Category Archives: Loose Leaves
I have kind of stalled out on writing for this blog. I was excited about the challenges every week and had a format and an outline for the entire year. But I can’t seem to get the blog to pour out of me like it used to. To top that off I have had an idea that I haven’t focused on because I feel I should start with this blog. So I am going to let myself off the hook. I am going to stop trying to write. I really want to be serious about my writing but I need to choose when I am writing where my priorities lie.
So I am sad to say because I love doing this, but I am stopping this blog for a while.
“I have come as an ambassador” I announced walking into the room. That is definitely the first time I have ever spoken that sentence before! It was an issue that had arisen just before my boss went into an appointment. He was aware of it but he was not able to go immediately himself. So I went in his stead until he was able to go himself. I was an ambassador.
The interesting part was what happened to me after the fact. My boss was then in the meeting and I was not. I was anxious and worried. Why? These were my thoughts, “did I represent him well? Was what I said clear and would he have said it himself?”
That is when it hit me, I am never this nervous about how I represent Christ. And yet that I do every day all day. Not once can I think of coming home and wondering if God is pleased with how I represented Him. I sometimes worry about how I am affected by days events, sometimes I realize I have done wrong but the repentance is based more in how it affects me. Not in how I represented Christ as His ambassador. It really struck me, I should be more concerned about this. More aware at all times that I am speaking for Him.
Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. 2 Corinthians 5:20-21
His name was Wait-And-See. I first got him as a 10 cent feeder fish. He was so cute just swimming around in the tank. A few months later I moved from California to Nevada and he came with me. He survived four hours in the car one day, a night in a motel and another four hours the next day.
He grew and thrived until one day I realized the poor guy was so big he could barely turn around in the triangular one gallon tank. He would swim in circles in one direction all day. What a boring life!
So I got a ten gallon tank.
He grew and thrived more and more! He survived so many other fish. He ate the ghost shrimp that were supposed to be bottom feeders that cleaned the tank.
He got me thinking though, what kind of existence is that? To live in four square walls and swim in circles. They say that goldfish have only a 3 second memory. I hope that is true for their sake. How do they know? Who learned to speak goldfish? Are goldfish found in the wild? If so are they territorial? Because if so how do they remember their territory?
This train of questioning could go on forever, and though I enjoy it I will leave you with just those few. If you know, leave me a comment and explain. Especially how they know Goldfish have a 3 second memory. That would be interesting to know. Or boring. I’m not sure. If its a scientific explanation then just give me a summary.
It has been a while since I have posted. I will get back to my normal postings soon. I just got back in country Friday and have been sick. More to come!!!
It is a little difficult updating how I am doing in this particular case as it has only been a short time since I wrote these posts, but it has been a blessing to remind myself of these habits that I pray I have created.
So review, keep coming back and remembering, and habitually be thankful!
On a plane ready to go to el sal. I have automatic posts coming but I will post pics and info about the trip when I come back! “See” you soon!
There have been season in my life that I would never ever want to relive. Nor would I want to wish them on my enemies. Difficult seasons of loss, trials of the heart, and times of overwhelming stress can sometimes crush our spirits. But what about the following Scriptures:
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
“In everything give thanks,” and “count it all joy when you fall into various trials.” How do we handle these ideas in the times that are not simple and easy to give thanks?
The first is to recognize how these things are used in our lives. Above I said that I would never ever want to relive those times, but I have to say that I would not wish them away. While I am not saying that I am glad whatever triggered the difficult time happened, I count the times after, though hard, precious.
A while back I wrote a post about the death of my friend’s granddaughter. While I would never wish that this precious life had ended, it was such an honor to walk with the family through that time. I learned a lot about grief and how to comfort people who are walking through grief. I am grateful for the deepened friendship, the sweetness of Christ ministering to the family through it, as well as the experience that it will give me for future ministry.
Please don’t get me wrong. I am not saying that when you hear difficult news you should immediately shout “Halelujah!” But I am saying that the longer you walk through hard times the easier it is to recognize how God truly does,
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
The biggest and best thing that I get out of difficult times is a deepened relationship with Jesus Christ. He ministers to the deepest parts of my soul. Let me quote the verses just before Romans 8:28:
Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us* with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
This is one of my favorite activities to help me take my thoughts captive and get my perspective back where it should be. Step 1 is to read these verses:
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy – meditate on these things.
The next step is to get a small portable notebook, I used 3×5 cards that are spiral bound. Portable is the key because this is a fun thing to take with you. Though, to be honest, one time I used sheets of paper. But I will explain that more in a moment.
Every few pages write one of the different words above as a header, or title.
Then starting thinking of things that come to mind when you read those words. Don’t worry about getting a lot, just try to get some. This is a working growing project. It is the practice of taking your thoughts captive. Its quite fun. Things don’t always have to be serious either, so long as you have some serious words, have fun with it.
The time I used papers was during a very stressful week at my church and so I typed up the words on sheets of paper and hung them in my office. Everyone who came in had to write something.
It is a fun activity that, though it isn’t specifically on thankfulness, it does help you take your thoughts captive and gets you in the mindset that is more thankful because you are focusing on the true, noble, just, pure, lovely, good report, virtuous, and praiseworthy things in life.