Slow Burn

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Fire is such an amazing thing to watch…it is almost mesmerizing. The way flames dance and embers burn red hot is exciting to view. The heat generated from fire warms the body while the light illuminates the darkness. Even the crackling of moist wood has a surreal effect upon the soul.

I entitled this post “Slow Burn” for a reason.

Too often we run to conclusions, race to say things we will regret, boil over with anger over big or little matters, become defensive when we take words said innocently but deemed hurtful, react to situations negatively without thinking things through, succumb to bad peer pressure, seek revenge over trivial stuff, and the list goes on and on.

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The “Slow Burn” is just the opposite when it comes to how we react to life’s situations. I’ll be the first to admit that life can dish out a lot of painful garbage. I will also admit that watching a lazy fire burn is soothing to the soul.

It calms the nerves. It makes us forget, at least momentarily, that life isn’t so bad after-all. Relaxation sets in and the cares of this life just burn away with each flicker of flame. The warmth produced burrows deep within and holds us fast to what is good and right. Fires can rage, but eventually they diminish and extinguish. Our lives are like that, too.

Wouldn’t we rather live in the state in between where the fire burns slow and the embers are hot? Where blame has no room and guilt has long melted away? Revenge is dropped and egos fall apart among the glow? That is how I want to live. And, you?

A Time for Reflection

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A month into the new year which means we have eleven more months to go before we close out 2019 (simple math I can handle). Have you had or taken the time to reflect on just how fleeting time is? Age changes perspective, to be sure. Young usually means time is suspended while old views it running away from us. But, that’s not what I am getting at…not really, although this age thing may play into my point.

Reflection of ones’ self can be a tricky thing as we usually see our lives from a somewhat warped self-image. After all, we are looking in the mirror and may not see an accurate reflection of who and what we really are. Start with the present and with the understanding that the past certainly influences who you have become. But, don’t let that stop you from seeing who you are right now. An accurate gauge of yourself is invaluable in who and what you will become, what you will do and where you will go.

I have done a great deal of reflecting over the course of the past few months and have come to some conclusions which may be of some value to you. 1. Time stands still for no one so let’s make the best of what each day offers. 2. The past with all the pain, disappointments, betrayals, fractured relationships, illnesses, deaths, etc. must be be put to bed now or they will haunt you indefinitely. 3. Forgiveness is a much greater virtue to you than the forgiven cause they usually don’t even know your pain. 4. Uncomplicate your life. Get rid of all the debris-physical stuff and emotional baggage carried with us. 5. Have faith you can and will make better decisions from today going forward because you will be better equipped to make them. 6. Have faith in a Higher Being  (mine is Christ) who gives you the strength and courage to press on to a better tomorrow. 7. Enjoy today.

Nothing new here and I could have added a dozen more items to consider, but this is what I have been shown so I wanted to share it with you. Have a quality and joy-filled year and life !

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Breath of Life

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A few days ago a dear friend of one of my sisters underwent a twelve hour surgery at the University of Michigan for a double lung transplant. It was successful and she is on her way to a gradual recovery. More importantly, she is on her way to breathing fully again after a life of breathing difficulty due to cystic fibrosis. To inhale completely without pain or restriction will be exhilarating for her. I have asthma so I get it.

My emotional response was one of pure joy and amazement as to the ability of medical science to perform such a surgery. I recall the first open heart surgery and the successful separation of Siamese twins many years ago and was just as dazzled by these momentous operations. For the University of Michigan, they have performed 700 of these double lung replacements to-date. A wonderful statistic.

As amazed as I am of man’s keen abilities and all of science’s achievements, I stand most in awe of our Creator who gave man the intelligence and abilities to do such wonderful things. The human body alone is the most complex and wondrous entity in the universe.

I am reminded in Genesis 2:7 where God breathed the breath of life into man, and man has been breathing ever since. Isn’t this a beautiful thing? I think so!

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Up-Sizing

 

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With so much talk about down sizing these days, I thought it might be a bit thought provoking to explore the opposite end of this spectrum: up-sizing.

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Small house. Much larger house. 1,000 square feet. 10,000 square feet. Ten times larger. One house is old. The other is new. One house is short. The other house tall. Sounds like lines from a Dr. Suess book !

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Both houses serve the same purpose; to shelter humans from nature’s elements and to protect them from harm’s way. How many square feet does it take to do that? For some a Tiny House is just the thing…kind of like a camper on a permanent lot. And for others room to spread out including amenities that a small house cannot encompass. Things like eight bathrooms, ten bedrooms, a kitchen large enough for several families to cook in at the same time, a dining room that seats twenty-something, a family room with multiple TVs, a pool table, game tables, lots of couches, a wet bar and the list goes on.

Is a large house, the up-size one, built for practical purposes or for prestige? Maybe both. Not my place to judge. It appears the new house will be beautiful when completed. It appears the little house served its purpose for fifty-plus years. Times change and so has the economy. Values, needs, wants, locations and so much more are different than in the 1950s. So, which house would you choose to live in?

Chiseled

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One piece of nature’s tree. One sculpture of a man in pose. What did the artist have in mind when he/she carved this fine sculpture? It is rather life-like, wouldn’t you say?

Is he thinking? Looking at something? Simply posing? Relaxing? Arranged for our amusement? Whatever he was meant for, he is certainly enchanting!

Perhaps he is wondering what 2019 will be like. There are so, so many possibilities that I dare begin to list them.

Let us hope that he is contemplating a grand new year full of wonderful surprises. Wouldn’t that be great?

Too much negativity and hate in our world these days. Let love win out for once. Please.

LEFTOVERS

After a major holiday such as Thanksgiving or Christmas, literally millions of homes have enough food left over to feed armies of thousands of homeless, poor, tragedy-stricken people through-out the ‘so-called’ civilized world.

Those of us in the techno-world are bombarded with ads about the less fortunate in need of the basics of life. All the while many of us can’t place another scrap of food in our tummy’s. I sit guilty so I throw no stones. I consider myself blessed in so many ways.

 

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These Mayan children seem to suffer no malnutrition, but do they know what a leftover is? I could present a plethora of images of starving children, but why do so, as we have all seen them on TV or in magazines or internet feeds? The point is simple. Really, it is.

Enjoy what you have, be thankful for it, and give away what you can to those less fortunate, especially to children. As Jesus said to His disciples, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these”. May we all be like little children in one way or another.

Happy New Year  !