I was reminded again the other day, while officiating a wedding, of the simple secret of a happy and successful marriage. Want to know what it is? Do you really? Well... If you truly want to be happy and have a healthy & successful marriage, STOP TRYING!
Stop trying to always win, get your way and worry about your happiness. I know it sounds crazy. It goes against all rational reasoning and human nature, but stop trying. That is a scary thought, and really it makes us vulnerable.
"If I don't worry about myself, how can I guarantee that the other person will?"
"If I don't demand love and respect, I will never get it."
"What if I put myself out there and love and they don't love me back?"
"I am only willing to try, when they show me they are. I will show love when they show love"
This makes love conditional; it doesn't work, it never has and never will. Love and marriage is not 50/50, it is 100/100. We give 100% of ourselves to that other person, so much so, that it becomes so hard to know where one begins and one ends.
The fight for marriage is won not in the everyday dealing with each other, but in the internal battle of our own hearts
Do the opposite of what your rational mind and survival state would think. Spend your energy on becoming an expert of love. What is your partner's love language, what are their dreams and aspirations, what are their passions and how can you truly love them and respect them?
Now... don't you dare make your partner read this and say, "You need to read this". CHANGE STARTS WITH YOU. Stop trying to fix your marriage or fix your partner and instead, LOVE. The fight for marriage is won not in the everyday dealing with each other, but in the internal battle of our own hearts--moving away from always trying to get our way, the wanting to win the fight... to be right.
By no means is this a magic bullet to fix your marriage (marriage isn't a baking recipe that you can simply follow the instructions for and make a cake) and I am not saying that the other person has no responsibility in all this. Love is a two way street. But LOVE can't start with an expectation of the other person, stop trying to control something you can't and simply decide to start with yourself. If both sides of a marriage did this, looked to themselves to CHANGE and LOVE, you would both win. It needs to start with us, our actions and our choice.
“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” // Gandhi
Still don't believe this is possible? I will let you in on a little secret. Do you want to know why I find it so easy to love and respect my wife? Why I am so easy to forgive when I am wronged by her? That I am so willing to swallow my pride, see where I need to grow and am quick to ask for forgiveness when I fail and wrong her? Because she loves and respects me so well, forgives me, and yes when on occasion makes a mistake, she swallows her pride and thinks of me. It is all about radical, unhinged, wasteful love!
When you give such selfless, radical, unconditional, shocking, wasteful love, it seems impossible your spouse wouldn't want to reciprocate. It takes them off guard, they are receiving love and nothing is expected of them (no strings attached) and you are loving and respecting them. Then this crazy thing happens, when you receive that kind of love, you want to give that love back, and you can't let them win at this game, you need to one up them--and the cycle of one upping each other in love just builds.
I know what I am proposing doesn't exactly have a guarantee. I mean, I am not going to sit here and say, just do step 1, 2, and 3 and presto your marriage is fixed and it is rainbows and puppy dogs. Marriage is hard work and takes sacrifice. But that is the key word: SACRIFICE. Love is ultimately a choice.
It is all about radical, unhinged, wasteful love!
I can guarantee one thing, if you continue to fight for yourself and your are not willing to give yourself to the other person, then it definitely won't work. Because this is a cycle as well, but one that doesn't lead to anything good.
What if what I am saying is true? What if there is a chance that this whole radical wasteful love could actually create real change? Isn't love worth the fight? Isn't fighting for why you fell in love with each other, in the first place, worth finding again? When we fight with LOVE and for LOVE, LOVE wins, but only if you are willing to really do it, 100%, sacrificially, unhinged and wasteful. What do you have to lose by fighting for LOVE?
This is what God showed us in the ultimate Sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the Cross. This is the LOVE that draws us all to Him, His LOVE letter to us all, and the ultimate example He leaves us. If we were to apply the radical love of the Gospel that has transformed our lives form the inside out to our marriages, it may have the same supernatural transformation. Just a thought.
Are you willing to fight for love?
If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate.
You may need to seek the council of a professional councillor or psychologist in the process of being able to bring full healing and healthiness to your marriage and by no means will this article fix any underlying and major issues that may need professional help. This may only be one piece of the bigger puzzle. So please seek out any additional support, mentorship or even professional help that may be needed.
Also, if you suspect that you are in a abusive relationship and are constantly being hurt, used and abused by your partner (verbally, physically, emotional, spiritually, mentally and any other sort) in any form or degree, that the answer is not to put yourself out. This article is not the answer to your problem. What your partner is showing you is not love and will never be love. They are sick and need help (and no amount of your sacrifice and love will change that) and you (and your kids) need to be safe. Please seek it out.
I am a girl that gets excited about things easily. I try to make little parts of my day things to look forward to, and I usually have a countdown going on to count down the days to things I'm really excited about. This is especially true seeing as how in July I booked a vacation with my best friend for...OCTOBER. I haven't been so excited to do something in such a long time. About to weeks ago I was looking through the App store and was intrigued by one about countdowns. It was free, so I downloaded without much thought. I quickly loaded in the date of my vacation and much to my dismay, the app told me it would be 84 days until my vacation. I even posted on social media about it. I said “84 days isn't too early to count down a vacation right guys?!?” To my surprise, I had friends say they have started count downs with more than 100 days to go to an event!
So, of course, this go me thinking. As kids we are taught to count down to things like Christmas and Easter, to look forward to the weekend during the school week and to count away the days that bring summer vacation. I remember being in grade 1 and being told to bring '100 somethings' to school. We all sat in our desks and counted to 100 to celebrate making it to the hundredth day of class. Another good example would be my summers away at bases across Alberta for the Cadet program, you would be counting down the days until your contract started and you could see your friends every day of the summer, and then as soon as some people go there, the count down to go home would start. I even once upon a time was engaged and we had started the count down from a year from the date of the wedding. That isn't crazy right? So this is a learned behaviour brought on by a culture of excitement. To be excited for the weekend, vacation or Christmas.
Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring. // Proverbs 27:1
Do you have a Facebook or Pinterest account? You probably have at least one form of social media you plug into. I am asking this because I bet that you are the same as me and at times your pages can become overwhelmed with “live each day to the fullest!” or “ you can dream it you can do it!” pictures. Are our countdowns to things in life counter productive to living each day as the best we could? I feel like I am sometimes guilty of this. It will be a Wednesday and I'll leave work feeling like I didn't have the best day and then I will head home and not want to do chores and then I write the day off. Simple as that! If Wednesday wasn't good, I mentally tell myself that its okay because at least the weekend is close. REALLY ASHLEY? The weekend is still two whole entire complete days away! What am I gaining by justifying to myself that its okay to not do anything today, because Saturday is coming? The answer I have learned is... absolutely nothing!
Still be excited and count down the days to events that make you happy, but try not to write off the days in between! You never know what kind of magic could happen on a random Tuesday if you are constantly counting down to your Saturday!
Now I still have the app on my phone, counting down my days but I have changed my mindset about it. Instead of telling myself it is okay to have bad days because I am going on vacation soon, ( I know it isn't very soon) I try my best to live each of my days to the very best. Now, forgive the cliche you are about to read from me, but how do you know today that you are going to get a tomorrow? Let me tell you, you don't know. So if you have no idea when you wake up in the morning if it is going to be your last day or not, why wouldn't you try to live it to the best of your ability? What if you wake up at 70 years old and realize that your whole life you have been counting down to a few events that make you happy, when in reality there is a huge majority of your life left un-lived! We don't need to be counting down our days, we need to be grateful and living for all of them!
So my challenge to you readers of mine is this: Still be excited and count down the days to events that make you happy, but try not to write off the days in between! You never know what kind of magic could happen on a random Tuesday if you are constantly counting down to your Saturday! I am totally a part of this challenge as well because as I sit here and write this, there are 62 days between me and a jet plane!
Lets go live ALL our days!
by Charlotte O
Let me begin by stating my bias. I am a huge Gungor fan; I might even go so far as to call them my favourite band. So of course I was saddened when I saw the way they have been attacked online in the past week.
With that said, I do find myself disagreeing with many of Michael's points about his view of the bible. And that's ok. That doesn't mean I have to stop listening to their music. And the reverse is true, just because I like a band doesn't mean I have to agree with everything they say. If that were the case, I would find myself incredibly limited in what music I could listen to!
I became a Christian at the age of 6 when I 'asked Jesus into my heart'. But I certainly hope I don't have the same level of faith today!
While Mr. Gungor used pretty strong language in some cases to express his beliefs, the truth is, he is not the authority, and I don't think he was trying to be. Personally, my interpretation of his blog posts is that he is questioning things and has a desire to create a free, open space for others to do the same. By him taking a lot of the flak from a very polarized community, maybe others will have the opportunity to think, engage, explore without being attacked.
But here is the thing - all of us are always growing, we are constantly redefining our beliefs in relation to our knowledge and experience. I became a Christian at the age of 6 when I 'asked Jesus into my heart'. But I certainly hope I don't have the same level of faith today! Another example is that when I was younger, I saw things as so black and white. Either this music is Christian or not, etc and I ended up offending a lot of people in my rigid stance because of what I understood to be right and wrong (which involved not celebrating Halloween or watching Titanic). Nowadays, I see that nothing is really that simple, and I'm a lot more able to take the good and leave the unhelpful behind. And this has allowed me to not only thrive overseas, but to know people I never would have been open to before, to hear their pain, struggles, and stories without worrying about whether or not they're on 'my' side
When will we realize we can still love people without having to agree with everything they say or think? We are all on a journey, none of us has 'arrived'
So my point is that even though Gungor has made these controversial statements about Genesis and the Bible, they haven't 'arrived' at the truth any more than you or I, and there's a good chance those beliefs will keep on changing and evolving too.
When will we realize we can still love people without having to agree with everything they say or think? We are all on a journey, none of us has 'arrived' just as Corinthians says: we know in PART
I do believe the Bible is authoritative, but I cannot confidently say that all of my interpretations of it are equally authoritative. There's a neat little story in the book of Acts (21:11;33) that illustrates this: it involves incorrect fulfillment of a prophecy. Now does that mean there was an error in the scripture? Or that the Holy Spirit made a mistake in what was revealed? The evident answer seems to be that some human interpretation was added based on the person's assumptions, knowledge of the context, and opinion. That's really all we ever have. So I would rather think in terms of helpful and unhelpful rather than right and wrong. If you require a more poetic interpretation of the flood story in order to wrap your mind around the apparent science/faith conflict, than that is helpful for you. If you have no problem believing it was simply a miracle that can't be explained and to doubt that story would shake your faith, then it's less helpful. When we are unable to claim utter certainty on these topics, why can't both people hold to their beliefs if it helps them draw near to our Creator?
A FB friend asked me about my position on Israel:
"I'm really interested in your view regarding Israel....I've noticed what I consider to be a disturbing trend in the church regarding a complete lack of objectivity when it comes to things Israel. Over recent days I've read posts from Christian friends who state they 'stand by Israel', even when Israel is bombing civilians, killing children etc., they can do know wrong. Christians have stated that all the world's media is in some way biased toward Hamas and against Israel, and the reports aren't accurate.
I'm a supporter of Israel! but I don't think everything they do is right and blessed by God. There seems to be what I would call a cult of Israel I the church...to me it's really strange because God loves the Palestinians as much as the Israelis, Jesus broke down all barriers ( neither Jew nor Greek etc.) and made us one body ( that's my view anyhow). Do you think Israel holds some special place still ( in god's eyes), as in the promise to Abraham or was that all realised in Jesus.
this is not a test or anything! I'm genuinely interested in hearing someone's views on this. I haven't been active in the church for about 10 years, and it seems to me that issues re Israel are so much more prominent in. The church than they were back in the day. It could be that the church in Australia is so much more americanised than it was 10 years ago. This is really more a theological question re your understanding of Israel in scripture?"
This is a complex question, so for ease I have formulated some theses I could defend. These may give you a clue as to how I see things. the names in parentheses are scholars from whom I learned on a thesis. I think I could add more but wanted get back to you as quickly as possible. Thank you for writing.
1. Ancient Israel was a people chosen by God to bear witness to God’s saving acts which in turn witnessed to God’s character.
2. Ancient Israel’s election was not grounded in privilege; it was a call to serve (Karl Barth).
3. Ancient Israel had a pattern of forsaking God and following after other gods; thus the importance of the ‘law of anti-idolatry’ in the Jewish tradition (Sandor Goodhart).
4. Ancient Israel preferred the structures of other nations: kings and empire which could never be God’s way inasmuch as these are structures grounded in sacrifice (James G. Williams).
5. Ancient Israel perceived itself as a community in Exile; the Prophets made clear this Exile was brought about because Israel had committed itself to an understanding of God apart from God’s self-revelation as anti-sacrificial, anti-king and anti-empire (Raymund Schwager).
6. Ancient Israel was a community in exile in many ways in Jesus’ day (N.T. Wright).
7. The tri-fold platform upon which Ancient Israel grounded itself, viz., Torah, Temple, Land was virtually disintegrated between 70 and 135 C.E.
8. All that remained to Israelite identity was Torah study.
9. The modern state known as Israel is not identical to the people of the Older Testament
10. Dispensationalism and certain forms of Zionism are incorrect to seek such an identity.
11. Jesus’ and Paul’s proclamation of the ‘Malkuth Ha Shem’ (the reign of God) was not limited to the holiness codes of Torah, nor the sacrificial system of Temple, nor the territorial boundaries of ancient Israel.
12. Anti-Semitism is a most heinous form of scapegoating (the ‘sin against the holy spirit [Karl Barth]).
13. The Christian church’s complicity in anti-Semitic acts and theologies, including the concept of the ‘blood libel’ are grievous stains on her history.
14. The further destruction of European Jewry during the Shoah (1933-45) wrought a turning point in world history.
15. European guilt over the Shoah led to poor decision making following WWII and the partitioning of what now constitutes the land of Israel. The displacement of native Palestinians (Nakba) was neither right nor wise.
16. The decisions of the government of modern Israel cannot be identified with the will of God. However, like all nation-states Israel can claim the right to self-determination and self-defense.
17. Christians unwisely take sides in the current Israel-Palestinian conflict when they should be actively engaged in peacemaking.
18. Israel has neither more nor less blessing than any other state; the God of all creation has no interest in principalities and powers other than their deconstruction.
Hello again everyone,
The joy of being a writer of a blog is that I get to talk to you guys about things in real time. Something has happened in the last 24 hours, and I want to talk about it.
A man who starred in the movie that shaped who I am in a large way, has passed on. A man who brought the world to tears through joy and laughter has had the light in his eyes go dark. A man who people thought had it all figured out and was funny, kind, smart and loved. He lost a battle yesterday and it has opened a conversation. One that I would like to have.
Anyone who has known me for any length of time knows that once you become my friend, I am going to fiercely look after you. I am going to check in with you out of the blue and let you know you are on my mind, you have no choice that you become a part of my thoughts and prayers and that I will ask you out for coffee for absolutely no reason at all. I will send you funny pictures and tell you I love you randomly. I will do my absolute best at making sure you know at least one person in this world loves and cares for you. Now, why do I do that?
1.6 million Canadians over the of 15 deal with depression every year. 24 percent of deaths in 15 to 24 year old's in the country every year are from suicide.
I do that because at the age of 17 I lost someone who was the light of my life. Such a source of joy and happiness, and the life of the party. Never without a joke or an excuse to dress up, a lover of obscure things just for the heck of it. Someone who seemed to have it all together and be so full of self confidence. Then on my first day of university I got a phone call that stopped my world. He lost a battle I didn't even know he had been fighting. He was the perfect example in my life of someone who had the best combination of whimsy and smarts. The person who could always pick you up. He couldn't pick himself up. I had what they call 'Survivor's guilt', that took me years to figure out. How I could be so close to someone so sad and not have seen anything that would have made me worry. I felt terrible, for a long time. Which led me to digging deep into depression and suicide information for many years. I will talk to anyone who will listen about it. It is my main cause that I strive for change with. I want the stigma behind mental illness to be forever changed. It is not weakness. It is not seen to the victim as 'an easy way out'. In that very last, dark moment of desperation, it is the only way. I feel that when someone dies of a suicide it in not my job as a Christian to condemn their actions. It is my hope that the God I believe in is truly a God of forgiveness, love and understanding. A God with mercy in his heart for these sad people. When someone dies this way, you pray for them the same way you would any other. Pray for their soul to make it up to the heaven we all went to end up in, and that God is there to welcome their weary souls home.
There are many places to find information about depression and mental illness. It is still a very taboo topic that people are very leery to talk openly about. Let me give you some startling facts; 1.6 million Canadians over the of 15 deal with depression every year. 24 percent of deaths in 15 to 24 year old's in the country every year are from suicide. I think that is an astonishing number. To know that there are thousands and thousands of people walking around missing loved ones who lost their battles is utterly heartbreaking.
If you think there is a person in life who is struggling with the scary battle of depression there are some things you can say to them, even if you think that don't want to hear it. You can ask them about a certain change in their behaviour that will let you start a conversation. You can ask them if something hard is going on at school or work. Ask them if there is some way you can help them. If they don't want to talk, then there are three easy things to say that may make all the difference in the world to that person.
“You can't save people, you only love them.” Wow. How powerful is that right? I may not be able to save some of my friends, but I will love them with all the power in my body and soul.
Just remember you are never alone. You are beautiful-in a You kind of way
If you are personally struggling as you read this, please reach out to a safe place. Because no matter how much it hurts and how dark it seems, there are people here for you.
The crisis Hotline is 1-866-531-2600 toll free.
Robin William's death was shocking and tragic and has opened up a lot of conversation in the last 24 hours. I am so heartbroken for his family and the loss of the laughter he brought to the world. His movie “The Dead Poet's Society” is the reason I read and write so much. I owe him a lot and I am truly sorry.
I want to you leave with a Quote from Rick Warren tonight, “Other people are going to find healing in your wounds. Your greatest life messages and your most effective ministry will come out of your deepest hurts”. I think that through pain and sadness good things can come and if all talks help to save even a single life, then maybe we have started in the right direction of removing the stigma of mental illness.
Just remember you are never alone.
You are beautiful-in a You kind of way
There has been a lot of buzz surrounding 'Facebook Messenger' and the permissions and functions you are allowing the app to do. It has gotten so big in the past few days, that even some national news stations have been picking it up and running with it. People are taking their stand against Facebook by deleting the app off their phone and this trend seems to be spreading like wildfire. So, what is the big deal? Why should we be concerned? Well, to be honest, we probably shouldn't be.
When I first got a glimpse of one of these reports, I was skeptical to say the least. Facebook is not a stranger to being in the limelight of controversy when it comes to privacy and it usually gets blown out of proportion (in my humble opinion).
Now, don't get me wrong. There are loads of things that drive me crazy about how Facebook chooses to operate and decisions on how they develop their site and apps. One example is constantly forcing the user to have to read 'Top Stories' vs 'Most Recent' while scrolling through their newsfeed, even when then would rather use 'Most Recent' and they are doing it again with Messenger and not giving the end user the option to use it or not.
But this isn't the main thing getting people in a tizzy. If you were to take these reports at face value, you might think Facebook wants to take over your phone to kill you while you sleep. But with some closer examinations and some much needed clarification this actually doesn't seem to be the case. I won't go into detail as there is much info explaining this. Here are a few blogs from people trying to explain what is really going on: snopes.com; htxt.africa; onmedia.org.
But in short, the wording in these new policies is not as it seems and we are probably reading things into it that don't actually exist. The reality is, this language isn't unique to Facebook and comes directly from Android and their expectations from app developers using any function of a phone (which can be seen in the articles above) and by the same reasoning we should delete every app on our smartphone that uses any function like text, calls or our camera because they all ask the same permissions.
Fear sells and fear can, in many ways, persuade people to swing towards a point of view with very little effort.
But now I simply digress. What I am more interested in doing in this post is ask the question of 'why?'. Why the uproar and frenzy? Why the panic and mass deletion of an app that is probably harmless? In short, the answer is fear.
Fear has always been a powerful communication tool. Whether in the media, news outlets, government, conspiracy theorists, end times preachers and the list goes on. Fear sells and fear can, in many ways, persuade people to swing towards a point of view with very little effort. If I can drive enough fear into a situation, I can almost convince you of anything (if you are willing to believe it and give into that fear).
Now, I am not saying that being fearful of something is never warranted or the reality of that fear isn't genuine, but what I am saying is our human reaction towards fear is usually one that makes decisions more towards raw emotion and not so much with discernment. It is like our minds gravitate towards the worst- case scenario and cling to that. What worries me most about this obsession and manipulation of fear is that it so often robs us of things like: joy, peace, hope, trust and security. Be it as simple as not trusting our neighbours because they may have the worst intentions in mind, or stressing over the end of the world or some one world order.
Seek a foundation of living in joy, peace, hope and trust in wisdom and discernment which all comes from above (James 1:17; 3:17)
I am, by no means, an expert in the science of fear and its effect on us as humans and what warrants rational fear vs irrational fears, but I would like to challenge us to change our thinking away from fear and encourage us to, foremost, cling to and find our lives deeply rooted in virtues like joy, peace, hope and trust. Because when we are controlled by fear and the uneasy tides of that fear, we can be swayed so easily from left to right and pulled into so many unhealthy and destructive paths (James 1:5).
To ultimately accomplish this isn't to be lost in idealistic optimism, but being grounded in mature wisdom and discernment. Discernment is defined as: the ability to obtain sharp perceptions or to judge well (or the activity of so doing) which involves going past the mere perception of something and making nuanced judgments about its properties or qualities. Considered as a virtue, a discerning individual is considered to possess wisdom, and be of good judgement; especially so with regard to subject matter often overlooked by others.
Seek a foundation of living in joy, peace, hope and trust grounded in wisdom and discernment which all comes from above (James 1:17; 3:17). Don't be quick to react and jump on the bandwagon; do some research, test the credibility of the source and ultimately trust in joy, peace and hope of God over the fear of this world.
I would encourage you to meditate on these verses and I hope they bring you a little more joy and hope and peace in your life.
Fearing people is a dangerous trap, but trusting the LORD means safety. // Prov. 29:25
Does Prayer Even Work? I would be so bold to say that many people have wondered this exact question. In a moment of desperate need, we petitioning up to God hoping for a Hail Mary and for whoever might be up there would hear our plea. I suspect that many intimately know exactly what I am speaking of and have wondered: does this prayer thing even work? Does God hear me? Is there even anyone on the other side of this phone call?
Humanity has been searching for the answer to this question for centuries and by no means do I expect this simple post will wrap up this age old journey. But let me ask a simple question that may simply bring a different perspective to the equation. Is it possible that we have this whole prayer thing wrong? Maybe, just maybe, prayer is more about listening than speaking.
Prayer is for me nothing more than listening to the voice of the Creator, in scripture, in nature, in people, in all of life. Sometimes I use words to reflect back to the Creator. ...Sometimes, particularly when I emotionally agitated, sorrowful or depressed I can use a lot of words. I trust that my Abba is listening. Other times when I am emotionally overwhelmed with joy or wonder I can also use words of praise and thanksgiving. Prayer takes all kinds of forms for me, but mostly I think listening. // Michael Hardin
I mean, is that so far off? Truth be told, the world has become so noisy and busy, we barely know how to be still enough to listen to each other as human beings, sitting right in front of us, let alone the divine? Maybe the issue isn't God being to far away or to hard to reach, but maybe we can't hear Him through all the noise, when he does. Maybe we have become to busy and occupied that we don't know how this whole thing works anymore, or worse... don't have the time anymore.
In 1 Kings 19 we get a bit of a glimpse into unlocking this all. Elijah is in the lowest of places in his life and God wishes to speak to him and show Himself in the midst of all that is going on. As the story goes: Elijah experiences a great wind that seemed as though it would tear the mountain apart, but God was not in the wind. Then a massive earthquake that shook the very foundations of the ground Elijah stood on, dropping him to his knees, but God was not in the earthquake either. After, a consuming fire comes, but again God was not there either. But it wasn't until the stillness and silence that God shows up and in that quiet solitude, on the top of that mountain, does Elijah hear the voice of God. Not in an audible voice I suspect, but he did come face to face with the divine nonetheless, and God choose to speak to Elijah in the whisper of silence and stillness.
God isn't hiding, He is waiting to meet with us, we just need to be willing and ready. He is on the line asking, "Can You Hear Me Now?" It's our reception that needs fixing.
I don't believe that this means we must become so still and quiet and escape away from everything to be able to hear God (though, this may be of help), but that if we can quiet ourselves, even in the midst of the whirlwind of life, we can truly begin to recognize the whisper of His voice. So much was happening in Elijah's life at this point, he was on the run, fearful of death and his life was crashing down around him and God shows up in all this, but only after things come to a silent standstill. When was the last time you slowed down long enough, quieted the noise around you and drew away to be able to reflect and meditate?
God shows Elijah, that even in amidst of it all: the turmoil, the craziness, the winds that seem to tear everything apart, the earthquakes that shatter the very foundations we build and the fire that consume everything. God can speak through it all, if we would be willing to slow down and quiet ourselves enough to learn the discipline of hearing His voice.
Have you ever felt like you are always saying the same things and throwing up the same old empty lines? I wonder if we spent more time seeking the face and hearing the voice of the divine, if we might have something new to say when it is our turn to speak. What if we took the time to discover our Lord and Saviour's heart--for our lives, His mission and this world? There is such a rich well to drink from when we are able to discover our sacred pathway to hearing God's voice in our life, being able to reflect and meditate on the world around us and see reality through his eyes. Imagine the vast world and deep relationship that would open to you if you sought Him out? Let me tell you: God isn't hiding, He is waiting to meet with us, we just need to be willing and ready. He is on the line asking, "Can You Hear Me Now?" It's our reception that needs fixing.
Like any friendship, we learn to interact and love their voice and long to be in their presence. Should it not be the same with the divine. He already has declared His wanting to be in relationship with us, with His great action of love on the cross.
I'd like to think we all have this opportunity and ability and I think I would be right in this assumption. Like any friendship, we learn to interact with them and long to be in their presence. Should it not be the same with the divine. He already has declared His wanting to be in relationship with us, with His great act of love on the cross. What are you waiting for, pick up that phone and make the call; He is waiting on the other line.
If this article resonated with you and your heart desires this deep connection with the creator of the cosmos and to hear the divine voice of God and develop your own sacred pathway to Him, but you are unsure of how to start or flush this out, I would recommend these three books as a great start:
1. Brad Jersak's book 'Can You Hear Me' (There is even a kids edition for it)
2. David Chotka's book 'Power Prayer: Hearing Jesus; Spirit by Praying Jesus' Prayer'
3. Gary Thomas' Book 'Sacred Pathways'
Friendship. So hard. So worth it.
But What happens when it isn't anymore?
Have you noticed in this high social media age we are currently in, how many ways you can
refer to your friends?
Or how many ways you can interact with them? When I was in Jr. High it was the best thing
ever to have lots of friends on MSN messenger. Now you can request friends on Facebook,
follow and retweet people on twitter, you can send them pins on Pinterest, you can like
what they had for lunch on instagram and if you are really close, you will send probably a
million texts and iMessages over the course of your friendship. The problem is, even with
the insanely high number of ways you can keep in touch with people and enhance your
friendships, there comes moments in time where you have to stop and question what your
bringing to the friendship and what you are getting out of it. You can treat it like a relationship
and look to see if you are really bringing out the best in each other. The problem with that
though is sometimes when friendship's go south it can hurt as much, and sometimes more
than an actual romantic breakup.
Am I trying to force certain relationships. Am I trying to make them feel like how they felt a year ago, when in reality that person and I have been on a journey of growth and change separately and we now need different things than we did a year ago?
Part of life is growing up and meeting new people and gaining new skills and new interests,
and quite often there are new people you meet along with those things. In school you meet
friends, but you have to be there. As you grow you find out who you are and you take people
along the journey with you that share the same interests or plans. What I have learnt about
this though is you are going to meet people and you won't understand what they bring to your
journey until the exact moment you need them. Regardless of what you want, you need to
trust in God and know that he brings different people into your life for different reasons during
different seasons. And that's all a part of the process of learning and growing. You meet
some people who are meant to go with you until the end, and some you only get for a bit of
your journey. At that point you just need to be grateful for what they brought to you during
your adventures. Then when you have gotten all you are meant to from them, you gracefully
move on from them. Or they from you. That is the breaking point of friendships, when you
haven't realized yet that it is time to move on and you are pining over them the way you would
in a romantic relationship. That is how they can turn unhealthy and harmful. It is hard to say
exactly when or how it happens, a new significant other in your friends life? Maybe a move for
a job, or a new hobby that you don't feel included in. And to be fair, I am not saying that you
won't go through seasons where you are too busy to do much else besides work and sleep,
but you know that point where you are both in a relationship and you know you aren't putting
any effort into it anymore. That is when you need to evaluate what you are getting out of it.
Along with if its worth it for you to be carrying the weight of the friendship by yourself. That's
unfair and exhausting. And at that point it is okay to let it run its course.
At the end of the day, count all your friends as blessings and be open to change. You will meet many incredible people over your life time, and it will be selfish to think you get to keep them all to yourself!
I have many friends from the cadet program that are all spread far and wide across the
country, and we don't get to talk all the time, but when we do there is such a feeling of kinship
that we pick up exactly where we left off, even with there being years between visits. Those
friendships mean so much to me and flow so simply that I know they will be there for many
years to come. At the same time, as you have read in previous posts of mine, my life is in a
time of great change and I am currently at this stage with some friendships. Where I need to
take step back and see if I am trying to force certain relationships. Am I trying to make them
feel like how they felt a year ago, when in reality that person and I have been on a journey
of growth and change separately and we now need different things than we did a year ago?
Sometimes you aren't what a person needs anymore, and that is okay. It isn't right or wrong,
it is just a fact that humans learn and grown and sometimes growing also includes growing a
As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17
So, when you are out in the world, try to find the people that can sharpen you, as you can
them. Friendships are all about the give and take. That's what keeps them going. You will
need different things from different people along the way, as you will realize you yourself
inspire different people at different times. At the end of the day, count all your friends as
blessings and be open to change. You will meet many incredible people over your life time,
and it will be selfish to think you get to keep them all to yourself!
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