Move over, Mac

wood 2Alright, all you techno-wizards.  I’m to a point in my experience (and it’s not the first time) when computer operating instructions seem to be in a different language.  I know the words are English, but somehow I’ve woken up in a parallel universe and the dictionary has changed. I’ve been trying to wrap my brain around this Mac Keynote program to upload a presentation to YouTube. Not just slides, but time-lapse clips and music.  Looks great on Keynote, but it rejects the upload when pushing the button marked “YouTube”.  (And, no, QuickTime cuts it off also….and iMovie is, well—that’s another story.)mrxfbpjymwiyy

I refuse to be an old dog who can’t learn new tricks.  I’m totally fine with the old dog part (especially considering the alternative), it’s the refusal to learn new tricks that’s rubbish.  These presentations mean a lot to me, so I dig my teeth in like an old pit bull and keep at it.  (Thankfully, Bob has also been locked in combat with his latest creation, doing much better than his wife I might add.)

Then, this morning I read this:

“We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.  And this hope will not lead to disappointment…”

This is more than mere problem-solving and trial-overcoming.  (And certainly much more than wrestling with a computer program that doesn’t do what it promises to do!)  It’s about producing a quality of personhood within me that will stand regardless of discouragements, diversions, and changes of direction.  And more importantly, it’s about a goal that is eternal, i.e., my intimate, ever-increasing relationship with God through Jesus Christ His Son. 

I was a bit amazed when, in my (very) limited study of church history, how many leaders of our faith went through periods of doubting their salvation, such as John Bunyan, Martin Luther, and John Wesley.  The important thing is that they persevered, pushing through questions and mental combat to pursue God’s promises and expose Satan’s lies.  I’ve come to the conclusion that the main agenda of the enemy is to drive a wedge of any kind between me and my Lord, to attack any confidence in the relationship.  (Took me a while to figure that one out.   Duh.)

Paul here says that it is through these struggles that our “confident hope” in salvation is hard wired into our souls.  This makes sense, because our spirits are already secured in Christ; it’s my soul (mind, thinking) that gets bogged down.  That’s still a mystery to me, but I’m becoming more and more comfortable with mystery when it comes to God’s way of doing things.

Much more comfortable than with the mystery of Keynote and YouTube, for sure

Romans 5:3-5 Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Please and thank you…or not

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“And I didn’t even get a thank you note!”

‘Fess up.  How many times have you thought that, or some version of it?  You let someone cut in line in a traffic jam, and instead of them giving you a polite wave, the guy behind you gives you a not-so-polite one finger salute.  That’s what I’m talking about.  Just a little appreciation for the sacrifice, if you don’t mind.  At least, that’s what mom taught me back in the day.

Here’s another good one—you choose to start this tithing thing to your church, and end up getting a rejection notice from your insurance company about those impacted wisdom teeth you just had removed.  Now who you gonna aim your frustration at, hmmm??

And yet, for some wisdom beyond Continue reading “Please and thank you…or not”

Liar, Liar, Pants on fire (and, eventually, more than that…!)

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C’mon, ‘fess up ‘cuz we’ve all done it.  Telling that little white lie or withholding just a piece of the story to make ourselves look better.  Personally, I also tend toward mild exaggeration, but I suspect all of us at some point in our lives (except One) have had what my brother-in-law calls a “flexible sense of integrity”.   Of course, the universality of it doesn’t excuse us, nor does the humor.  It may help our cause, however, to recognize where all this untruthfulness boils up from…

Enter good King Hezekiah, good being a nuanced word, because he also had his moments.  Nonetheless, he led Continue reading “Liar, Liar, Pants on fire (and, eventually, more than that…!)”