This is a common phrase that I hearwhen someone wants to acknowledge a difference & not be excessively hostile. In general, I like the premise of this phrase, but it unravels quickly when the other person oversteps their personhood & begins trampling on you.
For example, even though Joseph had expressed clear limits to Potiphar’s wife, she exceeded his boundary & tried to force him to have sex with her. This turned out bad for Joseph, even though he did the right thing. While we may try to be respectful & do the right thing, not everyone follows those same convictions. And if things go south for you, like they did for Joseph, you can rest assured that God works everything to our good, as we keep loving God & stay true to His purposes. Just some food for thought for your wonderful weekend 🙂
As I parent my own teenagers, I am increasingly recognizing the boatloads of magnificent stuff my parents invested in me when I was growing up & I’m massively grateful! Much of my appreciation for the Bible, beauty & creativity, as well as Holy Spirit can largely be attributed to my parents & their influence on me. Additionally, my parents taught me heaps about doing what’s difficult, rather than shying away.
Do you have difficult things in your life? Difficult things can include: internal mindsets, challenging work situations, relationships, school classes, bad habits, etc. Here are some verses that you could pray to help you do what’s difficult:
Phil 4:13, I can do all things through Christ who strengths me
1John 4:4, Greater is He Who is in you than he that is in the world
2Cor 2:14, God leads us into triumph
Rom 5:5, God’s love is poured into your heart through the Holy Spirit
James 1:5, Ask God for wisdom & He’ll give it to you liberally
Feel free to send this to anyone you know who could be struggling to do difficult things!
Summer has started in full swing so that means a big shift for me w the day to day schedule & my kids being done with school. So I feel like I’m in the middle of a hurry scurry season, running everywhere & trying to help my kids have an enjoyable & productive Summer.
I think we all go through seasons in life where we are very busy & some not as much. No matter what the season of our life, let’s stay attentive to Jesus’ presence in our lives. Let’s stay steady with our daily prayer & Bible time to keep our hearts stable regardless of the season 🙂
My three teenage kids have learning curves with lots of stuff, as do I.And part of what means to be human is learning. I think that it’s good to always be learning because this helps us to continually grow. So here are some helpful ideas for daily learning:
No shame – don’t belittle yourself or others for what is not known or the lack of proficiency.
Celebrate progress – don’t let “perfect” sabotage progress.
Learning differences – everyone learns in unique ways.
Committed to learn – may there never be a day when we don’t learn
Be gentle – we learn better with grace rather than harsh 🙂
Recently, my kids picked up a congestion bug and they’ve been hacking along the phlegm spectrum. This started with one of my boys and the other two caught this bug. In the last several days, I have felt some of these symptoms trying to creep into my breathing, so I’ve been vigilante to take extra vitamins and drink more water.
Usually, we don’t think of things that are contagious in very positive ways. We don’t want to “catch” the cold, flu, yellow fever, etc. But let’s also consider that sometimes, we can also “catch” another person’s insecurity, fear, arrogance and other such distasteful traits. Instead, let’s make intentional decisions to be gracious, patient, compassionate, gentle, truthful (Fruits of the Spirit) and just maybe other people will “catch” some healthy traits for our communications and relationships! Let’s allow Holy Spirit to work life and health into our souls so that we are contagions of genuine love!
I found dead baby rabbits in our basement & it was disturbing. They found a hole under our front porch to burrow down & squeeze into our basement. So when I was changing the furnace filter, I found their decaying bodies much to my shock. I was really unnerved with finding them, so I made my boys use a snow shovel to scoop their bodies into the garage trash. Yesterday, I made the executive decision to keep the garage trash on the driveway outside, because the decomposing carcasses are beyond odious.
Death stinks – full stop. Paul tells us in Romans 8 that the mind set on the flesh is death & a fleshly mindset is very noxious. So consider where there might be some smelly areas in your life because these areas might be rotting from fleshly thinking. Fumes like insecurity, pride, fear, deception, isolation, manipulation, blame, etc smell bad because they’re rooted in a mind set on the flesh. Let’s be committed to cultivating a mind set on Holy Spirit, so we can smell like life & peace!
It’s interesting to scroll through various social media platforms & look at the abundant advice about how to be successful. When I read through some of this advice, I always walk away asking, “What is success?”
living a comfortable life, without conflict or drama?
having heaps of money, recognition, achievements or a glam image?
living a balanced life, all things regulated & controlled for maximum mediocrity?
What is success?In Jeremiah 9:23-24 it says,“Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches;24 but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things,” declares the Lord.”
So maybe the most simple definition of biblical success is knowing & loving God, as well as loving our neighbor & ourselves.Have an awesome Memorial Day weekend living successfully!
This morning I tried a new breakfast: quinoa, almonds, blueberries & maple syrup. It was ok for my first attempt & I know it’s better for me than bacon & a cheese omeletteso you m endeavoring to make healthy decisions.
The same can be said for decisions we make about our souls. Here are a few decisions that are good for the soul:
Forgiveness:keeps the grudge venom neutralized
Encouragement:keeps us with positive thoughts about people
Gratitude: keeps us looking for good
Trust: keeps us actively declining worry & leaning on God
Life seems to have seasons that are stormy, despite our best efforts for stability, serenity & certainty. Stormy seasons can include: getting laid off from a job, a marital crisis, a literal tornado, health accident or diagnosis and LOADS more. If we’ve invited Jesus into our lives as storm prevention insurance, there’s a good chance that we’ll be disappointed. I say this because Jesus never promises us that walking with Him will prevent all storms. Indeed, walking with Jesus can make for some stormy times in life, both in our interior and exterior.
The exterior stormy seasons happen for lots of reasons, but thankfully Jesus gives us peace on the inside that can be greater than the external storm. Sometimes we have seasons in our lives where our guts feel stormy: when we’re unsettled, hurt, disappointed with God, wrestling with temptation, feeling discouraged, depleted or depressed, etc.
I’m thankful that Jesus is the Prince of Peace and that there is no storm, internal or external, that Jesus cannot calm. Let’s keep our eyes on Jesus, no matter the season of life in which we find ourselves!
There’s running banter betweeen DC & Marvel fans about which brand of hero entertainment is better. Each side seems to have it’s own strengths & shortfalls, each hero having a fatal flaw: Superman has his kryptonite & Ironman has his arrogance (or whatever you deem to be his weakness). And that’s the rub with the human race – we can have our moments of glory & splendor with dark quagmires nipping the heels of grandeur.
Enter Jesus who is the ultimate flawless superhero. Jesus is all-powerful, all-knowing and present everywhere. If Jesus has any weak spot, it would be His affection and devotion to you and me. Jesus continues to go to inexplainable extremes to keep us reconciled to Himself, infused with genuine love. Let’s be committed to worshipping the real hero of the human race: Jesus Christ!
“Here ya go!” As I was standing on the sidewalk on cold winter day, my friend flung me a seriously AWESOME winter cap that she had made me. I caught the cap with utter shock, checked it out & beamed from ear to ear. She had knit me this thoroughly magnificnet blue & white cap that has been my favorite for years. She later explained that she had to figure out a creative way to get the cap into my hands because of my difficulty to receive gifts.
Each of us have quirky hangups that can create obstacles for connecting in healthy ways with others. Maybe you have a sense of superiority over others & feel the need to help them improve – that’s an obstacle for connecting. Perhaps you see yourself as a victim from a past trauma or abuse, so it’s difficult for you to trust, another obstacle. I could endlessly list all kinds of obstacles we may have for connecting with others, but let’s be thankful that God has already overcome all of our obstacles and quirks because of genuine love. While there may be hindrances and obstacles along our horizontal journey, our vertical relationship with God is never in peril nor compromised – for the simple reason that God never stops loving us. His lovingkindness is everlasting!
I like the “easy button” and easy for me includes: washing dishes, ironing, international travel, languages, grocery shopping, simple cooking and reading my Bible. In contrast, I don’t like to do stuff that’s hard, which includes: getting in shape, seeing suffering babies, recovering from jet lag and being gracious rather than snarky.
No doubt, you have your own lists of things that are easy and hard. But just because something is hard, doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be done or we shouldn’t try to do it. I say this because of my morning Bible reading in Philippians 2:7, where Paul says about Jesus, “He emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.” This verse speaks to Jesus entering the human race, from start to finish, and experiencing human existence. From my perspective, I would think that might have been difficult for Jesus to do – but He did it nonetheless.
If God asks you to do hard stuff, ask for divine Help and try! Whethere something is hard or easy, let’s pre-decide to remain obedient and faithful to God!
Did you know that your skin is the largest organ on your body?This morning I had an appointment with the skin doctor to look at a spot that was suspicious. My dad had super fair skin, which I inherited, so I’m trying to pay attention to my skin & avoid bad stuff.
The whole skin thing is yet another example of God’s grandeur & intricacy. Not only does God make our bodies with massive complexity, filled with elaborate parts & pieces all working together with symphonic elegance, but then all that sophistication gets squeezed into skin.And skin is easily overlooked.
Feel free to sit in the reality that you are fearfully & wonderfully made by your attentive & loving Heavenly Father!
I’m making my way back to Denver from Angola Africa, where I’ve been for a week working with our baby malnutrition initiative with Saving Moses. I think this is my 6th trip to Angola & it never fails to bring me to my knees, almost literally.
On this trip, I’ve never seen, held or experienced so many malnourished babies possibly combined in my whole life – over the course of close to 5days. And I’m coming home with all of these experiences swirling in my heart, thoughts & emotions. Clearly, this will be a journey for processing, literally. And at the same time, I’m compelled to do more.
It seems to me like we all want to do more. But I wonder if we want to do more of the right stuff?Sometimes maybe we should think about what it means to “do more” prayerfully considering if our more is being directed by God.
I’ve never had a day Ike today, feeling overwhelmed & inadequate to everything around me. I visited one of our malnutrition clinics here in Angola & when we landed this morning, there were 98 babies who were being looked after for malnutrition. That’s a HEAP OF BABIES & I’ve never experienced malnutrition in such high numbers. So walking around the buildings this morning, I seeing babies at various severities of malnutrition, this was definitely challenging. And I don’t find myself numb from the sheer numbers of babies. I’m able to recognize the distended bellies, stringy arms, knobby knees, glassy eyes, xylophone ribs, lightened hair . . . . I know the symptoms & it’s difficult to see each baby struggling to survive, along w each mom, abundantly stretched with worry & care from looking after their baby whom they deeply love.
By the time we left this afternoon, the clinic had 125 babies & everyone was trying to figure out where to let everyone settle for some space & hopeful rest / recovery.
When I’m past my breaking point, it helps me remember that whatever we do to the least, we do to Jesus. So let’s love well, no matter where we are nor what’s happening around us.
When I’m in a malnutrition clinic here in Angola, I’m delighted to hear crying babies drown out any cricket noises. A crying baby in a malnutrition clinic means they have enough strength to cry. A quiet & lethargic baby in a malnutrition clinic can be very disturbing to me. It’s even worse when a quiet baby in these clinics looks into my eyes & I don’t see anything beyond a glassy stare.
I’ve just spent the day at one of our 6 malnutrition clinics here in Angola & it’s uniquely unraveling to watch a baby struggle to survive.Add in a stretched thin mom, worried for her baby’s life, and this can become very unsettling. So how do I process not just one mom & baby in this scenario but not less than ten?
It helps to pray, for sure & it helps me to spend time & give genuine love. I know that God lives to spend time with you & enjoys your company!
Arriving & Improving: I prefer arriving over improving because to me the difference is destination versus journey. And yet here in Angola, with Saving Moses, I’m reminding myself that improvement is an essential ingredient for destination & change.
I say this having driven by one of our malnutrition clinics today & observing the improvements to the lodging arrangements. In the past, this clinic had 3 large huts, poorly ventilated & lit, concrete floors & abundant flies. Today, the lodging has vastly improved – I’ll describe it here on my blog tomorrow.
And still I see friendly moms with malnourished babies, waiting daily for their baby to improve & hopefully return home healthy & strong. Malnourished babies & toddlers meet your eyes with a dull stare or achy eyes. Their motions are lethargic & labored, so as to minimize the energy expense. Sometimes their bellies are swollen with edema & almost always their ribcages look like xylophone strips. And their heads are disproportionately large on their underdeveloped frames.
So when I see babies in these conditions, it’s difficult to look at the building improvements because people always trump facilities. Nonetheless, I can choose to celebrate progress even if I have yet to see the full realization of helping Angola live in the state of declining infant mortality.
I’m in Germany & slowly making my way to Angola for some work with Saving Moses & our malnutrition clinics there. Our layover in Germany afforded some time to get out of the airport & catch a train to a nearby city. Unfortunately, I wasn’t paying attention to the train stops, so we went too far & included some extra sightseeing. I felt like an idiot because I’m not an amateur traveler & this isn’t my first train ride in Germany.
But we kept trying & alas, had a lovely afternoon outside of the airport, with delicious food, glorious sun & some nice walking.
Just because we make a mistake doesn’t mean that we quit trying. Mistakes can be frustrating but also informative & sometimes God has some unique opportunities to redeem our mistakes, if we keep a healthy attitude & humble heart 🙂