If “wimp-to-warrior” was a scale measuring your spiritual life, zero being wimpy and ten being the ultimate warrior- where would your spiritual life fall on the scale?
Perseverance seems to come naturally to some. My young grandson, Jack, is an example of someone who has a natural bent towards persevering. Jack turned six this past week and was excited to get his very own brand-new two-wheeler. He jumped onto that bike and rode without any hesitation (or training wheels.) Whether learning to read or mastering rollerblades, Jack has an “I can do it” kind of mindset, and it has served him well in life so far. His perspective is one of enduring no matter how difficult the task.
During our most recent visit, I experienced a new treat, yeasted pancakes- oh my! It may be that the pancakes tasted so good since it had been a year or more since I had tasted syrup, or it may have been the way the generously sized pancakes were prepared in a little bit of oil, which made their outer layer a bit crispy. But whatever it was, they were delightful, and the mere thought of them as I write is calling me to return to the little café for another stack.
One of the not so fun parts of getting older is not sleeping as well as I once did. As a child, I slept like a baby- well, actually better than a baby, I slept all the night through. Sleeping well has served me well all of these years. But more recently, I have found my sleep patterns to be a bit broken up. Waking during the night may seem unpleasant, but actually, it has its good points. I get a lot of reading and writing accomplished.
Mr Brown was a stern and stoic music and band teacher. Had I known what he was like I would have never signed up to take clarinet and be a part of the band. He was a task master; there was no fooling around in his class! I was nine years old at the time and that shiny clarinet had wooed me into signing up. I wanted to be able to play it well. I just didn’t want to play the kind of pieces Mr. Brown was assigning. I tried everything I could to get out of practicing those pieces.
My husband gave me several books for Christmas, and so I have been reading a lot lately. I had forgotten how much I love to read a good book. “Traveling” to a place you have never been is one great benefit of reading. Jumping into history is another. Reading a good book can help the reader see from another’s perspective, have fresh insight, and challenge the reader to consider what they believe. And sometimes reading a good book can jog the memory regarding a truth once known but forgotten. But often, what I love about reading a good book is how my mind is stimulated to think more deeply, to ask more questions, and to grow in faith.
It was the late fall of 2012; I was beginning to think about a move to Paris, France. It wasn’t something I ever saw coming. No, if you had asked me where I might live, Paris was NOT one of the places. Maybe, Europe somewhere, but definitely Not France!
The book of Judges is a book describing many sad days for Israel. Oh yes, there were good days, but more than once in Judges, we read, “all the people did what seemed right in their own eyes.” They had no compass, no true north; they just followed their gut feelings and did what seemed right to them. Of course, everyone had a different gut feeling. Two plus two is five, or six, or seven, right?
A friend recently asked me what is the best way to tell someone about Jesus? My response, just tell your story. Tell where you have been and where God has brought you. Tell them what your heart looked like when it was stony and cold and how it functions now as a heart of beating flesh. Share your journey; tell how you met Jesus. Tell about the power of the Holy Spirit inside of you. Tell what he has done for you, how he has changed you. It is your story, and it is for sharing.
I have been thinking a lot lately about how easy it is for a Christian to “slide” right out of a close relationship with Jesus. I use the word slide because usually, it is just that, a slippery slope downward right out of fellowship. It is often an unintended and unexpected slipping and sliding, but it happens regardless of the intent. Maybe on day one of being preoccupied elsewhere, things seem okay, but it doesn’t take many days of ignoring God to find yourself skidding rapidly and regrettably away.