Monday, January 26, 2015

God's Plan...

It is said so often that it has become cliche. "God has a plan for you", "Everything happens for a reason". 

The part we sometimes forget is that we may never know God's plan. We may never know the good that happened in the world because of our suffering.  We need to trust and have faith that all the pieces will fit together, even if we do not know how or why. 

My daughter lost a very good friend today. He was 16 years old and a very strong hockey player. He was the kind of person you want your daughter to have as a friend. He was an example for everyone.  At first, we might as why this has to happen. People might even say he fulfilled his purpose on Earth (another cliche). 

I wonder how many lives he touched in his 16 years. I wonder how many lives are touched by his passing. I wonder how this event will shape the futures of the friends he left behind. 

And yes, the difficult times do make us stronger.  Another cliche, but it is the truth. 

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Put the phone down...

I posted a long time ago about "God in the bathroom". I always seemed to hear God's voice when I took a break. Not only in the bathroom, but during a walk by the lake or a drive to work in silence. 

I haven't noticed His voice much lately. Perhaps because my walks include Blutooth earbuds, the drives include whatever radio station happens to be tuned in and, well, the phone seems accompany me just about everywhere. 

Last night, I was spending quality time with my daughter as she worked on a sewing project. We were both silent while she focused on her stiching and I tried to find a high-scoring combination on Words with Friends. The gentle reminder came from her. "Mom. Put the phone down. Here, why don't you make one of these too."  We talked. We laughed. We found what worked and didn't work with our projects. We did have quality time. 

Perhaps, I am not hearing God's voice as often because I am busy on my phone.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

One Strong Love Song...

This one is not my title, nor was it written by me. But I believe the original source to be the same. When God inspires, He sends the same message to all of us.  Love. 

Please read the text and listen to this song that was written by my friend's son. 

Thursday, January 01, 2015

The road ahead...

Today was the first snowfall of the season.  It started a few minutes before my first walk of 2015. 

As I was nearing the end of my walk, I noticed the fresh, new snow in front of me.  I knew I left a trail of footsteps behind me, but I didn't look back. This is a time to look forward. The fresh snow in front of me is like the new year ahead. It is untouched and waiting for me to leave my mark. What lies behind are my temporary footprints. Temporary because they will either be covered by new snow or eraser by others walking over them. 

The new snow reminds me to always move forward and leave my mark. My footprints remind me to remember where I've been, leave a mark and move forward. 

Friday, July 26, 2013

Back to reality...

I was at Fenway enjoying day 3 of our vacation and chatting with the person sitting next to me.  They were on the final day of vacation and returning to the office the next day.  We enjoyed the beautiful evening after a day mixed with thunderstorms. The Red Sox were winning, the sky was slowly fading to an evening and night sky, the lights were on in the park. It was a moment worth remembering. But, what stuck most in my mind was a comment the other person made. When he said this was his last day of vacation, he followed with "back to reality tomorrow". 

What is reality?  Do we call it reality because it is what we do every day?  Does doing something frequently make it "reality"?  Perhaps reality is sitting at a ball game on a beautiful evening. Or maybe reality doesn't even exist on Earth. We call it reality because it is what is most familiar to us. It is "familiarity" that consumes most of our time. Reality might just be something we have not yet discovered. 

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Worry or Prayer?...

Over the past few weeks, I've had moments in my work where I feel I am not measuring up.  This is not all-consuming, but simply a nagging feeling that won't go away.  Some days, I feel empowered and at the end of the day, I can say "Wow...that was a great day!".  Other days, I feel like I will never catch up with everything that needs to be done.

As I reflect on the differences in these productive days vs the "wasted" days, there is the obvious difference.  The productive days started with prayer.  Was it the prayer that made the difference or simply the fact that I started out organized enough that I had time for prayer so I would have been organized anyway?  Today's experience will answer that question.

I was up for an early conference call that got postponed.  Therefore, I had an extra 1/2 hour at the beginning of my day.  How did I spend that time?  Organizing my work and planning for my next meeting.  While driving to the office later in the morning, I realized I didn't have any morning prayer.  A quick "Hey God...how ya doin'?" was all He got during my drive to the office.  The day was busy with appointments and meetings.  The final meeting was a conference call at 8pm.  But, this was the call I was most concerned about.  I could feel my shoulders tense as I thought about the call.  I wasn't sure how to open the call or how to direct the conversation.  My boss was on the same call and I wanted to impress her - especially since I was feeling like didn't measure up lately.

With less than 30 minutes before the start of the call, my daughter found a plaque while cleaning her room and handed it to me.  My first thought was "Why are you giving this to me?  If you don't want it anymore, put it in the 'stuff you don't want' pile."....Then I looked at the plaque.  This is what it said:

The Difference

I got up early one morning 
and rushed right into the day.
I had so much to accomplish 
that I didn't have time to pray

Problems just tumbled about me 
and heavier came each task
"Why doesn't God help me?", I wondered
He answered "You didn't ask"

I wanted to see joy and beauty 
but the day toiled on gray and bleak,
I wondered why God didn't show me
He said, 'But you didn't seek"

I tried to come into God's presence
I used all my keys at the lock
God gently and lovingly chided
"My child you didn't knock"

I woke up early this morning
and paused before entering the day,
I had so much to accomplish
that I had to take time to pray

The call went better than I could have imagined.  Not because I was well prepared, but because I read that plaque and took the time to say "This one is in your hands. I am done worrying about it."

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Protection from harm...

I have often struggled with the concept that the sin of one man could infect the entire world.  Yesterday, I finally understood.

If we lived in a world without germs, nobody would ever get sick.  We would all be healthy all the time.  There would be no need for sick days.  We wouldn't need doctors. We would never need to take a day off to get better.  We would never appreciate our health because we haven't experienced life without it.

If just one single germ entered that world, people would start to get sick.  People would need to learn how to protect themselves from the germs that are beginning to spread and make everyone sick.  We would have no escape from the germs.  The only solution would be to arm ourselves with protections against the germs.  We take vaccines, we wash our hands, we take time to recuperate when we know the germs are starting to affect us.  If we don't take care of ourselves, we get sick and we need to take even more time to recover.  Sometimes we need the help of a doctor.

If we think of sin in terms of the germs, then it is possible for just one sin to infect the entire world.  We have no escape from it.  The only solution is to arm ourselves with protection against the sin.  We need prayer and time daily to recharge.  If we don't take care of our prayer life, we lose touch and the sin takes over.  We can recover and fight against the effects of sin.  Sometimes we need a doctor to help us recover from the effects of germs (illness).  We need THE doctor to help us recover from the effects of sin (separation from God).

Germs will never go away are are even necessary in our world so we will remember to honor our health and take care of ourselves.  Sin will never go away and is even necessary in our world so we will remember to honor our Father and take care of our relationship with Him.