve managed this week or if this week has managed me.  At this point, it kind of feels like I might be a victim of this week’s crazy, busy & seasonal madness but there’s a chance that I can still win ,)  

If you’re also feeling the similar seasonal pressures and demands, hopefully the thoughts below can give some peace:

  • God loves you and nothing can increase or decrease that love
  • Jesus, the Prince of Peace, still calms storms, heals hurts & provides essentials
  • there is no hardship or struggle that is bigger than God
  • not everything is mission critical ,)

From trash to treasure :)

I just had an interesting conversation with my kids about how they treat each other when they’re struggling or have had some failure. I’ve noticed that they often don’t want their siblings to know about an area in which they’re struggling because they don’t want to get teased or picked on. Sound familiar? I’ve been thinking about this problem not only with my kids but also with my brothers and sisters in Jesus. Far too often I’ve seen Christians “eat their own”& when we see this kind of treatment it makes us distrustful & reluctant to share about areas in which we struggle or have failure. In my mind, this is a super effective strategy the devil uses to divide & conquer. Jesus personifies redemption & when His disciples failed & had shortcomings, He didn’t toss them in the trash & sever His relationship with them. Jesus is in the restoration & redemption business. As His follower, I want to let His redemption & restoration flow not only to me, but also through me. Just some friendly food for thought on this happy Wednesday 😀

thinking about my dad

When a person whom we love dies, its kind of a surreal journey & that has certainly been true for me with my dad’s death almost 2 months ago.  I’m writing, on occasion, about my thoughts and feelings about his death not to be morbid or to seek for sympathy or attention.  Instead, my intent is to help others who may be going through some grief or loss. With that being said, the first few weeks after my dad died were a bit of a whirlwind – lots of activities, people expressing concern, kindness and an overall sense of busy-ness.  The last month, however, has seemed to settle down in relation to activities related to my dad’s passing.  For me, this has been a more difficult time than when he first died.  I find myself frequently remembering cool things about my dad:

  • when I was 5 years old, he would let me ride on his shoulders when we would go to Israel so that I could see and hear what the tour guides were talking about – helping me experience the Bible in a first hand way
  • he would make his coffee uber strong & playfully threaten to splatter weak coffee all over the wall – a sentiment with which I find myself in more & more agreement ,)
  • stopping for ice cream at Baskin Robbins 31 flavors on the way home from church on Sunday nights & he always ordered (and shared with me) jamocha almond fudge 🙂
  • when I was in junior high, he would come to my basketball games, even though he had absolutely no athletic inclination.  Now more than ever, I totally appreciate what this means – watching jr high girls’ basketball can be a genuine labor of love ,)

So if you’re on a journey that includes grief or loss, I pray that you would continue to celebrate the good memories and characteristics of whoever has passed on and I pray that we can both turn to Jesus to carry our griefs and sorrows.  After all that’s said and done, Jesus loves us and is walking along this journey with us.

Need a friend?

It seems to me that we all need friends in lots of different ways. Thankfully, I’m experiencing God’s provisions in this area, well beyond what I deserve. One of the things I’ve been noticing lately is that God provides all different kinds of friends – friends who help me in areas where I’m very inadequate, friends who receive from God through our relationship, friends who keep things lite ( because I can tend to get too intense), friends who help me to be practical & I help them to be less practical ,) and lots more.
So here’s my thinking: it seems to me that God wants us to experience fellowship with God in LOTS of different ways, particularly through our various relationships & friendships. With this in mind, here are a few essential ingredients for some rich fellowship with God through our various friendships:
*be opulent with forgiveness, understanding that we experience God’s forgiveness toward us far more than we realize 🙂
*be gentle & patient: relationships grow & flourish well in an atmosphere of patience & gentleness
*listen & be present: answers & advice can often be less important than presence
*genuine love: the purest context to experience & get to know God

Since my dad died . . .

My dad passed away almost 3 weeks ago & it’s been an interesting journey. I’m really blown away by how kind & generous people have been in so many different ways. Both my mom & I are deeply touched with the prayers & love that we have received. “Thank you so much” is altogether inadequate. Nevertheless, thank you!!
For my journey, these are a few observations:
*i feel more deeply & it seems like I’m more sensitive
*I’m really appreciating the various people that God brings to listen & be present – these are very tangible expressions of God’s love for me at the present
*patience to walk through each day with its various demands & surprises
*some things that have been helpful: drinking lots of water & taking walks 🙂

Again, thank you more than words can say for the kind words, love & prayers! Our celebration service for dad is this Sun, 11 Nov at 6pm at ORCC if you can join us 🙂

Something encouraging

I was reading this morning about how Jacob in the bible married Leah & Rachel. The Bible says that Leah was hated but Rachel was loved. There’s lots to be said about these marriages, but I love that Leah looked to God for strength & help – naming her 1st 4 sons: Reuben (God sees me), Simeon (God hears me), Levi (attached) & Judah (I praise God).
Regardless of what’s happening in your life:
*God sees you & has compassion on you
*God is listening with ears of lovingkindness
*attached – let yourself be completely attached to God
*never neglect to praise & give honor to God 🙂