Posts tagged ‘community’

Hoosier March Madness

9740c2ecb0bbb45f099c15fcd36c2f20

March is the month for basketball in Indiana! There are all the high school games as teams go through the sectionals, regionals, and semi-states on their way to the championship in Indianapolis. Going on simultaneously is the NCAA tournament! People fill out their brackets and whine about the bracket-busters on the first weekend. It’s crazy! That’s why they call it: MARCH MADNESS! To play on any of those teams at any level takes a lot of practice, hours and hours playing hoops. Being a part of that is competitive. Not everyone makes the team. Only the best.

Being a part of Jesus is not competitive. You can be a part, you can join the team. There’re no tryouts, there’re no grueling practices, no running the stairs, no getting in shape, no hours shooting free throws. As a matter of fact, Jesus doesn’t care what shape you’re in when you come to him because he’s going to take care of you. Everyone can make the team, it’s your choice. Still, one of the important things to Jesus is that you are part of the team. He loves you individually, but he also sees value in your living in community with others.

Independence is good, but you also need support. You need people around you who care about you, who love you. That’s why you live in community. Who is your community?

We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other. Romans 12

Less Laundry, More Deodorant

593010e2fa0333c93fbd79a6227f22bb

Are you working on a New Year’s resolution?

* Starting a fitness program?

* Losing weight?

* Doing less laundry and using more deodorant?

* Stopping facebooking your spouse?

* Giving up chocolate, 100%, completely, honestly? (This last one is said as you pull the paper ribbon on a Hersey’s kiss).

How’s that working out? Most resolutions aren’t carried out. At the fitness center it’s so crowded in January you have to wait for your favorite cardio machine. BUT, by March, your machine is available every day and you recognize all the people there as the old regulars. New Year’s resolutions have gone by the way side.

Resolve diminishes. What you need is a support system. Like a buddy to go to the fitness center with you every day. Someone to give you a shot in the arm from time to time.

Your spiritual life can end up in the same hopper as those broken resolutions. Or, you can stay strong. God provides you a support system. It’s called the church. The church is a community that will support and encourage you. Your church doesn’t do that? Find a new community where people do have your back and do spur you on.

God is all about helping you be the best person you can be.

For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29

The Love You Deserve

1d56c95d3ad9024fff0b2c704d6b025f

Your view of yourself is not always accurate. When you’re feeling down, it’s rarely accurate. The problem is compounded when people try to help you. If you don’t think you deserve the love people give you, you won’t accept it. You’ve seen this happened when you tried to help someone and the person said, “No, that’s okay, you don’t need to do that. I’m all right.” But, you were trying to care for them and they wouldn’t let you.

But, hold on! We do need to be loved. Even when we don’t deserve it. Isn’t that what God’s love is all about? He loves you even when you don’t deserve it. He loved you even before you existed! That’s the way we need to be. And, that’s how we should allow others to be.

A good friend told me once: Don’t argue when somebody’s trying to do something nice for you. Let them do it. Allow them the opportunity to love you.

Feeling down today? Permit others to take care of you, to love you. Yes…you deserve it.

We love each other because he loved us first. 1 John 4

Getting Through An Atrocity

b5dfc5d541532140e5e3c6dd9af41979

Looking at the horrific tragedy in Connecticut the past week, I’m sure you, like me, are asking: Why? My answer? I have absolutely no idea. What I do know is, it happened and now people must deal with the aftermath.

How do you get over the loss of a child? Not just the loss, but under these appalling circumstances. The truth is: You don’t get over it. You never get over it. But, you might get through it. With help. Much help from family, friends, professionals, support groups, any place you can connect.

Even so, I believe the greatest help you can seek is God’s. He promises to stand with you in the most difficult times. To carry you when you can no longer walk.

Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand. Isaiah 41

The Lord is a shelter for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. Those who know your name trust in you, for you, O Lord, do not abandon those who search for you. Psalm 9

Praise the Lord; praise God our savior! For each day he carries us in his arms. Psalm 68

Do you find yourself in difficult times? God’s promises are for everyone, you included. Think about connecting to greatest of all power sources…he’s waiting.

***I’d like to encourage you to pray for and think about the families of Newtown, Connecticut, in the following weeks and months. Too often after a terrible event and the initial grief, we tend to just forget and go on with our lives. But, for those involved the horror lives on, as they try to come to terms with what has happened. So, maybe we can pray for and remember the broken hearted just a little longer  as they make every effort to mend.

Gossip: Social Sewage

Miley Cyrus was secretly pregnant and had twins! True? Nahhh. Just your normal run-of-the-mill hollywood gossip. You see that kind of stuff all the time, don’t you. Which actors are dating, who’s engaged, who’s separated, who’s divorced…you can never be sure what’s true and what’s false. Personally, I like the blogs that are honest and call themselves gossip blogs.

Gossip…rumor, hearsay, the buzz…dishing the dirt. Maybe that’s okay for Hollywood, but it’s not okay when it’s your private life. Gossip about you is not okay, and neither is your gossiping.

Gossip is like dumping poison into the water cooler…eventually, it will harm everyone who consumes it.

You see, the problem with gossip is once it leaves your lips, you have no control over it. People you didn’t intend to involve…can become involved. People you didn’t intend to harm…can be harmed.

The Bible says nothing good about gossiping. Gossip breaks down relationships. Rumors and slander undermine caring about others. Gossip has lasting wounds. Once your words are out there, you can’t take them back. Gossip is negative. God wants you to spend your time being positive, building others up, not pulling them down.

Remember the Golden Rule you learned in elementary school? Just stick to that and all will be well.

Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. Matthew 7

Vote! Vote!! Vote!!!

Don’t forget to vote today! I don’t care who you favor…just go vote.

God expects us to submit to government authorities who are not violating his will. Part of that submission in our country is voting.

Hope to see you at the polls today!!!

Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God. Romans 13

 

 

What Fear Fears

The dictionary definition of FEAR is: “An unpleasant, often strong emotion caused by anticipation or awareness of danger.” Fear can be a powerful and strong emotion. In fact, when you experience fear several psychological and physiological responses happen simultaneously. You feel emotionally overwhelmed and anxious, maybe terrified. Your heart races, your breathing becomes shallow. (Remember that night you watched the movie “Halloween” or “Nightmare on Elm Street”? Like that!)

Experiencing fear can greatly impact your view on life, your level of confidence, and it can sabotage your potential for personal growth.

You know what fear fears? Community. One of fear’s goals is to isolate you. To put you on an island. To make you think you’re the only one. Fear hates community.

God knew this. That’s why he gave us the church. The church is a community. A place where you can talk about your fears, a place where you can get help from others. You haven’t found a church like I’m describing here? They’re out there. Keep looking. Don’t give up.

Fear can cause you to withdraw and avoid people and situations. Don’t allow it to rule you and your life. Find a community. Church may be just the place for you.

We are many parts of one body (the church), and we all belong to each other. Romans 12

Tag Cloud