When I picked up my Bible today, my eyes fell on the following passage:
“Yet they [the chief priest, the teachers of the law and the leaders of the people] couldn’t find any way to do it [kill Jesus] because all the people hung on his words.” -- Luke 19:48
The statement that “all the people hung on his words” hit me. It seemed like a modern day idiom. I doubted that this is what it literally said. So, I asked my husband, Tom, “Is this an exact translation of the phrase ‘hung on his words’”? He looked it up and said, “Yes it is.”
I hate waiting.I mean, I HATE it.
I hate waiting the two minutes for my coffee to brew and get into my cup.
I hate waiting in lines at the grocery store.
I hate waiting in traffic.
I hate waiting for things I want.
I hate waiting for a baby.
You never know what might inspire you while eating a bowl of lentils. Today my bowl of soup seemingly called out to me, "Where is your courage, Jeanie?
"Stay with me here. The lentils may speak to you as well.
David (as in the young boy who slew the giant and became King of Israel and...even in his sin and repentance...was described as a man after God's own heart) teaches me about courage "in the middle of lentils".
2 Samuel 23 recounts some of the courageous acts of David's "mighty men". One of these men (named Shammah) showed great courage in the midst of lentils.
Accepting what is vs what should be is a key to unlocking joy and embracing the present with gratitude. It can also be incredibly hard. I battle exchanging my shoulds for my what-is on a daily basis.
“When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy on me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer. Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, 'I will confess my transgressions to the Lord.' And you forgave the guilt of my sin. Therefore let all the faithful pray to you while you may be found; surely the rising of the mighty waters will not reach them.” -- Psalm 32:3-5 (NIV)
Early one morning Stewart the Frog’s curiosity sent him into the fields beyond his familiar pond. As he explored, he happened upon a container that was filled with water. Hot from hopping, he climbed in to get refreshed and re-hydrated. He was so comfortable in the little container that he fell asleep.
Meanwhile, the sun grew hot overhead. Slowly but surely, the temperature of the water in the container began to rise. Stewart didn’t notice, as he had become accustomed to the gradual change. And besides, he was feeling tired and less alert now. He had no desire to move.
My daughter’s chocolate brown eyes are sparkling. “Mommy, I’m going to plant these apple seeds, and they’re going to grow into trees, and then we’re going to save money and eat free apples forever!” Cassidy holds out her hand. A dozen tiny seeds rest in her palm, plucked and saved from apple cores all week long.
“Okay, honey, let’s give it a try,” I say. My heart gives a painful squeeze, because I know she knows I’ve been worried about money, and she’s trying to help.
I know nothing about planting apple seeds—I’ve always thought they wouldn’t grow until they’d passed through a bird’s digestive tract or something gross like that—but I figure, why not?
This week’s “moment” comes from Sheila. The title is not a misprint.
We all have times when we feel overwhelmed. It may seem our thoughts and worries and fears are buzzing all around us, dive bombing and looping in our minds. We feel our heads being jerked here and there, making it difficult to focus, to decide which of these assailants to go after first. Our anxiety builds and crescendos and we feel totally out of control and at the mercy of the battle going on in our minds.
Let me suggest an analogy that might help you to pull out of the fog and get more direction and focus.
Often, as a “Nana and Papa,” my husband and I are asked for parenting advice. We were blessed to have been lovingly parented—and also fortunate to have received helpful God-focused training throughout the years while parenting our own kids. I am truly grateful. Along the way we have had the opportunity to counsel countless other families through spiritual one-on-one training as well as large class settings. Nothing we “possess” is more valuable to us than our children, and fortunately many parents are in the quest to parent well. If I were to quickly jot down my “top dozen parenting tips” perhaps they might look something like this:
Give foremost attention to your spiritual life. There is nothing more important than your kids knowing God. After all, think about it…. What will really be important (or lasting) 100 years from now? The schools they attended? The sports they participated in? The money they made? As King David told his son,“And Solomon, my son, learn to know the God of your ancestors intimately. Worship and serve him with your whole heart and a willing mind. For the LORD sees every heart and knows every plan and thought. If you seek him, you will find him. But if you forsake him, he will reject you forever. So take this seriously.” 1 Chronicles 28:9-10a (NLT)
Some people use visualization techniques to help them relax and not be anxious.
(Peaceful, new-age music is playing in the background): “Picture yourself standing in a field of vibrant green grass. In your mind’s eye, look up at the blue sky and billowy white clouds. Now cast your eyes below at the shimmering lake of water, mirroring the sky. Hear the burbles and gurgles of the nearby brook, etc.”