Posts Categorized: Thinking Out Loud

Helping, But Helpless

DSN9158-2-LZsa Zsa Gabor said, “I am a marvelous housekeeper. Every time I leave a man I keep his house.”

Shirley dislocated her shoulder a couple weeks ago and these have been some of the hardest days I’ve experienced. I’m not looking for sympathy, but I feel so helpless.

Shirley’s arm is immobilized to let the muscles heal and so her abilities are limited. She has some passive exercised to do, but nothing that causes pain in her shoulder is allowed. There are thing she wants to do; tries to do, but the sling reminds her not to push it. She gets frustrated with her inabilities and limitations.

I have to help her get dressed, do the cleaning, food preparation, laundry, drive her to work and pick her up… Most everything you can think of I do to help her.

So why do I feel helpless?

The one thing I want most to do I can’t. I want to heal her. I want to stop any pain or discomfort and I want to make her shoulder as well and pain free as it was before the accident. I feel helpless because that which I want the most is outside my ability to accomplish.

Sunday we’ll celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary. I’m not sure what her prayers might be but mine are to have another 40 years to try and be as good to her as she has been to me. Somehow to heal and protect her from all that frightens, discourages, hurts, attacks… from every negative thing that might come her way. I want to be the embodiment of positivity for her and bring only good things her way. That’s what she has always done for me.

If Shirley ever leaves me, I’m going with her.

Copyright 2015 LeadersBridge

Distant Expectations

DSN9158-2-LThe young man approached the older man again. A few weeks earlier the young man had asked why the other put on glasses when it came time to pray. And his answer, “The glasses remind me to look for something,” had made quite an impression.

But this time he had another question, “Okay, you put the glasses on when you pray, but you always take them off immediately upon the ‘amen,’ why? I mean it almost seems habitual, or automatic. Is there a reason, like putting them on?”

The man smiled and said, “You’re pretty observant. I only need the glasses for reading. So putting them on reminds me to look for answers close up; now. But I take them off to remind me the answer to all prayers may be far off.”

“God answers prayer and we ask that His will be done on earth as it is in heaven. But that perfect will won’t be done until Jesus returns and sets up God’s Kingdom upon the earth. When Jesus returns all our prayers will be answered and, I think, even explained.”

“Prayer is all about expectations. When we pray we ask, seek, knock and look for answers close up. But we also keep an eternal perspective, looking into the distance focusing on the Lords return.”

Copyright 2015 LeadersBridge

Our Steering Wheel

DSN9158-2-LWhile driving I had a thought, “This truck does not have a mind of its own.” I thought of letting go of the steering wheel and letting the truck decide where we would go. If it had a mind of its own I could do that and just enjoy the ride, seeing where it would lead; being surprised by the destination.

But the truck will only go where I steer it.

God gave us a steering wheel to help us navigate through life. It is an over-riding message that should permeate every area of our lives so that no matter the situation we can steer in a way that helps make sense of the circumstance and leads us to victorious thinking and an overcoming spirit.

“But seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you. Matthew 6:33.

Here is the very first thing we should be looking for. It is the lens we should always be looking through. It’s the steering wheel that should guide our navigation; to seek God’s Kingdom in every situation and circumstance. And in our seeking to do what is right according to God’s definition of righteousness.

My mind should only go where I steer it.

No matter what I face, good or bad, to say, “Where is God’s Kingdom in this, and what am I to do?”

My first priority, always, to seek His Kingdom and righteousness.

Copyright 2015 LeadersBridge

Elephant Irony

0604151226aI learned something interesting at the Missouri Botanical Garden while visiting with Shirley and the grand-kids.

The Chinese word for elephant sounds very similar to the word for ‘sign’ or ‘things to come’. There are many Chinese words that sound alike or similar to other words. So a common practice is to pair an elephant with something else to make a play on words or a pun. Such as, to show an elephant on a rock displays the concept of power or authority. Seeing an elephant with a vase on it back is a sign for a desire for peace; since the Chinese word for vase is very similar to the word for peace.

I have noticed a lot of elephants in Chinese culture and it is interesting to discover why. I have a much deeper appreciation for elephants than I had previously.

As I think back about taking a picture with Shirley and the grandkids in front of this magnificent elephant display I wondered at the irony now apparent. The elephant, being a symbol of things to come, and it being pictured with my grand-kids… get it?

A little over a week after the picture was taken we rejoiced to find out that we are being blessed with another grandchild.

Note – if you want grandchildren I don’t think that having a picture taken with an elephant guarantees anything. But I do love the way God puts His finger into things just to see if we’ll recognize His providence.

Copyright 2015 LeadersBridge

The Doing of the Thing

DSN9118-2-MI had received disappointing news. I was frustrated, defeated and felt pretty hopeless.

I began to pray, always starting with praise and thanksgiving. And this time perhaps a little too much; compensating for the lack of feeling it. “Bless you, Lord, bless your name. I glorify and lift up your name. You’re holy and your name is to be revered…”

All of a sudden an image came to my mind. A cartoonish figure in a traffic policeman’s uniform; a whistle in his mouth and his white gloved raised with open palm placed squarely in front of my face…. The instruction was clear – STOP!

I have often wondered what the words mean. “I bless your name… I lift your name on high… even the simple “Praise the Lord.” I’m afraid they are just that – words, rather than the indication of a lifestyle. Everyone admits that it’s much easier to say something than to do something. Too often we say things but our actions contradict the words.

It isn’t the words I say, it’s the life I live. It’s great to say, “Bless you, Lord, bless your name.” But the imperative is to live it. I can sing, “I glorify and lift up your name.” But it really doesn’t mean much if it isn’t the daily revelation of my life. I can pray, “You’re holy and your name is to be revered.” But it’s the display and the living the words daily that reveals the truth.

I’m poignantly reminded of the words from a Bob Bennett song, ‘The Doing of the Thing’… We mistake the very words we say and the songs we love to sing for the doing of the thing. The doing of the thing.

The Bible says faith without works is dead. Perhaps ‘faith without words’ puts the emphasis on demonstration.

Copyright 2015 LeadersBridge