Friday, July 24, 2015

if God is here, why is there evil?

As a human race, we often struggle with the concept that God is holding court when so many atrocities are happening across our globe. With instant and constant news coverage, we are bombarded with bad news of the evil humans are capable of. And once one starts on the rabbit hole of related internet stories, our anxiety and helplessness rises.

The reason for evil in the world is paradoxically God's gift of free will. With that free will, humans can choose for good or ill. We can fight the tide by helping others, spreading words of encouragement, coming alongside needs and filling them, and praying for the suffering and bringing awareness of ways to help to those around us. This time on earth is short and we have something better to look forward to. Let us live like it and not waste our time taking in reams of negative news and then insulating ourselves against it by establishing our comfort. That is missing the point of life.

You are here to make a difference!

"For he shall never be moved; The righteous shall be had in everlasting remembrance. He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: His heart is fixed, trusting in Jehovah." Psalm 112: 6 &7 ASV

Monday, February 17, 2014

A good friend will tell you like it is

We do not walk life's road alone. In addition to seeking God and good for our lives through His word and prayer, it makes sense to surround ourselves with people who do the same. This does not mean to surround ourselves with only others who think like we do for we need to be impacting the world, not living in a bubble. But when we are living life intentionally and earnestly, we will be blessed by sharing with others of like mind and love for God. In matters of importance, if we find ourselves all of a sudden drifting to counsel from yes men and women, it makes sense to look at what we choices are trying to excuse in our lives.

" Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.”Come back to your senses as you ought, and stop sinning; for there are some who are ignorant of God—I say this to your shame. "
1 Corinthians 15:33

A good friend will tell you like it is.

"Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses." Proverbs 27:6

Monday, October 21, 2013

happy people know this

Study the lives of those who are filled with a steady stream of optimism and joy and hope. They will have roots in looking out for more than themselves. For when we step back from our own interests to take in the needs of others and look for a way to impact their lives for good, our own troubles shrink in comparison. For really, we are each one person in a world of many more. Shouldn't our thoughts be proportionately relative?

God says:

These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full. This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you.  Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. 

John 15:11 + 12 NASB

The good news is that if you find yourself overthinking and worrying about your own things today -- you can take a load off and love someone else where they are. Spread hope.

the Secret of the spritually efficient

We are all looking for meaning every day. Which is why we are attracted to deep thoughts, philosophical discussions, fantastical speakers, stories of more than we have (both spiritually and physically) But how we refuel spiritually is not always efficient. If we take in all of the above and then come to God (through His Word and prayer) last, we have cheated ourselves of the peace and clarity that He promises right away.

He makes it clear: we cannot bear fruit (lead the kind of inspirational lives we want to) unless we abide in Him.

Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit [a]of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me.

John 15:4 NASB

Thursday, July 4, 2013

imperfect people wanted

if you feel like having faith means needing to have it all together
you are wrong!
it's actually the opposite
check out the psalms for David's whinings and groanings
"Give ear to my prayer O God, and do not hide Yourself from my supplication. Attend to me and hear me; I am restless in my complaint, and moan noisily.." Ps 55:1-2

it's natural to have periods of discouragement and we can bring those feelings to our Creator instead of being ashamed of them.

the next time you are talking with someone stuck in that place, hear them out and show them encouragement by praying with them about their feelings. it doesn't do anyone good to slap a smile and a "I'm fine" on hurt.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

turn worry into something productive

our state as humans is always in flux. even when things are seeming to sail smoothly, we don't know what's around the corner of life. if we are aware of our chaos, and the ever changing emotions that accompany stress, we still don't have to lose heart.
we may waver, but God is constant.
reflect on what He tells us about Himself via His Word.
"The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged." Deutronomy 31:8 NIV
He says "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End." Revelations 22:13 NIV

He knows what we are facing now. He knows what is around the corner. And He is there for us. to worry is human, but He commands us to do the divine instead. pray -- taking what is on your heart to Him. that is not to say you won't have the same fearful thoughts creep up, but you can go into a repeat prayer pattern and be comforted.

"Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done." New living translation philippians 4:6

Monday, September 12, 2011

relational martyrdom

we don't need to do it
Christ has done all the laying down.
we are not acruing points for our hard-done-by-ness (ie." don't worry about me, nothing ever goes my way, that's the kind of life i have, doing things for others and seeing nothing in return...")

the kind of manipulative martyrdom that we often witness of this earth has no place in the Christian walk
if you are putting yourself aside to serve another,
ask God for the grace to do it outside of yourself
and to stop keeping track of "wrongs" or "slights" or ways in which you feel you are hard down by.

better to put healthy boundaries in place relationally
not selfish ones (ie. "no one can encroach on my time")
but time to recharge in the Word and go on renewed,

"but whose delight is in the law of the LORD,
and who meditates on his law day and night.
3 That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
whatever they do prospers." psalm 1:2&;3 NIV

and saying no when you need to. {whether for the good of yourself (so you don't burn out) or the one asking (to prevent them from avoiding their own responsibilities) -- saying yes all the time is not always a good thing}
so you can live on giving and not needing to keep track of what you've done
because Christ has first loved you
and given you all you need

if you feel lack, go to your Father. don't try and guilt it out of the ones around you on earth.

"You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD

PSALM 23:5&;6 NIV