Wednesday, November 16, 2011

It's Hot Chocolate Time!!!

Yep, it's that time of year again...the leaves are falling off the trees and scaring my dog (you would think that he is getting pelted with rocks when leaves fall down and hit him), starbucks is bringing back the pretty red cups with snowflakes on them...and what's inside?  Yes, you're right...hot chocolate, apple caramel spice, peppermint white chocolate mochas etc...anyone who knows me at all will know that I LOVE drinks that make you feel all warm and cozy inside!  I could drink something hot all year long, to me, there is nothing better on a day like this (today is rainy and dark for those of you who don't know) than a hot chocolate with salted caramel or a peppermint mocha...  But beyond the drinks and leaves and whatnot...there are so many things that I love about this time of year, it really is incredible what the season brings to the table...sometimes things that we overlook, or fail to see altogether.  so this is where I will try and tie in something Christ-like...Fall...moving into Winter can be a time of great growth for us...it's a time when the Church begins anew (new year's right around the corner for the Church) and we are able to reflect on what we have been given that we are thankful for and areas that need a little pick me up...why wait until January 1st?  So perhaps a walk through our year is in order, my parents keep a jar on the mantle that throughout the year we fill the jar with little slips of paper that have our blessings listed on them...let me tell you...this year that jar is quite full...but the jar doesn't even have to be filled with the "big" blessings, it can be filled with things that are as simple as starbucks hot chocolate.  What we are thankful for is as simple as we make it...why not try it?  Write down what you are thankful for, what has God given you this year?  on the flip side of that...what do you need to work on?  what is keeping you from growing in your relationship with Christ?  what needs to be released...there is a great line in a song (Hosanna by Hillsong) that asks God to "break my heart from what breaks Yours" (God).  This is the best time of year, when leaves are falling off the trees and things are dying to allow a part of you to die to self.  Maybe sit down and have a hot chocolate and make a couple of lists for the season.

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Final Countdown

As I typed the title I saw flashes of Rocky playing in my mind's eye. It made me want to go and run the stairs of some old, abandoned football field. But that is neither here nor there...aren't we all counting down to something? Right now I am counting down to my wedding...there is a little ticker on our wedding website (165 days to go) and I'm sure that there is something that you are counting down to as well...maybe the end of school, the days till that big vacation, your graduation...whatever it is...we all have one. What's yours?
The Church has a countdown going right now too. Lent to Easter...that's what Lent is after all...a big countdown to Easter...time to prepare...I know that I need my countdown for the wedding because there is still a lot that needs to be done...but I have a definite timeline of when I have to get there and what the to do list is. It can be stressful sometimes watching that impending deadline coming up...but it's coming nonetheless. So to with Easter...it's not just that time when we get to eat all the candy we gave up for Lent...no it's something much more than that. It's a time for growing and learning more about yourself. Lent into Easter is a time of rebirth, we are reborn in our faith, we are reborn in ourselves. I think countdowns should do that...they should be milestones of what makes us who we are...where we are. So take some time today and think about the countdowns that have been in your life. What were those milestones like? What are you counting down to right now? I know that you'll be hearing a lot more about my countdown in the coming months...

Thursday, April 7, 2011

It's a good thing I'm not God...

I realized over the past two weeks that it is a really good thing that I'm not God. I think we all have our moments where we would like the opportunity to be God but no matter how hard we try, we fall short of completely controlling the situations we find ourselves in. It never fails to amaze me how much more God can make of a situation than we can. A couple of weekends ago, I took a lot of high schoolers on retreat; the weekend had a lot of ups and downs, but the downs were pretty low. I left that weekend not feeling revitalized for ministry like I normally do when I come off of retreat. I had to meet with parents over their children's indiscretions and talk about consequences. It's never an easy thing to have to explain to parents where their child has fallen short. I always have to remind myself that this is their pride and joy we're talking about when we talk about their child. This is a lot like God, I'm sure in the way He looks at us. We fall short a lot, and even when we do, He still looks at us as His pride and joy, even though we disappoint him. But this brings me to my point about it being a good thing I'm not God. See, I forget that the pride and joy of someone else needs to be dwelt with gently, and lovingly. I fall short of seeing that in every situation, and I think that we all do with certain things...whether it be not gossiping about someone, making snap judgements about people or not loving people the way we should. When we deal with other people, no matter who they are or how they treat us, we need to look at that person as the pride and joy of our Father...who looks at them the same way He looks at us...with love! My two cents today is this: Look at people with fresh eyes...look at them the way God looks at them, as His pride and joy. That's also how He looks at you. Always!

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