What Isn’t?

What Isn’t

Stop focusing so much on the bad, talking about what isn’t, what one didn’t do, what you don’t have, and on and on; but rather the good of what IS, the acknowledgement of the good one DID do, the gratefulness of what you DO have, and on and on.

We’re becoming a culture that has legitimized selfishness, self-centerdness and egoistic entitlement. We fool ourselves, talking about ourselves all day long on social media and complaining about the negative all day long. It’s like a slow drip to the desensitization of the absurdity of it all. The youth, especially, have a shorter bowl to fill with these drips, and it’s becoming more and more apparent each and every day – watch them – listen to them.

For us all, keep an eye on how you interact day to day with people outside of Social-Media-Land; have you been infected? Keep an eye on how criticism comes to mind so easily from day to day when away from that beloved News-Media-Empire you sit and watch or read every morning and night.

Do we find ourselves sitting in a room of friends, thinking about ourselves, wanting to talk about ourselves more than we care what they have to say? What about while we’re at home?
Do we feel the right to have our opinions made, loud? Do we demand those opinions be accepted?
I’m sure you can think of other examples… and rest assured, at this very moment, you quite possible just thought about negative examples of someone else.  If so, go back to the beginning, and read again.

So many things in life now infect us, negatively, and we’ve ended up riding that wave, which started out as that slow no-big-deal drip, and now so many of us wake up each day with that one question, that one mind-set… “What isn’t?”

How Far Will You Go

 

“Good bye mom, I love you!” seventeen year old Cassie told her mother as she walked out the front door and hurried off to school.  It was a day like any other, running late, homework to finish before afternoon classes, and normal teenage life in the high school to deal with.

While at school that morning, she handed her friend, Amanda, a note.

“It’s so frustrating to be patient and wait for God’s perfect timing.  It’s so hard to remember that his timing is not our timing.  That he knows best. I need to learn to trust, be faithful and trusting…and choose his will… P.S. Honestly, I want to live completely for God.  It’s hard and scary, but totally worth it.”

Little did either one of them know that would be Cassie’s last day here on earth.

 

On April 20th, 1999, Cassie and others heard the gun shots down the hall and hid underneath a lunchroom table as the two boys entered and began shooting.  One of the boys walked up to the table Cassie was hiding underneath, slapped the tabletop twice with his hand, and bent over to see her. Continue reading

You Are Not Alone

Sometimes life gets us good.  Sometimes we get dealt a card that we wouldn’t ever have chosen to get dealt in a million years.  Sometimes God brings us through situations and experiences in life, and we look back now, with it behind us, and wonder how on earth we got through it.  Sometimes we look back, and wonder why we ever had to go through it to begin with.

Those bad experiences are, in effect, allowed by God.  Maybe not caused by God in general, but at minimum, allowed.  Sometimes, and perhaps more often than that, we never get to know why.  But let me offer up one perspective that we can have after we’ve come through those hard times…

Simply put, we can Continue reading

It is well with my soul

Horatio Spafford, a prominent Chicago lawyer in the later 1800’s, decided one year to take his family to England for vacation.  As it were, due to business as a lawyer, he was delayed when they were set to sail from the U.S. to England, so Horatio decided to send his wife, Anna, and their four daughters, ages 11, 9, 5 and 2, ahead.

On their journey over the Atlantic, their steamship was struck by an iron sailing vessel, causing massive damage to the ship and it sank.  Two hundred twenty-six people lost their lives that fateful day, including all four of Horatio and Anna’s children.  Anna survived, and upon reaching England, sent a telegram to Horatio, beginning with the words, “Saved alone.”[1]

Horatio then set sail to England.  As he was crossing the Atlantic near the area where the ship sank and his children died, Horatio penned these words[2]: Continue reading

What’s Done is Done; A New Year Ahead

“What’s done is done.  There is no need to speak to Edmund about his past.”[0]

In C.S. Lewis’ Narnia film, one character, ‘Edmund, has recently betrayed his family and followed after the evil witch. Even though he has been disobedient, King Aslan sends his forces to rescue Edmund from the clutches of the evil witch. Immediately after Edmund has been rescued, we see Aslan talking with Edmund on the hill just before they return to the group.  As their private conversation ends, Aslan and Edmund walk back down to camp where Aslan says to Edmunds siblings, ‘What’s done is done.  There is no need to speak to Edmund about his past.’[1]

When I saw this movie recently, that line seemed to stick out for me.  I was reminded of how easily we, as humans, can fall in to Satan’s trap of self-denial, self-condemnation, self-destruction, thinking about the sins we’ve committed in our lives, the shameful things we’ve done in our past, the times we slip up and sin again and again.  We even get caught in the disgruntlement of life, the stress of life (ranging from work, family, children, money and friends to car crashes, stubbed toes, broken glasses and on and on).   We can be really hard on ourselves… and others.  It can demobilize us to move forward in life, because we’re so scared of what we have done in the past and that we’ll be found out, or we can’t heal and move on, or become chronic healers, or because we’re so focused on the stresses right in front of us and we lose sight of the bigger picture. Continue reading