put right

A few months ago a couple people I know were telling me about a situation they found themselves in with people who were seeing and sensing things in the supernatural, and as a result some were losing sleep, and many (I would say) were confused.

They asked me how I would have approached this situation. At the time I was speechless, and had no idea what I would have said...until just recently...

One of my favorite parts of the Bible is something called the "Beatitudes", which states:
Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called sons of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
(Matthew 5:3-10 NIV)

A little while ago I was challenged by the sentence in there that states: Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

What an honour, to see God! The Message by Eugene Peterson puts it: You're blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.

What a challenge on our perspective! What are you seeing in the outside world? Whether you're seeing supernatural things, or just the natural, what is it? Are you seeing God's fingerprints on people, nature, circumstances...or are you seeing something else? And if you're seeing something other then God, could I challenge you to get your mind and heart put right.

Over the past few years I've found myself surrounded by different situations and circumstances where I've been challenged to keep my heart right. To choose forgiveness and love, over resentment and hate. The truth is, that when I've chosen forgiveness and love my perspective has changed.

And so, if I were given the chance to speak to those people who were seeing things, I would challenge them to get their hearts and minds right. When working with people it's especially easy to harbor feelings of resentment, bitterness and hate. It takes a conscious effort to keep your heart and mind right...perhaps choosing forgiveness and love would do the trick,
and sleepless nights would be replaced by sweet dreams.


lessons on listening from Disney

I'm all about object lesson's. I'm not a visual learner, but I have a sister who's a visual learner.http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif As a result when teaching, and specifically when teaching kids I tend to think beyond my learning to style to other learning styles.

I'm working on a lesson about Hearing God at the moment and have been drawn to a couple examples from Disney (go figure).

In Disney's Bambi, throughout the movie, Bambi's father has been there for him when he needed him, such as when he loses his mother. But most of the time he allows Bambi to just learn on his own - always keeping a caring, watchful eye on him but not speaking unless he needs to. Bambi respects his father and knows he speaks only when it's important, and when he does speak, Bambi listens. He knows his father's voice, and though he doesn't hear it very often, when he does he hears and obeys.
This saves his life near the end of the movie. The hunters have once again entered the forest. A bullet grazes Bambi and he's hurt. He lies on the ground, giving up. A forest fire has started, he's injured, and he just doesn't have the strength to try to find the way out. Suddenly, his father is there. His father's words are simple, yet direct and they save Bambi's life.
Bambi would have missed out on so much if he hadn't listened to his father's voice and obeyed witout question, even when it was hard!
(This is like God, as He's always with us and cares about us so much. We have to recognize his voice so that when he does speak, we will hear Him and then we need to obey.)

In Disney's Pinocchio, Pinocchio is a living puppet who must prove himself worthy to become real boy. Being quite naive he requires some guidance, and the Blue Fairy appoint Jiminy Cricket to be Pinocchio's conscience. At which point Jiminy Cricket breaks out in song telling Pinocchio that if he ever needs help or guidance to "give a little whistle...and always let your conscience be your guide."
(This is like Holy Spirit, who guides and directs us.)

Special thank you to Walt Disney for helping the great illustrations!


figuring it out

I received an e-mail a couple weeks ago which stated that if you wear sunglasses while driving in the rain it cuts down the effect of water drops on your windshield. Interesting thought. I put that little piece of information in my back pocket for a rainy day (literally).

Today as I backed out of my driveway, I put this theory to the test. I put on my sunglasses while the rain fell. I must admit I felt slightly silly for wearing sunnies as the sky was overcast, and even more silly for trying it out and not having it work! I took my sunnies off, thinking perhaps they did make a difference. I put them back on again. No difference at all!

However, I would have never known if sunglasses made any difference in the rain or not, if I hadn't tried it for myself.

I find personally, that I'm quite naive. It's easy for me to take someone else's word, which has caused me issues on a few occasions.

My incident today reminds me of something that I need to continually be challenging myself with:
So continue to work out your own salvation. Do it with fear and trembling. (Philippians 2:12b NIRV)

It's not enough in our lives to let others decide things for us, experience things for us, create opinions for us, live for us...

We need to work things out for ourselves.

As a Christian, its easy to get caught in the trap of a "feed me" mentality. With so many resources out there it's easy to rely on sermons, books, podcasts, blogs and such to shape my relationship with God, which incidentally isn't much of a relationship if I'm relying on those around me to shape it for me.

And so, I'm glad I took the time to look like a fool in my car this morning, putting my sunglasses on, taking them off, putting them on, taking them off. It reminded me yet again how important it is to figure things out for myself.


The problem with AWD

Today I woke up to snow on the ground, and even more falling from the clouds. This morning, along with many other commuters I hit the highway, with wipers going, and the heat blasting as I headed in to work.

While driving I heard warnings from the radio about bad road conditions. All around me people were touching their breaks and going at speeds below what was marked on the signs on the road. I however didn't find the roads bad at all. Driving to work for me this morning seemed to be the same as any other morning. This is probably attributed to my car having AWD (all wheel drive). My car handles really well in slippery conditions, which is part of the reason why we own it.

The problem with AWD is that it causes me to be slightly ignorant to what the road conditions actually are.

In thinking about my ignorance this morning, I couldn't help but think about other things my life that cause me to be ignorant; the home I grew up in, the country I live in, my education, the church I attend...the list could go on.

The truth is, we all have things in our lives that cause to be ignorant. The question is, are we willing to gain knowledge and information to help us be otherwise?


I need therapy

The older I get, the more I experience, the busier my life seems, the more I realize how good it is to take time for myself. I've come to realize what activities seem to be "therapeutic" in my life, and I take advantage of spending time doing those activities. Sometimes I joke about needing retail therapy (which is really no joke at all!). And in all seriousness, some red, a bath, a book, a cuppa...my personal list of things that are therapeutic in my life could go on and on.

I think often times we refuse to admit that we need therapy as it is occasionally seen as a sign of weakness. But in our pride, we often loose it on our family and friends unjustly.

The definition of therapeutic is:
administered or applied for reasons of health; having a good effect on the body or mind; contributing to a sense of wellbeing.

If therapy by definition, is such a good thing, why don't we make a priority? Why don't we admit our need for it in our lives?

The past month or so has been outrageously busy for my husband and I, full of crazy work schedules and situations, trying to be family orientated and attempting to have some sort of social life. It has left us feeling exhausted, drained and both in need of some therapy.

The thing is, we're both able to identify what it is that's therapeutic in our lives, and we're willing to admit our need for therapy.

I love the comfort I find in the words of Jesus as I think about therapy and my need for it: "Come to me, all of you who are tired and are carrying heavy loads. I will give you rest. Become my servants and learn from me. I am gentle and free of pride. You will find rest for your souls." (Matthew 11:28-29 NIRV)

Truly, what could be more therapeutic then finding "rest for your soul"?
Truly, I need therapy...daily.