A Thanksgiving Letter
For the first time in my life I will be facing a real white and cold winter. Major adjustments await my family. We are not quite there yet and darkness has already settled in. The days are shorter and will continue to grow shorter. It is already super cold and will continue to be colder. It looks like the only way I will survive the below zero temperatures will be if I hunker down.
Living in Grace
This week at the hospital I had an amazing visit with a couple. They are truly living in God’s grace. Anyway, it prompted me to talk about faith with you. Please receive it as an invitation for you and I to think about God's possibilities for our lives.
I strongly belief that living in grace and by faith is what life is all about. I read in Hebrews, chapter 11, that without faith we cannot please God.
I translate what I read as grace-living faith being the faithfulness of God’s love. Such a love creates in us a trust so great that it becomes the core-substance and the basis of life — no matter if the ground around us is shaking or not. Faith IS the inner core of our existence.
The Gift of Fragility
I am in the beginning of a new chapter of my life. So many new things! I am at the beginning of a year-long Clinical Pastoral Education residency and at the beginning of life in a brand-new place.
Many of you know that I have been in transition for several months now—since I had to resign from the church I served in California. This time in my life has been a time of epic proportions where I have experienced the ups and downs life throws at you.
The truth of this matter is that I am feeling a significant amount of stress these days. It is soooo intense that my eyes just cry. I am learning how to lament for the first time in my life and have found myself constantly immersed in deep feelings of grief and loss.
My family and I moved from the Deep South to California with great hope of staying home. Such was not the case, and we are now in the Midwest.
Handling Your Anxiety
With everything that has been going on in our world lately (although, I know it’s really nothing new), if you are anything like me, your level of anxiety is elevated to the highest degree. The bottom line is that I am an anxious beast by nature and handling my anxiety well determines the quality of my life.
Anxiety is a big deal. It can cause us to breathe more rapidly and shallowly, which in turn can produce a variety of physical symptoms that can intensify the anxiety. If you are not aware of what’s happening and don’t take charge of it, you will be in trouble.
Struggling With God's Plan
I hear people say, including myself, "I believe that God has a plan for my life."
Let’s say that we are facing a difficult decision and want to make it in accordance to our conviction that God has a plan and is working it out in our lives… And we want to work with God’s plan, so we say, ”I'm just waiting to figure out what God has planned for me to do.”
I am in a challenging position right now in my life and maybe that is why I am noticing it more than usual. Whatever the case, perhaps because life seems more uncertain and more chaotic each day, the good people of faith around me are more prompt to remind me that God has “a plan."
As a matter of fact I just exchanged those words with a dear friend yesterday morning.
I wonder! Are we just asserting, even when all evidence seems to show the contrary, that God really does have a plan?
I can't often see that plan—can you?
Can anyone say for sure?