Laughing our way to the Cross: Practing Lightheartedness

I take things so seriously and I have been that way from the womb. Cultivating a light heartedness, no matter our personality, is a part of character development. How is that even possible for one as serious and sometimes awkward as me? Well how did Jesus do it?

He partied!

He ate meals with his friends!

He spent time with children!

He was disciplined!

That last one seems out-of-place in our wild life of the party mentality. Disciplined people can be fun to be around? Yes, because discipline lightens our load and makes us more effective in our celebration. Amazing how much more creative I am with a clean desk. Jesus was disciplined without attempting to control the outcome. He retired to a quiet place to spend time with his heavenly father, but if the crowd searched him out, he ministered to them. There is a difference between control and discipline. Control says, I must have things a certain way to function, but discipline stretches, strengthens, and prepares for us to receive our day.

As I am becoming more disciplined in exercise I am better able to be a blessing to my family. Consider the wise words of Elle Woods,”Endorphins make you happy, happy people don’t just go around killing their husbands.” (Reese Witherspoon, Legally Blond) I took her advice. Sunday I was extremely agitated, but after spending forty minutes on the bike trail calmness reigned in my out of control thinking.

Start small 5 minutes. Start with 5 minutes of outdoor time. Love gardening, spend 5 minutes daily weeding your bed. All kinds of biblical lessons there!

Spend time with children. My church has a stain glass window of Jesus on his throne, welcoming little children into his lap. It is easy to see how much pleasure Jesus took in them. My kids wrote me a birthday puppet show last night. They even broke out in song. Love it!

Creation itself throws one big God party! Are we too serious to pause, laugh and celebrate? Life bursts forth with streamers and noise makers every morning I wake up. I am not going to be outdone by the colorful pansies in my garden, or the robin singing his praises outside my office window. My art class surprised me with a cake and sang happy birthday to me yesterday. A gift arrived under my Jonathan tree. Delightful!

How much I value fellowship with you! Even though my “letters” for many of you, come a considerable distance, I still feel a bond with you as we share life together. Some of you I get to break bread with in person. I learn so much, and take pleasure in watching God in your lives. So, throw your streamers! Don’t become so bogged down by the brokeness that we forget that the cross wasn’t the end of the story. Resurrection was God’s invitation, and ALL of us are on the guest list. That is worth celebrating!

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From Cover to Cover

Psalm 46:10 “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”

(Special thanks to my cousin, for reminding me of my grandmother’s yearly commitment to reading through the Bible and the words falling afresh on her mind in each year of reading.)

Genesis 1-3

  1. Repeatedly God looks at what is created and observes that it was good, and his final conclusion, very good. (Genesis 1)
    • If it was very good, does that mean the possibility of being bad?
    • Only one thing was not good. “for man to be alone”(Genesis 2)
    • Is it possible that God himself was the light of the world before day 4?
  2. We are to be stewards of every plant and living creature that he has given to us.
    • How am I cultivating a sense of wonder and respect for nature?
  3. I hadn’t noticed before that God “planted” the garden in Eden. He didn’t speak it into existence. (Genesis 2)
  4. No rain. God watered the earth through mist.
  5. God established the boundaries of all things.
  6. The first thing that we noticed when our eyes were opened was that we were naked. We went from no shame to feeling shame for our bodies that God created. (Genesis 3)
  7. Isn’t it interesting that in their eyes being opened to good and evil, that Eve acknowledges that the serpent had deceived her.

Matthew 1

  1. God walked on earth, intimately interacted with his creation from the beginning. He did again through his son Jesus, and he is with us now through the Holy Spirit. The very same Holy Spirit that conceived a child in Mary and rested upon the disciples!
    • Do I live in this power?
  2. God used some pretty rough characters to bring Jesus into the world. Can I see God’s hand in the heritage and lineage of my family?

My Utmost for his Highest

 

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