Wednesday, August 31, 2011


There were two significant deaths in my life recently.

First, one of my former students was murdered a couple weeks ago. She was 21 years old, and inside of her, a child or 7 months. I have never known anyone who was murdered.

Then, last week, we received word that the African orphan boy who my parents had been financially and prayerfully supporting died after a 13 year battle with HIV AIDS. I had the opportunity to meet him in person twice over the past few years, so it was quite personal.  Here is a video about Fiacre.

In both cases, lives were cut significantly short by circumstances beyond their control. It’s impossible to experience such tragedies without the conjuring of overwhelming emotions and a wide range of thoughts.

Life is short. That’s what I keep coming back to. It’s easy for me to assume that my life will last 75.6 years, the current U.S. male life expectancy. But it’s also very possible that it could be cut short. We just don’t know. This fact should impact the way I live my life.

The other thing I keep coming back to, is that earth, and this slightly overweight body, are a temporary home. Each of these precious lives is now experiencing life fuller than I can even imagine in an eternal home. My eternal home.

"In Christ, there are no goodbyes". So I'll see these friends again...when I finally go home.

As a matter of chat…

Do you think you're invincible? That your life can't end tomorrow? Are you living like it? Or are you living each day with purpose? What's after this life for you? How sure are you?

Saturday, August 6, 2011


My dog and I headed out to the woods for a long walk on an old railway trail this afternoon. It was really muggy and hot, so on my way back to the car I switched up my music, hoping for some audio motivation. I must have made a good choice. (And no, it wasn't Celine Dion). I suddenly found myself walking taller, walking faster, and feeling motivated to keep going.

I started thinking about what motivates me in life, in my spiritual journey, in my work...when things seem difficult. There are several things that motivate me:

- Focusing on things of which I am sure: keeping a record of God's clear whispers in the past few weeks/months.
- Picturing a preferred future - thinking about what "could be" and imagining the process of getting there. (Visioneering)
- Relationships – those few close friends who get the phone calls when I'm down or need a little extra encouragement.

As a matter of chat...

What keeps you going when times get tough? Do you tend to turn to unhealthy habits or negative activities to make you "feel better"? Or do you have healthy outlets to refocus you and keep you heading in the right direction? Do the people that encourage you aware of how important they are to you?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Creator vs. Created

What do you worship? If someone were evaluating your life, what would they say is the object of your worship?

I'm afraid that people evaluating my life would say that I worship people. I love people. I prefer noise and company over quiet and alone-ness. I spend hours trying to "relate" to people, develop people, train people, disciple people. Sounds noble. But I need to be careful that these intentions have their proper place - that people, as important as they are, don't become the object of my worship.

I was reading in Romans the other day. Paul uses a phrase that caught my attention:

"They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator"(1:25).

I don't think Paul is saying that created things are insignificant. In fact, Scripture is pretty clear that mankind is a prized creation – but a creation, none-the-less. However, our affections and admiration for the creatED ought to pale in comparison to those for the CreatOR.

As a matter of chat...

How do you know when you are worshiping someone/something? What/who would people say you worship? Are your priorities in line? Where is the line of "loving and serving people" and "worshiping" people? How can you increase your worship of the Creator today?