What Is the Size of God?

Featured

Have you ever wondered how big God is? Well, I think that the following little story is a great illustration that might give you a better perspective of this age-old question…

Photo by Simon Berger from Pexels

A boy once asked his father, “What is the size of God?”

Then the father looked up at the sky and saw a plane and asked his son, “What is the size of the plane?”

The boy replied, “It is very small. I can hardly see it.”

Then the father took him to the airport. As they approached a plane, the father asked his son, “How big is the plane now?”

“Wow Dad, it’s huge!”, he yelled.

Then the father told him, “God’s size depends on how close or far you are from Him. The closer you are to Him, the greater and greater He will be in your life.”

GREAT WORDS OF WISDOM!

Remember folks…When it seems like God is far away, He is not the one that moved.

Death…A Wonderful Way to Explain It

Photo by Laura Stanley from Pexels

We will all experience death someday. Many people wonder what it will be like “on the other side.” While it is true that nobody knows for sure, I recently came across the following little story that I think will give you a glimpse of what you may expect.

A sick man turned to his doctor as he was preparing to leave the examination room and said, “Doctor, I am afraid to die. Tell me what’s on the other side,” Very quietly, the doctor sais, “I don’t know…”

“You don’t know? You’re a Christian Man, and don’t know what’s on the other side?”

The doctor was holding the handle of the door; on the other side came a sound of scratching and whining, and as he opened the door, a dog sprang into the room and leaped on him with an eager show of gladness and love.

Turning to the patient, the doctor said, “Did you notice my dog? He’s never been in this room before. He didn’t know what was inside. He knew nothing except that his master was here, and when the door opened, he sprang in without fear. I know little of what is on the other side of death, but I do know one thing…I know my Master is there and that is enough.”

Walk Backwards

I hope people can learn how to walk backwards – starting today. 

Photo Credit: Quang-Nguyen-Vinh via Pexels

A long time ago, a man got drunk and passed out naked.  One of his sons found him and began telling others about his embarrassing position. 

Maybe his son felt overlooked by his two brothers, maybe he was sternly corrected by his father, maybe he just like being the center of attention – and this sure got people’s attention.

His two brothers listened and were mortified. They looked at their brother and without saying a word, went to their passed-out father. 

As they entered the room, they did not want to see their father disgraced, so they walked in backward. 

They actually walked backward.

They carried a blanket and covered their father as he laid there naked and drunk as a skunk. 

(Try walking backwards right now where you’re at – unless you’re driving : ) 

They wouldn’t dare mention this to anybody. No matter how strict, how selfish or how sinful their father was, they were determined to cover his sin, to sober him up and to encourage him to learn from his mistake and start living a better life. 

He did. His name was Noah, and he built a pretty famous boat. 

There’s an old saying: Love covers a multitude of sins. 

What do you do when find out someone posted something years and years ago that is completely offensive (btw why would you even be looking for offensive material from several years ago?)

Do you “out” somebody, post it, tell your friends, tell your neighbors? 

That’s a “gotcha!” mentality; why not have a ‘grace’ mentality and walk backwards?

I encourage you try to give mercy and grace to people at their weakest moments.  I’m grateful many have shown me that in my life and I’ve tried to show the same. 

I truly believe we will reap what we sow. Some people call it karma, call it what you want, but it’s absolutely true.

Noah’s two sons were blessed and their families; the other son and his family were not blessed. 

You can hurt people or help people, break people down or build people up, you can laugh at them or love them.

Now more than ever, choose love and walk backwards.

This Years Christmas Star – AMAZING!

Photo by Ian Panelo from Pexels

I know some have seen the post about The Christmas Star appearing this year on December 21st. A friend couldn’t help but really take a deeper look at how amazing that this occurrence would be happening in the year 2020. The following information about this rare event is not only fascinating…it is also very uplifting and encouraging!

In the year when Jesus was born, there was violence, chaos, political and social unrest. It was dark.

The Magi found him by way of the star, which was the “meeting” of 3 stars: Jupiter, Saturn and Mars. They followed the star until it rested on where he was and they began to worship him. In a time where is was dark, Light was brought in to our world. Jesus stepped in to the chaos and brought peace.

Fast forward to this year, 2020. It’s a time of violence, chaos, political and social unrest. It is dark. Winter Solstice, December 21st, being a time where the day is the shortest and night is the longest…it’s literally the “darkest day” and is the beginning of what most would say the cold, dark winter season.

But on the darkest day this year, Jupiter and Saturn meet, giving us the Christmas Star! How fitting…that in the moment of time during the Christmas season that we get to see this beautiful reminder…that even in the darkest of times…Light will, and has, stepped in. In our chaos He is there. In our darkest time, He is there. He brings Light, and makes all things new.

So as you look out on Dec 21st for the Christmas Star, may we be reminded of His power, and His Light that he brings for all mankind. He is perfect at stepping into chaos and bringing it into peace.

His Journey Has Just Begun

Photo by Davide Cantelli on Unsplash

My father passed away a few years ago and there isn’t a day that goes past that I don’t think of him. I miss the times that we shared together fishing, traveling, camping, laughing, and doing the plethora of other things that I loved to do with him. He was more than a father to me, he was my buddy, my confidant, my best friend.

Today, I was going through my desk here at home and came across a poem that a friend of mine had shared with us. For some reason, I don’t remember reading it at the time, but after reading it today, it brought a sense of comfort to my heart.

It is for this reason that I felt as though I should share it with other people that may be going through a time of grief, loss, or nostalgia.

So, here is the poem…

“His Journey’s Just Begun”

Don’t think of him as gone away,

His journey’s just begun.

Life holds so many facets,

This earth is only one.

—–

Just think of him as resting,

From the sorrows and the tears.

A place of warmth and comfort,

Where there are no days and years.

—-

Think how he must be wishing,

That we could know today.

How nothing but our sadness,

Can really pass away.

—-

And think of him as living,

In the hearts of those he touched.

For nothing loved is ever lost,

And he was loved so much.

~ Ellen Brenneman

Free Tickets!!

andy-li-A_dJOYpxEVU-unsplash

andy-li-A_dJOYpxEVU-unsplash

Free tickets!! Who wouldn’t want free tickets to a sporting event? An amusement park? A Concert? The following is great “food for thought” for all of us. It was written by a fellow coach.

Super Bowl 39 featured a classic first half defensive battle, followed by a second half offensive shootout between the explosive New England Patriots and the gritty Philadelphia Eagles. New England claimed the Super Bowl title by only 3 points, 24-21. The game lived up to its expectation as the two divisional champs clashed for the title. Two Tickets to the Super Bowl cost between $3,000 and $10,000. With that in mind, if someone offered you two free tickets to the Super Bowl would you take them?

There was an interesting story several years ago about a guy named Greg Laurie who tried to give away an extra ticket on his way into the Magic Kingdom . As his family went into the park, he told his family, “Hold on while I find someone to take this free ticket. This shouldn’t take long!” But time after time he would approach people at the front gate only to be turned down. He was astounded! No one would take his free ticket.

Think about that…isn’t it hard to believe? Who would turn down free tickets to the Magic Kingdom? Well, shortly after moving to Orlando I got a job at the Magic Kingdom, and along with it an employee pass that could sign in 3 people per day to the theme parks for free.

One time a friend visited me and we went to go into EPCOT. As we were about to go in I said, “Wait… let’s see if we can grab two people to come into the EPCOT for free with us!” I approached several couples who looked like they hadn’t purchased tickets yet. I asked them if they’d like to come into EPCOT for free. I was shocked when time after time they would turn me down, often to walk right up to the ticket counter to buy tickets. Can you believe it? It was just like what Greg Laurie described. I was amazed. People just could not accept what seemed like was too good to be true.

It’s the same thing with the Kingdom of Heaven. The Bible says that the Lord has prepared a special place in His Kingdom just for you. All it takes is a “free ticket” to get into the gates. But most people can’t accept that anything that good would be so easy to get. Most people try to get into the Kingdom by being good, or acting a certain way or by living a “good life”. But it’s much easier than that:

To claim your ticket into God’s Kingdom you only have to do two things: 1) Admit that you have sinned in your life and need to be forgiven, and 2) to pray and ask the Lord to forgive your sins and to bring you into His Kingdom. It is just that easy and there is no catch.

Once you have your ticket into the Kingdom, all of your sins past, present and future are washed away and you have a guaranteed spot in a celebration infinitely better than the Super Bowl.

Consider these words from the Bible:

“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him” – 1 Corinthians 2:9

Your tickets to the Kingdom of Heaven are waiting for you. All you have to do is pick them up. Will you pick up your tickets today?

Wise Words of Wisdom: “Things I Have Learned”

james-lee-BMO1SzQHWRs-unsplash (1)

Photo Credit: James Lee -BMO1SzQHWRs-unsplash

There is an old saying that says, “Blessed are those who find wisdom and who gain understanding.” Wisdom is a good thing and arguably, one of the most essential characteristics that a person can possess. A person that wants to be truly wise, needs to learn from their mistakes, try new things, listen to advice, take to heart what older people tell us, and by putting your knowledge to the test.

Today’s blog is unique. I asked people from all walks of life to share “What they have learned” during their life. The following “nuggets of truth” are a great compilation of knowledge and wisdom…just for you!!!

———————-

“My Grandma told me when I was 7 years old….”Don’t let nobody or nothing turn you into somebody you ain’t!” And… although it wasn’t until years later when I realized what she was saying, I now know how important that lesson is. If you could be successful following that one piece of advice, imagine how amazing life would be…And this from a woman who came to America from Lithuania at 6 years old with only 2 potatoes in her pocket….who only received a 6th grade education before working in a shirt factory.” ~ Matt S.

“I have learned to take a pause before saying what is on my mind. When I was younger, I would just open my mouth and just say whatever was on my mind. It was not always in my best interest. So, I have learned to use my filter.” ~ Kim R.H.

“The Dallas Cowboys suck.” ~ Luke K.

“Time goes entirely too fast. Make sure to take the time to enjoy the moments in your life. Especially those with your family and friends. Nobody says on their death bed – I wish I could do more work.” – Chris B.

“Have faith today because tomorrow is not a promise. Love your kids unconditionally.” ~ Sheila H.G.

“Try not to judge others by their worst moments, because if judged by the worst things we have said, thought, or done, none of us would fare well.” ~ Abram P.

“God is the only one who will be there — especially in desperate times. He is all sufficient.” ~ Nancy T. P.

“That Jesus is the way to the Father.” ~ Tammy K.I.

“That Christ died for my sins according to the scriptures, he was buried and rose again on the third day, according to the scriptures.” ~ Ruthie F.

“Get over it, let it go and move on.” ~ Mike W.

“People make mistakes. Love them and forgive the and pray they do the same for you.” ~ Heidi W.M.

“Only you can make yourself happy.” ~ Marcia Jones

“Focus on the goodness in people and more good will be revealed (Phil 4:8)” ~ Didi S.C.

‘Life has a purpose; the purpose is the Process; the Process is the Product.” ~ Clanton1934

“I learnt empathy. Empathy for people suffering from pain. I experienced pain and learnt to feel others pain ;-)” ~ Garfield Hug

“Listen! Yourself, nature, others…Listening should come before talking…” ~ Beth

“Most important: God loves me! Second most important: The only things I can control are my own behavior and attitude :)” ~ Lynn

“Choose your friends wisely so you don’t get lonely. That’s the most important thing in life.” ~ Adrian B.

“God is in control…most things are out of my control.” ~ Kerby

“God is good. Jesus loves me. His Word is true.” ~ VirtuousGirs

“You be you. Life is way too short to try to make others happy.” ~ Simplywendi

“Listen. When someone is speaking, let them finish. When impatient for something to happen, listen for God’s guidance and prompting. If it doesn’t happen right away, wait. Keep moving with life.” ~ ekurie

“As I get older, I don’t care about what other people think of me, it doesn’t affect my identity one bit! What a relief!” ~ cactusflower18

“Trust your gut. Of course, you have to recognize the feeling – the younger, the better.” ~ Vanessa Dawne

“Within love, all things exist.” ~ oldmainer

“Life is short! Live it truly!” ~ popsiclesociety

“I am a lot. I am definitely too much for some people. Those aren’t my people.” ~ Valerie S

“I’ve learned that calories actually do count!” ~ Nancy C.

“I am stronger than I think.” ~ Sharon A.

“And be kind before being correct.” ~ ekurie

“It is better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.” ~ Stacy K.

“It is ok to fail.” ~ Liz T.

“Make friends as a child, in your teens, in college – especially with the people you naturally seem to avoid. They end up being the most interesting and enjoyable people later in life.” ~ Barbara K.

“Nerds make the best spouses.” ~ Barbara K.

“Learning doesn’t stop after you graduate.” ~ Elizabeth C.

“Stop feeling bad for outgrowing people who had the chance to grow with you.” ~ Nancy C.L.

How I feel or act depends upon my relationship with Christ. ~ Nancy C.L.

“Being alone is a life skill.” ~ Jessica E.

“I’ve learned that those desolate valley times…take you to amazing mountain times.” ~ Michelle G.

“Let food be thy medicine!” ~ Jane P.

“To give selflessly.” ~ Jenn H.

“We judge ourselves by our intentions. Reality judges us by our behavior.” ~ Ryan R.

“If you can’t fool yourself, who can you fool?” ~ Jeff C.

“I am only responsible for how I act and feel towards others. I am not responsible for how they feel or act towards me.” ~ Nancy C.L.

“The more I learn, the less I realize I actually know.” ~ Tom K.

“If th­­ere is one thing that I have learned in my life is how much more important listening is than speaking. My father always said to me, “Why do you think God gave us two ears, but only one mouth?” ~ Sean C

“That needing to leave your high-paying professional job and getting a low wage service job changes stranger’s perception of who you are. That there really isn’t anything you can say to a grieving person to make them feel better. Your presence is the best thing you can offer.”

~ Cat9984

“Every day is precious. Therefore, life works best when I view my cup as always, half full, not half empty.” ~ bigskybuckeye

 

“Take more pictures…every day!” ~ Robin G.

———————–

What is something that YOU have learned during your life? If you have some words of wisdom, please leave them in the “Comment Section” below.

 

Have a GREAT day!!

We Are Not All in the Same Boat

nick-t-7lPRphsfiXw-unsplash

nick-t-7lPRphsfiXw-unsplash

Over the course of the past few months, the CORONAVIRUS has had far reaching effects felt around the world. Millions of people have experienced a variety conditions and situations in not only their personal lives but also with their families and friends. One of the things that we all hear is, “We are all in this together”…and it’s true.

But consider the following…

I heard that we’re all in the same boat but it’s not like that. We were in the same storm but not in the same boat. Your ship can be shipwrecked and mine might not be. Or vice versa

For some, quarantine is optional. A moment of reflection, of re-connection, easy in flip flops, with a cocktail or coffee. For others this is a desperate financial and family crisis.

With the 600% weekly increase in unemployment some are bringing in more money to their households than they were working. Others are working more hours for less money due to pay cuts or loss of sales.

Some families of four just received $3400 from the stimulus while other families of four saw $0.00.

Some were concerned about getting a certain candy for Easter while others were concerned there would be enough bread milk and eggs for the weekend.

Some want to go back to work because they don’t qualify for unemployment and are running out of money. Others want to kill those who break the quarantine.

Some are home spending two to three hours a day helping their child with online schooling while others are spending two to three hours a day to educate their children on top of a 12 hour work day.

Some have experienced the near death of the virus some have already lost someone from it and some are not sure if the loved ones are going to make it. Others don’t believe this is a big deal.

Some have faith in God and expect miracles during this 2020. Others say the worst is yet to come.

So friends we are not in the same boat. We’re going through a tough time when our perceptions and needs are completely different.

Each of us will emerge in our own way from this storm. It is very important to see beyond what is seen at first glance. Not just looking actually seen.

We are all on different ships during this storm experiencing a very different journey.

 

Realize that and be kind!

~ Author: Unknown

A Prayer for the Times

meet-savsani-BenK0Hc8x24-unsplash

Photo by Meet Savsani on Unsplash

The world has been brought to a stand-still and millions of people around the world are struggling and need a sense of peace and comfort. This is a prayer that was recently posted by a friend of mine whose friend is a Lutheran pastor. I thought that this supplication would be something worth sharing to people who may need it.

 

May we who are merely inconvenienced remembered those whose lives are at stake.

 

May we who have no risk factors remember those most vulnerable.

 

May we who have the luxury of working from home remember those who must choose between preserving their health or making their rent.

 

May we have the flexibility to care for our children when their schools close remember those who have no options.

 

May we have had to cancel our trips remember those who have no safe place to go.

 

May we who are losing our margin money in the tumult of the economic market remember those who have no margin at all.

 

May we who settle in for a quarantine at home remember those who have no home.

 

During this time, we cannot visually wrap our arms around each other, let us find ways to be the loving embrace of God to our neighbors.

 

Amen.

I Will Be Here

person sitting on rock on body of water

Photo by Keegan Houser on Pexels.com

Occasionally, I come across a poem or the words to a song, that is very calming and reassuring. Today, I am going to share the lyrics to a song written by Steven Curtis Chapman, “I Will Be Here.” You can interpret them as either coming from a friend’s point of view or from God’s but either way, I hope that you find this comforting.

 

“I Will Be Here”

Tomorrow morning if you wake

Up and the sun does not appear

I will be here

If in the dark, we lose sight of love

Hold my hand and have no fear

‘Cause I will be here

I will be here

When you feel like being quiet

When you need to speak your mind

I will listen

And I will be here

When the laughter turns to cryin’

Through the winning and the losing and trying

We’ll be together

I will be there

Tomorrow morning if you wake up

And the future is unclear

I will be here

Just as sure as the seasons were made for change

Our lifetimes were made for these years

So I will be there

I will be here

And you can cry on my shoulder

When the mirror tells us we’re older

I will hold you

And I will be here

To watch you grow in beauty

And tell you all the things you are to me

I will be there

I will be true to the promise I have made

To you and the One who gave you to me

Tomorrow morning, if you wake up

And the sun does not appear

I will be here

Oh, I will be here

The Story of the Christmas song, “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day”

photo of steeple during daytime

Photo by Belov7043 on Pexels.com

In March of 1863, 18-year-old Charles Appleton Longfellow walked out of his family’s house on Brattle Street in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and—unbeknownst to his family—boarded a train bound for Washington, D.C., traveling over 400 miles across the eastern seaboard in order to join President Lincoln’s Union army to fight in the Civil War.

Charles (b. June 9, 1844) was the oldest of six children born to Fannie Elizabeth Appleton and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, the celebrated literary critic and poet. Charles had five younger siblings: a brother (aged 17) and three sisters (ages 13, 10, 8—another one had died as an infant).

Less than two years earlier, Charles’s mother Fannie had tragically died after her dress caught on fire. Her husband, awoken from a nap, tried to extinguish the flames as best he could, first with a rug and then his own body, but she had already suffered severe burns. She died the next morning (July 10, 1861), and Henry Longfellow’s facial burns were severe enough that he was unable even to attend his own wife’s funeral. He would grow a beard to hide his burned face and at times feared that he would be sent to an asylum on account of his grief.

When Charley (as he was called) arrived in Washington D.C., he sought to enlist as a private with the 1st Massachusetts Artillery. Captain W. H. McCartney, commander of Battery A, wrote to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow for written permission for Charley to become a soldier. HWL (as his son referred to him) granted the permission.

Longfellow later wrote to his friends Charles Sumner (senator from Massachusetts), John Andrew (governor of Massachusetts), and Edward Dalton (medical inspector of the Sixth Army Corps) to lobby for his son to become an officer. But Charley had already impressed his fellow soldiers and superiors with his skills, and on March 27, 1863, he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the 1st Massachusetts Cavalry, assigned to Company “G.”

After participating on the fringe of the Battle of Chancellorsville in Virginia (April 30-May 6, 1863), Charley fell ill with typhoid fever and was sent home to recover. He rejoined his unit on August 15, 1863, having missed the Battle of Gettysburg (July 1-3, 1863).

While dining at home on December 1, 1863, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow received a telegram that his son had been severely wounded four days earlier. On November 27, 1863, while involved in a skirmish during a battle of the Mine Run Campaign, Charley was shot through the left shoulder, with the bullet exiting under his right shoulder blade. It had traveled across his back and skimmed his spine. Charley avoided being paralyzed by less than an inch.

He was carried into New Hope Church (Orange County, Virginia) and then transported to the Rapidan River. Charley’s father and younger brother, Ernest, immediately set out for Washington, D.C., arriving on December 3. Charley arrived by train on December 5. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was alarmed when informed by the army surgeon that his son’s wound “was very serious” and that “paralysis might ensue.” Three surgeons gave a more favorable report that evening, suggesting a recovery that would require him to be “long in healing,” at least six months.

On Christmas day, 1863, Longfellow—a 57-year-old widowed father of six children, the oldest of which had been nearly paralyzed as his country fought a war against itself—wrote a poem seeking to capture the dynamic and dissonance in his own heart and the world he observes around him. He heard the Christmas bells that December day and the singing of “peace on earth” (Luke 2:14), but he observed the world of injustice and violence that seemed to mock the truthfulness of this optimistic outlook. The theme of listening recurred throughout the poem, eventually leading to a settledness of confident hope even in the midst of bleak despair.

You can hear the song HERE or You can read the whole poem/song below…

“I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day”

I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old, familiar carols play,
and wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along
The unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Till ringing, singing on its way,
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime,
A chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Then from each black, accursed mouth
The cannon thundered in the South,
And with the sound
The carols drowned
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

It was as if an earthquake rent
The hearth-stones of a continent,
And made forlorn
The households born
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And in despair I bowed my head;
“There is no peace on earth,” I said;
“For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!”

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The Wrong shall fail,The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men.”

Article Credit: Justin Taylor, “The Christian Coalition”

Spending Christmas With Jesus This Year

a city built between the mountain and the sea

Photo by Luke Barkhuizen on Pexels.com

The Christmas and Holiday season is one of the most beautiful and exciting times of the year for millions of people around the world. The celebrations, music, parades, and all of the other thrilling festivities are some of the things that make the season so beautiful and heartwarming.

Unfortunately, for an untold number of other people, this time of year can be very sad, miserable, or depressing. The loss of a friend or loved one, or the remembrances of times and people in the past can make this time of year downright depressing. I lost both of my parents during the Thanksgiving/Christmas holiday season…my dad, two weeks before Christmas, and my mom, seven days before Christmas. It seems funny to me how every year, a few weeks before the holiday season, I subconsciously begin to become sad and nostalgic about my parents.

So, it goes without saying, that I recently came across the following poem on a friend’s post called, “I’m Spending Christmas With Jesus Christ This Christmas” (written by Wanda Bencke) that I thought was a unique perspective of someone who has left this earth and is now in heaven with God. The following rhyme is a wonderful and touching piece of writing that I hope with help uplift your heart and touch your soul!

 

“I’m Spending Christmas With Jesus Christ This Year”

I see the countless Christmas trees,

Around the world below.

With tiny lights, like heaven’s stars,

Reflecting in the snow.

 

The sight is so spectacular,

Please wipe away that tear.

For I’m spending Christmas,

With Jesus Christ this year.

 

I hear the many Christmas songs,

That people hold so dear.

But the sounds of music can’t compare,

With the Christmas choir up here.

 

For I have no words to tell you,

The joy their voices bring.

For it is beyond description,

To hear the angels sing.

 

I can’t tell you of the splendor,

Or the peace here in this place,

Can you just imagine Christmas,

With Jesus, face to face?

 

I’ll ask Him to light your spirit,

As I tell Him of your love.

So then pray one for another,

As I lift you eyes above.

 

Please let your hearts be joyful,

And let your spirits sing.

For I’m spending Christmas in Heaven,

And I am walking with the King!