What Causes You Anxiety?

Resiliency

Our answer to this question is more nuanced in 2022 than five years ago.

In the past five years, humanity has experienced a global pandemic, ongoing political turmoil, supply chain failures, rising inflation, and the list continues.

What other stressors do we struggle against?

There are also more intimate stressors to consider, such as a loss of a loved one, loss of a means of income, infertility, divorce, to spilling water on your computer keyboard (yes, this just happened to me.) 

Any of the above items and others can raise our cortisol, the stress hormone, to various degrees. How we cope with the daily intimate anxieties and the global ones reveals our differences in resilience.

Can we “bloom” like the flower in the picture above, even when we are anxious?

What can we learn about dealing with our anxieties in Genesis 25:21?  

Continue reading “What Causes You Anxiety?”

How Quickly Do You Comply?

rules

I am a terrible tennis player.

But I love watching professional tennis grand slams.

This weekend, the Wimbledon 2022 tournament ended.

Wimbledon, as the birthplace of tennis, holds a special mystique to tennis players and fans alike.

Players are subject to specific rules of dress and conduct at Wimbledon, not present at other grand slams.

Failing to comply with the specific rules of dress and conduct results in significant fines for the players.

Some players exhibit “don’t care” attitudes about the special rules.

Most players comply with respect.

What does this have to do with Genesis 24:66-77?

Continue reading “How Quickly Do You Comply?”

Are You Struggling Today?

look to the hills

I live near the blue ridge mountains.

Frequently, I enjoy a glimpse of the mountain range as I commute to work.

This glimpse always brings a smile to my face.

Yet there are days when rain, fog, or darkness hide their presence from view.

Our emotional states mirror this experience with highs and lows. 

Everyone has good and tough days.

Some days are harder than others.

  • Where do you turn for help when you are struggling?

Join me in looking at Psalm 121 for some encouragement.

Continue reading “Are You Struggling Today?”

SEEKING SIGNS FROM GOD

signs from God

I recently attended the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference in Black Mountain, NC.

My goal in attending this conference was to learn more about the craft of writing and gain constructive criticism on my writing and an upcoming speaking engagement on June 15th for Pendleton St Baptist Church in Greenville, SC.

Before the conference, I elected to take advantage of some paid critiques that helped to prepare and guide me regarding which sessions to attend and which presenters I should try to meet. One of the paid critiques encouraged me to pitch a project we had discussed.

But I did not feel ready to pitch.

Yet, I repeatedly received encouragement from those I met at the conference to talk to publishers or agents about my writing project.

I then prayed to the Lord that if this was a sign from Him, He would help me overcome my fear of pitching my idea.

How does Gen 24:14 support seeking signs from God?

Continue reading “SEEKING SIGNS FROM GOD”

CHANGE OF PLAN

change of plan

I was going to share part 2 of the previous post today.

But I have a change of plan.

This change of plan is inspired from last Thursday evening.

A group of my fellow staff, church members, and myself were returning from attending the Exponential Conference in Orlando.

Our flight had been late to leave the gate so we already knew we would probably miss our connecting flight in Atlanta. We were also spread out throughout the plane so the person who was closest to the front planned to ask the flight crew or first flight attendant after deplaning to call the other gate to request if they could hold the flight for our group of 15 people. Our thinking was that they might not hold the plane for one person but hopefully would for a group of our size.

We began to taxi away from the gate to get in line for flight.

The picture above is what forced another change of plan.

Continue reading “CHANGE OF PLAN”

HE LAUGHS

laughs

Consider the following synonyms for the word laugh:

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

  • How many of these synonyms describe your laughing tendencies?
  • What triggers your laughter?
  • Have you ever responded with laughter when God speaks to you?
Continue reading “HE LAUGHS”

SNOW DAY!

snowday

I enjoyed a snow day on Sunday, January 16th.

Living in South Carolina snow is a rare treat for this Midwesterner.

Because snow days are so rare in this area our city shuts down except for emergency workers and those dealing with any power outages that occur.

Thankfully, my household never lost power. We were able to enjoy watching the snow fall from the safety of our warm home.

I chose to not work on a post yesterday because I wanted to cherish the snow day.

Today, as the winter storm has finished dusting the earth with this fascinating white frozen water and the sun is starting to melt it away, I decided to share with you some favorite references to snow from scripture.

Continue reading “SNOW DAY!”

SPEECHLESS

prayer guidance
  • When have you been speechless?
  • Was it a positive or negative reason that left you speechless?

Commonly, we think of speechless moments resulting from something that has suddenly happened to us, whether good or bad.

  • But what about those times when we have experienced something for an extended period and find ourselves speechless and uncertain how to proceed?
  • And what about those times someone we know is struggling or something has happened across the city, state, nation, or globe, and we find ourselves speechless?

Those times can feel much like the vantage point of the person outside the maze in the picture above.

Not knowing which words to speak, we hesitate and linger just outside of the maze, hoping for someone, something, anything, to illuminate our mind with the correct words and choice of direction

  • Does the Bible yield any encouragement or insight for these times of speechless uncertainty?
Continue reading “SPEECHLESS”

Labor Shortages

laborshortage

Are you reading about labor shortages in the news feeds you follow?

Where in your neighborhood are you seeing examples of labor shortages?

Restaurants come to my mind…

Where has your experience been the opposite of the reported labor shortages?

Grocery stores and food delivery services come to my mind…

What causes labor shortages?

War? Aging out? Unwillingness? Poor work conditions? Fear?

What does a sunflower bloom with a single bee on it have to do with this line of questions about labor shortages?

What does any of this have to do with Bible study?

Continue reading “Labor Shortages”

Thoughts on Prayers

A guest post by Beth Beutler

“Send your thoughts, prayers, and good vibes.”

“I’m so sorry. You are in my thoughts and prayers.”

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family.”

In a world that is often decidedly not interested in serious prayer, we do see a lot of “thoughts and prayers” being offered when things get tough.  And things have been extra tough of late.  But how meaningful are these “thoughts and prayers,” really?

Continue reading “Thoughts on Prayers”