Midday Connection

A safe place to process your story.

Archive for the month “May, 2014”

Midday Blog: His Sovereignty in the Unknown

Don’t God’s responses to your questions usually surprise you? Don’t they seem to make no sense at times?  We ask questions because we obviously need some answers, answers that contain information our hearts are longing for.  We feel pressure, nervousness, fear, and so on.

We’ve all encountered situations when we don’t seem to be fit at all for the task assigned.  A speech in front of a multitude? A new position at work or in your church? A friend asking you for advice or people seeking your help?

Some of us, though, face tougher situations. Maybe you didn’t know how you were going to provide for your family the very next day. Maybe you had to make a decision such as ending a relationship or stepping down from a position at work.

The unknown is all around us, yet the good news are that we belong to an all-knowing God, the One who has total knowledge, awareness, and understanding. Nothing escapes His mind and nothing takes Him by surprise. His answers to our questions are the most suitable ones. They might not make sense when given to us and they might not fulfill our longing, but they are what we need to hear.

In Exodus 3 we see God revealing to Moses through the burning bush. In this particular theophany, He calls Moses to rescue His chosen people from under the Egyptian bondage (talk about the unknown!). Moses’ immediate question is: “Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the sons of Israel out of Egypt?” (verse 11)  Naturally we would expect God to start pointing to Moses’ strengths and explain to him why is he the chosen one for this task.  But, God gives the unexpected answer: “Certainly I will be with you…” (verse 12).

Moses asks who is he to take on such a responsibility and God answers by telling Moses that He will be with Him.  Doesn’t that seem the answer to a different question? You are asking God one thing, and He tells you another. He tells you He will undoubtedly be there with you. When He gives you the unexpected answers, know that those are the best. And in the darkest unknown, be sure that He is there with you.

Adelina GhileaAdelina Ghilea comes from the city of Arad, Romania. Her previous experience as a volunteer radio show host and producer not only deeply shaped her vocation and calling, but also brought her to Moody Bible Institute. She is currently a senior in the communications department and is serving as station manager for the campus station. Adelina is also serving with JoyFm, a new Reach Beyond (HCJB Global) radio plant in her hometown. After graduation, she is planning to return home and invest in the ministry there. Twitter: @AdeGhilea

Midday blog: Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

As a worship leader, I continue to learn and grow in how to choose songs for a church service. Years ago, I used to think that a song that has a repetitive chorus was shallow (or that the songwriter was lazy. Ha!).

I discovered, though, that there are times when repetitive songs can be used effectively.

I recently came across this worship song, and God has been using it in my life over the last week or so.

“There is power in the name of Jesus

There is power in the name of Jesus

There is power in the name of Jesus

To break every chain

Break every chain, break every chain.”

It has been a great reminder to me, while sorting the stuff of life – that nothing has to bind me.

Are there any songs, Bible verses or meaningful quotes that run through your mind throughout the day that have brought you encouragement lately?

Mark BretaMark Breta has been with Moody Radio since 2007 and has worked with many of its programs. Mark currently works with Midday Connection, the Bring to Mind podcast and Treasured Truth. He has led worship at conferences and events, and more recently, at Chicago area churches in Arlington Heights and Oak Park.  You can follow Mark at his website.

Midday blog: Halt

This past Lent, I decided to set aside a food item that’s been a comfort and a go-to item at the end of the day when I want some comfort. I felt the desire to set it aside so that I could take time to ask God if I was avoiding anything deeper. Was this benign comfort item hiding a deeper ache that needed my attention?  Thinking about this one day, I vaguely recalled hearing the acronym “HALT”…something about a checklist to help us pay attention to what’s going on when we’re feeling stressed. So, I did some searching and found more information on it.  Here’s what the acronym stands for:

H – Hungry
A – Angry
L – Lonely
T – Tired

The idea is to check in with yourself when you’re feeling stressed or out of sorts – are you hungry?  Are you angry?  Are you lonely?  Are you tired?  Usually, when I feel restless or want to reach for comfort food or zone out with some mindless TV, I’m actually feeling hungry, angry, lonely, or tired.  When I take that minute to pay attention to what’s going on, I can address the anger, hunger, tiredness, loneliness instead of either engaging in unhealthy habits or things that could become unhealthy if the core issue is consistently pushed aside.  I can use this to rule out and address things that are irrelevant to what’s *really* going on.  Maybe I’m afraid of failing while also feeling tired and hungry.  Addressing my hunger and sleep issues can help me handle the fear better and with a clearer head.  I’ve also found it helpful as I walk home from work feeling stressed and cranky, to slowly and prayerfully breathe deeply as I go through HALT and realize that, yes, I am hungry and tired right now… and once I’ve identified those real physical needs, I’m less likely to misdirect my crabbiness toward my husband when I get home – or at the least, I can communicate to him where I am emotionally and that my crankiness isn’t about him.

How about you?  Are there some helpful tools that you use to identify what the deeper issues might be?

Lori Neff is the senior producer for the award-winning national radio program, Midday Connection. Lori grew up in a small town in Ohio, spending more time outside in nature than inside. She is a graduate of Moody Bible Institute. Her interests include art (looking at it and creating it), music, literature, humanitarian aid efforts, cooking, gardening, coffee, traveling, thinking, learning and spending time with her husband, John.

To learn more about Lori and read her blog, please visit visit her website.

Midday blog: Can we shape another’s personality?

Have you ever noticed the subtle suggestion out there that parents can actually shape the personality of their child? Beyond the natural desire to guide children toward Biblical character development, there’s this hint that we can turn them into something – else. Something better?

The Biblical stories of Jacob, Cain, Abel, Esther, Mary the mother of Jesus, Paul, Joseph, his brothers, and others demonstrate that each were born with a unique personality that sometimes served them well (Mary, Esther, Abel) and other times did not (Samson, Jacob, Ham, Jezebel).  Some lives came to good ends (Jews still celebrate Esther’s Purim today) while others came to tragic ends (Lot), never able to overcome their bents. Jacob continued to wrestle with his personality into adulthood and eventually wrestled with God, figuratively and literally in Genesis 32.

And actually, none of these Biblical characters were perfect.

You’ve probably scratched your head wondering how children can come from the same parents but be so different! There’s no doubt genetics play a part in who we are, but from the beginnings of humankind, we understand that God is the Creator of us all (Psalm 139). We arrive on earth imperfect, but we can gift others with God’s love, joy and truth with the Holy Spirit’s power. After that, their next steps are their own.

As we send an aroma of prayer to God (Ps. 141:2), and let our loved one go, releasing them into God’s hands, we give them freedom to accept or resist truth. They are making their own choices. Will I carry my anxieties and worries about my loved one to God, and confirm my trust in Him? Fill in the blanks of Psalm 31:15 with your loved one’s name: “ _____’s times are in your hands; deliver _____from the hands of _______’s enemies (Satan for one! as well as drugs, an emotional affair, deceit, etc.), from those who pursue _______ (evil friends or ideas or destructive habits, or other temptations).”

Melinda Schmidt is a graduate of Moody Bible Institute and holds a Broadcasting/Bible degree from Calvary Bible College. She has served with Moody Radio since 1980 in various hosting capacities. Married with two young adult children, Melinda lives outside Chicago, loves reading, developing her creative interests and hopes to be a life-long learner. Twitter: @melindaschmidtMelinda Schmidt

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