The Next Best DISTRACTION?

In reading further on leadership in the book Spiritual Leadership by Henry and Richard Blackaby, my thoughts turned to our family life and our spouses. (This is more for those of us who are in a working and communicative marriage)

This may not be a popular message but it is one I believe in.  Not only should we include our spouses in our decisions, we should be asking for their help as we make them, even if they disagree. We should be big enough to take their advice, and trust that there will be other opportunities down the road. In turn they will want to know what we think about their ideas, and welcome help with their decisions.

One of the most honoring and productive actions we can make for a healthy and fruitful future is to listen to our spouse and honor them by placing their ideas and needs before our own. I know, it sounds ‘old fashioned’, but life does run smoother. I believe in what God’s Word teaches us about our husband’s leadership role. Check out this link for a more extensive study on the role of a husband. https://www.allaboutgod.com/role-of-husband-in-the-bible.htm.

This leadership role is not only to guide us and assist us but to protect us from charging head on into something that will drag the family down, or pull the family apart.

I find it interesting how as little girls we dream of finding our Prince Charming, as young women we meet our Prince Charming, and then we marry and discard our Prince Charming in a inadvertent way, or literally.

Part of the reason for this abandonment is because we come to learn that Prince Charming isn’t always charming anymore. Well guess what? Neither is Cinderella that sweet. Another reason for this behavior is an unrealistic idea of what marriage is meant to be in the first place. Marriage is not a step-up to a solo career, it is signing up for a team sport.

So to recap on balancing our lives or collapsing them, how can we honor our husbands before we go running after the next best distraction?

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BALANCE or COLLAPSE, it’s your CHOICE.

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People observing people… trying desperately to balance their lives. I wonder how many ‘balancing act’ courses exist? How many of these courses are able to teach us how to harmonize our chaotic schedules?

In seeking answers today, I came across a few articles that spoke about ‘plates being too full’. One author’s solution was to insist our vision was too small. “Get a bigger plate” he said. “O dear” is my rebuttal.

The trend today is to brag about how busy we are, but chaos should never be something we aspire to. Paul certainly had something to say about busybodies (1 Tim. 5:13). Don’t sign up to do more stuff simply because there are a plethora of choices.

I asked a colleague yesterday what her secret to balancing life was. She answered, “Ask Him”. Two very powerful words that we Christians can put into practice. Before signing our entire family up for our ‘culture craze’ way of living, let’s see what God wants. Jesus certainly was accountable to the Father. Christ’s short life on earth was purposeful and focused. He could have accomplished more, but instead He gloriously fulfilled his purpose. I have often reflected on how hard it must have been for him to restrain himself from healing everyone he met, just because he could.

While reading “Spiritual Leadership” by Henry and Richard Blackaby, I came across a paragraph that struck a chord. In brief they talk about a man who decided to climb Mount Everest simply because ‘IT WAS THERE’. Years later his body was discovered. He lost his life trying to achieve an unessential objective.

Isn’t that what we all experience at one time or another over the course of our lifetime? We embark upon the unnecessary, just because the opportunity is there, AND ‘balance’ continues to evade us. This is where the enemy of our soul wants us – running around in circles like a chicken with its head cut off.

The Blackaby’s write, “why are you taking a particular action?”  “What are the long term ramifications?” The authors conclude, “Those who impulsively charge forward will eventually collapse on their mountain, their efforts misspent.”

So let us revisit the “Ask Him”, and let us challenge one another to read God’s Word, and find out what He has to say in regards to balance.

 

Blackaby, Henry and Richard, Spiritual Leadership, B&H Publishing Group, 2011, pg 86, 87.

 

 

 

Forgiveness Only Goes So Far?

The next time you mess up, remember we serve a God who runs after our heart!

“Forever is Ours”

I get stuck in the ‘here and now’, although free of my past.

I forget forever is ours.

I can fret all I want to, but you pray for me.

I’m never too far from your arms.

Why is it easier to picture a King who reigns on high,

than a friend who runs after my heart?

Because it’s in my stinkin’ nature to propagate the lie,

that your forgiveness only goes so far.

 

So I’m struck by your patience and freed by your truth.

Reminded forever is ours.

You purchased my soul, you’re not trading me in,

and you died to hold me in your arms.

Why is it easier to picture a King who reigns on high,

than a friend who runs after my heart?

Because it’s in my stinkin’ nature to propagate the lie,

that your forgiveness only goes so far…

written in May of 2012 ©Cindy Palin

Psalm 103:12, Hebrews 10:17, Isaiah 1:18, Proverbs 18:24

Like There’s No Tomorrow

We habitually sum up people at first glance, but listening is where it’s at. Today I kept listening. When something didn’t make sense I listened some more. I left work dragging my heels to the car, wearing all her words on my shoulders, but only temporarily.

As I drove home my spirit questioned God, and while I questioned answers began to formulate on my lips. I got in the door and went right to the piano…

“I’m here standing on the edge of the battlefield”

I know that is where I am supposed to be, fighting for others with God’s strength and wisdom.

I continued…..

“but let’s get real, it doesn’t look too good, you never said it would, and so I kneel” (John 16:33, Ephesians 6:18).

I continued to tell God what I saw…

“Right here, I survey the carnage of selfishness, it’s quite a mess, and yet the rose still blooms among the thorny tomb, and so I rise.”

I paused. Wasn’t Jesus telling me that he stood where I am a long time ago? And didn’t he find a way? And didn’t he rise from the dead? Was it not possible for myself and for others to get back up and keep on going, with His help? The key was to keep Him in focus and not the circumstances. As usual God was showing me a way through, not a way out, and not a way to feel sorry for myself or others, but a way to grasp the mystery of the Gospel-the truth.

“To life and all its imperfections, to live and suffer as you suffered, to love like there’s no tomorrow.”

So I didn’t have a quick fix for the dilemmas of the day, but I had something even more tangible – the love of God.

“You’re here pouring all your comfort and holiness upon our heads (John 14:16). O death where is thy sting (1 Cor. 15:55), O my Lord God and King and so I sing!  And so I sing! To life and all its imperfections, to live and suffer as you suffered, to love like there’s no tomorrow.”

“Like There’s No Tomorrow”©Cindy Palin, July 17, 2018 Dedicated to all of His beloved who are struggling. Let us struggle side by side.

In Mourning Over Our Nation’s Folly

A Nation founded on Biblical principles now rejecting them? Those professing Christ are THE minority, and soon to be without a voice?

I don’t have to be a Bible scholar to know that believers in Canada are facing new challenges to say the least, “terrible times in the last days” (2 Tim. 3).

I know that Paul in 2 Timothy reminds us to be kind and not quarrelsome (2 Timothy 2:24).

Our opponents must be gently instructed for repentance and the knowledge of the truth to follow (2 Tim. 25).

Instead of being overwhelmed with sadness, let us pray for our leaders (1 Timothy 2:1-2).

We can be sure that when there is persecution, there will be growth in the church. Just look at what happened in the New Testament after Christ’s death and resurrection.

In closing, we can mourn over our nation’s folly. I found an older song by Switchfoot, called: The Blues, just right for the state of my heart tonight.

And I am going to mourn as I listen to this song, but we are not without hope.

 

 

The Day After the World Held its Breath

(Dedicated to the young men saved from a cave in Thailand, and to all who risked their lives to save them, and to all who offered prayers to God on behalf of them, and to the medical staff attending them, and to God be the glory, July 11th, 2018)

Hush.

Let us keep our lips silent and our eyes lifted towards the mountains.

Anything we dare speak now will only ruin this sacred moment,

The day after the world held its breath.

They are alive! They have been rescued!

Let the tears of relief shower, and the wails of reunion swell.

Strangers from around the world gathered.

Minds strained and hearts ached, and humankind chose to risk everything to save them.

Prayers from every Nation cried out to God and He heard us and sustained them.

An invisible cloud of witnesses looked on and wept from the heavens for their souls,

That the frigid, grueling, merciless, murky trek to the depths of the earth be conquered.

They emerged cocooned in courage and passed on into wisdom and healing,

To feel the light of day, to meet endless possibilities, a future, a hope and a love bathed in oxygen.

So please…..be quiet, don’t shatter this hallowed, historic hour.

Don’t Hollywood it, or analyze it, critique it or complain this away.

Shhh

Don’t wallow in what could have been done differently.

Shhh

Don’t cheapen this triumphant feat.

Shhh

Don’t try to understand it with your finite mind.

Just stand in awe, or kneel in reverence and listen for the whispers of gratitude in a thousand languages, fill the skies.

They will never be the same, we will ever be the same.

Mothers and Fathers have had their sons returned.

My chest rises and falls as sleep draws near,

But my soul will continue to sing His praises over them,

Even in my dreams.

 

 

 

 

Living Differently, or Dying a Slow Death?

Recently I had the privilege of hearing Pastor Tim at the Prairie Tabernacle in Three Hills, Alberta.  He was talking about the early church, how they were cut to the heart with the truth of the Gospel (Acts 2:37), and because of the Truth they began to live differently.

When people commit to something new for the first time there is always a huge learning curve. Why should choosing to believe in Christ be any different? How do we live differently after deciding to be a Christian? Who is going to help us understand what living differently looks like?

Acts chapter two tells us that one of the first things we do is get baptized (v38). Going under the water means dying to self, coming out of the water is living as Christ (Romans 6:4), but how do we live that out after the baptismal service is over and the tank is drained dry?

Many people call themselves believers or Christians today, but there is no evidence of their faith claim.

Pastor Tim continued in Acts and reminded us of the story of Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5). Many new converts believed and their actions and speech aligned. They were hearing what was being preached, and living radically different. Ananias and Sapphira liked the looks of the early church, but thought they could believe in Christ and mix a little of their own agenda in the pot. They wanted God’s way and their way at the same time. They said one thing and did another. Does any of this sound familiar?  Their decision to believe and yet do what they wanted resulted in their death. Their death was immediate. Today many so called believers are dying a slow death. They have accepted Christ and the freedom He promises, but are not experiencing that freedom. They are not living their faith out.

This phenomenon has got me asking how we the church can help new believers immerse themselves in the Truth, and experience new life? We could ask, “Do new believers want accountability in their life?” but I think the better question is, “Do we the church understand part of living differently is understanding our responsibility to disciple and teach and hold one another accountable?” It isn’t enough to simply celebrate someone’s faith decision. We are called to walk along side one another and live differently – together.

But guess what?  It means work (Phil. 2:12). Peter warned and pleaded! (Acts 2:40). And if we don’t warn and plead? Well then perhaps we don’t love Him, or love others. After all ‘love’ today means something far different than the love Christ displayed through his death on a cross for you and me.

-Cindy Palin

 

Here Comes Hope

The other day I was contemplating the pain of another, and how we go through things so we can identify when someone else walks through the valley, how ultimately the Son of God did the same thing and then went one step further…..

“Here Comes Hope”

I’m here to tell you I’ve been there

O shattered heart of yesteryear

But I believe I cried those tears

to cry today

My Father wasn’t always loving

so I left home in search of meaning

And I believe my sorrow then

was for today

So I’d understand where you are

So You’d comprehend

You will never be alone again

Now that I know, my prayers echo

and here comes hope

I’m here to whisper weary soul

our brokenness can make us whole

I believe we have to fall

to stand today

Our Father God who is in heav’n

sent His Son down to walk with men

I believe He came to earth

just for today

So He’d understand where you are

So you’d comprehend

You needn’t ever be alone again

Now that you know, why not leg go?

‘Cause here comes hope

©Cindy Palin, June 24th, 2018

Dedicated to a dear friend

The Marsh of Mental Maladies

This past week I met with a community fraught with challenges. Specifically I trudged through the marsh of mental illness, offering hands and weathered shoulders to hold and lean upon. My ears strained in the shadows for a familiar comforting voice. I watched from a shelf on the wall to get a bird’s eye view of it all, holding my tongue and wringing my heart.

One by one I met the soldiers standing at their gates. Each one equipped with a different shade of red tape. Soft tones, methodical words, plastic masks, yet no direction.

“We haven’t always been here” I told myself. It has taken a thousand years or more for the callouses to form, and the politically correct lingo to roll off our lips.

The marsh is too thick now, too deep, too ‘muck and mire’ for freedom to ever reign again. We treat the symptoms, but not the sickness. We make a list, we dial, we write, and go home to bed, to start all over in the morning.

But sometimes we pray. Sometimes we hear that mysterious voice whisper with the wisdom from before the earth was formed. And we’re lifted above the fog. All the papers, protocol, pomp and circumstance disappear, and the answer shines out of the mist. There is a path to take, there is a line to cross, there is a truth to stand on.

One prayer at a time, one day at a time, one heart at a time, the children of the living God can move, can heal, can love one another to wholeness, in His name. O the precious name.

“Dedicated to my family, friends and neighbours who struggle in their spirit and their soul”. There is hope.

It’s The Little Things

So I have been trying to take care of myself. Sounds kind-a-like-a no brainer, but we wives and moms, tend to forget that skill while we’re learning how to take care of everybody else.

I had to make some big steps through a Doctor, a nutritionist and trainer, but don’t worry, if you can’t do that – its the little things we add to our daily routine that keep us moving forward.

The water bottle one of my adult children bought me really makes a difference to my water intake. The water tastes so good in ‘Swell’.

The natural thyroid and enzyme supplements I take every morning seem to be helping.

Today I smiled when I decided to get extra water in by drinking a small glass with each supplement, and vitamin. It was a slow process but I purposefully made it that way, no need to rush.

Three or so years ago I cut out specific food groups, which may not be for everyone but it definitely helped me.  One of new favourite cookbooks is called: “Against the Grain”.

Two years ago I made a point to not buy or drink alcohol in my home, regardless if it is considered an acceptable social trend. Who knows I may be able to cut out coffee soon too.

Yesterday I smiled while I took the time to rub cream on my arms.

Last night I smiled while I rubbed essential oils on my face and feet.

I am getting better at making protein drinks when I don’t necessarily feel like eating a meal.

Out of the blue I decided to grow my hair longer.

I bought my first belt in ten years, about one month ago, and now I am on the third notch.

There’s a shirt I wear that now hangs like it was meant to, rather than bunching up on top of my hips.

I am able to lift things easier, and my energy has improved.

Oh yes I bought a diffuser and run lavender oil beside my bed all night long.

Now when I exercise I enjoy the stretching at the end of the workout the best. Several years ago I really enjoyed the fellowship at boot camp, but this time ’round I am enjoying solitude and concentration, at my personal pace.

I keep a journal of the food I eat, and sometimes I forget to write in it, and that’s okay.

I don’t get on the scale and I won’t for at least a year – maybe never.

And goals, I have BIG goals, but I have a distinct feeling success is in the little things.