Archive | December 2014

happy new year!

I don’t know what’s going on in your life right now.

Things might be going really, really good.

Or not.

But here we are – the beginning of another year.

You can decide going into it if you’re going to look ahead with hope.

Remember how things got bad so quickly?

It can get good quickly, too.

new year 2

Let this be a new day for you. Give it a try.

Hope.

Expect.

Wait.

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Photo credit: bitzcelt / DecorLove.com / CC BY-NC-ND

2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 3,200 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 53 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

scripture friday.

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.

We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

– The Bible

nativity

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Photo credit: More Good Foundation / IWoman / CC BY-NC

let there be light.

It’s winter here in the northern hemisphere. For over 2 weeks, it’s been overcast and gray. The sun had never once made an appearance the whole time. The snow seemed to blend into the dreary sky. The trees seemed to mourn their nakedness. Even the evergreens appeared ashen against the dismal sky.

But this morning, I saw the familiar orange-yellow reflection on the bedroom wall. I jumped out of bed to look out the window. Then, as if to go out and meet a long lost friend, I slipped on my boots, grabbed my camera, and lunged out the door to take pictures.

Everything was sparkling! The days of muddled mediocrity became a paradise of glimmering, jeweled ice crystals against a deep blue sky. Once again, the snow was pure white and the evergreens their rich, green color.

Thing is, nothing had changed, only how it seemed without the sunlight.

Our lives are like that, aren’t they? What we see isn’t always what is real.

Our sorrow, discouragement, frustration, and disappointment is real. But when the light shines, it takes on a different appearance. It becomes not as dark, not as scary, not as confusing.

??????????

The light comes from God.

He sees things very differently than we do.

You just have to believe.

scripture friday.

joy 2

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Photo credit: Charlotte90T / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

fear not.

The Bible tells us not to fear.

My first response is, how? There is so much to be fearful about. What if this happens? What if that happens?

I’ve come to the conclusion that we won’t fear if we trust God. It’s that simple. That doesn’t mean trusting him that all will be well because we don’t know if it will. We pray. We ask. And we accept. Whatever we go through he promises to be there with us, helping us and comforting us.

Trusting God takes time. When you look back and see that you made it through something, even though you have wounds and scars, you learn to trust him. Only he can help you make it through.

We never minimize pain. It’s real. Feel it. But in time, change your focus. Decide to think about the good and not just the bad. When we allow ourselves to feel again, we find ourselves getting stronger.

Notice I said allow ourselves. I remember times of not allowing myself to be happy..to smile..let alone laugh. I wanted to hurt. Somehow it helped me to deal with the pain. I suppose that’s why people cut themselves.

God is gentle and patient. He leads us through the tragedies, the sorrow, and the horror of life.

There is so much we do not understand. I can’t wallow in the unfairness of life. It just exists. Why consume myself with questions that cannot be answered? I put it in God’s hands, the way a child lives without being consumed with worry and fear.

Intertwined through the pain are wonderful moments of joy. If you think a good God wouldn’t let this or that happen, think about all of the wonderful things God lets happen, too.

The best part is knowing the end of the story. Weeping endures for a night, but joy comes in the morning. We live with both. And one day he will make a new heaven and a new earth where there will be no more pain.

Not only that, but God judges fairly and justly. He is your defender. Keep looking for that day when he judges. You will be glad you did. It will be the culmination of your whole life when God looks at you and welcomes you into his presence. What unspeakable joy awaits those who trust him!

joy

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Photo credit: Pensiero / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

we never know.

Recently, I’ve been aware of people in my area who died unexpectedly the past 2 weeks.

A local doctor was killed in a car accident.

A fellow classmate died unexpectedly.

And yesterday, a couple in their 70’s were driving down a street I am sure they have driven for years and were hit by a car. The wife died.

We never know.

If you have a word-of-faith type of theology, you may feel insulated from tragedy. On one hand, you know it’s inevitable, but at the same time, you live in a bubble of it not coming near to you.

It will.

I used to be what was called an intercessor…a “prayer warrior”.  But it didn’t save my son.

Do I still believe in prayer? Yes. But now I know what prayer really is: nevertheless, not my will, but yours be done. It’s allowing God to do what he wants with me, even if it means I have to endure suffering. Because in the pain, God is with us, helping us, and even gives us joy.

We should never live in fear of what may happen to us or someone we love. But if we trust God as he asks us, there is solid ground to walk on, even when you feel like you’re sinking.

ground

 

 

Photo credit: felipe_gabaldon / Foter / CC BY

in memory of children gone too soon.

Please join us this Sunday, December 14 for the Worldwide Candle Lighting in memory of all children gone too soon.

For full information including services around the globe, visit: the compassionate friends. If there is not a service near you, or you would rather not attend a service, just light a candle for an hour wherever you are with friends, family, or in quiet solitude.

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