counting marbles Daily Post

Do You Want to Build a Snowman?

I am so excited, today is Wave All Your Fingers at Your Neighbor Day!  What a great motivator to make sure we take a positive action towards our neighbors.  (Oh, you might want to remind yourself of the  who that is!)

Speaking of something that motivates, take a look at this. This is my dad.  No, not the little guy with the scarf, but the other one.

And this is my mom. Yes, the one in white. No the tall one!


Yep, that’s my parents out playing in the snow.  My parents, who should we say automatically qualify for certain discounts at certain restaurants. This week 8 inches of snow and cold temperatures came their way.  They could have just waited inside by the nice warm fireplace, however, they  found a way to turn this ‘hardship’ into some good fun and action.  It’s just a snowman you might say (and a clean driveway!)  But to me, and I hope to you as well, it was a great reminder to keep on going, to keep looking for bright spots and to find ways to ‘do’ even when conditions are not perfect.

It was also a great way to spend those few precious days that we are given on this Earth, making memories and impacting others.  So lets bring on the weekend, and the celebration of Man Day on Sunday! It’s the end of the 6th week (46 to go!),  beat the winter doldrums and make it count!

31 The hoary head is a crown of glory; It shall be found in the way of righteousness.  Proverbs 16:31 (ASV)

Daily Post

Winter’s Over

Well, Spring is just a little over 12 hours old and I feel like a new man!  There’s just something about the first sunburn of the year that gets your heart going!  No more winter!  As much as I love snow, I love the transformation of Spring even more.  Reminds of a poem

No more snow, no more gobbledygook, No more teachers dirty looks.

oh wait, that’s about the end of school, not the end of winter! How about just the last stanza of “Spring in the South” by Henry Van Dyke

Hark, in his song no tremor of misgiving!
All of his heart he pours into his lay,–
“Love, love, love, and pure delight of living:
Winter is forgotten: here’s a happy day!”
Fair in your face I read the flowery presage,
Snowy on your brow and rosy on your mouth:
Sweet in your voice I hear the season’s message,–
Love, love, love, and Spring in the South!

Yes, its spring and after a weekend of soccer, grass mowing, planting, beautiful sunshine, warm weather and canoeing and on the lake and a great campfire with friends it seems that it is off to a great start! Oh, and lets not forget the Super Moon! WOW!

11 See! The winter is past;
the rains are over and gone.
12 Flowers appear on the earth;
the season of singing has come,
the cooing of doves
is heard in our land.
Song of Solomon 2:11-12 (New International Version, ©2011)

Get out there and watch the transformation of Spring. Ponder the transformation of the Earth, and the rising up of hope within you. If the Lord makes this happen each Spring, just imagine what sort of transformation he can do with you!

26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. Matthew 6:26-29 (New International Version, ©2011)

Daily Post

Being Prepared

What a difference being prepared makes.
On Monday Chattanooga received 7-10 inches of snow, the largest snowfall since 1993. It’s has been crazy, and the schools are closed until NEXT Tuesday. The city has been paralyzed for days, and some people still have not gotten out of their houses.

Yesterday, Portland Maine received 16 inches of snow, as seen in the picture. I checked the school closings this morning in Maine – no, only 1 to 2 hour delays, although the Casco Bay Quilters in Scarborough did cancel their Thursday meeting.

What a difference being prepared makes. You see Chattanooga has no provisions to remove that much snow from such a large area. The real problem has been that fact that most streets where not plowed and definitely not sidewalks and parking lots. So then when the weather took a dip south of the freezing mark, all that slushy stuff turned to the harder to remove ice.

In Portland on the other hand, everyone knows to remove the snow from the roadways, walkways and drive as fast as possible. They are prepared and equipped to react to this type of winter event.

So, it can be in our lives. For instance yesterday morning, I went into the office expecting 2 back to back short discussion and then off into the day of higher intensity meetings. What I got instead was contacts text messages and phone calls starting the before I even showered, (thus the most horrific post yesterday – sorry Joel H.) and when I got to the office and booted up the window to my electronic world, I was blasted with an hours worth of instant messages, urgent emails and questions from more directions then a compass rose can describe. And I could feel the tension and stress building up inside – I was not all prepared!

And that’s when bad things can start. (Sorry Joel A)

So, as we transform ourselves, we have to have some awareness of the “snow storms” that are coming our way and prepare ourselves. The book of Ephesians tell us “to put on the whole armor of God ,so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.”

Spend a little time today thinking about how prepared you are and what steps you need to take to sure up your armor, and find courage and strength from these words from Paul as you increase your readiness.

Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. 1 Corinthians 16:13

Daily Post

The Ever Changing Schedule

Wow!  The Government’s weather bubble around Chattanooga seems to have  fallen with the Metrodome’s roof and we have white stuff on the ground and a list of  closed schools and business that will wear out the scroll bar on your computer. I even received a phone call from my employer this morning – the first time in 17 years!

And since this is the busiest time of the year, all sort of schedules are being redone.  Final exams are being moved, Christmas plays and programs adjusted to later in the week.  Shuffling this from here to there, so we can work this in here.

Of course on top of it all is the general confusion about a 19 degree snow filled December day in Chattanooga.  That just never happens.

With all of this changing going on around, it’s always good to know this:

8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Hebrews 13:8 (New International Version, ©2010)

Daily Post

Falling Down

“Yard Sale”, my skiing companion yelled, as my ski went one direction and I went the other.   That’s how my night started.  Yes, I fell forward, I spun, I lost skis, I fell backward, and I think I actually fell in ways, I did not know you could fall.  And there I was, later, in the evening, with my body in a pile of snow at the edge of the trail, and my skis tied up the the deep snow and the branches of the small tree I had almost hit, thinking how in the world I am going to make it down this mountain.   It was that fall, which was actually on the third or fourth run at this particular trail, that I decided that I would get myself back up, cast aside what was really holding me back and go.  What was holding me back – fear.  Fear of the exact thing that I was doing – falling! 

On the last run of the night, I made it from the top to the bottom without falling – even taking a slightly harder trail to the bottom.  YES, I shouted as I hit poles with my companion at the bottom of the run.  I had overcome, I had cast fear aside, I had gained confidence in the skills I had been given, and I was actually really skiing ( vs just making it down alive!)

Our lives are like that.  We fear.  We fall.  We think we are not good enough.  We think we don’t have the skills to do what we should or what we want.  We lie in the deep snow caught up in trees and give up ( read sin and dispair).  However, we have something that should prop us up and should give us the gumption to get back up and get in there.   Life is meant to be lived in the fray, and we should be in there, not worried about our own inadequacies.

I mean check this out in Romans 7.

24What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?

Yes, we can yell that out on any day – what a wretched man that I am, WHO CAN SAVE ME!

Just a few verses down, we see the answer in Romans 8

1Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.

We are free, we can get out and live it.  We can get up and overcome.  I did! Hey, I can now say I am a skier ( with some asterisks, but still a skier).  Get up! Get out of the snow, point those skis and go man!  GO!