People are either a blessing or a lesson.
That is beautiful because it almost rhymes and expresses profound truth. So we should not despise the people who are lessons to us — the frustrating ones. It appears to me that is generally cute to despise others: “I don’t hate people. I just feel better when they’re not around,” one T-shirt says. And thus we families that fall apart. Since we can’t get along with others (we are unwilling to work at building relationships and blame others, not ourselves), we wind up with loneliness.
This is my plea for you to work at relationships, to restore, to forgive, and to give without expecting in return. Demolition is much easier than construction. To tear down feels pleasurable. But the rubble left is no fun. It is better to build, even if it is costly. Build your family, your friendships, your church.
Even unbelievers admire Jesus. From the excruciating agony of the cross, he uttered these words about his crucifiers: Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.
It is another testament to the veracity of the crucifixion story. That unschooled fishermen could concoct such a counter-intuitive and unnatural denoument is the more unbelievable story that atheists buy into. Remember Peter’s natural reaction was to cut off the high priest’s servant’s ear to defend his Lord. All of the disciples expected Jesus to throw off the hated Roman domination and set up an earthly kingdom to the style of David. That things worked out completely so unexpected attests to the truth of the story.
So Jesus is our example of forgiving. I believe we become Christians when we forgive. And when we become Christians, as the years pass, we — I — need to continue to forgive. It is never easy, whether the offense be small or big. Especially as the offense gets bigger. I’m not trying to be glib. It may be an internal struggle requiring all of our effort, this difficult task of forgiving.
No, I’m not throwing stones at people struggling with forgiveness. Really, I’m trying to encourage you to continue trying to forgive.
The reason why Instagram, Pinterest and other photo-hosting sites are popular is because people crave beauty. I consider observing beauty a basic urge, on par with receiving love.
When I was a literature major, I hungered for a good book, one with jeopardy, three-dimensional characters, and a reasonable but surprising denouement. Above all else, it must evoke meaningful themes that leave reflection lingering.
This is why I pray. I am pursuing the happy ending to the senseless chaos in the lives of people around me. You can watch a drama.
You can admire an art. You can take pictures.
Or you can create living art, the transformation of lives freed from the dungeon of lostness, liberated to the thrill of love, purpose and family found only in God. Some snap photos, others brandish brush, I bow my head.
Posted in prayer
Tagged art, beauty, Bible, Christianity, church, Faith, God, inspiration, Jesus, lostness, marriage, ministry, pastors, photography, photos, relationships, salvation
Being broke is good — for prayer.
I often rued the crushing mortgage that crowded my prayer time. Wouldn’t it be wonderful just to pray for souls and not have to worry about dollars? Alas, now I no longer have such mind-numbing payments — and now (I’m ashamed to admit) it’s hard to raise the temperature of my prayers.
Don’t despair the problem driving you to your knees! Worse is flatlining! The Salvation Army’s founder went so far as to say he wanted his workers in debt to guarantee they would constantly pray!
When the answer does not immediately come, there is a need for patience. Don’t stress out, burn out or flame out. Stick to prayer. God is answering!
I haven’t seen the “Two Broke Girls,” the
latest drivel from Hollywood. I only know that being broke — whether you’re two girls, three guys, or a ministerial family — has a flip side.
Posted in Financial Talk
Tagged believing, Bible, Christianity, church, Faith, God, hope, inspiration, Jesus, love, marriage, ministry, pastors, prayer, relationships
People don’t stay too “long” with prayer. Pic from Pinterest
It’s not that He prayed imperfectly. Jesus wanted to show us the supreme importance of persisting in prayer. Don’t quit; the answer’s coming!
Once more Jesus put his hands on the man’s eyes. Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored – Mark8:25 NIV. The first time Jesus prayed, the healing was partial. Not because he couldn’t pray right the first time. No.
He wanted to show what he taught in the
parable of the unjust judge in Luke 18:1-7.
That parable is unusual because most lack explicit interpretations. But Luke 18:1 says: Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.
Is there anything faster than people giving up on marriage, a diet, and prayer? You ought to hang with all three because good will result!
Seven failures in a row do not make you a failure.
Just ask George Washington. He lost seven successive battles but won the war. He was voted president of the newly formed United States of America. His revolution inspired freedom movements among colonies in both Americas (North and South).
Did he kick himself for mucking up when he became famous for retreating? Did he grovel with feelings of inadequacy? I don’t know. What I do know is that he continued fighting until he won. Place no time limits on God. If things don’t work out well now, they may later. Don’t despair, just keep plugging away!
Every time you fail, you’re one step closer to the formula of success!
Posted in inspiration
Tagged Christianity, church, depression, failure, God, hope, Jesus, love, marriage, ministry, motivation, relationships, self confidence, self esteem, self help, success, suicide
My friend goes into a beetle curl. A search engine optimization genius, he nonetheless has not met with financial success — yet. There are so many things he could do to promote his business that he doesn’t know which to do. Failure has hounded him. Worse of all, it hounds him in his mind. Depression descends on him, and he gets in bed, unable to move.
Pic from Pinterest
Yeah, I know exactly what he’s going through. I WAS a successful missionary. Not anymore. Now I can’t seem to hit the mark here in the United States. After 16 years of being out of the country, it would appear I am defunct. Sometimes, I just want to go into the beetle curl.
Here’s the lessons if you ever feel like that:
1) Keep doing right things, even though everything screams to you that it’s not working.
2) Find someone who can speak encouragement to you. Shut out negativity.
3) Confess positive words over yourself. Believe in yourself. (You might as well do it; no one else will do that in this pernicious world.) Proverbs 18:21 says: Death and life are in the power of the tongue. What you say about you becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy..
From Laurie Coombs
4) Drink coffee! No joking! Eat balanced diet. Exercise. Let sunlight in. Read uplifting material. Listen to uplifting music. Watch inspiring movies. Etc.
5) When all else fails, go ahead and go into the beetle curl. Sleep a bunch. Things will look better after rest!
Posted in inspiration
Tagged Christianity, church, depression, Faith, God, hope, Jesus, marriage, motivation, relationships, success, suicide, uncategorized