Yesterday, Joan Rivers died and this was big news for various circles. Honestly, I didn’t really know much about Joan Rivers until her death. Thankfully, my husband knows a little something about everything, so he quickly brought me up to speed. Having looked through some of her style of comedy, it’s not what appeals to me, except on one very important level. She maintained an element of truth in her comedy, despite being coarse, biting and even degrading. While I don’t appreciate humor that degrades others, I do appreciate truth and in that way, I choose to give honor to Joan for this part of how she presented her comedy.
It’s always easy to find bad things about people, but with her passing, let’s find the things that were valuable to honor their memory moreso than maximizing their failures, shortcomings and flaws 🙂
I’m a sucker for compliments and maybe you are as well. I like to be told that I preached a powerful message, that I’m a great mom, I’m an excellent wife and I could keep going with a really long list. Compliments are frequently really helpful, unless you get them from someone who you know isn’t a friend. Compliments from people who are not your friends can be poisonous because the compliments are often insincere. If you think about it, people who don’t have your best interests at heart can and will say anything nice to you because they don’t have any “skin in the game”.
In contrast, people who are genuinely your friend will tell you things that could be difficult to hear:
your zipper is unzipped,
you’ve been really cranky lately,
your thinking is really messed up,
that’s not a good color on you, etc
In Prov 27:6 it says that the wounds of a friend are faithful but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful. Don’t fall for deceitful kisses!
If the devil can get you to question or doubt God’s character than you’ve moved into a very dangerous place. If you think about it, that’s exactly what the snake did to Eve in the Garden of Eden – question God’s motives and character. Consider this: God is love, so God is always loving. When we think that God is sometimes unfaithful, unreliable or not helping us, then we’ve already eaten the apple with which the snake was tempting Eve. Some things about God that never change, regardless of how we feel or what we’re going through: God is love, all-powerful, ever-present, our Helper, all-knowing and steadfast. Don’t fall for any decptions that might cause you to think differently about who God is in your life! 🙂
“I’m not your enemy, please stop fighting me!” I said to one of my kids recently. Enemies can be very interesting as I’ve seen from reading about King David in 1 & 2 Samuel. He was an interesting man and had many of the challenges in his life that we face – external & internal enemies.
David’s external enemies were people who opposed his progress – people who didn’t want him to be king, his brothers who derided him for being the troublesome little brother, Nabal who thought he was just another slacker looking for a handout, etc. We all have people & even situations in our lives that seem to oppose our progress and efforts to accomplish things & to go places. Perhaps we have external enemies to develop internal strength & fortitude.
David also had several internal enemies. In my opinion, David’s internal enemies were more harmful to him than his external enemies. Here are some internal enemies that David had, that might be familiar to us:
focus: David didn’t control his focus & therefore his passions which resulted in his relationship with Bathsheba & the death of her husband, Uriah (read Ps 51)
confronting: David didn’t confront his son Amnon about raping Tamar (Amnon’s half-sister); David didn’t confront Absalom about killing Amnon; both occasions combined to make for heartache in David’s life (killing, rejection, dishonor, rebellion, relationship breakdown, etc)
counting: at the end of David’s reign, he made a decree for the Israelites to be counted. Perhaps David wanted this census to measure his success, power, influence, etc. I don’t know why David made this census, but it was displeasing to God – some kind of wrong motive.
Let’s be attentive to the weakspots / enemies in our hearts & thinking – they can most certainly be more destructive than any external enemy 🙂
My family had a really wonderful Christmas break full of fun, snuggling, coziness, time, laughing, great food and a well needed exhale. I’m extremely happy that God gives us exactly what we need, when we need it! As an interesting side note, one of my kids had to do some extra school work for catching up in class. This child seemed to think that putting in 20% effort would be enough to squeeze by. Needless to say after checking this homework, I helped this child to have an education revelation related to effort, quality and general work ethic 🙂
I’m learning a lot from my kids that I probably should have learned much earlier in my life – but alas, better late than never! So here’s a great lesson from the education revelation over Christmas break:
I’d rather deal with the pain that can come from truth than the destruction than can come from deception.
We get to work with a really cool team of people & Tues mornings we make some time, as a team, to connect with God. This morning, we did an exercise around the definition of love in 1 Cor 13: love is & love is not. One of the things that is continuing to linger with me after this exercise is that love isn’t arrogant. I’ve been thinking about this idea & here are a few things for your consideration:
love connects but arrogance repels
arrogance is an exalted but erroneous perception of self
From time to time, I like to have people over for dinner & to make a nice meal. My goal is to have some nice fellowship time, to relax and enjoy their company. My goal isn’t to impress them with any cooking skill – if I was doing that, we’d probably need to take them to a nice restaurant. I’m not trying to present a pristine house that is as well kept as a museum or mausoleum. I’m also not trying to make my family seem like they’re people different than who they really are. My goal is simply to have some great fellowship & hopefully the food won’t be a disastrous distraction 🙂
Sometimes in life, I have to be careful to think about my goals & I find that I ask myself some important questions from time to time:
what is my motivation? Am I behaving based on an insecurity or a false perception?
what do I really want? Image can sometimes be an elusive adventure into empty froth
what is God saying in the midst of all of this? Am I pursuing the results of God’s presence or Their actual presence?
I like it in 2 Cor 5:9 where Paul says that he makes it his goal to please Christ – sounds like a noble & good goal to me 🙂
This last Sat, I had my small group study & we’re watching a video series. This last Sat was our 2nd video & one of my friends was walking by & commented about how pink the color of the picture was on the TV. I thought his comment was funny & said that it was this pink last week – “Was it supposed to be a different color?”, I asked. He explained that the pink was definitely a color aberration. So we both looked around at the DVD player & noticed that the blue plug was unplugged from the back of the player. When he plugged it in, suddenly the color on the TV screen lost the overpowering pink tones and cleared up into a more normal scheme. I laughed because I would have just kept on watching the pink DVD & thought nothing of a color problem.
So here’s my point: I think that if we don’t allow the Holy Spirit to express Himself in our lives, we’ll walk around in deception, thinking that a “pink” life is normal. The reason I say this is because one of the first descriptions that Jesus gives of the Holy Spirit, is the Spirit of truth (John 14:16-17). One of the greatest needs in my life is for the Holy Spirit to immunize me from self-deception because I can most certainly throw out some very convincing self-deception schemes. I want to love Truth more than deception 🙂
I’ve been praying about what to write about today & I feel strongly impressed to share some truths that never change. These truths are about you. You are:
significant and important – because of Who made you, you are a VIP. Your title, achievements, awards, etc are not what make you significant & important, even though they can help you to feel this truth. But remember that you are significant & important regardless of how you feel
valuable and highly treasured – for the simple reason that God loves you, this makes you valuable
you have purpose – there are MANY reasons for your existence & you have lots of assignments that God has put into your life. From God’s perspective, all of the purposes & assignments in your life are important – none are insignificant nor trivial
Please be encouraged today by these timeless & unchanging truths & may they continually remind you of the Father’s immeasurable love for you that pervades the entirety of our lives 🙂
i 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).