The Skill of Listening Well

A truly worthy goal for us all. I am trained as a Chaplain to listen well with all individuals. This article is refreshing and life-giving. We all can learn to improve in this area, and consequently all our interactions and relationships will blossom.

https://hbr.org/2016/07/what-great-listeners-actually-do

Mental Health and Faith

Inspired and adapted through an article in “Rethink Church”

Depression… anxiety… inability to concentrate… mood changes… trouble relating to people… low energy… feeling hostile towards others… excessive worry… feeling unable to cope with stress… excessive drug or alcohol consumption…

An inability to deal with mental health symptoms is not always an indication of sin in your life. In some cases it might be an indication of illness–and may need to be treated as any other illness gets treated (with a doctor’s help).

“in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge, “Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me, for in you my soul takes refuge; until the destroying storms pass by.” [Psalm 57:1]

In many ways, we are bound to one another. So when one person suffers, we all encounter suffering. This passage is just one of many that remind of our connectedness: “If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honoured, all rejoice together with it.” [1 Corinthians 12:26]

If you or a friend need help, please take that step and reach out to someone you trust.

Psychology Today offers a referral site. If you have suicidal thoughts call a suicide hotline number. In the U.S., call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) or use its webchat on suicidepreventionlifeline.org/chat.

Devotional, May 3, 2022

Pray and consider how this appeal in Romans 12:1-8 (NRSV) speaks to your spirit.

“I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect. For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of yourself more highly than you ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members, and not all the members have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another. We have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us: prophecy, in proportion to faith; ministry, in ministering; the teacher, in teaching; the exhorter, in exhortation; the giver, in generosity; the leader, in diligence; the compassionate, in cheerfulness.”

Pneumonia is Hard

Neighbors, our first responders did sign up for this, and are well and continually trained, including natural compassion. Call when you need them.

I have been as ill with this pneumonia as I was with Covid last fall. I almost called our first responders a few nights ago at 2:30 a.m., but didn’t want to bother them. At the same time, I knew that was irrational thinking from my high fever, rigors, and erratic heart rate.

I did necessarily go to E.R. for several hours the next day, got wonderful care at Unity Health, witnessed infinite patience and compassion as staff faced all manner of extreme cases arrive. We agreed I would go home and keep in close contact with our medical team.

Now I am on the healing side, thanks be to God’s mercy and a just-right-for-me husband (aka caregiver).

Calligraphy

I thought to myself, that looks pretty and fun, why not learn a new skill. The videos made it look like something I might enjoy, then the books seemed very helpful. Then my new beginner calligraphy set was enticingly cute.

I quickly discovered what a clueless beginner I am. But I am not a quitter, no ma’am! Fair warning, you might get a handwritten letter that looks nothing like beautiful calligraphy. Be nice with my fragile feelings.

No Excuses – Press On!

When you share your faith, it’s not always accepted by others.  You know that some are thinking (or even saying) “What gives you the right to tell me anything?  You’re not such hot stuff yourself, I know about your past!”

Keep this verse in your heart and press on.  Let those slings and arrows of others bounce off your armor of God, you have a new life in Christ, my friend.  Hear the word of the Lord, through the Apostle Paul:

“Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.”       Philippians 3:12

Don’t be discouraged, don’t give up – pray for them as you continue following the call God put on your own life, through the Holy Spirit, and confirmation from others.