Life from the rear-view mirror

Facebook Anxiety….Vol 73

cropped-522610_10200798414947098_1058427873_n.jpgFB represents a real dichotomy. At least for me.

On one hand I enjoy being able to do a little of a life journal to give friends and family a peek into our life…for those who care anyway… On the other hand, FB can be anxiety producing to look at friends’ pictures and posts and realize how much life has gone by without me…or maybe just without me taking notice. And then…how much life is yet to happen that I will miss. It’s a hard feeling to describe…and harder still to get over.

I often wonder why God wired me the way he did. I’m maybe a little too unique…a little too…something…weird?…I don’t know. You ever felt like that?

This year I want to lever that uniqueness…that “weirdness”… to do something extraordinary in my life….with my life…for something bigger than me.

Not sure what it is…but I’m looking. I’m listening to God…and I’m present. I may still miss out on the things and events of life that I really can’t control. But those things that God has given me to manage…to grow…I’m gonna do with all my heart and soul.

I will bring life into focus. I will “see” what is in front of me. I will invest in the things that matter. Time with God, time with my wife, time with the kids and time with my friends.  Time to give away and give back real life that is only found in relationship with Jesus.

Anyone want to join me?

dugz4 January 21, 2014 Leave A Comment Permalink

You rook mahvelous! Vol 72

ferIf you’re even close to my age you’ll remember Billy Crystal’s character, Fernando,  on SNL…and maybe even the music video that came out shortly thereafter. I still remember telling everybody they looked “mahvelous” in my best Fernando accent….well at least until my buddies made fun of me…

I have about 1000 pictures on my iphone of various things, animals…people…and now pens.  Much of it I post to Facebook or email to friends and family. I’m constantly editing pictures to make them look right. Well…look right to me. And sometimes I make them look even better than they might in real life…thanks to Photoshop!

What is this thing I have with appearances? I tend to want to see everything for what is pleasing to me rather than for what it actually looks like. There are all sorts of analogies in that statement but let’s look at one for a moment.

I’m not sure I can be honest enough with you to tell you the “why” in this obvious flaw of mine. I could blame it on advertising like many of our more legalistic brethren do. Girls want to be sexy and desired like the Victoria’s Secret models, Guys want to look like Tom Cruise (or some other good looking dood) because they get the girls…Gerber plastered the perfect “Gerber baby” across all their baby food.

We…rather I… often let others set the bar for what is acceptable to me rather than to develop a healthy attitude of reality and gratefulness for who God made me and what he has blessed me with.  Because when I don’t think that way…I start thinking the grass as greener somewhere other than my own yard.

Does that mean we don’t pursue excellence or want to be and look the best that we can…not at all. But it does mean that we may have to take inventory now and then and be thankful that God made us exactly as we are. Like when our clothes don’t quite fit…or the scale is being totally honest. Remember, we’re unique, with talents and abilities only found in us… so lets be thankful, and realize that we truly are “mahvelous” to God…and our mothers or course. 😉



dugz4 January 10, 2014 Leave A Comment Permalink

The long road to Excellence? …..Vol 71

1416378_10201585174605656_1414991566_oI really enjoy turning pens on a small wood lathe…I mean…I REALLY enjoy it. It helps me re-focus, re-lax and re-juvinate along with other words that don’t start with “re” …like “frustrating,” “maddening” and phrases like “why the heck am I doing this?” and a few un-repeatables….yes…lots of words and phrases.

When I made the investment of money and time…I never intended to be satisfied with mediocre. My intention was to turn out fine writing instruments on my lathe…not just “pens.” My hope was to hone whatever skills I had or could acquire, get some help from some experts and turn out a product I could be proud of…and that other people would admire and maybe, hopefully, purchase.

The road to excellence in the pen-making endeavor is long. They say it takes about 10,000 hours to be a “master craftsman” or master pen-turner in my case. Let’s see …on a good week I might get 6-8 hours in the shop. So that’s… (looking for my calculator…) like… 32 years to become a master pen-turner. Here’s a news flash…I’ll be gumming my food by then.  Man…I should have started turning pens a loooong time ago if being a master was my goal.

But I didn’t start a long time ago. Even so…I still want to pursue excellence. I still want to be as close to a “master” as I possibly can be while I can still work at, and on, my craft. So I read about pen making, I’ve taken classes, watched videos and I turn as many pens as I can with as much skill and care as I can muster. As it turns out, I’m actually pretty good at it…but nowhere near where I could be.

We have a tendency as believers to be satisfied where we are in our spiritual life. No matter when we come to Christ. Oh we’ll get excited now and then and maybe commit some money to a church project or maybe try to make a deal with God for a sick child, promotion at work, or some big personal need.

But that feels like crisis Christianity to me.

Like God is there at our beck and call, rather than as the loving sovereign Father he is, whose love overwhelms every believer’s circumstance and places it under our feet.

The Bible says that “we are more than conquerors.” That statement incorporates all the forward thinking, forward moving, “life on purpose” principles in scripture that enable us to live above our circumstances and pursue a life of excellence for Christ’s sake.

Whatever you put your hand to do…do it with all your heart. You can only work and plan and go and do…as God gives breath. So lets make life count for Christ.

And remember that God is often more interested in what happens in us than what happens to us.

Be a better you! I’ll be a better me! Lets see what God does through us this year…

dugz4 January 8, 2014 Leave A Comment Permalink