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Teaching Thoughts...Or Learning Thoughts...As the Case May Be

The saying goes, "You can't teach an old dog new tricks". Whether or not this is true I don't know. I do know this: I'm glad we aren't like dogs. Because I am learning new things every day and I'm not very young. Or old. I'm kinda in be tween ages right now. Ha!

Someone who follows Jesus should be learning new things pretty constantly. Every day is a fresh opportunity to take one more step into God's kingdom...I've been praying on the side, about my need to be softer, kinder, less expressive, more tactful.

 I say on the side, because I wasn't praying in earnest about it. I was trying to also figure out how much of me is fixed personality and how much is changeable. I mean, when you hear how much you are like your mother, your sister, and your grandmother, how much of a chance do you have to be someone else? How much should you pray about traits?

So I prayed on the side about it and decided not to worry too much, even to the place of resigning…

What Do We Know

When we think we know how things should work...

When we convince ourselves the predictability of a situation...

When we see something someone else is just not seeing and we want to shake them till they do...

When we think we care better and more understandably than that other person or people...

When we believe the problem is too big for fixing...

When we are floundered with too much craziness...too much human thinking...

When nothing makes sense...when everything is a mess...

When it hurts so bad and you can't explain it...when words make it worse...


I wonder...does God laugh at us? Or does He groan at our haughtiness... our answers... and our works?

What if we stop thinking we know so much? 

What would happen to our concept of God if we gave Him all the broken parts, pieces, and people in our lives? 

What if we let Him take our burdens and our zeal and our passions? Would we matter so much? At all? 

If I ask the Holy Spirit to heal my relationships, is my solution to fixing a relational pro…

Watching Our P's and Q's

To panic is to be attacked by sudden alarm, fear, and anxiety and to act out on it by slamming doors, running, or laying down the law. (my definition) Panicking is never quiet or sensible. It is often noisy and unreasonable. So, I think it is logical to call some of the chaos in our lives today panic. When we feel out of control with the way the world is turning; we feel helpless to improve the part we live in. Our tendency is to make more rules and boundaries to prevent more bad stuff from happening.

 Panic for a Christian is kinda worse I think. We are supposed to have something more that helps us face each storm or upheaval. We are not supposed to lose it. Right? But we do and its because we forget the power we have available to us...For God has not given us the spirit of fear. But of power and of love and a sound mind......... 2 Tim 1:7. 

Panic is the feeling I got after birthing a baby and six weeks later looking down into its innocent face and mourning a thousand deaths that I had…

Are You Afraid of Jesus

As in most things in life there are two sides to this subject. It seems when we take a stand for right or wrong the lines of distinction are even stronger. While I can appreciate the things we stand for in our Anabaptist groups, I also see things I don't appreciate so much sometimes on the same subject.

I am not against our trying to hold on to tradition and culture and heritage so long as it is something that Jesus would be calling worthwhile. And that seems to be the problem. We then start to hear debate on what things really do matter in the eyes of Jesus. 

Often the people that are chasing after and pursuing the heart of Christ are also involved in helping the poor, feeding the hungry, and being a home to the homeless. Did that last phrase make you feel insecure?

And often the people that are more concerned with tradition and culture and heritage are just concerned with those things...those things become their emphasis and it doesn't get a whole lot deeper than an agenda on h…

Too Much and Joy

I get 'too much' before most people I think. I'll be humming along doing life...whatever my people need me to do...and bam! Suddenly, I've had it clear up to here and my joy is gone. Some of the same things that bring me joy regularly are the things that zap it, things like children and friends and a husband... how can this be?

Last week I went to the big city with my husband. He had a college class to go to and I needed to get out of my "overwhelmness" so I went with him. After dropping him off at the college; I spent hours alone shopping for Shaunti's birthday, finishing with a few quiet hours at Barnes and Nobles. I sat in Starbucks with my cup of coffee and wrote and people watched and tried to sort out why everyone must zoom and be so busy. Somewhere between the rows of books and the smell of paper and coffee my soul began to feel peace. Little trickles of joy started dancing in my head and so I sat there and had my little moment of worship and thanks…

Hope

It comes back to being thankful. A stumble to the kitchen sink for a glass of water. Dry morning mouth and a numb skull. You peer over the mound of dirty dishes lying there in the sink and you wonder why they weren't done before bed. 

This is the time to slowly breath in and out while you gulp down that water, the very meaning of life in that moment. It's as simple as, "Thank you God, for my dirt and my sink and my need for water/YOU."

While you pack a few lunches for your working men, you breathe more prayers. You know they will have a few giants in their day, everyone does, and so you put them in God's care. But you are weary from the battle. 

You open your morning read, a verse of the day and another little inspiration that encourages you to face pain and to go through it willingly; to stop seeking instant gratification and resolving of whatever current issue you face. 

Yes but...your mind scrambles to examine the heart and to think about the fact that you went to…

Callings...Dreams...Gifts...

Three words people tend to snicker about are callings, dreams, and gifts. Maybe it isn't people in general, maybe it is a cultural thing to snicker and make fun of someone's calling or to smash dreams apart. I don't know which way it is but I do think it is contagious, this spirit of “thou shalt not dream” and “thou shalt think/do outside the realms of my reality.”
Which is kind of a problem. Without callings, dreams, and gifts, we would not have people willing to write their souls out on paper...we would not have the Word of God... and awesome blog posts that you can go and discuss with your friends. :)
We would not have parents willing to face heartache and rejection because they felt the need to foster/adopt...even for one or two little souls...they feel this burden and do their part and long to do more...and it is never satisfied...when is a good time to stop caring and loving and reaching out?
Without personal dreams, we would not have doctors, nurses, or musician and a…