God’s Strong Love

 

I found this on Pinterest and it spoke volumes to me. It’s amazing how C. S. Lewis can take the most complex and profound themes and break them down into something even I can understand.

This says it all. Our love is frail, but God’s love is strong. Our love fails, but God’s love lasts forever. We let each other down regularly, but God is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

We spend our time chasing after broken cisterns and useless idols, but God’s love is the overflowing and never-ending well that never runs dry.

Maybe one day we’ll finally understand just how deep and wide and long and high that love goes and then we can finally be content in it.

 

Back to the Random

I haven’t really done a completely random, stream-of-consciousness blog in a while, so here it is. Ta-da!

I pride myself on being musically diverse. I drove home listening to the Greatest Hits of Procol Harum and got home to find a package from Amazon containing Adele’s latest album, 25.

Speaking of commutes, you know it’s a long one when you can listen to an entire Greatest Hits CD in the time it takes to get from work to home.

I don’t really mind. I look at it this way. I have a job to commute to and from, a car to commute in, and another day to be alive and driving. The upside is way better than any slow traffic.

Social media is a funny beast. Some posts that you think are completely awesome go seemingly unnoticed and some random picture of a dog taking a bubble bath get all kinds of likes and comments. I don’t get it. Still.

But life doesn’t begin and end with social media. In fact, it’s probably good to put down the smart phone every now and then and experience your life in person. Those kids will only be small for so long. Those parents and grand parents will only be around for so long.

You probably won’t regret not checking your Instagram or Pinterest account for a couple of days, but you will regret one day realizing that you lost precious time to spend with those you love who are now gone.

One of the experiences you’ll miss with your head buried in your phone is the amazing fall weather we had today. If I could bottle up the weather, the sky, and the smells, I completely would. And maybe make it into a Yankee Candle.

Being up since 5:30 am, or as I call it, the Ungodliest Hour of the Day Before The Sun is Even Out, I will call it a night. I’m still completely overwhelmed by and grateful for every single one of my readers, whether they read all my posts or only check in occasionally.  I’m also very thankful for the spelling nazi on my laptop that caught that I had misspelled occasionally (as well as misspelled, which is awkward).

Good night and may the peace of Christ be with you and keep you till morning.

Something Worthwhile I Found on Pinterest

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As you may have heard, I am an avid fan of Pinterest. For the most part, I pin random, weird, and funny stuff. Rarely do I pin anything useful or DIY. Mostly, I pin small furry animals doing or saying humorous things.

But today I found this.  It was too good not to share.

I only need to add one thing: remember that God thinks you’re extraordinary. Jesus thinks you’re to die for..

Friends and Pins and Stuff

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I have a Pinterest account. I think I’ve established that fact.

I will go a while without pinning anything and then I will pin for 30 minutes straight. Or something like that. I’ve never actually timed my pinning sessions.

Lately, I’ve been pinning a lot of Friends- themed pins. It’s still hard for me to wrap my mind around the fact that the last episode of that show aired 10 years ago. 10 years.

In my mind, 1994 was 10 years ago, not 2004. It’s like I have a 10-year block in my brain. And I am really not ready for 1984 to be 30 years in the past.

I don’t feel 40-something. Most of the time I feel 30-something (or even 20-something on really good days). The joke is that you feel like you’re in your 20’s until you hang out with actual 20-somethings, then you feel your own age again.

So back to Friends. I still love watching the re-runs. All those characters were so perfectly cast and each one had his or her own quirks and faults and strong points. Like me. I’m sure I have my strengths and weaknesses like anybody else.

I think we all have to realize that as imperfect as we are, so is everybody else around us. If I can give myself grace for not being perfect and for committing the occasional blunder or two, I can do the same for others.

It’s easy to nurse the wounds and play the martyr and hold grudges. Somehow, it feels better. But it’s not the better way. Jesus showed that the better way is forgiveness. The better way is turning the other cheek. The better way is loving your enemies.

Notice I didn’t say the easier way. Usually, the better way is the harder way because it goes against my natural inclinations. I’d rather treat others like they treat me and not give those who don’t treat me right the time of day.

But ultimately, it’s not about how others treat me. It’s about how Jesus treated me when I was a stranger and an alien and an enemy. That’s my new standard now.

And no, I didn’t expect to go from 90’s TV sitcoms to heavy theology in one blog. That’s just how I roll sometimes.

Just Keep Pinning, Just Keep Pinning

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I love the moment in one of the Harry Potter movies when Ronald Weasley observes someone doing something really stupid and says, “How thick can you get?”

I’ve felt that way about myself sometimes after repeatedly missing the obvious that was literally staring me in the face. Like when I was looking for my phone and it was lying underneath something else right in front of me. Or like I mentioned earlier when Millie’s water bowl was empty and I failed to notice.

I know I’m not the only one. Every one has those Captain Obvious moments that leave you scratching your head wondering how you could have missed the aforementioned obvious. Or not seen what you were looking for when it might as well have had flashing neon lights around it.

Sometimes, you need to just step back and do something frivolous. For me, that means going to Pinterest and pinning lots of random and useless things. Mostly what I pin turns out to be stuff that is funny and/or weird. But you do what relaxes you and calms you down.

When I step away and go do something else, sometimes I come back and I can see what I couldn’t before. Sometimes when I start looking for something else that’s missing is when I find the first thing I was looking for. I do lose my things quite often.

So what’s the point? It’s okay to not be 100% on all the time. It’s okay not to be perfect every minute of every day. Absolute perfection is an unattainable expectation anyway. You can only do your best. Just like you can only really give 100%, not 110% or 150%. But that is another topic for another day.

On a side note, I’m hoping that the “Keep Calm and . . .” fad has run its course. It’s starting to get old. Just sayin’.

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So Tired 2: 😴

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I’m tired again. Funny how that happens every 24 hours or so. Especially when you’re working and meeting friends to go walking on beautiful Monday evenings. Not to mention pinning useless but fun items to Pinterest.

It’s a good kind of tired. It’s a grateful kind of tired. The kind where as exhausted as you are, you’re more grateful at the new opportunities you have.

For me, it’s like an adventure. Maybe not a Tolkien kind with dragons and gold at the end, but new places and new people and paychecks at the end. And just once, it would be so cool to get paid in gold. Just once.

The verse in Psalms says that God gives rest to those He loves. I’m glad it’s worded that way, not to those who love Him. Some days, I’m crazy in love with God and some days I’m apathetic and could care less (which is probably redundant and repititious, right?) Sleep goes to the ones God loves because it’s His love for us holding us together and keeping us going, not the other way around.

So good night, all you out there in La-La-Land. May you find sweet dreams and rest as only your Abba could grant them.

What I Gave Up for Lent This Year

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Last year, I gave up Facebook for Lent. I won’t lie. It was harder than I thought it would be. I found out how much of a hold Facebook had on me and how much of my time it consumed.

It was freeing to not feel tied down to Facebook, to not have to check to see who responded to my posts. Who liked them. I admit I didn’t always use the extra time toward seeking God. But it was a start.

This year, I’m giving up ALL forms of social media. For those of you new to the interweb, that means Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. I checked E) All of the above.

This is my second day and the old tug is back. That tug that says that one glance won’t hurt. That one look won’t lead to an hour or more checking status updates of friends.

I covet your prayers. Specifically, I’m asking for you to pray that I’d use this time more intentionally to seek God in prayer and in His Word. That I’d be open to whatever He says, whether it’s something I want to hear or not, whether it’s easy or painful, even if it requires me to die a little more to the safe and comfortable and routine.

As you probably surmised, I haven’t given up WordPress. It’s funny how God can speak to me through my own writing, sometimes while I’m in the very midst of writing it. This and a sleepy cat in my lap are my forms of therapy.

I’ll keep you updated on what I’m learning and hearing from God during these 46 days of Lent. I’d love to spend this time praying for you specifically as well, so feel free to text me your prayer requests at (615) 556-5850 or email me at gmendel72@icloud.com. I am also available to meet with you in person (if you live close to the Nashville area). But please, no autographs. 😁

May this God that the grave couldn’t hold draw you ever closer to Him during this season of remembering and reflection and become the very desire of your heart. Amen.

Counting Crows and Everything After

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I drove home tonight with a Counting Crows CD playing in my car. I know the hipsters either listen to digital streaming or old-school LPs, but I still like my CDs. And yes, I was singing at the top of my lungs, not caring if I looked ridiculous to the fellow drivers.

Music takes me to a happy place. So does good writing.

I read something today that was written to women, but with a little work, I think I can take away something for me as well. It goes like this:

“You’re fine exactly as you are.
Your curves, words, flaws, strengths, thoughts.
You don’t have to change.
You aren’t fat, stupid, or worthless.
You are you.
You are amazing.
You are wonderful.”

I think those could be God’s words to His children tonight. No wait . . . I know those are God’s words to YOU tonight. Right where you are, sitting in your robe with curlers in your hair. Or sitting in your t-shirt and boxers with hair defying all the laws of gravity.

A random sire note: I spent too much time trying to find this on Pinterest again after I lost it the first time. I wanted to share it with a friend of mine who needs this reminder. I almost forgot that maybe it was me who needed reminding more than anyone else.

God loves you exactly the way you are. That makes you loveable. That makes you valuable. That makes you somebody. That defines and completes and identifies you.

You may need to lose 10 (or more) pounds. You may not always like the person who looks back at you from the other side of the mirror. You may hate your job and your life and even yourself at times.

But you are amazing. You are wonderful. You are beautiful.

And you are the apple of God’s eye, the delight of His heart, and His beloved Daughter or Son.

Don’t ever forget that.

Things I Love 32: Everything Will Be Fine in the End

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“The prayers we weave into the matching of socks, the stirring of oatmeal, the reading of stories, they survive fire” (Ann Voskamp).

“I don’t really want more time; I just want enough time. Time to breathe deep and time to see real and time to laugh long, time to give You glory and rest deep and sing joy and just enough time in a day not to feel hounded, pressed, driven, or wild to get it all done-yesterday” (Ann Voskamp).

The way I figure it, I have only two of these left. Then again, I was never good at math. And who knows? Maybe I’ll be a rebel and add one extra just for the fun of it. Why stop at 1,000? Why stop at all? Gratitude means you never stop counting your blessings that you become aware of as you number them one by one. So that said, I start again at #936.

936) Making my triumphant return to swing dancing tonight at Centennial Park.

937) How anyone who has ever worked in a corporate environment can relate to the movie Office Space.

938) The Greek on the GO! Strawberry Granola Bites. You can’t have just one. Or at least I can’t.

939) Whenever my family gets together.

940) That I’m losing my mind and as long as I don’t lose the part that tells me when to pee, I’ll be just fine.

941) Reading The Horse and His Boy again for probably the 15th year in a row.

942) Having “Black Horse and the Cherry Tree” as my new text and email alert on my iPhone.

943) Mild summer days with low humidity.

944) Having my only expectations be that God will keep all His promises to me.

945) The Dream of someone.

946) Using Inappropriately Captalized Letters At Random.

947) Having access to the Throne of Grace 24 hours 7 days a week.

948) Sometimes my only mode of transportation is a leap of faith (borrowed from a Facebook post).

949) That I don’t have to fire cannons to call attention to my shining; all I have to do is shine (from D. L. Moody).

950) Borrowing quotes and ideas from people on Facebook.

951) Being able to highlight verses in my YouVersion Bible app on my iPhone.

952) Having all my Christmas music on my laptop in case I ever feel the need for Christmas in July (or August).

953) Office chairs that swivel and spin.

954) Saturdays when it’s not raining.

955) Ditto for Sundays.

956) Not having been hit by any cars in the last 6 months.

957) Being alone and praying in Baskin Chapel at Brentwood Baptist Church.

958) Every time someone accepts my friend request on Facebook.

959) The way when I’m in a serious moment of silence and my stomach suddenly decides to do a spot-on impression of a whale’s mating call (borrowed this one from Pinterest).

960) That the walk of faith is not about seeing the whole journey but taking the next step.

961) That my hope isn’t in a President but a King.

962) Knowing the Kingdom of God is now and not yet.

963) Nerds candy.

964) Big League Chew bubble gum.

965) Meeting an Asian person who hates all Asian food (and thus busting another stereotype).

966) Asian food of just about any kind.

967) All George MacDonald’s fantasy stories.

968) How much I can relate to John Cusack’s characters in just about every one of his movies.

969) Living in the moment and finding God there.

970) My friend at Ultimate Frisbee who looks like Amanda Seyfried and who always makes me smile.