Mr. E and I

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I have a best friend, but I can’t exactly tell you what he looks like.

It is never a dull moment when he is around.

We’ll spend hours just reflecting on the things that we know, and don’t know.  We’ll wonder, lost in thought, deep into the night.

This is not to say we never argue, Mr. E and I.

Sometimes he can be frustratingly vague.  He is far more comfortable with uncertainty than I could ever be.

And when we talk about the BIG things– Life, death, God — he seems content to remain discontented.

There are times when I have all but pushed Mr. E out of my life, seeking a more settled circle of friends, like Sir Tenty, Sir Enity, and Dr. Abness, but frankly, I get bored.

I know there is more to life than the surface, than the self-evident, and it is Mr. E who reminds me of this.

He reminds me I don’t have to know everything.  I wouldn’t even want to know everything.

Around each corner and each twist and turn is the promise of more to learn, more to grow, more to explore.

So, it’s my goal that Mr. E and I remain lifelong friends.

Life is long, afterall.

I know it’s not always easy,

but it should always be an adventure.

Have a great week,

Mitch

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Boo You

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Have you ever jumped at your own reflection in a mirror?

It’s kind of funny when a puppy does it, not so much when it’s you.

The whole notion of scaring yourself seems impossible–to be both the frightener and the frightenee at the same time.

But it happens.  And not just when you catch your reflection across the room.

Sometimes we can freak ourselves out by assuming the worst about things:  “Somebody has stolen my wallet!  Somebody has—oh, here it is.”

Sometimes we scare ourselves by looking up strange symptoms on Web MD, or by reading too many negative Facebook statuses.

And sometimes we scare ourselves into thinking we are utterly alone in the universe.  That there is no God.

Ever do that?  It can happen.

It’s like Belief is one side of the coin and Doubt is the other, and if we get flipped the wrong way…

BOO!

It’s okay, you know, to have doubts and to wonder.  It’s okay to ask “what if?” about difficult faith questions.

But when you start to freak out about the existence of God, I recommend reading Psalm 139.

Here, I’ve copied it below.  Read it slowly:

Psalm 139

For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.

You have searched me, Lord,
    and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
    you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
    you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
    you, Lord, know it completely.
You hem me in behind and before,
    and you lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
    too lofty for me to attain.

Where can I go from your Spirit?
    Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
    if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
    if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
    your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
    and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
    the night will shine like the day,
    for darkness is as light to you.

13 For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts,[a] God!
    How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
    they would outnumber the grains of sand—
    when I awake, I am still with you.

19 If only you, God, would slay the wicked!
    Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty!
20 They speak of you with evil intent;
    your adversaries misuse your name.
21 Do I not hate those who hate you, Lord,
    and abhor those who are in rebellion against you?
22 I have nothing but hatred for them;
    I count them my enemies.
23 Search me, God, and know my heart;
    test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
    and lead me in the way everlasting.

– – –

Okay, verses 19-22 are kind of extreme, but read verse 23 again:

“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.”

Maybe this Psalm was written by someone who had been scaring themselves about God, but found a way to “flip” things back into a faithful perspective.

Perhaps these words could help you the next time you freak yourself out, or you could take a few moments to simply put into words what your faith tells you.

It may not be poetry,

but you never know what can happen when you paws to reflect.

Have a good week,

Mitch

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Grandparents

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I have a lot of Grandparents in my church.

They sure know how to stay busy!

On Saturday afternoons, they watch their grand kid’s sporting events, or work in their yards.

On Sundays, they tell proud stories and show pictures of birthdays, and family gatherings.

But that’s not all.

They seem to know how to do stuff that I still haven’t learned.

Mechanical stuff.  Needlework stuff.  Hospitality stuff.

A lot of the people who make my church happen are Grandparents.

They serve on committees, or sing in the choir.

(Some of them play in the praise band, I’ll have you know)

So many of them know how to cook! And how to repair a car.

And how to love Jesus.

They have room in their schedules — or make room — to help folks who need it.

They are dependable.  And faithful.

And strangely enough, they’re not as much older than me as Grandparents used to be.

As for me, I have no kids, and that’s just fine.

But as God is my witness,

I still hope,

some grand day

to become a Grandparent.

Have a great week,

Mitch

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