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Archive for the ‘reflections’ Category

Transitions

What do we do when the time comes to transition?

Transitions can take us

to a new home

to a new career

to a new city

to a new home

to another country

to new relationships

to new experiences

to new foods

to new shopping

to new streets to navigate

to new customs to unravel

to new

I wrote this blog post almost 2 years ago when we were in the midst of transition. Since I am also considering the words of Jesus, “it is finished,” I thought maybe I should look back at those blog posts that I didn’t finish or publish.

So what is true about transitions?

They take time…

…and while they take time, you discover new transitions that you have to make like

new ways of doing things in a new living space

what you keep and what you lose in a new living space

what relationships you keep and those you lose

new learnings all the time

connecting with people in new ways

new structures for community like online Bible studies

expertise that looks for new outlets

daring to be brave in city driving

showing friends your new city and life

discovering a new world that makes yours bigger

trying to figure out how to live every day as you grow older

and maybe figuring out joy in all transitions in this life

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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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Happy New Year!

January 1, 2015 is about to come to a close.

For the last week, we have all read and seen advice about how to have a better year than the previous one.

Advice on

resolutions to make

resolutions not to make

what will truly make us happy

how to reach your goals

what goals are important

relationship goals

professional goals

personal growth goals

fitness goals

organizational goals

It’s one day.  Is it different from the previous ones?

 Should it be?

How is your book coming along?

Ready for page 2 of 365?

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Markers

The end of the year is a marker.

We look back.

We wonder.

We review.

We remember.

We conclude…

Then we make plans that all involve change in our lives

based

on the past year

past decisions

hopeful thoughts for a better “me”

a better “year”

better “decisions”

better “opportunities”

better “relationships”

I am reminded of Tim Elmore’s blog post

At the Corner of Big Dreams and Harsh Realities.

We could say “it is what it is”

or

we could accept the challenge of a new year!

The great thing is “we” all get to choose individually.

It’s coming.  Choose well.

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The other day I passed a church building that looks similar to this one.

I wondered what services were like on Sunday and in years gone by.

I could see and hear and feel . . .

the out of tune upright piano with the tops of the keys missing or yellowed with age

the hymns being sung with more enthusiasm than perfection

the minister with the soothing voice that encouraged his people to be followers of Jesus or

perhaps the minster with the booming voice due to no sound system

sharing his experience with God’s Word

the prayers of the saints

the open windows because there is no air conditioning

the slick pews that were mostly uncomfortable

God’s presence as His people gathered together to worship Him.

Nostalgia demands that there is a serenity in this rural country church.

Reality demands that we are seeing it through the eyes of wishful thinking and know that the idyllic scene we impose on these remembrances also contain scenes that we do not want to remember…

Yet we all long for the serenity of God’s presence speaking to us in a place where we can breathe deeply and be filled with His presence.

looking for that everyday…

experienced it that day when I saw that church in the country…

When I seek Him, I find Him.

How extraordinary!

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Giving Thanks to God

Giving thanks to God

Do we make a general list of “things” or people we are thankful for?

or

Do we make a very specific list of “things” or people we are thankful?

Do we really believe that we should give thanks in everything?

I Thessalonians 5:18

Whatever happens, keep thanking God because of Jesus Christ. This is what God wants you to do.

As I heard a pastor say this weekend,

“When God sends a test or a trial, we should respond with ‘I’m ready.'”

Perhaps it is to believe Jesus’ words

 “I came so that everyone would have life, and have it in its fullest.”  John 10:10

living fully alive –

Yes, that would include giving thanks to God

even in the “it is what it is”.

You know –

the whatever happens,

in all circumstances,

in everything,

no matter what happens,

the good, the bad, and the ugly

Are you alive?

How are you giving thanks in your life?

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“Sorry seems to be the hardest word”

Have truer words ever been sung or spoken?  We either ignore our poor behavior or we awkwardly try to explain it away.  To take responsibility for our actions seems to be a lost art.  We look for someone else to blame or we easily dismiss as miniscule the feelings of others.

After all, they brought it on themselves.

Why would someone be upset over that?

I only said what everyone else was thinking.

I was just telling them the truth.

When we have offended someone or hurt someone’s feelings and dismiss their response as trivial, we loudly proclaim that people have little value.  So

Kids say:

“Sorry” to their sibling as they shrug their shoulders and go on to the next thing

“just kidding”

“I didn’t mean it.”

“I was joking.”

“It wouldn’t have happened if you didn’t _____________ first.”

Adults say:

“If you hadn’t _________, then I wouldn’t have had to  _____________.”

“Who’s sorry now?”

“It is what it is.”  Whatever that means.

“I’m sorry IF I . . . “

“I’ve had bad feelings towards you, because I THOUGHT you had _____________.”

Why do we think so little of each other that we can’t say “I’m sorry.  I didn’t mean to hurt you.”

or even “I know this may hurt, and I’m sorry.  You need to know.”

“I care about you.  I’m sorry.”

or do we use the words “I’m sorry” in place of “I was so terribly wrong.  I never should have . . . Can you forgive me?”

Maybe “I’m sorry” is the place to begin to heal the brokenness in ourselves, and somehow others are healed too.  How hard can it be?

Maybe the fear of not being forgiven for the pain we cause is what makes saying “I’m sorry” so hard.

or could it be our unwillingness to forgive others when they bring pain into our lives?

Can’t we all just get along and love one another?

John 13:34-35

Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.

I Peter 4:8 ESV

God is love.  He loves you.

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