Handling Adversity

How do you handle life’s adversities? Do you grit your teeth and barrel through it? Do you run to friends and loved ones for a shoulder to cry on? Do you reach for a pill, a cigarette, a drink, or a Twinkie?

Well, there’s a better way and that is the way of faith. Having faith is like having a secret power in your arsenal. Everyone has been given a seed of faith, but it is up to each of us to build that faith and make that seed grow. You might use the analogy of building muscles. The more we exercise and challenge our physical muscles the stronger they get. We need to strengthen our faith muscle in a similiar way.

How do we do that? By going through adversity.

You know that old saying “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” right? Well, it’s true. Adversity can make us stronger, depending on how we respond to it. The key is to build up our faith muscle BEFORE we actually need it. Just like we need to train our legs and muscles before the race or competition, we need to build up our faith before adversity strikes.

The good news is that building faith is no different than building strong muscles or achieving any other goal: decision, determination, and discipline. First, make a decision to have faith. Set your mind. Then, determine what steps you need to take, and thirdly, discipline yourself to follow those steps.

You will be amazed at the rewards of developing your faith – a stronger resilience to lifes’ adversities, a calm and peaceful life, and a hopeful outlook on the future.

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Handling Adversity

How do you handle life’s adversities? Do you grit your teeth and barrel through it? Do you run to friends and loved ones for a shoulder to cry on? Do you reach for a pill, a cigarette, a drink, or a Twinkie?

Well, there’s a better way and that is the way of faith. Having faith is like having a secret power in your arsenal. Everyone has been given a seed of faith, but it is up to each of us to build that faith and make that seed grow. You might use the analogy of building muscles. The more we exercise and challenge our physical muscles the stronger they get. We need to strengthen our faith muscle in a similiar way.

How do we do that? By going through adversity.

You know that old saying “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” right? Well, it’s true. Adversity can make us stronger, depending on how we respond to it. The key is to build up our faith muscle BEFORE we actually need it. Just like we need to train our legs and muscles before the race or competition, we need to build up our faith before adversity strikes.

The good news is that building faith is no different than building strong muscles or achieving any other goal: decision, determination, and discipline. First, make a decision to have faith. Set your mind. Then, determine what steps you need to take, and thirdly, discipline yourself to follow those steps.

You will be amazed at the rewards of developing your faith – a stronger resilience to lifes’ adversities, a calm and peaceful life, and a hopeful outlook on the future.

Mother’s Day 2011 and Lemonade

No expectations, no preferences, I trusted the Lord to handle this Mother’s Day. My youngest son, who is 25, had his wisdom teeth pulled this week and has been in tremendous pain. My oldest son is having his own issues, so no expectation there either.

After church, I received a text message from my youngest saying that he had gotten tickets for a horse buggy ride that we had tried to make last Mother’s Day. He had driven out early to stand in line to get tickets for the ride. Our ride time was 1:20 and the ticket said to be there by 1:15. It was a gorgeous day and I was so excited. We arrived promptly at 1:15 only to be told by the park ranger “You are late. Your ride left.”

Wow – what a bummer. Jon took charge and told the lady we’d appreciate whatever she could do to get us on the next ride, but the likelihood of there being room for 2 extra people was slim.

Seething, he said was seething inside, but you would have never known it from his demeanor. Then he hits me with the question “I don’t understand why when I did everything right, things still didn’t work out?”

Do you ever ponder that question? “Why, Lord, did this not work out?” My answer to him was “Sometimes other people’s poor decisions affect us.” My take on it was that the park ranger lady let the carriage go before the stated ticket time and we paid the price. Being a free event, there was not much we could do. Raising a fuss would only have stressed both of us out and resulted in bad feelings and lost energy. Another possibly less judgemental answer might have been “It was not meant to be.” Who of us can understand why some things just don’t work out?

I decided it was not going to ruin our day nor our visit, and signed up for the tour of the mansion. Jon enjoyed some solitude in the gardens. The moral of the story, I believe, is what Dale Carnegie said long ago, “When life hands you lemons, make lemonade.”

Mother’s Day 2011 and Lemonade

No expectations, no preferences, I trusted the Lord to handle this Mother’s Day. My youngest son, who is 25, had his wisdom teeth pulled this week and has been in tremendous pain. My oldest son is having his own issues, so no expectation there either.

After church, I received a text message from my youngest saying that he had gotten tickets for a horse buggy ride that we had tried to make last Mother’s Day. He had driven out early to stand in line to get tickets for the ride. Our ride time was 1:20 and the ticket said to be there by 1:15. It was a gorgeous day and I was so excited. We arrived promptly at 1:15 only to be told by the park ranger “You are late. Your ride left.”

Wow – what a bummer. Jon took charge and told the lady we’d appreciate whatever she could do to get us on the next ride, but the likelihood of there being room for 2 extra people was slim.

Seething, he said was seething inside, but you would have never known it from his demeanor. Then he hits me with the question “I don’t understand why when I did everything right, things still didn’t work out?”

Do you ever ponder that question? “Why, Lord, did this not work out?” My answer to him was “Sometimes other people’s poor decisions affect us.” My take on it was that the park ranger lady let the carriage go before the stated ticket time and we paid the price. Being a free event, there was not much we could do. Raising a fuss would only have stressed both of us out and resulted in bad feelings and lost energy. Another possibly less judgemental answer might have been “It was not meant to be.” Who of us can understand why some things just don’t work out?

I decided it was not going to ruin our day nor our visit, and signed up for the tour of the mansion. Jon enjoyed some solitude in the gardens. The moral of the story, I believe, is what Dale Carnegie said long ago, “When life hands you lemons, make lemonade.”

First Things First

We all have our to do lists. Things we need to get done, things we want to do, things we hope we can get to. We are all so very busy all the time. But are we really working on what is most important?

Today, I’d like to pause so we can all think about that question for a few minutes. What is really most important in my life? Is it my friends? My job? My kids? My finances? My relationships?

Or could it be none of these? Now, I’m not suggesting that these concerns are not important and that we should shirk our responsibilities. But what I am saying is that maybe, just maybe there is something more important above and beyond anything else.

Our relationship to God. As well-known Christian author and speaker Joyce Meyer says, to paraphrase, “Put God first and everything else will fall into place.” She is so right on!

When we give God the back seat in our lives, that means that something or someone else has the front seat and nothing or no one should take His rightful place in our lives.

Sure we go to church, give our tithes, and attend bible studies. All of these are fine and dandy, but what really matters is am I developing a relationship with God? Put another way ask yourself the question “Am I spending time with God?”

Next time I’ll talk about concrete suggestions on how to do this as it truly is the most important thing in life, whether we realize it or not. Until then, think about what makes a good relationship work and then apply it!

First Things First

We all have our to do lists. Things we need to get done, things we want to do, things we hope we can get to. We are all so very busy all the time. But are we really working on what is most important?

Today, I’d like to pause so we can all think about that question for a few minutes. What is really most important in my life? Is it my friends? My job? My kids? My finances? My relationships?

Or could it be none of these? Now, I’m not suggesting that these concerns are not important and that we should shirk our responsibilities. But what I am saying is that maybe, just maybe there is something more important above and beyond anything else.

Our relationship to God. As well-known Christian author and speaker Joyce Meyer says, to paraphrase, “Put God first and everything else will fall into place.” She is so right on!

When we give God the back seat in our lives, that means that something or someone else has the front seat and nothing or no one should take His rightful place in our lives.

Sure we go to church, give our tithes, and attend bible studies. All of these are fine and dandy, but what really matters is am I developing a relationship with God? Put another way ask yourself the question “Am I spending time with God?”

Next time I’ll talk about concrete suggestions on how to do this as it truly is the most important thing in life, whether we realize it or not. Until then, think about what makes a good relationship work and then apply it!