Archive for December, 2013

Are You Spiritual?

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

“I’m just not a spiritual person.”

Ever heard someone say that? I’ve been doing some reading lately that reminded me of a friend who claims to be “a science guy.” He echoes a popular notion that some folks are spiritual and some aren’t.

I believe that’s a lie. We’re all spiritual — in fact, our very essence is spirit. When the Bible says I was made in God’s image, I don’t imagine it meant God is an old bald guy in a wheelchair.

God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” (John 4:24)

At our core we’re spiritual beings, not human beings. The human part’s temporary.

I love C.S. Lewis’ analogy that we live in enemy-occupied territory. This isn’t home. We don’t really belong, because in the end this isn’t the world for which we were created.

That doesn’t mean we can’t live here in peace and joy. But when it feels like we’re strangers in a strange land, it’s because we are.

Our lives can have meaning only when we’re fulfilling the purpose for which we were designed. You and I were created to be connected to God and to each other.

Science can tell us how the world works, but it can’t reveal God because He exists outside the world.

Meditation and introspection, understanding our emotions, thoughts, and feelings, can tell us a lot about ourselves, but they can’t reveal God because He exists outside us.

Any attempt to discover God in ourselves or in the world is essentially an effort to create God in our image.

God is spirit. So are you.

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Copyright 2008-2013 by Rich Dixon, All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.

Rich is an author and speaker. He is the author of:

Relentless Grace: God’s Invitation To Give Hope Another Chance. Visit his web site www.relentlessgrace.com

Snowballing Emotions and Fears

Monday, December 9th, 2013

Sometimes life seems to get out of control. Circumstances loom much larger
than my ability to control them or even cope with them. Worry, doubt and anxiety
flourish. My heart starts to pound within my chest.

Yet, even though I get into spaces where my emotions and feelings seem to run wild
scripture tells me that I am to turn back to God for the calm and peace that He
wants me to experience in the midst of turmoil and trial.

Philippians 4:5-7 AMP
Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God. And God’s peace [shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

I know from experience that my emotions and feelings can be like a runaway freight train, having so much momentum that it seems nothing can stop them.

Just like the snowball rolling down the hill, they just seem to go faster and faster and get larger and more intimidating the further they go down the hill. But there is always an end to the hill. No hill goes on for ever. There is a valley — a stopping place — where the snowball comes to rest. And eventually it melts in the warmth of God’s love.

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~ * ~
Copyright 1992-2013 by S. O. Brennan.
All rights reserved. Used by permission.
S.O. Brennan is the Director of
Christians in Recovery and Alcoholics Victorious

Things I am Learning from Cancer

Friday, December 6th, 2013

When I was diagnosed with cancer it was as if God had slammed me over the head with a 2×4. I was stunned — stopped dead in my tracks. I was emotionally and physically numb.  It took months to come to terms with what it actually meant. How was this going to affect me? my relationships? my loved ones? What about the future? Do I even have a future? What will happen to my loved ones after I am gone? Questions whirled around inside my head.

Chemo has not been successful There is not much anyone can do  yet I can clearly see that God is in the process of teaching me some important things.

1. Tell people you love them! We all love the people in our lives but neglect to tell them just how much we do love them. Make a point of looking them right straight in the eye and say, “I love you.” Mean it.

2. Every day is a gift from God. Enjoy each moment of every day. Notice the small things (laugh lines in someone’s face, a puppy, fresh air)  and realize just how important they actually are.

3. Take care of your health. If you are suffering from a chronic illness, it may seem daunting at first but all the little things we do add up. Eat those veggies! Skip the sugar and cabs. Exercise (do it with a friend, it is more fun). Too often, we neglect ourselves. It is easy to not bother taking care of minor illnesses, as long as they do not interfere with our daily activities. But even feeling a little too tired can indicate a problem that needs to be checked into. See your doctor, even if you think it is silly at the time.

4. Take care of all of you: mentally, spiritually and physically. Seek joy and balance in your life. We all have major problems in our lives but we can learn to be overcomers. True peace of mind does not depend on circumstances. Learn to accept what life has brought your way. Understand that God can and will help you to get through.

5. Stop worrying! Anxiety robs us of everything precious to us: peace of mind, joy, health and time. God has been taking care of the entire universe right down to the tiniest quarks. He certainly can take care of the things that concern you.

6. Take time for others. Listen, really listen to what they are saying.

7. Take time for yourself.

8. Take time for God.

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Copyright 1998-2013 by Christians in Recovery
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Who needs an extraordinary friend this week?

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013

A familiar story prompts thoughts about today’s word-of-the-week…

FRIEND

In Mark 2, four friends took a paralyzed man to see Jesus. The crowd was too large and they couldn’t get close.

They might have shrugged. “Well, we tried. Too bad it didn’t work out.”

But the friends were too committed to give up so easily. They lifted the man to the roof and dug a hole so they could lower their buddy into the room where Jesus was eating dinner.

It’s easy to say you care. It’s harder to take a risk and cut a hole in a neighbor’s roof if that’s what’s needed.

I’ve been blessed by those kinds of friends, guys who got me on a handcycle when I thought it was the dumbest idea I’d ever heard. They kept after me when it would have been easy to walk away. They showed up and made sure I kept cranking on early mornings when there wasn’t anything in it for them.

Friends like that are rare. That’s probably okay; we don’t all need snow in our living rooms.

But sometimes a friend requires something remarkable or uncomfortable. It’s awfully easy to stand by, to imagine it’s not my job.

In the story, Jesus was touched by the friends’ faith. He healed the paralyzed man, spiritually and physically.

I’m grateful for the friends who stepped outside their comfort zones and did what seemed unreasonable and impossible.

It’s the story of RELENTLESS GRACE.

Who needs an extraordinary friend this week?

CIR Members can share their thoughts regarding this blog HERE
Don’t miss CIR’s Daily Article !
Not a member of CIR yet? Join us Today!Dixon
Copyright 2008-2013 by Rich Dixon, All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.Rich is an author and speaker. He is the author of:

Relentless Grace: God’s Invitation To Give Hope Another Chance. Visit his web site www.relentlessgrace.com