Remember

When the car dies

Remember what He’s already done

When the doctor isn’t smiling

Remember what He’s already done

When the check bounces

Remember what He’s already done

When 3AM parenting clocks in

Remember what He’s already done

When they move out

Remember what He’s already done

When the blue lights follow

Remember what He’s already done

When the house is empty

Remember what He’s already done

When you don’t know what you don’t know

Remember what He’s already done

When the tank runs dry

Remember what He’s already done

When shame invades

Remember what He’s already done

When your best is rejected

Remember what He’s already done

When forgiveness appears wasted

Remember what He’s already done

When eternity taps your shoulder

Remember what He’s already done

When reflection lies

Remember what He’s already done

When it’s your time

Remember what He’s already done

Photo by Mihály Köles on Unsplash

Balloons Fall Over

Today, the balloon fell over. Figuratively.

A video project was on the agenda. These projects have moving parts, but this one had more than usual. Within minutes of starting to set up, it was clear plan A wasn’t happening. On to plan B.

While editing after recording, plan C came into view. Doesn’t always happen and isn’t always better, but the end result was an improvement over the initial vision.

When we entered 2020, we had plans, visions, expectations. Then the balloon fell over. We were forced to develop and carry out plans we didn’t even know were possible. Flexible, adaptable, fluid mindsets aided our finishing the year, in some cases better than the initial vision. Balloons went from flat on the ground to soaring high in the sky.

As we look around, we see various stages of other’s balloons. Not everyone’s is back up. Not everyone’s plan B or C worked out. Not everyone’s mind has reset.

2021 will start differently than 2020. We enter hoping to see all the balloons upright, maybe even flying together. Our hopes can best be grounded by commiting to supporting others whose balloons are still on the ground or will fall over just like they’ll be there for us if ours does. 

One thing we know for sure, 2020 isn’t ending with God off the throne. There is coming a day when he will make all things new. “These words are trustworthy and true.” (Revelation 21:5) May these words be enough to keep the air in balloons, to keep them from falling over.

Photo Credit: Will O on Unsplash

This Life is Just a Dot

Yesterday I posted thoughts from Bruce Wilkinson’s book A Life God Rewards. Before leaving that, here’s one other quote that could impact your day.

Most of our life happens after our physical death.

That’s “chew worthy.”

Of course, he’s referring to the belief of eternal life. Can’t say I’ve heard anyone put it like this. Gives it fresh reflection.

To make it more clear, he gives six main events of forever life: Life, Death, Destination, Resurrection, Repayment, and Eternity. The thought that this life we know is just a dot on an unending line might bring you joy or fear. Wilkinson’s objective of his book is to help you not wonder or worry about what might await you outside the dot. What you believe and how you live now can give you hope for the rest of “most of your life.”

Chew worthy.

Photo credit: Nick Fewings on Unsplash

So much beauty…for eternity

Ecclesiastes 3:11 says, “He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart…”

This verse explains why a pandemic like COVID-19 creates such response. In our hearts we long for beauty and eternity. Anything that smothers that longing is threatening and unnatural. The promise of beauty and eternity gives us reason to desire heaven more. Why?

  • Eternity won’t have restrictions
  • Eternity won’t be isolating
  • Eternity will be peaceful
  • Eternity will contain yet-to-be-seen beauty

Yesterday a thought came to me while visiting a friend who is dying from cancer. He talked about all the different birds that visit his backyard feeder every day. Made me wonder, “Can you imagine what the wildlife in heaven will be like?” 

No pandemic can threaten eternity. Nothing will ever again separate man from God. So much beauty…for eternity.

A Good Week

If awe is a longing, then embedded in that longing is the cry for a destination. And if awe requires a destination, then every moment of awe in this life merely prepares us for the incalculable awe that is to come. You just can’t write a book about awe and not talk about eternity. Perhaps we can find no more real and present argument for heaven in the angst that we all carry in the face of the temporary and dissatisfying awes of the present. Whether we know it or not, the awe of every human being-that desire to be amazed, blown away, moved, and satisfied-is actually a universal craving to see God face-to-face. All the awesome things in creation point me to the awesome God who created and holds them together, and his presence is the destination where my hunger will finally be satisfied. God designed this present world to stimulate us so we would hunger for another world. On the other side, we won’t need the fingers of creation pointing us to God’s awesome glory because we will see that glory face-to-face and dwell in the light and heat of its sun forever and ever. We will finally stand in the actual presence of God, and we will bask in heart-satisfied awe, never to long again.


This paragraph comes from the epilogue of Awe, a book I first blogged about in 2016. I just finished my annual reading of it. I committed to read it annually to renew my awe. But I also read it this week in order to consider developing and offering a study of it for groups at my church. If you attend First Baptist Bradenton, stay tuned.

While reading the epilogue, I also couldn’t help but think about Frank (see post from May entitled Serving Frank). We celebrated his life yesterday. His longing is over. His heart is satisfied, never to long again. 

It’s been a good week.

3 Self-Talking Points to Temper IOS

What is IOS? No, it doesn’t have anything to do with Apple. However, you can see people battling it as often as you see Apple products. IOS is a syndrome you have dealt with sometime in your life. People suffer with it on social media, tv shows, in the board room, and at the family reunion. It would be nice if there were a pill or shot for it, but so far, no.

We’ve all dealt with it, particularly in our formative years. When you gave that first book report in 3rd grade, when you got your first job, when you picked your date up for prom-it was heavy. Some people overcome it quickly; others struggle with it all their lives. Overcoming IOS may be a process or could be a defining moment. I had a defining moment my junior year in college and another a few years later that seemed to loosen the grip of IOS. Regardless of its hold on someone, the reality of it being loosened is real and is possible. 

This syndrome is Impressing Others Syndrome. Recognize it? Have you overcome it? If not, your self talk could be a solution. Most likely, your self talk is fear-based, maybe even lies you’ve been deceived to believe. 

So how do we counter those lies, that fear? Overcoming IOS will take addressing it at its roots. Those roots of lies and fears should be countered by our identity and truth as God sees us. The challenge is very personal, testing what we believe and just how true our convictions are. Our self talk should be based on truths that strengthen us to defeat IOS. These three are a great start.

  1. “God loves Me.” He created me and made me who I am. Who I am includes my looks, my abilities, my personality. He knows my history. No one else knows me like he does. His love is unconditional, and my performance and choices do not change it.
  2. “The best motives are eternity-focused.” Checking our motives should be a constant priority. Satan loves to tempt us to be temporally motivated and thereby tell ourselves to focus on things that have little or no eternal worth. When you check this root of IOS, you may discover the main self talk to change.
  3. “I’m a work in progress.” This reality can be personally humbling and also critically diffusing. This also creates in us a teachable spirit which allows us to not live for approval as much as growth. That’s a big difference.

What are you telling yourself? Lies or truths? Fears or convictions? IOS’s grip can be loosened. Ask God for your best self-talking points and be free.

Adopted Forever

“How blessed is God! And what a blessing he is! He’s the Father of our Master, Jesus Christ, and takes us to the high places of blessing in him. Long before he laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love. Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ. (What pleasure he took in planning this!) He wanted us to enter into the celebration of his lavish gift-giving by the hand of his beloved Son.”‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭1:3-6‬ ‭MSG‬‬

Our church has a partnership with Florida Baptist Children’s Homes. They do tremendous work for children in need in our state as well as around the world. Check out their website.

They have a celebratory phrase they use when they have been able to facilitate a successful adoption. They say the child has found their forever family. The first time I heard that phrase several things came to my mind:

  • That child is safe
  • That child is accepted
  • That child’s future is restored
  • That child can rest
  • That child is secure
  • That child’s wait is over
  • That child can be forever satisfied

Take those thoughts and apply them to the spiritual truth and promise of being adopted by God. They are deepened when you read that He decided to adopt us long, long ago.

I’ve been thinking lately about identity. Knowing one identity I have is an adopted son of God is simply amazing. And that identity is forever. How blessed! What peace!