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Showing posts from September, 2011

Fully Formed

Recently I have found myself frustrated by the choices I've made. I have said some things in retrospect I wish I had not said...done some things in retrospect I wish I had not done. To be sure this is not a new situation for a human to find himself or herself in. I think Paul said it best in Romans chapter 7:15

Yes. I'm full of myself - after all, I've spent a long time in sin's prison. What I don't understand about myself is that I decide one way, but then I act another, doing things I absolutely despise. So if I can't be trusted to figure out what is best for myself and then do it, it becomes obvious that God's command is necessary. The Message

Most of us prefer the language of mistake to sin. Most of us try really hard to cover up our mistakes rather than publicly tout them. Most of us find it hard to look at the reflect staring back at us in the mirror and see that we are: fully formed, unconditionally loved, and surrounded with unceasing grace.

Lessons from Golf

Last summer I took up the game of golf. It has at once been one of the most joyful and difficult things I've done. It never ceases to amaze me how much the rhythm of golf teaches me about life. For example I have learned from golf:

1). Relax...if you are shoulders are tense the chance of you hitting a bad shot go up enormously. Likewise, when I go into an event, experience, worship service or meeting feeling all the weight of the world on my shoulders my words slice off like a golf ball right into the woods.

2). Look around. The whole point of golf in the upper Midwest is you get to be outside. That may sound a bit strange to our friends in the south...but winter here can drag on and on and on. Golf gets you outside and often with friends. Enjoy the shade of the tree or the warmth of the sun on your face, enjoy the laughter and someone else to smile and cheer when you sink a putt or stand silently by when you shank a shot...that is all part of leaning into life.

3). Practi…

Lean into Life

So often today we struggle trying to make sense of the blur we call "life". This is most profoundly true at the extreme times.

Someone we love dies

We lose our job

We are offered another job, better pay and we have to sort all that out if we want to leave our current job

We notice that a significant relationship in our life either suddenly changed or over the last several years has slowly changed in such a way that we no longer recognize it

To be sure such rough, rocky times in life we might find what helps us through is a pint of Ben and Jerry's ice cream. Or perhaps for others something even more addictive or even destructive. I recently heard we are the most overweight, addicted, medicated, in-debt adult Americans.

We are trying to find joy, meaning, hope, peace, maybe even numb the pain, in some way. So, the new pair of shoes are great and you get lots of compliments the first time you wear them. Only a month later to see the scuff marks and your friends praising some…

Tell me a Story

We live through stories. If you want to know more about someone get her to tell you a story. It is how we communicate our deepest feelings, hopes, the way we see our self, and countless other details.

Stories, most often, come straight out of our experiences.

I can tell you the story of how I met my wife.

I can tell you the story of the first time I saw my son and daughter.

I can tell you the story from a summer vacation.

The list goes on and on.

Because we make sense of our life through stories that come out of our experiences, it is very difficult not to get caught up in thinking, acting, believing that our stories and our experiences are the only truth.

I'll tell you a story. I was visiting with someone the other day who told me a story about a visitor who came over from England and was amazed that people in our countries had actual lots their houses sat on. The person then went over to England and saw first hand row houses and how confining that was compared to Midwest housing…