Most people spend a portion of their life trying to figure out what to do with their feelings. They often ask themselves, “how do I manage feelings?” That’s a very good question. Read More …
I remember as a young adult thinking that somewhere along the way, I’d figure out how this life works. Several decades have passed. I figured some things out, but there is still so much I don’t know or understand – even more than when I was a young adult. Yet, I have learned to identify and go after some critical pieces I can manage to make life good.
Pretend with me. You are a child. It’s Christmas. The tree is up and decorated. Glow and sparkle fill the room with Christmas magic. Being a curious child, you have already checked out the landscape of presents under the tree. You noted the gifts with your name on them. And – you’ve counted them. Now you wait . . . and wonder . . . and hope! But the pretending stops and you are an adult again. You ask yourself – “are there gifts for me as a grown-up? Is there something special under God’s Great Tree with my name on it?”
Christmas and a Beautiful Baby
Approaching Christmas brings thoughts of a manger, a beautiful baby in white swaddles, Mary and Joseph, wisemen, shepherds, angels. Then add gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Now, pull this ancient beautiful story forward into the present and picture a bright, decorated evergreen tree, stockings at a fireplace hearth, goodies and wassail on a festive table. Family and friends are part of holiday plans – even during a pandemic. This year we add masks, social distancing, virtual visits for gift exchanges to share special moments. I’m sure you have explored creative options. Then there’s the beautiful Christmas music and cards or e-cards.
Do you stop to ponder what all this December celebration means and why you participate every year? Read More …
Maintaining a steady pace and a steadfast heart in life is a real trick, isn’t it? Life’s terrain is so unpredictable, and losses grab at your ankles as you walk. “Keeping on” while being patient and calm takes resolve and courage. Unexpected developments, disasters, losses and grief, disagreements, declining health, even aging – these pop up on every side. Addressing them well requires being steadfast.
These are difficult, uncertain, and challenging days. There are very few things you can depend on when you get up in the morning. Things shift all day. Between the political state of the world, unknown health threats, cosmic nature developments, and people’s free will, your list of dependables shrinks!
There was a man who lived many years ago. Centuries ago. He knew living a good life was critical. So he worked hard to live such a life. Yet, he did not know God personally. It wasn’t until God made the first move to him (God always does) that relationship with God became an option for this man. God reached into his life, his world, His reality and invited him closer. This man believed and responded. Even though he was already living a good life, it wasn’t until he actively believed God that he had the reality of living a holy life. This man decided to reach back to God.
Many countries have a celebration day to remember their freedom. America just celebrated July 4th. In some countries, freedom is not even a reality. Freedom has been a hot topic all through human history. Wars that claimed many lives have been fought to preserve or gain freedom. Apparently, it’s been important to God since before history began. God’s original design was anchored in freedom. He wants you to be free.
A promise is something that cannot change. It cannot morph into something else. A promise can only be kept – or broken. If you can’t make good on a promise, don’t make it in the first place.
Recently, I reflected on a disappointing scenario that penetrated my life last year. It hit like a missile, and I found myself deeply sad. Being familiar with the need to make hard decisions for good reasons for long periods of time, I guess I forgot about a real phenomenon. After decades of managing such situations, you end up with a “pile-up.” This pile-up loomed in my thoughts and lingered in my heart. Clearly, I needed a re-boot. Somehow the pile-up had turned into a mountain.