Stuff to know

Friday, April 18, 2014

How to suffer well

It is a Good Friday, Indeed. This morning I was a bit umm... unawake. Have any

 of you caught on to the fact that I’m not really a morning chick? Anyway since 

it was taking me a while to get it together, I decide to sip coffee a bit longer and 

read a devotional in my inbox from Sheloves.

 It spoke of heaving our burdens on to the Cross. The author was writing from 

an abandon concentration camp, where there were unimaginable burdens. One 

sentence in particular caught my attention. She wrote " And even here , in my 

own life , when I don’t suffer well, and I don’t give thanks.. This place is 

marked by His holy fire too."  That phrase “suffer well” stayed with me. 
No one wants to suffer. 

Yet it’s inevitable if you’re a believer or not. Everyone has a certain amount of suffering in life. As believers we can actually expect a certain amount of suffering just because we choose Jesus. We are also called to enter into someone else’s suffering. I know crazy right? But true. "Bear one another's burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ." Galatians 6:2 There are times when you are not suffering and entering the suffering of someone else can ease theirs. This is how Jesus lived. He didn’t offer advice and walk away. He didn’t give you “the answer” and arrogantly walk off hoping you’d get “right” with God. No He showed you.  He came and entered our suffering. Stepped down form heaven’s throne to hang out with the sinning, stinky, obstinate people of earth. He lived and walked among this imperfect world. He experienced temptation and physical pain. He got tired, He had his heart broken, and He was hungry, dirty and homeless. And in all this He loved by demonstration. He entered into our life and loved us.  And he didn’t leave it there.  

He decided He loved us so much that He wanted to be together with us always. In order to do that He had to enter a suffering and carry a burden that as meant for us. He didn’t just share it, He took that whole mess. We may experience pain and suffering here on earth in which He shares that suffering with us, alongside us.  He is present. But the suffering of the Cross paid our guilt and the price for our sins, all of them. We are not going to share that burden. We are going to be exempt from it because He took it ALL, all by Himself. He didn’t just enter into our suffering, He opted us out. There is no merger or buy out in the history of humanity that is that good.With that Good News, with that freedom we can freely enter into another’s suffering as so fulfill the law of Christ. As we have been loved, let us so love

We have some friends that our middle daughter babysits for that have a child with leukemia. Those two words in the same sentence child and leukemia give me shudders just like they do you. But this family is a shining example of how to “suffer well”. They have chosen the route of giving all trust to God. They refuse to have anything but life spoken over them. They ask for prayers and extend the privilege of entering into their suffering to watch God act. You can follow their story on Facebook at Warrior Shepard.  

Monday, March 31, 2014

One Grateful Year: The 30 for 30 Plan

One Grateful Year: The 30 for 30 Plan: It is almost April! It time to demand SPRING!! Many of us will take on the big "Spring Clean" We are ready to shake...

One Grateful Year: The 30 for 30 Plan

One Grateful Year: The 30 for 30 Plan: It is almost April! It time to demand SPRING!! Many of us will take on the big "Spring Clean" We are ready to shake...

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Not Right, Just Real

In the Jewish Talmud there is a reference that states  “greater than one who does mitzvah, is one who causes others to do mitzvah"

In Luke 17 Jesus talks about sin coming into the world but woe to the man whom they come.
He goes on to say  that it would be better for a milstone to be hung around the neck
and drown in  the sea than to cause one of these little ones to sin. 

This scares me  -
For any teacher, mother, father, or mentor this is scary --they are watching you – 
they want to be like you ,
you have a rare window of opportunity to shape, mold, teach, preach and
have a trusting relationship with your children and then its gone. 

Then in verse 3 Jesus says “Pay attention to yourselves”- this is self introspection –
I wonder if we could review a video tape of ourselves at the end of everyday with our key moment’s in it
Would we like what we see?
Would we be pleased with  how our children reacted to what we said and did?
Would we be pleased?  or Horrified? 

Probably a mix of both.

I know I wish I would have slowed down to SEE
Our behavior and poor choices can cause another to accept
our sin as okay and  then follow suit.  

In equal measure  our good choices or our “mitzvah” can cause others to do well.

We can inspire rather than degrade

We can encourage rather discourage

We can be light and not darkness.

But either way we pay it forward,
plant something somewhere in each other with every action and choice.

It can be overwhelming yet
This isn’t about doing it “right” -it’s about doing it real.

We are thinking, wonderfully ,fearfully created beings by an all knowing and all loving God.  

We can as Jesus says “Pay attention to ourselves,"
Not in pride or self absorption but in SEEING ---
Pay attention to what you say, what you do.

And prior to doing that it is advisable to pay attention to what you hear,
what you look at,
what you read,
what you allow to get into your soul via your time, schedule, money and environment
The old adage garbage in, garbage out has been proven over and over.
And to that we might add garbage picked up.
Feed yourself with trash, vomit that trash up and watch others pick it up and make it their own.

But the opposite is also true
Feed yourself with goodness, and give goodness to others
and they will pick it up and make it their own, and they will give it away.
And light will give light
While Mitzvah means commandment it  has a secondary meaning of doing  acts of human kindness.
Want to be great?  Give kindness.

Want to be greater? Be one who causes others to be kind.

Isn’t that how God starts with us?
He is kind, so kind.

His loving kindness has no bounds.
He, the greatest of all, gives us His kindness and when we receive it we are kind to others.
May I add here to also be kind to yourself...
Self loathing and guilt have no place in forwarding the gift of kindness you have been given. (but that’s another story for another day) 

You do not have to earn God’s kindness over and over.

He just gives it to you – moment after moment
May we do the same with others, because we are His.

Don’t make people earn your kindness,
don’t let your circumstances dictate weather kindness makes and appearance or not. 
God is kind to you –
 You be kind to you
 You be kind to others,
 So kind that you cause others to do mitzvah too.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

LOVE is spelled TIME

I do not like to be bored. 
"Idle hands are the devils workshop."
"Necessity is the mother of invention."

These two proverbs have proven their wisdom time and again.
I have been both the criminal and the genius with my time.

I like to get stuff done. I do. I’m a huge list maker. 
It helps me get my thoughts in order and I like the feeling
 I get when I cross and item off!!
 Yeah accomplishments!!
But in my pursuit of conquering said list I get tunnelvisioned  into tackling the tasks, 
and before I know it I missed life in real time. 

What will fill my time?

Wanting so badly to get the dishwasher unloaded I dismissed a little one who wanted to help mama.
Wanting it done just so that I lost the opportunity to make a new friend.
Crossing it all off only to look up and see the day has passed me by.

Trying to get to a state of “doneness” so I could get on with life bit me in the bum. 

Because, life, REAL LIFE, was happening all around me .
important times

 The items on any daily list should  be worked into the main event, not be the main event.
How often are we guilty of the reversal?  Working our families, our marriages, our friendships into sidebars as we plow through our “to do’s”.
crazy time

time well spent
Time’s ticking can neither be slowed nor halted, but it can be gathered.
Gathered into poignant moments that lead to precious memories.
Even in the midst of our daily deeds.

Don’t let time tick away without purpose.
Take back your time from meaningless tasks,
mindless entertainment and unproductive thoughts.

Refuse to have an attitude of tackling time because you might just get sacked.