Thursday, March 22, 2012

Dealing with Devastation

You've heard it said--"I felt like I just got run over by a truck".

Whoever lived to describe that experience?  I guess it's what we imagine it would feel like to be have an unexpected unbearable load suddenly thrust upon us.

It literally takes our breath a way...someone said, like a "sucker punch".

Maybe you've experienced such a devastating event, or, are in the midst of an avalanche of chaos and crisis.
The truck has not only run over you, but it feels like its backing up and doing it again...and again.

How do we deal with devastation?

We clearly have to change our focus.  Focusing on the stuff around us can perpetuate the sense of gloom that   accompanies difficulties.  The persecuted Hebrew believers were encouraged with this challenge, "Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith..." (Hebrews 12:2).

Paul tells young believers at Corinth that we "...fix our eyes not on what is seen but on what is unseen.  For what is seen is temporary but what is unseen is eternal", II Corinthians 4:18.

What am I looking at?  The current calamity is devastating but it is temporary.  In terms of eternity, it pales in comparison to what God has planned for me.  I can choose where I direct my focus, heeding the admonition to "set your affections on things above...", Colossians 3:1.

I may still feel like a got run over by a truck.

But I don't have to lay there.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The treasure of good friends

The ministry affords the opportunity for the formation of many meaningful relationships. Over the years I have had the privilege of having many friends, and those are the by-products of ministry that I treasure most.

We are traveling with friends this week and it is a special time of sharing and laughing--even crying together--that I will not soon forget.

I love acrostics--some you know that--and I wanted to identify what i think are the characteristics of a good friend. As you read these, hopefully the faces of people who are dear to you will come to your mind, and like me, you'll be grateful for this treasure.

F-orgiving--a true friend "cuts you some slack" when you've had a bad day or behaved poorly

R-eaffirming--a true friend reminds you of the things that matter most

I-inquiring--a true friend seeks to be conscious of your needs and knows when to ask and when to be quiet

E-ncouraging--a true friend looks for things to do and say to make you feel better

N-on-judgmental-- a true friend never judges you but accepts you with your strengths and weaknesses

D-ependable--a true friend can be counted on to be there in good and bad times

I'm thankful for all of my friends.  Next time I see you, I'm going to tell you...again!