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Lessons From Ukraine

Did you ever expect that 2022 would open with a war, and not just a war but one that has the potential to become World War III, as some are saying? As devastating as the news coming out of Ukraine is, there are some lessons we can learn that will help us in our daily lives.

Pilgrim Whynot, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
  1. The first lesson we can learn is to be thankful for what we have. When was the last time you woke up and thought, I am so thankful for all that I have. As you look at the images of people clambering over logs, stumbling over makeshift bridges to escape the ravages of war, hugging each other and crying, aren’t you thankful for what you have?
  2. The second lesson we can learn is that nothing on this earth is promised. Not the next minute, the next hour or the next day. Like the people of Ukraine, you can lose everything, including your family, in a heartbeat. Show love to those you love; do not cling to things.
  3. Fight for what you believe in. The images of heroism displayed by the Ukranians have touched our hearts. Elderly men and women kneel before tanks to protect their freedom. The president continues to hold on and encourage his people, even though things look dim. What in your life is worth fighting for?
  4. Trust in Someone greater than yourself. There are some battles you cannot fight on your own. You need God to help you gain the victory. As I think about the war now raging between Russia and Ukraine, I’m reminded of the Bible story of David and Goliath. David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.” (You can read the rest of the story in 1 Samuel 17: 45-51).

Some of you reading this may have had to fight your own battles. You may have won some and you may have lost some. Right now you may be fighting a battle against some form of disease—diabetes, high blood pressure, chronic pain—and it may seem like you are losing. Look over the points above. I hope they will encourage and inspire you to be thankful, love others and not things, keep on fighting, and trust in the Lord.

When have you been in a battle? How did you react? Share it in the comment box below.

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What To Do When You Don’t Know What To Do

I hope you had a good weekend and are looking forward to the start of another week. Many people experience what we call “the Monday Blues,” at the beginning of the work week. There are so many challenges; so many things require us to make important decisions, some of which may be really difficult.

In the story below, I would like you to put yourself in the character’s place, and consider what you would do.

“When I called, you answered me; you greatly emboldened me.” – Psalm 138:3, NIV

Todd was facing pressure at work. A project his firm had promised a client was very far behind schedule. He was responsible for the project so he brought it to his boss, looking for advice on how to handle the situation.

Unwilling to anger their biggest client, Todd’s boss advised him to lie. He wanted Todd to tell the client that not only was the project on time, it was being completed under budget too. He even gave Todd the falsified expense reports.

Todd struggled with what to do. He wanted to come clean with the client. He didn’t see how any good could come of lying.

But he was also concerned about what his boss would do. Would he retaliate and fire Todd? He thought of his family, of his wife with their new baby. How could he look her in the eye when he’d promised he’d always take care of their family?

Todd showed up to work early Tuesday for the client meeting. When he felt squeamish about lying, he thought of his newborn. Right before he was scheduled to go into the meeting, he received a text message from a friend with Psalm 138:3 in it.

Curious, Todd looked up the meaning of embolden and learned that it means “giving someone the courage or confidence to do something”.  The verse was just the reminder he needed. He paused to ask God to embolden him. Then he went into the client meeting and told the truth with courage.

God, thank You for the gift of courage. When I’m facing a test of integrity, please embolden me. Show me how to handle these moments with wisdom and bravery.

Can you do what Todd did, or would you chicken out and do what your boss wants you to do even when you know it’s wrong? Making the wrong decision can cause you a lot of stress. Think of all the scenarios that could follow a bad decision and write them in your journal. And maybe you can share them, and any other thoughts you may have, with us.

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