Sunday, July 30, 2017

Reflection for July 25, 2017

"Do not drag me away with the wicked, with those who are workers of evil,
who speak peace with their neighbors, while mischief is in their hearts."(Psalm 28:3)

There are lots of ways to be wicked. And I try to avoid doing them.  In this case it is to basically talk out of both sides of the mouth so to speak.  Where you will talk all nice to someone, but in reality you're thinking the exact opposite.  Setting up that other person for a huge let down.

There is also a warning to not be caught hanging around people like that, because there will come a time when that association could be problematic.  Where you are judged by the company you keep.


Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Reflection for July 24, 2017

"Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!"(Psalm 27:14)

One of the things that often happens when we are waiting for something to happen or to arrive is that we get nervous.  That idea of waiting for the other shoe to drop, or waiting for news or results from tests, it is hard to be strong and courageous.

When things are not going right waiting for the Lord can get dicey. And yet when I wait for the Lord, when I wait to see how things turn out, the dread that could take hold lessens because I tap into that strength and courage that comes from God.


Reflection for July 23, 2017

"But as for me, I walk in my integrity; redeem me, and be gracious to me."(Psalm 26:11)

Integrity is an interesting word. It certainly is personal because it is about how you behave.  So you would walk in your own integrity not someone else's.  As I was thinking of this I read an article called "The True Meaning of Integrity by So-Young Kang.  I recommend reading the whole article.

In it Kang wrote the following that I found helpful.
"Integrity stems from the Latin word ‘integer’ which means whole and complete. So integrity requires an inner sense of ‘wholeness’ and consistency of character. When you are in integrity, people should be able to visibly see it through your actions, words, decisions, methods, and outcomes. When you are ‘whole’ and consistent, there is only one you. You bring that same you wherever you are, regardless of the circumstance. You don’t leave parts of yourself behind. You don’t have a ‘work you,’ a ‘family you,’ and a ‘social you.’ You are YOU all the time.
Given the real definition of integrity, we recognize that it is actually extremely difficult to be in integrity 100% of the time. We aspire to be in integrity with what we believe but sometimes, we mess up. Sometimes, our emotions get the best of us and we are unable to intentionally manage our behavior and actions. Sometimes, we don’t give ourselves permission to be our true selves out of fear of what others may think or due to an inability to truly ‘integrate’ the various parts of ourselves into ONE, complete WHOLE person."
I'd like to believe that the Ed you meet is the same Ed regardless of who I am around. And while I strive to do this, as the quote says I don't always achieve it. But I know it is worth striving for and is probably a lot less stressful than putting on a different mask all the time.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Reflection for July 22, 2017

"Do not let those who wait for you be put to shame; let them be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous."(Psalm 25:3)

I'm not a big fan of shaming.  Don't do it to others and don't appreciate when it happens to me.  I'm willing to feel shame when I acknowledge having done something foolish, but I need it to come from within.  I really respect when I see others able to do the same to themselves.

But there are times in our world where I wonder is there no shame anymore. People seem to feel free to do or say whatever they feel like.  There is almost an bizarre pride in being "wantonly treacherous," as long as someone notices them.

I'd rather continue to try to do the right thing even if that doesn't get immediate results and may even lead to ridicule.  As a person of faith waiting for God to work things out is the way to go. No shame in that.


Friday, July 21, 2017

Reflection for July 21, 2017

"Those who have clean hands and pure hearts, who do not lift up their souls to what is false, and do not swear deceitfully."(Psalm 24:4)

In many things in life there are standards which have to be met. There may be a dress code.  Employees in restaurants must wash hands before returning to work after using the bathroom. Those things are obvious and external.  But the inner workings, the "heart, the soul, the mind," how do you check if those standards are met?

Of course it is a self examination.  And we have to be willing to be honest with ourselves.  We certainly live in a time where the standards listed above seem to be in short supply. Many might have a hard time coming into God's presence.

But I can only control me.  So I will strive to keep clean hands and heart.  To keep focused on the truth, and not go around swearing falsely.


Reflection for July 20, 2017

" For he did not despise or abhor the affliction of the afflicted;
he did not hide his face from me, but heard when I cried to him."(Psalm 22:24)

I rarely feel afflicted, saddened from time to time, annoyed occasionally, but I certainly believe that God hears my cries, I do not feel ignored.

I also believe that God certainly pays great attention to those who are afflicted. And actually expects folks like me to also engage them on His behalf. As people of faith we have an obligation not to ignore those who are afflicted, whether that be affliction through illness, or circumstances.  We are not given the choice to tune out their cries.


Thursday, July 20, 2017

Reflection for July 18, 2017

"May he grant you your heart’s desire, and fulfill all your plans."(Psalm 20:4)

Prayer is a funny thing.  We will pray for things to be received or plans to work out.  But I'm always a little hesitant to say if it doesn't happen that is somehow God's will.

The best in life is when we get what we desire and feel fulfilled in our plans.  And prayer should be a part of that, not only in the asking but also in the discernment of what it is we really desire and what our plans really are.

When we've done this in a prayerful way, we often find that it works out.