Sunday, January 25, 2009

Sunday Stuff and the Rest of It

Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him. Psalm 62:5

Bears have the right idea: put on a fur coat and sleep for three months in winter. While, I won’t be snoozing for 12 weeks any time soon, I am a big proponent of rest these days. Maybe it’s because most of us work hard during the week and need to get refreshed on the weekends, but we don’t.

Life, I’ve discovered, is not an endless loop of work, chores and errands. Rest, fun and play are essential. Many times weekends or evenings are taken up with things we HAVE TO do. The hafta’s get us much of the time. We have to go to the grocery store—eveyone’s gotta eat! We have to get gas for the car, take in the dry cleaning, get the car washed, get an oil change, and, oh, get a birthday card for your best friend. Or you need to take the dog for a walk, call your parents, do your laundry, pay your bills, clean the house, and…the list goes on.

Hey, I’m all for getting stuff done. I’m a big make-a-list-person and love making check marks when I’ve completed a task. But everyone needs time away from the have to, ought to, musts and should’s. If we don’t, we will be tired all the time and we will be foolish.

Jesus himself said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28). He is the One in whom we find real rest. Talk to Him, and listen. Soak up the truth like the moon soaks up the light of the sun, and then shine! Radiate light, hope and love in your corner of the world.

This week, think about one thing you can do differently to refresh your spirit and nurture your body and strengthen your life. Here are a few ideas:

take a nap
sit by a fireplace fire
read the Sunday paper
relax in a warm tub
have a prayer time
have some friends over for games
sleep in
watch the sun set
read a new book
hang out at your favorite coffee place
call an old friend
read a magazine
find a new recipe and make it
put on a worship CD
watch a movie that you want to watch
count your blessings
and be thankful.

Renew, restore, refresh. Your body—and your life—will thank you.

Monday, January 12, 2009

A Time to Awaken


Snowfall on tall pines,
Sunrise and stirring
Of quiet and big dreams
As a new year awakens.

Dark-covered winter with
Dormant believing
Leads joyfully into
Spring’s hope-filled returning

When flowers and faith
Resurrect from earth’s slumber
Alive and reminded
Of God’s faithful goodness.

-- Jackie Johnson

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Changing Your Life – One Thing at a Time

From now on I will tell you of new things,
of hidden things unknown to you.
(Isaiah 48:6)

My friend Anne in Chicago told me recently that she’d had an epiphany. A few years ago, this kind friend quit her job to take care of her ailing parents. Her mom “got promoted” to heaven and her dad is now in a nursing home. Her job for the last couple of years has been to clean the house her parents lived in and get repairs done. Just before Christmas she was just standing in the kitchen when, in a moment of clarity, she knew exactly what she needed to do—sell the house. It was over 40 years old, the repairs were coming faster than hurricane winds on the Texas coast, and it was time for a change. Instantly, freedom and peace came over her.

An epiphany.

Have you had one? Today’s a good day to talk about that because January 6th is the celebration of the Epiphany—the revelation of Christ to the world as fully God and fully man. Hard to comprehend, but totally true. Another definition for “epiphany” according to is “a sudden, intuitive perception of or insight…”

It’s a sudden, “aha” moment of knowing. Clarity. Perception. Discernment. A light bulb goes on and there is hope, joy, and vision for your future.

What area of your life needs insight and change? It’s a brand new year, so let’s ask God to reveal His good purposes to us in clear ways. Let’s make changes that will change our lives and the lives of those around us. What do you want to change in 2009?

Think of one thing. Just one thing…

Ask God to reveal to you an area of your life that can be different, better, healed, more whole than you ever imagined. Here are a few ideas to get started:

• I want to (finally) get in shape so I have the strength and energy for a better life.

• I want to start saving money (or increase what I save already).

• I want to put God first and be a person of wisdom, worth and wonderfulness.

• I want to remember those who don’t have—people who are hungry, people who need a warm blanket, people who need love and help.

• I want to go someplace tropical for a vacation.

• I want to be nicer to that woman at work who drives me crazy.

• I want to connect more with my family since we don’t see each other very often.

• I want to make time for close friendships.

• I want to pray more and change the world—and my own life.

Here’s to a new year of "suddenlies" and epiphanies-—and an amazing life.