Does anyone else find themselves living in a state of busy. On Monday morning when i get to work i and my co-workers compare notes and horror stories about whose weekend was more busy. When someone asks me, “How are you?” i bombard them with my daily to-do list. i may answer with something like “Ohhhhhh MY goodness! I’m sooooo busy! Let me tell you how BUSY I am…” And i rattle off all of the places i have to be and things i have to do.

And… i do all of this with an air of disgust and dread instead of joy with the decisions i have chosen myself. Then the other person has to one-up my busy with their busy. No wonder energy drinks are a 40 billion dollar a year industry.

So what am i so busy doing? And do i think i’ll get a prize for how hard my life is? Do i really think i’ll find joy in being busy? Is my exhaustion a badge i wear with respect and honor? Or… is being busy a cover up for my lack of joy, my nagging lack of purpose and significance that all to often eats at me?

If a day of back to back activities, work, church and family functions is not my idea of how to spend my weekend, then why am i spending my weekend that way? I thought i was wise?

What’s this all for? Why?

Could the answer be… so i don’t have to feel.

Feel what?

Feel the urgency, the pain, the beauty, the joy, the fleeting moments and the passing years. Feel what we see in the news. Feel what’s going on with my family or the family down the street that i know who is battling cancer. Feel the effects of aging, my kids and grandkids growing.

Honestly i have moments when i’m fearful of missing moments with my children and grandchildren. So in a panic i create a 1,000 moments for the fear of sinking too deeply into just that one that will pass me by too quickly, reminding me of my humanness.

In my relationships i may be fearful of the silence and loneliness with another in which i am vulnerable and exposed, so i fill up my moments without any thought. i fill my calendar with gatherings and meetings, work and overtime work, food and more food, a touch of sports and shows, weekend get aways and vacations in sun shiny places.

Stillness can be telling. Silence can stir up the truth. Maybe i’m afraid to be still. Afraid of what i will hear if i brush aside the noise and instead pick a few beautiful, slow, still moments to witness in full depth, full glory.

Some are afraid of lacking worth so they spin around in circles distracting themselves and everyone around them, proving their worth futilely in their busy lives while real life is slipping right by them… unnoticed.  i do this when i should be waiting, being still enough, brave enough to have my soul stirred to it’s core.

So here’s a challenge. Try a different way. See what happens. Face the fear and feel life. Clear the calendar of the clutter and give yourself a chance to feel your way through the moments instead of cracking the whip on them.

See what happens. I dare you. I dare you to un-busy your life.

 

With listening to approximately 16 hours of music every day i am finding many great songs that speak to me when i not just hear them but listen to them. i’m actually in the process of creating a playlist of songs by categories thus when i’m sensing fear i have a category with songs that help me through the fear. If i’m feeling lost or overwhelmed then there are categories of songs for them as well. The possibilities are endless. Music today is filled with life experiences and direction from the word as to how to make sure that my every thought is taken captive to the word.

Today i’ll share a song titled Blessings and it stirs me up to look at what i off the cuff consider to be trials or problem circumstances when i reality they just may be the exact thing i needed.

i have included the You Tube link for easy listening and i’m including the lyrics with a comment or two about the significance of the words i’m hearing. And one last detail… i’m personalizing the lyrics to me.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XQan9L3yXjc

i pray for blessings, i pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while i sleep
i pray for healing, for prosperity
i pray for Your mighty hand to ease my suffering
And all the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love me way too much to give me lesser things

(Every time i hear these words i immediately reevaluate what i’m praying for and specifically i’m determining if i’m asking for my will or God’s will to be done based on my words.)

‘Cause what if your blessings come through rain drops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

(When i hear these words i look back over the years and realize how many things i have learned through tears and sleepless nights.)

i pray for wisdom, Your voice to hear
i cry in anger when i cannot feel You near
i doubt your goodness, i doubt your love
As if every promise from Your word is not enough
And all the while, You hear each desperate plea
And long that i’d have faith to believe

(When i hear these words they cause me to think on God’s mercy and Grace as i should know better than this but i have my moments, days and weeks.)

‘Cause what if your blessings come through rain drops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

When friends betray me
When darkness seems to win
i know that pain reminds this heart
That this is not,
This is not my home
It’s not my home

(This is where i am reminded of God’s love for me and my responsibility to love others as myself.)

‘Cause what if your blessings come through rain drops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near

What if my greatest disappointments or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy
What if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are your mercies in disguise

( With these words i am reminded that there is no doubt that the things i call trials are absolutely His mercies in disguise.?

That’s the basics of how i listen to my music and apply it to my life. Often i get a little more detailed and add scripture verses. Then there are times when i have to listen to the song over and over until it takes me to the place where i should be verses the distraction that has captured my mind.

This is the closing post on the subject of “Life Is.” It’s a great summary and i wish i had written it. But, i didn’t. It was written by someone i hardly know and yet after reading this i felt like i had known him for years. Kindred spirits is all i can say. my hope is that you enjoy it as much as i have.

Life is a first date and a couple in the arms of new love where their hands gently, and accidentally, brush together. Life is holding the hand of the one you love as pledge yourself to a lifelong struggle of passionate love and commitment before

God, family, and friends. Life is holding that same haimagesnd and praying for God to take away the cancer that is slowly turning the one you love into a shell of who they used to be. Life is longing for the hand that has held yours and wondering if God could ever heal a hole that seems so vast and so real.

Many equate life with this finite span of physical existence, loving relationships, and emotional experiences that begin joyously at birth and end abruptly in death.  Life is a flower in the field, growing and beautiful, but gone in the morning. Those we know are here today and gone tomorrow. We wake up remembering what it felt like when we were young, but as we roll out of bed we feel the weight of all the years that were gone too fast. When we look at it this way life is wonderful and beautiful but ultimately it is a defeat and no victory can be found in it. Because, life explained only in terms of this world will always leave us wanting.

Is this what Christ meant when he said he wants to give us “abundant life”. Did he give us the beauty of a sunset or the joy of love as the height of life? Or is there something more?

I would like to suggest that we have begun to translate what is offered in this world as a definition of life. All its joys and sorrows, comforts and worries, all we can feel and see have consumed us. We no longer know of the Kingdom of God here and now. Life can be found in this world yet it is much more. Christ came and has shown us what true life is. We miss the awesome power of these words, “I AM the way and the truth and the life”.   What Paul said is right “For to me, to live is CHRIST and to die is gain.” To live in this world is to live in humble obedience to Christ and to sow the rewards of eternity. A life lived as a beacon for Christ will be rewarded in eternal life, where death is a beginning.

Life is Christ. Life is abundant and eternal love. Life is trouble in this world and tremendous wonderful joy in the next. We live here and now, but we fix our gaze on eternity and true life. This truth will give us eyes to enjoy the meaning and purpose of today as well as experience, in part, the joy and reward of Christ.  Life is the joyous communion we have, through Christ and in the Spirit, with the God of Abraham.

The first century church with all the persecution and turmoil knew of a life that few in this generation have ever tasted.  We have entertainment, comfort, technology, education, and everything we could ever need.  We have interpreted life and it’s meaning from these things. But life is found in the pierced hands of our Savior. The knowledge and love of Christ will illuminate the love we have in this life and it will bring forth joy from sorrow. The way to the find the true interpretation of life is up Calvary’s hill, passed the entrance of an empty tomb, and is seated at the right hand of the Father.  In Christ true life is made clear.

Life Is… One Liners?

Posted: April 29, 2015 in Life Is...
Tags: ,

So today i thought i would share some of the responses i have gotten from people and from my own research. There are just two more posts for this imagesseries.

Let me start off today’s post with my grandson’s answer. i asked him the question, Life is… and within seconds he answered, “Life is what you make it.”

Life is… greener on the other side

Life is… when you wish upon a star

Life is… somewhere over the rainbow

Life is… ten percent of what happens to you and ninety percent how i respond to it – Lou Holtz

Life is… just a mirror, and what i see out there, i must first see inside of me – Wally “Famous” Amos

Life is… a zoo in a jungle – Peter DeVriesUnknown

Life Is… a maze

Life Is… a game

Life Is… winning and losing

Life is… divided into the horrible and then the miserable – Woody Allen

Life is… like an onion; you peel it off one layer at a time and sometimes you weep – Carl Sandburg

Life is… a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing – William Shakespeare

Life is… the flower for which love is the honey – Victor Hugo

Life is… very interesting, in the end, some of your greatest pains, become your greatest strengths – Drew Barrymore

Life is… hard; it’s harder if your stupid – John Wayne

UnknownLife is… as tedious as a twice told tale – William Shakespeare

Life is… is something that everyone should try at least once – Henry J Tillman

Life is… an unbroken succession of false situations – Thornton Wilder

Life is… not a matter of holding good cards, but playing a poor hand well – Robert Louis Stevenson

Life is… one big road with lots of signs. So when you riding through the ruts, don’t complicate your mind. Flee from hate, mischief and jealousy. Don’t bury your thoughts, put your vision to reality . Wake Up and Live! – Bob Marley

Life is… full of suffering, and there are defeats. No one can avoid them. But it’s better to lose some of the battles in the struggles for your dreams than to be defeated without ever knowing what you’re fighting for. – Paulo Coelho

 

Let’s look at the last sentence of John 6:63, “The words (truths) that I have been speaking to you are spirit and life.”

So it says that the Words, truths that Jesus was speaking were spirit and life. Selah…. (Pause and think on this) Upon first reading i immediately took that to say that life is the words Jesus spoke. But… it does not say life is the words i speak. No doubt there is life and the spirit in the words Jesus spoke. Jesus spoke words and Lazarus came to life so from that it could appear that life is the word. I happen to think there is a difference between life being the word and the words i speak having life. i think in part what Jesus is saying is that to simply breath has no benefit, no profit and i get that! Breathing without Christ… well, what’s the purpose?

Hebrews 4:12 says “For the Word that God speaks is alive and full of power [making it active, operative, energizing, and effective]; it is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating to the dividing line of the breath of life (soul) and [the immortal] spirit, and of joints and marrow [of the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and sifting and analyzing and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart.

This can get a little deep for my purposes but you can research it on your own if you desire. His words are nourishment to our spirit and our soul. His words have the power of life and death in them.His words change lives, transform situations and make the impossible possible.

DEEP BREATH…. TIME TO TRANSITION… So how do i reconcile all that with Genesis 2:7 “Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.” Does that put me right back at Life Is… Breath, more specifically God’s breath?

So, what is the breath of God? my understanding is that the breath of God is the life and power of God, and is given to man to animate him.

The Creator of heaven and earth did two things in creating man. First, He formed him from the dust of the ground, and, second, He breathed His own breath into the nostrils of Adam. This distinguished man from all of God’s other creatures.

Genesis 2:7 reveals three significant facts about man’s creation. The first is that God and God alone created man. God created the substances, and then He used those substances to create man. God had both the omniscience (all-knowledge) and the omnipotence (all-power) to do exactly what He wanted.

Second, God breathed His own breath of life into man. Man is more than “dust” or physical substance. Maimagesn has a spirit. Picture it this way: Adam’s body had just been formed by God from the dust of the earth—a lifeless human body lying on the ground. Then God leaned over and “breathed” His own “breath” into Adam’s nostrils. So what exactly did God give Adam? i have always believed that when God breathed into Adam He gave him a portion of EVERYTHING He is. Much like a candle lighting another candle. What does the candle being lit get? A portion of everything the already light candle has!

Third, man became a living soul. The word soul in Hebrew is nephesh, meaning “an animated, breathing, conscious, and living being.” Man did not become a living soul until God breathed life into him. As a physical, animate, rational, and spiritual being, man is unique among all living things upon the earth.

This is starting to sound like the “which came first question, the chicken or the egg,” Gods’ breath or God’s Word?

 

i think we can all agree that, no air, no breath, no life! Wikipedia says, Breathing is the process that moves air in and out of the lungs, or oxygen through other breathing organs such as gills. For organisms with lungs, breathing is also called ventilation, which includes both inhalation and exhalation. Breathing is one part of physiological respiration required to sustain life. “Breathing is required to sustain life” but is it life?

breath-of-GodBreathing is one of the few bodily functions which, within limits, can be controlled both consciously and unconsciously.

Conscious control of breathing is common in many forms of meditation, swimming, cardio fitness, speech or vocal training, where one learns to discipline one’s breathing, initially consciously but later sub-consciously, for purposes other than life support.

Unconsciously, breathing is controlled by specialized centers in the brainstem, which automatically regulate the rate and depth of breathing depending on the body’s needs at any time.

So, without air, without breath there literally is no life. So is this the one true answer and all the others are a by product of this one. i mean life wouldn’t be so awesome without the air i breath. Life wouldn’t be a series of events without air and breath. Life just wouldn’t be anything if it weren’t for air and breath… right?

And what about those people that we all know who seem to have no life despite the fact that they breathe? Now if that’s true then breath, air, is not the answer i’m searching for. i mean air can exist without man but breath can not take place without air, but as i just shared i know many people who breath but they appear to have no real life. Sure they have a physical life but is that the life Jesus meant when spoke about life?

Perhaps this gets confusing because there is a physical life and a spiritual life and i’ve been looking for an answer that will cover them both? That’s somewhat surprising to me as i usually go directly to the spiritual because for me everything is spiritual. Physical is temporary but spiritual is eternal… right?

Look at John 6:63, Jesus says, “It is the Spirit Who gives life [He is the Life-giver]; the flesh conveys no benefit whatever [there is no profit in it]. The words (truths) that I have been speaking to you are spirit and life.”

It is the Spirit Who gives life [He is the Life-giver]. So it is a spiritual matter and add to that the words that follow, “the flesh conveys no benefit whatever [there is no profit in it].” So does that mean that air, breath, are not what life is? And… what does this verse do to the other “Life Is…” answers we have shared?

Here’s one thing i know for a fact as of this post. i know where life comes from and i’m thinking that knowing where it comes from will help me to understand what it is.

Today’s post comes from a reader.

Well, this is my maiden blog and what a wonderful subject with which to launch!  As I understand it, the blogging question is “What is Life”.  So….here goes…..

Life is the very essence of Jehovah God Himself. In Genesis, God gathered together a collection of dirt/clay, shaped it into a creation named Adam, which housed both man and woman.  Then He breathed into their nostrils His essence….life.  Adam had no memories, no behavioral patterns, no perspective on everyday affairs, he was just an inanimate object made of clay until God breathed Himself  (spirit) into him.  At that time Adam/Eve were one with God because  they had His thoughts,  imagesmotivations, character, ability to speak His personal language and was able to commune with Him on His level. This was His big dream and His plan all along, to have a family and a Bride for His Son that thought the way He did, loved what He loved, hated what He hated, was in sync with His emotions and plans.

We had that ability until the choice was made in the Garden of Eden to allow our soul,which can only operate through information given to it, to rule. Free will is located within our souls/intellect and was the key ingredient to maintaining our relationship with God. God has to be our first love by “choice” so hence, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  We chose to receive a counterfeit source of life that comes thru outside information, experiences, etc to determine our identity, thoughts, memories.  As a result of not choosing to allow our spirits to lead and interpret these things for us, the very life-sustaining, immortality that was given to us by God began to grow less effective in our lives and our bodies became mortal.

There is only one source from which a human being is given life, and  that is God. There is no other entity that can cause something to come to life.   We all have a spirit that came from God that keeps us physically alive but because of Adam’s choice, we do not have complete access to it until we are born again. The Holy Spirit then begins to unpack all  that was hidden since the fall  in the Garden.  When  Jesus  said ” I have come that you might have “life” and  have it more abundantly”, He was indicating that we already have the source of “life”, our spirits, which keeps us physically alive, but that Holy Spirit would begin unpacking a measure and dimension of “abundant life” packed  away in our spirit  that our souls could never dream of.

Wow!  The ability to live life and commune with God on His Level!

So, to me when I am asked “What is Life?” , it is being who you were created to be, His Equal Partner .  Can you imagine?

Life Is… HARD!

Posted: April 16, 2015 in Life Is...
Tags: , , , , , ,

After three weeks the number one answer by far is Life Is… HARD!

So how about you? Is life hard for you? Do you struggle all the time? Do you wish things were easier? If so, that puts you in exactly the same boat as most others.

People don’t realize it because we trick ourselves. We think, “If i had ‘X,’ everything would be fantastic! If i could just achieve ‘Y,’ then everything would be wonderful!”

Thing is, that’s not true. Guess what happens when we get our heart’s desire? We walk on a cloud for a few hours, weeks or maybe a month and then, we adjust. We think, if i were rich, life would be easy! If i were famous, life would be grand! If i could just looking like that person, i’d never have anything to complain about.

Everyone knows that rich people, famous people, successful people, extraordinarily beautiful people have just as many problems as everyone else. It’s just a different set of problems.

Matthew 6:34 (MSG) says, “Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.”

Here’s what i have found… my life is hard when i take my attention off Him. AND… the farther away from Him i get the harder life is. This is one of those experiential things. i can share till i’m blue in the face but you won’t get it until you experience it for yourself. Perhaps the picture can at least bring us some perspective.

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So here’s one for thought…

images

Life is like a camera…

Focus on what’s important,

Capture the good times,

Develop from the negatives,

And if things don’t work out, take another shot.

 

Life Is… A Series Of Events?

Posted: April 10, 2015 in Life Is...