Archive for the ‘authenticity’ Category

Jesus’ words, “it is finished,” have stuck with me during Holy Week and now after.

When I think about all the things that I have not finished, I’m intrigued by the idea of this act of completion of Jesus. I haven’t delved into commentaries to see what Bible scholars say about this sentence. I’m on my own personal pilgrimage to consider what it means to be able to proclaim “it is finished”.

I’m not sure where it will take me, but I have considered those things that I haven’t finished…

continued writing on this blog

I began this exercise to practice my writing skills – to see if I could become better at putting my thoughts to paper and being understood.

lots of craft/decorating projects

I began them with good intentions. Many were finished, but many were not.

…finding an ending to this blog…or just publish as is for now…

got sidetracked before an ending was found…it…is…not…finished

so many things begun…

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Today as I was walking through a store, I spotted a monkey which then reminded me of this.

I came across this Polish Proverb a few weeks ago.  This reminded me of a boss that I had when I was a 20 something.  He used to talk about the monkeys on his back.  The office staff even bought a stuffed monkey to put on his shelf behind his desk chair.

I wished I could have shared this Polish Proverb with him.  He would have enjoyed it.

As I was searching for the Polish Proverb, I also found this.


My boss would have loved this.  As I continued to reminisce about the boss that I had as a 20 something, I was reminded of all the great lessons that he passed on to me.  I hope that I can pass even one lesson on to the 20 somethings that I currently serve with.

Lessons from Pat included


extravagant generosity that he demonstrated and

that only very few people were aware of

how to handle difficult people on the phone

(It was a financial aid office at a university.)

how to handle constant changes in government regs regarding financial aid

laughter in the workplace in the craziness of financial aid

generous to his staff

love for God always

love for others regardless how they treated him – unbelievable love and mercy

Thank you, Mr. Pat Duncan!

The above picture is from his quartet days – long before I knew him.

This is a picture from the yearbook in 1980.  Yes, this pictures bring back a lot of memories.  In 1980 I was a student at this institution of higher learning.  I began working for Pat in 1984.

I wish that I could call you on the phone, Pat, and thank you for taking on me as a 20 something.

Below are the lyrics to a song that Pat sang and lived!

He’s Been Faithful to Me!

In my moments of fear

Through every pain, every tear

there’s a God who’s been been faithful to me!

When my strength was all gone,

when my heart had no song,

still in love He’s proved faithful to me.

Every word He’s promised is true.

What I thought impossible,

I’ve seen my God do.


He’s been faithful, faithful to me.

Looking back His love and mercy I see.

Oh, though in my heart I have questioned,

even failed to believe,

He’s been faithful, faithful to me.


When my heart looked away,

the many times I could not pray.

Still my God, He was faithful to me.

The days I spent so selfishly,

reaching out for what pleased me,

even then God was faithful to me.

Every time I come back to him,

He is waiting with open arms,

And I see once again.


He’s been faithful, faithful to me.

Looking back His love and mercy I see

Oh, though in my heart I have questioned

Even failed to believe

He’s been faithful, faithful to me.


In my heart I have questioned,

even failed to believe,

Yet he’s been faithful, faithful

In my heart, I have questioned, I’ve even failed to believe

Yet you’ve been faithful, faithful to me!

Thank you, Pat, for a life well lived and for sharing it with a 20 something who remembers those many lessons!

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“It’s only the exclusive power of divine love that rids our hearts and souls of sin.  This was John Wesley’s most mature understanding of ‘Christian perfection,’ as outlined in ‘The Scripture Way of Salvation’:

Perfection . . . is love excluding sin;

love . . . taking up the whole capacity of the soul. . . .

For as long as love takes up the whole heart, what room is there for sin herein?”

Leonard Sweet, Nudge:  Awakening Each Other to the God Who’s Already There

So do we struggle with understanding what love is or what sin is?  or perhaps both?

or do we maybe just struggle with being honest with ourselves?

about our motives and attitudes?

and how we love God and one another?


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Word Balloons

What if all your thoughts appeared above your head?

Everyone could read exactly what you are thinking!

It wouldn’t matter what you were saying,

because everyone would be reading your thoughts.

What do we conceal from those around us?

What is your word balloon saying

about you?

about others?

What do you want your word balloon to say?

Just thinking . . . about my thoughts . . .

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a broken relationship


to be carefully mended

it takes intentional time

it takes careful consideration and concentration

the cause of the brokenness

was not really that important in light of global crisis

at least not more important than my friend

it usually is blow out of proportion

a lot of emotional energy was spent though

because we didn’t talk to each other

we talked to others about each other and the brokenness

not about how to mend our relationship

but about how I was right

and you were wrong

it’s time for mending

when will we learn to be reconciled

to love extravagantly like Jesus

who didn’t love to get something from us

but gave everything of himself to us

Jesus will mend our brokeness

then we can mend our broken relationships.

Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents.  Mostly what God does is love you.  Keep company with him and learn a life of love.  Observe how Christ loved us.  his love was not cautious but extravagant.  He didn’t love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us.  Love like that.  Ephesians 5:1-2 The Message

In the art of mending,

it’s not a case of stating,

“It is what it is,”

it’s always about loving well and deeply like God does.

Thought for the Day:  What mending is waiting for you?

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Jesus stopped and ordered the man (blind beggar calling for mercy) to be brought to him.  When he came near, Jesus asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?”  Luke 18:40-41

We should be asking people, “What do you want Jesus to do for you?”

Somehow Christians have adopted the mindset of what can the church or the pastor or whoever do for me.  When we ask, what do you want Jesus to do for you, everything changes.

Who will ask Jesus

to adjust the temperature,

to change the music so that I can sing my favorites to him,

to adjust the volume of the music,

to preach on specific topics

to eliminate or add specific music instruments

to keep the children quiet

to make those people “do it right”

to tell people to dress “more appropriately”

to tell the pastor his sermons are too long, too short, to shallow . . .

to tell someone that they are not welcome at church

What do you want Jesus to do for you today?

He’s asking the question.

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A Hard Truth

“Forgiveness is the name of love

practiced among people

who love poorly.

The hard truth is that

all people love poorly.”

Henri J. M. Nouwen

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Hope has two lovely daughters,

anger and courage.

Anger at the way things are, and

courage to see that they need not remain as they are.


Hope is the antidote to “it is what it is”.

Do you have hope today and for tomorrow?

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Phil Vischer wrote  Me, Myself & Bob, in 2007.  I read his book with great interest as to what he would say about his loss of VeggieTales.  What was the inside story?  What happened?  How could this happen?

In 2009 Phil Vischer stood up in front of a massive audience of children’s pastors to talk about what happened to his beloved VeggieTales.  Even though I had already read the book, I was amazed at his humility, his honesty, and his willingness to share with an audience who shared his ministry dream to speak into the lives of children of God’s love.  He messed up.  It doesn’t get any more awkward and uncomfortable than failure.  We shared in his pain and cheered his testimony.

Watch this interview as Phil Vischer shares his story again.  In this video he is much more posed and comfortable telling his story.  He still shares the same message.

The world learns about God by watching Christians.

What is God asking me to do today and am I doing it?

Am I walking with Him?

Am I sharing His love with every person I encounter including the girl who is bagging my groceries at the grocery store?

Phil Vischer


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I sometimes think we expect too much of Christmas Day.  We try to crowd into it the long arrears of kindliness and humanity of the whole year. As for me, I like to take my Christmas a little at a time, all through the year.

– David Grayson, American author and journalist (1870-1946)

May Christ’s love continue to live in you and through you the entire year.

Love one another.

Be kind to one another.

Forgive one another.

Share with one another.

Bear one another’s burdens.

Show compassion to one another.

Love one another.

…all year…

…keeping Christmas…

…Christ coming to earth…

…gift to us…

…gift we give to others…

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