Archive for March, 2011

Ultimate Makeover

March 25, 2011

When I become convinced, in my mind that Jesus is real, I begin to make significant changs because I admire Him so much.

When I let Jesus into my heart, He does things in me that are life changing, full of joy, and everyone sees a new person.  What does the world see – someone trying to make positive changes in their life or someone whose whole personality has been radically changed?

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Prayer when the world seems a mess

March 25, 2011

Lord, thank you for reminding me that You care about the good of our world and about everyone in it.  You care when evil people misrepresent You.  You care when evil people deface the beautiful things You have created.  You care about war, violence, greed and abuse of people and the sacred.  You care about the lost, lonely, sick, misguided and silly people.  You care about everyone I love.  You care about the things that make me sad because they are wrong.  They make You sadder than I’ll ever know.  If I cry over sin in me and others, You wept first, and with more feeling.

Thank you for caring about it all and about me.  And thank you that You are still in control and working out all things for good for all who love You.

Prayer about Death

March 24, 2011

Dear Lord, thank you that you have already planned every detail of my death, and it is lovingly planned.  You will be right there with me every minute until I see Your face, the face of the One I have loved so long and who has been with me forever.

Right and Wrong

March 24, 2011

How things turn out in no way changes the original act.  Otherwise the Christians who went to the lions would have been wrong to stand up for Jesus.  Offending someone may not be wrong, if the truth is spoken with love and care, even if they are white hot angry and vindictive.

How can it be right when it turned out wrong

March 24, 2011

The way things turn out in no way changes the rightness of the original act.  Otherwise the Christians who went to the lions would have been wrong to profess their faith.  The truth of what is said can’t be judged by the treatment of the speaker.  Offending someone may not be wrong if truth were spoken with love and care, even if they are still white hot with anger and vindictiveness.

Evolution and Survival of the Fittest

March 24, 2011

Something about the theory of human evolution just doesn’t make sense.  If a key component is “survival of the fittest”, it would seem those who survive are those who are most self interested.  Yet this doesn’t fit what we see.  There are so many people who are truly interested in the welfare of others, who sacrifice for others, you would think they would not be surviving.  Yet if those other-centered people also love and trust God, they seem to be really thriving.  They are happy, optimistic and healthy.  Those who sacrifice for others out of some sense of duty, rather than love, suffer compassion fatigue and burn out.  They aren’t thriving.  And those who live solely for self eventually wind down and suffer “self fatigue”.  They aren’t thriving either.

What Makes Happiness

March 24, 2011

What makes happiness?

1.  Be a friend of God.  Talk to God.  Trust God.

2.  Be grateful.

3.  Love and give.  The fragrance remains on the hand that gives the rose.

4.  Work toward goals that come from the heart.

5.  Learn new things and develop new skills.

6.  Make time to do things that bring enjoyment.

7.  Make time for people who bring joy.  Cultivate nourishing relationships.

8. Laugh.  Make a place for humor and share it.

9.  Capitalize on strengths and talents.

10.  Put beauty in life.

11.  Establish boundaries.

12.  Recognize choices.

Why do they do it?

March 18, 2011

I received a letter from a friend recently.  This man, who retired wealthy, has decided to give up a “Western” comfortable lifestyle and live in West Africa.  He lives in a communal building, sharing a room with two other men.  Their bath consists of a clogged sink, a toilet that flushes maybe one time in 10 because of “city sewer issues”.   The shower has no drain, only a hole leading to the outside, but it works–cold water only.  Rats live under the bed, and food often causes dysentery.  He has lost so much weight nothing fits.  Yet, he is so happy.  He is also well past retirement age.

Why does he do it?  He has sold out to Jesus Christ.  He identifies with the poor as Jesus did, and wants to live among them, sharing the life they live.  He knows for him it was a choice.  They have no choice.  He wants to share the message of God’s love with the poorest of the poor.  And he is able to actually help the poor.  He has a wide variety of skills and a lot of knowledge, and he has helped by starting many projects needing his “know how.”  He doesn’t know how long he will be able to do this, but he takes it a day at a time and lives each day on the “gift of grace.”

I actually know dozens of people who live like this man:  North Americans who live in conditions of hardship to try to make life better for the poor, and to give them hope.  You don’t see these people on the news.  They work quietly, and maybe its for the best, as it would be horrible if they were singled out for acts of terrorism.  As Christians, they work humbly and equally with Christians, Muslims and those who practice ancient religions or no religion.  They would be a goldmine of knowledge on how to get diverse groups to work together.

Why do they do what they do?  In many ways and many words, they all say the same thing.  The love of Jesus changed their hearts and changed their lives.  One man said to me: “When you know about Jesus, admiration for him makes you want to change your life.  When you know Jesus heart to heart, He changes your life and you can never be the same.”  Someone else said, “Jesus puts in so much love it has to come out.”

Dealing with Hostile People

March 17, 2011

Its so hard to have compassion when someone is hostile.  No matter how ill they are or how disordered are their circumstances, if they are hateful in their comments or body language, its difficult to maintain a kindly or even just objective manner.

One thing that helps is to remember the hostility is sort of a presenting symptom of what is going on underneath.  Its like a fever–meaningless alone, but it indicates something else is happening.  Under anger is usually pain, sadness,  fear or helplessness.  Remembering that, its easier to be helpful.  Lord, help me see the hurt under the difficult behavior, and help me soothe that hurt.

A Prayer for Help to Forgive

March 12, 2011

Lord, I know unforgiveness blocks Your living water in my own soul.  It cuts off the flow in my spiritual arteries.  What am I to do?  I see things and hear things that stab my heart.  Immediately I must bring them to You.  You saw what I saw.  You know I feel what I feel.  I am to leave this in Your capable hands.  You know what I cannot know.  You see into the heart of the other person, and You will deal with them in love, as is necessary.  I am to let go and just love.  I can “just love” by praying for their good, and by saying and doing good to them if and where I am able.  I am to think their good by remembering that You love them and You are bringing about good in their life.  Help me have Your thoughts and an attitude that pleases You.