Monday, February 4, 2019

What Methodists Believe About the Holy Spirit

Eight years ago I recorded this short video clip "What Methodists Believe About the Holy Spirit." Then four years ago on this day, February 4th, I shared it again on my Facebook page. 

Today I attended the funeral of a Methodist woman that I had visited several times in my Hospice work. It did my heart so much good to hear the pastors share about her belief in Jesus and the Holy Spirit. I feel impressed to share this video again tonight.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Confession of a Recovering Perfectionist

This post is being written and shared to hopefully help anyone who may have struggled with perfectionism, and or, being a Father-pleaser. I am a Hospice Chaplain and every day I listen to dying persons share their life stories. Some share the positive moments that have carried them throughout their life and others relate the hurtful and negative experiences that have wounded them. The majority of these wounds are still painful, even as these persons are facing their own death. As a result of being an active listener, I, in turn, do my own life review on a regular basis, almost daily! I rehearse my own positive and negative experiences that I know have helped to shape who I am today.

Until about twenty years ago I was a certified perfectionist. This definition was so true of me: a person's striving for flawlessness and setting high-performance standards, accompanied by critical self-evaluations and concerns regarding others' evaluations. I expected things to be a certain standard and I was disappointed when it fell short. I began to change slowly as I started accepting the truth that everyone and every situation is different, with different expectations and outcomes. I learned that I was not always right or that my opinions were the only way. I admit that I still have a measure of it but I purposely fight the desire to view life from a perfectionist mindset.

Another personality trait I have struggled with throughout much of my life has been being a Father-pleaser. From my earliest memory, I wanted to please my natural father. I desperately desired to please him and for him to be proud of me. I desired to not make mistakes and to have Daddy's approval. The reality is that I made many mistakes and often disappointed him. My problem is that I tried to earn his approval.

How often this is true of our relationship with our Heavenly Father. Our efforts to please God and to earn His approval describe a frustrating and defeating lifestyle. Nothing that we can do will ever prove adequate to obtain God's acceptance and pleasure with us. These efforts will always fall short of perfection. I am so glad I am learning each day that I can never please God by what I do or don't do but that He loves and accepts me just because God loves me. God's love is unconditional!

When we can learn to accept ourselves as recipients of this amazing grace of our Heavenly Father then we can begin to live in new freedom. We recognize that even with our imperfections God continues to love us. We are free to please Him from grateful hearts. Our response to His graciousness is life-changing. Even when we make mistakes God continues to love us. I attempt to convey this truth with dying patients, in hopes that this revelation will free them from feelings of guilt and self-condemnation. How much more can each of us walk each day in this blessing! 

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Second Insight From God Meant it For Good: Diamond in the Rough

Joseph was God's diamond in the rough. He needed a lot of polishing before his time would come. But that is the way God sees each of us, diamonds that no one around us recognizes. It is what God sees that matters. (page 22)

The potential was inside Joseph but he was not ready to shine in service for God. Polishing off the rough spots takes time. The diamond is waiting inside but the preparation is necessary to prepare and release the jewel waiting to be revealed. So it is with every child of God; we are going to be used by God for His purposes when the time of preparation is completed. The preparation time feels like it will never end but God knows the perfect timing of readiness. Too often we quit and give up too soon. When this happens we short-circuit the process the Lord is using to polish off the rough spots. If we faint not we will be formed into the servant of God we were destined to become. 

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Insights From God Meant it For Good

I am rereading the book, God Meant it For Good, by R.T. Kendall. From time to time I will post insights that come to me that I believe will encourage and challenge. The book is written from the life of Joseph. When he was seventeen Joseph proved to be self-righteous for he would bring evil reports about his brothers to his father. "The Bible reveals the good and the bad about its heroes. It is encouraging to know that we do not have to be perfect to be wonderfully used by God." (Chapter One, page 13)

Throughout biblical history, this theme is repeated. God uses flawed vessels that reflect the marvelous grace of God. 

R.T. Kendall

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Our Job Preparing Us for Our Future

Colossians 3:23 Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Your job is one of the ways God is preparing you for your spiritual future. (Maybe it is even for our eternal responsibilities!)

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Rest in Peace Mayor Larry Langford

Tonight a new friend and a man that I admired from a distance passed from Earth's limits to his unlimited life with his Heavenly Father. Not only did this man impact me personally but allowed me this week to walk a few steps with him and his wife on their journey. I experienced the most genuine love and grace in their presence. Even in death, this mentor taught me how to die with class and utmost dignity. Thank you, God, for allowing our paths to unite on this side of Heaven. 

Mayor Larry Langford

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Be Different

I heard a great sermon last night when I watched the movie "Patch Adams." Don't be afraid to be authentic and do what you know your heart is leading you to do!

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Pleasant Surprises in 2019

I received this blessing from a pastor/police officer in Ndola, Zambia. His name is Pastor Lubinda Akamandisa. He is a good brother and I wanted to share this with you too.

"I wish you a peaceful New Year 2019. For sure, silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: in the name of Jesus of Nazareth may each day of the New Year bring you pleasant surprises like the curled petals of a flower that spread sweet fragrance slowly as it unfolds layer by layer. With every blessing. Emmanuel!"

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

2019 Year of Challenges & Growth

2019 will be a year of many challenges. These words from Karol K. Truman can help guide you as you move forward day after day.

"There is a purpose for every challenge and every situation in which we find ourselves. THE PURPOSE IS FOR LEARNING AND GROWTH—and FOR GETTING TO KNOW WHO WE REALLY ARE. After attaining this frame of mind, we get to consciously choose how we will react, how we will manage, and what we will do with these challenges. The depth and width of the growth we experience will be determined by these choices. But even in the negative choice, we still experience consequences that will eventually bring us around to positive choices...or choices that bring positive results." Truman, Karol K. Feelings Buried Alive Never Die. Olympus Publishing. Kindle Edition.