A Revolutionary Patience II: Hope Renewed

“. . . . Hope is a revolutionary patience . . . . Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work: you don’t give up” (Anne Lemott, Bird by Bird).

For a lot of us out there, we’re still waiting and watching and working. We’re a millimeter away from giving up, but we decided to give it one more shot today.

Hope truly is a revolutionary patience because hope is based of the God who not only does the impossible with regularity, He does it with ease. There’s not only no impossible for God, there’s not a difficulty for Him.

All those things you long and wait for– the better job, the relationship, financial security, a family– sometimes seem to be infinitely far away but to God are closer than your next heartbeat.

Don’t give up. Keep showing up. Keep trying to do the right thing. Keep trusting that God IS working all things together for your good.

Hope is still a revolutionary patience with an unbelievable payoff.

 

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The Return of The Crud

“A cold in the head in June [or October] is an immoral thing…” (Anne of Green Gables, L. M. Montgomery).

I’m sick, but I’m not sick. I don’t feel bad, but I don’t especially feet good at the moment. In other words, I have The Crud again.

I’m not sure how to define it other than a wonderfully delightful mixture of sinuses and allergies and possibly a few germs thrown in for good measure. The result is the occasional headaches, coughing, sore throat, and (my favorite) that ol’ run-down feeling. At this point, I feel like I could sleep for days.

The good news? All of the above means that I’m still alive and kicking. No toe tags for me today. I’ve been able to go to work and stay up on all my other weekly shenanigans.

Tuesday night, I had some chicken noodle soup at Chick-fil-A. I don’t know if that particular batch was pre-blessed or if my body was craving it, but it was possibly the best chicken noodle soup I’ve ever had in my life. Maybe even in the top five greatest chicken noodle soups in all of history.

I’m also loving me some hot tea. It tends to be more beneficial than coffee and the hot water feels good on the ol’ sore throat.

The diagnosis is that I’m alive today, and, God willing, I will wake up tomorrow. And look, ma. No fever.

While I won’t be running in any 5K races any time soon, the chances are good that I’ll be fine in a day or two. Thanks for all the prayers sent my way.

A Royal Waste of Time

Tonight, Chris Brooks talked about wasting your life . . . in a good way. The idea is that you give up pursuing what society and the media and culture tell you are worthy pursuits, and you spend your time, your talents, and your treasures to reach out to the least of these that the world calls nobodies.

You waste your life (according to the world) if you live selflessly and sacrificially and deliberately choose not to keep up with the proverbial Joneses.

You waste your life if you serve and give to those who will most likely never have the means to pay back what you’ve done for them.

You waste your life if you give up a promising career to go halfway around the world to serve the poverty-stricken in a third world country.

You royally wasted your time and your life (according to everything the world tells you) every time you lift your voice and your hands in worship to celebrate a baby born in a barn and laid in a feeding trough and who favored the outcasts and the marginalized but who is now the Risen King who lives forevermore.

If that’s a waste of time, let me be the first to waste my life for the God who didn’t spare any of His own life for me but lavishly wasted it on me in the person of Jesus Christ.

Here’s the book Chris mentioned in his sermon:

My Mac is On

As I was scrolling through Facebook memories, I ran across a blog post I wrote two years ago about how I was saving up for my Mac Book Pro (cleverly titled “Get My Mac On”).

Here I am, reading that post on my Mac Book Pro that’s now about a year old (and still as fast as ever). It’s one of those little reminders of how time can change your perspective. Things look quite a bit different in hindsight once you’ve had a little time to gain that perspective.

Thankfully,  I never became an Apple snob who looks down at anything PC or Microsoft  (or Samsung). I just happen to prefer my Mac to my old PCs.

I also realize that at the end of the day, it’s still all just stuff. As much as I like my stuff, it doesn’t come close to bringing true fulfillment or happiness. It can’t begin to compete with what really matters: people and spending time with them and making memories with them.

The best use for technology that I’ve found lately is that it helps me to remember. I check out Timehop and see my old cat Lucy and see old friends that I hadn’t thought about in a while. Every now and then, I see old pictures from the Stone Age from when I was little (and yes, they did have photography back then– in color!)

I also remember that there were a few times when I never thought I’d be able to get my Mac. I didn’t think I had the patience and the discipline. This blog post written on my Mac goes to show that as long as you’re still breathing, it’s never too late and there’s always still hope.

And yes, my blog posts ARE 35% hipper and trendier now.

https://oneragamuffin.wordpress.com/2015/10/09/update-on-getting-my-mac-on/

Blah, Blah, Blah– Another Assortment of Randomness

I had all these great ideas about what to write for my blog post, but I’m feeling a bit under the weather at the moment, so I’ll throw several of ’em in and see what sticks.

My grandmother turned 93 yesterday and we celebrated today. I’m convinced that people back then were made better than they are now (just like everything else). She may not have her memory or know what’s going on all the time, but she’s a resilient ol’ gal that’s as likely to make it to 100 as anybody.

At the Church at Avenue South, the pastor talked about Sabbath and how we need the rest. If you go 110% all the time without ever taking any down time, sooner or later your body will remind you in not so subtle ways that it’s good to stop and rest. No one can go 24/7 infinitely without a break. Even Jesus took naps and periodically sought out places to be alone.

The Tennessee Titans may be reverting back to their old sucky ways, but my fantasy football team is 4-1 as of today. Last year, all the breaks went to my opponents, so it’s nice to finally catch a few breaks myself.

I don’t feel awful. I just feel a little stuffy and achy (with a slight fever), but I’m not the typical male who’s ready to have his last rites read. I’m hoping some Vitamin C and a good night’s rest will have me back and running at full speed on Monday.

My little kitten Peanut continues to crack me up with her crazy wild antics. She also continues to eat and poop like a racehorse (as well as almost literally grow leaps and bounds right before my eyes). She’s no longer the tiny thing I brought home from the shelter over 3 months ago.

I’m still holding out hope that next week will finally bring some actual fall weather where I can wear flannel and/or jackets. I’m way past done with sweat-inducing weather. I’m sure the people downwind of me are, too.

That’s all. Happy Sunday and have a great week!

 

More Goodwill Adventures

One of my favorite activities lately is going to Goodwill. I usually make a beeline for the music and movies and very rarely stray from there.

Sometimes, I have certain artists or movies in mind when I go. Sometimes, my mind is an open book.

Sometimes, I go and I don’t find anything. It’s like all the good stuff got picked over before I arrived.

Sometimes, I’ll find a couple of items that I wouldn’t have paid full price for, but since they’re cheap, I’ll pick them up. A few times, I’ll hit the proverbial jackpot and find something I’ve really wanted or something will jump out at me.

Life is a lot like that. So many of the blessings come unexpected and un-looked for. So many of the people in your life come out of the blue, never who or how you expected, but always at the exact right moment you needed someone.

Above all, God is like that. I’ve found that God rarely answers prayers the way you wanted, but in the end, you find that His way turned out way better than yours would have.

Today, I found a couple of movies and a couple of CDs. As an added bonus, today was 50% off everything in the store since it’s the first Saturday of the month. Win.

 

Safe Places

“…maybe on the days we want out of our lives — it isn’t so much that we want to die from shame, but *hide* from shame. But let’s remember: shame gets unspeakable power only if it’s unspeakable. Shame dies when stories are told in safe places.
You know what? Your scars are proof that you’re a kind of bulletproof — because living through the hardest battles proves you can live through any battle. You can trace those scars and let it feed your courage and feel no shame for the wars you’ve come through, no shame for any of your broken.
And tonight we’re just going to take heart — take His heart
and pour a brave and willing love like His
over all the open wounds…
that we may even now
take hope” (Ann Voskamp, The Broken Way). 
#TheBrokenWay #StrengethingPrayers

Normally, I like to share my own thoughts, but this one practically begged me to share it. I’m positive that someone out there needs this tonight, someone who’s battled shame for a long time and needs to know that there’s hope and freedom just around the corner in one of those safe places.

You’ll never know the freedom over the power of shame until you can find your brave and share your stories– even the hardest and most shameful ones. As my pastor said, healing takes place when the worst moment of your life that you never thought you’d ever share with another living soul becomes the first line of your testimony of God’s deliverance.

My prayer is that you’ll find someone and somewhere safe to tell your shameful secrets so that they no longer hold you captive. Then perhaps your story will encourage someone else to tell his or her story. Someone will her their own story in your words and find their own healing.