Presence

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I keep thinking about something I heard in a Kairos sermon. Basically, the gist is that the best gift you can give to a loved one, more than presents, is presence.

More than going to a store and picking up something that may or may not end up being regifted or donated to Goodwill, maybe the best gift you can give is you. Your time. Your attention.

Who in your life needs to see your actual face (and not just your profile picture)? Who needs a reminder that you haven’t forgotten them?

Is it a relative? Is it a friend?

You can send a Facebook post or a text, but the best is to have a face-to-face conversation, one in which you aren’t distracted by your phone or tablet, but where you fully engage the other person and actually listen to what they are saying.

Don’t wait. Don’t put it off. Not to be morbid, but you truly never know when it will be too late to have that conversation.

That’s really all I have. Maybe it’s something I need to do myself. Maybe I can find someone I haven’t seen in a while and try to reconnect.

Oh, and may all your traffic lights be green and all your checkout lines be short. Amen.

 

10,000 Steps

I recently purchased a Fitbit Charge. It counts your steps and tells you how many miles you’ve walked, how many calories you’ve burned, and how many stairs you’ve walked up. It also acts as Caller ID for your phone. It even makes great waffles. Well, not really, but that would be cool.

The goal is 10,000 steps. When I reach that milestone, I get a pleasant little vibrating buzz on my wrist to notify me of my accomplishment.

I remember what a friend of mine said. He said that every day you take 10,000 steps that either lead you closer to or further away from your desired destination. Those steps will either bring you into more intimate fellowship with God or in a direction away from His plans and purposes for you.

If you wake up and look around one morning and wonder how you got so distant from God, remember those steps add up. Every little decision matters and every little compromise and slip eventually adds up.

The good news of the Gospel is that the journey back isn’t 10,000 steps. It’s about 18 inches, the distance from your head to your heart.

All it takes is to decide once and for all to follow God, no matter what. To put Him first, even above your own spouse and your own children. To obey no matter what backlash society gives you. To lay down your life a thousand different ways every day in dying to your own rights, your own preferences, and your own emotions. To strive to be more like Jesus.

Every step matters. Every second matters. Every choice matters.

Joshua told the Israelites to choose this day whom you will serve. That’s not a once-in-a-lifetime choice. That is an every day, every hour, every minute choice. At every moment, you must choose to serve or not to serve God. Every step is a decision for or against the Lordship of Jesus.

Who will you serve right now? Who will you follow?

It all starts with that first step.

 

A Nice Surprise

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I got a pleasant surprise today. No, it wasn’t my birthday and no, it wasn’t a surprise party, although I do like those. Hint, hint. . .

My iPhone’s been acting up. By that, I mean, I couldn’t get it to charge properly. I took it to the Verizon store where the rep told me I probably would need a new phone. He told me to try the Apple Store first.

Thankfully, I did. The issue, as it turns out, was only some pocket lint that got into the charging port of the phone and kept it from connecting. That was all.

Those are the little blessings that I used to take for granted. Now, I try to look for the good, the little blessings, and the joy around me. I usually find at least something every day.

I do think you get what you look for. If you’re always looking for things to go badly, they most likely will. If you look through eyes of cynicism, you’ll see what you want to see and find enough wrong with the world to keep your unbelief going strong.

I don’t think my optimism makes me any better than anyone else. It’s just less stressful and less tiring than the opposite. Beside, I dare you to read the Bible and not see how the Good ultimately triumphs in the end.

Oh, and a big thank you to Laura, who figured out the whole lint issue. I have to give props when they are truly due.

Life is still good, God is still great, and I am still blessed.

PS As it ┬áturns out, I needed a new charging cord as well. That’s still waaay cheaper than a new phone. Still a win in my book.

The Good, The Bad, The Ugly, and The Weird (A Celebration of Life)

First of all, the good news. I FOUND MY PHONE! WOOHOO!

Can you tell I’m a tad excited? I think so (said in my best Joey Tribbiani voice).

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Apparently, the lady at the Connection Cafe found it after I left it on one of the tables and took it back behind the counter, turning it off to save the battery. Thank you, nice Cafe lady whose name I don’t know but to whom I and Steve Jobs are eternally grateful.

Also, I had a marvelous time in downtown Franklin with a Facebook friend and her daughter, with whom I am also now Facebook friends. They are two of the best people ever. Seriously. Thank you, Carol and Hannah for making this Wednesday one of my best ever.

The bad? It was rainy and I had a sinus headache. The rain passed and so did my headache. End of story.

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The ugly? I may have found my phone but I’m still looking for my mind. If you see it, make sure and put it someplace safe and comfortable and make sure it gets fed twice a day. Preferably cheese and chocolate.

The weird? Me on a daily basis. But I’ve come to love my own particular brand of weird that I prefer to call eccentricity.

I still love that God knows where I am at all times. It’s even better than that Find my iPhone app. ┬áHe knows the secret thoughts I carry and the secret scars hidden so deep no one has ever found them.

Hannah, keep writing. Keep telling your story and keep singing the song God has put in your heart. Someone out there needs to hear it.

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To celebrate, I am posting pictures of animals and people celebrating. I am also sitting on the couch with one very non-celebratory cat sleeping in my lap. Yay.

I celebrate being alive and redeemed. I celebrate drawing another breath and breathing in the grace of God in every moment. I celebrate God’s amazing goodness to me who never deserved one iota of it.

Life is good, God is great, I am blessed. The end.

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