Being Nervous

I’m not a big fan of being nervous. I usually mess stuff up when I’m nervous, make goofy mistakes & generally present myself poorly. I was on an important phone conversation earlier this week & I found myself getting nervous, stuttering, stumbling & sounding less than brainy :/
So what to do about being nervous? Here are a few helpful ideas:
*prepare ahead of time – usually my biggest downfall
*pray and ask God to give you peace
*stay focused on what’s immediate, not getting overwhelmed by what’s massive
*trust that God is bigger than your humanity & flaws – message out a mess, testimony from a test & redemption from rubble 🙂

Have an awesome weekend!!

just keep going

“I’m resigning.”  I had someone tell me this last year and it was a really big deal to me because this person was doing lots of great stuff for Saving Moses.  When this person quit, I became really discouraged.  It was difficult because I already had a pretty hefty workload & now with this person resigning, I didn’t have anyone available to step into this position.  How would I get all of this work done?  I found myself kind of flailing and floundering, but over the course of a few weeks it became evident that I’d have to just be patient, pray & trust God to fill in this massively important gap.  And in the meantime, I gave myself to do the best I could with this gap.

Sometimes, I can get myself really wound up & uptight.  But over the course of the last year, God has been teaching me many things, including the valuable lesson of trusting God and not leaning on my own efforts.  Keep going my friend, one day at a time and even one step at a time 🙂

Feel free to share this with your friends & family who might be discouraged 🙂

drinking from a fire hydrant

Have you ever had seasons in your life where you feel very overwhelmed?  Sometimes we go through times where it seems like everything is broken & sometimes we go through seasons that just have lots of demands.  Last week, I had one of those weeks – it was the kids last week of school, I had a couple of sermons to prepare, some work deadlines and a few other spinning plates.  I felt like I was drinking from a fire hydrant on full open :/

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Thankfully, this week has a little more breathing room.  Regardless of the demands & pressures on our lives, it always helps me to remember that God is in charge & that I don’t have to be an “expert” on water pressure, time management, resource allocation, solution provision, energy distribution, etc.  While I may have a few talents & skills, God is an expert at everything – most of all, God is an expert at loving us & helping us in our daily living, with or without fire hydrants ,)

agile or fragile

I recently returned from a “quick” trip to Ethiopia, a country that I love for her magnificent people, fabulous coffee & opulent culture!  When I do alot of traveling in a short amount of time, I can often feel rather fragile & sometimes overwhelmed.  This trip, however, has been an interesting experience.  In the past, I’ve taken some time & space to kind of work through the fragile feeling that I experience from the traveling.  This trip is different.  Upon returning home, I’ve been confronted with MASSIVE amounts of work, pressure and demands – add on the jet lag & it could easily be a recipe for catastrophe, without a blink.

BUT

I’ve been praying A WHOLE LOT & I find that God is helping me to be more agile than fragile.  Let’s never neglect to ask God for Help, who is the Holy Spirit 🙂

Are You Puzzled?

My son & I finished a puzzle during Spring Break & I always enjoy the time with my son as well as the therapy of engaging in an entirely different kind of activity that promises a successful outcome. In my thinking, much of life is like a puzzle – sometimes there seem to be random pieces that don’t look like they belong nor fit. Let’s understand that God knows the big picture, how the pieces for together, as well as the middle, edges & timing for the most breathtaking outcomes beyond description. We are all masterpieces in the making!! 🙂

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Likes and dislikes

Here’s some transparency:

  • I do like walking through garbage dumps in Cambodia to find helpless babies, but I don’t like figuring out stuff about makeup (mascara, blush, etc)
  • I do like studying biblical Greek and Hebrew but I don’t like office administrative work
  • I do like dreaming about helping babies in Somalia and the DRC with Saving Moses, but I don’t like the stupid hoops we have to jump through to get visas to help these babies
  • I do like giving the babies of prostitues a safe, clean and loving place to sleep (nightcare) while their moms work but I don’t like getting criticized for empowering prostitution

If you’re like me, our lives are mixed up with lots of things we enjoy and lots of things, not so much.  I find that if I embrace the things I don’t like as much (makeup, administrative work, visa applications, criticism), I will often get to see and experience things about God that I never knew.  Don’t miss the chance to know God better by rejecting things that might be inconvenient or uncomfortable 🙂

staying power

Holy Cow!  That was Jeroboam’s solution to help him stay in power as the king of Israel, even though God had obviously put him in this position.  I was reading this morning (1 Kings 7) about how God spoke to Jeroboam through a prophet & told him that he was going to be the king of Israel.  When Jeroboam became the king, he got really jittery about keeping his power & decided that his kingdom needed it’s own set of gods, festival days, worship routines, etc that would exclude anything from the Temple in Jerusalem or the worship of the true God, as outlined by Moses.

Jeroboam was put in the position of king by God’s power but he didn’t stay long because he decided to trust in his own methods & efforts rather than trusting in God.  In my thinking, there’s no staying power of any lasting value that doesn’t include trusting in our Triune God 🙂

hot topic: unanswered prayer

In my journey with Jesus, I’ve had some frustrations about praying.  When I read John 14:13-14,  “Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it”, Jesus’ words make me think that God will do what I ask, when I ask in Jesus’ name.  However, this hasn’t always been my experience.  I’ve asked God for many things in Jesus’ name and it seems like nothing has happened.  Ever had a similar experience?

So here are a few thoughts that might be helpful with unanswered prayer.  Perhaps our prayers don’t get the answers we want for some of these “reasons”:

  • motives:  we ask with selfish motives – James 4:3,  “You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures.
  • methods:  greater glory for God – in John 11:4, we read that Jesus told His disciples that Lazarus’ sickness would end with great glory for God;  Lazarus’ sisters (Martha & Mary) wanted Lazarus to be healed rather than die, but Jesus had resurrection rather than healing for Lazarus.  We must always remember that God’s ways are higher than our ways (Is 55:8)
  • unbelief:  in Matt 13:58, it says that Jesus didn’t do many miracles in His hometown because of their unbelief;  faith is an important ingredient for praying
  • schedule:  God has a different schedule and timeline than what we think.  In John 7:6, Jesus told His brothers, ““My time is not yet here, but your time is always opportune.'”  There are lots of occassions in the Bible where our timing is out of synch with God
  • maturity:  getting our way on our schedule isn’t always the optimum path God has for our development and intimacy with God.  In James 1:2-4 it says, ‘Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces cendurance. And let aendurance have its perfect result, so that you may be bperfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”

It seems to me that God always answers prayer but maybe not always in the ways or timing that we want 🙂

Don’t Freak Out!!

“LET GO!!!!!”  When I was younger, I went paragliding in China & had virtually no instruction for the paragliding adventure.  Whatever training the paragliding “company” did was in Mandarin & my Mandarin skills don’t have any paragliding vocabulary.  Needless to say, I wasn’t prepared for this undertaking, which of course didn’t stop me – smile.  I strapped into the harness thing, proceeded to jump off the mountain and I had this TOTALLY SHOCKING experience, which I later learned was a thermal.  I caught a wind gust that was like rocket thrusting me straight up!  My mind said, “LET GO!!” and then I thought about my options: let go & fall or hold on & keep going up.  I decided that I preferred the lifting experience over the falling experience, so I held on.  Let’s make the same kind of decision about Jesus when we get in a crisis.  Hold on to Jesus & He will lift us up!

ps – I had an amazing ride with my paragliding experience 🙂

frying pan

Out of the frying pan and into the fire:  I was reading about how David was trying to stay away from King Saul in 1 Samuel because Saul was trying to kill David.  It’s really interesting to me that God sent David a prophet in 1 Sam 22 & told David to leave the stronghold where he was staying & go back to Judah, where he was more vulnerable to Saul’s attempts to kill him – out of the frying pan and into the fire.

No one likes to be uncomfortable or in difficult situations.  If you’re like me, we often look for the paths of least resistance & opposition, along with the areas of greatest safety and comfort.  But clearly, this wasn’t how God was directing David in 1 Sam 22.  It seems to me that we often trust God the least when we are the most comfortable ,)