Preparation – Is it ever too Early to Prepare?

Holiday Preparation?

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Are you making preparation for the upcoming holidays? It seems that hardly before the light in the jack-o-lanterns extinguished and All Saint’s Day arrived, people were talking about making preparation for the holidays. But they weren’t really talking about this month’s major holiday in the United States, Thanksgiving. No, they were talking about what preparation they needed for…you guessed it, Christmas! This week, my Facebook feed filled with news of decorating and gift buying for Christmas. My “friends” and a lot of advertisements discussed putting up Christmas trees, lights, and the whole gamut. It seems that as people have spent a lot more time at home, they are looking for ways to brighten up this “crazy” year. Now before the “Grinches” and “Scrooges,” that are flipping out about Christmas before Thanksgiving, tune me out. Let us give some thought that perhaps consistent and early preparation isn’t such a bad thing.

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Self-Help vs. Self-Improvement and the Winner is…

The Self-Help Industry

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The self-help industry is a multi-billion-dollar industry that is driven by the dissatisfaction of life for many people. The world pushes a constant need to be more, do more, and ultimately gain “happiness” achieved only by being something different. If someone feels they need to change any area of their life, they can count on finding someone ready to sell them a bill of goods that will “fix” their problem(s). There are books, seminars, audios, and video products along with personal coaching on just about anything one could want to change about themselves. Interestingly, however, is the contradiction that the word, itself holds. There is no such thing as “self-help” if you are relying upon someone else’s advice, plan, or support.

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Simple Things – The Deceptive Ways of Simplicity

Simple Things

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Do you like simple things? If you want to catch my attention, then tell me something that will make my life simple. I can be somewhat of an organizational nerd and will spend loads of time developing lists and schedules designed to make my life simpler. What I have learned, however, is that simple is not always easy, and what appears on the surface as simple can be deceptively difficult.

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Breathing In–Experiencing the Presence of God

Breathing in the Season

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Are you breathing in the wonderful days of the season? In my world, the trees are displaying dazzling colors of splendor with a new “show” each day. The forest is emitting indescribable, but comforting smells of musk and fir that waft through the crisp air as the flora prepares itself for the upcoming winter. The calls of the wild, sound through the air as animals scurry about making their preparations for leaner times. These are the things I see, hear, smell, and feel as I take my daily hike to the top of the mountain, breathing in life and experiencing the presence of God. Are you experiencing the presence of God in this season of your life?

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Consideration – A Necessary Clothing of Life

Cleaning Closets

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Do you wear the clothing of consideration as you interact with other people in your daily life? Consideration, as defined by Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary is thoughtful and sympathetic regard or opinion obtained by reflection. However, reading or listening to the news of politics and mayhem, it appears that it is something that has fallen by the wayside. What has happened to common courtesy and politeness in society? Are we hiding behind our social media platforms? A place where many people feel they hold anonymity and can freely fire off random unthoughtful speech with little thought that they wouldn’t in face-to-face situations? Since we’re in a new season, maybe it is time for all of us to put on a new layer of clothing.

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Pressing On while Holding Tightly to the Progress

The Struggles of Pressing On

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It is amazing how much change is taking place each day of this new season. The leaves are turning quickly, and the forest is thinning out pressing on through the season. Trees cycle through this phenomenon every year as they transform themselves in the spring with bright gentle buds to the rich green leaves of their full summer glory. Then fall approaches and they give it their all with one last blast of magnificence creating coats of stunning reds, oranges, yellows, and the richest of browns before submitting to the barest of limbs for winter. Life is like that as well. There are bright new times, full glory times, last-ditch efforts, and dark times. It is through these life lessons that like the trees, we can keep pressing on because we hold on to the smallest signs of progress we have made as we journey forth in life.

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In or Out? – Where are you?

A Time for Action

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We are now officially in fall and the last few nights my weather has bordered on winter. Are you readying for cooler weather where you live? Like a squirrel making preparations, the cooling temperatures have spurred me to get a lot of repairs and cleaning up finished before the real cold weather comes. Since I lack the skill set to do much of this work, I find myself almost daily trying to find help. I have learned that it is often difficult to find tradespeople these days that are qualified and available to follow through on jobs. Are they committed to be in, out, or somewhere between?

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Proclaiming Thanks – The Ultimate Trust in All Times

Life’s Wilderness

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Do you feel like you are in the wilderness? Are you proclaiming that the “good old days” were better? Many of us long for things to return to “normal,” whatever that means. But maybe the “normal,” that we remember wasn’t so grand if we dissect it properly. When the wilderness gets dark and plain scary, we often long for what we did hold even if that wasn’t so great. It is so easy to spend our time proclaiming complaints when we’re uncomfortable, tired, anxious, or even hungry. We don’t like to be any of those things. But how much are we proclaiming that God is still at work even if we can’t see Him? Proclaiming our thanks to God even when it is difficult to see things to be thankful for can be a struggle. But this is the ultimate display of trust and faith in our Creator.

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Obstacles of Life – Finding Your Way in the Dark

Are You in the Dark?

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When obstacles block your way of daily life where do you turn? Sometimes life can be dark and dismal as problems get in our way. Sometimes fear and anxiety can even immobilize us even when we only imagine issues on the horizon. How do we combat the darkness that crosses our life path? Where do we turn? How do we find our way in the dark and avoid tripping over the obstacles around us?

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Considering Others – Reflecting on Your Approach

Considering an Almost New Season

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Sometimes it is difficult to put other people before ourselves, especially when we are bombarded with issues and problems of our own. But in our world today, considering others over ourselves may just be more important than ever. It is too easy to focus on ourselves when life overwhelms us, and we can’t see past our issues. And occasionally, it is just as easy to forget about others when we are on top of life and all is well. However, considering others, whether life is going great or it is in the pits, should always be at the top of our list. Not only is considering others the “nice” thing to do, it is through this type of love that the requirements of God’s law are met.

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