help

Get Some Air!!

It’s really exhilarating to get some air & stick a landing when I snowboard.  In regular language, this means I do a jump and land without getting hurt.  How often does this happen for me?  This is almost never because I’m injury averse having experienced too many medical adventures with snowboarding.  But getting air isn’t only exhilarating, it’s also very healthy & I contend, necessary for vibrant living.

I say this from learning about King David’s son, Absalom in 2Samuel.  I’ve been reading about Absalom this week and I’m coming to see him as the poster child for death by slow suffocation, the absence of air.  Lots of bad things happen to and around Absalom.  I would suggest that he didn’t express or give air in a healthy way to the pains and wounds that he experienced from these bad things.  Here are some examples to demonstrate the lack of air or expression from these bad things:

  • Tamar, his sister, gets raped by her half-brother, Amnon.  Absalom tells her to live in his house and never says anything to Amnon for two years
  • Absalom is so angry with Amnon that he kills him, never talking with his dad about Amnon’s violence
  • Absalom is estranged from his dad for more than two years and no connection with his dad
  • Upon being reconciled with his dad, Absalom proceeds to steal the hearts of Israel whenever anyone comes to get justice from his dad, the king
  • Absalom connives for some years and covertly plans to overthrow his dad and become King of Israel, even publically sleeping with his dad’s concubines

There’s no documented conversation between Absalom and his dad to clear the air on all these injuries, nor have I read that Absalom sought to communicate his hurt to receive healing and positively resolve these many wounds.  Should he have talked with his dad and expressed his hurt and anger?  Should he have made efforts to communicate with Amnon, his half-brother who raped his sister?  I’m not convinced that talking with either his dad or brother would have been helpful to Absalom, but he needed to talk with someone and get some air around these wounds.  But instead, Absalom ingested his pain and didn’t give any air or expression to these injuries.

When we’re hurt, it’s important to give some air and expression to the wound or injury.  Similar to a cut on our hand, we need to clean out the cut before we cover it.  So does this mean that when someone hurts our feelings that we make hurtful posts on social media and let the world know about our injury?  When we’re hurt by someone, should we tell everyone including the injuring person about our pain?  What should we do when we’re hurt?

Here are some helpful tips for wound care and healing:

  1. Wash out the wound:  bring the wound to Jesus and express your pain;  it can often be helpful to share with a person about the wound and open up about the pain, giving some air to the wound
  2. Forgive the person:  you can do this to their face or in a letter or conversation; but at the minimum forgive them in your heart so the wound doesn’t get infected
  3. Cover the wound:  ask Holy Spirit to help you cover / protect the wound from stuff getting inside and making it fester with more pain
  4. Keep the wound aerated:  from time to time, it’s helpful to uncover the wound to look at the healing progress, ensuring that your forgiveness stays fresh and you’re giving Holy Spirit access for continued healing

In this human experience, I’m learning that it’s important to give air / expression to wounds and injuries so that Holy Spirit can bring healing and redemption for the hurts we encounter in life.  Get some air!

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Posted by sarahbowling in busy, enemies to intimacy, fellowship, Genuine love, grow, Heavenly Help, Holy Spirit, listen, living, prayer, spiritual, thought life, travel, uncertainty, values, 0 comments

What’s Enough?

Having finished another Halloween season, the question lingers about too much candy or enough candy.  And I think we could push the “enough” question into lots of areas in our lives.  When do we have enough money?  Food? Success? Stuff? Time? Exercise? Entertainment? Power?  Church? Influence? Energy?  In my opinion, we humans can have insatiable appetites – we want more of what we like & it’s not uncommon that we can’t ever seem to get “enough.”  And I don’t think this only holds true for addicts or people who struggle with limits.

We see this same “enough” theme expressed in the Bible with:

  • Solomon who never seemed to have enough women, despite having 700 wives and 300 concubines
  • Nebuchadnezzar who had so much power, glory and wealth that he erroneously believed in his human  supremacy until a divine interruption made him a raving lunatic for 7 years (Daniel 4)
  • Judas who betrayed Jesus for more money – but his realization that money wasn’t more important than Jesus came too late in his thinking

And I think you could speculate that Martha possibly struggled with control (telling Jesus what to do regarding her sister in Luke 10:40 & her brother’s body being rancid with death in John 11).  It’s possible that Joseph, Jacob’s son,  wanted more power over his brothers when he kept telling them about his dreams and maybe flaunting the coat of many colors that his dad gave him.

So what do we do with the challenge about having “enough”?  In the steps below, I’m suggesting some things that could be helpful to you & maybe some friends with whom you’d consider sharing this blog 🙂

  1. Where in your life might you see this “enough” struggle play out?  In what spaces of your life do you want more?
  2. Does your desire for more cause you to behave in excessive ways?  Do you find yourself temporarily satisfied until the satisfaction dwindles and becomes “not enough”?
  3. Consider this truth:  I believe that we have insatiable appetities with only one resolution.  Since God is infinite, the only solution for insatiable is infinite.  In Ephesians 1:23 Paul tells us that God fills all things in all ways.
  4. Let the “more / enough” trigger serve as a reminder to look to our Inifinte God to be enough and fully satisfy that trigger and desire

With these steps, I’m keen for you to live in the reality that God is enough and here’s an example of what this looks like in my life.  My appetite for more isn’t expressed with sugar, money, image, food, power nor stuff.  Where I get tripped up with not having enough, is with friends.  It’s not that I don’t have enough friends but I can struggle with having deep friendships – it’s like I want more depth.  This used to frustrate me until I came to realize that my desire for deep connection is what God has given me so that I can only be satisfied with God meeting that desire for depth and connection.

So I’m increasingly living in the awareness that my desire for more and having enough is most thoroughly satisfied in my connection with God.  There’s an old worship song that I sing from time to time that helps me live a more fulfilling and satisfying life:  All of You is More Than Enough 🙂

 

 

 

 

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Posted by sarahbowling in busy, enemies to intimacy, fellowship, Genuine love, grow, Heavenly Help, Holy Spirit, listen, living, prayer, relationships, spiritual, thought life, uncertainty, values, watch, 0 comments

3 Benefits to a Saul Grinder

Ever feel like you’re going through the ringer, like life is just hard & almost nothing is going right?  I’ve been reading about David in the Bible & how he spent more than a decade running away from King Saul who was trying to kill him. Maybe a little like a meat grinder, David was in the Saul grinder for a long time. When you read the Psalms that he wrote in the Saul grinder season, these Psalms are overflowing with David crying out to God to be his shield, comfort, strength, shepherd, provision & so much more!!

Maybe David went through the Saul grinder to help us today, when we go through various difficult seasons. Let’s allow Holy Spirit to encourage us in the grinder times that Holy Spirit is with us, walking alongside us.  These seasons can have tremendous benefits for helping us:

  1. grow closer with God,
  2. develop stronger trust in God,
  3. see God do miracles & sharpen our focus on God rather than the challenges  & problems that seem to be so difficult.
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Posted by Sarah in busy, fellowship, Genuine love, Holy Spirit, listen, living, prayer, relationships, spiritual, thought life, travel, 0 comments

Having Jesus Relationships

I just finished a really wonderful phone call & I’m enjoying the settled & exciting residue of that conversation. As I’m thinking about it now, I’m recognizing God’s fingerprints on both the chat & this friendship.  To recognize & appreciate God friendships, here are a few pointers:

  • differences are delightful but conformity is bland.  Enjoy the journey to discover different perspectives & ways of doing things!
  • trust and transparency are interdependent.
  • communicate for depth & connection, not just information
  • keep forgiveness as a core priority, fresh and authentic
  • pray over your friendships to discern God friendships and natural friendships

David & Jonathon are a great model for a God friendship!  Feel free to read about this friendship for some interesting insights – 1 Samuel 18-20.

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Posted by Sarah in busy, enemies to intimacy, family, fellowship, Genuine love, grow, Heavenly Help, Holy Spirit, listen, living, prayer, relationships, spiritual, values, watch, 0 comments

Some Sherpa Help :)

A few years ago, I read a book about a guy climbing Mt Everest & what really caught my attention wasn’t the significance of his achievement. Instead, I found myself very interested in the sherpas that make such expeditions possible. Sherpas are individuals who carry the mountain climbing gear along the way, to enable a climber to make it to the top.

From reading that book, I began to think about how God wants to carry my burdens in my daily living. In Ps 68:19 it says, “Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears our burden, The God who is our salvation.”

Let’s allow God to be our daily Sherpa as we go through

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Posted by Sarah in busy, fellowship, Genuine love, grow, Heavenly Help, Holy Spirit, listen, living, prayer, relationships, spiritual, thought life, travel, uncertainty, values, watch, 2 comments

The Encouragement Factor

You can do it!!”  When we do difficult stuff & go through challenging seasons, receiving encouragement can be really helpful!  I see a great example of the power of encouragement when Jonathan went out to David, when David was discouraged & really pressed to the wall. Jonathan’s dad, Saul, was chasing David & trying to kill him, so I suspect that Jonathon’s encouragement was all the more helpful to David. Basically, Jonathan told David that David would become king & Jonathan was very supportive of David.

When someone is in a tough spot, seems discouraged, going through a challenging season or is experiencing setbacks & hardships, let’s be committed to encourage them!  Speaking life & giving hope is what God does for us & can do through us as well!

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Posted by Sarah in busy, enemies to intimacy, fellowship, Genuine love, grow, Heavenly Help, Holy Spirit, listen, living, prayer, relationships, thought life, uncertainty, values, watch, 0 comments

Thoughts From a Meltdown

In the Bible, Job is a fascinating read.  Within the first two chapters, we get an insider’s look at conversations between God & Satan about Job.  God is bragging & Satan is accusing, true to form.  From these conversations, Job goes through an horrific season, losing all of his wealth, all of his kids die in one day, his wife is surly, he gets very hurtful boils & his friends are very unfriendly & not constructive.  Job’s life was in meltdown for several months, according to theologians.

What are some helpful things Job said, that might be encouraging to us today?  Below is a list of some key verses and thoughts from Job.  Feel free to share this blog with anyone you know who might be experiencing a life meltdown.

6:14, “For the despairing man there should bekindness from his friend; So that he does not forsake the fear of the Almighty.”

10:12, “You have granted me life and lovingkindness; And Your care has preserved my spirit.”

13:15, “Though He slay me, I will hope in Him.”

19:25, ““As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, And at the last He will take His stand on the earth.”

23:10, “But He knows the way I take;  WhenHe has tried me, I shall come forth as gold.”

29:3, “When His lamp shone over my head, Andby His light I walked through darkness;”

42:2, “I know that You can do all things, And that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.”

20:20, “Because he knew no quiet within him, He does not retain anything he desires.”

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Posted by Sarah in busy, enemies to intimacy, fellowship, Genuine love, grow, Heavenly Help, Holy Spirit, listen, living, prayer, relationships, spiritual, thought life, uncertainty, values, watch, wednesday nights, 2 comments

Solutions, Provisions & Answers

Sometimes life can be very challenging. We can go through seasons when we don’t have enough money, time, energy, etc. We can also get birraged with problems & pummeled with questions. It seems to me that everyone goes through difficult times when it feels like we’re drowning & when we desperately need a life jacket, not just a life hack.

If you, or someone you know, is in this kind of a season, I pray that this blog would be helpful. In this kind of season, it’s been soothing to realize & embrace that God has more:

  • Answers than I have questions,
  • Solutions than I have problems,
  • Provisions than I have needs.

Let’s keep our eyes on & trust in God today, even hour by hour. God is helping us & these experiences can train us to know God better & trust God more!

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Posted by Sarah in busy, fellowship, Genuine love, grow, Heavenly Help, Holy Spirit, listen, living, prayer, relationships, spiritual, thought life, travel, uncertainty, values, watch, 0 comments

Running Out of Gas

I have a friend who routinely runs out of gas, despite texts from her husband, the warning light & calendar reminders. Similar to my friend, sometimes the demands of life exceed the energy in our souls & bodies. So what should we do when we run out of gas?

Here are some suggestions that might be helpful:

  • Sabbath – the biblical principle of a day of rest on a weekly basis is very helpful
  • Focal Point – let tomorrow stay in Gods hands & trust God to give you strength for this hour
  • Walking – strange as it sounds, taking a walk (even a short one) will often give me some added energy
  • Food – I find that when I eat lots of sugar, drink an overload of caffeine I get tired really fast (water & fresh veggies are helpful alternatives)

May God give you strength in the inside for this day!  Psalm 138:3 🙂

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Posted by Sarah in busy, fellowship, Genuine love, grow, Heavenly Help, Holy Spirit, listen, living, prayer, relationships, spiritual, thought life, travel, uncertainty, values, watch, 0 comments

3 Tips for Tense Conversations

Yesterday, I had some very heated discussions & I didn’t enjoy them.  They were challenging to me & it took me awhile to let my emotions unwind & settle down. When I look at Jesus’ life, he had some heated exchanges not only with the religious leaders of His day but also some of His immediate followers. Here could be some helpful tips for these kinds of conversations:

1 – Why? What’s the purpose of the conflict? To be right? To reconcile? To understand the others perspective?

2 – How? How did we get to this place of hostile exchange?  It helps to understand each persons journey up to that point

3 – When & Where?  What space is needed to facilitate a constructive discussion?  Sometimes a little bit of time & a neutral location can help reset the conversation for better resolution & less carnage.

And of course there’s the ever helpful forgiveness essential – a gift we give ourselves 🙂

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Posted by Sarah in busy, enemies to intimacy, family, fellowship, Genuine love, grow, listen, living, prayer, relationships, spiritual, thought life, values, watch, 0 comments