Tuesday, December 16, 2014

"Very Good"

It's hard enough for me to understand that the very creator of the universe, the most perfect and holy being, God Himself, would forgive us of our sins, that he would make a plan to allow us to continue in blessed relationship with Him, but that's not even the extent of God's mercy. 

Not only does God forgive, He redeems. 

He takes what is broken, messed up, and torn, and He makes it into something good. 

"As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good," (Genesis 50:20a) ESV

"And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose." (Romans 8:28) ESV

After all, God created all the earth and everything in it and surrounding it out of nothing. It would be no small task for Him, King of Kings and Lord of lords, to take something evil, to take a sinful past, to take that which is wrong, and make it, somehow and divinely, into something good. Not only good, but very good.

Connected Quote? How about this one?

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Next Time

So maybe this time you messed up. Maybe this time you missed that opportunity.

What are you going to do next time? Make a plan, make it today.

Once, I heard someone say that living a holy life is just obeying God the next time he prompts. And then the next time, of course, and then the next. But rather than looking at the daunting 'for ever and ever', just focus on being prepared 'next time'.

The plan is the important part. The plan, covered in prayer. Because without a plan, you'll fall into the same things. At least I do. After all, it's easier to do something you've already done than to try something new.

"Fail to plan," they say, "and you plan to fail."

So use the motivation from this missed opportunity, this slip (or jump) into sin, this attitude-- use it for fuel for next time.

Only, don't wait for next time to make that plan.

Connected Quote?

Friday, December 05, 2014

When Business Gets in the Way

A couple weeks ago I had a meeting with one of the parents of a student, but they had to cancel last-minute due to a family emergency. I didn't get any details, just 'family emergency'.

And the next day, when they picked up their child, I asked when they thought we'd be able to reschedule.

About five seconds later I realized that wasn't the right question to ask. I should have asked how they were doing. I should have asked how I could pray for them. Instead, I was so focused on business, on getting things done that I thought were important.
Fast forward to this Wednesday when I left school before lunch feeling terrible and sick and altogether bleh. And Thursday morning, feeling better again, calling students to my desk to recite the week's memory verse.

"Do you know this week's memory verse?" I asked one boy.

"Yes," he said quietly without hesitation, "But I'm just glad you're back."
Sometimes, business can wait. Usually, actually.

People themselves are more important than whatever needs doing.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Autumn. Fall. Any other name, might smell as sweet.

The genuine colors of fall.

Music wafting through the air,  like comfortable and familiar memories.

Books. Books that walk the tightrope between tragic and lovely. Books that open a chasm, a craving for words.

Smooth, rich, sweet honey. Dripping gently, soaking softly, sticking determinedly.

Cider thick with flavor and warmth. Comforting cider on the early-morning drive to work.

Sitting, whispering, talking, giggling with sisters home for a visit.

Autumn, the poetic and sing-song name. Fall, the casual and trite name. Connotation is incredible. Roses might smell the same even if they had an ugly, disagreeable name-- but would we approach them for the smelling?

Cleaning nooks and crannies, diligently. On a mission to avoid grading, avoid bedtime, avoid the busy next day.

But always the brisk air, the sky crowded out by clouds, the leaves cut off from water and falling from the trees. Expendable leaves. Always the sweaters and scarves, the thick leg-warmers and wool socks. Always the ticking of time, the predictable switch of seasons, the patterns. The patterns that, year by year, look a little new and a little familiar.

We know what comes next in this pattern: figid air, snow, Christmas.
But it's not here yet. Don't let this present pattern piece pass before squeezing out every single thing it has to offer.

Don't ignore this autumn.