Friday, July 29, 2011

Friday Five: Decisions, Decisions



I am pinch hitting today, my first time, as your Friday Five RevGal. Like the song "The Macarena" was for Los Del Rio, this could very well be a one-hit wonder, so thanks for playing!
Today we play off of one of my favorite and most memorable Friday Fives to blog from: Decisions, Decisions posted by Songbird last July 23. I went back to that post to make sure I had new choices for you to make. I found out -- again -- that she was then, as I have been recently, in the midst of a discernment process and thinking about what goes into decision making.

A decision from history: There is a chair that still sits in the Assembly Room of the Pennsylvania State House (Independence Hall). Legend has it that it was George Washington's chair, the back carved with a half sun. Benjamin Franklin would look at it and wonder whether it was a rising or a setting sun. Eventually Franklin decided it was the hopeful symbol of the rising sun, a sign of the future of our new republic.

How do you decide? Check out the following pairs and tell which one of each appeals to you most:

1) Sunrise or Sunset – Sunset

2) To the Mountains or To the Beach – to the beach

3) Coffee or Tea – Definitely tea, particularly since spending time in Malawi where tea time is a time of slowing down and giving thanks in the midst of the busy schedule. Tea time speaks of slowing down for gratitude, friendship and fellowship while coffee seems to be a frantic attempt to enable us to do more.

4) Advent or Lent – This was a tough call because I think both are important. However, Advent speaks of new beginnings and reminds me that God’s mercies are new every morning.

5) "Raindrops on Roses" or "Whiskers on Kittens" – absolutely no preference here ….

BONUS: Tell more about one of the pairs. Why did you choose it? Difficult or easy choice? A story from your own experience?

Friday, July 22, 2011

Drop your Dread .. Dare to Hope

Weekly Word for Leaders: Dump Your Dread…And Hope Instead


In every season, we have two choices, to fear and dread…or to hope and believe. Dreading the future (or any event, change, or situation) robs us of peace and joy in the present. Hoping and trusting frees us to enjoy every season and to stay grounded in the present. It keeps worry and anxiety at bay.

Perhaps you are looking ahead to the fall – and your upcoming responsibilities – with dread. Or your mind might be racing with disturbing questions:

Will we have the resources and people we need? Will families return this year? Will I be able to keep up with the demands of family, ministry, and my own personal needs? Will leadership be more supportive and helpful this year?

The answer is found in Psalms 43:

“Why are you downcast oh my inner self? And why should you moan over me and be disquieted within me? Put your hope in God and wait expectantly for him, for I shall yet praise him, my help and my God…” (AMP)

I pray that you, too, will lay down any circumstances or challenges you are dreading – even those that seem impossible – and encourage your soul to “Hope in God!” Choose to have positive expectations about the upcoming year and trust him to provide everything you need to serve him joyfully!