What bothers you…

It is a simple question I bet we could gather ready answers to.  What bothers you?  Can you fill out a quick top five list if asked?  Probably.  My follow up question is going to be harder though.  Here it is:  What are you doing about it?  What are you willing to do about it?  Does bullying bother you?  Are you doing anything about it?  Does it bother you that local businesses are going under?  Are you doing anything about it?  If our bothered-ness doesn’t translate into activity, we aren’t bothered enough to bother.  But if we actually get bothered enough, it can propel us to do great things…but only if we allow ourselves to move beyond irritation and into full blown bothered.  I actually think that if your bothers aren’t motivating you, they aren’t worth thinking about at all and you should just ditch them.  All they are if you don’t are “life sucks,” taking away our joy without producing anything.images (2)

In Time of Trouble

In time of trouble say,
First:  He brought me here; it is by His will I am in this strait place:  in that I will rest.
Next:  He will keep me here in His love, and give me grace in this trial to behave as His child.
Then:  He will make the trial a blessing, teaching me the lessons He intends me to learn, and working in heavy_seasme the grace He means to bestow.
Last:  In His good time He can bring me out again – how and when He knows.

Say:  I am here
(1) by God’s appointment
(2) in His keeping
(3) under His training
(4) for His time

– Andrew Murray

What to Remember When You Help Others

Don’t give in to the temptation to be somebody’s savior unless you want everything that goes along with the job, including bearing all the guilt, paying all the penalties, and refusing to accept the credit due you. The person who makes claims on you to get them well will also blame you when they don’t.  Why graft a branch into another branch? The Vine is healthier than the healthiest branch. Glass Vase Art Japanese Dry Branch Ikebana home accent decor decorative_1.jpgf19c59cb-3d28-4da1-b054-b0b7a327a0e1Large

Does this Work?

“When faced with wonderful theory, good-sounding teaching, laws prohibiting, or innovative frames of reference, I believe that we rarely ask ourselves the question, “Does this work?” We are so miserable in our present condition that we are willing to listen to anything that promises a quick remedy. At various times I have been told that Christians are not to own televisions, radios, open-toed shoes, wire-rimmed glasses, brightly colored clothing, or an organ in the church building. But in the ranks of the legalists have been found the grossest of immoralities. It must not work!” – Mike Wells, Sidetracked in the Wilderness

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How Dissonance is Useful

A member of our community played a new piece of music for us this week. In beginning he picked the strings in familiar chords to a Latino rhythm, but soon something went wrong. Notes stuck out here and there against the flow of the music. It seemed they would bring the instrumental to a uneasy halt, but they didn’t. The music went on. It was beautiful and then, more of those notes. Dissonant notes. Dissonant notes have a purpose too. They break us out of the familiar and point to something urgent. they aren’t what we expect to happen, but they aren’t unexpected to the musician. He can use dissonance. The earth sometime shakes with dissonant chords but these are not beyond the reach of our God. He can weave them into the music. He can make all things beautiful in their time. images (7)

Attractive People Are More Trustworthy

A Harvard study suggests humans are born with an inherent bias towards more attractive people. (Full Story)

I believe the premise of this story.  I believe we begin to choose who we trust based on appearance and that pretty people get the benefit of the doubt before ugly ones.  I also believe foolish people are the ones who don’t graduate quickly from this way of assessing the world and embrace real attractiveness; humility, integrity, honor, faithfulness.  We may be born with the bias to trust our eyes – perhaps this is a way of saying we are born children of the Garden, where our eyes failed us so miserably – this is why we need a second birth that gives a second sight.  Eyes that see through and faith that enlightens the way.  When I was a child I thought like a child…A face you can trust