Everywhere A Lesson

Learning can be loads of fun, massively painful or somewhere in the middle. And thankfully, we don’t have to sit in a classroom to learn 🙂

Here are some recent examples of lessons I’m learning in life:

  • Insecurity Insurance: the softball team we played last night needed to feel superior and confident. I decided to be joyful that I could help them feel superior rather than sulk at getting trounced
  • Divine Provisions:  God supplies our needs and even teaches us to be content when there’s deficiency – Phil 4:11-12
  • Training for Success: learning the Romeo & Juliet monologue with my kid is a lesson in diligence & not just memory work
  • Trusting God:  this is a daily and even hourly decision based on Prov 22:19

What could be some everyday lessons Holy Spirit could be showing you?

Walking in Uncertainty

I think that most of us like to have a plan & know what’s happening, not only in our day to day activities but also in some longer time perspectives. This was a challenge that Jacob had, having served his father-in-law, Laban, for 20 years. There was a lot of stability & safety for Jacob as he worked for Laban, with of course some hotspots to navigate (deception, wage changes, etc). But there was a time for Jacob to move his family away from Laban & back to his homeland, but not without some tricky conversations & exchanges. It seems to me that absolutely there was uncertainty & instability in Jacob’s family in this season. 
So how do we walk in seasons of uncertainty? Here are a few suggestions:

  • pray a lot
  • determine to get better at trusting God (Prov 22:19)
  • keep your focus on God & not only the circumstances or people
  • keep moving – don’t get quagmired in fear, analysis or distractions 

Of all things, be sure to stay in step, on pace, with the Holy Spirit!! 

  

face value

YIKES!!!!!!  I just saw this woman wheel her elderly husband up to the deep end of a swimming pool in his wheelchair, she threw him in the pool & walked away.  This was extremely startling & unsettling to me, so I leaped up to check on him, hoping he wasn’t gasping or drowning.  Thankfully, he was paddling around & seemed to be enjoying the swim.  I just checked again & he’s happily floating & enjoying some sun.

At face value, it seemed like this wife was irresponsible at best & abusive at worst, but alas, things aren’t always as they appear.  And this is an easy mistake to make in our daily living.  We are often forced to make a decision with only a partial quantity of information & we often don’t have the luxury of getting more time or info for a possibly better decision.   And here’s the golden ticket:  the Bible tells us in James that if we God to give us wisdom, He will liberally & lavishly give us wisdom.  Wisdom gives us insight into stuff at a deeper level than face value & thankfully with God’s help, we can make wise observations and decisions that are better than what we know at face value 🙂

She just helped him out of the pool & back into his wheelchair 🙂

a tribute to my mom

Since it’s Mother’s Day, it seems fitting to celebrate our moms & their various contributions to our lives.  My mom invests in my life in a multitude of different ways, but something that I always appreciate about her is the power of routine.  Despite lots of travels & massive demands on her schedule, my mom is very consistent with her routines.  She consistently exercises, makes healthy eating decisions, memorizes the Bible everyday and maintains healthy sleeping patterns.  My mom is the Queen of Routine.  And here’s what is so powerful about the whole routine thing, she’s done this for almost all of my life.  So when people ask me about my mom & the secret to her success, of course God is the number one source for all success, but I’d quickly add that her consistent routines throughout the years have positioned her for the successful living she enjoys today.

So here’s my closing thought:  let’s make the routines of our daily living conform to our priorities 🙂

the antidote for “I’m bored!”

Sometimes I think that we try to use busy-ness to immunize us from boredom – my friends at Starbucks always seem happier when the line snakes out the door rather than when the store is empty.  They tell me that having a busy day is much better than a boring day.  My problem is that when I use busy-ness to combat boredom, I often find myself in a state of frantic perpetual motion.  Busy-ness can be a good thing with proper balance & direction, but if we use it as an antidote for boredom then we run the risk of living hallow, driven & inconsequential lives.

For me, I have found that the best antidote for being bored is to watch and listen for Jesus in my daily living.  Here’s my thinking:  I believe that Jesus is very much engaged & intertwined within my daily living.  He’s with me when I’m driving, He’s in the meetings I attend, He’s sitting by me as I drink coffee, He’s present in the conversations & interactions I have with others, He’s present when I’m helping the kids with their homework & when I cook dinner, . . . . Jesus is ever with me – but even better, He’s not merely a silent & disinterested spectator.  He is an active participant in my daily living – with His help, I can be increasingly aware of His internal peace in tumultuous situations.  With His help, I can hear Him speak to me through various conversations.  With His help, I can sense Him talking through me to encourage someone.  With His help, I can grow to recognize His presence, voice, direction & hand throughout each day. As in Psalms 86:11, I pray Lord that you would Teach me your way, LORD, that I may rely on your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.”

an acquired taste ,)

When I was growing up, my mom had a trick to help me get used to the foods that I didn’t like – eat a small amount every time its served.  With this strategy, I learned to like pretty much everything, except canned peas (still can’t do them). 

In some respects, I think the same strategy works with Jesus.  While we know that He is “good” for us, sometimes He’s not always what we “want.”  Sometimes we want frothy, superficial, unhealthy, quick fix answers to the deep issues of our heart.  But I’ve found that when I bring even a little bit of Jesus to the issues in my life, at first I may not “like” His meddling, but the more space I give Him to manuever in my life, the more I like the results.  In fact, I find that I’m getting to the point where I much prefer His answers & solutions to my own attempts to “fix” stuff.  So here’s my suggestion, whatever place you’re at in life w Jesus, pls consider adding a little more of Him into your life (maybe you could include Him in your marriage a little more, maybe you could ask Him to raise your awareness of Him at your job or school, perhaps you might consider reading a Psalm or Proverb every day, . . . .).  One of my fb friends gave me the EXTREMELY cool idea about praying for her when I re-heat my coffee (an almost daily routine).  The idea of adding more of Jesus into your life can apply to any & everyone so please don’t “exempt” yourself because of your background, or experiences. 🙂 

What are some other ways you might consider adding a little more of Jesus to your life?

two important goals

There are two goals that I want to pursue in life:

GOAL 1:  I want to love God.  Growing up in a Christian home, I’ve found that the only motivation that can keep me connected to God in a healthy way is love – to let myself experience His love for me and then respond to Him with love.  Love is a topic of immense proportions and various intrepretations.  But I believe that the only genuine love that we can know is Who God is – He is love.  Along this line, I cannot love God, if I do not love the people around me.  I believe that loving others is giving God the freedom to express Himself through me and this is one of the ways that I can love God.  Loving God keeps my motives right.

GOAL2:  I want to know God.  This is indeed a lofty goal, similar to my 1st goal.  How can a finite know The Infinite?  Nevertheless, there are many occassions and verses in the Bible about knowing God – who He is, how He moves, what His values & priorities are, different ways He communicates, . . . . .  I believe that God wants to make Himself known to us and each day gives us a fresh opportunity to learn more about who God is – Incarnate in a finite world.  The most grounded way to know God is through His Word and knowing God through His Word keeps my doctrine immunized from heresy 🙂

So join me in this adventure of knowing and loving God in the contexts of our daily living.

me & my brain

from time to time, i have these days when my brain is reving into the red zone & i’m thinking about many things (some deep & some not so deep) at the same time.  So here’s something i’ve been considering today:

What is the role of the Holy Spirit in the believer’s life today? i understand that the Holy Spirit is our Comforter, that the Holy Spirit has gifts for us, as well as character improvements (fruit), but what about our 24 / 7 existence & the Holy Spirit’s interface?  Jesus told His disciples that it was better for Him to go away so that the Holy Spirit would come to be with us – like an “upgrade”.  How is the Holy Spirit an “upgrade” for us from the physical presence of Jesus w His disciples at that time & now? 

I’m asking because i’d like your input, so pls leave a comment.  🙂