Category Archives: Living

Awe

Awe is a feeling that comes from looking at a breathtaking view found in nature or the discovery of some profound truth that suddenly brings order into one’s world. When “awe” overtakes us it leaves us with a feeling of amazement or inspiration according to L. Teja Pattabhiraman, writer for the Epoch Times. The writer goes on to say awe is good for relationships, it helps melt away stress. We are happier people as a result. We encounter awe when we experience vastness and transcendence, when we are overcome by wonder.

For the Believer, awe can be found in the majesty of God, whether it’s a discovery found in His written Word or witnessing the power of nature or the beauty of His creation. But awe isn’t just associated with God’s power. Even though He is high and lifted up, He cares about what happens in the everyday life of an ordinary person like me.

What should our response be when we experience wonder? According to the article in the Epoch Times, when we encounter awe we can respond by being more generous or content. Linger in your moment of awe and capture it in visual or written form. Use awe to overcome your circumstances.

When Believers encounter the awe of God the appropriate response is to linger in worship, giving Him who inspires and amazes us His due.

Lord I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds. Lord renew them in our day, in our time make them known; Habakkuk 3:2

Losing weight

One thing I’ve learned about weight loss over the past several decades, it’s not as easy as it used to be. When I was younger, I was much more active and my metabolism was higher, therefore I burned more calories per day. I could “cheat” on a diet and get away with it. Oh my, how times have changed.

For me to lose weight now I need to employ a more holistic approach. Weight loss will have to include mind, body and spirit. Otherwise, I am likely to fail. Now the trick is to figure out how to do that.

The mental aspect: I intend to write down on paper a start date and what I plan to accomplish. For me, seeing something spelled out reinforces it. This includes breaking down my main goal into smaller milestones. The physical aspect: this includes the obvious, diet and exercise. I intend to spell out the regimens I will use. The spiritual aspect: this adds a mystical element to it. It attempts to keep my mind and body from wanting what I am denying it. When I reward a milestone (sub goal), I bolster my spiritual and mental well-being.

So, if I want to lose 20 pounds I should break it down into a few smaller milestones and capture those in writing. I should decide what type of diet I’m going to use, whether it’s low carb, low fat, portion control, if I’m eliminating snacking, etc. My plan needs to include what form of exercise I’m doing, whether its counting steps with a Fitbit or exercising for 15-20 minutes, etc. Spiritual discipline, I’ve discovered over the years, can bolster mental and physical capabilities. Personal devotion can play a part. Also, focusing on having a positive attitude and being thankful for what I already have and not what I lack (or can’t eat) has a bearing on how long I can endure a diet.

An oatmeal snack?

In an earlier post, I stated I was trying not to snack After 6 P.M. I feel as though I should preface that statement by saying I can eat supper as early as 3:30 in the afternoon. Yes, I’m an older person but I also eat breakfast before 5:00 in the morning so I can make it to work before 5:45 A.M.

So, as the 6:00 p.m. hour nears I begin bargaining with myself as to what would make an honorable (for the lack of a better word) snack given my commitment to controlling my weight. I’ve had reasonable success with food that warms my stomach such as a Homemade applesauce snack.

Another favorite of mine is making a bowl of one minute oatmeal. The trick here is to control what you’re going to add to the oatmeal to flavor it. My wife reminds me brown sugar or maple flavored syrup are things on the naughty list. So I avoid these. Instead, I opt for fresh fruit such as strawberries, blueberries or apples. Dried fruit such as raisins or apricots also works. Add a few nuts for a protein crunch. Soften the consistency of the oatmeal with a splash of fat free or 2% milk.

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!