Flo's Creations

Thursday, February 02, 2012

I'm part of a writing group that meets formally for a weekend only once a year, and some fortunate members of our group meet at conferences between our annual retreats. Next weekend will be our tenth year and we'll travel from Tennessee, Illinois, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania to Maryland. Through a flurry of emails, we joyfully anticipate reconnecting, especially during the month preceding our meeting.

Eleven years ago we didn't know each other, except for two of the women, and considering our physical distance, it's a beautiful thing as we each arrive and fill each other's love tanks with hugs, encouragement, laughter, compassion, prayers and gift giving. Even though we're all Christians, our love for writing and words binds us in a different way than with other friends or family members.

Our time together is priceless and I thank God for connecting us here on earth and for eternity.


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Holidays tend to cause additional stress in our lives especially when grudges threaten to derail the joy we should have while spending time with our families. The apostle Paul has some advice that will help. "Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you." Ephesians 4:32

Enjoy and be blessed.

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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Staying Grounded

God opposes the proud but give grace to the humble. James 4:6

When you need to show others their faults, do not talk down to them as though you are faultless and they are inferior to you. Instead, talk with them as though you are standing side by side at the foot of the cross. Acknowledge your present, ongoing need for the Savior. Admit ways that you have wrestled with the same or other sins or weaknesses, and give hope by describing how God has forgiven you and is currently working in you to help you change... When people see this kind of humility and common bond, they will be less inclined to react to correction with pride and defensiveness.

(Taken from The Peacemaker: A Biblical Guide to Resolving Personal Conflict
by Ken Sande, Updated Edition (Grand Rapids, Baker Books, 2003) p. 172)

Food for Thought

Count the words you and your in the paragraph above.

How many did you count? Nine? If there had been one or two uses of the words you and your, it probably wouldn't have drawn any attention. But nine? That's enough where we need to stop, look, and listen. Ken is wisely sharing a beneficial approach to use when we need to show others their faults: talk about your own.

From our peers in the office to aging parents to the children at play in the backyard, nobody likes to be talked down to--nobody! Talking down usually invites a defensiveness that's hard to overcome. Side by side talking, however, lays a common ground that you and the other person can stand on. Interestingly enough, the root word for humility is humus, from which we get our word for ground. Being grounded, or humble, in our approach to these situations provides protection from the lightning bolts of pride and defensiveness.


Monday, September 05, 2011

In Beth Moore's bible study, Breaking Free, she makes some thought-provoking statements on page 149.

“...We make life so much more complicated when our approach to life is 'all about me.'...When we see ourselves as the center of the universe, we live in constant frustration because the rest of creation refuses to revolve around us.”

“God is God. Frankly, it's all about Him...He is the center of the universe. So how can we live with such a God-centered mentality?...Because with God, it's all about us. We seek to please Him. He seeks to perfect us—and life works. Not without pain, but with purpose.”

This is where I've made the biggest mistakes of my life—thinking I knew better than God, could handle things and people better than God. And when they came crashing down, I knew I couldn't blame Him. I could recount the flags He had put in my way that I chose to plow through. There were confirmations from others warning me I was on the wrong track that I chose to ignore. I wanted what I wanted, so I did what I wanted to do instead of trusting God.

BUT the Book of Isaiah is full of promises of restoration. In fact, in chapter 43 verses 18-21, He tells me to forget the past failures. “Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old. I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth...I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert...to give drink to My people. These people I have formed for Myself; they shall declare My praise.”

God has already started the “new thing.” And today, it's newer yet and it's exciting because, "He shall be within me a “well of water springing up into everlasting life.” (John 4:14). For my part, I have to trust and obey or end up in another wilderness. It always comes down to my choices.


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Excellent, practical article.



Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Twenty years ago you would have never heard the expression, "a real person," because we were all real and thought of others that way. Now the term is common due to digital voices that speak to us when we call the phone or credit card companies, doctor’s offices, service providers and an array of others. At times I’ve been frustrated and said to The Voice, “I want to talk to a REAL person!” then hung up because that wasn’t one of my options.

Relationships with real people are vital to our emotional health where we give as well as receive encouragement, support, advice, love, acceptance, and sometimes physical help. When bereft of connections providing these things, we can waste away emotionally and physically. With the rise of social media, a false sense of belonging can superficially fill the void in the short term, but is not what our hearts long for.

It’s ironic that of all the relationships we’ll have while on this earth, the most important one is with a person that some people think is unreal—that is the Lord Jesus Christ. After his death and resurrection, hundreds of people saw him at one time and he frequently appeared to smaller groups of his followers. Even now, Christ lives and makes himself available to us 24/7 no matter where we are. Though physically intangible, his presence is very real when we spend time communicating with him, worshipping him, and just being aware of his creation and work in the world.

The next time we feel excluded or rejected, we have only to whisper his name and tell him whatever is on our heart. He listens. He understands. He accepts and he loves us, because he is as real as any other being in this big, beautiful universe.


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

During the last two months, I've gone through a huge transition at work. Serious downsizing. New boss. New office. Long commute. As hard as I tried to remain positive and look at this as an adventure (seriously, I did), I became depressed from all the stress of longer days and having no idea what type of changes the Interim Director would make.

After trying a dozen ways to discover the least painful route back and forth, someone showed me a way I hadn't considered and it's great! Nice ride, a minimum of traffic, and trimmed off 20 minutes. My co-worker and I have settled in nicely. We can find what we need and have thrown away about two tons of paperwork and miscellaneous "supplies."

After being uncomfortable with others at the new building, we're getting to know and enjoy each other. All we needed was time and patience. Next time I hope I have more patience realizing that change may have more benefits than maintaining status quo.