Take a Deep Breath

It has been quite a while since I’ve given a health update, so here it goes.

On Monday, April 16 I traveled to Duke for a Clinic visit, which included a chest X-ray, labs, Pulmonary Function Tests and a visit with the doctor.  I am grateful to announce that all is well after almost 4 years!

My pulmonary function was up 8%, which up is always a great thing!  Labs were normal, at least something about me is right now! And the X-ray was clear!

We continue to be grateful for the way the Lord has taken care of us through all of this journey and yes, it continues to be a journey with challenges both big and small.  But I’ve been reminded in the last several weeks of this passage which pretty well sums up all God can do!

20  “Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21  to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” (Ephesians 3:20-21 ESV)

I realize this verse is not just speaking of physical things but of the supernatural and spiritual as well, but what a promise to know that God’s power is continually at work within those who believe in Him and call on His name!  And the great news too is that it goes on generation after generation in fact, forever!  And forever is a pretty long time!

So yes, I do take a deep breath, and breathe a silent prayer of gratitude for all He has done in my life!  And boy am I thankful I can!

What’s the Rush?

A couple of months ago I got a speeding ticket, ugh.  I have to say it’s only my second one, ever!  Both tickets I’ve received during my driving career have been on a Sunday, and one was on an Easter Sunday of all things!  I mean come on, does the Sabbath mean anything to police officers?  And we’re talking early in the morning on a Sunday in both instances!  Isn’t Krispy Kreme open early on Sundays?  Okay, that was a cheap stereotypical shot, sorry.

As part of my penance, I had to go to a driving class for 4 hours, again, ugh.  But I have to say, it wasn’t that bad and I actually learned a lot, plus I got to freshen up on my driving knowledge and bond with some folks, okay, not so much with the bonding.  The funny part was, the class was taught by a friend of mine and that did make it more enjoyable, or maybe I should say, less painful.

At any rate, the point of all of this is I came away with a new perspective on driving that I had never really thought about.  It has to do with the word “limit” in a Speed Limit sign.  It’s been there all along, but I’ve always viewed the miles per hour on a Speed Limit sign as, “Okay, this is how fast I need to be driving.”  Never really giving much thought to the fact that I really don’t have to drive as fast as the sign indicates, I would go on my merry way often times, you guessed it, speeding.  So, I know you’re thinking, duh, and besides, who even goes the Speed Limit, besides Mopeds and grandmother’s?  (No offense to either category of drivers)

Well, call it my guilt for getting a ticket, but I started thinking, what’s all the rush anyway? Do we really gain that much by not obeying the posted Speed Limit?  Maybe a minute or two, or maybe even only seconds.  Plus, our stress goes up because we’re frustrated with other drivers or traffic patterns.  And I’ve also discovered that if you slow down and do the Speed Limit, or maybe under, you see SO much you’ve missed along your way!  You also find yourself being more courteous to other drivers.

I’ve actually found myself more at ease, more focused and definitely less stressed by slowing down.  Plus, it’s fun to aggravate other drivers by NOT going fast!  So, what’s the rush?  I’m really not sure.

Try taking your time to your destination, you might find that there really are no limits to the good that comes your way!

Life Is Good…or Is It?

You’ve seen the logo, it’s everywhere, on cars, T-shirts, coffee cups, spare tire covers, you name it, it has found its way onto just about every thing you can think of.  The message is simple, “Life Is Good.” Seems like a harmless statement expressing one’s contentment with life and their obvious joy in living life.

There are many moments in which we enjoy life, whether it’s creating memories with our family, celebrations like weddings, graduations, or the birth of a child or grandchild.  Many times we do, and should, experience the joy of life.  We’ve all been given the innate ability to enjoy this life we’re living on earth.  If we didn’t have moments of pleasure we would probably go crazy and give up on living.  But this slogan has made me stop and ask the same question every time I see it, “Is “life” really good?”

I think it depends on which “life” we’re talking about.  If we’re talking about the one we live during the same, mundane, day to day existence, where we only participate in the pleasures or activities of this world, then I would have to say, no.  And the Bible backs me up on this point.

  • The Bible says our life is hard.

“The years of our life are seventy, or even by reason of strength eighty;  yet their span is but toil and trouble; they are soon gone, and we fly away.” (Psalm 90:10 ESV)

  • The Bible says there isn’t much to the end of our life here on earth.

“And at the end of your life you groan, when your flesh and body are consumed.” (Proverbs 5:11 ESV)

  • And that life is fleeting.

For who knows what is good for man while he lives the few days of his vain life, which he passes like a shadow?” (Ecclesiastes 6:12a ESV)

“What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.”  (James 4:14b ESV)

The Bible doesn’t exactly paint the same “Life Is Good” picture as the ad campaign purports. But is there any kind of “life” that is good, or what would make life good for us?  The Bible has something to say about that as well.

  • The fear of the Lord leads to a long and healthy life.

“The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life.” (Proverbs 14:27a ESV)

“The fear of the Lord prolongs life.”  (Proverbs 10:27a  ESV)

  • Life in Christ is not the way most people choose.

“For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” (Matthew 7:14 ESV)

  • Christ came to give us true life!

“I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10b ESV)

  • Our hope is not in this life, but in the one to come.

“If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.” (I Corinthians 15:19 ESV)

  • True life, the life that IS good comes only from God.

“Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.” (I John 5:12 ESV)

So, is life good? It all depends on which life you’re living!