Thursday, December 31, 2015

The Sum of Life~

I flip the calendar page from 2015 to 2016.

It takes less than a second.

Tomorrow, we step out into a brand new month and a brand new year.
And, I can't help but wonder.
Where have those before it gone?
And when?
When did they go?

Wasn't it just yesterday when my sweetheart and I were trying to keep our eyelids open until midnight so we could welcome in 2015 with a kiss?

Wasn't it just a day or two ago when we sat at our favorite table at our favorite restaurant enjoying a Valentine's dinner complete with a basket of heart shaped sopapillas?

Wasn't it just a moment ago when tulips peeked through the grass and our long lost friends, Mr. and Mrs. Robin, surprised us one evening?

Wasn't it just a little while ago when leaves turned golden brown, luscious red, vibrant orange and colored our world in glorious fashion?

Wasn't it only yesterday that it was today?

Time is marching on and it doesn't look as though
it is concerned with whether or not anyone else is
joining in on the march.

It's a funny thing about time.

We can spend it anyway we want,
but we can only spend it once.

And yet,
how frivolously I let the hours of my days, months, years and life trickle right though my hand.
(You, too?)

I don't know the answer.

I don't know how to
grab a hold of life
and live it to the fullest
every single moment of every single day.

I don't know how to
make the days on my calendar
transform from blank boxes
to completely used up and wrung dry moments of life.

But, tomorrow, it's a brand new year.
Tomorrow, it's a brand new month.
Tomorrow, it's a brand new day.
Tomorrow, it's a brand new moment.

Maybe the answer isn't found in the brand new... maybe, it is found in now.

Maybe the key to living my life is found in the living of my life -
moment by moment, day by day, right now.

Maybe life is
a kiss at midnight,
the sweetness of a honey-dipped sopapilla,
the beauty of a tulip and the chirp of a robin,
the breathtaking view of trees in fall.

Maybe, I have packed more living into my life than I realize.

Maybe this is the sum of life....


Seize life! Eat bread with gusto,

Drink wine with a robust heart.
Oh yes—God takes pleasure in your pleasure!
Dress festively every morning.
Don't skimp on colors and scarves.
Relish life with the spouse you love
Each and every day of your precarious life.
Each day is God's gift. It's all you get in exchange
For the hard work of staying alive.
Make the most of each one!
Whatever turns up, grab it and do it. And heartily!
This is your last and only chance at it,
For there's neither work to do nor thoughts to think
In the company of the dead, where you're most certainly headed. 
~Ecclesiastes 9:7-10 (MSG) 



But he's already made it plain how to live, what to do,

what God is looking for in men and women.
It's quite simple: Do what is fair and just to your neighbor,
be compassionate and loyal in your love,
And don't take yourself too seriously—
take God seriously. 
~  Micah 6:8, (MSG)

I flip the calendar page from 2015 to 2016.

It takes less than a second.

But maybe,
just maybe,
the memories of today,
will last an entire lifetime.~











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Monday, December 28, 2015

Looking Ahead to 2016~










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Monday, December 21, 2015

To Love Well~

I sit on the back row of life, and I watch her, this woman who loves well.

Without so much as an inclination that I am here,
observing,
watching,
marveling,
and often squirming inside,
she goes about the extraordinary business of living her ordinary life well.

A bag of food delivered to a struggling couple.
A truck load of bicycles driven to children in foster homes.
A face to face, heart to heart visit with a friend locked behind bars of metal, heartache, and regret.

Eyes that see.
Ears that hear.
Hands and feet that are quick to respond.
A heart that doesn't know the word "no", only a resounding, whatever-it-takes "yes".

And, I think about my own life,
how on Saturday I went from forty something to 50 in the blink of an eye,
how life is moving faster than the speed of light,
how if I don't start living
and start living soon
my life will be over without any life having been lived at all.

What makes a life a life that is lived well?

I wrestled with this question in the weeks leading up to my birthday,
and if I'm honest,
the years before 49, or 48, or even 47,46, or 45.

For as long as I can remember,
this elusive dream to live life well has been taunting and teasing me -
always somewhere peeking out from behind an opportunity,
but never quite within my reach.

And this space in between
the arm's length that keeps me at bay,
the one thing that is standing between my life being lived and my life being lived well,
is now finally coming into focus.

Life isn't about living at all;
it's about loving,
loving well.

And this loving well is not going to allow me to stay
unnoticed and secure,
safely seated on the back row of life.

No, this loving well is going to
jar me loose from complacency and comfort
and catapult me smack dab into the middle of someone's life.

This loving well is going to
unnerve me,
undo me,
unloose me.

This loving well is going to change me.

But, isn't this what I long for -
not more candles on my cake,
not more money in my account,
not more time on my hands,
not more me,
less?

I watch as she goes about the extraordinary business of living her ordinary life well,
this woman who loves well,
and I see Him.

Jesus.

And I know without a shadow of a doubt
the only way to truly live life well,
is to lay it down,
to give it up,
to sacrifice it on the altar of love.









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Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Born to Die~












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Thursday, December 10, 2015

Hidden Under Piles of Ill-Fitting Religion and Theology~

Several years ago while shopping an after-Christmas sale, I stumbled onto a priceless treasure. I was digging through a huge bin of marked down T-shirts when I saw a navy blue one peeking out from near the bottom of the pile. Since blue has always been my color of choice, I decided this shirt was worth going after. After several minutes of elbowing my way through a sea of shirts, the one that caught my eye was finally within my reach. As I picked it up, I turned it over and looked at the front.

To my surprise, the design on this T-shirt was that of the manger scene. Little baby Jesus was fast asleep in his small cradle, with Mary tenderly seated as his side. As beautiful as this was, more beautiful yet, were the six words printed boldly in white above the picture.

His Destiny was to Change Ours

Here was the true meaning of Christmas spelled out for all to see and yet up until now, this T-shirt had slipped by totally unnoticed and completely unseen, buried at the bottom of a clearance bin! As I stood there, surrounded by a crowd of noisy, energetic shoppers, I felt a hush come over my soul.

Day in and day out we elbow our way through life in an effort to reach our goals, get ahead, succeed, and find true happiness. Digging through the bin of life, we proudly grab these surface level bargains, settling for the leftovers of this world, all the while missing out on our true destiny.

We go to church and accept the surface level truth of Christ's birth, yet never realize that the very essence of Christ and the purpose of his arrival as a tiny baby may still remain buried under piles of ill-fitting religion and theology. How we need to dig deeper, to search more, to grasp the almost incomprehensible ......His destiny was to change ours!


Yes, Christ came to earth as a baby to ultimately die on the cross, making a way of forgiveness, atonement and salvation for us. There is no denying this life-giving truth. Our final and ultimate destiny is to be with him in Heaven through out all eternity. But what about here? What about now?

One of my favorite verses is John 10:10b:
 "I have come that they might have life, and have it more abundantly." KJV

If ever a verse described the destiny of Jesus as it relates to our own, this is it. He came that we might have life and have it more abundantly. Life eternal is most definitely part of the abundant part, but our destiny doesn't begin once our time on this earth is over. NO! Our destiny changes the moment we turn our life over to Christ.

Our can'ts become cans.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. 
~Philippians 4:13

Our defeats become victories.

We are more than conquerors through Christ who loves us. 
~Romans 8:37

Our trials become treasures.

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose. 
~Romans 8:28

Our desires become reality.

Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.
~ Psalms 37:4

I'm so glad I caught a glimpse of blue peeking out from the bottom of that bin of marked down T-shirts. Yet no happiness in the world will ever begin to match the joy I now feel since I caught a glimpse of my true destiny in Christ.

When it comes to shopping, you will still find me searching through clearance bins in hopes of finding a bargain, but thanks be to God, you will never, ever find me digging through the bargain bins of life or poking through the discounted racks of religion and theology.

I have discovered my true destiny and I'm not settling for anything less than God's best for me!

 I am not going to wait until I die to truly start to live. I am going to live the abundant life now! 
I am going to reach out with every bit of my heart, mind and soul and grab onto the treasure I have in Christ. I am going to start living out my Christ-given destiny.

How about you?

And you shall seek me, and find me, when you shall search for me with all of your heart.
~Jeremiah 29:13







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Sunday, December 6, 2015

How About Giving This?~










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