Friday, November 20, 2015

One of Those Weeks

It's been one of those weeks.

When you don't know which way is up as it all goes down. 

When you think about it as you go to asleep and when you wake up. 

When you want it all to stop and you want new beginnings. 

When you believe and doubt.

When you want to be right-thinking, not wrong-thinking.

When you think long and feel deep.

When you ask, Who's right? Who's wrong? Do I know? 

When you hate politics.

(When you think about the Muslims who lived next door, but you only ever waved.)

When the news makes you sick—except for the hope.

When you hate war and terror.

When you are supposed to love but it's hard.

When you want to protect and you want to reach out. When you want to do both. (Can't we do both?)

When you know Jesus was right about trouble in the world.

When you hang on to His words, “I have overcome.”*

When you hang on to His best word: love.

*John 16:33 NIV 

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Friday, November 13, 2015

Some Thoughts on Hitting Walls

The last time we moved, we moved into condo living. And because our unit was built several decades ago, it does not have the open concept we twenty-first century HGTV junkies know so well. What was more important to us was the location and the number of rooms. 

So we must do some winding to get from one room to another. We leave the one combo room we have—the kitchen/family room—to enter the dining room, then make a sharp left into the living room, then a left or right into a hallway to reach all the other rooms. We have no straight shot; our path is a zigzag affair.

Sometimes we think the path of life is a wide, open, straight shot. We are born, we live, we die. “You have your whole life in front of you” we say to the very young. That's true, but won't there be corners to turn and walls to bump into? Don't we sometimes get stuck in rooms we intended, had hoped, to only pass through, or avoid altogether?

We live in a world that's a zigzag affair, and more than likely, we won't always know the way through. Not on our own.

Have you hit a wall?

Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life. 
(Ps. 143:8 NIV)

Thursday, November 05, 2015


I opened the curtains at my window and there they were: three pumpkins, different sizes, once carefully chosen to decorate my neighbors' patios. No longer firm, no longer inviting, no longer useful. Today city workers will take them, crush them, and throw them away. 

They have been discarded.

For some reason, I thought about times I have felt discarded, set aside. Sometimes in small ways, sometimes in more significant ways.

That’s not what we want.

We no longer need you.

Who do you think you are? 

Oh, those exact words might not come out of anyone’s mouth; most people I know are good at softening the blow, letting someone down as gently as possible, speaking the truth in love when the truth needs to be said. And that's not a bad thing, but a kind thing. Yet when I feel discarded or rejected, I tend to hear what I feel, don’t you? 

Discarded. Rejected. No longer useful.

 And perhaps, Unknown.  

In Psalm 139, David says:

You have searched me, Lord,
    and you know me.
 You know when I sit and when I rise;
    you perceive my thoughts from afar.
 You discern my going out and my lying down;
    you are familiar with all my ways.
 Before a word is on my tongue
    you, Lord, know it completely.
 You hem me in behind and before,
    and you lay your hand upon me. (NIV) 

That is not a picture of a God who turns His back on us, who discards us because we are no longer useful to Him. To Him, we are worthy of being known, noticed, valued and protected and a part of His plans. We have no expiration date. We are not set outside for trash pick-up. We are invited to stay, to belong. We are kept in the game.

And so, when I feel discarded, disregarded, less-than by the world’s standards, I must remind myself to go to the One who does not discard, to not hide, licking my perceived wounds.

You know me, Lord.

Thank You for that.
Thank You for Your hand on me.

Thank You for letting me belong.
Thank You that I am useful to You.
Thank You for lifting me up . . .

Thank You that I am no discarded pumpkin.

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