Friday, July 5, 2019

Four Rules for Giving the Best Advice - The Glorious Table

There was a woman who spent her life hiding. She hid in her home; she hid in bravado; she hid in toxic relationships. The day Jesus went after her, she was hiding in plain sight. I wish I knew her name and could invite her to coffee. I want to hear more about the conversation she had with Jesus beside the well in Samaria. It must have been a doozy, because it sent her off into public with a loud message. Something profound changed in her heart, making her a person who wasn’t afraid to be seen and heard. She suddenly spoke words with power.
John 4: 39-42 tells what happened next:
Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I ever did.’ So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days. And because of his words many more became believers. They said to the woman, “We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.” (ESV)
The Samaritan woman didn’t know much about Jesus; in fact, all she knew she could tell in one sentence. She couldn’t explain Jesus or answer the townspeople’s questions. Her words only had power because they drew attention to Jesus’ power. She was a lighted, blinking arrow pointing the way to the big top where the main event could be found. Her job was simply to point. Jesus was the main event. He showed up. He gave the people what they needed. But the people were hungry to hear because of the Samaritan woman’s words.

If you’re anything like me, you are painfully aware of what you don’t know. The fear of giving wrong advice often stops you from giving any advice at all. We repeat the mantra that God’s power is the only true changer of hearts and let ourselves off the hook. Our fears hide the truth of the Samaritan woman from us—God loves to use our story as his megaphone. He wants to make each of our lives a blinking arrow that points to him, the main event.
Mentoring young women for the past twenty years has taught me that giving awesome advice is simpler and far less scary than we often think. We have more to offer than we think we do by merely by offering our authentic selves. Jesus does all the heavy lifting for us if we just show up and follow these simple rules.
Hop on over to The Glorious Table to read my simple rules!
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Friday, March 15, 2019

Five Steps to Happiness - The Glorious Table

I fight the urge to hyperventilate as we get close to the trailhead. I wish the cause was adrenaline and excitement, but that’s not the problem. Self-recrimination runs wild. How could I do this to myself again? What was I thinking when I said another yes to this kind of trip? Did I forget that I’m not in my twenties anymore? I take deep breaths and force a tremulous smile as we disembark from the van and I’m quickly thrust into the role of experienced, calm hiker with our group.
I zip my comfortable flip-flops into my pack with my other thirty pounds of essential supplies, slather myself with 100 percent Deet, and lace up my hikers. There’s no turning back now. The only question is how much happiness I’ll be able to wrestle out of the climb.
The first section is always the hardest, I tell myself. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other, taking one more step and then one more.The hot sandy trail leads through streams and slowly slants uphill, becoming rocky.
As I take what must be the 18,209th step, I draw in another deep breath, look up, and pause to fully soak in the beauty around me. The snowy peaks of the Wind River Mountains rise above the trees on either side of me. My heart swells as I hear birds chirping, and I feel the soft breeze on my skin. All this must have been here as I was trudging along, but I hadn’t noticed until I looked up. Only 18,209 steps could bring me to this beautiful place near the Continental Divide, where purple flowers push themselves out of rocky cracks. Only a change in my gaze could allow me to see the flowers and the mountains instead of just the ground at my feet. Only a change of my gaze could bring happiness.


Every single day of my life is like that. Moments happen. Circumstances swirl out of my control. My feet get wet, I have miles left to go, and the load is heavy. But often, at those very same moments, birds are singing, a warm breeze is softly touching my skin, and a view I forgot to notice is before me.
The simplest path to happiness most often requires only a shift of my eyes. When I apply the lessons of the Wyoming wilderness, I’m surprised by how much happiness lives in each of my routine, everyday moments.

Hop on over to The Glorious Table to read the five steps to happiness I learned in the Wyominh wilderness.

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