My Mac is On

As I was scrolling through Facebook memories, I ran across a blog post I wrote two years ago about how I was saving up for my Mac Book Pro (cleverly titled “Get My Mac On”).

Here I am, reading that post on my Mac Book Pro that’s now about a year old (and still as fast as ever). It’s one of those little reminders of how time can change your perspective. Things look quite a bit different in hindsight once you’ve had a little time to gain that perspective.

Thankfully,  I never became an Apple snob who looks down at anything PC or Microsoft  (or Samsung). I just happen to prefer my Mac to my old PCs.

I also realize that at the end of the day, it’s still all just stuff. As much as I like my stuff, it doesn’t come close to bringing true fulfillment or happiness. It can’t begin to compete with what really matters: people and spending time with them and making memories with them.

The best use for technology that I’ve found lately is that it helps me to remember. I check out Timehop and see my old cat Lucy and see old friends that I hadn’t thought about in a while. Every now and then, I see old pictures from the Stone Age from when I was little (and yes, they did have photography back then– in color!)

I also remember that there were a few times when I never thought I’d be able to get my Mac. I didn’t think I had the patience and the discipline. This blog post written on my Mac goes to show that as long as you’re still breathing, it’s never too late and there’s always still hope.

And yes, my blog posts ARE 35% hipper and trendier now.

Happy February 14!

It’s Valentine’s Day aka Single Awareness Day aka The Day Before Chocolate is 70% Off. In other words, this day is loaded with expectations. And chocolate.

For those of you in relationships, congratulations. Don’t take them for granted. The good relationships aren’t the ones where the two of you settle but where each of you is still trying to win the heart of the other and outdo each other with acts of love.

For those who are not, the temptation to cynicism and envy and anger is very real. Especially if you’ve reached the point on giving up for any kind of romance of your own.

The key is to get out of yourself. It’s to seek out the unlovable and serve them with acts of love. It’s to focus on the Author of all loves, the one who made us lovable when He set His love on us in the first place.

That’s how Valentine’s Day exists. We love at all because He first loved us.

It’s important to remember that love at its core is not an emotion. While love does involve the emotions, it is ultimately an act of the will. When you stop feeling in love, you still choose to act in loving ways. That’s real love.

No matter where you are on this Valentine’s Day, remember above all that you are loved. God demonstrated His love for us in that while you and I were still sinners, Christ died for us. While we were still enemies with God, Jesus chose those nails for us.

You are the beloved of God. That trumps every other identity and that’s the best way to define yourself and to see yourself on this February 14.

Plus, there’s always chocolate. Chocolate never judges. Chocolate understands. Chocolate will always be there for you.



What Makes Someone Attractive

I heard something at Kairos that impacted me in a powerful way– looks will make you look, but they are not what make you attractive. What makes you attractive is who you are, your character, at the deepest level.

Your attractiveness comes from how much you serve and invest in those around you. It’s about how you pour your life into your friends and family. The most beautiful thing about a person is a servant’s heart shining through.

If all your relationships are based on is looks and appearances, you’re destined for a series of shallow, skin-deep relationships that can never satisfy the deep hunger within. The best relationships are born out of being deeply loved by God and serving out of the vast overflow of that love.

True love is always others-centered. It’s counter-cultural in a culture that defines love with a “what can do you for me?” kind of attitude.

If you look at love at its best and the ultimate example of attractiveness, look at the cross. Look at Jesus forgiving those who put Him up there. Look at the most extraordinary example of sacrifice in history.

2,000 years later, no one can deny that that pivotal moment completely altered history and civilization. People are still drawn to images of Jesus hanging on that cross for love of you and me.

In an age where it’s all about “taking care of me first” and “looking out for number one,” the most attractive thing you can do is to serve someone with no other ulterior motive than for the joy of giving. The way you invest in those around you with no expectation of them ever returning the favor is what makes you beautiful.

You are never more like Jesus than when you wash the feet of others, when you serve the least of these. There can be nothing more attractive than that.



“Young women . . ., I charge you: do not stir up or awaken love until the appropriate time” (Song of Solomon 8:4, Holman Christian Standard Bible).

In my quest to read through the Bible in a year, I recently went though Song of Solomon. I noticed several places where the verse said to not awaken love until the appropriate time.

I have some observations about relationships (from the serial non-dater, so take it for what it’s worth):

Too many are in too much of a hurry to get into a relationship that they’re not considering whether the person they are pursuing may or may not be who God has for them, or even if the person is compatible in terms of sharing faith and life goals.

Too many are so wrapped up in planning every detail of the perfect wedding, yet they have failed to even begin to plan for a godly marriage. No one remembers the beautiful wedding if the marriage tanks. No one.

Too many are staying in relationships because they’ve already invested so much time and effort. As I read recently, don’t cling to a mistake because you spent a lot of time making it.

As much as it sucks to be alone, it’s much worse to be in a bad relationship where you and the other have nothing in common and are pulling in two different directions. To be with someone who mocks and belittles your dreams and only offers you negativity is way worse than being by yourself.

Learn to be alone without being lonely. If you can’t really ever be alone, then you’re not ready to be with someone else. If you’re not comfortable and complete in who God made you to be, then there’s no one who’s going to fix you and make you whole.

Take this with a grain of salt. Or a huge bucketful of salt. But whatever you do, make sure that if you enter into any kind of relationship, pray over it and make certain in your heart it’s what God wants for you instead of asking God to bless what you’ve already decided.


Under the Sun: The Poverty of Just a Little More

“Throughout this experiment, I let myself have anything my eyes desired, and I did not withhold from my mind any pleasure. What was the conclusion? My mind found joy in all the work I did—my work was its own reward! As I continued musing over all I had accomplished and the hard work it took, I concluded that all this, too, was fleeting, like trying to embrace the wind. Is there any real gain by all our hard work under the sun?” (Ecclesiastes 2:10-11, The Voice)

King Solomon tried and failed. Most of us will try and fail. We will seek to find our identity and fulfillment with anything under the sun and not find it.

If your identity is from making money, you will never have enough. You will always need just a little more to be happy.

If your identity is in possessions and status, you will always be striving for the next big purchase, the next big promotion, the next big . . . you get the idea.

If your identity is in your relationships, the other person will never be able to live up to your expectations. Whether its your spouse or your children, they can never come close to being able to define and complete you.

Nothing finite can fill the infinite gap that exists inside of each of us. Only the Infinite can do that. Only God can do that. Only God can be big enough to build your identity on and find completeness in.

Solomon found out through experience over his long life that anything under the sun, while good and well in and of itself, made for a poor replacement for God. His assessment at the end of His life? Have a healthy reverence for God and do what pleases Him– let your identity be in Him.


More Lessons from Lent

It’s been a week since I gave up social media for Lent and so far, I’ve managed to stay away. I’m also trying not to be super-legalistic about it, but I’ve done well so far.

I do miss seeing what everyone’s up to and what their kids and pets are doing. I do feel quite a bit out of the loop when I’m away from social media. I also feel like I’m actually participating in my own life again.

I got to see a good friend of mine in what looks to me like the beginning stages of a dating relationship. I’m to the point now where I can be completely happy and supportive of both of them.

I also was blessed to celebrate the transition of Kairos  leadership from Mike Glenn to Chris Brooks. Even though I’m not the biggest fan of change (as I may have mentioned in passing in a few other blogs), I know that better things are in store for Kairos.

Maybe I’ll actually get back to that novel I started back in December but haven’t been able to get around to in 2016. Imagine that. Reading actual books. It boggles the mind.

I still hope to have more face-to-face conversations and do more of that real life stuff that I’ve been hearing so much about. From what little I’ve seen, I really think I’m going to like it.

In three days, my teenaged geriatric cat turns 16. I almost feel like a parent, wondering where the time has gone from when she was a wee little kitten barely bigger than my hand.

I think at some point in the future, I’d like to take a week or so where I go off the grid completely. No electronics, no phones, TV. Just me getting back to nature and (hopefully) getting my internal clock reset.

I also want to get back to living out of a sense of wonderment. I want to enjoy the moments and give thanks to the Creator not only of the grand universe but also of the smallest details.

There will be more updates as Lent progresses. If you’re pining away without me on social media, you can always reach me at (because I get so few actual emails from actual people these days).


I Hate Goodbyes

I hate goodbyes.

Even though part of me knows that the ending of one thing often brings the beginning of something new and better, I still want to hold on to the old.

Even though part of me realizes that nothing on this side of eternity can last, I still want little pockets of my life to stay the same, for certain people in my life to always stay the same age and never get older. That’s probably the same part of me that still thinks fat ol’ Santa climbs down the chimney to bring me my presents.

Goodbyes are never easy. Tonight was no exception.

We said goodbye to Mike Glenn as Kairos pastor. I understand that it was time for a change. I understand that Kairos needed fresh blood and a new vision. I understand that you can’t keep doing things the same old way year after year and hope for different outcomes.

That doesn’t mean I don’t think it sucks.

People who have been out there in the dating world know how hard it is to say goodbye to relationships. Sometimes even to the dream of a relationship. It’s gut-wrenchingly hard to say goodbye to loved ones who pass away, like aunts and uncles and parents. I can’t begin to imagine what it’s like to say goodbye to your child.

The part that I keep holding on to when unexpected (and sometimes unwanted) change comes is that there is no goodbye in God’s love for me. There is no end to that enless love that won’t let me go. It even holds on to me when I’m doing everything in my power to let go of it.

I can’t envision a scenario in any future where goodbye will ever be an easy word to say. I don’t want to ever get used to saying goodbye.

I know when it comes to my Abba Father and His unconditional extravagent love for me, I never will.



Forgiveness on Repeat

“Nothing worth doing is completed in our lifetime; therefore, we are saved by hope. Nothing true or beautiful or good makes complete sense in any immediate context of history; therefore, we are saved by faith. Nothing we do, however virtuous, can be accomplished alone; therefore, we are saved by love. No virtuous act is quite as virtuous from the standpoint of our friend or foe as from our own; therefore, we are saved by the final form of love, which is forgiveness” (Reinhold Niebuhr).

“Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it” (Mark Twain).

“Forgiveness is the answer to the child’s dream of a miracle by which what is broken is made whole again, what is soiled is made clean again” (Dag Hammerskjold).

I’m still a big fan of forgiveness, because I still need it very much every single day.

I’m no worse than anyone else, but I also have a front-row seat to my own bad choices, bad motives, and poor decisions. I know that God has a lot to forgive in me, and I’m forever grateful that He still does.

My question for me is this: what has anyone ever done to me that tops what I’ve done to God? If God can forgive me for a billion dollar-sized debt of failures and regrets, how can I not forgive what amounts to a few measly dollars (in comparison) of those who’ve wronged me?

I forgive because I fail. I know there will be too many times when I will need that forgiveness not just from God but also from others. So I forgive.

Holding back forgiveness doesn’t hurt the other person. It does hurt you. It holds you back. It keeps you from growing and moving forward. The best illustration is that unforgiveness is like drinking poison and expecting someone else to die from it. Ultimately, that kind of bitterness is fatal to only one person– you.

So forgive, not because the other person deserves it– or even asks for it– because you need it for peace of mind and resolution. So you can finally move on and embrace the next place God has for you.

The end.

Don’t Believe the Hype

I was thinking about how the world was supposed to end in 2012 (according to the Mayan calendar– or someone’s interpretation of it). That didn’t happen. Obviously. The fact that you are reading this is fairly good evidence that the world did not in fact come to a screeching halt.

Today was supposed to be Snowpocalypse 2016. There was supposed to be all this ice and snow and sleet. The result? Not so much. Maybe a dusting of snow. There are a lot of people sitting at home feeling dumb with all their loaves of bread, gallons of milk, and heavy duty snow shovels sitting in their garages, going unused.

A lot of things get overhyped these days. I supposed when you have so many 24-hour news channels you have to fill them up with something.

One thing that can never be overhyped is the love of God in Jesus for you and me. That we can never make too much of.

The hard part comes in not in the reality of that love but in our acceptance of it. We’ve invested our trust into too many other people and things that have let us down and not delivered on their promises. Too many of us have broken hearts and broken lives as a result of misplaced trust.

The truth that I keep getting reminded of is that God’s love is genuine. It’s real. It’s unfailing, eternal, and unconditional. I can do nothing to make God love me less and nothing to make God love me more.

This may be Bible 101 to a lot of you. It may be kindergarten theology to some. I do think that at least one person needs the reminder and needs to see the words that God loves you just the way you are, before you’ve turned over a new leaf and before you’ve turned your life around. God loves you just as you are and He refuses to leave you where He found you. His goal and glory (which is your greatest good) is to see you become just like Jesus.

That’s the real deal.


Step by Step

You know what generation you are by what song came to mind with the above title. If you are from my generation, it was probably Huey Lewis and the News. If you came a generation later, you probably heard the song by New Kids on the Block.

But that has nothing to do with anything. Just one of those random observances that I am so very good at.

I went to the Opryland Hotel after work to see the Christmas lights. I ate at the food court at Opry Mills and walked over. After I reached the hotel, I probably walked for at least a solid hour.

Today, I logged over 21,000 steps on my Fitbit. That’s a new personal record.

It’s true that every journey begins with a single step.

It’s also true that there will be some days and seasons when you don’t feel at all like making a journey, when you are bone-weary, all you can do is put one foot in front of the other.

True maturity and spirituality isn’t about doing great things. It’s about how you keep taking the next step, no matter what, even if you don’t know where the next step will lead you.

If you’re not in that dark place, maybe what God is calling you to is to walk with somebody who’s there. Maybe you can be the encouragement a friend needs to keep going when all they want to do is quit.

One downside from sitting down after all that walking is that you realize how sore you are. On the upside, I saw the usual amazing lights and decorations, plus I got in a fair amount of people-watching (which is probably one of my favorite sports).

Life is hard, so go easy on yourself and on others. You never know the secret battles many are facing, so be sure to err on the side of grace and forgiveness.