Return to Randomness

This is what I do when I can’t think of anything productive to write about. I start typing and let the words fall where they may.

I’m thinking a lot about what it means to live gratefully. It’s harder than it sounds. It’s definitely counter-cultural when every other ad tells you that you need to be more, do more, buy more, invest more, and try harder in order to be happy. It’s funny how each of the ads has a different idea about what will make you whole and complete.

I’m thinking still about Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner. He/she may look and act different, but those old fears and hang-ups are still there. You can’t change yourself from the outside in– it’s the other way around. I do hope he/she finds true peace and fulfillment, but I wonder what will happen when all the hoopla dies down and they turn off the cameras.

True peace comes from knowing Jesus and reclining fully on everything He is– everything He said and did and promised– and believing in that completely. Not minus anything and not plus anything else.

The key to fulfillment (as I am learning) is to see your life as a gift and every adversity as a tool to chisel you into something better. That’s what truly transforms you. Plus, it costs a whole lot less than an operation.

I know people are struggling with issues that I can’t even begin to comprehend. I can look at a person’s profile picture on Facebook and see only a smiling face and not all the secret baggage, hurt, and pain that person bears each and every day.

I still believe that Jesus is in control and that He will set all things right one day soon. I still believe that nothing is impossible for God and it is never too late to become who you might have always been.

On top of all that, I’m starting to get interested in Major League Baseball again. According to Back to the Future Part II, the Chicago Cubs are supposed to win the World Series this year. Also, those day-glo hoverboards should start showing up just about any day now.

That’s all the randomness I can muster up for one night. I’ll see you again tomorrow with something more organized and normal.


A Beautiful Prayer

“You are holy, Lord, the only God,
and Your deeds are wonderful.
You are strong.
You are great.
You are the Most High.
You are almighty.
You, holy Father, are
King of heaven and earth.
You are Three and One,
Lord God, all good.
You are Good, all Good, supreme Good,

Lord God, living and true.

You are love,
You are wisdom.
You are humility,
You are endurance.
You are rest,
You are peace.
You are joy and gladness.
You are justice and moderation.
You are all our riches,
And You suffice for us.
You are beauty.
You are gentleness.
You are our protector,
You are our guardian and defender.
You are courage.
You are our heaven and our hope.
You are our faith,
Our great consolation.
You are our eternal life,
Great and wonderful Lord,
God almighty,
Merciful Saviour.

Amen” (St Francis of Assisi).

Once again, I think this covers it. I found this through Daily Celtic Prayers and Inspirations on Facebook. See, there is some redeeming value to social media.

I’ve mentioned before that sometimes when you can’t find your own words to pray, it helps to borrow other words. Obviously, you start with the Psalms and other prayers from the Bible (including the Lord’s Prayer), but sometimes you can also pray the prayers of other men and women of God down through the centuries.

Here’s one more you can add to your list.


My Social Media Break Update

You’re probably aware that I’m taking a break from social media for Lent. I found out today that Easter this year falls on April 5, meaning that I have roughly four more weeks to go. So far so good.

I’d like to tell you that I’ve been super spiritual and devoted all my newly-acquired spare time to prayer and Bible reading. I have managed to read more books and catch up on my Netflix queue. And read more of my Bible.

For me, it’s all about getting away from social media so that it doesn’t run my life. Too much time spent on Facebook and Instagram can feed into my perceived need for approval. It’s easy to feel good when lots of people comment on my posts and conversely, to feel isolated and ignored when they don’t. And I don’t just speak for me. I speak to most of you out there.

So I’m finding out that the wonderful world of social media didn’t fall apart without me. It kept right on going. I also found out that I didn’t go to pieces without my daily Facebook fix. So far, I’ve managed to keep most of my sanity (and hair).

One day, I’ll be really brave and disconnect from all things electronic. Maybe that will be for next Lent– give up television AND social media. Now that’d really be a challenge.

For now, I confess that I’m not as spiritual and disciplined and dedicated as I’d like to be. I also can state that I’ve gone three weeks without social media without falling off any wagons. I call that a win.

Most of all, I’m reminded again that God is faithful, even when I am faith-less. He is faithful to finish that good work He started in me and has even invited me to be a part of the great work He’s doing all around me.

Lent is the best reminder I know that it’s still not about me, no matter what I tell myself. And yes, I needed that reminder yet again.



I Just Realized


So I set a new record for myself: most days lived. Granted, all that was required of me to accomplish this feat was not to die in my sleep or fatally trip over something on my way to the bathroom in the middle of the night , both which I manage to avoid most every night.

Today’s my birthday. For the record, I accept all forms of payment: cash, checks, major credit cards, etc. I also have a short birthday list for those of you feeling especially generous. And I mean ESPECIALLY generous.

1) One Mac Book Pro laptop (so I can write better blogs and look infinitely cooler whilst doing so)

2) One red Mini Cooper (preferably with the British flag emblem on the roof and/or side-view mirrors)

And now back to reality.

I’ve been cutting out bread and sugar for the most part, but today I allowed myself to indulge in some rolls and some very fine chocolate malt cheesecake. I figure calories don’t count on your birthday or on other major holidays and special occasions.

I took a short break from my Lent sabbatical from social media, i.e. Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and all those other wonderful time-suckers, to check up on all my birthday greetings. I had a lot. That made me feel special to know so many amazing people who I can call friends and family. And if you’re reading this and you’re one of the ones who posted on my Facebook page wishing me a happy birthday, then I send my thanks to you as well.

So tomorrow, it’s back to no breads, no sugar, and no social media. At least until Easter Sunday (for the social media). I suppose that by then I will have broken my personal record for most days lived yet again, God willing.

Ahh, Back in Ye Olden Days of 1994

friends 1994

Earlier, I ended up at Starbucks where I was waiting on a friend of mine. I decided to utilize their exceptional wi-fi (exceptional in this case meaning “way better than my home wi-fi”). I watched a couple episodes of the TV show Friends. Season 1 to be more specific.

It always cracks me up to see how quickly technology becomes dated. The old brick phones that they used to carry around seem as antiquated as the old tube televisions, but then I have to realize that they were the newest tech 20 years ago.

I also think that 20 years ago, people still predominately had face-to-face conversations. Sure, people talked on their cell phones, but at $5 a minute (or whatever the rate was back then), it was much cheaper to talk to a live person.

Now, we live in a world where we intentionally isolate ourselves through our technology. We can go through a whole day, even a whole week, without having to actually interact with another living soul. We can be connected 24/7 and at the same time be cut off from human contact.

I’m not suggesting we revert back to 1994 phones. What I am saying is maybe you and I put down those smart phones and actually participate in this beautiful, one-and-only life we’re given. Maybe leave the phone at home and take a walk or visit a neighbor or sit on the patio of a small cafe on a lovely spring day.

As much as I do love my iPhone, I admit it can be addictive. It can be a time-suck. I seriously doubt that I will get to the end of my life and wish that I could have spent more time checking on and updating my Facebook. And there are no real-life bonus points awarded for mastering Candy Crush. Sorry to disappoint you on that one.

Jesus said that if you want to do right then do two things. 1) Love God and 2) love people. There’s wisdom in the old saying that you love people and use technology or you love technology and use people. And technology doesn’t excuse ignoring people or being rude, but that’s a topic for another blog on another day.



Even though Albert Einstein probably didn’t actually say this, it’s still true.


Politics, Schmolitics

“The anything-goes passiveness of the religious and political Left is matched by the preachy moralism of the religious and political Right. The person who uncritically embraces any party line is guilty of an idolatrous surrender of her core identity as Abba’s Child. Neither liberal fairy dust nor conservative hardball addresses our ragged human dignity” (Brennan Manning, Abba’s Child: The Cry of the Heart for Intimate Belonging).

“All religious and political systems, Right and Left alike, are the work of human beings.  Abba’s children will not sell their birthright for any mess of pottage, conservative or liberal.  They hold fast to their freedom in Christ to live the gospel-uncontaminated by cultural junk, political wreckage, and the complex hypocrisies of a bullying religion” (Brennan Manning).

Yep. That sums it up.

I normally don’t post anything political on any of my social media sites because anything that smacks of politics tends to generate reactions rather than well-thought-out responses. These days most people seem to fall into one of two camps– either those who blindly support the current President and think he’s nearly divine or those who hate him and everything he does and have labeled him as the Anti-Christ. At least that’s the way it seems to me.

It was the same 8 years ago with the last President. For some he could do no wrong. For others, he could do nothing write.

I love the song that says that my hope isn’t in a flag or a President or a country, but in a King and a Kingdom. That’s where my ultimate allegiance lies. That’s where my ONLY allegiance lies.

True, the Bible does say to respect, honor, and obey those in power, but that service is done as to God Himself.

So yeah, I take all these comments I see on Facebook and Twitter with a grain of salt. A very, very large grain of salt. Ultimately, my future hope isn’t in this President or the next. It isn’t in a political party. It’s in the Jesus who was Lord before George Washington took office and will be Lord after the last President leaves office.

That’s my soapbox blog for the year, people.

The Kingdom Of God


“If we only had eyes to see and ears to hear and wits to understand, we would know that the Kingdom of God in the sense of holiness, goodness, beauty is as close as breathing and is crying out to be born both with in ourselves and with in the world; we would know that the Kingdom of God is what we all of us hunger for above all other things even when we don’t know its name or realize that it’s what we’re starving to death for. The Kingdom of God is where our best dreams come from and our truest prayers. We glimpse it at those moments when we find ourselves being better than we are and wiser than we know. We catch sight of it when at some moment of crisis a strength seems to come to us that is greater than our own strength. The Kingdom of God is where we belong. It is home, and whether we realize it or not, I think we are all of us homesick for it” (Frederick Buechner).

I think that says it way better than I ever could.

I posted this on Facebook two years ago today and it still has an impact on me. I still long for this Kingdom of God and for all the wrongs of this world to be made right.

I still think heaven will look a lot like Narnia with a little Middle Earth thrown it. Hobbits in heaven? I’d like to think so.

Still Yet Another Good Reminder


“Sorrow cannot steal our faith or even cause it to be lost; betrayal and loss steal our faith only when we refuse to remember, tell our stories, listen even as we tell them, and explore the meaning that God has woven into every one. If we want to grow in faith we must be open to listening to our own stories, perhaps familiar or forgotten, where we have not mined the rich deposit of God’s presence. With better eyes and ears we will sense how God has worked to redeem even our most tragic experiences” (Dan Allender, The Healing Path).

I don’t know why I gravitated to this quote. I’m not dealing with any kind of loss or grief or even sadness, yet these words spoke deeply to me.

Maybe because I realize lately how fragile life is and how easily those we love can slip away from us, how quickly those little babies grow up and leave home, how fleeting are the days.

The most tragic remembrance in the end will be how we took so many people for granted and left words of love and gratitude unspoken. In the end we will not treasure our trophies or promotions or rewards, but the relationships that made us come alive and be better people.

So all that from a quote I stole from someone on Facebook.

Lessons from Lent


This may be old hat for you or not. I’m not sure. But stop me if you’ve heard some or all of this before: last year, I gave up only Facebook for Lent. This year, I decided to give up all social media. It turned out to be one of my best decisions ever. Although if I’m honest, I was being obedient to what I felt God was calling me to do. It really wasn’t my decision at all.

I don’t regret for one single second going without social media for those 46 days. I got in more prayer time, I read my Bible more, I read more books in general. Plus, I had a greater sense of peace from not being tied down to Facebook or Twitter.

I think sometimes in order to appreciate something more, you need to step away from it for a while. That was the case for me. I did sometimes feel out of the loop after missing all the news from Facebook. But I can always catch up on that.

Lent is more than just giving up. It’s replacing it with something better. It’s no good to give up social media if you’re going to fill up the time with television. Hopefully, you spend your extra free time in learning to hear God’s voice and hear His heartbeat and feel His love for you. Obviously, the best way to do that is through His Word.

I don’t claim that I was anywhere near perfect in that regard. I wasted too much of the time I had away from social media. But I’m not beating myself up about it. Instead I choose to focus on the fact that I was more discipline in regard to prayer and Bible reading than I’ve been in a long time.

I hope to be able to participate in Lent again next year. I hope that I can be free enough to walk away from anything that enslaves me and takes my eyes off Jesus, whether that be social media or TV or anything else.

Like I said before, it’s really not about giving up stuff or sacrificing what you love. More than that, it’s about prioritizing your life and making sure that Jesus and His Kingdom really and truly are first. Then everything else will line up and fall into proper place.