Well, the long anticipated prize show is over. All the oscars have been awarded to well-deserving people. I have yet to see The Artist but did get to see The Help and Iron Lady. In my book, they were both very entertaining. I read The Help first and I wondered if anyone outside the Southern culture would understand it. Obviously they did! I do think Meryl Streep is one of the finest actresses of our day. What a gift she has! Her portrayal of Margaret Thatcher was superb.
We award people for being “fake”! That’s what acting is all about. For the actors and actresses they know it is about pretending to be someone else – it’s their job. And when they leave the set they can go back to being their true selves. At least I hope so. If they do not, they get into trouble. Too often we have seen the demise of talented people who begin to believe their press release. They begin to feel they are “special”, the rules don’t apply to them. We saw the meltdown of Mel Gibson and Micheal Richards (played Cosmo on Seinfield). But we also see this in our churches – where pastors, leaders, begin to think they are “special”. Pastors are different but that doesn’t make them special – just different and different is OK. It’s what adds variety to life!
Scripture tells us, “Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought but rather think of yourself with sober judgment…” How do we do this? We begin by 1.) taking our focus off of ourselves and turning it onto God. Changing our focus is a choice. Then we must 2.) learn to tell ourselves the truth. Often we have believed our own lies – ask God to show them to you. Find a few friends who will tell you the truth and hold you accountable. Being told the truth doesn’t have to be negative. Sometimes we believe the lie that we are inadequate in some way, we don’t measure up. That lie may have come from childhood…we need to affirm ourselves with truth. You are loved, valued. You belong. You have significance. You have purpose.
God bestows all of that on us.
When you are alone at Valentine’s it’s the pits!
The day after Christmas the stores begin hawking Valentine cards, candy, decorations…Everything is about romance and couples. Even the Animal Planet is about couples.
Maybe you’d like to go to a movie that night – but sitting in the theatre by yourself just screams, “She’s alone!”
Our culture doesn’t know how to be alone. I recently went to a church that has a group called “Pairs and Spares”. I’m not sure I’d want to be considered a “spare”! That just seems to devalue the person who is alone.
I read somewhere that 15% of American women send themselves flowers for Valentines. Perhaps to cover up the fact that no one will send them flowers.
It is okay to be alone on Valentines – there are worse things. This year instead of feeling sorry for yourself call some single or widowed friends and have them over for dinner. Keep it simple – can be just soup and salad. Ask the question, “What was your best Valentine’s Day and what was your worst?” Good conversation starter.
You will have fun – everyone will have a good time and forget their loneliness. Especially you!
I have been off line for several days. It’s sort of nice to have to do things the “old fashioned” way. It’s hard to remember a time when we didn’t have the Internet and e-mail.
Last time we talked about making resolutions. How’s it going? Have you been able to keep them? Have some fallen by the wayside? Have you shrugged them off?
Let’s be transparent here! I will tell you that I made several resolutions: to exercise at the health and fitness center; to have my devotional time first thing, not watch the weather and news.
Well, I have had a bad sinus infection which has drained me of all energy and made me feel quite yucky. So I have given myself a pass on exercise – although I do some stretching in the morning. We have had such variable weather that I gave myself permission to check it out when I go to the kitchen to get my tea. Then I go back to my chair to have devotions.
I don’t feel like I have failed – just delayed things.
How are you doing?
Well, it’s that time of year…time to make resolutions. New Years’ resolutions are famous for breaking them. We have this notion that if we make resolutions we will loose weight, exercise, stop drinking, slow down, volunteer, spend less… if only making a resolution were that easy. No one is watching to see if we follow through so we let them slide and then make jokes about it. They end up simply being a list of good intentions. We are sincere when we make them but during the ensuing 12 months something happens and the good intentions don’t happen. You know what they say: “The road to hell is paved with good intentions”.
Perhaps that speaks to regret. One of the hardest things to live with is regret. Things we wish we could undo. Decisions that could be revisited. Words that should not have been uttered. Money not spent.
I have lived with regret – a lot of it. Many mistakes I wished I could undo. But someone once said, “You can’t steer a car looking in the rearview mirror.” Regret keeps us stuck. Bound. Stagnant. Stale. None of those words are appealing. To move from regret to peace you have to forgive yourself. Easier said than done. I find that the hardest of all to deal with and I have struggled with it. I have asked for and received forgiveness from a person for some offense. I have asked for and received forgiveness from God for my many sins. He has promised that, “If we confess our sin, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sin and cleanse us.” (I John 1:9) The Bible also says He removes our sin “as far as the east is from the west.” (Psalms 103:12). What a promise! What freedom!
But do we believe it? Not if we live with regret.
I have finally come to realize that if God Almighty, Creator of the Universe, Savior of the world can forgive me, who am I not to forgive myself? Think about it.