Tag: Friday Five

Friday Five March 31

friday five

If God is everywhere, why are so many people lonely?

friday five

I hear from readers about loneliness almost every day. One of my most popular articles is How to know God, but another one had the title “I Want to Belong Somewhere.“  We have an innate desire to belong and to feel loved. We want and need a tribe. It’s God’s plan that we have a sense of belonging. If that doesn’t happen we feel lonely.

And God is everywhere. So why do you feel so lonely?

The immediate answer in recent years usually blames Social media “it isolates us somewhat,” one counselor told me. That’s true; one friend said she’s made a New Year’s resolution to reach out by phone rather than messenger. But surely there is more to it than that…

I strongly believe the “love yourself” phrases and ideologies have hurt our culture much, much more than they have helped. Nowhere in the Bible are we told to love ourselves. (Jesus did refer to loving ourselves, in the sense that we already do. But he did not direct us to do so.)

True belonging only occurs when we become other-centric. By focusing on others, on their needs/wants/desires, we become more like Jesus. Isn’t that our goal? Jesus’ way of caring needs to flow from you and me down to those who are struggling. If we are walking with Him and focusing on lifting up others, we lose the lonely, isolated feeling and instead feel the depth of  true joy – God-joy, a feeling that is a result of our faith. This deep, honest joy can only be experienced by true believers. Loneliness becomes a thing of the past.

Reference:

 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus. (Philippians 2:3-5).

Nowhere in the Bible are we told to love ourselves.

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Changes in Attitude

Being a freelance writer/entrepreneur, I’m always trying to improve on things. One of the areas I’m working on right now is spending enough hours per week writing. When you work for yourself, if you don’t write you don’t get paid, end of story.

I used to be a lot better at BIC (Butt in Chair) than I am right now. There are many reasons excuses. Those are the cause for my title, Changes in Attitude. It isn’t my office, desk, husband, appetite, editor, book subject, or anything else – it’s my attitude, or call it mindset if you will, that’s got to change.

I need to spend more time writing. Not surfing the Internet, playing a game, petting the dogs, or my favorite excuse: Eating. In years past I’ve done this little study where, when I become unproductive, I make myself write down what I am doing every 15 minutes for 3 days. You get honest real fast when you have to write TV four times in a row, and it was 2 pm.

I didn’t do that today; instead I wrote a note that said I was going to spend 4 90-minute sessions working on ONE project. (I read someplace that we do our best work in 90-minute segments followed by a break). Working this way, walking the dogs in between (dogs were thrilled) I pounded out more than I have in the past month. And I enjoy checking things off, so I got to put my little marks by the “4”.

Another helpful part of freelancer-gets-back-on-track is this cool app, Momentum. If you use Chrome, it is worth a try. It shows you a beautiful scene along with the words “What is your focus today” and if you fill it in, it prints that as your to-do plastered right in the center of the screen. Very helpful as a reminder to stay off the Internet, too.

Can you believe it’s almost Easter?

Me neither. I did manage to create some digital cards, though — Easter cards you print onto card stock from your computer! And they’re lavender! Get them here.

Enjoy Life

While working on the attitude/mindset change, balance is also important. I have to remember to enjoy life by getting my head out of work and into something meaningful. If you are that way too, remember to spend a few minutes every day seeking joy around you. Here are a few things from my list:

  • Work on something meaningful
  • Listen to good music
  • Read a good book
  • Watch the sunset
  • Help someone

Medication Alert

I was startled to learn that antibiotics like Cipro and Levaquin (both of which I’ve taken in the past) have terrible, disabling side effects. Did you know about this?

The antibiotics are used for sinusitis, bronchitis, and other illnesses – but they can cause permanent problems with tendons, muscles, joints, nerves….hallucinations…

I first learned of this in this article

https://mountainsandmustardseedssite.wordpress.com/2017/03/18/this-antibiotic-will-ruin-you/

and I double checked it with the FDA here. https://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/ucm500143.htm

Please read the warnings, they are quite serious.

Have a great weekend! I know I will — I am crafting with friends tomorrow. 🙂

 

 

 

friday five

5 Tips for Ministering to the Homeless

Friday Five (on Tuesday!): 5 Tips for Ministering to the Homeless.

Doing a homeless ministry was something I never imagined myself doing. I didn’t feel a special calling, and I suspected I lacked the appropriate skill set. But when a friend invited me to go with her to a local park one summer, I went along – to keep her from going alone. Imagine my surprise when the one who got the most out of the experience was *me.*

We parked near a picnic shelter where ten or twelve people hung out every day. They sat playing cards, talking, and one even had two dogs with him. We put our heads together and prayed just before our feet hit the concrete of the picnic area. My plan would’ve been to get to know them a little, break the ice as it were. Maybe the ministry part would come later.

Then the King will say, ‘I’m telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me.’ – Matt 25:40

My friend, though, jumped right in. “Does anybody here need Jesus?” she asked. Within minutes, we were praying the sinner’s prayer with two people, and a third was professing her need to rededicate. I stood back and watched in awe. God is so awesome!

If you’re thinking of undertaking a homeless ministry, or if you find that God has thrust you into one, here are a few things I’ve learned along the way.

  1. Bring the very basics. Bottled water and hard-boiled eggs are some of the easiest and most appreciated food items. Both can be consumed without utensils or preparation (or a can opener).
  2. Prepare to be hugged. The first time a smelly homeless man wraps his sweaty arms around you, brushing your cheek with his whiskers, you might shudder. But these people are hungry for human touch and will reach for you often. Just remember, you’re washable.
  3. Not everyone will respond to you, and that’s okay. They might on another day. Or maybe not. You’re doing what God called you to do, and that is what’s important.
  4. Try to listen more and talk less. These people lead chaotic and uncomfortable lives; they need to feel heard.
  5. Be safe at all times – and just because you feel comfortable, doesn’t mean you’re safe.

I still don’t feel like a homeless ministry is my forte. But I’ve learned a valuable lesson: there is no “us” and “them.” The people I’ve met are simply down on their luck, but they are parents, grandparents, pet owners, card players, art lovers, and just plain people. They have hopes and dreams and successes and failures. And Jesus loves them as much as He does you or me.

Photo Courtesy Garry Knight/cc/flickr