Archive for January, 2012

broken heartSeasons of trials and troubles, pain and suffering, disappointments and dying dreams can leave all of us with more questions than answers. We find ourselves unable to box our theological answers as neatly as before. We wrestle with questions like, “Where are you, God?” “Why have you deserted me?” “Are you real, God?” In our trials, we reach for our false strengths and we find that they were only illusions.

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Jan
12

Seize the Day!

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seize the dayA few years ago the movie "Dead Poets Society" resurrected a Latin phrase, Carpe Diem, or Seize the Day, an exhortation to live life to the fullest, getting the most out of each individual day.
 
I thought of that phrase this morning as I read Ecclesiastes 9. Ecclesiastes is not on the top of my reading list, but I found myself there today. Throughout the book, Solomon struggles with issues like the vanity and futility of life. Not exactly the book you turn to in order to be encouraged. Yet that is what I found in this passage!
Solomon’s journey had taken him through seasons of pursuing God wholeheartedly to times of seeking his own paths. His wrong choices left him empty, broken, and dis.heart.ened. He had lost heart. 
 
Solomon had great wisdom, wealth, and every whim of his heart was his, yet his long season of pursuing selfish desires had left him disillusioned. We believe he wrote Ecclesiastes toward the end of his life. He reflected on his life and on life in general and shared what he had learned.
 
“Vanity of vanities, all is vanity. What profit has a man from all his labor in which he toils under the sun?” … “I communed with my heart, saying, ‘Look, I have attained greatness, and have gained more wisdom than all who were before me in Jerusalem. My heart has understood great wisdom and knowledge. And I set my heart to know wisdom and to know madness and folly. I perceived that this also is grasping for the wind.” (Ecclesiastes 1:2, 16-17).
 
Wow, that will stoke your fire, huh?
 
Chapter nine continues with Solomon’s exploration of how both good and bad come to all, “To him who sacrifices and him who does not sacrifice. As is the good, so is the sinner,” (vs. 3). And just when you think you want to close the book before you are overcome with discouragement, he offers these truths:
 
“Go eat your bread with joy, and drink your wine with a merry heart: For God has already accepted your works. Let your garments always be white, and let your head lack no oil. Live joyfully with the wife whom you love all the days of your vain life…Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going,” (cheerful, huh?) [verses 7-10].
 
And yet, there is a simple wisdom for us. 
  1. Enjoy the day. We don’t know what will come tomorrow. (Click post title to read entire post)

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Jan
02

The Day My Clothes Spoke to Me

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closetA new year. A new opportunity. A new day. A new beginning. Ah, the inspiration of it!

I spent part of New Year’s Eve cleaning out my clothes’ closet. I took everything out of my closet and laid the stuff in stacks around my room. Then I began. Toss. Keep. Give away. Store in a different place. Reorganize. Somehow the arrival of the New Year beckoned me to start over again.  To think in new ways. To look for new strategies.

Magazine articles about decluttering and organization called to me.

I was in a ruthless mood. If I didn’t love it, it went no matter how much I wondered if it might come back into style in a year or if it might fit me better later.

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