Everything is great! Life is fantastic! I’m blessed & highly favored! Living’ the dream!
I’ve said these words more than occasionally when my life isn’t whipy, when I’m tired, sick & when stuff is awful. So was I lying? Was I making a faith confession? Was I living in denial? Depending on the day or hour, yes 🙂
If we want to love genuinely, let’s be ready for someone to be honest & say that stuff isn’t going well. Indeed, when Job went through a season of living hell, his friends stayed with him in silence for a week before they said a word. There was no sunshine mantra in the conversations w Job & his friends. When a friend goes through a crisis, let’s be willing to walk alongside them with honesty & not get ruffled.
As it relates to having a personal crisis, I recognize that not everyone can handle our honesty or when things aren’t going well. And that’s ok! Let’s allow God to bring people into our lives who don’t always settle for the sunshine mantra.
I started reading the book of Job a few days ago & I always find it interesting to read how his friends reacted to Job’s sufferings. At first, they sat silent with him for a week, feeling the magnitude of his pain & struggle. After this time of quiet support, it seems to me that they became less helpful. They frequently seemed to think that all of Job’s suffering was his fault & that he’d done something wrong. So here are some things from Job’s friends that I want to learn. I want to be a friend who:
can be quietly supportive
helps others see, experience & enjoy God
uses words that build up faith & dismantle doubt & fear
stays the course & doesn’t merely show up when things are smoothy groovy 🙂
Right out of the gate, you need to know that I’m EXTREMELY amped up about this post. I’m amped up, because it seems to me that virtually no one in the international community is making a REALLY IMPORTANT CONNECTION. Here’s the deal: ebola is an epidemic that has been ravaging three countries in West Africa (Sierra Leone, Guinea & Liberia) for this entire year. The international community has become increasingly attentive and responsive to this awful disease that currently has no known cure & with an 70% mortality rate. Ebola is really serious!
But here’s the WAKE UP CALL: While the US has currently given over $200million for ebola aid & assistance, China has given less than $10million to the ebola crisis up to today. The reason I’m so amped up about this discrepency is because China is the leading economic partner for Sierra Leone, Guinea & Liberia. Feel free to research the recent economic agreements that China has negotiated with these three nations in the last 5 years & you’ll rapidly see that China is acquiring vast amounts of wealth & natural resources from these nations, but up to this day, China has been shamefully silent and virtually absent from providing any noteworthy support against ebola.
My rant in this post isn’t based solely on Judeo Christian values. My rant in this post is based on human dignity & I would urge you to put pressure on the Chinese government to save their own economic face & put some hefty finances toward stopping the spread of ebola in these three nations. Please post this blog on your Facebook page, pass it along to your friends and let’s bring to international public awareness this shameful neglect from the second biggest economy in the world, China.
I was just looking up the news & saw that there’s been a school shooting at Reynolds High School in Oregon. The situation at the high school has been stablized but not without bloodshed. Understandably, the parents, students & community is shook up and probably in a state of shock. Because I live in Denver, CO the city where the Columbine HS shooting happened, along with the shooting last fall at Arapahoe HS, my heart & prayers go out to the people at Reynolds HS, just outside of Portland, OR. I understand what it feels like to live in a city that has had its fair share of school shootings and because of this, I want to encourage you to pray for the students, parents, teachers and administration. The journey in front of this community is challenging and Jesus gives us the best hope in these kinds of situations and many more. Let’s be praying for Reynolds HS!!
I had an interesting conversation with a friend yesterday for whom I’ve been very concerned of late. It was interesting because they explained that they had been distant lately because of lots of different current stresses in their life. Then another friend told me that she was having a rough day earlier this week & almost broke down in tears on a particular day. Both of my friends are important to me & when they explained their struggles to me, I totally wanted to reach out & help not only after the struggle but also during their rough time. Just like me, these are very strong & independent friends & I wholly respect their strength. It’s interesting bc I think that God absolutely respects our free will & independence. But I also think that God wants to be involved in our struggles & not just watch from a distance. Lets be kind, gentle, full of grace & supportive with each other – thereby letting God love through us 🙂
Lately, there have been some rather large difficulties that I’m having to face and I find myself having regularly make choices about where my mind will settle. If I’m not careful, my thoughts can go down some very dark alleys and they can become very discouraging. What I’ve found to be really helpful is to give my mind something constructive to chew on. So here are some verses that have been super helpful of late – may they be encouraging to you as well!
Rom 8:37, “But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us”
Rom 8:31, “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?”
1 Cor 15:57, “but thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
2 Cor 2:14, “But thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph is Christ and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place.”
1 John 5:4, “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has over the world – our faith.”
This morning I was reading the 2nd half of Romans 8 & it was SUPER encouraging! I am continually astounded at how God gives us exactly what we need when we need it – so I figure that you also may need some encouragement as well. With that in mind, here are some things to think about:
if God is for you, who can be against you?
there is nothing that can separate you from God’s love – not the present, future, people, situations, etc. God’s love for you is permanently sticky
the Holy Spirit & Jesus intercede / pray for you (and they know exactly what & how to pray for you)
you are fearfully & wonderfully made
God has plans, hope & a good future for you
you are highly valuable & super important to God
With these thoughts in mind & many more, keep your head up, your eyes on Jesus, revel in & spread God’s intense & immense love for you today!
Here’s an amazing video that is totally unrelated 🙂 football
Ok, I just saw the movie, The Help & I read the book a few weeks ago & I’m a convert – loved it!!! There are so many great take-aways from both the book & the movie with such great life lessons 🙂
One thing that keeps getting repeated in my brain is the quote to a little two year old girl in the movie, “you is kind, you is smart, you is important.” These are such powerful words & have such positive imagery, not only for a 2 year old but for all of us. With this in mind, I think it’s super important to consider what we say to each other. Words that affirm, encourage, support, compliment, refresh, strengthen & even give affection are so necessary in our lives. I genuinely believe that the people who are in our lives in all of the many different contexts need such encouragement. And who knows, words like, “you is kind, you is smart, you is important” just might change the world, one person at a time 🙂