So, I have a tale to tell. It’s funny and embarrassing but I’m going to tell you anyway for a good reason.
I woke up in the early morning hours. My hand was throbbing. It was really swollen. I pinched it and didn’t feel a thing.
A few weeks before this, believe it or not, I had a similar thing happen with one of my fingers. I had cut it and it became infected. It was so swollen, my husband had to cut off the ring on that finger because it was making it worse.
So when I realized my hand was swollen, I immediately wondered if I had cut my hand and not realized it and the same thing was happening again. I felt my hand for a cut somewhere. There wasn’t one. At this point, I was sure I would end up in the emergency room. The pain was throbbing and intense.
I decided to feel the rest of my arm.
(We’re going to take quick detour for a minute now, so stay with me.)
At my local library, the staff wraps the books in white paper and then secures it with a rubber band. The patron’s name is then written on the paper. A great deal can be learned by knowing what kinds of books people read, so this is how our library handles this privacy issue.
Well, I always put the rubber band on my wrist while I check out the books.
You know where this is headed, don’t you? I had left it there and completely “forget aboud’ it”. (Think an Italian accent.)
I had even double-wrapped the rubber band on my wrist! I guess, it took that long for my hand to swell. I hadn’t noticed a thing earlier because I was moving my arm and that probably kept my hand from swelling.
I immediately jerked off the rubber band and my hand was back to normal in about an hour. When I told my husband the next morning, he howled. However, he wasn’t surprised. I’ve been known to do things like this before. I am kind of a klutz.
But you know what I was thinking once I took off the rubber band?
I was thinking about how it was such a good example of how we approach much in life. We never think of the simplest answer first. And it’s usually the simple answer that’s right.
For example, if you want more joy in your life, examine how you spend your time. It’s that simple. Spend less time doing the things that don’t bring you joy and more time on the things that do.
Thinking in simple terms works across many issues:
Instead of looking for that elusive medical answer to your issues, take stock of your health habits first. If you’re tired all the time, take stock of your eating habits. Are you exercising daily? What about your mental habits? How are you talking to yourself?
Always look to the simplest answer for everything first. The old adage, KISS (keep it simple, stupid) still works although there should be a better word for “stupid”, maybe “silly”?
Alway look for the obvious.
Jesus never delivered a complicated, or long sermon. They were short and to the point. He never complicated his message with complex theology that no one could follow. He used simple stories that highlighted simple truths like, if you want to grow tomatoes, don’t plant pumpkin seeds. (Actually, he said you “reap what you sow”. Basically, the same thing, right?)
So, as you go about your life today, think about a rubber band. Do you have a rubber band in your life that is robbing you of your life’s blood supply? Is that rubber band causing anxiety for you because you won’t take it off?Tweet
The rubber band is any emotion, habit, action, etc. that you continue to engage in with no clue why. And trust me, we think and do most things in our life robotically, seldom asking ourselves “Why”?
Why do you feel the way you do?
Why do you do the thing you do?
What do you need to do differently?
It really isn’t complicated but it is complex. But you’ll figure it out if you “keep it simple, silly.” I did and I’m no smarter or more enlightened than you as clearly indicated by the rubber band incident.
Have a great and simple day and God bless.
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Starting in July, I am adding a new menu item. Do I sound like a restaurant?
What shall it be then?
An appetitzer? Main course? dessert?
I think we’ll call it the “tantalizer”.
Have you ever heard of E. M. Bounds?
If not, let’s just say that he has written more about prayer than any other author ever, 568 pages to be exact. The book I have contains all his books in one big volume. have had his book for years and when I want to torture myself I read portions of it.
I use the word “torture” because as the introduction written by Jim Cymbala of The Brooklyn Tabernacle says regarding his book, “You either stand near to enjoy its warmth or you move away because the flame seems too much to bear.”
E.M. Bounds took the word of God literally in regards to prayer, something I think many of us don’t do. And that certainly includes me.
I think I am praying believing that if I believe what I’m praying, my prayers will be answered. (Yes, I mean it just the way I wrote it, convulted though it is.)
The truth, though? I think if I really did believe it, I would pray much bigger than I do.
Don’t look at me askance. How many you really believe that if you were to pray really big for something like world peace, it would happen?
I’m not saying it wouldn’t either.
All of this is just to point out that prayer, while really quite simple (after all, it’s only a conversation between two people), is complex. Not because prayer itself is complex but because we are. Prayers in the Bible are simple (and short, I might add), I wonder how we made it so complicated.
The longest prayer is found in Nehemiah 9:5-38, that’s only thirty-three verses. It can be read in a matter of minutes and yet is a powerful prayer.
E. M. Bound’s book challenges me and encourages me at the same time. (For some reason, I can’t download the image but you can find it here on Amazon.) And while I still maintain prayer is simple, that doesn’t mean there isn’t a lot more we can learn.
I hope you will enjoy the excerpts that I will post on Mondays. Remember, 568 pages! So just giving you a few sentences every week isn’t even going to give you an inkling about the book’s depth of insight. I encourage you to buy the book or get it from your local library so you can pick it up if only to read a few sentences at a time.
God bless and have a great day.
The post, “An exciting new series on authentic prayer” appeared first on “Under His Wings” @faithsighanddiy.com
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Last week, I got my manuscript all together in one place.
I had been working on the chapters of my book in separate documents. Eventually, I have to have it all in a PDF file in order to publish it.
The writing has been easy compared to this part.
I think I also told you I’m reaching out to everyone I know who has a social media platform to help me publicize my book.
As I was thinking about publishing and all I had yet to learn, I thought of someone within our family network who has written some books herself and done quite well. I was hesitant to ask for her help because she has her hands full with her job and her family.
But I reached out anyway just for clarification about a couple of things. In the course of back and forth texting, I asked her if she would be willing to actually be my consultant in this whole process. I told her I wouldn’t take her help unless I could pay her.
Her response was that she had also received lots of help when she started out and this would be her way of passing it on. We scheduled an hour between her dropping her daughter off at a friend’s house and having to pick her up. I told her I would be taxing her brain non-stop during that time.
And I did.
Boy, we worked hard and fast and after one hour I was further along in the process of getting my book published than I would have ever been on my own. We accomplished in one hour what could have taken WEEKS! And that’s assuming I didn’t have a breakdown in the process.
(I hope you read the post from last Thursday because this is kind of the same theme. You can find it here if you’d like. )
This was another example of God going way beyond what I thinking or could imagine. (Eph:3:20)
That got me to thinking. I wonder what we could all accomplish if we prayed bigger and dreamed bigger?
I wonder what we could all accomplish if we trusted God more, had more faith.
If there is one area where I feel I “lack” in my walk with God it is right here, having enough faith. I never feel like I’m even close to having the kind of faith others have.
When I feel like that way though, I remind myself that this is just another way of comparing myself to others, but I don’t recognize it as such because it sounds so “spiritual”. It’s just as self-destructive and every bit as wrong, not to mention counter-productive to my overall spiritual growth.
In my book, I have one day (it’s a daily devotional) when I write about how comparing ourselves to others can trigger a plummeting mood. Left unresolved, it can lead to depression.
Interestingly enough, it’s my faith-walk where I do the most comparing. Now, just who do you think is behind that? It certainly isn’t God, is it?
Think big this week.
Think outside the box.
Pray outside the box.
I think God loves it when we pray big. It’s kind of like we’re saying, “I believe you really can do more than I can think or imagine.” Don’t be like me and measure your own level of faith. That’s between you and God anyway, isn’t it? Let him be the judge.
And don’t let anyone else judge you about your faith.
BTW, I wrote the above for me even more than I wrote it for you.
God bless and have a good day. ‘
The post, “How to pray bigger than the faith”, appeared first on faithsighanddiy.com.
There are times I can’t even believe how God shows up in my life.
I sure hope you have that experience. I’m alway surprised and yet I shouldn’t be because God’s been surprising me my entire life.
Well, as you know I’m working on my first full-length book, a devotional for Christians who struggle, or have struggled with depression/anxiety and never want to face it again.
Well, the writing part has been easy. I’m constantly reading about mental health issues, anxiety, and moods in general. My library records are proof of that. I wonder what the librarians think when my books come in. (We have a small library so I order books online most of that time.)
My mind is constantly mulling over ideas of what to write about. I always have plenty of information to pull from. And then there is my own experience with depression and that of many others I know and have come acquainted with over the years through teaching Bible classes, counseling, and as a hospital chaplain.
When I sit down to write, it’s like my fingers are writing with little conscious awareness on my part. It’s actually a little ethereal feeling at times, like something outside of me is moving my fingers.
I don’t think I’m unique in this regards. I hear other writers say the same thing. It’s actually very exciting.
I am also concurrently working on a fiction book. It also seems to be writing itself because I’m letting the characters tell me what they want to say and do. I’m not contriving anything and I have no real plot in mind.
Again, the characters are letting me know what is happening next.
I wondered about that. Is that even an acceptable method of writing a fiction book.
Shouldn’t I have an outline?
So I bought some highly recommended books about writing. One of them titled, “On Writing” was written by someone whose books I have not and probably will never read. It’s just not my type of book.
Stephen King, no less.
I mean, really. What would Stephen King possibly have to say to me? (Meaning, of course, that he writes horror fiction and I’m writing a Christian devotional. Nothing against the man at all.)
As it turns out, a whole lot.
That’s what I mean by God showing up in the strangest ways in just the ways we need.
Once I got past the language, and was able to cipher out the “meat”, I realized that I felt totally validated with how I’ve been writing. Things like avoiding adverbs whenever possible. I do.
Using the few words possible to say something and eliminating all unnecessary words. I do. (Which, in conversation though, I have a hard time doing.)
And there is so much more.
We need to always remember that God can give us what we need in the most outlandish ways.
This might be the most outlandish yet.
I hope your day is a truly blessed one.
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