Posts Tagged: stirring


9
Jun 11

More Than Meets the Eye

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Yes, I know.  The picture above is disturbing, even repulsive.

I am sure many of you found it offensive and harsh, as did I at first glance.

If something is initially abrasive or offensive our natural instinct is to make a quick judgment and immediately separate oneself from the person or thing that offends.

Side Note: Maybe your separation from the irritant is to stop reading today’s blog because it makes you uncomfortable.

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Let’s face it, none of us likes our world to be disturbed.  We work hard to make our lives to be as pleasant as possible and to run smoothly.  This is a human innate default and there is absolutely nothing wrong with this.

But the reality is, regardless of how much we desire a life smooth and pleasant; abrasiveness, harshness, and discomfort have an important role in making our lives complete.

In fact, it is the abrasive things that smooth and polish our lives.

Chicago author and humorist Finley Peter Dunne (July 10, 1867 — April 24, 1936) felt compelled to write the following statement.

“Comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.”

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John Kenneth Galbraith in the “London Guardian”, July 8, 1989 put it another way.

“In all life one should comfort the afflicted, but verily, also, one should afflict the comfortable, and especially when they are comfortably, contentedly, even happily wrong.”

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Humm… does this mean that we are to intentionally bring affliction and discomfort on people who are comfortable in their ways, maybe, maybe not.

It is easy to see the rationale for afflicting comfortable people who’s ways are in error.

But what about afflicting those people who are comfortable and are not in error?  I believe there is a case to be made for afflicting these people under the right circumstances.  There are times when those you love and care about are trapped in a soft prison of comfort keeping them from a fuller, richer life.

If there is an appropriate occasion to be the purveyor of affliction, it should be neither casual nor self-serving.

Now, just so you know, I didn’t place the picture on this page for the purpose of causing you affliction or discomfort.  That was not my intent or calling for the day.

I posted it because upon a second deeper look I found this picture to be particularly striking, personally provocative… and somehow strangely compelling.

This simple picture has a lot to say… lots.

The phrase on the arm is an actual tattoo, not a quote made with a marker for the purposes of making an artistic statement.

The statement brash, vulgar, yet oddly insightful.

A tattoopainful, permanent, virtually irreversible.

On the upper underarm a tender place, yet hidden, odd.

Yes this picture has a lot to say.

To your chagrin I’m sure, I feel the need to unpack all of this a bit more on Monday.

Hopefully you will join me even though it may be a bit uncomfortable.

Humm… this discomfort may help polish you up a bit.

Ciao.


2
Jun 11

The Parades Over – What Next?

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Welcome back, good to see you again.

In the last blog entry I shared Part One of our Memorial Day experience with some guests from Austria and the UK.

My wife and I wanted to have our visitors experience a typical Memorial Day in America – parade, Memorial Ceremony and a cook-out with hamburgers and hot dogs.

I wrote on Tuesday about our wonderful community parade.  Albeit simple, short and humble, it’s still wonderful.

I mentioned that as tradition has it, all the parade spectators dutifully fold in behind the procession and follow it to the village green for the Memorial Day Ceremony.

Up to this point our guests were totally enamored by the experience.  The parade, flags, the people and the energy was a spectacle of Americana and patriotism at its best.

They seemed particularly impressed by the number of people who came out for the event.  They shared that parades are rare in the UK and most surprising to me was that they indicated that the people in the villages seldom (or, if at all) come together as a community group.

I knew they were enjoying the parade but I wondered how will our foreign visitors would view the Memorial Day Ceremony memorializing those in the military who lost their lives serving their country; particularly those who lost their life in war.

The Memorial Day Ceremony

It was a Norman Rockwell setting.

The parade had spilled all of its followers on to the village green and our little community band was assembled on the Bandstand.  Then the ceremony began.

The Ceremony:

  • Greeting to get everyone’s attention – which was a chore
  • Prayer
  • Raising of the flag in the center of the green with bugle playing To the Colors
  • Singing of our National Anthem
  • Reading of the winning essay on Memorial Day by the Junior High student
  • Mayor saying a few words and reading the Gettysburg Address (I had to explain to our friends the significance of the speech and that it was from Abraham Lincoln)
  • Laying of a wreath at the flag pole
  • Playing of Taps while the flag was lowered to half mast
  • Singing of God Bless America was the finale

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It was the perfect tribute.  The ceremony did not glorify war or promote a military machine, but celebrated those who served their country and sacrificed their life.

Walking back to the house after the ceremony our guests expressed genuine appreciation and respect for the ceremony and the holiday in general.

Then I instinctively said something that I had never thought of before but fully believe.  I shared that the two holidays that are the best descriptors of the American spirit and psyche were Thanksgiving and Memorial Day.

I should have stopped at this brilliant articulation of who we are as a country.  I should have remembered that when one gets full of themselves, then “stupid” is lurking close by.

My brilliant monologue continued by stating that these two holidays mentioned are better descriptors of who we are than even the 4th of July when we celebrate our independence from… huh… (awkward moment).  They laughed.

Our UK friends were impressed by the patriotism and indicated that it was not very prevalent where they are from.  One of them was remarkably transparent (for a Brit) and somber when he hypothesized that he thought their country was ashamed of its Imperial past.

I felt somewhat bad for him so I gently took him to task.  I shared my genuine respect and fondness for the UK and told him that “yes” there were significant negatives to their former Imperialism, but substantial good came from that period also.

I continued by saying that someone could point to some negative aspects of the US military presence in the world but the good must be celebrated.

No country is perfect.  But I was even more proud to be an American after spending Memorial Day with friends from across the pond.

See you Monday.


2
May 11

Are You Trying to Get My Attention?

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Hello again.

Do you ever get the sense that someone or something is trying to get your attention or send you a message?

If not, it’s probably because you’re not listening.  Sorry to be so blunt but it’s true.

First, I believe that in the area of growing as a person, we never arrive.  There is always more for us to enjoy, experience and to accomplish.

That’s the beauty and miracle of life.

God Alert: Yep, this is one of those times when I will talk about my faith.  And once again, I don’t expect you to believe as I do.

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I tend to believe that God, because he loves his creation, continually offers us more.  We can never reach the end of what He has for us.

We can settle for somewhere along the journey… but be assured… there’s more.

Because there is more He is continually stirring us to step out and pulling us forward.  Occasionally God may even kick us in the butt to get our attention.

Side Note: Yes, I actually used the word butt and God in the same sentence.

No, I don’t think He is upset.

Some of you may be wondering why I made this a “Side Note”.  Believe me, there are some people I know who would be pretty disturbed that I said what I said.  But, I digress.

I believe that at key points in our journey there is a special attempt to get our attention.  God speaks to us by coincidence, friends and family, situations, and prayer.

So, the question is, are we listening?

I personally have been sensing and hearing a lot lately about making decisions.  I don’t sense  there is anything currently that I need to make a decision about.  But it could be that I may be faced with a growth opportunity soon that requires a decision.

I ran across a couple of quotes that I thought were pretty good and I want to share them with you.

“The highways are full of flat squirrels who couldn’t make up their mind.”

- Unknown

“When you cannot make up your mind between two evenly balanced courses of action, choose the bolder.”

- W.J. Slim

I particularly like the second quote.  It challenges me.

I don’t know what you are faced with.  But I do know that there is more to enjoy and experience.

Take the bold course… enjoy the thrill.

See you Thursday.


21
Mar 11

Pack or Unpack?

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In the last blog entry I tried to unpack why I was stirred by the phrase “to move forward you must surrender something”.

Today I feel the need to poke around on the topic a bit more.  I am not too sure why I feel I want to continue the topic.  Maybe there are some more insights to capture or it could be just an intellectual dance of morbid curiosity.

I do believe part of the stirring of the phrase is directly tied to the beginning of my blog journey well over a year ago.  To move forward in my life I had to be willing to surrender something.

Side Note: If you are interested in how all this got started, my first couple of blog entries in January of 2010 will give you a pretty good flavor for the journey and the angst I experienced.

On the right side of the page are the blog archives.  Just click on January 2010.

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To move forward there is always the sacrifice of the present.  In the last blog I referred to the Law of Displacement.  The fact that if we want to add more then something must go… good or bad.

Sometimes it may mean giving up good things to experience something better.

Giving up something good is tough. The nagging question is, if I possess something good now, how do I know for sure that what I am shooting for is going to be better?

The answer: You don’t know for sure.  That’s the adventure of life.

Now let’s be real world here for a second.  I am not talking about someone who willy nilly discards good things on an “all in” bet of life.  We are not talking about the fickle adolescent whims of likes and dislikes of things in our life.

So the question beckons, why would we give up a good thing?  We do it because something or someone is calling us to more.  That’s the adventure.

Deep calls to Deep.  I am talking about deep divine stirs that cause us to lift our eyes above the present to realities beyond our line of sight.

If we are open there are times in our lives we sense a compelling call to beyond.  We don’t fully understand it, but it’s there and it’s real.

We can choose to disregard the call and continue a “good” life and possess the good things.  No one would blame us and we have every logical reason not to step out.  The only thing that will nag is the haunting question of… “What if?”

Or we step out and experience the thrill of a heeded call.

It is the kind of step that sucks the breath out of you in a mix of both fear and anticipation.  For me it was mostly fear.

We have been talking about giving up good things.  As strange as it may seem, I don’t think the sacrifice of good things are the most difficult.

This will sound weird but I tend to believe giving up bad things is the greatest challenge and requires the greater courage.

I will talk about that on Thursday.  See you then.


17
Mar 11

Spilled Milk

Good to see you again.

In the last blog entry I ended with a phrase and a quote.

“Now here’s an interesting realization.  Every step toward something requires that you leave something.”

“We never take a step forward without surrendering something…”
- Virginia Hanson

The words struck me then and have continued to gnaw at me.  Something in the deep struggling to take form as it works its way to the surface.

This is one of those deep churns that one dares not ignore.  I cannot, I must not force it.  I only nurture and support the process.

So what is this all about?  What is the learning that is trying to find fulfillment in my life?

I don’t know for sure but here are some of the thoughts that the two lines above from the last blog dislodged.

Side Note:  I hope my ramblings don’t get too heady, abstract or obtuse.  I will try to keep it “sound bite” simple, not for you but for me.  It helps minimize distracting clutter.

The random thoughts poking through are just that.  They are incomplete… not tied together… and one can easily poke holes in the logic.

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Random Insights:

-  Constant movement. 

We are constantly moving, evolving.  Our lives are never static.  At first I was going to qualify the movement only toward positive or good things but so far the logic holds true for movement toward negative things also.

-  Fixed limit or amount. 

This a bit complicated and tricky but stick with me.  It is sort of like a glass full to the brim with milk.  You spill the milk and it will spreads out in all sorts of strange configurations and depths, but the amount is the same regardless of the form.

In essence, we as individuals cannot increase our size.  We can take on new things but it requires us to release something… new displaces old.   Displacement is the key element.

A perfect example is the blog I decided to start.  Writing two entries a week for over a year means that something had to be displaced.  This morning it is sleep. 

It is important to note that we are not talking about a fixed amount of time.  That is only a snippet.  The issue of fixed amount is broader and deeper than just twenty four hours in a day. 

- Making a choice is the only choice.

We are constantly making choices and we have no option.  There is an old phrase that says; not making a choice is in fact making a choice.

But we cannot choose everything.  We have to remember the principle of displacement. 

            “You can do anything you want but not everything you want.”

            – Roger Merrill

 

There is an old running joke in the construction industry, but the principle holds true to virtually any product or project.

The three primary things a client wants in a construction project is…

-          High Quality

-          Lowest Cost

-          Done Quickly

The common response is – We can do all three but you can only PICK TWO.

For me the scenario today is:

-          I want my sleep

-          I want to write the blog

-          I have an all day meeting that I have to attend

PICK TWO

I am not sure where this churning is taking me but I have a feeling I’m in for a ride. 

See you Monday


3
Mar 11

No Picasso

Hi there.  Good to see you again.

A few weeks ago I mentioned that I was going to take the leap and start painting. 

Me… PAINT?!!!  Yep, hard to believe, me painting. 

Painting, like writing, was a big step.  But when you make such a public announcement like this you better be prepared to follow thru.  This is especially true when the entire family bought me painting supplies as gifts for Christmas, and a friend gave me a very cool easel.

Now before I jump into the perils of painting, let me ask you a couple of questions.

  • Are you willing to start or do things out of your comfort zone?
  • If you do start things, are you pretty good at following thru or do these things die a slow death?  Seriously, do you have a history of unfinished projects or hobbies that lie around becoming tombstones that mark failure?
  • When is the last time you took a big leap to try something new?
  • What one thing has been wiggling around inside that has caught your attention that you may like to try? 

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 Now these questions aren’t meant to judge, make you feel bad, or present an opportunity to pat yourself on the back.  They are meant to stir and challenge.

Personally, I have absolutely no room to judge.  Up until a couple of years ago my track record was pretty abysmal. 

First, I wasn’t very willing to try anything out of my comfort zone because I didn’t want to look bad.  And to add insult to injury the odds of finishing things were pretty low.  Embarrassing, but true. 

The weird thing about having a history of not completing things or doing things well has the insidious effect of making you reticent to try anything new because the outcome was already determined.  

The last few years have been different.  I can’t fully explain it but the first couple of blog entries (January, 2010 on the right side of the page) talks about my exodus from the safe confines of my small world to a more risky and fulfilling life.

This is why I made a big deal of the one year anniversary of my blog.  This blog thing was an extremely big and risky step for me.  I felt exposed and completely vulnerable.  But I started, I have faithfully continued, and I have done the best I can. 

I am not saying that I believe what I write is that good or meaningful.  But I feel good about doing it and sticking with it.  If it happens to help or encourage someone else, all the better. 

Side Note:  Once again I feel the need to say, if no one reads this blog, it is something I am to do… for me and my journey.  Although writing it has been grueling at time, it has been worth it.

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OK, now for my next big step, painting.  I kind of feel the same way about painting as I do about writing, inadequate and vulnerable.  But it is something that stirred, I listened and I’m doing. 

Like writing I did not casually start.  I have taken my time, got things in place and then at the time I felt was right… with palette, paint and brushes in hand I took the leap. 

Let me say that it has not been a pretty sight.  I feel totally weird.  But I must say it has been fun.  It’s fun since I am trying not to put to high of expectations on myself. 

Side Note:  A supportive wife really helps.  I make a few dabs of paint on the canvas that are honestly pretty bad and my wife will find something nice to say.  

She will look at it and say something like, “That’s a nice color.”  She makes it safe to look stupid.

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Since taking the leap of painting I have learned something pretty significant.  I have learned that the picture I have in my head doesn’t necessarily come out on the canvas.

I thought all I would need to do is just open a tube of paint, dip my brush and Wa La… masterpiece. 

Oh, did I mention that what I lacked in talent I made up for in naivety.

Honestly I have gotten a bit discouraged.  I am finding that it is not nearly as easy as I thought.  Although it is discouraging I am not deterred, and that’s a very nice feeling.

The learning curve and discouragement are part of the process.  This is normal. 

So what about you?  What are you thinking about doing that you know you should try to do?  Or, what are you thinking about giving up on that you know you should press forward?

I will continue to paint, take some lessons, and have fun.

Just so you know, the picture at the top is NOT one of my paintings.  One of these days I will show one.

Thanks for hanging out with me.

See you Monday.


13
Jan 11

One Last Kick

Hola.

I had a burrito last night and I guess it effected me more than I thought.  I know, I know… weird.

Oh well, back to the topic at hand.  Just so you know, I am not going to keep hammering away at the issue of being stirred to step toward things beyond us.  What started out as a fairly simple and friendly New Year’s kick in the ass to motivate you probably feels like a full blown kick the crap out of you beating.  I hope not.

I do have just a few more points to cap off some of the thoughts that have been bouncing round from Monday’s blog.

As you can easily see, I am pretty passionate about living my life where it can be vs. where I am.  Please forgive my redundancy but I am not talking about feel good activities that are salve for the doldrums.

I am talking about God gifts just beyond our view and grasp, waiting and available if… IF… we are willing to be open, step out and risk.

Some may think this is a cruel game God plays, like a carrot placed just beyond the reach of a hungry mule as an impetus to provoke progress.  It could not be farther from the truth.  The stretch beyond is part of the gift.

Stepping beyond where we are is NEVER comfortable.  If it were easy it wouldn’t be worthy of the effort.

The exciting thing about this process is that I know I am growing and going in the right direction because of the amazing reality that I am becoming comfortable being uncomfortable.

Just so you know, I am not saying there is anything wrong with being comfortable.  We spend our lives trying to build a better life, have a better home and nicer things.  That’s okay.

But I also know that some of you need to become uncomfortable being comfortable.

There is a time to comfort the afflicted and a time to afflict the comfortable.

- Robert Graham

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But there is a dark side to comfort.  If not careful comfort becomes our focus.  We doggedly pursue comfort and success is measured in those terms.

The feathered nest of comfort over time causes our eyes to drop from beyond the horizon to focus on the petty prickly things that irritate and disrupt.

So YES, I do want to poke at you, to kick you in the ass and cause you to lift your eyes a little higher, beyond the clouds of the here and now and consider the possibility of more.

If you feel poked you may be wondering where to begin.  Well, believe it or not you’ve begun.  The very fact that you feel poked is God’s tap on the shoulder.

Some of you may be wondering how you know this is from God and not the ramblings of a nut case under the influence of a burrito.

Side Note: Let me say that God uses very strange things to get people’s attention.  If He can use a talking mule in the Bible it’s not beyond Him to use Burrito Boy.

I am remarkably humbled if God does decide to use my feeble writings to begin the process of moving you to more.

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Back to the question, how do you know it is from God?  I can get all theological and hyper-spiritual and unfortunately that’s what a lot of you would want.  Most want some tingly confirmation in your Spirit as you tilt your head waiting to hear the booming voice of God.

Uhhh… don’t hold your breath.

We really have a tendency to make “God things” much too complicated.  It is much simpler than that.  Just look at where something takes you.  Look at the trajectory.

Things of Divine origin take us up, beyond ourselves, out not in, and we are better for it.  Things not of Divine origin take us down, feeds our baser nature, spirals us inward and self serving, and we end up worse off.

In the first blog of 2011, I quoted an excerpt from my very first blog (January 4, 2010) so I want to end this New Years kick in the ass with another quote from the same entry.

January 4, 2010 (excerpt)

“I’m getting ready for a journey.  This is not your typical trip with suitcases, tourist brochures and cheesy sunglasses.  The journey is into the unknown, beyond the self I know and this blog is primarily the vehicle.

“The journey is beyond the safe confines of the walled garden of self.  The familiar, safe, cozy world I live in.  But my comfortable world has been disturbed.  Something (or someone) is calling from beyond the wall.  My head is tilted and my curiosity peaked.

“I’m not sure where I’m going.  I’m just going.  All I know is that I’m supposed to go on this walk.  Don’t ask me how I know… I just know.”

Maybe 2011 is your year of journey.  Hopefully, part of your process will be hanging out with me and we can encourage each other along the way.

See you Monday.


10
Jan 11

A Matter of Life or Death

Hi all, sorry for the delay in getting the blog out today.  Yes, I can rationalize that it’s still Monday, but I still don’t feel good about it being so late.

So, are you ready to step into my head today?  Scary thought huh?  Yep, I find it weird at times too… but it can be a bit entertaining on a good day.

For some reason I have had a really tough time with this blog entry today.  I had it half written before today and I continue to find myself in a complete mental log jam.

Those of you who have hung out with me know that I am not a writer.  Words do not flow easily and writing this blog is very difficult for me… in fact, it’s grueling today.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not complaining at all.  I mention it to make a point about the topic at hand.  This blog was the result of a deep stir.  It is a step on a journey… it is not the purpose or the destination.

But, when you are stirred on the deepest of levels and you believe you are to do something specific in regards to the stirring… then you know you must do it or lose out on something momentous.

Like many of you, I have started lots of things that caught my fancy and promptly stopped when I got bored or it required too much work.  These are generally the things in life that one takes on to fill voids or to tickle us when we are feeling down.

I know this stirring of mine is something special because I have not and will not casually toss it aside because things get difficult.

When we become aware and accept the fact that we live far below what God desires and provides for us, something occurs.  That awareness is like moisture to a dormant seed.  It becomes a catalyst that sparks life (remember, all life comes from God).

With the initial spark of life there is nothing of any shape or real substance, but only a microscopic seed that begins to germinate.  You have no idea what this seed is, what it means, or what fruit it will bear.

As the seed grows a quiet movement begins to push from the deep.  It builds and stirs and eventually surfaces to consciousness.

Once we are aware all we must do is to nurse it, feed it and be patient.  To do any more hinders the fullness available.  You must not try to force it or tamper with it.

We tamper with it by trying to figure it out or define what it is and what we want it to be.  In reality, we try to grasp or control it.

KEY LEARNING: We cannot create or spark life but we can kill or maim something.

I believe some sparks of life are to things you may have considered to be long dead.  For me this spark of life from the stirring has lead me into things that I had NO idea I would pursue… this blog for example.  I never in my life considered that writing would the path.

“We long for more but dare not believe that more is possible.”

– Penelope Stokes

So the natural question is why do we not take advantage of the possibilities God has provided?

I think there are several reasons.

  1. We don’t have any idea that they are there (Now that I have told you, number one is out as an excuse)
  2. You don’t believe me
  3. You don’t think they are for you
  4. You don’t think you can do it, that you will fail
  5. It feels beyond your grasp

I understand all of these.  But a specific comment on number five.  Yes it is beyond our grasp.  God always takes us beyond our grasp.  If it were within our grasp there would be no stretch.  No faith would be required.

Some of you may have already recognized some deep stirring, great.  Or this blog has validated something that you have sensed but didn’t know what it was.

Others of you may not feel any stirring what-so-ever.  That’s okay too.  Why, because you can be assured that God wants to gift you the joy of going beyond where they are now.   How do I know that?  God in His great love has created things for all (Christian and non-Christian alike) to enjoy.

I believe that if you aren’t sensing any stirring at this time it is because of one of two things.  Either the timing isn’t right or you may be a bit hardened and can’t detect any stirring.  But if you remain open… you’ll learn the stir.

All I can say is that it’s an amazing journey.  Fun, mysterious, and rewarding.

See you Thursday morning… early.

P.S.  I say early because this is my way of creating forced discipline for myself.


6
Jan 11

Stirred, Not Shaken

Hi, good to see you again.

I am not satisfied with where I left last Monday’s blog so I feel the need to press in on the issue with a bit more vigor.

I’m sure it’s obvious to those who are regular visitors to the site that I feel strongly about the gift of being “stirred”.  Pardon me for getting a bit testy here, but if you think that I’m referring to a cute, feel good, tingle in the leg experience in life that gets you all excited… you are terribly mistaken.  What I am talking about is so much deeper, much much deeper.

The stirring I am talking about is powerful, life changing, and if heeded always, always, ALWAYS expand us and take us far beyond where we are now.  This is a bold statement, but true none-the-less.

Side Note: Hang in there and please stick with me.  Seriously, I am like most of you.  When I read something that is a fluffy feel good quote or philosophical statement I generally go … huh?  Or I want to gag and say, get back to reality

Hopefully, it will make more sense shortly.  All I ask is that you be open enough to consider the possibility of what I am saying.  Because what I am talking about is one of the most real and tangible experiences in life.

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Important Context

Before I begin to unpack the topic I must first provide context to my comments.  I will be making a lot of statements about God and using the term Divine, such as Divine gift.

Don’t worry, this is not preachy stuff.  What I am talking about will apply to both Christians and non-Christians alike.

There are two dimensions of God’s provision – Temporal and Eternal.  I am focusing on the Temporal.  These are God’s blessings that he gifts to all his creation regardless of what we believe.

As you can tell, I also believe there is an Eternal dimension to God’s provision.  This Spiritual reality with eternal implications is something that we all must personally grapple and come to terms with at some point in time.  But as mentioned in the last blog this is not the intent or the purpose of this blog entry.

Side Note: I am pumped that you, my non-Christian friends, are hanging out with me.  I will never preach to you or expect you believe as I.  Your Spiritual journey is between you and God.

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So here is the central point regardless of where you are on the Spiritual continuum.  The reality is… there is more.  There is more available for me (and you) to attain and to enjoy.  There is a treasure trove of amazing things if I am open and willing to explore.

The “more” I am talking about has nothing to do with money, things, luxuries of life, prestige, being liked, getting attention, power or self-promotion.

Nor is it having a deeper appreciation for the planet and becoming one with nature.  And finally, the “more” is NOT an escape from life or a way to avoid the issues or difficulties which were created by our own hand (debt, poor relationships, etc.).

You cannot talk your way out of something you acted yourself into.

- Stephen Covey

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It has everything to do with experiencing the fullness God intends and provides.

His creation is an expression of His love, a gift for the “here and now” for us, the objects of His love.  All of us have the opportunity to step beyond where we are now if we are open, listening, and daring.

We were never created to be static, but moving and dynamic.  And these Divine gifts are designed to stretch us and take us beyond where we are.

Unfortunately what happens to most of us is that we gradually become anesthetized by the droning of daily routine… life.  Or, before we know it, the narrow world that we wrapped securely around us becomes an invisible straight jacket that checks our growth and movement.

Without realizing it we wake up ten years down the road and realize there is more.

Side Note: Just so you know, I am not talking as one who has lived a hallow meaningless life and then all of a sudden saw the light that there are more things in this world to accomplish.

I have lived a very enjoyable, successful, vibrant life.  If I died today I will rejoice because I have had a great life.

With that said, I could decide to settle for where I am.  But I am thrilled and excited with the knowledge that I haven’t even scratched the surface of what is available.

If all I am saying is true, it begs the all important question, why don’t people take advantage of these Divine gifts?

Hummm… good question.  I will tackle that on Monday.  Ciao.

P.S.  As you go through the week, be sensitive to any stirring inside.  We will talk about that some too.


3
Jan 11

A New Year’s Kick in the Ass

Howdy.

What a way to start the New Year… cussing.  As most of you know I am not a cusser, but the reality is we all need an occasional kick in the ass to get us moving.

Side Note: I can read your minds now.  There are some out there reading this and laughing at the notion that saying “ass” is really cussing.  You are probably saying to yourself that this guy is a rank amateur if all he can conjure up is the word “ass.”

There are others who were taken back by the word and I went immediately on your prayer list.  Needless to say, I can always use your prayers but I need them for more important things than saying the “A” word.

OK, back to the kick in the ass.  Yes there are times to encourage, sweet talk, and even cajole each other, but not now.

There is something significant about the beginning of a new year that demands our attention by providing the perfect opportunity for a “new start.”

Now this blog is not focused on the traditional New Year’s resolutions that we all make.  I, like many of you, plan to lose some weight, take better care of myself, etc.  I am not making light of these annual goals but there are things much grander for our taking.  Much, much grander.

Very honestly, today’s blog will probably be meaningless to the majority of you but I really believe that a significant number of you will be challenged on a different level.  If you are feeling stale in your life or if you sense something stirring deep within, this blog is for you.

I am sharing this from experience, a wonderful experience.

In the deepest part of my soul I believe that we live so far below what God has or intends for us.

To my non-Christian friends: Don’t worry, this is not a preachy thing about Jesus and you being saved.  There is no question that it is an important eternal issue that all must examine but this is not the intent or point here.

You will explore that Truth when the right time comes.

Whether you are a Christian or not, God (our Creator) has lavished on His creation wonderful things for us to enjoy and experience.  These are gifts just beyond our conscious grasp.  If we are open and receptive God will begin to stir in our depths.

The stirring forces one of two responses; we either nurture the stirring or we close our ears and harden ourselves because the unknown is too risky.

Breakthroughs always require risk.   They are never without the lurking danger of failure or embarrassment.

But if you are open, the stirring grows and begins to take form into something that is unique to you.

Early in 2009 something started to stir in me.  Now I know it was a “God Thing” going on.

“God’s stirring is His way of letting you know that you’re ready for more.”

- Me

The stirring led me to start this blog.  One year ago tomorrow I launched it.  This may not sound like a big deal… but it was.

Side Note: Interesting facts about my blog (to me anyway).

-          28,206 unique visit blog hits in 2010

-          December was the month with the most visits of nearly 2,800.

-          101 entries

It is important to note that the blog was not the point of the stirring… it was the avenue for growth.  The growth was much more than posting my thoughts.  In my first blog entry (A Bottle In the Ocean) I wrote something that many of you may be able to relate to.

January 4, 2010 (excerpt)

“The stir has been deep.  Something inside wanting out.  Not aggressive… more restless.   Something slowly waking up and beginning to poke at the confines of it’s environment.  Like someone cautiously pushing on a wall in a creepy old house to determine the strength and stability.

“Feeling stirred is a gift.  There is a difference between being stirred and being troubled about something.  Invite the stirring to occur.  Let it grow, let it take shape, let it push and struggle its way to the surface.  It has to come out from within; I cannot get to it from the outside.  All I can do is nurture, invite and remove the obvious barriers that limit.

“All I know is that something is stirring… and that’s a good thing.”

(If you want to read the entire entry you can access it by going to the right of the blog page and click on January 2010 for the archives.)

I do not know where your stirring is leading you.  If you are courageous and are willing to step out the joy that waits is phenomenal.

Here are a couple of points to remember.  First, the avenue of your stirring (for me the blog) is only a step in the path not the destination.  Secondly, it is not easy.  Starting my blog was grueling and maintaining it is a chore.

I am resolved to keep going, try new things, nurture the stir, and rejoice on the ride.

Thanks for hanging out with me.  I have no idea where I am going this year with the blog but it should be fun.

See you Thursday.