keep moving forward

Rejection

Somewhere along this blog journey, I might have explored this idea before. But it's a lesson that needs to be repeated. As a seminary professor once told me "...Repetition is the mother of learning..."

And no matter how old a person gets, one should never stop learning.

I'm still learning. Some lessons I've learned. Some I need to relearn. Recently I've found myself dealing again with the idea of rejection. There used to be a time when I would understand the reason for something like rejection. Now it seems as though the reason for rejection is no longer provided - and so the lesson, the experience tends to be open-ended.

That can be both helpful and frustrating. I don't do very well with frustration.

So how do I get past the rejection and learn from the experience?

  • Acknowledge pain. That can be the catalyst or the indicator that here comes a lesson to be learned.
  • Grieve the loss. Things didn't work out and I didn't win. The feelings are real. Deal with them and keep going.
  • No blame and ask, "What's the lesson?" Explore (questions), examine (sources; what have others had to go through and how does it compare with what I'm going through), and employ the lesson(s) learned.
  • Become resilient. Even grass bounces back when stepped on.
  • Keep moving forward.

Walt Disney was a great illustration of moving forward, and the 2007 film "Meet The Robinsons" captured the understanding...


Pinky and Red

Blooms

Red

My sister and I have been growing our Christmas cacti for several years now. We do it in memory of our mom whose plants bloomed for many years. 

My biggest plant I named "Pinky" because, well, obviously it's pink.

"Red" isn't as big, but he's got blooms that are starting to pop. 

There are white versions available, but I've not found one that looks healthy enough for me. When I find one it will be named Wilson; I figured someone would find the name "Whitey" too offensive. :-) 


Cody, my brave, good boy

Like his sister, Happy, Cody was named after a Disney character.

In the opening of Disney's "The Rescuers Down Under" a little boy scales high cliffs to save a captured, beautiful eagle. The mission is accomplished but not before the little boy is accidentally pushed off the cliff by the freed eagle.

The rescued becomes the rescuer, and just before the little boy falls to the ground, the eagle saves him and shows him the beauty of freedom. 

The little boy's name?

Cody


Goodbye, Buddy Pup

Codybye

It is with great and profound sadness that I had to say goodbye to my four-legged buddy on Wednesday, October 26, 2022. 

Cody had been my canine shadow of 11 years. Old age had severely deteriorated his quality of life. He had stopped eating, and he was struggling to move from arthritis in his joints. I would look at him, my brave, good boy, and his eyes seemed to say to me, "It's time, my friend."

Saying goodbye to part of my heart is never easy, and with Cody it is particularly difficult. I miss him desperately. 


Timeless

Edit Note 10/20/2022 - Original post made on August 1, 2008. As is the case with time and technology, things change. In the course of looking through some of my past entries, I find that videos I had once used in a posting are gone. The search for another source or a replacement can become tedious, because in many of my original postings I had neglected to tag them so I could easily find them. (The search feature of Typepad I have always found to be frustrating.)  But I'm going to repost this one with a fixed video link. Hopefully you'll enjoy it and find yourself wondering what you would do if you could change history...

Voyager1 It had been one of those long days at work. I'm still dealing with the feeling of not really being useful to the team to which I have been assigned. The team is floundering with what direction it is supposed to be going, and I just don't see much of a future with what we're currently doing.

My normal routine is to let the girls out for a run, change out of work clothes, and turn on the TV to see what the day's news headlines might be. Some evenings I'll delay getting updated on reality and instead switch on one of my favorite shows - Star Trek: Voyager.

Continue reading "Timeless" »


psalm 46:10

Be still my soul
Be still and know that He is God

Rest quietly
Rest in His loving arms for
He is watching over you
Ever faithful, ever true
So be still my soul
Be still and know that He is God

Be still my soul
Be still and listen for His voice

Rest in His peace
Knowing how much He cares for
He is watching over you
Ever faithful, ever true
So be still my soul
Be still and know

Be still my soul
Be still and know that He is God

Rest quietly
Rest in His loving arms for
He is watching over you
Ever faithful, ever true

So be still my soul
Be still and know that He is God

from the album Hidden In My Heart: A Lullaby Journey Through Scripture


the divine summons

Lazarus

It is the work of the Holy Spirit to give us life. That’s what “born again” means. And the reason the Lord uses this analogy is because it expresses to us the fact that we have no participation in this birth. You had nothing to do with your first birth, your physical birth. And you will have nothing to do with your spiritual birth. It is a divine work of God. Theologians call it monergistic rather than synergistic. You don’t participate in it. I didn’t participate in it. No person who is born again makes a contribution to that. There isn’t a way to make that happen. That is a divine work of God.

To look at it in perhaps an unforgettable illustration, remember what I said about Lazarus? (See John 11) Lazarus is dead. He’s in the grave. He’s been dead four days. His body is in a state of decay. The Lord comes to his tomb and raises him from the dead. He does it by a call. He says, “Lazarus, come out!” And Lazarus comes to life, comes out of the grave a new creation. The grave clothes are taken off of him; he is fully alive.

We are a race of Lazaruses, spiritually dead. God gives us life and He does it through a call, through a call. Jesus gave life to Lazarus, and He declared that life through calling him out of the grave. And so it is with those who are given life by the Holy Spirit. It is by a divine call. God speaks and life comes to us.

from John MacArthur, The Divine Summons 


believe?

It's a check that I make regularly - like reviewing an owner's manual when things just don't seem to be working the way I thought they should.

I think it's necessary for me to ask this question and review the answer if only to bring me back to the foundation upon which my life should be built.

Do I truly believe? What does it mean to believe in Jesus and how should that determine my next steps of every moment of every day that I live?


respect

Respect

The moment you lose respect for someone is the moment you blame yourself for seeing the same old patterns that once caused you pain and overlooked them. You saw the same red flags, the same inconsistency, the same excuses and you chose to look past them. You saw it coming but part of you was hoping you’d be wrong, part of you was hoping that it’s just your fears creeping in, part of you was hoping that your doubts were just in your head but part of you also knew that this felt familiar, something you’ve seen before, something you’ve been trying to avoid. Part of you knew that this person is not who they pretended to be. Part of you knew this mask very well and knew what’s behind it even better.

The moment you lose respect for someone is the moment you realize that you’ve run out of chances to give out to those who don’t know how to respect you or treat you right and it’s the moment they realize that you were right when you told them that once the respect is gone, you won’t be able to stay, you won’t be able to lower your standards, you won’t be able to look at them with the same admiration and you won’t be able to be as open with them as was previously thought. - Rania Naim


the spirit guide awakens

An imaginary conversation.

Eeyore

Good morning, Eeyore!

If it is a good morning, which I doubt.

I hear you, spirit guide. Some days are worse than others, I guess.

Days. Weeks. Months. Who knows?

Well, I did it again – I ignored your wisdom and now have nothing but regrets. Plus, I hurt inside very deeply.

Yup, I know how that feels.

Why do I even try, Eeyore. I think there are standards of right and wrong, but when I try and live by them, I’m the one who ends up with my face planted on the sidewalk, and enough cuts and bruises to last for many months.

It’s all for naught.

You’ve got that right. But I moved forward without reminding myself of your wisest of words.

I’d say thistles, but nobody listens to me anyway.

No, not that one. The one on your pedestal: Never underestimate the value of doing NOTHING.

---- Eeyore stays silent, looking at me with his “You should have known better” look.

Yes. I know. I messed up and I hate to mess up.

The sky has finally fallen. Always knew it would.

Yes. It sure feels like it. My heart and my head hurts. They’re either bruised or broken beyond repair.

Might take a day or two, but I’ll find a new one.

Thanks, Eeyore. There are moments when I think I’m beyond repair. I look up to people who I guess I thought should lead by example, but instead I get kicked to the curb. The tears fall, I feel like giving up. I crawl back to my dark little corner and wish for the ground to swallow me up.

---- Eeyore smiles quietly and blinks his sad eyes at me.

---- We sit together in the silence.

Well, thanks for listening Eeyore.

The most wonderful thing about Tiggers is you’re the only one. *

Thank you, again Eeyore. I’ll try and bounce back soon.

__________

* Italicized lines are actual quotes of Eeyore from The Definitive List of Eeyore Quotes.


the angry adjective

I knew I was in trouble when I saw/heard the title of the first chapter of the book.

"The Goddam Bridge"

And then in the chapter - I'm guessing for "dramatic effect" - the phrase is used several more times.

Why is it that authors feel it's all right to just flip out the GD word like some angry adjective.

"Words have meaning." Isn't that the idea?  But frankly, resorting to such expletives has little REAL meaning since the writer just seems to bang it out on their word processor without any thought to its reference. For so many writers - particularly writers who should know better - words are cheap. Oh, they'll preach that every word is important, but in cases like this, there seems to be no real thought to importance. 

I mean, why not use phrases like "Buddahdam" or "Mohammeddam"? Oh, you don't want to offend, you say? 

But what do you say to those to whom the name of God is indeed important AND personal AND offensive when it becomes nothing more than the angry adjective?

"Oh well, it's no big thing. People no longer think of it - referring to God - as real, and so it's all right to use it as I have; as they do. "

Yes, yes - use of the name has lost its personal meaning. However, I believe pretentious (and I think ineffective and lazy) writers only use it as an angry adjective.  Writing involves thought - on MANY levels - and when I see/hear it used like this it does NOT convey to me any level of skill. For many, it doesn't even convey any shock. 

It's simply the angry adjective. 

Are there options? Of course there are. The big one being - don't use it. Find an alternative. You say you're a creative writer? Be creative. 

For me, the angry adjective is tired, over-used, and weak. As a chapter title, it feels thoughtless, ineffective, tired. "The Bridge that Killed My Mom" "Crossing Death" "A Bridge Change My Life." Those are options that would make me want to read on.

But the one that the author selected and published started the tale with a wall; I almost didn't continue with the repeated use of the angry adjective within the first chapter.  The idea of the book was what lead me to select the book to read in the first place. Starting by offending me is not a good start.

I guess even the best authors sometimes strike out. I'll give the story a few more chapters. If the wall continues to be built, I won't bother. I'll send it back, remind myself of the lesson learned, and move on. Time is too short to stand in front of a wall thinking the wall is going to say something more important than "I am a wall."

Gimel

 


Psalm 28:7

Ps287
Sometimes the day begins...and I feel so overwhelmed.

It's not that I have so very much to do. I just feel like I don't have enough strength to meet the day with whatever it might bring.

Not tired. Not really struggling.

Just not enough breath to meet the steps ahead. 

How to move forward? How to get through?

The Word needs to grab hold of me and move me when I don't feel like moving...

Strength. Shield. Trust. Help.


i am the bread of life (music monday)

I Am The Bread Of Life
All Who eat this bread will never die
I am God's love revealed
I am broken that you might be healed

All who eat of this Heavenly bread
All who drink this cup of the covenant
You will live forever
For I will raise you up

No one who comes to me
Shall ever hunger again
No one who believes shall ever thirst
All that the Father draws
Shall come to Me
And I shall give them rest


do you hear what I'm not saying?

Please Hear What I'm Not Saying

Don't be fooled by me.
Don't be fooled by the face I wear
For I wear a mask, a thousand masks,
Masks that I'm afraid to take off
And none of them is me.

Pretending is an art that's second nature with me,
but don't be fooled,
for God's sake don't be fooled.
I give you the impression that I'm secure,
that all is sunny and unruffled with me,
within as well as without,
that confidence is my name and coolness my game,
that the water's calm and I'm in command
and that I need no one,
but don't believe me.

My surface may be smooth but
my surface is my mask,
ever-varying and ever-concealing.
Beneath lies no complacence.
Beneath lies confusion, and fear, and aloneness. Ignore
But I hide this. I don't want anybody to know it.
I panic at the thought of my weakness exposed.
That's why I frantically create a mask to hide behind,
a nonchalant sophisticated facade,
to help me pretend,
to shield me from the glance that knows.

But such a glance is precisely my salvation,
my only hope, and I know it.
That is, if it is followed by acceptance,
If it is followed by love.
It's the only thing that can liberate me from myself
from my own self-built prison walls
from the barriers that I so painstakingly erect.
It's the only thing that will assure me
of what I can't assure myself,
that I'm really worth something.
But I don't tell you this. I don't dare to. I'm afraid to.

Continue reading "do you hear what I'm not saying?" »


just a dry old fish

Author Tim Challies writes:

  • We see a woman who walks away from her local church to become a member of a virtual church community tied together by little more than a website, and we wonder if virtual community can truly replace the physical presence of other believers.
  • We sit in church and spot a young person using his mobile phone to send and receive text messages during worship, and we wonder whether he owns his phone— or it owns him.
  • We see a family out for dinner and spot a dad talking on his phone while the kids play with their handheld gaming systems— every member of the family lost in his or her own little digital world— and we shake our heads and wonder, 'What has gone wrong with the world?'
  • We see young men immersing themselves in video games, content to spend endless hours staring at their screens, losing themselves in virtual worlds that must somehow seem so much more interesting and attractive than the real world.
  • We see students dedicating vast amounts of time to social websites like Facebook, suspecting that amid all of this online socializing, they are missing out on the beauty of real-world, face-to-face friendships. (Tim Challies, The Next Story)

I can't justify my attendance/participation in "the virtual church". I know ministries never intended for post-Covid Christians to stay tuned in outside the physical church. I continue to "check in" with my "home church" even though no one checked on me during the pandemic. I still watch the livestream of the home church morning service and still give a weekly offering using an online pay service company each week. I tried informing the home church that their posting of the weekly bulletin is somewhat slapdash, but it seems as though it's not important enough to warrant consistency. Even though services and sermons are readily available using YouTube, the church's own website seems neglected. 

My personal spiritual life is good, though I'm always seeking to improve it. (Believers should never be "satisfied" with their spiritual condition in my opinion.) Primary on my list of doing more/doing better is deepening my love for Jesus and growing in grace and knowledge from various resources. (Currently I'm working on a study of the Gospel of John, realizing just how very unique it is among the gospel accounts of my Savior.)

Do I miss the fellowship of the faithful? Honestly, I'd have to say "no" -- I can't think of ever having felt "connected" in the sense of a local "fellowship". Even though I've desired and have tried making "connections", they just don't happen for me. As a single, other singles in my church circle at the time seemed to be more focused on ending their single lives. Guys wanted girls, girls wanted husbands - and I wasn't suitable no matter how the single loaf was cut. As an adult, I'm not a hunter, mechanic, or any other type of traditional "manly man". (I am trying to create a "camper SUV" in the hope that I can try doing some camper vanning when the temps get cooler.) So, connecting with other men is probably not happening since I'm uncommonly out of the loop. I did try several times to lead Bible studies, but it was disheartening and lead me to think I was just NOT someone with the ability to teach. 

Couples seem nervous that I'm around. Rare have been the invitations to join up or join in - and frankly much of what has been offered in the context of the church has never felt appealing. I had the feeling it was more of a "one off" - a check mark on a list of Christian things to do... One and done. 

I've concluded I'm just the proverbial Christian fish out of water. And a grumpy one at that.

But Bill, how can you call yourself a Christian and not be involved in "fellowship"?

Yes, I struggle with that. I keep informed and pray for the "home church" as well as other needs/situations as they come to my attention. I care for/assist family members as needs arise. I give to various Christian ministries. 

I do what I can, and I leave it at that. Maybe this is my "next story" - or maybe I'm just a dry old fish, but I'll keep swimming...

Grumpfish


not cool

Heat3Murphy's Law of Air Conditioning: The Air Conditioning Unit will fail on the hottest weekend of the summer.

Yep. It did.

I noticed the house felt warm late on a Thursday evening. That was about a week after the service man had been out to fix the unit the week before. That problem was due to a small pump which failed to remove condensation from the unit. When the pump failed, the entire unit shut down. With the pump replaced I thought Cody and I were set for the rest of the summer.

Wrong.

So, when things weren't cooling down, the service man returned on Friday and thought maybe the unit was low on freon - the active ingredient of air conditioning.  He tested the unit and the freon was low, but he suspected there was a larger problem. Hot2

His suspicions were right...and Murphy showed up.

He had a freon detector which he used to test for the escaping gas -- and found that my 15-year-old unit had multiple areas where freon was escaping. His recommendation - and I hated to hear his next sentence. "It should be replaced."

The first thing I thought about was the hot temperatures -- and Cody. The second thing I thought about was money - did I have enough to pay for it? After new vinyl siding for the house and car repairs earlier in the year, I began to fret the funds wouldn't be available.

And all along the way, I was praying and asking God for wisdom. 

The service man said my old unit required a type of freon which is no longer available. Luckily, he had some leftover freon in his garage and brought that out to at least provide me with enough cooling to last the weekend. He also provided me with an estimate of the cost of a new unit.

The infused freon only lasted a couple of hours. He estimated the new unit "might" be available by late the following week.

I had little choice - and Cody and I were facing a sweltering weekend. The service man ordered the unit, and I began to fear the worst.

Continue reading "not cool" »


music monday - O God How Good Thou Art (Psalm 73*)

O God How Good Thou Art—Psalm 73
Text: Anonymous based on Psalm 73; Music: Gregory Wilbur, 2012.

O God, how good Thou art To all the pure of heart,
Though life seems vain;
Burdened with anxious care, I groped in dark despair,
Till in Thy house of prayer
All was made plain.

Ever, O Lord, with Thee, All shall be well with me,
Held by Thy hand;
And Thou wilt guide my feet By Thy own counsel sweet,
Till I, for glory meet,
In glory stand.

In earth or heaven above Who is there that I love
Compared with Thee?
My heart may faint with fears, But God my strength appears,
And will to endless years
My portion be.

O it is good that I May still to God draw nigh,
As oft before;
The Lord Jehovah blest, My refuge and my rest,
Shall be in praise confessed
For evermore.

Vocals: Nathan Clark George

*Psalm 73 contains the verses that I chose as "life verses" - Psalm 73:25-26


schedules...or memories?

Memalone1Schedulers. Daytimers. Bullet Journalers.

Yeah, I used to be one.

It started back in college. With so much to do I constantly felt the need to have a schedule to know what I needed to do and also be sure I was making time to get done those things I had to do.

Why?

Well, I'm a chronic procrastinator. And sometimes the only way things get done would be for me to schedule them.

Plan your work - work your plan.

And to a certain degree that worked... I would take the pile of things I had to do, get a schedule format of some sort, and plan it out. 

Then in the 80's I was introduced to computers and developed ways of doing the same thing with a computer program rather than a ruler, a pencil, a calendar and some highlighters. With the computer and a mouse and keyboard I could schedule my life digitally.

After that I was sucked into what all the other pastoral types were using -- Daytimers. All I had to do was purchase the little booklets in my desired format, slip it into my nifty little notebook, and keep the appointments, projects, meetings all up to date. I could purchase rulers, pens/pencils, extra and varied page inserts, and more - it was the pre-cursor to today's EDC (Every Day Carry).

But no matter the system, one quickly becomes enslaved by time schedules. Gotta get it into "the book" to be sure it gets done. It was - and still is - one of those personal itches that I have to scratch. Recently I was watching YouTube videos from master schedulers talking about "remembering all you read" and "making the most of your time" among other things. One of these cats introduces himself as having produced over 27 books, being "award winning" and blah, blah blah.  Whooooo... But petty soon I was finding I felt I MUST start using this and that method or tool to schedule productivity, get more done, achieve bigger and better things, whatever.

Huge problems, though. One has to be faithful in noting all the "stuff" one has to do, faithful in updating work done and undone, etc. Regardless of whose system one uses, or what method is employed, the key is keeping it up. I mean it starts to become absurd when you start scheduling time to schedule time.

I started to think of the whole thing as being a "Day-slaver" rather than a day saver. 

I guess the desire to be cleverly productive wore thin. It was soon replaced by "bullet journals" which were even MORE intensive - and I think that's when I finally realized something important.

I could schedule out everything I do - from meals, to meetings, to movements, but when it's all done, what does one have to show for it? A little book full of jottings and plottings - some of which are completed, some not, but very little of consequence in the long view. 

I began to think the thing is not the schedule or even the accomplishment.

The thing is the memory. The essence of time is how well it is spent and not in how well it is scheduled. 

Oh sure, I can plan every breath I take, but does it indicate those things that take my breath away? I mean after I'm gone will anyone care whether or not I was accomplished? That my bullet journal was finished and tidy?

I don't think so. The things that matter are the memories.

Watching a spider spin its web. Seeing a hummingbird feast on the blooms of summer. Take in the cool breeze of a fall evening while sipping on some hot cider. Laughing while my dog runs off his "zoomies". Seeing the peony buds in spring and remembering how my niece decided she would stealthily pick every last bud from each peony bush when she was but two.

Memory - that's the thing. I don't schedule much anymore. The odd appointment here and there written on a refrigerator calendar just as a reminder. The rest of my days are just lived as they come, day by day.

One video I watched recently ended with the video blogger asking, "Why did I take the time to do this camping trip? I did it because when I'm old I will have memories, and stories, and times to remember. Those things that make life rich and wonder-filled." I like that...

As I was thinking about all this, I still remembered an evening when I was alone in my college dorm room when I found myself tiring of scheduling everything; it's just a bunch of horse hooey. I was brain tired of studies. Someone had told me of a book they had read by C. S. Lewis called Out of the Silent Planet. They called it "Christian science fiction". I was curious. So, I picked up a copy of the book and after about 30 minutes of reading, I found myself transported to a different time, a different world, and into a story I have never forgotten. My schedule went out the window, and I found myself turning page after page and walking through an adventure of the mind. Some of my classes I remember, some of the projects I know I did because I have the degree they awarded me for having completed the courses, but only a few were truly memorable. 

But the reading of that book - priceless.

And not one schedule in sight. I just picked it up, opened to the first page, and got lost among the forest of words and ideas.

I now find that the best thing to do is not to worry so much about "the schedule". Instead, the more important search is finding the memory.

And that's so much more rewarding.

Memalone


the power of the thoughtless word

There are moments in our lives which we regret having said what we said.

Words easily fly from our mouths or are banged away from our electronics and let loose on the information highway without due consideration of their effects on hearts or mind who might read them.

Needless to say, words written in haste without consideration also run the risk of being misunderstood and as a result either spawn even more thoughtlessness or new levels of anger leading to retaliation

Many have characterized such thoughtlessness as throwing feathers to the wind - once released, they blow where they may and are next to impossible to reclaim.

Damage done. Hearts hurt. Attitudes destroyed.

The Bible has many reminders of the power of words:

Proverbs 11:9 “Evil words destroy one’s friends; wise discernment rescues the godly.
Proverbs 15:4 “Gentle words bring life and health; a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.”
Proverbs 16:24 “Kind words are like honey – sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.”
Proverbs 18:21 “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”

But among my most favorite illustrations of the power of the thoughtless word comes toward the end of  Jane Austin's Emma, depicted by a late film version of the novel:

The one wonderful thing about the incident is that it becomes a character pivot where Emma becomes a changed person as the result of her callous words. Would that everyone would attempt to hold their tongues and consider the power of their thoughtless words before they're said.


thirsty?

Summer. Season for constantly trying to quench the thirst generated by the heat and dryness of the days. It almost seems impossible at times - like anything I drink just isn't wet enough, or cold enough, or just plain satisfying. 

I'm always left with wanting more. Wanting something else.

But there is a thirst that can be quenched. There is a hunger that can be satisfied...

Thirsty2


what kind of boss...?

Boss

Earlier this week I received an email, and it just didn't give me an encouraging feeling.

It's the second version of one I received several weeks ago. That one I had stamped as "WHATEVER" and filed it away with the rest of the stuff I get.

(Yeah, I'm an email pack rat...)

Anyway, Email 2.0 just rubbed me the wrong way. In essence it was a veiled threat coming from someone in a position who should know better.

Were they frustrated? Maybe. Angry? It did have that "I'm not very happy..." odor about it.

There was no praise for those doing right. Absolutely NO encouragement to "do better, try harder, thanks for all you do" unless you can call "cracking a verbal whip" as such. It was one of these "Some are doing it so you must all be doing it" kinds of emails. 

Presumptive and not very flattering. It was stained with bad attitude and felt as if it had been crafted with "I'm better than you" pretension.

Continue reading "what kind of boss...?" »


are you sure?

Assurance

 

"[Believers] deal in certainties in an uncertain world. That is a problem for our uncertain world, isn’t it? It is an offense to people to say that you are certain about everything. It is really an intolerable posture and position to take. But it is the truth. The Bible is a book of absolutes; it’s a book of certainties. We are certain how the universe began; we are certain how it will end. We are certain why God created and how His purpose in the beginning will consummate in the end. We are certain about why people behave the way they behave. We are certain about what is right and what is wrong. We are certain about the elements that make for good human relationships. We are certain about what is necessary to go to heaven. We are certain there is a hell and certain about how people get there. We are certain about all those things. We are certain about God’s promises, certain about His Son the Savior, certain about His substitutionary death, His literal resurrection, certain about His second coming. We are certain about all these things, absolutely certain." - John MacArthur, Christian Certainties (Sermon 62-40, Grace to You)

 

What are you absolutely certain of?

Are you certain of death?

And after you have died, what then are you certain of? 

You can know. Make certain of it -- today!


just for today

As kids, we knew her as "Dear Abby" - the writer of a column of responses to life situations with folksy and practical wisdom. (Sadly lacking in the world today...)

I was looking for the words to a hymn that popped into my mind, and in the searching I stumbled upon this from Dear Abby (her given name was Pauline Philips; her pen name was Abigail Van Buren).

“JUST FOR TODAY, I will live through this day only. I will not brood about yesterday or obsess about tomorrow. I will not set far-reaching goals or try to overcome all of my problems at once.

I know that I can do something for 24 hours that would overwhelm me if I had to keep it up for a lifetime.

JUST FOR TODAY, I will be happy. I will not dwell on thoughts that depress me. If my mind fills with clouds, I will chase them away and fill it with sunshine.

JUST FOR TODAY, I will accept what is. I will face reality. I will correct those things that I can correct and accept those I cannot.

JUST FOR TODAY, I will improve my mind. I will read something that requires effort, thought and concentration. I will not be a mental loafer.

JUST FOR TODAY, I will make a conscious effort to be agreeable. I will be kind and courteous to those who cross my path, and I'll not speak ill of others. I will improve my appearance, speak softly, and not interrupt when someone else is talking. Just for today, I will refrain from improving anybody but myself.

JUST FOR TODAY, I will do something positive to improve my health. If I'm a smoker, I'll quit. If I'm overweight, I will eat healthfully -- if only for today. And not only that, I will get off the couch and take a brisk walk, even if it's only around the block.

JUST FOR TODAY, I will gather the courage to do what is right and take the responsibility for my own actions.”

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