How often have we put off important things until they're too late?
Today marks the beginning of Jesus' final week in Jerusalem. He tended his relationships to be sure all was in place, all was right. Let us also tend to our relationships and be sure all is right.
We think we always have time, another day, to tend to those things. But those things are at the very heart of our lives together, our communion with God and God's people.
Call someone you haven't talked to in awhile. Visit someone you haven't seen. Nurture your friendships and be with your family as you are able. Make time today. Don't put it off. For we never know who needs to be loved or when one's last breath might be.
Life is all too short and is made richer, better by being together. Blessings on this Palm Sunday as we begin our Holy Week journey. And may God change our hearts today.
Silence is so rare these days. Time to be in silence seems even more so.
But our relationship with God is so important and worth some time set aside, time to be together. Carve out time today to simply "be," in silence, and wait. Listen. God will surely speak if we quit talking and racing about.
And we have a lot to learn from the God who created us and loves us and guides us. Think how much better our day would be if we started it in silence, waiting and listening for God's guidance for the day. Think how much better our lives would be if we allowed God to teach us and lead us.
God's a forest and tree kind of God and we're just tree people. If God has the lay of the land and we see only a tree or two, don't you think we could learn a LOT by quieting ourselves and listening, waiting for God to show us the way?
Change my heart, O God. Quiet my mind and my life. Empower me to make time for us, and speak to me, teach me, guide me. Open my heart that I might be willing to learn.
Change my heart, O God. May I listen to you, that I may be (more) like you.
Speak Lord, your servant is listening...
Enough is one of those catch words for me. It comes from serving with a pastor in NC who used to preach about it frequently - there is enough, we just need to share. And that's where he went from preachin' to meddlin' (another of his sayings!). :-)
Enough what? Food, shelter, warm, clothes, affection, love, care, insurance, resources, money...and the list could go on, ad infinitum.
And all we need to do is share. It's one of those lessons we learn as toddlers. It's part of the elementary school curriculum, but once we grow up, it's everyone for him/herself. Why is that? Why is it drilled into our heads as children and rescinded as adults?
There really is enough of it all for all of us in this great big world, but some of us want it all and others of us believe it's scarce and we need to grab up all we can before it's gone. Don't give any away or we may be left without.
Sharing what we have with others is God's way to justice and equality. Sharing our love and resources with others, allowing folks to have a little dignity, would make the world a happier, friendlier, less violent place to live.
And allowing our fists to unclench just a little would help. Throwing some cheese and crackers into the glove box before we head out, voting for folks who want to share and help others, working on mission and service projects which help to level the playing field...that's one of the things I love about Rise Against Hunger, working together, having a great time, anybody can do it, and it supports so many people who don't have enough - food, education, resources, dignity.
We can each do something to help spread our "enough" around. Giving brings so much joy, and justice brings dignity and health to people and to our world.
Gracious God, help those who don't have enough. Help me to realize that it's me you've sent to do it. Open my heart and hands to see how much I have and be happy and ready to share with those who have need. Open my mind so I can see beyond scarcity into a world of plenty, given to us all by a God who desires to see us love and care for others. Change my heart, O God. May I be (more) like you.
Find the good in everyone today.
Great challenge! We're quick to find differences in others, and even quicker to figure out how those differences are "bad."
Today, let's figure out how those difference (or similarities) make the other unique and awesomely made. God loves that one, each one. So should we. So today, let's find out why!
They've gone from preachin' to meddlin' now! ;-D And I like to be right. :-/ <sigh> Yep, this one is a toe-stepper for me, I'm afraid.
And honestly, who likes to be wrong? We all like to be right, but it takes maturity and humility to admit when we're wrong and allow ourselves to learn from others.
It really is ok to be wrong, and folks will (mostly) respect us more when we can say it and step aside for someone else to be right. <sigh> ugh.
Suck it up (she says to herself) and humble yourself. After all, our model is the one who humbled himself to the point of death on the cross. If he can go that far, we can at the very least admit when we need to learn from someone else and step aside from time to time.
Ok, here goes...
Change my heart, O God! May I be (more) like you. Please Lord, may it be so.
April 7: A Jesus Mantra - inhale while saying "Lord Jesus Christ" and exhale saying "be in me today." Make it your mantra.
We are our own worst critic, aren't we? We're hard on ourselves and expect a lot of others when we set up expectations for ourselves and others that are either unrealistic or overly enthusiastic.
Take a breath and let it go.
Take life one step at a time.
Smile when you didn't make the goal and try again.
It's ok to experiment with life and life goals. They're only something to shoot for after all. You don't have to make it every time.
And the goals we set for others? Those are still *our* goals, not theirs. Their behavior isn't our responsibility, so breathe. Smile. :-)
It really is ok if someone does something you didn't expect or desire. Work around it. Those are the things that make life interesting. If everyone did what we expected, we'd soon grow bored anyway. :-)
It really is ok if you don't make it the first time, or the second. Keep trying and smile. :-)
God likes us just the way we are, and if we're good enough for God, we should be good enough for ourselves, right? <whew!> :-)
We humans aren't mind-readers, though many of us think our spouses should be. ;-)
We need to make known what we need (not selfish desires, mind you) so others know and aren't left guessing. In this way we are made whole, and can turn and serve others.
And in making our needs known to God, we humble ourselves before the One who created us, acknowledging our dependence on God for life itself.
Sometimes, we get busy and forget to eat well or drink enough water or exercise or relax or feed our brains or tell ourselves we're beloved children of God. In the midst of all the forgiveness and compliments and letting go and smiles (even though these are healthy (dopamines, baby!), sometimes, we forget to take care of ourselves.
Get that physical or mammogram or colonoscopy, forgive yourself, smile at yourself in the mirror and remind yourself that you're loved, you're God's, and you're pretty cool! :-) Go for a walk and check out all the flowers and buds and greening going on...and smile!
You're a beloved child of God and God needs you and wants you to be healthy and whole.
They'll think you're up to something! :-D
And maybe you are! God's work for God's people.
Folks are really just trying to be the best folks they can most days, but some days, it just doesn't work for us. Maybe all we need is a cheerleader, and pick-me-up, someone to remind us that we're not defined by our mistakes or foibles or even our outward appearance.
And besides that, God made us! There's something great about that alone, right? There's lots of reasons to focus on someone's positive points, but that one's a biggie. And focusing on the positive aspects of someone's life keeps us from looking for the negative, right?
So go ahead, tell somebody...everybody:
"Nice smile!" :-)
"Great job!" :-)
"Thanks for just being you!" :-)
"I really appreciate how you persevere through it all!" :-)
"Ya know, you're pretty cool!" :-) ;-)
Smile! :-) You're spreading a little cheer today! :-) And thanks! You're a beloved child of God, and I think you're pretty cool too! :-)
I'm a wife, mom, pastor, human...probably not in that order. I struggle each day to be faithful to God, to my family and to my call as a Christian and all of those previously-mentioned roles. I pray to be positive, kind and thoughtful, but tend to fall short on all counts. I am inspired by sunrises and enjoy taking pictures (mostly my kids, deer in the yard and sunrises). I waste time playing stupid computer games and wishing I'd been better at all of the aforementioned roles. ;-)