Who is someone you’ve known personally who has inspired you? I can think of a slew of people and all of them have had unique flaws, regardless of how much they inspired me. For example, my former neighbor across the street always inspired me with her devotion to raising her children to love Jesus & how she continuously treats her husband with respect & dignity. With those noteworthy accolades, she had lots the the same flaws that I have. We can be disorganized, scatter-brained & sometimes irresponsible. Nonetheless, I chose to remember her excellent qualities & minimize her shortfalls.
I would suggest that this is a good strategy for lots of our relationships, so that we bring out the positive in people rather than maximizing their negatives.
On this Memorial Day, let’s be grateful that we get to live in the land of the free because of the brave!û
Someone told me about a new tax plan – something about proportional taxation. Seems like an interesting idea & I can see that our economy has some challenges & we need to make some changes. From these 2 sentences, please don’t project that I’m advocating any political position, party or platform. Rather, my point is that we need to always be learning, growing & adapting – this is my 999 plan: to continue growing.
I want to always be growing, learning & maturing. Along this line, I want to always be growing in my relationship with God and truthfully, I never want to say “no” to God. I don’t want my intellect to be a limit to God. I don’t want my desires or will to be a hindrance to God moving in my life. I don’t want my past failures or successes to impede God’s presence in my current daily living. I don’t want my pride to cause a separation from God. I just don’t want to say “no” to God in any way or context. I don’t want to say no to God in my marriage, finances, relationships, with Saving Moses, my values, perspective, thinking, or in any area. Simply put, my 999 plan is this: Yes, God 🙂
When I was growing up, I felt super free to give my raw & unabbreviated opinion without much prompting. I even had a pastor tell me how when I was a teenager, I told him that I thought the vision he had for his church was worthless & that he needed to find something more meaningful to do with his ministry. I thought I was being challenging & insightful, when in reality, I was only being disrespectful. Ouch!! I still cringe when I think about the uber stupid things I’ve done & said. If I had to summarize the lion’s share of my regrets today, it would mostly come from being disrespectful & dishonoring.
Consequently, I’ve come to a few conclusions that you might find helpful as well:
I would rather error on the side of being over-respectful than being under-respectful or disrespectful. I’ve lived with the consequences of both choices & I’ll take the consequences of respect over the consequences of disrespect, any day!
I’ve noticed that when I treat people with respect, they tend to rise to the level of honor that I give to them, even if they start off being less than respectful. I’ve found that when I give respect to others, usually they will be respectful back to me.
On the few occasions when someone continues to be disrespectful with me, I want to always make the decision to be a respectful person, regardless of anyone else’s choices or behaviors.
No seriously, you’ve gotta read this one 🙂 I recently had a cooking fiasco & I want to brag on my family. Lately, I’ve been trying to get more fish into our diet as a means for low fat protein consumption. The honest truth is that I can’t cook fish to save my life, but that doesn’t stop me from trying – hence the fiasco. So here’s how it went down: I went to the fish part of the store & was looking for the cheapest & freshest fish they had, which was flounder. Flounder is a really weird looking fish – it’s skinny and flat with the eyes on the top of its body. Because it’s so skinny, its hard for a fish monger to de-bone (which I discovered after their kind attempt to honor my de-boned request). So I bring home these thin strips of fish & try to cook them – it was AWFUL!!!! But here’s the beauty of this disaster, my family ate the fish with absolutely NO COMPLAINING! No one said a word – we all suffered in silence 🙂 I will not be cooking flounder again, unless Jesus visits our home personally & has a nice chat with all of our family on this topic.
So here’s a thought for your consideration & application: my family was EXTREMELY gracious with me, I think mostly because they love me. Perhaps a really effective way to express love is to refrain from complaining or pointing out failures and weakspots when they are so glaringly obvious. Being gracious is a really inexpensive way to be loving 🙂
Have you ever tried to fast, from a spiritual premise, only to feel like you failed? One time, i was fasting & there was a point where i hit the wall & just didn’t sense any life – it was more than just being physically difficult. it was like i hit a dead end. i tried to power through it, but after a few days, i just felt drained, empty & lifeless. i came to the conclusion that God’s grace had lifted from the fast & that He intended me to finish my fast, but i was trying to “power on” without His grace or help. Consequently, my efforts were flat, futile & even energy draining. big learning from that mistake.
I’m giving you this example because i’d like you to share about your fasting failure(s), so we can hopefully learn from each other & not repeat someone else’s mistakes. honesty will make this invaluable for both you & others. 🙂