Let those with eyes

Let them see 

in full bloom

Winter gives way to spring, which bursts forth in vibrant colors all around.  

Life works the same way. It ebbs and flows in seasons. Warm and fun, crisp and muted, cold and unforgiving, then thawed and renewed for warmth and fun.

Wherever you find yourself, keep moving forward. Each season has its wonders and memories. And each season passes. Really, they do.

A popular book insists that winter is coming. True, but so, then, is summer once again.

 

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Cost of Winning

As we pay the price of obedience, we can be sure that every unanswered prayer, every short-term loss, plays its part in the long-term certainty of victory in Christ. It’s just that we never realized that winning could sometimes hurt like hell.

  • Pete Greig, God on Mute, p. 172

Whatever you are facing, whatever darkness life brings your way, remember Romans 8:28. The end is already assured. God wins. And so do all on His side.

Engaging the Silence

“Engaging the Silence” by Pete Greig

first
there is
      prayer
and where there is prayer
there are
      questions
and where there are questions
there may be
      silence
but silence may be
more than
      absence
silence
may be presence
      muted
silence
may not be nothing but
      something
to explore
defy accuse
      engage
and
this is
      prayer
and where there is prayer
there may yet be
      miracles

poem found in Pete Greig’s God On Mute, p. 29

 

A Surprise Announcement

I have a news flash for the world.

It will come as a surprise, a shock. You might want to sit down (if you are not already doing so).

Please make sure you are fully prepared before you continue reading. You have been advised.

It occurs to me that a general announcement needs to be made, because it has become glaringly obvious that there is a significant lack of knowledge about this particular announcement. It seems that in the kerfuffle of our modern digital age, with all of its information gathering tools and devices that help us and instill fear in us, this one morsel has been lost, forgotten, and ignored.

You are going to die.

Yes. You.

No, I don’t have access to your webcam, but I am talking to you. You are going to die. It’s going to happen. I cannot tell you how or when, but I know without a doubt that it is true. It may not be today, this year, or this decade. But it is coming.

And there’s nothing you can do to change it. To illustrate:

  • Steve Jobs died, despite his innovative mind and billions of dollars
  • Mother Teresa died, despite her immense sacrifices and care for others
  • Charles Atlas died, despite his efforts at transforming his body
  • Robert Atkins died, his popular Atkins diet not mitigating the inevitable

You cannot change this truth. There is no amount of grass-fed, Kobe beef; organic vegetables; essential oils; exercise; money; social media postings; acupuncture treatments; Paleo/Vegan/Mediterranean/what have you diet; etc. that will change the truth.

My grandfather smoked from his early teenage years. When he started, smoking was a healthy thing. By the end, now-infamous tobacco companies were changing their names to made up words to disassociate from their past. My grandfather was 72 when he died. Of a heart attack, not lung cancer.

Did smoking shorten his life? Well, possibly. Maybe even probably. I’m not a medical doctor, or God, so I don’t really know. I do know this: smoking gave him pleasure. It made his life something that he enjoyed living a little more.

What are the things that you are doing in your life that make life that much more enjoyable to be living? What are you doing only because someone else has scared you into doing it for their own reasons and motivations, because it makes them enjoy life more?

Life is going to end. Something is going to kill you. It might be cancer. It might be pneumonia. It might be a drunk driver. It might be Yellowstone or an asteroid. Perhaps scientists will create a black hole at random and it will swallow the earth in an instant. Perhaps old age will catch up with you. Whatever it is, something will happen and you will die.

It’s not death that matters. It’s what you do with all of the seconds, minutes, days, months, and years you have before it most assuredly comes.

20 Months

20 months.

That’s how long it has been since I last wrote and published here. It’s been a long time. And it hasn’t been pretty.

We have moved. I’ve started a new career. We have grown to a family of five, though seven if you include the fact that we are living with my parents. My wife nearly died this year. My faith is shattered in shards, and I’m not sure what it will look like should it come back together one day.

I thought 2013 was bad. But it had nothing on 2014.

That said, 2015 is here. I’d rather not dwell on what amounted to a pretty horrid year. (Though we got a really cute baby out of it!)

A lot has gone on with me. I am not the person I was 20 months ago. I have a secular career, and I do not expect to return to a life of ministry. I have struggled off and on (mostly off) with being an active layperson at the church we now attend. That has not gone well, as I reel from the events of the last two years. I am still trying to find if there is a place for me. If so, what is it?

My theme has been Psalm 42. That has long been my favorite psalm. In year past, it was the steely assurance that I would cling to God no matter what. Lately, though, it has been much more of being the outcast, far from the places of worship where I once led and thrived.

I want a new theme.

If there is anything that I have learned, it is that life – and faith – is about choices. What do we choose to do? I was speaking with a friend not that long ago, mentioning how I had lost the “awe” of God. This was particularly frustrating heading into the holiday season (at the time). Further reflection has led me to the conclusion that awe of God is a choice, like choosing to love my spouse. It’s easy to be married for a while and then get a divorce when things get difficult. It’s much harder to stick to the commitment and see the relationship through the hard times on to the other side. To choose love. The same is true with faith, I believe. If I am to believe in God, if I am to be in awe of him again, then i must choose to be.

I do not know what the future holds. Nor can i say with the confidence I once had that I know who holds the future. But I know I want to be out of the fog I have been in since 2013. I want to move forward. I want to make choices that will determine who I will be tomorrow.

2015 is here. 20 months have past. I choose to live again now. No more waiting. This is my life. It’s the only one I get.