Monthly Archives: April 2017

Your Life, Your Book

book-863418_960_720The life we live is our story, ours alone.  Many, including yours truly,  have chosen to capture part or all of their story in a book.  If you were attempting to put your story on the printed page, how would you characterize it: love story, adventure, drama, comedy, inspirational, or something else?

If you set out to write this book, what words would appear on its pages?  Where would the material or words come from?  What activities, relationships or experiences have you immersed yourself in that have a direct bearing on your story?

As the pages of your book begin to accumulate it becomes evident that the words need to be organized into chapters.  How does one determine when one chapter ends and a new one begins?  In my story, new chapters corresponded with changes of scenery and vocation, or new relationships and responsibilities.  At other times a new chapter began  when my life headed in a new direction.  Directional life changes can be physical, emotional, or spiritual.

The further along I get in my story, the more I find myself putting emphasis on the spiritual chapters of my life.  I worry less and less about searching for some new thing to experience and instead find myself turning to a blank page and engaging the Savior of my life to help me determine my direction.

My you find peace and contentment on the road you travel in life.  May the words of your book be pages of substance and eternal value.  May you find the meaning of life and experience abundant living.

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These are the words of Jesus found in John 10:10, “My purpose is to give them [us] a rich and satisfying life.” NLT

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Be a Bridge

bridge-53769_960_720I went for a walk on a spring day after a good rain.  The route I chose featured a view of a number of ponds connected by waterways.  The recent rains caused these ponds to swell, and likewise the waterways connecting them.  My trek took me past a bridge I’d seen countless times before.  Each time I’ve see it, I’ve always felt an invitation to cross it.  I found myself wondering why.

Perhaps it’s because a bridge offers a smooth, unencumbered crossing.  Firm and familiar footing are preferable to an encounter with hidden obstacles beneath the water’s surface.  Or maybe it’s because burdens, those either heavy or valuable, can be transported safely across it without loss.  Regardless of the reason, bridges offer reliable, safe passage from one shore to the next.

handshake-584105_960_720Can one person act as a bridge for another?  I believe they can.  Consider the possibility that someone might be facing a particularly rough patch in their life.  You, or I, could help them transition from where they are presently to a more desirable place on another shore.  Perhaps you, or I, could support that person and help bear their burden as they cross.

 

 

Unconditional Love

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It is amazing how dogs exhibit unconditional love.  Perhaps they exist on our planet to teach us about God’s love.

This is real love–not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.  Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other.  1 John 4:10-11 NLT

 

Life got you Puzzled?

IMG_0896As a kid growing up I remember my family putting puzzles together to help us pass the long winter months.  We also did them for relaxation on summer vacations.  You can image my excitement when I found a puzzle app for my Kindle.  Recently, I downloaded a set of mystery puzzles; ones without a reference picture to guide the placement of the pieces.

Without the image, you must rely on grouping  pieces together of similar color and then assembling them through trial and error.  The subject of the puzzle unfolds like a mystery as more and more pieces are put together.  IMG_0897

As the image gradually becomes known, there is a beauty that comes from combining the pieces. Individual pieces may have interesting characteristics, but it is the assembled group that creates an identity.  My latest puzzle is a human portrait.  As I worked on the puzzle I began to reflect on how beautifully and wonderfully human beings are made.

So God created human beings in his own image.  In the image of God he created them; male and female he create them.  Genesis 1:27 NLT

I also thought about how life often seems to be revealed to me like a puzzle.  Which path should I take?  Why is this or that happening to me?  What will my life be like ten years from now?  What seems to me like pieces being grouped together by trial and error is in reality part of a grand design.  The events, places and people God uses to shape my life come together one by one like pieces of a puzzle. My portrait will not be complete until the last piece is placed, which I suppose could equate to my last breath.  If that is the case, I shouldn’t fret over the missing pieces.  I have come to the realization that I am noticed by others because of who I am, not because of any missing pieces.

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I would encourage you to trust God as he adds pieces to your puzzle.  He holds the reference picture needed to guide the placement of the pieces.  The end result will be a complete masterpiece made ready for the eternity God has prepared.

Jesus told her [Martha], ” I am the resurrection and the life.  Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying.”  John 11:25 NLT

 

Summing up Ecclesiastes

In this last post on Ecclesiastes I thought it would be helpful to try to write a summary of my experience with the book.

sunrise-1756274_960_720We, like Solomon, face a dilemma. Earth, within the boundaries of our universe, continues on endlessly. We, on the other hand, are transient creatures; our lives are but a vapor, a breath in the grand scheme of things. Life “under the sun” (the human condition without God) seemed meaningless to Solomon because no matter what avenue he pursued, nothing gave him an advantage over the certainty of death. As he considers human mortality, he acknowledges the prospect of eternity, a thought placed in his heart by God. (Ecclesiastes 3:11).

It is the intent of the writer of Ecclesiastes to take us by the hand and pull us to the edge of that abyss we call death. Solomon knew that by having us stand there at the brink, we would conclude that our life experiences alone leave us unprepared to face death. As we stand there, uncomfortable with the thought of our own demise, we are admonished to order our lives presently (today).

bubbles-1038648_960_720How will you respond to the message of Ecclesiastes, “vanity of vanities, everything is vanity” (life is a vapor, a breath) as we toil “under the sun?” (Ecclesiastes 1:2,3) Will you, like the fool reject the message and ignore the signposts pointing towards death and judgment?

“The fool has said in his heart there is no God…” Psalm 14:1.

OR, will you be counted among the wise and take the message to heart. Will you remember God (Ecclesiastes 12:1), fear Him and keep his commandments (Ecclesiastes 12:13)? A wise person remembers God by noticing his handiwork all around them and acknowledging that work at every opportunity. He or she will thank God continually for the blessings given to them.

To those who heed the message of Ecclesiastes, “eat your food with gladness, and drink your wine with a joyful heart, for it is now that God favors what you do” (Ecclesiastes 9:7).  Remember Him always.

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