Inside Job

This excellent advice is addressed to me, and to you. We each must look in the mirror, and see that there’s plenty of inner work to do. We spend way too much time pointing out the faults and shortcomings of others.

When we take down our walls called self righteousness, removing the scales from our eyes, we begin to recognize the inner work we must do, with God’s help. Lord, help us.

Romans 12:17-21
“Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all. If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine; I will repay, says the Lord.’ Instead, ‘if your enemies are hungry, feed them; if they are thirsty, give them something to drink, for by doing this you will heap burning coals on their heads.’ Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

Practice the Pause

In my wisdom years, I am learning more the value of the pause, and one day at a time, making every day count, which is really all we have, right? We live daily until our last breath, then there’s the afterlife.

Matthew 6:34 “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Only God knows what tomorrow will bring, much more each single day beyond that.

Here’s what I know: you are alive today. Your people need your love and full presence. When your time (or your beloved’s time) comes to leave this earth, let it be with love, knowing you did your best.

A final note: When a loved one departs, don’t make any big decisions for awhile, you will not be able to make wise choices so soon. Allow the memories to wash over you, along with some mixed thoughts and feelings.

You may feel alone in this necessary time of processing the great loss, and you will come through it. You are not alone, and will never be. God has you, and you have God.

Worldview via Jesus Lens

If you feel discouraged, disillusioned, even disappointed in the world, or your community, or even persons you thought you knew, praying the Psalms can help you regain perspective and Christ-like peace.

Psalm 123
To you I lift up my eyes, O you who are enthroned in the heavens! As the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the Lord our God, until he has mercy upon us.

Have mercy upon us, O Lord, have mercy upon us, for we have had more than enough of contempt. Our soul has had more than its fill of the scorn of those who are at ease, of the contempt of the proud.

(The inspired and inspiring Word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.)

Preaching to the Choir, Taking Our Own Advice

We are to learn to discern between what’s right and wrong, according to God’s will and principles, having faith, and live that way. As you study the following passage, ask yourself if you are thinking of those who sin, or yourself who sins?

Romans 2:6-8, 16, 23
“He will repay according to each one’s deeds: to those who by patiently doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life, while for those who are self-seeking and who obey not the truth but injustice, there will be wrath and fury.
…16 God through Christ Jesus judges the secret thoughts of all… 23 You who boast in the law, do you dishonor God by your transgression of the law?”

Stress and Overthinking and God Interventions

When it feels like the world is spinning out of control, do your spiraling thoughts overwhelm you? I can tell you what helps when I feel this way. I have learned this doesn’t just magically go away.

For me, I have to make an intentional decision to stop what I’m doing, become aware that I am spiraling, take a deep cleansing breath, find a quiet place, and talk to God.

I find it helpful to begin by acknowledging who God is, and offer gratitude for everything I can think of, as well as things I don’t even know. In those moments, I breathe deeply again, and allow God to re-introduce the peace I need, and that He desires for my spirit to feel.

Beloved, if you are too much “in your head” lately, ruminating, pondering excessively, with spinning thoughts to no end, I pray you find praying through the book of Ecclesiastes strangely comforting, like I did this morning.

In the end, this is what matters most: “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, For this is man’s all. For God will bring every work into judgment, Including every secret thing, Whether good or evil.”
Ecclesiastes 12:13-14

P.S. And isn’t it just like God’s Holy Spirit, that in the middle of processing all this, as my troubled spirit was healing, an unexpected encounter happened – a woman stopped to talk with me in the coffee shop, and poured out her heart to me and God, and we listened, and I cried with her. Thank you God.

Peace Within

In scripture, as with my own story, I have learned peace is a gift from God. Receive God’s gift of peace for yourself today. Take a moment and use your calming breaths, release body tension, and recognize God’s Spirit dwelling in you.

“The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7

(written with inspiration from “The Upper Room”)