Why I Call Myself Blessed

“One word, Ma’am,” he said, coming back from the fire; limping, because of the pain. “One word. All you’ve been saying is quite right, I shouldn’t wonder. I’m a chap who always liked to know the worst and then put the best face I can on it. So I won’t deny any of what you said. But there’s one more thing to be said, even so. Suppose we have only dreamed, or made up, all those things-trees and grass and sun and moon and stars and Aslan himself. Suppose we have. Then all I can say is that, in that case, the made-up things seem a good deal more important than the real ones. Suppose this black pit of a kingdom of yours is the only world. Well, it strikes me as a pretty poor one. And that’s a funny thing, when you come to think of it. We’re just babies making up a game, if you’re right. But four babies playing a game can make a play-world which licks your real world hollow. That’s why I’m going to stand by the play world. I’m on Aslan’s side even if there isn’t any Aslan to lead it. I’m going to live as like a Narnian as I can even if there isn’t any Narnia. So, thanking you kindly for our supper, if these two gentlemen and the young lady are ready, we’re leaving your court at once and setting out in the dark to spend our lives looking for Overland. Not that our lives will be very long, I should think; but that’s a small loss if the world’s as dull a place as you say” (C.S. Lewis, The Silver Chair).

Good ol’ Puddleglum. For those not familiar with Narnia, that’s the character speaking these words. And I like them.

I am currently jobless. Again. But I still consider myself blessed.

I’d rather be where I am right now with God than in my dream job, making ridiculous amounts of money, without Him.

I’ve found out this simple equation:

Me + God > Me + Everything Else – God

I don’t know if that’s grammatically or mathematically correct, but it’s right as far as I’m concerned.

I’m blessed because I have God. I’m blessed because this God promises not to give me what I need or lead me to it, but because He’s promised that HE HIMSELF will be my provision.

Even if God never did another blessed thing for me, if God never gave me another sign or another visible reminder of His prescence, He would still have been better to me that I deserve for saving my soul.

So if I wake up tomorrow and draw breath, if I get out of bed and live through the next 24 hours, I’m blessed because God is with me. If I don’t wake up tomorrow, I’m still blessed because then I’ll be with God.

I call that a win-win.

Things I Love 40: The Farewell Tour a la The Eagles and the Rolling Stones

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“The cynics, they can only speak of the dark, of the obvious, and this is not hard. For all it’s supposed sophistication, it’s cynicism that’s simplistic. In a fallen world, how profound is to see the cracks?

The sages and prophets, the disciples and revolutionaries, they are the ones up on the ramparts, up on the wall pointing to the dawn of the new Kingdom coming, pointing to the light that breaks through all things broken, pointing to redemption always rising and to the Blazing God who never sleeps” (Ann Voskamp).

This may or may not be the last of the series. Ok, probably not. These are just too much fun to quit entirely. Even if you don’t blog and actually have a life, I recommend writing down all the things you’re thankful for. Not just the big things, but the little things like morning dew on the grass or butterflies lighting on flowers. You can steal mine if you like. Ideas, not butterflies. Starting at #1,211.

1,211) Those purple flowers that I can’t remember the name of.

1,212) Friends who speak the truth in love when I need to hear it and stick around after I’ve royally made a mess of things.

1,213) That messing up doesn’t mean the end of the world.

1,214) Being defined by the love of my Abba.

1,215) Finally believing that I will be a good husband and father one day.

1,216) God never ceasing to amaze and delight me whenever I have sense enough to stop and pay attention.

1,217) Chocolate in all its many glorious forms.

1,218) The way God speaks to me where I am and always knows where to find me.

1,219) Men and women who sacrifice their lives protecting the freedom that I so casually take for granted so often.

1,220) Me finding and living out my very own brand of awesome almost every single day.

1,221) Finally trying a Granny Smith apple just to say I’ve eaten one (and Oh my Lord, they’re tart).

1,222) For July days when the high temperature is 84.

1,223) For the chicken cobb avocado salad at Panera Bread on Old Hickory Blvd in front of Target.

1,224) That I care less what other people think of me and much more of what God thinks of me.

1,225) That there is absolutely nothing that will separate me from God’s love, nothing he hasn’t overcome by the cross, and nothing that he can turn into something beautiful and glorious.

1,226) When I can borrow from other posts and hopefully you won’t notice.

1,227) The Wilson County Fair coming up in August.

1,228) Having a full tank of gas in my Jeep.

1,229) Reading The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (my favorite of the Narnia books) yet again.

1,230) Promoting my friends’ music or books or art or causes.

1,231) That my last name isn’t Weiner.

1,232) Advancing to level 63 in Candy Crush Saga.

1,233) Finding an extra large box of Cocoa Pebbles at Publix for $1,50.

1,234) The number 1,234 (’cause it’s in order).

1,235) All, 721 of my facebook friends.

1,236) Still having all ten fingers and all ten toes.

1,237) Burl Ives singing “Silver and Gold.”

1,238) Learning to think for myself and not be spoon-fed by the media or talking heads (either conservative or liberal).

1,239) Being able to simplify my life by getting rid of books and CDs I won’t ever listen to or read again.

1,240) People who know how to use “your”, “you’re”, “to”, “too”, and “two” correctly.

Aw heck. You might as well count on there being at least one more of these.

Things I Love 16: The Number of Candles on Molly Ringwald’s Cake in That 80’s Movie

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There’s my not-so-subtle reference to the classic 80’s flick, Sixteen Candles. I had to do something with the number 16, right? And who didn’t love Molly Ringwald in that movie? Seriously.

Which brings us to #381 (and yes, I had to look up the last entry to get the number right).

381) Getting that unexpected 10 cent discount on gas at Kroger’s.

382) Not getting gas from that really tasty burger from The Pharmacy.

383) Jokes involving cannibals, dinosaurs, or people named Juan (ask me if you want an explanation).

384) It’s never too late to blossom into the person God always meant you to be.

385) The anticipation of getting coffee with a friend at The Frothy Monkey in downtown Franklin.

386) Air conditioning on days like today when I seriously thought I was going to die from sweating so much.

387) That my prayers actually change things– or more accurately, they change me and I change things.

388) When a team I root for actually wins.

389) God has my name written on the palms of his hands and on his heart.

390) Southern Sweet tea, i.e. tea sweetened to almost diabetes-inducing levels.

391) The way my cat looks at me like, “Dude, seriously?”

392) Knowing that my family and friends are around the world, making a difference, crazy enough to believe they can do what people say can’t be done and change the world for the better.

393) That stone house with the red door in downtown Franklin.

394) Beagles.

395) Not having to worry about being counted off for incomplete sentences.

396) Writing these lists– if possible, more now than when I started.

397) Hope fulfilled.

398) Singing along to Bon Jovi at the top of my lungs with the windows rolled down in my car and not even caring what other people around me think.

399) The occasional karaoke.

400) The peace of Christ which surpasses understanding guarding my heart and mind.

401) My very awesome collection of music that I’ve compiled on my iPhone.

402) Jesus choosing to go through hell for me rather than go to heaven without me.

403) It will be 14 months of no carbonated drinks as of tomorrow.

404) Speaking into the back of a box fan and sounding like a robotic Darth Vader.

405) Chamber music.

406) Bluegrass music.

407) Pretty much every type of music.

408) Those times when there were only one set of footprints in the sand.

409) That the word “booger” still strikes me as completely hilarious.

410) Testimonies of God’s ability to save anyone from anything at anytime.

411) That girl who was Joey’s girlfriend and then Chandler’s girlfriend (on the TV show friends), then later ended up on Criminal Minds.