It Seemed Like Nothing

He walked along the trail on a bright summer’s day. He noticed the little pebble wedged between the bottom of his foot and his sandal. It’s no big deal, just an annoyance. He kept walking, changing his gait every-so-often as he shook his foot in an attempt to dislodge the pebble. He never thought of stopping to take off his sandal and get rid of the irritant; that would interrupt his walk, and besides it seemed like nothing. It was quite the sight if you watched from a distance. A full grown man who can easily remove, clean out and put back on his sandal is now taking a few steps then shaking his foot, stumbling a bit, then doing his best to return to a normal gait. Even his normal gait between his stumbling, foot shaking routine had begun to include a slight limp. Still he soldiered on repeating his ritual of limp, shake foot, stumble, limp, shake foot, stumble…

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2020 – The Uncovering of the Illusion of Control

What a year! We have heard it over and over again, “This is the new normal.” We throw it around as if it has a set meaning but the truth is no one really knows what normal was and what the new normal will be. Life was never as predictable as our romanticized memories of the past would lead us to believe. However, in these COVID times when nothing seems to be “normal” the past calls out to us deceiving us into believing that life would be so much better if only things were like they once were.

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Joy

Boy, I struggled with this Advent theme! I feel… I guess I should stop there because I have already started off on the wrong foot. Joy is not a feeling. Joy is supposed to be a constant. Joy is not influenced by situations but rather situations should be influenced by joy with one notable exception. Joy should grow stronger as we recognize that God has a plan no matter what situation we go through. Should’ve, would’ve, could’ve, when it comes to me and joy. Often I allow my feelings to bury my joy, even deplete it. Joy shouldn’t be influenced by situations but if Satan has his way, joy is all but eliminated or at least forgotten/overlooked when life doesn’t go the way we had hoped…

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Love

What does love mean? I am lost in a sea of ideas most of which end up suggesting that I benefit from love. I cannot argue against this idea. Whether I apply a worldly/cultural definition or a biblical one, love always benefits me. That being said, true love in its purest biblical form doesn’t set out to benefit the one who practices it. When one sets out to love like God loves, one must accept that the benefit comes from obedience to the calling of God to love one another. When we love like God does if we expect it to benefit us by making us feel good, we will soon become jaded and withdraw from this practice. Loving like God loves more often than not, hurts…

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Peace

As we continue the Advent series we find ourselves with the same dilemma as we did with Hope. The biblical definition of peace, like hope, does not match the world’s definition. We find in the prophesies of Isaiah a difficult passage about the coming Messiah. For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. Isaiah 9:6-7a (NIV). I personally do not doubt that Jesus was the one Isaiah was referring to but I believe that you can put up a good argument that peace was not and still has not been realized through His arrival. As a matter of fact, things actually became less peaceful once He established a following during and after His life on earth. Even Jesus said…

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