No Bad Days

“As long as your heart’s beatin’
There’s no bad days
You got something to believe in
There’s no bad days
As long as you’re dreamin’, reachin’, seekin’
Make no mistake
As long as you’re breathin’
There’s no bad days” (Django Walker/James Slater/Patrick Davis/Jeff Cook).

My old boss used to say, “Any day without a toe tag is a good day.”

My take on that is that any day you wake up is a day that you still have a purpose and a reason to be here.

Any day you open your eyes to the new morning is better for you than many who won’t get the chance to experience the new set of 24 hours.

Every single day you’re alive is a blessing.

To be sure, I do believe that to be absent from the body is to be present with Jesus.

I also believe that life isn’t something where you pass the time until you die. It’s something you get to live only once.

One of my favorite lines from the movie Gladiator goes something like this: what we do here and now echoes in eternity.”

Your small acts of love, your random acts of kindness, you’re showing up and not giving up on a daily basis causes a ripple effect that will be felt long beyond your earthly years.

So make it count.

Oh yeah, and remember to keep things in perspective. In my own life, I’ve found that most things aren’t worth getting upset over. You waste too much time and energy fretting about what you can’t control and what ends up being transitory.

You can’t control most of what happens to you. You can only control you and how you choose to respond to it, Better yet, you can choose to surrender to the God who not only controls it all, but works it all together for good– your good and His good.

That was for free.


Things I Love 31: That Black Horse and Those Cherry Trees

island hammock

Going through some boxes, I found my old merit badge requirement book from when I was a Boy Scout. I didn’t realize it at the time, but life was so much more simple then. Relationships were definitely less complicated. I had a lot less to worry about, thanks to loving family who took care of my needs and left me free to enjoy my childhood. And cartoons were better back then. Just saying. On that note, I move on to #906.

906) Homemade bread with homemade jam.

907) Finishing a game of gin rummy with a positive score.

908) A sense of belonging and being wanted.

909) Those people who care enough about me to actually make time for me in their lives.

910) Grape jelly.

911) When someone sees you at your worst and chooses to stick around and love you in spite of the darkness.

912) My vintage California Raisins beach towel.

913) Peach and/or blackberry cobbler with vanilla ice cream.

914) Really old hymnals.

915) All the Cosby Show episodes before Denise left the show.

916) Resting in the greatness of my Savior’s loving heart.

917) The peace that comes with true surrender.

918) Letting go so that my open hands are ready to receive something better.

919) Embracing the mystery of God in all His love and holiness and not just the parts I understand or that make me feel warm and fuzzy.

920) Another good night of fellowship with the Green Hills Community Group.

921) Making Thursdays my designated downtown Franklin night.

922) Being okay with unresolved tension and the cliffhangers in life.

923) Laying in my bed in the dark late at night listening to good music.

924) Taking my shoes off and wading through the creek at Crockett Park.

925) The relief of Aloe Vera on sunburn.

926) Taking a spoonful of local honey to help with my allergies.

927) Cake batter.

928) Being alone but not lonely.

929) Movies like Gladiator and Braveheart.

930) Taking naps on the couch.

931) When it’s there’s still daylight after 8 pm.

932) The way my grandfather told the best stories.

933) When pants that used to be too tight are now too loose.

934) Not having to write in cursive anymore if I don’t want to.

935) That I’m not fighting for victory but fighting from the victory Jesus has already won.

936) That moment when I’m hopelessly lost and I see a familiar landmark and realize I know where I am.

937) Trying to wrap my brain around the concept of eternity.

938) The prayer I learned from Brennan Manning that I repeat daily– “Abba Father, I belong to You.”

939) Sighing the deep sigh of contentment at close of day.

940) That face.


The Little Things


A lot of us (me included) have this idea that life should be epic and full of dramatic, Gladiator-style moments where risks are involved and manly muscles are flexed. Life usually isn’t like that. Besides, I am decidedly lacking in the manly muscle department.

Like a friend of mine said, life is like taking 10,000 steps every single day. Every step you take leads you closer or further away from your desired destination. For believers, that means every step leads you closer or further away from Christ.

Obedience is the same way. Most of the time, we’re not called to make the ultimate sacrifice and jump in front of a fast-moving train to save a group of Girl Scouts. Mostly, obedience is doing the next small thing you know to do. It’s a thousand tiny deaths to comfort, pride, convenience, and self.

We become like Jesus when we take the tiny steps and do the little acts He calls us to each day. I love the statement that there is no microwave holiness, but that sanctification is a lifelong process that we never really finish here.

Life is in the details. It’s the small stuff we look past waiting for the grand moments. It’s what we miss in the present because we are too occupied with the past or obsessed with the future.

That’s where Jesus is strongest. Jesus is strong in that moment when you’re wondering how you can get through the next 5 minutes. Jesus is strongest when you don’t see how you can get it all together.

Rarely does God speak in the dramatic James Earl Jones-type voice (not the Darth Vader voice, the other one). It’s ususally a still, small voice that you’ll miss unless you can be still and quiet and present in the moment.

Thank you, God, for the little moments. That’s where life happens and that’s where You’re making me more like Jesus.