Things I Love 44: Everybody Clap Your Hands

island hammock

“All new life labors out of the very bowels of darkness” (Ann Voskamp).

“The weight of God’s glory, not illusory or ephemeral, but daily and everywhere, punctures earth’s lid and heaven falls through the holes”  (Ann Voskamp).

“Having Christian convictions can’t ever negate having Christ’s compassion” (Ann Voskamp).

Apparently, I can’t count. I discovered I had misnumbered some of my list so that I had two sets of blogs with identical numbers. The upside of all this is that I have more things I love than I thought I did. And it confirmed yet again my wise decision not to be an accountant or a financial advisor or anything at all that involves math in any way. Thank God for calculators.

1,361) Spring cleaning in July.

1,362) My mother’s 19-year old cat Paddy who is eternally grumpy but still loveable in her own way.

1,363) Shiny pennies.

1,364) Finally starting to realize the full power of intercessory prayer.

1,365) Burt’s Bees lip balm.

1,366) Another trip to McKay’s Used Books to trade in some music and movies.

1,367) Waking up from a bizarre dream to realize with a sigh of relief that I am not naked or late for class or about to drive off a cliff.

1,368) That I’m on the 44th in this series of Things I Love.

1,369) The just-showered feeling.

1,370) The prayer room at Brentwood Baptist Church.

1,371) Not having to worry about wardrobe malfunctions (other than the rare unzipped fly).

1,372) My 30-something year old teddy bear that I still have.

1,373) Getting 18 mpg in my 18-year old Jeep.

1,374) Cleaning up my Facebook friends list yet again (but this time only deleting deactivated accounts).

1,375) Hope that doesn’t fade or fail.

1,376) Calling it a night and continuing with this blog at a later time.

1,377) Opening actual handwritten letters.

1,378) Hot apple cider on a brisk autumn day.

1.379) The feel of putting on store-bought socks for the first time.

1,380) Seeing an elderly couple walking together and still holding hands after all their years together.

1,381) Big, soft, comfy pillows.

1,382) Seeing my nephews and nice as babies sleeping peacefully and smiling at their dreams.

1,383) Unexpected money in the mail just when I needed it.

1,384) The new McKay’s location, which is twice as big as the old one.

1,385) Trading all those CDs I don’t listen to anymore for an iPad 2.

1,386) My stuffed Opus penguin (I actually have two– one big and one little).

1,387) Knowing that we’re getting nearer to fall and fall weather.

1,388) How God continues to speak to me through family, friends, circumstances, and soft breezes on mild summer days.

1,389) Those gentle reminders from my Abba of who I really am and Whose I am.

1,390) Facebook chats with friends.

1,391) Looking forward to yet another good night of community group tomorrow night.

1,392) Little pads on little cat paws.

1,393) Restoring old buildings and old homes and giving them new lives as locally owned restaurants and businesses.

1,394) Finally being able to pick up with Lost again after being stuck for months on the 3rd season cliffhanger ending.

1,395) My diecast miniature version of a double-decker bus like the ones in London.

1,396) Having family and friends who are true prayer warriors in every sense of the word.

1,397) Whenever I see older generations and younger generations sharing life experiences and knowledge, the way Church truly was meant to be.

1,398) My friend Ashley who works at McCreary’s and who always makes me feel at home there.

1,399) Friendly dogs who let me pet them.

1,400) My new genuine leather ESV Bible.


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

island hammock

“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.

I Am a Jeep


I have a theory. Well, it’s more like my own weird way of thinking. I think people choose cars that fit their personalities. I know I am a lot like my 1995 Jeep Cherokee Sport.

I’m not flashy or GQ. I don’t have a lot of bells and whistles or cool gadgets. I’m a bit old-school like that. I have a few dings and some wear and tear, but I like to think I have a classic retro look.

What I am is dependable for the long haul. If I’m your friend, then I’m your friend. Period. I don’t give up on people. Ever.

I like to think that I have a style all my own that isn’t like anybody else. God made me to be me, not a poor imitation of someone else. That goes for you, too. You can either be a second-rate version of someone else or the absolutely best you possible. It’s up to you.

I’m never going to be a race car or a luxury car. I’m not an eye candy convertible. I’m a Jeep. I carry stuff. I get you from point A to point B. I’ll be around for a long time. That’s me.

If you’re looking for a male model Porsche kind of guy, you can skip over me. If you want someone who will be there, rain or shine, good times or bad, I’m your guy. If you want someone who will root for you and be on your side and laugh with you and cry with you, that’s me.

If you want someone who will love you more than he loves Jesus, count me out. I know Jesus is giving me you to help you become all he created you to be and help you fully come alive to your beauty, inside and out.

And hey, if you give me a chance, I just might surprise you a time or two. You just never know.