Thursday, October 29, 2009

What Word Are You?

I recently enjoyed a good read sent to me by my son-in-law, Jeff. I really connected with the short article entitled Can You Sum Up Your Life's Message in Just One Word?

The author, Bradley J. Moore, encourages his readers to find a word ~ one word ~ that is an appropriate descriptor of all the time and effort and passion one spends to integrate one’s faith into the day-to-day world. Although written to those in the business world, I believe it is an interesting challenge for anyone of faith to consider. What one word best describes how we live out our faith as teachers, parents, friends, electricians, dentists . . . you fill in the blank?

The article reminds me of a post I noticed recently on Facebook: Let's see how honest FB friends are. . . . Leave a ONE WORD comment that you think describes me. It can only be one word. No more. Then copy and paste this on your wall so that I may leave a word about you.

When I first saw that post on FB, a word did come to mind - RISKY. This innocent appeal could very well serve up a dose of in-your-face reality, quite difficult to swallow.

Seeking to find one word to express the integration of my beliefs into my daily world requires the answering of a few essential questions. Is there true integration of my faith across all areas of my life? Am I living a life of integrity or one filled with duplicity? Does my walk match my talk?

For me to find just one word to describe my life assumes that I live a life of integrity. Integrity is more than simply being someone who speaks the truth, although that is certainly a major element of its meaning. Living a life of integrity means that my life ~ the integration of my faith beliefs and my actions ~ is not divided, conflicting, or contradictory. What I say I believe is confirmed by my actions, aspirations, achievements and acquisitions.

The rub in finding a single descriptor comes when our lives are characterized by duplicity. The ancient Hebrews had an idiom that expresses the notion of living a life of integrity or duplicity. Let your yes be yes, and your no be no. In other words, let your inward yes ~ what you believe, be the same as your outward yes ~ how you live out what you believe.

The question in Mr. Moore’s article presupposes a foundation of integrity. One word ~ no contradictions, no opposing life styles, no duplicity.  One word ~  a single descriptor that communicates how we allow what we believe on the inside to influence how we live out our lives on the outside. In essence, it is faith gone public.

What word are you?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Remembering Kade

Remembering Sweet Kade Visser

Born to Jessica and Travis on August 28, 2007
Placed into the arms of His Heavenly Father October 28, 2007

Many are the plans in a man's heart,
but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand.
Proverbs 29:11
May we continue to see Your glory
as we await the blessed reunion with our sons

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Changing Lens

The chill of fall is definitely here. I feel it creeping in under the doors and moving through me to envelope my heart once again.

Perhaps it's the seasonal soccer games that cause me to take the first steps along this pathway. As I watch my grandsons at their weekly games, I am instantly there. And I know it is not always a conscious choice I make . . . to go to thoughts of Scott. It is just a natural place to be. So when Jack so proudly defended his goal, when he repeatedly kicked the ball away from the box, it just came out. Go, Scott! On the sidelines of the soccer field my thoughts inexplicably go to how life was, how life could have been . . . and

Perhaps it's in knowing what the chill of fall brings. It is inevitable ~ cooler nights and shortened days will escort in the grip of winter. It is easy for me to find myself emotionally, mentally, and socially preparing to close down for another winter of grief as the shadows of my sorrow stretch long across the landscape of my heart.

The chill outside brings the awareness that my winter of grief will soon be upon me. Just as the cooler days drive me deep into my closet to drag out my sweaters and jeans, so too I begin to consider how to protect my heart from the harsh realities that so readily seem to consume me.

Honestly, it is only by changing the lens through which I look at this season that brings warmth to my grieving heart. The Apostle Paul writes in II Corinthians 5 that this earthly tent of ours ~ the mortal body ~ will one day be torn down. And when that happens, he writes, that what is mortal will be swallowed up by life. Did you see that? Can you bring the contrast of those words into focus? When this mortal body is no more, we are not swallowed up by death. We are swallowed up by life.

Changing lens does not mean that the brutal force of winter will not be present in my life. The seasons of grief are quite predictable to those who mourn. But this new lens illuminates the fact that the chill of fall and the hard freeze of winter, also brings the hope of life ~ in the warming days of spring ~ and forever in eternity.

(Photo courtesy of my cousin, Bev Henry.)