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Showing posts from 2021

What To Do If Fear is Holding You Back

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Today we’re going to talk about fear. This show is about being brave and choosing strength so of course we’re going to have to talk about fear at some point, or a lot. So why not today? If we never felt afraid, we would never need to be brave.  So, a few thoughts. Fear is not the enemy. Fear is trying to keep you safe. Sometimes fear is the most healthy and rational response to something. Fear can move us to protective action, run away, or fight. Sometimes though, fear paralyses us. Sometimes we freeze, and can’t do anything at all. It tells us that if we stay perfectly still, and don’t move at all, then we’ll be safe. Sometimes, that's true. Most of the time though, that’s not true, and those are the times when we need courage to help us move past the paralysis and do the thing that needs doing. See, the view of the world that fear shows to us is never true. What your mind makes the thing you’re afraid of into is always bigger and scarier than the actual thing itself . Just

You Are Not Alone - Sukkot Meditation - Part 3/3

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Part 1 - Time to Leave the Comfort Zone Part 2 - On Being in the In Between Place We left the nation of Israel too terror stricken in the face of obstacles to take hold of opportunity, to enter the land promised to them. They are thinking that a relatively safe captivity in Egypt was a better idea than risking everything for the sake of their children’s future freedom. Which sounds familiar. We’re all afraid of the risks involved in moving toward something worth having, something worth doing. Let’s revisit Numbers 14 for a minute and see what the fallout of that is. They have lamented, “If only we had perished in this wilderness.” God’s reply is basically, “Ok, wish granted. All of you will die in the wilderness.”  “‘As I live, says the Lord, I will surely do to you just what you have spoken in my hearing. 29 Your dead bodies will fall in this wilderness…But I will bring in your little ones, whom you said would become victims of war, and they will enjoy the land that you have despised.

On Being in the In Between Place - Sukkot Meditation - Part 2

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Part 1 - Time to Leave the Comfort Zone is here . So, what are we remembering when we celebrate Sukkot? It’s not a feast for remembering the mighty deeds that delivered them from Egypt, from Pharoah. That’s what Passover is for. It’s not a feast for remembering forgiveness, that’s Yom Kippur. It’s not for the giving of the law and Torah (Shavuot). It’s not a feast of gratitude for the harvest.  It’s a festival remembering the in between place. “You must live in temporary shelters for 7 days… so that your future generations may know that I made the Israelites live in temporary shelters when I brought them out from the land of Egypt.” (Lev. 23:42a & 43) Sukkot is about the journey itself, and the things that died, and grew, along the way. The more years I have spent with this story, the more I see how the Israelites’ wilderness experience is a mirror to see myself in, a metaphor for our own journey toward freedom. They are the redeemed people, the set free people, the people for whom

Time to Leave the Comfort Zone - Sukkot Meditation - Part 1

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Our family has been celebrating Sukkot*, and other biblical fast and feast days, since my oldest was 3. That makes this year the 17th year that we have celebrated this feast. When I remembered this morning that Sukkot was about start, I did not feel the joy and excitement of my younger children, who ask me all year, “When is Sukkot?” The first thing I thought about was the discomfort of eating and sleeping outside in a booth. “I don’t want to be uncomfortable.” I thought to myself. A moment after that I realized, “That’s the point. That’s the whole point of Sukkot. It’s not supposed to be comfortable. It’s supposed to be happy and joyful. But it’s not meant to be comfortable.” Every so often something will happen that reminds me that our home is not actually ours. We have lived here a long time, but we are just tenants. Our landlord is the one who has the final authority. This week he cut down trees, most of which needed trimming, but some seemed to be trimmed too harshly. I loved

Show Your Work

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I am thankful for makeup tutorial videos. They show me that with a little every day wizardry, and some choice products, I too could look luminous. They show me that no one wakes up looking that way. If I wanted it enough, I could invest time and money, and practice until I was good at making my face look flawless every day, or, at least, enhanced. I love it when people show their process and let you in behind the curtain, so you can see how much work went into them getting to where they are. Donald Miller , in a webinar I watched last year, estimated that he rewrote Blue Like Jazz 72 times! He goes to bed early, gets up every morning at the same time, and spends 2-3 hours at his desk before he does anything else, including coffee! Jennifer Fulwiler once shared the spreadsheet she used to track laughs per joke when she was starting out as a comedian and trying new material. Her success isn’t magic, it’s the result of hard work, practice, and time invested. For me this is really freeing

Episode 1 - You Can't Give From an Empty Tank!

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If you’ve ever been responsible for the care of small children, you know how important it is to stay ahead of what those children might need. You probably learned the day goes better if your children are well rested, well fed, have a chance to run around and play, and don’t spend too much time on screens. You don’t expect them to behave well when they are tired, hungry, or restless.   (If you don’t already know that, bonus tip, try it. If you anticipate your child’s needs and meet them quickly, you will all be happier for it.)   But here’s the thing. When was the last time you did this for yourself? Often we grind through our days without proper rest, or nutrition, or exercise, and then get down on ourselves for not being the person we expect ourselves to be. You don’t expect your child, or maybe even anyone else, to do well when their needs aren’t being met, but often we forget to give ourselves the same gift. Or we don’t even believe it’s possible.   Maybe right now you are rolling y

Everyday Courage

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At the fruit stand across the highway from my turn off I see an old man sweeping every day, sweeping, until the lot is clean. Every day the trees litter, the leaves blow back across, and he sweeps it clean once again. His once tall back is curved now, in a never-ending stoop, and his white head bobs in rhythm with his arm.  I wonder how many days he has done this, restored order to his corner of the world, fought back the chaos and encroaching entropy with his broom. How much courage does it take to wrest order from chaos, day after day, never letting it win? We come home, after a week away. I see signs of how much we fight against chaos, day by day in all the places that it has taken over in just one week. The balcony is piled high with fallen leaves the drainpipes clogged with them and the mud backed up behind. Bat guano litters the sidewalks. I’m ankle deep in fallen tamarind leaves outside the kitchen door. In the kid’s bathroom the ants have moved in, excavated the foundations aro

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