closed doors

I prefer open doors rather than closed doors, but it seems to me that God leads us not only with open doors, but also with doors that are shut airtight.  Sometimes it bugs me when a door is closed to me & I can take it as personal rejection, which is always tough.  But if I choose to see a closed door as part of God’s guidance, then it doesn’t seem to hurt as much & doesn’t feel quite so personal.  It also helps me to remember that the Apostle Paul had his fair share of closed doors, many of which he was locked behind as a prisoner!

Let’s consider that God has the right doors to open for us & we can trust that God is working all things together for our good as we stay in love with God & stay true to the divine purposes in our lives!

Concussion Writing

Recently I had a snowboarding accident, landed on my head and got a concussion, despite wearing a helmet.  Clearly, this is not a pleasant experience and the recovery feels slow, to this fairly impatient person 🙂

Writing with a concussion is an interesting experience.  I find that my thinking is slower than normal and sometimes it feels like my writing is murky.  So here’s my solution:  Heavenly Help 🙂

Truth be known, in some ways this concussion experience has helped me lean into the Holy Spirit like I’ve never done before and the results are super encouraging!  For example, last night, I attended a school function with one of my kids where I’d normally be super insecure and awkward.  Instead, last night I felt lots of strength and confidence from the Holy Spirit and left the event not only relieved but also very pleased and secure in the Holy Spirit’s very practical help and strength.  This whole concussion thing can really help me grow deeper in my relationship with the Helper and that, my friends, is the best thing in the world!

Be Good at You

  
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!

Hard but not Impossible

Kind of impossible: a few years ago I was trying to make my husband a banana cream pie (my first attempt) & instead of toasting meringue (which my husband hates), I topped it with homemade whipped cream & then I tried to toast the whipped cream. Suffice it to say that we had banana cream soup & not pie. I learned from this adventure that it’s impossible to toast whipped cream without some scientific intervention. 

Just because something is hard or difficult doesn’t mean that it’s impossible. Indeed, in my relationship with Jesus, I’m learning that most of what He asks from me always seems to meander through both areas of difficult & impossible, thereby forcing me to grow in trusting Jesus more than trying to do what He says in my own strength or wisdom  
With Jesus, things can be difficult be never impossible, except maybe for toasting whipped cream ,)

internal conversations

It’s important to consider / take an inventory of the thoughts that we allow to run around in our minds.  Such thoughts can have a significant impact on our decisions & behaviors.  For example, there have been many occassions where I’ve been in situations that were way beyond my skill set & I was in way over my head (sometimes in various leadership roles, sometimes in athletic competitions & often in my role as a mom).  There have also been situations where I’ve felt entirely confident, secure & proficient, to the point of being over-confident, cocky & even arrogant.

What we think in our minds is extremely important & I was reminded of this lesson from reading about the woman with the issue of blood in Matthew 9:21. In this verse it says, “. . . . ‘she said in herself, if I can touch the hem of His garment, I will be healed.'”  The outcome of the story is that she was healed, but her mindset was an important ingredient for her healing.  Some take aways from her internal conversation:

  • keep your eyes on Jesus more than fear, inabilty or even talent
  • nothing is impossible with Jesus
  • don’t quit / give up 🙂

Happy Labor Day Weekend!

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 🙂

tricksy, I say!

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! 🙂

A little sunshine

A little sunshine is good for the soul. So here are some sunshine thoughts for your weekend:
*you are a wonderful person who is infinitely loved by the Creator of the universe
*being selfish makes the day cloudy
*always keep some sonshine in your heart no matter what’s happening
*the sun is always shining regardless of clouds or the night
*being warm & friendly is a great way to give off some sunshine
*the world in which we live needs lots of sunshine 🙂

Better thoughts

I’ve had some interesting interactions with people of late. Some of these interactions were in the intimidating & bully category. Being on the receiving end of the intimidation efforts, I can’t say that it was a pleasurable experience. And there have been more than a few occasions where I wanted to return some of that bullying.
Nevertheless, I decided with God’s help to look in my mind for some better thoughts & here are a few ideas for better thoughts:
*if God is for me, then who can be against me?
*I am more than a conqueror because of Jesus’ resurrection
*love never fails
*in God’s hands, a temporary affliction can turned into some heavy duty glory
*all things work to my benefit as I
Continue to stay in love with Jesus & true to His purposes in my life 🙂

Make the decision with me to choose better thoughts 🙂

what is impossible?

Sometimes it seems like my life is filled with  impossibilities   – things I want to accomplish, but they seem almost stupid to consider because of the difficulties associated with these things.  One of these things is my dream with Saving Moses to see Night Care become a multiplied reality throughout all of Asia (Night care is the care & oversight for infants & toddlers during the evening hours while their moms are working in prostitution.  On this topic, please do not judge the importance of this project, based on the profession of these moms).  Nevertheless, many of these dreams & goals seem more than lofty – they seem impossible, when I only look at them.

However, when I look at these dreams in the context of my loving Heavenly Father, I sometimes feel like my dreams are too small, based on the immensity of my Father.  So in this conundrum, I find myself taking one day at a time, making a little progress here & there, but knowing in my heart that no dream is impossible with God, including yours!!

aid for charades

Charades is a fun game to act out lots of different things.  If you’ve played this game in a group, you know that you’re supposed to act something out & help your team guess your word(s) based on your acting.  This game can be lots of fun, but unfortunately, I think we play this game in our life, from time to time.  Here are a few examples:

  • Sometimes I think we pretend to be humble, when the reality is that we’re merely insecure.
  • Sometimes I think we pretend to be confident when the reality is that we’re arrogant
  • Sometimes I think we pretend to be peaceful when the reality is that we’re apathetic
  • Sometimes I think we pretend to be strong when the reality is that we’re scared
There are lots of other ways we live the charade game & ultimately, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with wanting to be humble, confident, peaceful, strong, etc.  But my sense is that we can’t really have these things well integrated into our lives as a normal reality without God’s help.  Just some food for thought 🙂

some advice for job interviews :)

 For various reasons, I get to be part of job interviews from time to time.  I was expressing some of my advice to my kids last night at dinner about some important things to do & not do, when interviewing for a job so I thought I’d pass along a few of these ideas.  You are, of course, welcome to disagree, comment & make adjustments with these ideas, but I thought I’d throw out a few thoughts:

  • you only get one opportunity to make a 1st impression, so be intentional about what impression you want to make on people (clothing, resume, intelligent, professional, helpful, etc)
  • be confident but not cocky – present yourself as a person who wants to add value & solve problems
  • if you interview by skype, look at the person on the screen as if you’re having a conversation because you are 🙂  If you fidget, look away, take phone calls, etc this makes the person doing the interview feel like you’re not interested
  • don’t be on time, be early, only if you want to seriously be considered for the job
  • research the company for whom you’re applying – this tells them that you want to work there;  find out what is important to the company
  • if possible, be prepared with samples of your work related to the job interview or with a plan of how you have thought about doing the job for which you’re interviewing
  • pray – everyone needs some divine help 🙂
Just a few ideas 🙂