Learn how to “stay positive” from this next-generation motivational speaker.
Matt Foley would be proud!
Learn how to “stay positive” from this next-generation motivational speaker.
Matt Foley would be proud!
When I think of weariness, I think first of physical weariness. We experience that after enduring a long day, week, or season of exerting ourselves too much physically.
Physical weariness is easy to recognize and generally is quickly corrected with the right amount of rest & diet.
However, I think emotional and spiritual weariness are much more difficult to recognize, and they take greater recovery time because of the subtlety that often allows them to go undetected for longer periods of time. These kinds of weariness are just as real as the physical, but the prescription for me is often more than just a simple good night’s sleep or day off.
I’ve learned the following about my own emotional and spiritual weariness…
Weariness can be a result of thinking I can control people, places, and things; which I cannot. And, believing I somehow know better than God what’s best concerning me without remaining open to his larger perspective and greater purpose.
Weary? Think about this as a starting point:
It’s our weariness that Jesus uses to invite us back into the welcoming heart and rejuvenating spirit of God.
Jesus asks, “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me.”
“Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you.”
“Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” —Matt 11:28-30 the msg.
It seems the road of weariness leads us straight to God!
I’ve been reading online about the wonder of water www.watercure.com and of all its benefits if we only drank it more regularly. The author of this website [Dr. B.] claims that human beings are not sick but thirsty.
“I did not invent water. I only discovered its importance to health and wellbeing. As a doctor, I ask you to give water a try.” Understanding dehydration will empower you to become much healthier…” –Dr. F. Batmanghelidj, M.D.
Now, I don’t know if water cures everything that Dr. B. claims it does, however, I do drink plenty of water and feel more healthy when I do. I think it’s worthy to note Dr. B’s argument:
“Water is the basis of all life and that includes your body. Your muscles that move your body are 75% water; your blood that transport nutrients is 82% water; your lungs that provide your oxygen are 90% water; your brain that is the control center of your body is 76% water; even your bones are 25% water.”
Reading about this really got me thinking about how the word “water” is used in the scriptures and how significant it is.
Water is first mentioned in Genesis 1:2 [the 1st chapter of the bible], and last mentioned in Revelation 22:17 [the last chapter of the bible], and flows 722 times between those pages; a fascinating study if you have the time.
Interestingly enough to me, some words of Jesus seem to parallel spiritually with the wonder of water that Dr. B. claims benefits us physically.
“whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” –John 4:14
Perhaps water cures in more ways than we might originally imagine!
It seems wise to take both Dr. B’s and Jesus’ words seriously because dehydration both physically and spiritually is real.
But may you also know, so is the living water that can truly cure us!
We all need love to survive.
Friends, moms and dads, brothers and sisters, husbands and wives, boyfriends and girlfriends, children; we die–at the very least in spirit–without it. Yet, the love we can give to one another is limited at best and often broken in part by our own brokenness.
I could go on, but the truth is this…
We ALL love with an imperfect love. And when we’ve been wounded by imperfect human love, we must turn to the source of whom that love begins with anyway.
“In order not to be destroyed by the wounds inflicted by that imperfect human love, we must trust that the source of all love is God’s unlimited, unconditional, perfect love, and that this love is not far away from us but is the gift of God’s Spirit dwelling within us. ” –Henri Nouwen
We should all be aiming for an improving love that looks much more compellingly like that which God originally loves us with. But, let’s also be clear on what and where the source of that perfect love comes from, and ask there for some help!
32 years ago today my dad lost a battle with cancer at age 34–I was 12.
I’ll never forget the morning my mother sat us down to tell us he had passed, it was the single most painful day of my life to date.
But that traumatic event has largely shaped who I am today in some very positive ways.
Here are a few that come to mind today as I reflect back:
God is a capable “father to the fatherless” ps 68:5. God’s words are true and he never leaves us alone!
I’ve grown to understand and trust that no matter how dark the darkness, devastating the loss, or deep the despair, God is never distant but always near.
Three Thoughts and Prayers for Someone:
If you’ve lost a father or have been abandoned by one, know that God’s near and can heal you.
If you’re a father, and not acting like one, pray for God’s help and know things can change.
If you’re a wonderful father to your own children, please pray for opportunities to reflect the heart and love of God to those who are fatherless and who need to know they’re not alone.
Needing Some Father’s Love?
Play this video clip and I pray God’s Spirit will visit you and you’ll know He’s near!
One of my favorite theologians, thinkers, and pastors is NT Wright, the Bishop of Durham. I love the wisdom and message he offers here to the next generation of christian leaders.
I’ve learned much at bible college and seminary for which I’m grateful for [totaling five+ years of my life in all]. But I think NT just summed up in ONE MINUTE what I spent YEARS hoping to learn:
How can I best follow Christ and pastor, and then inspire others to do the same?
Of all the “complicated schemes” that I’ve either been introduced to through training or just picked up myself–of what I should be working at and developing as a follower of Christ, christian leader, and pastor–these are so refreshingly simplistic and yet vital:
The bible, prayer, and loving people!
I still have much to learn but these inspire me. Praying they inspire you, too!
We possess one of the most incredible abilities ever given by God–the power to make others feel special and that they truly matter! Dignity. We all need it to survive and thrive. And, when you withhold or rob a person of it, you could be effecting ones will to live.
Think about this:
“The way to gauge someone’s real character might be to see how they treat the people they don’t need.”
No one–not a single person in this world –should ever be made to feel inferior. Every person you come in contact with today, either directly or indirectly in passing, has value. You have the opportunity to remind them by showing it.
“Man cannot live without dignity, nor should he live without making every effort to confer it on others.” –Rabbi Shmuley Boteach
Dignity just might be the most essential human necessity we all crave and need from one another. And giving dignity is one of the most essential human reasons for being!
Gratitude for people is a wonderful thing that opens up our hearts to so much more of life.
For me, when I think about the wonderful ladies God has blessed me with to love, care, and provide for, it moves me to a much larger perspective of living than I could ever see or experience without them.
Being grateful for “stuff” is certainly better than taking it for granted, but there is no real essence of life in “things” to give back to us anything other than the use of them. Conversely, living in constant gratitude for the people God’s places in our lives, now that’s Life-Giving!
So, love more deeply and allow gratitude to flow for ALL the people placed in your life. And, experience more meaningful and expansive living that opens you up to all kinds of new and exciting adventures.
I have Faith. I have Doubts. And I appreciate them both.
It seems contradictory to some that a person of faith would admit they have doubts too; Isn’t doubt the opposite of faith? I’ve personally experienced that faith and doubt often hold hands, and to grow deeper in faith, I must live in the tension of both as I trust God and HIS spirit to resolve that tension.
I ask questions. Lots of questions. In my prayers, thoughts, and in my conversations with God and others, questions arise out of sincere honesty like:
I doubt God can be entirely love and still allow evil to exist. So, I ask God, “how can that be?”
His response…usually only silence, but often followed by a very real sense that HE IS entirely love and that that love is real and profoundly influencing the world we live in everyday. Oh, and by the way…evil still exist too. “Thanks a lot God for NOT helping me resolve this doubt.” But I’m also grateful that despite my questions, I’m growing more and more in faith that GOD IS indeed ENTIRELY LOVE!
My question without fully realizing it led me directly to that love. My question became central to my faith actually growing. It opened me up to look for guidance and answers outside of myself to discover that my doubt doesn’t have to deconstruct my faith but may indeed help build it.
Do Lots of Questions = Lack of Faith? I don’t think so.
For me they tend to increase my faith by trusting that God is bigger than my unresolved questions. God’s seems confident enough to offer space for us to approach him in faith and with doubt.
Must we choose FAITH or DOUBT…with one leading us toward God and the other away from him. Perhaps God is capable enough for both to lead us into him more deeply.
Faith and doubt are just not black and white with assigned spaces that never intersect–they often share space with each other which leaves plenty of room for God to be present in both!
In a time when religious systems, piously and presumptuously, have nailed-down promising prescriptions to live in God’s blessing, I find the simplicity of the following statement amazingly refreshing and the ultimate foundation for God’s blessing:
“the condition of God’s blessing is Absolute Surrender of ALL into HIS HANDS!” –Andrew Murray
If we want God’s lasting blessing in our lives, it must start with giving ourselves [thoughts, attitudes, actions, relationships, vocations, hopes, disappointments, etc.] wholly and entirely to God to work in and through. God seems to care for those things that are wholly devoted to him.
I’ve been wrestling with how much of my life, and in my own work and pastoral ministry, I’ve done in the spirit of the flesh and in the power of self–not intentionally and not even completely knowingly; but all so subtly and painfully. Failure for a Christian is to live outside of God’s best intention and purpose for our lives, which just might involve too much self-effort on our part.
Could it be our greatest failure is that we too often are trying to do in our own strength what Christ alone can do in us?
Remember this: for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose. –Phillipians 2:13
Consider praying this: “Lord, is there anything in me that is not according to Your will, that has not been ordered by You, or that is not entirely given up to You?
That’s the kind of absolute surrender that leads us to God’s true blessing!
The world God created is good. He created all people in his image and no amount of darkness or sin can ever fully erase God's original imprint. So, we should choose to look for God's goodness everywhere and in everyone!
Pastor, teacher, father and husband who believes the world is more malleable than we think and we can all help bend it into a better shape. www.hopepark.com