Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Virtuous Women, United!

Recently, my friend Nora invited me to Alamo Heights United Methodist Church, here in San Antonio, to hear nine decades of wisdom from nine lovely women. They were asked to review the prior ten years of their lives, and tell us what they knew now that they wished they had known then.  It was inspiring!

I'd like to share the nuggets I came away with.

First, from the 17 year old high-school senior:  God is there!  (Psalm 139:7-10)

Next, from the 20-something: Seek God's approval, not man's!  (Galatians 1:10)

Thirdly from the 30-something: God uses all our struggles for good. We can laugh without fear of the future! (Proverbs 31: 25)

Fourthly from the 40-something:  Daddy God feels the same about me as I do my kids!  He delights in ME!   (Zephaniah 3:17)

From the 50-something:  Change is coming - Don't fear it!  The one constant is your identity in Christ! Practice trusting Him in the small things.  Love more, worry less! Relationships over rules!
(Matthew 6:25-34)

60-something:  I do not know as much as I think I do!  But this I do know: God loves me, just the way I am!  Be intentional with God.  God will get you through it!  Choose joy! (Isaiah 41:10)

70-something:  Be thankful!  Appreciate God's timing, not ours! (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

80-something:  Time is a valuable commodity. Less worry,confusion, fear; these are by-products of search for Peace.  Be a better listener! (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8)

And from the 90+ treasure: 
Give words of encouragement to others.  The blessings of old age:  Time with the Lord which seemed limited in earlier years, is not limited in later years.  There is more time to respond to the needs of children and more time to be involved.  To those who are married: Focus on husband after nest is empty.  Enjoy each other. Congratulate him on his successes!  Stay on the same page with family after grand-kids arrive.  (Proverbs 31:10-31)

For those with daughters-in-law: Laugh with them!

For those with sons-in-law: Keep your distance! (Laughter ensued!)

For married sons: Let him be the husband first!

For those with grandchildren: Stay in touch!

And finally, "God is good, as I told Him this morning!"

More wisdom from all the women:
For married women:  Don't forget what connected you to your husband.
Prefer one another.
It's a partnership. I am not always right!

Be open and allow each other to be who they are.


There will be peaks and valleys.  Enjoy the peaks, and when you are in the valley remember there is a peak coming!  (Psalm 23)

For those in High School:  Find your passion.  Learn the hard part: Trust in God!

I would like to add that I took the 90+ year old's advice and congratulated my husband on his successes.  I wish you could have seen his face light up!  I asked him how it made him feel. He said, "Encouraged, affirmed and confirmed. It felt good! Do it more!"  LOL, I believe I will!

Thanks, Ladies!!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

More Thoughts on Loving Others...Are We Approachable?

John 15:12 NKJV
This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.

This commandment has me meditating and meditating.  What does it mean to love others as Jesus loved me?  Today, as I was pumpin' iron at the gym, I was thinking about this Word from Jesus.

"How do I do this, Lord? "

"Be approachable, as I am approachable." was the whisper in my head.

How do we come across to others?  Do they feel free to engage us?

I started thinking about approachability.   Who do I feel the safest approaching to ask for directions when I am lost?  It is the person who looks me in the eye and smiles.  They welcome interaction with their warmth.

Have you ever met a stranger who was approachable? This person welcomed you into a conversation, valued your input, made you feel like their new best friend?  You felt all warm and fuzzy, and as you walked off with someone else saying what a lovely person that was, you found out they were famous?

That happened to me.  I was privileged to meet the woman who helped start the National Alliance, an organization to end homelessness in Washington, and wife of a former White House Chief of Staff.  She was totally approachable. We talked, prayed together, laughed together, and I wanted to get to know her better!  I remember being so glad afterwards that I did not know who she was at the time, because I would have been tongue tied!

I know Jesus was like that.  He did not announce who He was.  He welcomed those who came to Him, as if coming into His presence was the most natural, familiar thing in the world.  It says in many places that Jesus looked at them. The transliterated Greek word for 'looked,' in these moments is Horaro.  One of its meanings is actually to see, i.e. to become acquainted with by experience.

He engaged with those who approached Him in such a way they experienced Him.  His disciples felt no resistance in entering into a relationship with Him.  He did not announce, "I Am God! Follow Me!"

Rather, He welcomed all who came to enter into a relationship with Him, in whatever degree they were able. It was after this He was able to be revealed as the great I AM.  

So today, I want to be intentional to be approachable; to really look at others around me in such a way they feel welcomed, recognized, known. Hopefully, they will feel drawn to get to know Jesus, too.   This will be my act of love for others.

Join me?