Election Hangover

In America this week, we had a national & local election, so all media outlets were fully engaged with debates, advertisements, etc. There are plenty of folk who prefer less campaigning & not just a few of us are weary of the deceptions & hostile conflict that politics has become. As a follower off Jesus & His teachings, there are a few takeaways to maintain regardless of your political affiliations / preferences. 

  • Be compassionate – Jesus was helpful, kind, forgiving, healing & generous to marginalized people
  • Be prayerful – Jesus taught His disciples to pray, a constructive habit we would be wise to cultivate
  • Be loving – Jesus said that His followers would be recognized by their love for each other.

Hot Topic: Elections, Candidates & Politics

In America, we are in the full season of politics, elections, candidates, ballots, etc.  Two years ago, this space was toxic, combative & divisive on a good day.  I’m grateful that this political season isn’t quite as venomous as the one two years ago and we would be wise to pause and reflect.

Regardless of your political affiliations or bend, I’d like to propose a few questions for your consideration:

  • Have you educated yourself on the issues, candidates, platforms, etc?
  • Are your thoughts and emotions based around genuine love? Is there fear, greed, power, insecurity lurking in your soul that could influence your voting?
  • If someone votes or thinks different than you, can you maintain a respectful conversation?
  • Have you prayed for this election, the candidates, ballots, our nation, etc?

Regardless of how the elections turn out, let’s be committed to express genuine as followers of Jesus!  I say this because of His words in John 13:35, “They will know you follow Me by your love for one another.”

Have an AWESOME weekend!

Crazy Maladies

Dislocated shoulder, Cambodian spider bite, concussion & maybe a hairline fracture:  these are some of the injuries my doctor has diagnosed over the recent years.  So whenever I book an appointment, I grimace as I anticipate their amused facial reactions.  And I’d prefer to skip the whole experience & be on my merry way, injury free.  But life has a way of serving up some hurtful maladies.

Thankfully, we have a Divine Physician who specializes in healing & repairing bodies, emotions, memories, injuries, hurts, etc.  Let’s be careful that we don’t allow our tendency to be independent to sabotage Jesus’ healing work.  Compensatory behaviors can interfere with divine healing, just sayin’

🙂

Hot Topic: Political Frenzy

I was talking with a friend this morning about the political situation in our country & we both shared the same sentiment of grief. He & I are grieved at the vitriolic nature of the political discord that seems be only getting worse day by day.
It seems to me that much of the intensity of this discord is not only being incited by various candidates, but it seems like we the people are choosing to swallow this frenzy rather than step back, pause, reflect & pray.  No matter what your political persuasion is or how you choose to vote, let’s be certain to maintain a few core essentials:

  • Continual prayer
  • Respect for different positions
  • Civility in our tone & language with any political conversations

Let’s choose to actively pray for our country more than we debate about our politics 🙂

Political Frenzy

I was talking with a friend this morning about the political situation in our country & we both shared the same sentiment of grief. He & I are grieved at the vitriolic nature of the political discord that seems be only getting worse day by day.
It seems to me that much of the intensity of this discord is not only being incited by various candidates, but it seems like we the people are choosing to swallow this frenzy rather than step back, pause, reflect & pray.  No matter what your political persuasion is or how you choose to vote, let’s be certain to maintain a few core essentials:

  • Continual prayer
  • Respect for different positions
  • Civility in our tone & language with any political conversations

Let’s choose to actively pray for our country more than we debate about our politics 🙂

Weaknesses & Deficiencies

Last year, I dislocated my shoulder & had surgery to repair it. Thankfully, my shoulder has recovered well & I can play basketball again 🙂
The shoulder thing was a challenge for me in lots of ways: limited range of motion, pain, restricted activities, physical therapy yuckiness & the mental struggles for my highly independent personality. When we have weaknesses & deficiencies, we often want to hide or camouflage these struggles. 

With God, however, such weak spots need to be accentuated, rather than obscured. Paul made this axiom abundantly clear in 2Cor 12 with his words about having a thorn in the flesh. Paul said that Jesus was glorified through his weaknesses. 

So today, let’s celebrate that we aren’t uber mensch – that we are frail & flawed humans through whom God works & gets all glory because of God’s love, power & grace!

Getting Cozy with Help

  

 

 I don’t like asking for help, not at all. I’m very independent & entirely appreciate doing things in my own, full stop. So, if you’re like me, or know someone that specializes in being independent, this blog might be enlightening, maybe.

Last week, I had surgery on my shoulder to repair some damage from a stupid snowboarding accident. Since the surgery, I’m confronted with some choices: 
*I can ask my daughter to help me or I can be clothing impaired, at best ,) 
*I can ask for help with cooking or we can all eat microwave popcorn, kind of
*I can get some help with the pain or be cranky & unsocial
* I can get used to asking for help or just grit my teeth for a season & hope that no one obliterated in the meantime
All this to say that Jesus called the Holy Spirit our Helper. So for me, when I’m independent minded, I find myself resisting Who the Holy Spirit is in my life: the Original Help 🙂

learning from mistakes

When I was 19, I dislocated my shoulder playing intramural basketball in college & had surgery to repair my rotator cuff.  Being a very smart & savy 19 year old, who knew everything & was highly independent, I didn’t want anyone’s help.  I even remember my kind & patient roommate chastizing me about how I might possibly regret not letting people help me with my shoulder recovery.  God bless my roommate – she was right & I was wrong.

Now I’m in my late 40s and have struggled with my shoulder for almost 30 years, most recently dislocating it during a  snowboarding adventure.  Having acquired some tread in life, I don’t want to make the same mistake that I made in my late teens, even when it means being altogether uncomfortable and asking for help.

The Bible is full of great examples of people who learned from their mistakes:

  • Joseph & his brothers when they came to buy food in Egypt
  • Moses not killing Egyptians when he returned to liberate the Israelites from Egyptian slavery
  • Paul stopped persecuting the church after his Damascus Road experience

Maybe it’s only bad to make mistakes when they’re the same ones over & over & over & over & over again 🙂

Hot Topic: The Mote with the Vote

Today is Election Day in the US & millions of people will be turning out to make sure their opinions are accounted for in our political system. This voting season has been very contentious, particularly if you’re from a hotly contested state – lots of political adds, FB feeds, emails & more than enough mudslinging to chink a plethora of log cabins ,)
Jesus talked about removing the mote (log) in ones eye before trying to help someone who has a splinter. The context of Jesus’ mote, log, splinter discussion is smack in the middle of Jesus instructing us to be less judgmental & to pay more attention to our own shortcomings before we get on a mission to accuse others of their downfalls. No matter if you’re a Democrat, Independent, Republican, Tea Party, Green, Disgruntled, etc, there’s plenty of spaces & topics in our own political thinking for improvement, so be sure to watch for your own mote & get out to vote ,)

I need you

I grew up as a very independent person & felt very strongly that being independent was a noble aim. Now, I’m not so sure. I find myself frequently in situations where I’m inadequate, not smart enough nor strong enough to handle what’s happening. More often than not, the people who are around me have solutions I’ve not thought of, strength I don’t have & poise for the pressures of the moment. And if all of that isn’t enough, I hear that still, small & comforting voice in my heart saying, “I’m here.” I’m finding that we need each other & it’s a wonderful discovery!

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swot analysis (strengths & weaknesses)

I have several friends who are really business-smart & I thank God that they’re my friends because presently, I don’t consider myself business-smart (although I’m getting better).  One of the exercises that many businesses commonly run through, from time to time, is the swot analysis: strengths, weaknesses, opportunities & threats.  After having gone through this exercise in various organizations, it’s been really helpful to kind of do a personal swot analysis & to consider some outcomes: 

Something that I consider to be one of my strengths is my indepdence.  I can do alot of things by myself & generally, that’s something that I like about me.  Lately however, I’m seeing that more & more,  my independence isn’t so much a strength, but rather is a weakness because I see that I can easily isolate myself & thereby minimize my effectiveness.  Furthermore, I’m learning that teamwork isn’t only about the accomplishment, but maybe even moreso about the personal development & growth that teamwork cultivates.  I’m writing all of this to encourage us to be mindful that whatever strengths we have, that we appreciate that they can also be weaknesses.  Maybe this is some of what Paul was talking about in 2 Cor 12:9-10, “‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness .” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. 10 Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, . . . ” 🙂