Posts Tagged: life


27
Aug 13

The Truth About Lying

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I am not totally sure why I am digging into this topic today.  Nothing has happened in my own life that added the flake that started the avalanche of thought.

But I feel pressed about this topic, so I write.  I am a firm believer that God on occasion (probably a lot more than we think) will reach down and prod someone to do something for the purpose of helping someone else.

So I believe that I am writing this for someone.  I don’t know who it is, but someone out there in cyberspace needs to hear about and think about lying.  I have a feeling this topic will require more than one blog entry to do it

Here goes.  I want to tell you the truth about lying.

First of all, it’s important to know that I am not going to get into the weeds of what constitutes fibs and white lies.  Yes, telling children there’s a Santa and a Tooth Fairy is a lie.  We have our adult versions of white lies too; such as telling someone you’re busy so you won’t have to go to lunch with them.

Spending time to dissect this surface layer of lying will only clutter the landscape and keep us from the deeper truth about lies.

Let’s be real for a moment.  You know when you lie.  You know the kind of lie I’m talking about.  The lie you tell (or the truth you don’t tell) that crosses the line where trust is violated and destruction begins.

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I’m an algebra liar. I figure two good lies make a positive.

- Tim Allen

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There is an insidiousness about lying that corrupts us on levels we cannot gauge and distorts the reality around us.

A lie can be a blatant mistruth or the withholding a truth.  Some people lie just as boldly by leaving out information or a truth as one who conjures up misinformation.

As I said, lies are insidious.

There are some people where lying has become an art form.  They actually take pride in their art to manipulate and distort and then brag about their exploits.

They laugh at the gullibility of the trusting and afterward arrogantly preen their egos by reflecting on their skill to manipulate.

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The trust of the innocent is the liar’s most useful tool.

- Stephen King

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But what the liar does not grasp is the fact that their mind becomes darkened by the lies they tell and they are unaware of the trap they have created for themselves.

They are consumed in a lie they do not see.  Lost in a life that has no reality.

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The liar’s punishment is not in the least that he is not believed, but that he cannot believe anyone else.

- George Bernard Shaw

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We’ll continue digging in to the issue of truth and lies next time.

See you later.

Ciao.


7
Apr 13

Knocked down but not out

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Yep… me again.

This may sound like a weird question, but have you ever had the breath knocked out of you?

I have and it’s horrible.  If you have had such an experience you know what I mean when I say that everything stops.

You just collapse and lie helplessly trying to sneak in any morsel air into your lungs.  The twenty seconds of incapacitation seems an eternity when breath is absent and you have no ability to capture any air.

There’s a weird dynamic that takes place.  You lie there helpless yet on another level you know you’re not going to die.

After a bit you are able to gasp in a shallow breath, wait a few more seconds and take a little deeper breath.

When you’re able to breathe normally the first thing you do is to take in the deepest breath possible.  It is then that you realize what a gift and blessing a slow deep breath really is.

It’s only when you lose something that you realize its value.

What do you do when life knocks the breath out of you?

I don’t want to be an alarmist, but at some point you will get sucker punched in the stomach by life and the world as you know it will stop.  It could be a death of a loved one, broken dream, lost job, a relationship ended, or the realization of personal shortcomings that surfaced.

You will lie there trying to gasp for any breath.

Some of you reading this today are wondering why I am being so negative… you want something uplifting… some emotional happy juice.

Believe it or not, I am going to be uplifting.

Someone reading this today is emotionally lying lifeless on the ground and you can’t catch your breath.

This blog entry is especially for you.  You see, at just the right time God gives you a quick breath as you gasp for emotional air.

The reality starts to emerge that when life deals us a blow and empties us, good things are not far behind.

The important thing is that we have to believe it and receive it.

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Hard times always lead to something great.

- Betsey Johnson

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I am no different from anyone else.   I hate being punched.  But I have also found that it is only through loss that one finds the true value of life things.

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I think most art comes out of poverty and hard times.

- Willie Nelson

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Yes, you may be lying there today struggling for breath.

Relax… trust the reality that in a short while you will be able to take a long deep breath and experience life to the fuller.

Ciao.


30
Mar 13

More than eggs and bunnies

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Hi… welcome.

As you can see it’s Easter weekend with all the eggs, flowers and… bunnies?  Humm, I think the bunny looks a bit suspicious.

The day I am writing this blog entry is Good Friday.  It’s a special weekend.

This weekend is more than eggs and bunnies.

Those who are regular readers know that I stay away from God stuff.   Well, at least talking directly about God stuff.

Most everything I write has an element of Spiritual truth but I avoid being “in your face” or churchy.

I ask that you stick with me today even though I plan on talking about some God stuff.

But talking about God does not mean I will be preachy.  I never will.

Do I believe that God is more than an invisible force in the universe?  Of course.

Do I think a relationship with God is important?  Absolutely.

And since I have encountered a God in a personal way, do I want people to know Him too?  Yes.

But in all honesty it is not my responsibility to get you to believe the way I believe.  I can’t.  If I share something that helps a person in their God search, super.   But I still can’t make a person believe the way I do.

It has always been my belief that if a person is open, God would reveal himself in his own way in his own time.

I ran across a video that describes the last sentence perfectly.

YouTube Preview Image

Pretty cool huh?

I’m sure some people watching the video were okay until Jesus was mentioned.  For whatever reason most individuals don’t seem to mind “God” talk, but throw Jesus into the discussion and people seem to get weirded out and start to bristle.

I think broad God talk is safe.  People feel like they have enough room to maneuver with their own personal beliefs.

But when Jesus is brought into the mix it forces a narrower discussion.

Like most things in life, the things that are the best, most valuable, and potent are the things that require some effort and investment.

Most people like a God relationship but enjoy it more from a comfortable distance.

The reality is, a God who desires intimacy with His creation does not want distance.

Think about it.  Does a parent want a distant relationship with their child?  Absolutely not!

Regardless of where you are in your faith… this weekend is the time to step beyond where you are and explore two simple words.

Consider Jesus.

Yep, just open up and consider the reality and implications of an encounter with Christ.

Even though I talked about “Jesus stuff” today, I hope you will come back to visit.

See you next week.


22
Mar 13

It’s a MAN Thing

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Welcome back.

I’m not sure what’s going on with me today but I have this urge to talk about men stuff.  What that means exactly I don’t know, but somehow this blog will be about men stuff.

Maybe this outburst is because my “T” levels are elevated today.

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Side Note: For you ladies out there, “ T ” is man jargon for testosterone.

Well… that’s what the commercial I heard said while driving in this morning.

Women like their high tea and men need their “ T ” high.

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I’m sure that when my wife reads this blog later today she will suddenly pause, lean toward the screen, scrunch her nose and squint her eyes, and in her head (maybe out loud) she’ll scream, “what in the world is he doing?!”

My response is, “I don’t know.  It just happened.  Blame it on high “T”.  Don’t worry I won’t embarrass you.”

But who knows for sure about embarrassing her because the blog isn’t finished yet.

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There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.
- Will Rogers
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Men for the most part are pretty simple.  It doesn’t mean we’re dumb, it just means that we don’t have as many moving parts.

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I don’t know about you, but I find that women can be pretty complex.  Now don’t take my word for it… just ask a women.

This is not a put down on women; it’s just recognition of how we’re made.  The simplicity of men and the complexity of women are part of the divine creation.

A couple of years ago I shared the two-minute version of this video. I ran across the expanded version of The Difference Between Men & Women.  It is both very insightful and very funny.

It is definitely worth viewing.

I was right huh?  Insightful and funny.

Yes, I really like my cozy little “nothing box”.  If you have no idea what the last sentence means you need to go back and see the video… seriously, you’ll be glad you did.

Although we men are pretty simple it doesn’t mean we’re easy to get along with.  We have our issues like women have theirs.

As all of you know, men can be a bit stubborn at times.  Not only can we be stubborn… we don’t need to stop for directions.

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Stubborn isn’t a word I would use to describe myself; pigheaded is more appropriate.

- Michael Bloomberg

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My “T” level must be waning because I have this sudden urge to stop for a cup of tea and watch Oprah.

Humm… nah… I’m going to watch the NCAA basketball tournament.

See you Monday.


4
Mar 13

The Joy of Dirt

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Welcome, it’s good to have you visit.

In the last blog entry I tried to tackle the topic of creativity.  I’m obviously not an expert on the topic but, as you know, that has never stopped me before from having an opinion to share.

I mentioned that the creative genius, which we all possess, is one of the divine DNA markers of our creator.  Yep, we all bare the fingerprints of the one who created us.

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Creativity makes a leap, then looks to see where it is.

- Mason Cooley

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One of the things that stirred me about what I wrote earlier is the joy and happiness one experiences when they create something.

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Side Note: I’m not sure what it says about a person who is stirred by their own writing.

It probably says that I’m weird and I need to get some counseling.  It’s nothing a few meds can’t cure.

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But it’s true… there is amazing joy in the feeling one has after creating something or coming up with a creative solution to a problem.

I remember as a kid building a little town in the dirt for my toy cars and army men.  I would spend hours building roads, clearing a path for a river and constructing cardboard houses.

The interesting thing is that once I completed the town the playtime was relatively short.  The joy was in the creating, not the using.

I am not the only one.  I’m sure you look back on those times as a child when you experienced the joy of playing and creating… just like this person.

We had this big dirt pile in our backyard when I was a kid.  We were back there every day with our Star Wars figures. I would construct these intricate waterways with rivers, dams, and lakes… would work on it dry for hours, and then the big moment would come when I would bury the hose in the side of the pile so that the water would spurt out from the head of the river as if emanating straight from the aquifer. I was filled with satisfaction as the raging headwaters coursed down the winding path I had built.”

Do you remember the freedom you felt during those times of play and creativity?  It was the freedom to explore.

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Creativity is the greatest expression of liberty.

- Bryant H. McGill

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Growing into adulthood somehow dulls our innocent expression of creativity we experience during play.

Our creative juices tend to shift from the innocence of play to the reality of work and life.  Life stuff has a way of robbing the innocence of creativity.

It is this type of freedom we yearn for as adults.

We are made to create… to be creative.

Since I have tapped into the topic of creativity I have at least one more blog on the topic.

See you next time.


25
Feb 13

Simply Divine

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Hi there, welcome back.

Those of you who have been reading my blog for a while know that I am a sucker for anything creative.

I love it when I am stopped in my tracks by something completely unexpected because someone had a stroke of creative genius.

As you will see I have sprinkled a few pictures that I think are wonderfully creative and a few quotes thrown in for good measure.

How good is that?  Good pictures and a few good quotes.

Yes, I agree, this is a strange picture but I would have never thought of it.

The amazing miracle of creativity is that stirs that invisible something deep within.

I personally believe that we are moved by the creative because it reflects our Creator.  Don’t worry I’m not going to get all religious on you.  But there is something to be said about the Divine DNA we all possess.

Yep… whether you believe it or not, we all carry the marks of our Creator.

Don’t get all weirded out because you’re concerned I’m going to get preachy or syrupy religious.  I never have and I never will.  It’s not my place to get you to believe in a loving God.  I couldn’t if I wanted to.

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I think creativity is spiritual. I absolutely believe that.

F. Murray Abraham

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I just share interesting truths that make us think, cause us to ask questions, and just open our minds to consider new notions about life.

Creativity – what an amazing gift!

This gift allows us to step beyond the confines of the existing to the freedom of what’s never been.

Pretty cool sculpture huh?

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Creativity has more to do with the elimination of the inessential than with inventing something new.

-Helmut Jahn

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Creativity has as much with what you remove as what you add.  It causes us to see beyond where we are or what is known.

When we step beyond the confines of our current thinking there comes an irrepressible freedom.  It is a feeling of freedom because we dared to believe or explore the possibilities beyond the known.

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Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties.

- Erich Fromm

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Think about how good you feel when you come up with a creative solution to a dogging problem or create something out of your imagination.

Yes… creativity is divine… beautifully divine.

See you Thursday.


19
Feb 13

A quiet life that lives loud

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Howdy.  Good to see you again.

I am pleased to announce that my fascination with South Africa and its societal and cultural challenges have waned.  So there will be no more blog entries about my recent trip below the equator.

You will be happy to know that I am back to my normal self (whatever that is).  Well, maybe I took a leap in logic to assume you will be happy to have me back to normal.

In reality my normalcy could be troubling to you.  Just so you know, people whispering and giggling under their breath has never deterred me in the past.

I will keep on pecking away at my blog in hopes that I will somehow and someway say something meaningful, funny, thought provoking or challenging to those of you who choose to hang out with me periodically.

Frankly, I am not sure which is more intriguing or troubling – myself (Jerry Rushing) actually writing a blog or that you (whomever you are) are actually reading it.

But enough of my ramblings about my quirky sense of normalcy… let’s talk about real people.

Those of you who are regular readers know that people fascinate me.  I absolutely love the variety of people in the world.

Although I think I am a pretty nice person and remarkably handsome and cool, I would hate for the world to be full of people like me.  And yes, you are correct in assuming that a bunch of Jerry Rushings running around would make the world a much better and pleasant place to be… but not nearly as interesting.

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Side Note: Yes, just in case some of you were wondering, the last couple of sentences are totally tongue in cheek.  Those of you who are regulars know that I never take myself that seriously.

My weirdness must be the withdrawal effects of South African water.

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For whatever reason I am really drawn to salt-of-the-earth type people.  These are people who are comfortable with who they are and have no pretense of trying to impress others.  They just  simply live their lives… simply.

I ran across a video of a fellow who simply loves his family and country and quietly lives a life that impacts others without any intention of doing so.

YouTube Preview Image

Humm… in a world celebrates image and are enamored by flowery words, it’s refreshing to see the power of a simple life well lived.

I am not discounting the importance of more visible talents, not at all.  It’s just that I want to celebrate the quieter invisible qualities that make life so rich and full.

Eric would probably never win a personality contest nor would he put himself in a situation that requires an electrifying persona.

But what he lacks in words his life makes up for in action.

Eric’s life forces me to ask myself some questions and I encourage you to ask yourself.

What strikes me about Eric’s story?

Is there anything I need to learn or embrace from his quiet strength?

These are questions worth asking.  I encourage you to poke at these insights over the next couple of days.

Ciao.


8
Feb 13

More than a SMILE

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If you read my last blog you know that I recently visited South Africa on a church mission trip and talked about the difference between the poor in Soweto and the American poor.

I was taken back by the amazing smiles on the people in the poorest of areas.  Beautiful wide-mouthed, teeth showing smiles.

I am in no way naïve to believe they were happy with their situation.  The surroundings are deplorable.

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Happiness doesn’t depend on any external conditions, it is governed by our mental attitude.
- Dale Carnegie
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But the smiles, not just the children, were infectious.  Their was an endearing quality about the people that made me want to engage and get involved.

The type of engagement I am talking about was not the kind of “do gooder” involvement where you try to lift someone from the depths of their plight because you feel sorry for them.  NO!

I was saddened because of their living arrangements but their countenance did not demand sympathy.  Their smiles just made the desire for engagement easy.

It was as if they were a neighbor who could use a helping hand in assistance.

It has only been eighteen years since the fall of apartheid and full democracy in place.  One would think that a couple of busloads of white people winding their way through the narrow streets would be viewed with distain or considerable resistance or suspicion.

We felt no distain and little or no resistance or suspicion.  They smiled as we passed and freely waved as we responded in kind.

Somehow the American poor seem different.

I am sorry if this sounds judgmental, I don’t mean to be, but I don’t see the smiles or welcoming wave from the inner-city poor in the United States like I did in South Africa (SA).

So here’s my puzzlement.  Why?  Why such a difference?

The SA poor live in much worse conditions, have significantly less governmental support, with fewer opportunities.  To top it off health issues like HIV are rampant.

The majority of our mission trip was to clean up and repair an elementary school in a very poor area of Soweto.  The principle said that about 40% of the children were HIV positive.

Take a look at this video I took of the kindergarteners walking to their toilet break.

school children 3

Although the school appeared pretty nice is wasn’t… especially by U.S. standards.

I think there is something to be said for uniforms and order.  The teachers maintained a fairly high level of order while still allowing kids to be kids.

Once again, don’t misinterpret what I am saying.  Just because the people smile and engage more doesn’t mean that people are satisfied with their lot in life.

Crime in SA is rampant.  People are scrambling for survival.  The poor there do not have nearly the amount of basic governmental or NGO (non-government organization) support for food and shelter that we have here.

But for some reason they seem to stand taller, look you in the eye more, smile and engage more readily.

I do believe there is a difference between being happy vs. satisfied.

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Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be.
- Abraham Lincoln

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I would really like to know your theory or reason for the difference between the poor in US and SA.  It was fascinating to experience.

See you Monday.

Ciao.


7
Jan 13

Living in a shallow grave

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Hello… welcome back… Happy New Year.

A statement in my last blog entry has been haunting me.  I said that worry robs your life of life.

How sad, but unfortunately all too true.  There are millions of people living in this world who are living with no life.

Something happened to me about five years ago.  I am not exactly sure what but I do know that it was a God thing.  I decided that I did not want to live my life in a shallow grave.

A person in a shallow grave is one who lives in and settles for less than what is available to them.  I believe more and more, and my heart rejoices more and more with the reality that there is so much God has given for us to experience and enjoy HERE and NOW not just in the hereafter.

Yes, as a Christian I knew I would go to heaven and all would be good.  But little did I know that God desires for us to experience life to the full – NOW.

I am not talking about deeper Spiritual insights or tingly feelings.  Yes, those are available and I like those things too, but I’m talking about something different.

I wish I could bring to memory the event or moment that sparked the notion that life had more to offer than what I was settling for.

Here’s the amazing God thing.  I already had a very good life.  It was neither boring nor unfulfilling.  But something sparked an inner ember.

Something struck an invisible soundless note that resonated in my spirit.

All I knew was that God was calling me to a higher place.  It had nothing to do with money, job nor possession.  There was a stirring to things outside my comfortable snug world.

I am sure some you are reading this and are bored out of your mind thinking this guy is weird.

But there is someone reading this that is feeling a stir.  Something inside is rising up and taking notice.

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We long for more but dare not believe that more is possible

- Penelope Stokes

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You don’t know what, but there is something inside that knows or wants to believe that God has more for you… and He does!

That is why I started this blog journey three years ago.

Something or someone was calling me to more.

As I said earlier, I had a wonderful life up to five years ago.  Since that time it has been amazing.  It doesn’t mean simple… but simply amazing.

I have taken risks, started things (like this blog) that I would have never attempted.

All because I listened to a zephyr call to something more.

No, life is not perfect.  Yes, I still have my challenges and setbacks.

But I can honestly say that I no longer live in a shallow grave where my life has no life.  And the amazing thing is that what I have experienced is only the beginning.

This is my invitation to all of you weird people out there that feel a stir at what I am saying.  The voice you hear is not mine.

I am only the instrument that invites you to more.

I hope you join me as I continue the journey.

If you are really serious I encourage you to read the first couple of months of blogs from 2010.  All you need to do is go to the archives on the right side of the page and check them out.

Ciao.

See you Thursday.


20
Dec 12

Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth

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The title is a weird saying huh?  And the picture is ugly too.

I love these old axioms, but it seems their popularity has waned over the past few years.

Unfortunately they seem to have been snatched out of existence like a chicken leg on a Golden Corral buffet.  Gone… one minute it’s there and the next minute… whoosh… never to be seen again.

The wonderful thing about these old axioms is that although the verbiage is a bit dated the core truth remains sound.  That’s the beautiful thing about Truth… it never changes.  Regardless of the wording, the truth is still the truth.

And this is the time of year that elevates the magnificence of Truth even more.

Fair warning – GOD ALERT!!!!

Now for all of my non-Christian friends you don’t have to worry.  You know by now that I don’t get all preachy on you and expect you to believe what I believe.

Hopefully it will make you think but regardless of where you land spiritually you can still get a lot out of my meanderings.

The entire Christmas thing is that God came to dwell among us human types.  Some of you may be wondering what’s the big deal.

Believe it or not, it is a big deal… a very BIG DEAL.

God decided to go slumming with his peeps.  Let me be clear, gods do NOT do that sort of thing.

Christianity is the only religion on earth where the god being served comes down on our level to have relationship with man.  In all other religions man has to work their way up to become like the god being served.

If a person does enough good things and goes through certain rituals they eventually progress into some sort of deity.

The weirdest thing is that the nation of Israel had been expecting the Messiah to come for generations.

But here’s the other key to the story… He came… but not the way they expected.

If there is a pattern with God is that He doesn’t come in ways we anticipate.  That’s why so many of us miss His moving around us because He doesn’t come in a way we expect the God of the Universe to come.

If He came in a way we expected then He would not be God… because He would be within our grasp.  God is not within our grasp of intellect.

Any Spiritual insight always requires a step of faith.  A step beyond where we are and believe that God is at work.

If we are willing to crack that door our life will never be the same.

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You may be wondering why the weird axiom about the gift horse as the title of this blog.  God offers a free gift… yet we have difficulty just accepting it.

We want to examine, test, or evaluate the worthiness of the gift.

This time of the year is the time of gift giving.

But a gift is never possessed if we don’t receive.

Ciao.