Over the last several weeks, I’ve been purposely working out to improve my fitness, mental clarity & stamina. It’s been nice this go around for lots of reasons & I’ve experienced some wonderful spiritual lessons:
Beginning is harder than maintaining: starting a spiritual discipline (daily prayer, consistent church attendance, Bible reading, fasting, etc) requires more effort than maintaining the discipline
Social fun: I’ve allowed people to be involved with my exercise & it’s been very enjoyable; the parallel holds true with spiritual growth as well – we need people in our lives on this spiritual maturity journey
Too rigorous: last week, I got a migraine largely because I was too hard on my body; in a similar way, let’s be careful to have a balanced spiritual walk in our daily living
With these suggestions, I pray that you grow spiritually & that your inner man is strengthened with the presence of the Holy Spirit – Eph 3:16 🙂
I like the sizzle. This means that stuff that’s fun, exciting, zingy & zesty catch my attention. I would suspect that possibly on occasion, you’ve also been attracted to stuff that sizzles. But it’s often true that sizzle stuff doesn’t always endure.
Regardless of the presence of absence of sizzle, what’s important is to stay the course & endure! Sizzles fizzle, but endurance wins the prize. I say this based on Mathew 25:23 where Jesus says, “Well done, My good & faithful servant.” Let’s remain faithful & steady regardless of the presence or absence of any sizzle!
We are on the homestretch with this lovely Christmas season & this makes me happy, today. There have been years when I found myself wrapping packages at 11:30pm on Christmas Eve, on the verge of an emotional meltdown, feeling overwhelmed with the work I still had to do and no time. Sometimes I can struggle with some procrastination challenges – hmmmmmm
Final countdown modes can help us be hyper-productive. But I think there’s better value in steady and consistent work than massive bursts of energy with stress and pressure.
Here are some things to think about for steady and consistent:
Let’s be consistent with love, particularly with the people who get on our nerves
Let’s be steady with healthy daily routines: eating, working out, drinking water, etc
Let’s stay consistent with growing and improving ourselves in wisdom
The most important thing for our consistency is maintaining our daily Bible & prayer time – nothing keeps us from drowning or being a victim to devotion than this discipline
Palm Sunday is possibly my favorite Sunday on the calendar. It’s the day when we celebrate Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem at the beginning of Holy Week. It’s the day when Jerusalem turned out to hail with great exuberance Jesus’ arrival. Everyone was shouting “Hosanna in the highest!” (rejoice, hail to the Savior, celebrate, honor & revere), throwing down coats. cloaks and palm leaves on the road Jesus was traveling. Boatloads of celebration, excitement, anticipation and eager jubilation were the order of the day when Jesus came into Jerusalem. These are some possibilities that were going on that day:
some people thought Jesus would set the Jews free from Roman oppression
some people thought Jesus would upend the religious leaders who preyed on their already overcome countrymen
some people thought that Jesus would do His cool miracle stuff with free food, healings and cool special effects
It seems to me that everyone on Palm Sunday isn’t that much different than many of us today who expect Jesus to conform to our narrow needs & viewpoints. Nevertheless, Jesus knew that despite this great outpouring of celebration & honor that human depravity would murder Him with barbaric savagery in a few short days.
Palm Sunday is when we see the greatest contrast between our ever faithful Jesus & the ever fickle humanity. Hosanna in the highest, our God is consistent, loving and ever faithful!!
I went to wake up one of my kids this morning & they were kind of cranky. Their precise words were, “Mom, would you please get out of my room.” Last night, this same child was really snugly & wanted me to stay & cuddle, so it can be a little tricky sometimes knowing what their mind frame is from time to time.
I was thinking about how sometimes I can be the same way with God – God I want you at my beckoned call, but if I don’t call, please don’t come. This kind of mindset doesn’t foster trust nor intimacy with God. Instead, lets always be hungry for God, all the time, no matter how we feel or what’s going on around us. Lets desire
to be with God & make God’s presence the priority in our lives 🙂
We visited the Cubal malnutrition clinic today & this has brought back some difficult memories from our visit last year, when Angelina died even though we had donated blood to help her improve. I visited the same room as well as others & met some very wonderful moms & grandmothers. Many of these women are nothing less than heroes. Yesterday I met a grandma who was vigilantly watching over her granddaughter. The grandmother is very uneducated but her tenacity & fight to help her granddaughter to live is something I won’t forget. There is a rugged & timeless determination in her cloudy eyes to keep her grand daughter alive, perhaps due to the many family deaths through which she has already lived.
Saving Moses is bringing life, hope & future to Angola – I experienced this today.