Smarty Pants

I’ve made some really dumb mistakes in my life – one of which was overvaluing intelligence. I think it’s almost humorous that I would say that because I’m still a massive advocate for education probably because I love to learn. Nevertheless, here are a few things that could be more important than being intelligent:
*character & integrity – people who are smart but lack character & integrity can be extremely dangerous!
*compassion – intelligence without compassion is very cold & sterile
*hard work – this seems pretty self evident
*forgiveness – when we don’t forgive, our world becomes increasingly smaller & smaller
These are just a few things I’m learning in my journey :)

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 :)

Seek & Find

It’s always a great pleasure to find things that we look for. One time, I lost my wedding ring for like 2years. When we found it, there was MUCH REJOICING!!
Be mindful of the things for which you seek.
If you’re looking for popularity, you’ll find it & probably be disappointed.
If you’re looking to be wealthy, you might discover that money isn’t everything you thought it would be.
If you’re looking for success, you might find that it’s nothing more than a cat-and-mouse chase.
If you’re looking for applause & affirmation, you might discover that it costs more than it’s worth
If you look for God’s kingdom more than anything else, then everything else will fall in your lap :)

Something Important

I read this morning something important about building a house & considering that I’m not very good at construction stuff, I tried to pay good attention. Sometimes I think we get really zeroed in on things that we can see, at the expense of things that aren’t as obvious. But very often, it is exactly the things that we can’t see that have the biggest affects on our lives (thoughts, emotions, faith, etc).
In Luke 6, Jesus gave a short story about being mindful of digging a very deep & settled foundation well before we ever try to deal with things that are observable. Lets be careful to keep deep foundations in Jesus first before we try to look & be cool :)
Happy weekend!

be prepared :)

I’m laughing as I write this blog because I might possibly be the least prepared person you’ll ever meet.  As I’ve gotten older, I’ve found some definite disadvantages to the “leap before you look” approach, having gotten myself into all sorts of challenging situations, especially when you consider all of the variables that can go with any kind of international travel.  With all that being said, I’m becoming an ever increasing advocate of being prepared & this also applies to the area of my connection with God.

In my experience, I know that God is altogether gracious with me & far exceeds any of my best efforts & I’m crazy grateful for God’s grace to me everyday!  While I totally appreciate God’s grace, I’ve also come to the conclusion that my relationship with God seems to have more depth, gravity and fullness when I maintain a few preparation things:

  • go to bed early so I can get up early & spend time with God
  • talk with God throughout the day – more inclusion & less exclusion / isolation
  • understand that God’s connection with me spans the entire spectrum of uber shallow to depths of which I have yet to explore
  • fresh forgiveness – super important to keep a clean heart
  • unified prioritites:  seeing all of the various responsibilities that I have within the context of God using them to improve & enhance my relationship with God :)
  • have a prepared mindset that God can do any thing at any time :)

Money Matters

I’m taking my kids to their bank today in an effort to continue their education in fiscal responsibility. They each have their savings accounts & we get to discuss the benefits of saving, the importance of tithing & the value of making informed purchases rather than impulse buying. None of this seems like rocket science, but these excursions always help to remind me of these essential lessons in money management. Which brings me to the point that everyday is filled with opportunities to learn, grow, change & improve – all based on our outlook & cooperation.
Dear Sarah, don’t fight the lessons :)

one thing

We probably have fairly similar lives with lots of demands & responsibilities – maybe yours are different than mine, but we usually have lots of things to juggle (kids’ schedules, saving Moses, workload concerns, personal goals, family dynamics, church things, . . . .).  You probably have a similar list & I’ve often had people ask me for ideas on how to balance everything.  If I’m honest, there are times when I don’t balance everything well & some things get short changed, which I hate.

But lately, I’ve found it really helpful to nestle into “one thing” – the essential & continuous priority that permeates everything (sleeping, eating, cooking, errands, conversations, work, blogging, thinking, planning, . . . . . ).  My “one thing” is to know Jesus and I want everything that I do to be infused with this “one thing” – Luke 10:42.  “One thing” doesn’t mean that I drop everything, but it means that as I go throughout each day with its diverse demands and responsibilities, my “one thing” continues and remains :)

burn out

Sometimes in my life I feel like there’s too much journey and not enough Jesus.  I know that life is a journey and that we are encouraged to not grow weary in well doing.  I know that hardships and difficulties create strength, endurance and persistence.  I know that we’re supposed to encourage and strengthen ourselves in the Lord (like David did at Ziklag in 1 Sam).  But if I’m super honest, I also can feel like Elijah in 1 Kings 19, when the angel said that the journey was too much for him – too much journey and not enough Jesus.

But in this phrase, “too much journey and not enough Jesus”, there’s also the answer:  more of Jesus.  It seems to me that our journey in life doesn’t stop – it’s continual.  The quantity of Jesus in my life, however, can fluctuate (understanding that He never leaves us but that my engagement with Him can increase / decrease on any given day).  So let’s be sure that we never take a break from Jesus regardless of what’s happening on our journey in life :)

that’s impressive!!!

There are all kinds of things that can impress us: stupid animal tricks, brilliant mental feats, amazing generosity, world’s strongest iguana and oh so much more!  I just looked on youtube for the latest & greatest (something about an elevator prank in Brazil is popular today), but I was less than impressed.

In 1 Corinthians 13, Paul challenges us to not be impressed with amazing spiritual feats & miracles, nor should we be impressed with persuasive conversations or speeches.  He’s not even impressed with excessive philanthropic activities.  What Paul challenges us to be impressed with is genuine love.   Let’s be mindful about what really catches our attention and grabs our admiration :)

Seek

Seems to me that we look for lots of things: lost keys, missing makeup, acceptance, value, library cards, significance, love & a host of other things, some that are important & some that aren’t. In my line of work, I get to watch people & listen to some of their struggles. Some have told me about their struggles to be beautiful. Some have expressed frustration over their achievements at work & others have told me about various relational challenges that never seem to get resolved.
With all of these things, I like what CS Lewis said, “Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in; aim at earth and you will get neither.” Lets be certain that the default pursuit of our life is Jesus, full stop.

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