Category Archives: Spirit Life

The Reward of Staying

I know someone who never stayed – for anything – marriages, children, jobs, family, friends.

Offended? Leave. Conflict? Forget it. Difficulty? Run.

Everytime.

As soon as the next bump in the road arose (small, medium, large, mountains, molehills, anthills) it was time to run again.

And again. And again. Burning every bridge until nothing was left.

Then the Golden Years arrived. A time to reap the benefits of staying: Children. Grandchildren. Retirement. Relationships. Friendships. Money saved. Home owned. Travel. Wisdom. Influence. Respect.

But there was nothing. Absolutely nothing but sad alone-ness, with barely enough to sustain an existence. Life’s garden had become a barren weed patch with no harvest in sight.barren

Though it’s never too late to start over, the rewards of staying aren’t instant. They build slowly and mundanely over time, growing with consistency, routine, responsibility, trust, effort, plodding, endurance, work, sacrifice, discipline, selflessness.

Days turn into seasons. Seasons into years. Years into decades. Decades into a lifetime.

Of course, there are certain circumstances where staying isn’t wise and it’s beneficial to move on, but staying can never be based on feelings. It’s a choice and often an act of love, paying great dividends, offering stability and bringing reward. Eventually.

Jesus, on the night of His arrest, told His friend Peter, “I could call on my Father to send more than twelve legions of angels to help me now. But how would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say this must happen?” (Matthew 26:53-54)

He stayed all the way to brutal death on a cross, all the way to, “It is finished.”

He chose to endure the cross “for the joy set before Him” (Hebrews 12:2). What was that joy? I believe it was restoring relationship with Me and You! He stayed for Us!

In the short term, cut and run may look easier, but as a habit, it perpetuates an accumulation of poor decisions. The decisions of today become tomorrow’s reality.

Before quitting, be honest about the possible long term consequences. Take time to think and pray about the influence of this decision on tomorrow and all the tomorrows after.

Never underestimate the power of staying.

Plod on.

Don’t give in.

Don’t give up.

Stick it out.

Keep the faith.

Stay the course.

Sow the harvest.

Enjoy the journey.

And EVENTUALLY..

..reap the rewards.

 

 

“Success is measured, not by how we start, but by how we finish.” ~ Mike Connis

“Let us not get tired of doing good, because in time we’ll have a harvest if we don’t give up.” Galatians 6:9

“And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom.” Luke 9:62

“I press on toward the goal..” Philippians 3:14

“The path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, which shines brighter and brighter until the full light of day.” Proverbs 4:18

“Matthew 7:24-25 “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.”

That Extra Chromosome. A Letter to Jon

Do you know, Jon, the majority of humans have forty six chromosomes in each cell of their body, a combination of twenty three from both their mother and father?

This mix of DNA creates a brand new and unique person. Also adding to the individuality of a new life, are the blended chromosomal characteristics of many previous generations.

Chromosomes are us! It’s miraculous when you think about it.

Then..Surprise! Once in a while, someone wins the extra chromosome lottery, for a grand total of forty seven.

Someone like you.chromosomes

There are some theories about where that extra chromosome comes from, but no one really knows. According to experts, it didn’t come from me or your father, because we each only have forty six. The greatest scientific minds have yet to figure out this random occurrence. They can’t explain it.

I’m certainly not scientific. I barely passed the brain twisting subjects of biology and chemistry in high school, so if the smart people don’t know, then there’s little hope of accurate theorizing from me. But I’ve wondered about that extra chromosome at times.

Did it fall, like a shooting star, from the sky and right into you? Was it something I ate? Did God put it there? Were you specifically chosen for the purpose of carrying that extra copy of chromosome number twenty one or was it just…umm…a glitch? How does a person end up with an add-on?

It’s rather mystifying, so I don’t think about it too much, because doing so ties my brain in knots. But occasionally I find myself wondering who, what, you would be without it.

You probably wouldn’t be living at home with us and by now would have a wife, kids, two cars, a mortgage and a dog. Believe me when I tell you, you’re not missing much not having bills to pay.

I think you’d still love music and movies, and be funny and sometimes grumpy. Maybe you’d still like quiet surrounding you, be a night owl, enjoy long evenings out and slow eating, savoring each bite of your food.

I bet you’d still be messy, a bit obsessive, and would write notes to the people you care about. You would still believe, “Everyone deserves a second chance.” And your smile would light up your eyes, a room, and this mother’s heart, just like it does now.

We have traveled a long way together, haven’t we? You, me and that extra. What a difference it’s made! It’s been a life changer, a guide and a teacher and we are not the same as we would have been without it.

I don’t pretend to understand that chromosome or how or why it chose you. Maybe it’s divine or just ‘fate’. I can’t say.

But it doesn’t matter, Jon, because you with your added chromosome are gloriously loved. And when it comes to love, chromosomes don’t count. We’re all on a level playing field.

“For God SO loved the world…that whosever..” (John 3:16)

The brightest mind on earth cannot begin to comprehend the how and why of this kind of love.

If every single chromosome, in every single cell, in every single ‘Whosever’ in the world, is SO incredibly, fantastically, marvelously loved by the Creator of it all, maybe the playing field isn’t as level as I think.

You must be extra loved.

At least that’s how I see it.

Lucky you!

Acceptance – My Special Education, Lesson #11

SanJuan from the fortI was packing for a week long cruise, the first real vacation Mike and I have had together in fifteen years. It was a celebration of forty years of marriage and a long overdue get away.

Our good friends had made time in their busy schedule to stay with Jon and our youngest son and his wife were joining us. Though we were excitedly looking forward to this time together, it was another family event Jon would miss and I was, again, contending with guilt attacks and assaults of sadness.

I sent my conflicting emotions to the back room of my mind and updated the long list of Jon care instructions, made sure his prescriptions were filled, printed out a medical authorization letter and remembered to leave his insurance and ID card and keys to all the places we keep Jon-locked.

After boarding the ship I knew bringing him would have been a disaster. Too many people, long lines, moments of hurrying then waiting, decks that didn’t go all the way through the length of the ship causing creative strategies to find our way around, debarking for ports and making spontaneous plans and last minute decisions for the day then hurrying back to the ship on time so it didn’t leave without us.

Transitions. Transitions. More transitions. Something Jon never does well.

There were other moments when we thought of him. “Jon would love this,” we said. The never ending buffet, the puffer fish shaped cup wheeled by on a drink cart, the magician at our dinner table doing coin tricks, the casino and it’s never ending spread of pricey “video games”, a giant floating hotel to wander through and him curiously and slowly poking in every corner, nook and cranny.

As we sat together at dinner each evening there was contentment in this extraordinary setting. Even our little grandson was along, growing inside the swelling womb of my daughter-in-law. But one of us was missing. My family was incomplete.

There are random moments in life that trigger twinges of loss, a mourning for what should, but never will be. We are forever fighting enemies of guilt, regret and loss and constantly rising to new levels of acceptance.

Acceptance is defined as an assent to the reality of a situation, recognizing a situation without attempting to protest or change it. It is derived from a Latin word meaning “to find rest in.”

Some things we can’t control or change, we can only accept, but it’s often difficult to find a place of rest in circumstances beyond us. Living out of the ‘what ifs’ and ‘if onlys’ is pure misery and leaning into the, “Are you kidding me? I’m supposed ‘to find rest in’ this!” is hard work, but peace can only come with relaxing into the ‘what is’.

Even when life is great, it’s still not perfect. On this cruise, we had to circumvent a hurricane and miss the most anticipated stop of the trip. While sailing on the far reaching edge of the storm, walking turned into a balancing act and we were woken in the night by rocking, rattling and clicking sounds and drawers, in our room, sliding open then thumping shut as soon as sleep came again. I was nearly attacked by a banana loving iguana on a Saint Thomas beach and every day was a bad hair day.

But it was easy to overlook these uncontrollable situations in the anticipation and excitement of another sunrise and new adventures.

Life sails on like a cruise. We board at birth and debark when taking our final breath. There are stops along the way, new places to explore, ports to experience. Some we appreciate, others not so much. Some we never wish to see again and others we hope for, but never experience when an unexpected storm changes the direction of our journey.

There are long days at sea, as we’re carried along, waiting, and trusting the Captain of our ship knows where we’re headed and how to safely reach our destination. With God at the helm we are offered guilt free, acceptance-based cruising and a place to find rest in the storm.

It’s the best way to travel and it’s never too late to book a lifelong trip.

So don’t wait. Start now.

Guaranteed, you’ll love the adventure.
“Jesus Savior, pilot me
Over life’s tempestuous sea
Unknown waves before me roll
Hiding rock and treacherous shoal
Chart and compass come from thee
Jesus, Savior, pilot me.” ~ Edward Hopper, 1871

“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

“Come unto me..and I will give you rest.” ~Jesus, Matthew 11:28~

Do Unto Others

“Do unto others as they have done to you?”

There are many times in life, relationships and circumstances we secretly wish Jesus had actually said it that way and more often than we like to admit, we react as if He did (Matthew 7:12).

Here’s what I know:

People can disappointruler-684005_640
People can hurt
People can reject
People can ignore
People can ridicule
People can neglect
People can be selfish
People can be disloyal
People can be harsh
People can be intolerant
People can be heartless
People can be cruel
People can be…just fallen, broken, messed-up people.

So how do we respond when others become these ‘People Can’ folks?

What is our reaction when people don’t rise to the level of our expectations?

The human tendency is to recoil, withdraw, take out a mental permanent marker and cross them off our internal, ‘people-I-just-might-continue-to-like’ list.

I’ve said it and many times heard others say it, “They did/said ________. That’s it! I’m done with them!”

We wash our angry, offended hands of them and walk away; maybe not literally, but emotionally. We build walls, barriers and keep them distant; at the extreme fringe of our consciousness.

They are cast to the outside of our tiny circle and are greeted, if it all, with a stiff jaw, hard heart and an icy attitude.

Obviously, I’m not referring to abusive, immoral or illegal relationships. There may be people we need out of our life to vastly improve its’ outcome. Go ahead and pray for these as you walk away. But in the everyday interactions between co-workers, friends, family, spouse, fellow believers and the cashier in the checkout line, we can be so easily offended, so quick to write others off.

The truth is God did not write us off. He should have. We certainly deserve it.

He did this instead:

“For God so loved the world He gave…” John 3:16
“While we were yet sinners Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
“Father forgive them they don’t know what they’re doing.” Luke 23:34

And if God, my Creator, did this for us, we can do no less for others.

Jesus, our pattern and example of God walking and living on the earth said:

“For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.” Matthew 6:14
“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” John 15:12
“By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:35
“Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you…” Matthew 5:44

In other words, “Do what I do. Treat others, not as they deserve, but in the same way I have treated you.”

He’s never turned his back on us, but gave it to the lash of scorners.

He’s never walked away from us, but stumbled up a dusty hill, carrying the same tree that took His life.

He’s never washed his hands of us, but allowed them to be pierced with nails of redemption.

He’s never crossed us off his list, but hung on a cross to prove He will never stop reaching for us.

This isn’t a fuzzy, mushy, lollipops and sunshine sorta’ love. It’s a, “This is hard and I don’t feel like it, but it’s the right thing to do,” kind of love (Luke 22:42).

It’s a love that puts relationship over being right. And a love, not for romantic, starry-eyed whimps, but for spirit led soldiers who will take up their cross and follow Him.

“So in EVERYTHING, do to others what you WOULD HAVE them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets” Matthew 7:12.

The addition of a few extra words changes everything.

My prayer today, is they will also change me and you.

A Taste of Things to Come

Mike was in a large, busy place when Jon emerged from the crowd and walked toward him.Mike & Jon

“Hi Dad.”

“Hi Son.”

They embraced, then sat and chatted for a while, reminiscing about Jon’s childhood, “Do you remember the time when..?”

They laughed at the memories.

“Yes, I remember,” Jon said. “I remember everything you’ve ever done for me. Thank you.”

“Why did you do some of the things you did, Jon? We were always just trying to help you. Why were you stubborn and so mean to mom and me sometimes?

“I don’t know. I’m sorry.”

“It’s OK, I forgive you. I’ve always forgiven you, because I’ve always loved you.”

“I know Dad. I know.”

Mike woke up suddenly, filled with joy in having had a real conversation with his son, at last.

But it was only a dream.

In sleep, our heart can reveal what it secretly longs for; the subconscious can give us a taste, a tease, of how it could be. Waking up can bring disappointment or offer us hope. Depends on what we choose to believe.

I believe such a conversation will take place some day, maybe not here on Earth, but when we’re all together on the other side of this life.

There’s nothing quite as reassuring as the hope of Heaven, where all things will be put right and all things will be made new.

Revelation 21:4-5 “and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.” And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” And He said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true.”…

Hope for a New Year

Since I was a child, I’ve always felt the shift of the clock from 11:59 p.m. on December 31, to 12:00 a.m. on new year2January 1, should be magical, fantastical, miraculous; as if something incredible should happen at the very second a year flips over.

Shouldn’t the problem I’ve struggled over all year suddenly have resolution, or money fall from the sky like confetti in New York’s Times Square, or people desperately seeking restored health be instantly healed?

Shouldn’t broken hearts be renewed and shattered relationships repaired, mobile phones ringing and buzzing with offers of love and forgiveness?

Shouldn’t Jon come out of his room with a huge hug and Happy New Year wishes, and loved ones who’ve passed on, walk smiling through my door, shouting, “Hey! I’m back!”?

You know…amazing stuff like…answers. Reversals. Miracles.

I wait for it every year. Deep inside I admit to expecting it. But another new year seems to come and go as ordinary as most days. We celebrate it for a few hours, the fireworks fade and we wake up the next morning to another sunrise. Another start. Another chance. Another twenty four hours.

What is it about a new year that makes us yearn for more?

I think it’s hope. Hope is defined as desire accompanied by anticipation, expectation and confident belief. Hope is central to our very existence.

1 Corinthians 13:13, combines “faith, hope and love,” with love being the greatest. But how is love even possible without faith and hope? When hope walks out, all other longing goes with it. Proverbs 13:12 says, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.”

The human heart has an incredible capacity to keep hope alive, even in the darkest times; to keep wishing for perfection, beauty, solutions, joy, and love. It shouldn’t surprise us, for we are made in God’s image, and He is all these and more.

There is a spark of hope in us that ignites new promise for a new year.

Maybe this year I’ll get that raise or promotion. Maybe this year I’ll meet that special someone. Maybe this year my situation will turn. Maybe this year my health will improve. Maybe this year my sorrow will turn to joy. Maybe this year will be my break through.

Last year was hard, but it’s over. This year will be better.

I hope.

We can’t know what a year will bring, but of this we can be certain: God will be in this New Year with us, just as He always has been. He has not forsaken us, even though we may not feel Him near. His mercy is new and available every morning and His love for us is endless. He can be trusted with our future.

As the year before us unfolds, my hope and prayer is, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit,” Romans 15:13.

The best of blessings to you and yours in the days ahead. May your year be abundant with hopes fulfilled.

image credit: http://www.freshpickedwhimsy.typepad.com/

My New “I Don’t Get It” Box

box copyI now own a virtual “I Don’t Get It” Box. It was delivered to me over the weekend after a conversation I had with a good friend. She’s had a tough year and great loss.  We talked about  faith, and how it processes us through life circumstances that are more than difficult.

Sometimes stuff happens that doesn’t fit into our neat and tidy theological boxes. We can’t check them off our doctrinal lists. Things happen that we can’t explain and we have no idea which  (thought-I-had-this-all-figured-out-already!) category to file them under.

After this conversation with my friend, I woke up the next morning with a picture in my head. Some people call them visions or awake dreams. Call it whatever you want, but I saw me with a long line of people stretched out endlessly behind me, standing in front of a huge box inscribed with a large glowing font that said,

“I Don’t Get It.”

Everyone in line, including me, had a piece of paper in hand. I had written on the paper, parts of my life I question, things I don’t understand and circumstances I have faced or still face that are confusing and seem to have no answers.

I stepped up to the box and threw my paper in. When it hit the bottom the font on the front of the box changed and began to flash in bright neon over and over again,

“Just TRUST Me. Just TRUST Me. Just TRUST Me. Just TRUST ME….”

I may not ‘get’ many things but I get this message loud and clear. I don’t need to analyze, understand, explain and figure everything out.

I can’t know everything because knowing ALL would make me God. Wasn’t that we could be like God by eating the only off limits fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, the original lie of the serpent?

Man fell for the deception. He believed it. Do we still?

God wants our trust. He wants us to believe Him. It’s all He’s ever wanted. So I lay aside my need to know and simply trust..

Because God,

I believe You are good.

I believe You are love.

I believe You are faithful.

I believe You are merciful.

I believe You desire only the best for me,

Today, no matter what happens, how I feel, whether I understand or not, I throw it all into my “I Don’t Get It” box and…

Just Trust You!

 “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman.  “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” Genesis 3:4-5

 “Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you.” Psalm 9:10

 “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. John 14:1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why My Spiritual Mathematical Formulas Are Faulty

In Luke chapter seven, we read about a widow woman whose adult son has died. In this culture this son mathwould have been the only means of support she had. This poor woman had just lost everything.

As Jesus came near the town gate the funeral procession passed by carrying the dead man out and Jesus observed the mother weeping and mourning.

There is no record of this widow having great faith or asking Jesus to help her. In fact there is no indication that she even noticed Jesus or knew who He was. She was so overcome with grief,  I seriously doubt she noticed anything going on around her. She was too busy drowning in her sorrow to care.

Verse thirteen says Jesus looked upon this scene and felt compassion for the woman. He went to her, told her to stop crying, then told her dead son to get up. The guy sat up immediately on his death stretcher and began talking.  In an incredible instant, sorrow was turned into unspeakable joy!

I’ve been told most of my life that God only answers in response to being asked and since this is scripturally supported, I agree, as stated in 1 John 5:14-15 and many other verses.

I’ve also been told I need faith for God to respond to my requests and I agree with this as well. Hebrews 11:6 tells us we can’t even please God without faith.

But I’m discovering at any point I think I might have my doctrinal boxes built and the lids sealed tight, Jesus comes along and messes me up. He throws in just enough deviation from the theological equations we believers like to construct, to keep me from thinking I know it all, that I’ve finally figured out the sum total of every spiritual equation.

One plus one is not always two in God’s kingdom.

He can mix up our constructs and confuse our theology anyway and anytime He wants. He is God and will have mercy and compassion on whomever He chooses (Romans 9:5) whether they have great faith, little faith or no faith and even if they haven’t asked of Him yet.

I never want to stop asking of Him or stop growing in my faith. But I also never want to think I’m so spiritually awesome that God can’t respond, love, heal, deliver, rescue and redeem in any way He sees fit, outside of my preconceived theological formulas.

I’m OK with God staying a bit mysterious and a lot sovereign. I’m alright with not knowing everything as long as I know The Great I Am. In realizing how small and limited I am without Him, its comforting to understand just how much higher, wiser and greater His ways and thoughts are than mine (Isaiah 55:8-9).

God loves me. I trust Him.

That’s good enough for now.

Luke 7:11 “Soon afterward he [Jesus] went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a great crowd went with him. 12 As he drew near to the gate of the town, behold, a man who had died was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow, and a considerable crowd from the town was with her. 13 And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her and said to her, “Do not weep.” 14 Then he came up and touched the bier, and the bearers stood still. And he said, “Young man, I say to you, arise.” 15 And the dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus gave him to his mother. 16 Fear seized them all, and they glorified God, saying, “A great prophet has arisen among us!” and “God has visited his people!” 17 And this report about him spread through the whole of Judea and all the surrounding country.”

 1 John 5:14 “And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.”

 Hebrews 11:6 “And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.”

 

 

 

Just Believe!

believeBELIEVE! As I read, I see this word over and over again, from Genesis to Revelation. It’s one of the central themes of the Bible.

Numbers 4:11 “The Lord said to Moses, I have done great things for these people, and they still reject me by refusing to believe in my power.’”

Luke 22:67 “If you are the Christ, tell us.” But he said to them, “If I tell you, you will not believe.”

The word, believe, occurs 84 times in the Gospel of John alone, the book where Jesus has more of His own words directly quoted. Why then, is it so hard to believe?

Here are some concerns that whittle away at my belief:

•Physical sight verses spiritual sight – it’s easier to focus on what I see around me than to walk by faith for what I can’t see (2 Corinthians 5:7).

•Wanting and waiting – when I’m desperate for a solution that takes too long or doesn’t come in the way I hoped (Proverbs 13:12).

•Circumstances and stresses – life can be difficult and it’s easy to become bogged down under the weight of my difficulties (Mark 4:19).

•Fear – will I have to let go of the familiar or face an unknown (Romans 8:15)?

More than anything else, God’s heart breaks over my unbelief. He delivers far above and beyond to demonstrate His love and care for me, even in laying down His own life to show He is trustworthy.

What more can be done than that?
I want to believe. I want to let go with total abandonment and trust God with my entire life and everything that happens in it.
I’ve come far but still have more to experience in this total believing thing. Unless He helps me, I can’t get it right.

“Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!’ (Mark 9:24). I’m so dependent on You.”

No Such Thing As Normal – My Special Education, Lesson #4

Normal. normal

What is it? 

Are you? Am I? And who decides what the standard for normal is?

One dictionary definition describes normal as: conforming to a standard; usual, typical, or expected.

And Wikipedia describes it as: a lack of significant deviation from the average.

Don Piper, in his book 90 Minutes in Heaven, states: Some things happen to us from which we never recover, and they disrupt the normalcy of our lives. Thats how life is. Human nature has a tendency to try to reconstruct old ways and pick up where we left off. If were wise, we wont continue to go back to the way things were (we cant anyway). We must instead forget the old standard and accept a new normal.’”

I’ve contemplated the word ‘normal’ and the way humans like to measure themselves by it, since the unforgettable day our son Jonathan arrived.

There isnt much about parenting any child that allows for normalcy. With a special needs child all bets are off!  Normal is always being redefined.

There are so many ways our family life is not typical,  especially now that Jon is an adult and still here with us; our ‘normal’ detours along an uncommon path providing us with many challenges, learning experiences and unusual blessings.

Culture, society and humanity in general, constantly attempt to fit us into a mold they call normal. A certain set of actions and behaviors that dictate how we are to look, dress, think, act, even live, yet the parameters for these shift like wind currents. What was considered normal yesterday isn’t today and tomorrow it changes again.

My very wise husband  defines ‘normal’ this way: one fool doing something and a whole bunch of other fools following until everyone thinks it’s OK.

This protocol for fitting in exists everywhere, in education, corporations, political parties, sports and religious organizations, the movie and music industry, agents, publishers and business. There is no escaping the pressure of the world’s attempt to fit us into its mold.

The human heart yearns and the spirit of man longs for normal, for a perfection that is unattainable in a sin cursed world, a world that was never meant to work properly without God at its core. So we define ‘normal’ as we see it, as it seems right to each of us, then we pretend we are (Proverbs 21:2).

The standard for “normal’ was set at Creation. It was perfection. Everything, including us, was perfect. One wrong choice, an act of free will against God set the planet and everything on it in a downward spiral taking us farther away from the original standard with each generation.

God hasnt called me or you to be status quo, ordinary or average, according to the worlds standard.  We are pressed to constantly adjust, adapt and stretch to lifes challenges with a mental, emotional and spiritual fortitude that defies our own reason and relies entirely on His.

As God’s special kids, we are called to be peculiar, non-conformed and transformed. Be in the world but not of it.

I suppose, in this regard, Jon has a head start on me. 

 One day God will reset the earth back to His original plan (Revelation 2:1-4). All will be right again and finally normal will be what it was always meant to be.

I Peter 2:9 “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that you should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.”

Romans 12:2 “And dont be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” 

*Don Piper with Cecil Murphey, 90 Minutes in Heaven, (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Fleming H. Revell , 2004), pg. 137