It’s interesting that we call today Black Friday & the day that Jesus died Good Friday – arevealing choice of adjectives for these respective events.
Today is when lots of people do some Christmas shopping & the retail industry attempts to lure us with discounts, sales, bargains, etc. For many people, today is indeed Black Friday, a day to denote financial difficulties. On a more introspective note, Black Friday can often be an indication of black thinking: darkness in the mind about how we see ourselves, our achievements & value, various relationships, external expectations, etc.
Instead of thinking of today as Black Friday, let’s celebrate that Jesus is the Light of the world & He has come into human existence to remove the darkness from our lives
Cooking a turkey has the potential to be a dance with disaster. I know this to be true, based in years of practice & research. But this year is likely to be different, probably. I say this because of not only years of practice & failures but also because of preparation.
I’m learning that I can avoid lots of disasters with a little bit of preparation. For example, Gideon in the book of Judges, avoided various disasters because he walked a path of preparation with God. Seems to me that God primed Gideon for his massive victory over the Midianites through extensive preparation: angel visitation, tearing down an altar to idolatry, fleece adventures, people screening & even eavesdropping.
I may not always enjoy the preparation process but I certainly like the outcomes better than the results of poor preparation. Let’s be careful not to belittle the process of preparation
“How come all these awful things have happened?” Ever ask God this kind of a question? I think probably everyone alive has asked God some variation of this question & the Bible shows people asking God the same stuff.
I’m reading about Gideon & I seriously appreciate his honesty with the angel at the beginning of their conversation: If God is with us, how come all this stuff has happened to us? This was in reply the the angel’s salutation, “The Lord is with you, valiant warrior”
Gideon’s initial behavior & words didn’t really confirm that he was a valiant warrior & if we are honest, there are lots of times when our behavior & words don’t express that we are valiant. Nevertheless, God knows our substance & potential so God speaks to our true self rather than the smokescreen insecurities we wear. Not only does God call us by our true identity but God also helps us know who He is, as Gideon acknowledges when he experiences God as the Lord our peace in Judges 6:23-24.
So let’s make it a premium value to be honest with God so that we can honestly know God
One of my favorite Bible stories is David & Goliath so I always find myself cheering for the underdog. I’m also deeply inspired by David’s courage & confidence in God. There have been innumerable occasions in my life when I’ve encouraged myself with David, a mere shepherd, defeating a giant seasoned warrior.
These points can help all of us when we confront various giants in our lives:
David’s confidence was in God & no one else
David didn’t fight as a warrior but rather from who he was – a shepherd (Saul’s armor didn’t fit & he used a sling for his weapon)
David had to stand against his brother’s derision & insults – sometimes families aren’t the supportive people we desire
David had to speak up & assert himself rather than be a meek & docile wallflower – he let himself be recognized & known
David recognized that previous struggles were practice for Goliath (lion & bear)
Lets allow God to help us be good at who we are rather than pretending or projecting to be someone we are not!
If you’ve kept up on the news, you’re probably aware of the ISIS attacks in Paris over the weekend, leaving almost 130 dead, along with massive numbers injured, a city badly shaken & many of us outraged. Truthfully, I find myself very conflicted with topic. Not only have there been attacks in Paris, but recently, a Russian plane crashed in Egypt from a terrorist attack & there’s also been an attack in Beirut leaving 43 dead & 239 injured. To make these atrocities even more barbaric, the ISIS propaganda machinery applauds these attacks and wants a bloodbath across the world, taking aim & great pleasure in particular against “Christian” nations.
My initial reaction to this crazy is to support equal if not escalated retribution & I can make a really reasonable case to neutralize this kind of crazy, with whatever means necessary. And revenge, according to Alfred Hitchcock, is sweet and not fattening. But revenge is not the path of following Jesus. Indeed, Jesus told us to turn the other cheek to our enemies, to repay evil with good and to bless when we receive cursing. Revenge is the level playing field, but as a follower of Jesus, we get to walk in a higher plane and make choices that are grounded in genuine love. Let’s pray for, bless and love well, with the help of the Holy Spirit
Today is an important day for Saving Moses, as we are praying, planning & strategizing for what God wants to do with Saving Moses in 2016. Days like this are important & they are have very massive impact for what we do in 2016, as well as how we do those significant goals.
We have this annual meeting at my house, so there are things that I do to prepare: clean the house, get coffee / tea ready, my husband made fresh biscuits this morning for everyone, I’ve made some good plans for lunch & some other things. Suffice it to say that I’ve prepared for this meeting with logistical foresight, mostly. But the most important thing I can do for this meeting is pre-prayer.
Let’s always remember that prayer is foundation for all of our preparation, so let’s always pre-prayer for each day J
I seriously love to watch people. I love to watch their facial expressions, the way they interact with others, the creative clothing combinations and lots more! I love to see that despite our best efforts to fit in, we each have our distinct individuality – reflections of our infinitely creative Divine Designer. When I listen to people, I hear ideas & perspectives that I’ve never considered before, leaving me sometimes awestruck.
All of this leaves me fully appreciating the reality that we are each fearfully & wonderfully made, in the image of God, valuable far beyond any human estimation or transaction. All of this originates from the fundamental premise that we are unconditionally loved by our Creator.