Monthly Archives: May 2013

Comforting Those Who Mourn

Last week, I wrote about a phrase that’s usually intended to be comforting, but can come across as anything but: “God won’t give you more than you can handle.”

Dustin responded in the comments that the phrase is often used as a cop-out; that when someone we care about is going through something difficult, we may feel the need to say something without really knowing how to respond.

Let’s look at that. Grief is universal, whether it’s a child grieving a lost toy, a young professional coming to terms with missed opportunities, a couple facing divorce or someone mourning the death of a loved one. Death—whether of people or pets, hopes or dreams—calls forth grief.

Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.

—Romans 12:15

 But how can we respond to that grief? How do we comfort those who mourn? Here are a few very general ideas.

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Thursday Intermission

This week’s Intermission is–well, magical. (Sort of.)

First, there’s the magic of illusion. (The video quality here isn’t the best, but it’s still a fun watch.)

And we can’t leave out the magic of laughter. I’d seen the original of this next video, and knew there’d have to be a remix. I waited a day or two …  and the Internet did not let me down.

Finally, there’s the magic of kindness. (I may have shared this video previously, but if so, it’s been quite awhile.)

Get out there and spread some magic today!

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God Won’t Give You More Than You Can Handle?

SAMAEL KREUTZ & Herzwerk Blog

SAMAEL KREUTZ & Herzwerk Blog (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I heard it again the other day.  It was said in an effort to encourage someone suffering from clinical depression.

“God won’t give you more than you can handle.”

It’s not scriptural; it’s not biblical; it’s not even true. Yet I’ve heard it said to parents mourning the loss of a baby; to a mother whose child has turned from following the Lord; to children who found their parent had a terminal illness; to a husband whose wife had been unfaithful.

In each instance, the person saying it was trying to be helpful.

In each instance, it fell far short.

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Thursday Intermission

It’s Intermission! The lights come up, you can get up and stretch, maybe get a snack or a drink … In other words, welcome to this edition of Thursday Intermission, your weekly break.

First up, Mr. Bean’s having a little trouble coming up with a way to tip a busker.

And, let we be accused of being non-educational, a science class is in order. Science: adorable.

Finally, for no reason, really: The screaming sheep.

Uh … Make a joyful noise?

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“I Shall Not Want”

A shepherd and his sheep on the way to Hampta ...

A shepherd and his sheep on the way to Hampta Pass in the Indian Himalayas of Himachal Pradesh. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sunday School was a routine of life when I was growing up. And somewhere along the way, just like many children in Sunday Schools everywhere, we memorized Psalm 23.

After we had memorized it, the teacher gave us each a wooden plaque to celebrate the achievement. On it was painted a picture of a shepherd and a lamb, along with the first verse of the Psalm:

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.”

–Psalm 23:1

I put the plaque in a place where I saw it often. I liked the sheep, although the shepherd seemed awfully small in comparison. As for the Psalm itself? It didn’t make sense to me.

After all, if the Lord were my Shepherd, why wouldn’t I want Him?

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“The Father’s Song”

Matt Redman’s “The Father’s Song” is a beautiful love song. If you don’t know it–and even if you do–you might enjoy hearing it.

“The Father’s song,

The Father’s love,

You sung it over me and for eternity

It’s written on my heart.”

Think about the words, about how the Father surrounds you with His love, His care.

And then, after you’ve soaked it in, go outside. Go where there are people. And let this song run through your mind, through your spirit.

See that guy who cut you off in traffic? The Father sings over him, too.

That teacher who seems to dislike your child? The Father’s song is for her, too.

That neighbor with whom you just can’t seem to get along, that co-worker who rubs you the wrong way, that person who seems so different from you…

The Father sings over each one of them. It’s time to join in the song.

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Thursday Intermission

These weeks seem to be flying by! See? It’s already time for another Intermission.

Since it’s spring, a lot of people are in workout mode. If you’re looking for a new workout, here’s some inspiration. You might want to start out slowly, maybe just play some ball …

I love the title to that one: “Someone should tell this girl that this can’t be done.” But why spoil it for her?

If ball-playing isn’t your style, you could jump rope to get your heart rate up, like this girl in Belgium.

Okay, maybe not exactly like her. Adrienn Banhegyi, the woman doing all the tricks with a jump rope, is a performer with the Cirque de Soleil and actually holds two world records for jump roping. How about doing a few flips like this guy?

Oh, wait. I think that was some kind of gravity test. (Gravity apparently failed.)

Well, I suppose we could just hang out and watch this expert on the rings.

Whatever you decide to do, have fun!

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