Tag: truth

Lake Michigan

How faith is like a hike in the woods

Take a walk with me today, across a bridge and into the woods. A few weeks ago, before my mom got really sick, my husband and I took a different path to the beach at Hoffmaster State Park.

My husband wasn’t sure my back would allow me to take this route as there are hills. But I had no problem and this is now become my favorite trail ever.

Walk along and you’ll see why I find it so peaceful. (Excuse the somewhat out-of-focus pictures. When I enlarged them, that’s what happened.)

Hoffmaster

The path starts to lead up a hill.

And it continues uphill.

Isn’t this chartreuse moss beautiful?

Finally, we reach here. I love sitting here and looking out over the cliff.Hoffmaster

 

This is directly in front of the bench. Hoffmaster

This is looking down from the cliff.Hoffmaster

We walk a little further and there is another path heading up another hill.Hoffmaster

And then we reach Lake Michigan.

And the fog lifts.Lake Michigan

Sometimes life is just like this walk. Uphill and around corners. We don’t know what’s coming up next, but we put one foot in front of the other.

Eventually, the fog lifts and we see our way once again. That’s what faith is like.

We keep walking while we trust.

We don’t stop just because we can’t see around the bend. The uncomfortable truth though is that we all do at times. If we don’t actually quit, we at least feel like quitting. We don’t stop just because we can’t see around the bend. In fact, maybe that is a new definition of faith, “trusting is when we can’t see around the bend, but we keep walking anyway.

Remember this path the next time you are ready to give up. Remember how the fog lifts.

God bless you today as you walk your own trail.

 

 

 

 

letting anger go underground, not a good idea

No, I ‘m not suggesting yelling and screaming.

angry face

angry face

But if we always “pussy-foot” around issues and around people. But what do we accomplish except to prolong a situation until it comes non-repairable.

That’s where I am today after having spend a sleepless night last night and a rough few days. All of this centers around the young person I’ve mentioned before  in this blog. Their actions have tested the limits. There has been dis-respect and lying. There has been a total disregard for the norms of living in someone else’s house.

Here’s the thing about letting anger go underground. You don’t help yourself and you don’t help the other person.

I will be addressing this person. I will be angry. I won’t feel bad about that.

This person needs a good dose of “angry person”.

If Jesus felt it were appropriate at times, I guess it should be good enough for all of us. I love the directness of everything Jesus said. He didn’t mince words. He didn’t try to “soften the blow.” He didn’t  take back his remarks. And yet he was loving through all it.

Don’t be afraid of your anger.

Anger directed and expressed properly is a good thing.

It has prompted many grass roots movements that have bettered mankind.

God bless and I really hope you have a good day.

more about “feathers” from this morning

(This is an addendum to this morning’s post.)

Isn’t it wonderful when God steps in and reaffirms a truth?

When Jesus said, “Take no care of your life, what you eat, what you wear, how you live”, we cringe and then we convince ourselves that God doesn’t understand our particular circumstances. Our circumstances are different.

Aren’t they always?

But our God knows our circumstances better than we do. If we don’t believe that, what would be the point of trusting Him?

All God is really saying is this, in all things, put Him first. That doesn’t mean we ignore our circumstances in a Pollyanish kind of way. Or that we don’t address certain issues. It just means that we keep God in the center of it all. We do that in a number of ways. But that’s for another post.

putting God first

putting God first

We are never free from the demands of an encroaching world. We just have to make sure God doesn’t get shoved aside in the process.

God bless and I hope you have a good day.

Does everything happen for a reason?

Does everything happen for a reason? things happen for a reason

No, I don’t think so. (My daughter and I have had this conversation often. Neither one of us buy into it.)

I think it’s what we tell ourselves when we can’t make sense of a situation. It’s what we say to console ourselves when there isn’t any reason.

I think Christians are particularly vulnerable to this falsehood. We take verses like “everything turns out good for those who love the Lord” to imply that good will always come from bad. While it’s not jargon, it is quoted in very much the same way. (An article by Randy Alcorn does a great job explaining this verse. )

As you all know, I hate popular jargon because while it usually does have a grain of truth, it’s not the whole loaf of bread! There is always danger in philosophies that contain some truth but not all the truth.

I personally think we need to be careful using certain phrases or Bible verses as consolation for people. It doesn’t help. Having been a hospital chaplain, let me reassure you that spouting jargon or taking Bible verses out of context, does no good.

What does help is a listening and empathetic ear, not a mouth running amuck.

I guess I’m writing about this because I hear people spouting jargon all the time and never consider whether they even believe what they’re saying. It’s just easier than taking time to think before speaking.

Can I just suggest we all think a little more before we spout half-truths?

moving on so I can move up

Makes me smile

Makes me smile

Did you ever get to the point where you say, “Enough is enough”?

I’m there.

Some of it is my fault. I am a people pleaser. I am a peace maker. I want everyone I know to like each other. I want everyone in my family to get along. It’s not happened thus far. Don’t think it’s going to.

That’s not pessimism. That’s reality.

I’ve talked often in this blog (especially on “depression’s gift” that has since been merged into this blog) about how one of the ways I defeated depression in my life was by facing reality. I think I’m at another level now and I have to tell you, it feels good.

The truth is we can’t move forward as long as we stay where we are. Let me repeat. We can’t move forward as long as we stay where we are.  Or as the definition of insanity reads, “We can’t keep doing the same old things and expect different results.”

A third and more “in your face” question rather than statement is this:

“How’s that working for you”?

It’s not a selfish question to ask ourselves. As Christians we NEED to ask ourselves that now and then. God has specific as well as general purposes for all of us. But most of us are never going to see those purposes realized if we continue on the same direction. (assuming, of course, that we aren’t already heading in the right direction. And because we are many faceted people with complex lives, we might be stalemated in some areas but  moving along just fine in others.)

I’m not talking about ending relationships, etc. I’m not talking about telling someone off. What I am talking about is changing my reactions and being more willing to say what I mean as kindly and full of mercy as I can. Thank goodness, I have a great example.

Jesus.

I’m always surprised by people (most of whom have never read about the gospels) when they have a picture of Jesus as this kind of milk toast person. He was never that. He always chose His reactions and responses from a position of strength even when being “led like a lamb to slaughter”.

Jesus never lied to anyone. If someone asked him a question, He told the truth. Jesus never placated anyone. Too many examples to even begin to list here. He never agreed just to agree. (See yesterday’s post for the one person I do have to do that with for my sanity.) Without a doubt, Jesus was the most honest, truth-telling, holding-no-punches kind of person that ever lived. And yet He was also the most forgiving, most compassionate, most loving person that ever existed.

To me that means that if I’m to follow His example as scripture says I should, it must mean there is a way to do the same thing.

I’m still working on it but today I’m one step closer to maybe understanding how deceiving myself gets in the way. That’s something Jesus never dealt with. (At least I don’t think so.) I think it must be part of the human condition. It’s how we protect ourselves until we’re strong enough to face the next reality.

Tomorrow I’ll be talking more about this and will give you a couple of examples.

God bless each of you.

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