Have you lived a perfect life?
Me neither. Not by a long shot.
The images, the expectations and the dreams we have for our lives can often be shattered by unexpected circumstances or our own poor choices.
Cancer strikes. Businesses fail. Children rebel. Marriages end. We violate our own moral code.
And our plans are broken into 1,000 pieces. The beautiful images we have for our future are destroyed.
What then? How do we pick up the pieces of life and press on? How do we find hope in the midst of brokenness?
Have you lived a perfect life?
Imagine yourself standing at the water’s edge. Your objective is to arrive safely at a distant shore, and a boat will take you there. It’s you and you alone. Captain of your own ship.
How often do we move through life, repeating the mantra “I’m fine…really…I’m just fine,” when really, we're not?
So often, we buy into the lie that self-sufficiency is the ultimate accomplishment. It’s as though we are trying to be our own little gods.
We pretend that we are “fine” and, as a result, miss bountiful opportunities to receive from others and even from God.
Yes, Jesus did say: “it’s more blessed to give than to receive.” We’re not intended to be human sponges, just absorbing all that life has to offer.
Question: “Why do we have two ears and one mouth?”
Answer: “To listen twice as much as we talk.”
If you’ve ever been to a class about healthy communications, you’ve probably heard that quote.
Listen twice as much as you talk.
Great advice when dealing with people.
Even greater advice when communicating with God.
Mail a package at the Post Office. What’s your reaction when that’s on your to-do list for the day?
Do you grimace and brace yourself for long lines and less-than-optimal customer service? Or do you smile with anticipation that your day is about to get a little brighter?
I smile, because I know I’m likely to see my friends, June and Rhonda. They are Window Clerks at my local Post Office in Marietta, Georgia. And they should be used as role models for great customer service for the entire USPS.
Oh, the things we take for granted.
How often do we succumb to grumbling about the little annoyances of life (like lines at the Post Office or traffic nightmares) and overlook our myriad blessings?
As parents, how often do we focus on our children’s shortcomings? And ignore the countless things they do right? Has it become easier to list their faults than to recount how uniquely and wonderfully they are made?
Merry Christmas! Do you struggle with the stress of entertaining during the holiday season? Does the thought of having friends and family in your home cause your anxiety level to immediately increase?
What would a transcript of your recent prayers reflect?
Are your prayers vague and generic? Or are they specific and bold?
Do you play it safe…not asking God for anything too big for fear of disappointment?
Or do you ask for things that are impossible for you to accomplish in your own power?
For many years, my prayer life was inconsistent and tepid. I might cry out for help in a moment of desperation, but on a day-to-day basis, I had little confidence that my personal needs and desires really mattered to God.
Whether you’re newlyweds or celebrating 50 years together, it’s possible to breathe some fresh life into your marriage relationship.
Sounds like a great idea, right? But how?
Begin the monthly celebration of “Companion Appreciation Day.”
This bit of relational genius was created by my young friends, William and Monica Warren. The Warrens have only been married for 2.5 years and they established this beautiful monthly tradition before their own wedding in 2013. William is now 30, Monica is 29.