Archive | January 2014

scripture friday.

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He has removed our sins as far away from us as the east is from the west.

Psalm 103:12

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courage.

Whatever you’re going through, face the future with courage.

Stand strong. Stand tall. Be brave.

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Creation inspires us to be courageous.

The tide comes in and goes out. The rhythm is constant and reliable.

Take a deep breath and do the next thing.

~~~

Photo credit:  paul bica / Foter / CC BY

christians and grieving.

The American culture is particularly focused on productivity, quick fixes, and formulas.

None of the above applies to someone who is grieving the loss of a child.

Even many church cultures are influenced by the American culture. The Bible is full of pro-active mandates and it fits nicely with the culture’s mantras.

As Christians, we have to reign ourselves in. I know I practice this in my own life. What I do, think, and say must be God’s heart.

Instead, I often see this scenario: people who are “victims” are encouraged to rise above it, press on, and fight the good fight. It’s like telling someone who just got a leg mangled in a car accident to walk.

Grieving people have mangled hearts.

And because we are an impatient culture, there are few who are willing to be patient with grief. What I mean by that is not being there 24/7 for someone who is grieving, but to keep in mind God’s heart: Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit … in humility value others above yourselves … (Philippians 2:3)

This means the person who is grieving is not going to be who he or she was before the grief. Just like the person with the mangled leg will have scars or a limp for the rest of his life. If your theology is only to “press on” with faith, you will have expectations for people which are unrealistic.

Personally, I’ve been gossiped about and expected to rise above my loss. I know first hand the push of productivity, quick fixes, and formulas. Forgiveness is not a problem. But being exposed to it is.

Further reading here.

If you are grieving and have felt the angst of an environment of producing, quick fixes, and formulas being applied to you, next Monday’s post is for you. As I’ve listened to the stories of Christians who are grieving, I’ve found many broken-hearts; disillusioned with their experience. My hope is to help rescue you from becoming bitter or turning away from God altogether.

death is an enemy.

That’s what the Bible says. And it’s true. There is nothing good about death.

The distress it brings is heart-wrenching sorrow.

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We have to live for something bigger than ourselves. What good is it if you live life, only to find out there is nothing at the end?

God wired us to believe. We have the choice whether we will or not. And beyond believing, is living with a view of eternity. It makes all the difference because we will always have hope. If we think there isn’t anything at the end, how miserable we will be.

What are you living for?

What is your hope at the end of your life?

Are you ready to meet God?

~~~

Photo credit: Davi Ozolin / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA

reprieve.

Every winter in Upstate NY, we experience the “January Thaw”. I’m sure it’s not exclusive to where I live, but nevertheless, we look forward to it. The temperature rises to the mid to high 40’s and the snow and ice melts. It’s as if winter pauses briefly for a week before the next blast of cold and snow.

If there is a break in winter’s rhythm, there is a break for you, too.

Sometimes, we can be so overwhelmed with our present circumstances that we may not be aware of the joy that is often mingled with our sorrow.

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Have you ever been crying and then found yourself laughing at something? Those are moments that come upon us when we weren’t expecting it.

We aren’t always expecting a reprieve – relief that lasts longer than a moment. It’s a break from the constant pressure of whatever burdens you.

I think we should look for it. Just like the January Thaw.

God isn’t going to forget you.

~~~

Photo credit: Βethan / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

beautiful strength.

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You can’t fix grief.

A paper cut will heal quickly.

A gun shot wound requires more time.

Sometimes the bullet cannot be removed.

People live with bullets inside of them.

People live with broken hearts.

This isn’t hopelessness.

It is acceptance of what is.

Once accepted,  you carry grief with  strength…

beautiful strength.

~~~

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