As I travel, I see people who struggle with their luggage, finding the departure gate, language challenges, etc. And I know I could be helpful on lots of this stuff, usually. However, I’m learning from various experiences that often being helpful in human interactions, is defined better by the recipient rather than person giving the help. I say this because there have been many occasions where I stepped in to help, without asking the person if they wanted my assistance. In no uncertain terms, I’ve gotten the proverbial hand slap for not asking first.
So when we want to help someone, instead of jumping in without asking, we would be wise to do these two things first:
Ask the person if they would like help
Ask how they would like help
This kind of communication is useful not only with strangers but also with co-workers, family members, friends, acquaintances, etc 🙂
Just a little practical wisdom from the road that we can all use for improving our communication 🙂
This question is massively significant for us everyday. I say that because it was the starter question the serpent asked Eve in the Garden of Eden & it was the beginning of original sin.
So do we know what God’s Word says? Eve kind of knew, but she’s wasn’t totally clear & confident with her reply to this question & I think that’s when the enemy gets a toehold with us.
Sometimes we kind of know God’s Word, but if we’re super honest, it would be very helpful to know God’s Word better 🙂
Here are some questions to consider:
Do you ever struggle to know what God says?
Do you ever struggle to believe what God says?
Do you ever struggle to do what God says?
I think it’s really important to ask ourselves this question, “Did God say . . . ?” and apply it to our thoughts, emotions, actions, conversations. When we make God’s Word an essential priority, this will help us stay away from the enemy’s deceptions, whispers & questions!
We all wait for answers on various things. We wait to hear about test results, tryout auditions, questions to be resolved, investments to mature & the list continues endlessly. It seems to me that waiting is a universally human experience. So while we wait for answers, what can we do?
Here are some helpful suggestions:
Exercise patience – in Luke 21:19, Jesus tells us, “In patience, possess your soul”. Easier said than done, for sure, but essential nonetheless!
Keep working – sometimes it helps to work on other projects while we wait, so that we don’t waste time 🙂
Chose to Trust – sometimes waiting is the best way to help us grow in our trust w God (Prov 22:19)
Chose peace & reject worry – be active in this decision so that worry doesn’t consume you!
There’s nothing weird or abnormal about us humans asking questions. Indeed, questions communicate an inquiring mind, curiosity & an interest in learning. What seems rogue to me is that Jesus asked questions. Since Jesus is omniscient (all knowing), what’s the point? And yet He asked lots of questions when He did His skin thing with us.
For example, His first question was to His parents when they’d misplaced the Son of God for more than three days – as a mom, I can’t even begin to fathom what that was like for Mary, but that’s a discussion for a different day.
In Luke 2:49, Jesus asked His parents, “Why is it that you were looking for Me? Did you not know that I had to be in My Father’s house?”
Here are a few takeaways from Jesus’ questions to His earthly parents:
Just because we’ve walked with Jesus for lots of years doesn’t mean that we can’t learn new things about Him everyday!
Jesus is God’s Son & defaults to being around His Fathers interests – best place to find Jesus is where the Father is working
In an interesting twist, why is it that we sometimes don’t look for Jesus? Are we distracted? Are we “satisfied” with flesh & not incarnate?
This morning, I read the story of Doubting Thomas & how he didn’t believe that Jesus had risen from the dead until he had physical proof for himself. Despite what Thomas’ friends told him, he made the adamant position that unless he saw the nail prints in Jesus’ hands, put his finger into the nail prints & touched Jesus’ side where He was pierced, he wouldn’t believe. Thomas’ belief had 3 pre-qualifiers, all based on physical evidence.
It’s interesting to me that we don’t read about any of Thomas’ friends getting cranky with Thomas for his unbelief – despite all of them following Jesus for 2+ years and seeing all kinds of crazy miracles. But no one criticized nor chastized Thomas for doubting – maybe they accepted the truth that Thomas was on a journey of faith, not much different from their own journey.
Just because someone is at a different place in their journey of faith doesn’t give us the right to be critical of their lack of faith, anymore than we would want someone to criticize us for some faith deficiencies & shortcomings. Let’s decide to encourage each other in our journey of faith & not throw rocks when someone is struggling with unbelief – indeed, faith works by love ,)
My son & I finished a puzzle during Spring Break & I always enjoy the time with my son as well as the therapy of engaging in an entirely different kind of activity that promises a successful outcome. In my thinking, much of life is like a puzzle – sometimes there seem to be random pieces that don’t look like they belong nor fit. Let’s understand that God knows the big picture, how the pieces for together, as well as the middle, edges & timing for the most breathtaking outcomes beyond description. We are all masterpieces in the making!! 🙂
The world in which we live has some people who do some really crazy things – holding their breath for multiple minutes for deep water diving, wrestling with aligators, playing polo with a sheep head & lots of even crazier things! Who does that kind of stuff???
Here’s a quiz. Who does this kind of stuff?
disagrees with the religious & cultural norms
touches disease infested people, endeavoring to make them better
welcomes everyone who is ostracized, outcast and isolated
seemingly abandons his friends at the very worst possible time
does everything within his power to help people, even when they’re ungrateful
I find myself in a season of life where I have lots & lots of questions & not just about the weather. For me, it feels like many of my questions seem to either have no answers or they have very difficult answers and this can be really challenging. But as simple as it sounds, I’m finding that Jesus is the answer. Jesus is the answer for my need for wisdom, direction, strength, assurance, security & so much more. Jesus is my answer of peace for a troubled heart. Jesus is the answer: full stop 🙂
I often have questions about God that are perplexing. One of my friends mom died & I don’t know why. She was a very beautiful, faith filled, godly & loving person. But she died & wasn’t even 60 years old. Her death has been really hard on her family & I don’t understand why she died. There are many other situations like this that I don’t understand – and you probably have had some similar experiences & questions. Why don’t people get healed when we pray for them? Why do godly people die what seems to be prematurely? Why do we go through hardships & struggles when it seems like we are doing all the “right things”?
These questions & more are really difficult. But something I do know, is that regardless of my experiences, questions or frustrations, I make the decision to believe & trust in God. I chose to be a person of faith. I may still have questions & frustrations but I chose to not allow these things to be stronger in my life than my faith in God.
I’ve been having some interesting conversations with God lately & I can’t say that I’m all that thrilled about some of the answers to a few important questions. So what do we do when we don’t get the answers that we want?
I’m trying to coach my kids that when I give them an unwanted answer, that they still maintain a good attitude. Maybe this is God’s way of coaching me to greater maturity as well – even when God gives me answers that I don’t want. Perhaps part of becoming more mature is understanding that the source of our life is a daily & dependent relationship with God & not just a shallow “getting my way” quick fix. I’m reminding myself that God’s ways are higher than my ways 🙂
Well, we’re concluding our 2nd trip to Angola & I’m quite a mixed bag of feelings & thoughts. In some respects, this trip has been more difficult than our 1st venture & it seems like I’ll have some sorting out to do for a fair amount of time. There are several discussions that I’m having with God, along with many questions. So in some respects, I guess that’s good because these interactions certainly keep our relationship genuine.
Alot of my conversations with God are also filled with gratitude. I’m very thankful for His patience with me as I grow, His wisdom in how He handles me, His grace for my humanity and most of all His love, which I’m unable to describe at this point.
I think I’ll be working through this trip for awhile. But be sure to watch for a video update tomorrow – I worked on one & when I get in a wi fi friendly area, I’ll upload it & it will certainly warm & encourage your heart 🙂 In the meantime, here’s a cool pic of my friend Jody who has become delightfully attached to Celestina, a beautiful & very healthy 3month old little girl 🙂
Its really good to experience Christmas w kids & I’m discovering this moreso w each year. I love their questions:
why do people celebrate Christmas if they don’t believe in Jesus? – David
who has the last birthday of the year in our family? Answer by Isabell: Jesus
are we having birthday cake for Jesus’ birthday? – Benji
what made the men from the East who came to give Jesus presents, “wisemen”? – David
what were the shepherds doing in the field at night when the angels came to visit? Were they staying up late when this happened? – David
what are we doing for families that don’t have enough money for Christmas? – Isabell
They’ve asked me LOTS more, but these are just a few off the top of my head. Kids can really distill things to the most important points – cutting through the fluff. I love it!
Isabell is really excited because she’s in our church’s kid’s Christmas program this weekend as an actor, singer, dancer & cheerleader. She’s SO EXCITED!!!!! Benji has his Jr Kindergarten program on Wed – he’s Gabriel. I think he makes a very fitting Gabriel – announcing w great joy, enthusiasm & volume the birth of Jesus. I think David kind of prefers the cerebral approach to the season. Whatever the case, they’re all fabulously unique & I am more than in awe of them & their observations.