Navigating Turbulent Times

I find that life has seasons of serenity and contrasting times of turbulence.  The danger of serene seasons is that we can become stagnant or let our values get highjacked by comfort and convenience.  In relation to turbulent times, here are a few ideas that you, or a friend, might find helpful:

  • take a walk – I find that walking and talking with God helps me unload anxiety and gain some helpful perspective
  • pay attention to your choices – it’s not uncommon for us to seek comfort in turbulent times & sometimes what “comforts” us can actually be detrimental
  • get some help – this can be a variety of things such as exercise, making a praise & worship playlist, having lunch with a friend, reading a good book, etc
  • anchor in the Bible – it always helps me to find a few key Bible verses to keep in the forefront of my thoughts.  Here are some helpful suggestions:

Ps 55:22, “Cast your cares on Him because He cares for you.”

James 1:2-3, “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.

Matt 6:33, “Seek first God’s kingdom & everything will be added to you.”

Luke 1:37, “With God, nothing is impossible”

Philippians 4:11, “. . . , for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.”

 

My Roots Are Showing!

Here’s the honest truth: I’m about 80% grey & I have to dye my hair every 6-7 weeks to maintain a youthful appearance. My hair stylist says that I’d age myself at least 10 years if I didn’t dye my hair & he’s probably right since he’s the hair expert & I’m not.
And some roots are good. For example, roots in the Bible can grow fruits & results that far exceed our natural abilities & strengths. I desperately need God’s help, intervention & wisdom to flow throughout my life to empower healthy fruit! Let’s allow our roots to sink deep into God rather than letting worry & the flesh cultivate the yucky fruit 🙂

In Between the Holidays

Have you ever been in the middle of something & felt like you’re kind of in limbo?  Sometimes, I feel like this between Christmas and New Years.  There’s a nice exhale after all the frenzied Christmas flurry but I can also feel the New Year coming into focus, even though I’m not quite ready for that yet.

Limbo land is kind of a weird place.  It’s the middle area between starting & finishing, so it can be a short little jaunt, like a quick trip to the grocery store, or the entirety of life between birth & death.  When I think about this middle space, I’m reminded of lots of Bible folk who found themselves in this experience:

  • David in his flight from Saul lived for many years in this middle space, where God cultivated strength, committment & maturity in him.
  • Moses lived in limbo land between his flight from Pharoah and the burning bush, where it looks like some of his youthful hubris was deflated over the course of 40 years, making him ready for the burning bush experience that launched his destiny to liberate the Israelites from slavery and so much more!
  • Peter had some limbo time between when he betrayed Jesus and was reconciled to Him after Jesus’ resurrection;  perhaps those days helped Peter see his utter dependence on Jesus in sharp contrast to his frail flesh, being reconciled through the loving interaction with Jesus in the Q&A session about Peter’s love for Jesus

Let’s be sure to keep a laser focus on Jesus in between the holidays 🙂

Dig A Well

I read this morning in Genesis about how Isaac dug wells. He started off digging out the old wells his dad had and which were
closed down by the Philistines. Isaac continued to dig wells because he had big flocks that needed lots of water. As he kept digging wells, the Philistines argued about these wells with him. Finally, he dug some wells that no one bothered him over & he settled next to these wells. 
Wells are a hidden source of water & life. We all need current wells of living water in our lives – not just wells from the past. It’s important to keep digging, keep looking & keep plumbing the depths in our walk with God. Indeed, Jesus said in John 7:38-39 that Holy Spirit will be a spring of living water flowing out of us. The true source of life is found in a deep, daily & cultivated connection with the Holy Spirit, our Heavenly Help 🙂

dealing with: disappointment

We all deal with disappointment, feeling let down & even betrayed. It’s not an issue of “if” you’ll experience these things, but moreso “when” and most importantly what we do with this stuff.  While this week for me has had some awesome high points and causes to celebrate, it’s also had a fair share of disappointments.  So what do we do with this stuff?  The Bible is replete with examples of people dealing with disappointment, feeling let down & betrayed – Judas, Joseph, Leah & Moses are a few names that immediately come to mind.

A few helpful points:

  • remember the lesson of the pearl:  it’s beauty started with an irritant
  • sometimes disappointment can show us that maybe we’ve had the wrong focus – looking at people, situations or events more than keeping our eyes on God;  this reminds me of when the angel spoke with the women at Jesus’ tomb in Luke 24:5, “Why do you search for the living among the dead?”
  • redemption is the outcome when we put discouragement & let down in God’s hands
  • let’s encourage each other to remain faithful to God, knowing that God is doing divine things of which we are unaware (Rom 8:28-29 – all things work together for good to those who love God, . . . . )

insanity

There’s a homeless guy that hangs around my coffee shop & if you just took a quick look at him, you’d think that he’s insane.  He looks kind of gruff, unshaven, sometimes not so clean & generally unkempt.  As I get to know him, he’s less and less scary to me – in fact, I think he’s quite gentle and polite.  Some people probably think that he needs to be committed somewhere.

Perhaps committment is the solution to much of the insanity in which we live.  Think about it:

  • a committed relationship with Jesus infuses our daily living, helping us to forgive, make right choices, think right thoughts, become more mature & effective and Jesus helps us love better & more everyday.
  • being committed to our job or school helps us to get a consistent paycheck or grades that are necessary ingredients for daily living & future success
  • being committed is another way of being planted:  no roots = no fruit 🙂