Relax, Reflect, Recharge

The Art of Community

Thank you Today God is First for today’s message…

I have a friend who spent three months living in Israel with Jewish believers. During one of their conversations the Jewish man noticed how often my friend came to visit him only to discuss a project. He turned to my friend during dinner and admonished him: “You western Christians! You always seem to need a program or an event to get together. Why can’t you fellowship with one another just because you love each other!?”

My friend was convicted by his assessment. They began to talk about how Jesus modeled love for the disciples and how they simply hung out together because of their love for one another. “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:34-35).

Jesus often spent unhurried times of fellowship with the disciples. They shared countless meals together. It is often during such times we get to know others at a deeper level.

Love for one another is one of the greatest signs of faith in Christ. However, the pace of life often contributes to a life being lived for the next event instead of a relationship rooted in the love of Christ.

How many relationships do you have in your life that would allow you to fellowship simply because you cared for one another?

Have a ThirtyOne-deful day!

 

Hope Wissel, Relax, Reflect, Recharge

Keep Calm

“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

On this day of Relax Reflect and Recharge, the words KEEP CALM kept coming up.

“Keep Calm and…”, you fill in the blank has invaded all areas of our life.  The original sign read  “Keep Calm and Carry On” which was on a poster issued in the UK as a morale booster during World War 2.  Today, it serves as a tool for advertising in everything from food to business.

Over the last several weeks, I have found the words “Keep Calm and TRUST” to have an AMAZING effect on me.  While there are so many horrible things happening in the world, some days it is hard to TRUST but I know that God is there for me.

Keep Calm and 

Pray.  I don’t mean those foxhole prayers where we promise anything to get out of a situation knowing that we will never follow through.  I mean really talking to God and knowing that he is there to listen.  Placing my cares at God’s feet and leaving them there helps me to keep calm.

Read the Word.  Turning to the Bible is not something that I do on a regular basis but I do have devotions that I read every morning and evening to help keep me in God’s word.  On those days that I do turn to the Bible, Psalm 23, 61 and 91 are my go to as they are full of tidbits to calm me down.

Fellowship.  Working on Sundays has really affected my ability to fellowship at church so I need to make sure that I make time to fellowship with my Christian friends.  I am blessed to be part of a faith-based company that allows me to not only fellowship with other believers but to also network with my Thirty One sisters.

Have Faith.  “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1.  Faith makes all things possible.

Sing.  Anyone who knows me would probably prefer that I don’t sing since I can barely carry a tune BUT I do love to sing.  So, I pump up my Christian rock music in the car and sing along.  It calms my soul and makes me smile.  It helps me to remember that I can talk to God in many ways and he can respond in the form of the right song at the right time.

Laugh.   I’m glad that God gave us the ability to laugh. Laughter is a wonderful way to help release all that tension we build up. A good laugh can sometimes help calm me.  These days a smile and laughter seems to come a little easier when I place my trust in God.

Cry.  Laughter is wonderful but crying is good too, especially for us women. Sometimes we just need a good cry. I think for many of us, we hold back until we can’t take any more and then the flood gates open with the tears coming even during a simple TV commercial.

Serve Others.  Reaching out and doing something for someone else is a great way to forget what is ailing us. When we are concentrating on someone else, it is easy to forget about ourselves. Serving others is a wonderful way to keep us calm.

When you feel uncertain and unsettled, feel  overloaded with all the chaos in your life, remember that God (or your Higher Power) can be a calming force.  He grounds us so that we can carry on.

So, how do you keep calm?