Saturday, February 23, 2013

How do you trust? What is rejoicing?

"Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death;
my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,”
and my foes will rejoice when I fall.

But I trust in your unfailing love;
my heart rejoices in your salvation.
I will sing to the Lord,
for he has been good to me." (Ps. 13)

When You Walk
Think about ways you can rejoice in your salvation.

~ Excerpt from Getting Out of Bed in the Morning
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Monday, February 18, 2013

What is a Giving it Over to God calendar?

Keep a “Giving It over to God” calendar where you can see it each day. On this calendar (make sure it has large squares), place a mark or some emblem to signify a problem that you are handing over to God. You could write the letter “J” for jealousy on the square for today, meaning you are giving over to God your difficulty with the problem of being envious of your neighbor or friend. Or perhaps you will write the letter “F” because you need to give over your refusal to forgive, and now is the day to do that. As you place these markings on your calendar, ask God to take your difficulty or your sin and teach you how to grow out of it, away from it, and toward His likeness. Like a baby, we have to be weaned from our dependency or patterns into healthier mature attitudes.

Growing up means change. Where we once doubted, we now see. Experience has opened our eyes. We have experienced God’s grace, forgiveness, love, and power; and so when a new situation arises, we have this history with God to bank on. He was with us when our spouse left. He provided for us when we were let go from our place of employment. He sent comfort when we received the devastating diagnosis. He has been with us all along. He will continue to be with us so that we can live, even thrive. Although we have not seen Jesus in the flesh as the disciples did, we have been privileged to walk in His spirit each day.

~ excerpt from Getting Out of Bed in the Morning: Reflections of Comfort in Heartache
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Monday, February 11, 2013

Tips for Making Life Work

Below are some tips I shared recently at my Broken Psalms presention. These can all be found in Getting Out of Bed in the Morning.

Seclude yourself in a room where no one can hear you. Set a timer for three minutes and let yourself think about your anger. Scream, rant, and rave. When the timer dings, stand up, take a breath, and then partake in another action. Each day, anger may build up. Allow yourself time to deal with it and release it.

Pretend Jesus is your walking partner today. Envision Him as a person dressed in exercise gear. His strides match yours. What does He say to you? What do you say to Him?

Keep a journal. Studies show writing reduces stress and if you write at least five times a week for twenty minutes you will notice the affects. Also, try to envision your current situation as you would like to see it. Picture your kids getting along with your new spouse. Imagine peaceful conversations and the acceptance of each other. Pray for this to take place and keep praying that one day it will.

List your blessings—the things you are grateful for, the people who are in your life, the experiences you have enjoyed, the hobbies that bring you comfort. Keep a running list. Keep it by your beside and add to it each day.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

How Do We Stay Uplifted in a Chaotic World?

Be merciful to me, O Lord, for I am in distress;
my eyes grow weak with sorrow,
my soul and body with grief.
—Psalm 31:9

Being kind and gentle in our grief is important so that we can be a friend to ourselves. We may feel so exhausted from the couldas, shouldas, and wouldas that we reprimand and berating ourselves for the mistakes we’ve made and the guilt we feel. Even in our agony, we must be kind enough to push ourselves out of bed and get moving so that we can focus on our healing. A friend who fractured her leg told me that she firmly believes a healthy attitude helps us heal. As she goes to rehab sessions, she focuses on the positive.

On your bad days, tell yourself that no matter what unhappy circumstance you are in, you will not give in to playing the role of the victim. With God on your side, you are not a hopeless wreck. Even if you hear the old adage, “God helps those who help themselves” and feel that trusting in God is not “doing enough” to remedy your situation, refrain from self-loathing and harsh judgment. And by the way, although people toss the “God helps those” reference around like a familiar Bible verse, there is no verse in the Bible that matches it. ~ from Getting Out of Bed in the Morning.

How do you keep a positive attitude in light of God's grace and mercy? What helps you?

[Read the reviews for Getting Out of Bed in the Mornning]

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Psalm of WinterPrayer

I call this tree "Great Tree" because it seems enormous. A few weeks ago I held a contest, asking blog followers to name this tree with something more captivating than what I called it. The contest ended on February 3 and the winner has been announced today---Barb Shelton of Texas came up with Psalm of WinterPrayer.

Congratulations, Barb! An autographed copy of my new devotional, Getting Out of Bed in the Morning: Reflections of Comfort in Heartache, will be sent to you soon.

Thanks to all, for submitting entries. I appreciate them all!