Category Archives: Living

Somewhere Fast

414XCttR2iL._SX327_BO1,204,203,200_Somewhere Fast, by Bob Beltz, is a fictional story written in the order of Pilgrim’s Progress. The main character, John Calvin, is a broken man in need of some answers.  An extramarital affair has cost him everything; his job as a pastor, his children, marriage and friends.  He has reached a point where he doesn’t know what he believes.  John decides to embark on a solo motorcycle trip along Route 66 to clear his head and gain a new sense of direction.

Along the way, he plans encounters with a few sages whose opinion he respects.  In addition to the planned interactions, he has several unexpected encounters with complete strangers.  Part way through his journey, one of the encounters leaves him overwhelmed by grace.  The book conveys a gradual revelation of knowledge relevant not only to John Calvin but to readers as well.  Somewhere Fast is good read, especially for those of the male gender.

 

New life from lifelessness

For over the past half a century, I have witnessed the coming of spring.  Each and every year it comes according to its preordained time.  In the midst of intermittent snows and the cold temperatures the grass greens, flowers arise, and trees bud.  Mankind has nothing to do nothing with its arrival.  That which is ordained remains unaffected by any chaos overshadowing it.

Each year we witness new life springing forth from lifelessness, as if creation has suddenly been given a signal to awaken from its slumber.  For people of faith, spring is a time of renewal.  It reminds us of a day long ago when the Savior of the world was crucified, entombed and rose to new life.  Easter is the season of resurrection, when new life is possible from lifelessness.  

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I am reminded of a scripture passage found in Luke 5:35-43, in which Jesus of Nazareth gives new life to a twelve year old girl.  Everyone surrounding the little girl’s family knew she was dead, including the town’s people, the professional mourners, and her family.  Yet Jesus’ response was, “Don’t be afraid, just believe.”  What was it Jairus, the little girl’s father, was supposed to believe?  When Jesus arrived at the residence of the dead child he said, “why all this commotion and wailing?  The child is not dead but asleep.”  Is this what the father was supposed to believe, that the child was not dead only sleeping?  He certainly knew the child was dead.  It is more likely Jairus needed faith to believe new life could come from lifelessness.  Luke, the author of this book of the Bible, intended this story to be a foreshadowing of the miracle which occurred on Easter morning; when new life came from lifelessness, when hope sprang forth from hopelessness.

A chaotic pandemic will overshadow this Easter season.  Remember Jesus’ words to Jairus, “Don’t be afraid, just believe.”   Hold fast to the certainty that the resurrected Jesus, the author of spring, is still in control.  Hope can spring forth from hopelessness!

Distraction

When I was growing up, my mother used to tell me too much of a good thing was bad for me.  Her kernel of “wisdom” confused me.  How could a lot of something good be bad for me?  Mom said this when she saw me eating too much candy or watching too much television.  She wanted my body and mind to remain healthy.  My childhood days have long since past and my mother is now in heaven.  Yet, I can still hear a faint voice in my head when I allow myself to be too caught up in distracting activities.

In our present situation involving social distancing and self-isolation, distraction seems to be a gift we can use to save the day.  We believe it will keep us away from worrying about “what if” scenarios.  It is true getting caught up in our favorite distracting activity transports us far away from these troubled times.  The problem arises, however, when we are distracted at the expense of everything else.

In the days ahead, don’t let distraction lure you away from focusing on the important things you need to be doing.  Don’t let it keep you from maintaining a healthy mind and body.  What important thing could you accomplish if you minimized distraction in your life?

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You are not alone

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We are indeed social creatures.  It’s no surprise social distancing goes against our nature.  We need not be alone however in this endeavor.  While we are apart from social circles choose to spend time watching, listening or reading things that inspire–things that give the human spirit a chance to soar and not sour.

But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31