Monthly Archives: March 2020
In the last post, I urged readers to go read Curt Thompson’s article that speaks to where we are these days.
He includes some very practical tips at the end. I really resonated with them. Here’s a taste…
- Begin each day by immersing yourself in Scripture, prayer and worship. With your usual routines of work, school and relationships being disrupted, it will be easy for the activity of your own, isolated mind to be that which you pay the most attention to. When that happens, anxiety and rumination are free to do their thing. Instead, allow this to be a time in which you give God even more opportunity that usual to have access to your heart and mind.
- Practice, especially, reflective/contemplative habits. As part of the beginning of your day, include time for meditation prayer and/or simple exercises that you can find here https://curtthompsonmd.com/reflections/. Take three minutes at least three times each day to breathe slowly.
- Call or video chat with at least 2 to 3 others whom you love each day. If possible, call different people each day. These can be helpful and effective even if brief.
- Inquire how others are feeling; but be sure to tell them your genuine feelings as well. It will be easy to ask others, but perhaps less so for us to tell others what we feel. One of the ways we give others a sense of purpose is by giving them the opportunity to comfort us.
If you didn’t see the previous post, you go to the full article, “Love and Lament in March Madness”, HERE
I’d love to see your favorite quotes in the comments!
I’ve read quite a bit of advice, counsel, etc. in the last days. But none better than “Love and Lament in March Madness” by Curt Thompson.
I asked Pastor Bill Copeland to write a recommendation. He said:
Thompson helps us look in and look forward. Take a few minutes and take it in … click here
I woke up and did the wrong thing, went to Twitter. I read a string of replies that were pleas for prayer. These were missionaries, organizational leaders and others who are watching donations stop.
I was moved deeply with empathy. I know that fear. I’ve seen it before. I know what it feels like to not get paid when donations slow, and to slip into worry about those who are looking to us.
So here’s my solution: Pray the Word of God. Here’s part of my list:
The LORD is my light and my salvation;
whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the stronghold of my life;
of whom shall I be afraid? (Psalm 27:1 ESV)
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. (Psalm 46:1 ESV)
As a father shows compassion to his children, so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him. For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust. (Psalm 103:13-14 ESV)
but whoever listens to me will dwell secure and will be at ease, without dread of disaster.” (Proverbs 1:33 ESV)
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. (Proverbs 3:5 ESV)
fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10 ESV)
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose trust is the LORD.  He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.” (Jeremiah 17:7-8 ESV)
The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:22-23 ESV)
Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. GOD, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer’s; he makes me tread on my high places. (Habakkuk 3:17-19a ESV)
Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. (Matthew 6:34 ESV)
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30 ESV)
“If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” (John 15:7 ESV)
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:37-39 ESV)
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:16-18 ESV)
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (Matthew 11:28-30 ESV)
NOW… Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.  Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,  and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace.  In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one;  and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,  praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,… (Ephesians 6:13-18 ESV)
Two hours of news in the car last night taught me this…
Yesterday I posted some ideas from my decade of working from home. In that bit, I mentioned that this might be a time for some self reflection.
This is a time in which we are asked or told to keep space between one another. For some of us that space is something we practice as a spiritual discipline.
Two posts back I posed this question: “During this time of hunkering down, what can each of us learn about abiding in the Lord through solitude?”
Well, today, as I said I might, I am posting a resource for you to use for some self reflection.
For several years scores of fellow disciples have used this set of questions to gain a better perspective on the last 12 months, on where they are, and on where they’re headed. This book is usually sold on Amazon (still is – this revision is being published). You can order the book, but as of right now, you may download the latest updated – and last – revision for free.
I suggest printing it. Curt Thompson, in Anatomy of the Soul helped me understand that using a pen on paper does something to ignite our brains. Set aside a couple of hours and begin.
I URGE you, I BESEECH you, to read the Introduction before beginning. During January retreat weeks in the Hungarian mountains, leaders get a four hour time of silence. There, hunkered down in your home, you might only have an hour at a time. So take it a section at at a time. That’s it. If you have questions, use the comments, I think I get a notification.
USA users should use the 8X11
Non-USA users should use the A4