No doubt that heaven rejoices to welcome Billy Graham & earth looses a longstanding hero. The reasons that Billy Graham is such a hero are innumerable, but some of the standouts include: moral integrity, consistency & letting Jesus be the rallying cry of his life.
The things that Billy Graham accomplished across the span of his life, will be accentuated & applauded for quite awhile. And his epitaph is extremely powerful!
Let’s live each day as if we’re writing our epitaph so that when we die, the world around us has been improved & Jesus is exalted!
“You’re not going to North Korea are you?” I was driving my kids to school this morning & made a phone call to another ministry about some cool opportunities in North Korea. My kids immediately asked this question when I hung up & I assured them that I’m not going there this year. But it still sounds like an incredible opportunity to me!
Alas, not everyone thinks like I do & that’s altogether fantastic! Seems to me that God has uniquely created us for distinct purposes & designs. Some people are attracted to stable, predictable & familiar. Some folk have a little wanderlust in their souls. Some of us are pioneers & more than a little maverick-y. But each follower of Jesus has valid contributions to make to His kingdom!
Just because I’m different than you doesn’t make me superior or inferior any more than you are superior or inferior to me! Let’s remember that we are essential parts of one Body & we desperately need each other to fulfill our unique & divine purposes! I’m celebrating you today!!
Some of us do shock better than others. Some of us need an hourly stability infusion & others need a more steady supply of edgy & unpredictable. Seems to me that Jesus fits the bill for each of these mindsets & He gives us stability when we need it & unpredictable when that’s what’s necessary.
Consider that Jesus was the steady Eddy for His disciples & earned their trust being His continuous faithfulness to them. He was also a shocker from time to time:
The walking on the water thing completely freaked out His disciples – Jesus walking on the water was the last thing they expected to see at 3am in the middle of a storm!
The multiple resurrection appearances was seriously shocking – a wake up call for sure!
Jesus’ disappearance after the Emmaus road chat made those guys recognize the holy heartburn from their traveling conversation w Him
Let’s be clear that whether we’re in a discouraging storm, or we’ve endured a tragic loss or we can’t understand what God is going, Jesus is fully capable to continue doing supernatural & shocking things. Let’s keep our eyes peeled & hearts open to Jesus throughout this day!
It seems to me that we can sometimes struggle when there’s uncertainty in our lives. Having travelled a fair amount, I’ve seen a wide spectrum of uncertainty, from war ravaged uncertainty (clean water, reliable food, etc) to the uncertainty of getting to work on time because of unexpected traffic challenges. It seems to me that our human existence will always have varying degrees of uncertainty – so maybe the issue for us isn’t about escaping uncertainty but rather how to effectively deal with it.
Here are a few helpful ideas:
be stable on the inside regardless of what happens externally – the peace of Jesus guarding our hearts & minds sounds about right (Phil 4:7)
chose wisely what you allow your mind to focus on – instability breeds instability (Phil 4:6)
remember that our Heavenly Father is changeless, faithful & stable, more than the rising sun every day 🙂
One of my kids is very steady & generally unflappable. They don’t freak out easily & I love that they are so level. The other side is that they can also be stubborn & resistant to change. I’ll totally give you that not all change is good. But being hostile to change can prevent a person from growing, learning & maturation.
Let’s be people who get the good stuff out of being faithful & steady. But let’s also be people who can learn, adapt & grow! Seems to me that we become moribund & zombie-ish when we refuse to learn & change. If we are perpetually changing, however, we risk the danger of not being committed, the lack of roots & absence of fruit 🙂
Just when you think that everything is smoothy, groovy & you’re plugging along, some lunacy can hit the fan! YOWZERS!!!!! So what to do when there’s lots of shaking , stirring, changes, surprises, etc? Here are a few ideas that you might find helpful (feel free to send the link of this blog to everyone you know that’s going through some chaos, challenges &/or changes):
keep your eyes on God no matter what changes may come down the pike – God is strong, wise & helpful!!
be practical: drink lots of water, exercise, eat your fruits & veggies, don’t OD on coffee, try to stay in a healthy sleep groove
keep a few helpful Bible verses handy for dealing with any potential dark thoughts (Jer 33:3, Jer 29:11, Prov 3:5-6, Matt 6:33, Phil 4:13, Rom 8:28-29 and LOTS more!!)
I went to wake up one of my kids this morning & they were kind of cranky. Their precise words were, “Mom, would you please get out of my room.” Last night, this same child was really snugly & wanted me to stay & cuddle, so it can be a little tricky sometimes knowing what their mind frame is from time to time.
I was thinking about how sometimes I can be the same way with God – God I want you at my beckoned call, but if I don’t call, please don’t come. This kind of mindset doesn’t foster trust nor intimacy with God. Instead, lets always be hungry for God, all the time, no matter how we feel or what’s going on around us. Lets desire
to be with God & make God’s presence the priority in our lives 🙂
My son is getting some teeth removed this morning to make space for his adult teeth to come in better. My personal opinion on this is “no bueno”. Taking out teeth is a really good example of the opposite of how I feel when I’m with God during my morning prayer time. As passionately as I LOVE being with God in our quiet & still morning hours, I just as much LOATHE this tooth pulling stuff. Nevertheless, I get the opportunity to experience God in a variety of ways, if I’ll stop clenching my fists, take some deep breaths & be still. God is present in every moment, at peaceful, stressful, uncertain & neutral times. God is constant when life is not 🙂
There are times & seasons in our lives that are all about doing the daily routines, maintaining healthy habits & disciplines as well staying consistent w schedules, etc. there are other times when I can feel excitement in my bones & this is one of those seasons.
I’m excited because I feel like we are beginning to turn the corner with making some significant progress w Saving Moses. We are beginning to see some fantastic opportunities & doors opening for getting to help small people 5 & younger. To be specific, our nightcare program is on the cusp of getting launched & implemented. We are also looking at expanding our malnutrition feeding program in Africa along w a few other cool things on the horizon.
This is all to encourage you that sometimes what may seem mundane & boring are essential ingredients that often need to be stable before some exciting opportunities get to be revealed. Be encouraged my friend! God has good things around the corner!