Suddenly, Jesus met them. "Greetings," he said. Matthew 28:9

Our neighbors had been out fishing. What a beautiful day. The good catch made it all the better. Tired, happy hands threw the fish out of the cooler, up onto the dock. One guy started cleaning the boat, another started cleaning the fish.

The coconut telegraph was buzzing. Pelicans flew in, and floated over, to be in reach of the fish scraps being tossed out. An expected and familiar site. They always know, somehow, when and where there is fish-cleaning going on.

So later in the week, out for a short boat ride, I was unprepared to see pelicans, in an unexpected place. I did a double-take when we zipped by the mangroves, where several were roosting. I would expect to see them in the water, by the dock. But not up in the trees!

God comes to us in unexpected ways all the time. He is the God of the "suddenlies" (a few examples, below). There are many incidences, in the Bible, that tell of the Lord "suddenly" doing something.

Yes, He comes in expected and unexpected ways. He breaks through into our day, and whispers, "Here I am!" "With you!."

Lord, today, please help me to see you in unexpected ways and places. Amen.

Matthew 8:26 Then he (Jesus) got up and rebuked the wind and waves, and suddenly there was a great calm. Luke 2:13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, Luke 23:45 The light from the sun was gone. And suddenly, the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn down the middle. Luke 24:4 While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. John 6:19 They had rowed three or four miles when suddenly they saw Jesus walking on the water toward the boat. Acts 2:2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. Acts 9:3 As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him.


Being in control or in charge is my idea of having power. I may be a Christian, but in the area of my life, work, career or future. I take pride that I'm my own master. I've been mastering this craft for quite some time now. Actually, I have already become comfortable with it. And I've been so used with this set up that I think that this is His will for me.

Until one day. Things were getting out-of-hand. The comfort that I've enormously enjoyed was drifting within my very hands. My core belief was shaken to its roots. Friends were nowhere to be found. I even thought the God who wouldn't leave me seemed so hard to find. I've never felt so powerless ever in my entire life.

Then, I realized that we are indeed powerless in and of ourselves. Powerless is not weakness, it is in fact, the first step to recovery and wholeness. And when I looked at the One who has all power, I was set free. And only then did I experience peace.


Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD. Psalm 150:6

The first Sunday of December we had driven up to a small town in the northern part of the state. As we pulled in, the little church came into view. Some paint was needed, but its tall steeple still pointed heavenward. Musty garlands and wreaths, that had been packed away for a year, were now lovingly hanging over doorways, on window sills, and around the altar.

The worship service opened and the choir sang a medley of traditional Christmas hymns. Simple. No choir robes. No live music; they sang to a track. They had a big sound, for a small group!

Up in the choir loft were persons of all ages. A young woman in a trendy outfit, chewing gum and singing her heart out at the same time, caught my eye. Then a middle aged, graying gentleman, wearing a bright red tie, smiling while he sang.

I was worshipping, as they "made a joyful noise to the Lord". Then it was that I noticed the woman at the end of front row. Snowy hair, shorter than the rest, she stood tall with purpose. Wow. How cool to watch this dear soul, probably well into her late eighties, singing and praising the Lord.

The verse from the Bible came to mind, "Let everything that has breath, praise the Lord." It was good to be reminded. There's a saying, "There's no retirement for a Christian." This is true. And as long as we live, as long as we have breath, it is good to praise the Lord.

Praise the Lord!

36 STRESS REDUCERS Author Unknown

1. Pray
2. Go to bed on time.
3. Get up on time so you can start the day unrushed.
4. Say No to projects that won't fit into your time schedule or that will compromise your mental health.
5. Delegate tasks to capable others.
6. Simplify and unclutter your life.
7. Less is more. (Although one is often not enough, two are often too many.)
8. Allow extra time to do things and to get to places.
9. Pace yourself. Spread out big changes and difficult projects over time; don't lump the hard things all together.
10. Take one day at a time.
11. Separate worries from concerns. If a situation is a concern, find out what God would have you to do and let go of the anxiety. If you can't do anything about a situation, forget it.
12. Live within your budget; don't use credit cards for ordinary purchases.
13. Have backups; an extra car key in your wallet, an extra house key buried in the garden, extra stamps, etc.,
14. K.M.S. (Keep Mouth Shut.) This single piece of advice can prevent an enormous amount of trouble.
15. Do something for the Kid in You everyday.
16. Carry a Bible with you to read while waiting in line.
17. Get enough exercise.
18. Eat right.
19. Get organized so everything has its place.
20. Listen to a tape while driving that can help improve your quality of life.
21. Write thoughts and inspirations down.
22. Everyday, find time to be alone.
23. Having problems? Talk to God on the spot. Try to nip small problems in the bud. Don't wait until its time to go to bed to try and pray.
24. Make friends with Godly people.
25. Keep a folder of favorite scriptures on hand.
26. Remember that the shortest bridge between despair and hope is often a good "Thank you, Jesus!"
27. Laugh.
28. Laugh some more!
29. Take your work seriously, but yourself, not at all.
30. Develop a forgiving attitude (most people are doing the best they can).
31. Be kind to unkind people (they probably need it the most).
32. Sit on your ego.
33. Talk less; listen more.
34. Slow down.
35. Remind yourself that you are not the general manager of the universe.
36. Every night before bed, think of one thing you're grateful for that you've never been grateful for before.


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