Category Archives: Holiday

A Mother’s Day Irony

Mother’s Day is an American holiday that is now celebrated in other parts of the world.  But it is also a holiday with a rather ironic historical point to its origin.

Ann Jarvis was a peace activist who took care of the wounded on both sides of the Civil War.  Her daughter, Anna Jarvis, wanted to commemorate Ann’s death when she died in 1905.  Anna’s viewpoint about mothers–especially her own–was  that mothers “have done more for you than any other person in the world”.

By 1908,  Anna was well on her way to campaigning for the national holiday of “Mother’s Day” by holding a memorial for her mother that year.  By 1911, many states observed the holiday and in 1914, President Wilson made it official.

Anna wanted to honor her mother by continuing her mother’s work.  As she progressed with getting this special day to her (and all mothers) recognized, however, she saw a gradually disturbing truth.  She saw that as Mother’s Day gained more attention, it also became more commercialized.  The focus turned from sentiment to profit, and it disturbed her greatly.  She began to protest at various companies  associated with the commercialization she was witnessing.  She targeted companies that made greeting cards, chocolates and other sweets.  And here’s the ironic point to this story:  She was eventually arrested for disturbing the peace!

If you wanted to carry on the work of a peace activist who helped people in need, isn’t disturbing the peace a move in the opposite direction of your goal?  Ah, well, regardless, she accomplished what she set out to do.  Anna Jarvis, in memory of Ann Jarvis, established a day that honors all mothers and what they do for us.

Happy Mother’s Day!

The Invisible Egg

It’s that time of year when many people color an egg or two for Easter.  Well, I remember one Easter in particular that had a very elusive egg that no one could find.

Easter every year was always held at Grandma & Grandpa’s house.  The whole family would gather and enjoy some great food and an inevitable game of progressive rummy with the adults.  Everything from ham to mashed potatoes to succotash was there, including homemade pies and Schwann’s ice cream for dessert.  (There are apparently very few people who like succotash in this world; my grandma and myself were two of them.)  It was a time us kids always knew we’d be seeing all of the cousins.  Well, I have a cousin named Erik who is about four years older than I am.  This particular year, Erik helped Grandma color eggs for all of us younger kids to find.  Most of those eggs were brightly colored and relatively easy to locate.  But one particular egg Erik decided to do something special with.

My grandma had a small plant terrarium in her living room (similar to the picture above but with taller plants in it).  It had a variety of colors in both the gravel and the plants that it contained.  Erik decided that he needed to color a camouflaged egg to blend in with the plants and gravel in the terrarium.  Us younger cousins were told that if we found this “camo egg” we would get a significant cash reward.  If memory serves me correctly, $10  was the reward and he himself was fronting the cash for it.  I think he thought the chances of us finding it were virtually impossible, especially with no hints being given to us.   So a $10 bill was a tantalizing carrot to dangle in front of us.  As I recall, us older cousins had him a little worried about his money though.

I would love to be able to tell you that I found it!  But I didn’t.  I would love to be able to tell you that anyone found it.  But we never did.  Not even the adults were able to locate it.  Eventually, when the adults had long grown tired of watching us kids desperately trying to find this elusive egg,  Erik had to show us where it was.  When we saw it, we all agreed:  This is an absolutely ugly egg, and no wonder we couldn’t find it!  It was painted to perfectly blend in with the plants in the terrarium and it did its job well.  I really wish I had seen it!  To see a reward of that caliber go unclaimed was a heinous act on Erik’s part.

In our household, the focus of Easter is the death and resurrection of Jesus (the empty tomb is still an historical event that non-Christian historians still cannot accurately explain away).  Even though colored eggs and such aren’t what Easter is really all about, it has certainly made for some interesting memories.

Happy Easter!

Resolutions….Do We Have To?

It’s the thing everyone thinks of at one time or another as the new year approaches:  Resolutions.  And, inevitably, everyone has the same thought hit them next:  Will I fail again?  It’s something that we all begin and then fight the thoughts of failure the whole time we’re doing it.  More on that in a minute.

The first of the year is certainly a time of reflection.  But I also believe that reflection needs to be coupled with a good sense of humor–something to help balance out the intensity that can often accompany the realization that something needs to change in your life.  And so, I offer to you some examples of New Year Resolutions that may or may not be the wisest of choices:

  • “Many people look forward to the New Year for a new start on old habits.”
  • “My New Year’s resolution is to switch to a gym where there are far fewer people whose New Year’s resolution was to go to the gym.”
  • “My New Year’s resolution is to be more selective about my bad decisions.”
  • “New Year’s Resolution:  To tolerate fools more gladly, provided this does not encourage them to take up more of my time.”
  • “My New Year’s resolution is to stop hanging out with people who ask me about my New Year’s resolution.”
  • “Now there are more overweight people in America than average-weight people.  So overweight people are now average.  Which means you’ve met your New Year’s resolution.”
  • “New Year’s Resolution:  This year I’m going to incorporate ‘I don’t roll that way‘ into at least one conversation a week.”
  • “My New Year’s resolution is to stop crying at Google commercials.”
  • “My New Year’s resolution was to start smoking.  One day in and I already stopped.”
  • “My New Year’s resolution is to spend less time interacting with people and more time with my phone.  Doing pretty well so far….”

Like I said, not sure how much wisdom there is in those words, but food for thought, right?  I would encourage you not to take yourself too seriously as you pursue a resolution or any other goal you have this year.  And, for what it’s worth to you, my personal experience has shown this to be true:  Put two people pursuing the same goal next to each other–one attempting to do it on his own and the other doing it with God’s help as a follower of Jesus Christ–and you will always find that the person who enlisted the help of God Himself accomplishes much more with much less effort!  So, my friend, save yourself some time and effort and do it right the first time…..

Of Ghosts And Flying Reindeer

The Christmas season certainly has a lot of traditions attached to it, doesn’t it?  From what we actually celebrate (namely Santa, Hanukkah and the birth of Jesus) to countless family practices within countless households, traditions hold a significant place within our society.  We’ve all got our favorite ones, too, don’t we?  But do you ever stop to think about where they came from?  “How did this tradition start?”, is a question that can produce some interesting answers.

Hanukkah and the birth of Jesus are both historically accurate occurrences (although tradition has put Jesus in a manger on Christmas, when he actually was at least a few months old by the time the wise men found him on December 25)*.  When it comes to Santa, though, the earliest accounts of this fable only date back to 1821 with a children’s poem (author unknown) titled “Old Santeclaus with Much Delight”.  At that point, the earliest drawings depict Santa being pulled by just one reindeer** (and you’d think that Rudolph would have been that reindeer, what with Santa needing his glowing nose and all).

As a result of these foundations for most of our holiday traditions, it has led to one of the biggest and most well-known traditions of them all:  Christmas carols!  Obviously, many are about the birth of Jesus and quite a few are about Santa as well.  But then we also have carols that are simply about our traditions:  sleigh rides, children playing in the snow, chestnuts roasting over a fire and the food we eat during the holidays.  One of these songs is called, “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year”.  Ever heard that one?  I didn’t hear it until I was working for an upscale hotel restaurant in my early twenties.  My first Christmas season there, I actually heard a few songs that I never even knew existed (and I was even one of those kids growing up who would listen to Christmas carols as soon as Thanksgiving was over)!  This one really threw me for a loop, though.  And let me tell you why…..

George Wyle (the vocal director for The Andy Williams Show), along with Edward Pola, actually wrote this song for Andy to sing on the show in 1963.***  It’s a song that’s all about traditions.  But when I heard the lyrics within a certain part of this song, it stopped me in my tracks and forced me to do a double-take on what I had just heard.  Here is that part of the song:

There’ll be parties for hosting

Marshmallows for toasting

And caroling out in the snow

There’ll be scary ghost stories

And tales of the glories of

Christmases long, long ago

Do you see it?  Who on God’s green earth associates scary ghost stories with Christmas??  What does that even look like?  Can you picture it?  You and your family are sitting in a comfy room in front of a cozy fire that crackles and hisses in the fireplace.  The smell of pine fills the air from the garland of real pine that lines the mantle above it.  Across the room is a beautiful Christmas tree, glowing warmly with the colors of red, blue, orange and green.  The gentle flames of candles scattered around the room cause firelight to dance on the walls around you.  You have just taken part in one of the best Christmas dinners you’ve ever had–every dish that every family member is known for making the best of was part of that meal.  Suddenly, as everyone is basking in the serene atmosphere that surrounds them, Uncle Joe blurts out, “Hey, just between you, me and the fence post, has anyone heard about the ghost of the truck driver that was killed in that horrible accident a few years back?  They say he still roams these parts, looking for the kids that ran out in front of his truck.  Anyone seen Billy lately?”

Apparently somebody thought this was a good idea, but why?!  Talk about a really weird and disturbing tradition!  After much contemplation, the only connection that I can make is that this could be referring to the ghosts in Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol”.  Then recently, I learned that it was actually a Victorian tradition to tell ghost stories at Christmas time (could explain why Dickens’ story was considered such a classic).

So, needless to say, not all traditions are worth carrying on!  Personally, I’m glad that that one has fallen by the wayside….

Enjoy your traditions, my friend.  And have a very blessed and Merry Christmas!!

 

* DVD entitled “The Star Of Bethlehem”.

**Wikipedia, “Santa Claus’s reindeer”.

***Wikipedia, “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year”.

Something To Be Thankful For

I’ll get to the other lawn mowing stories, but with Thanksgiving coming up this week, I wanted to share with you something that I am very thankful for.

I realize that this country has been in turmoil for quite some time with all of the political happenings, especially since the election has taken place.  We’ve all heard and seen the stories, from riots to universities actually coddling students with counseling, therapy dogs, coloring books and Play-doh (I can’t even comprehend that really happening, but it has).

As sad as it is that our universities treat our young adults like five-year-olds, what would really matter when push comes to shove?  We Americans still live in an amazing country–a country that has been through a lot and grown stronger as a result (granted, where we are now is pretty messed up, but we’re not about to give up now).  If America were to suddenly be threatened country-wide by a common enemy, a threat that meant each American had to fight for himself and defend his own household and his neighbor,  what would we see happen?  I believe that the vast majority of us would lock arms with our neighbor and stand together to fight for this land we call home.  Would it matter what our political stand was?  Would it matter what our religious beliefs were?  Would it matter what our position on education was?  Would anything else at all be as important in that moment?  I don’t believe it would–at all.  And that should speak volumes to us.

That is what I am so thankful for:  The American spirit.  There is something very unique and inspiring about the American spirit.  Remember the stories we all heard around 9/11?  Even though it was over fifteen years ago, I clearly remember all those people on United Airlines flight 93 who chose to fight back (and knowingly die in doing so) instead of letting those terrorists go through with their plan.  Where is that spirit today?  Oh, it’s there, but it’s dormant.  And it’s been dormant for far too long.  Do we need another national catastrophe to bring us together again?  How sad would it be that we let things get to that point before we do?

Let’s be proactive and lock arms now before something like that happens again.  Let’s move forward as what we are supposed to be:  The United States of America.

Of Bears And Other Stuff

We’re camping on this Labor Day weekend.  Which is what we were doing up in Michigan’s U.P. during our stay in the backwoods wilderness of that beautiful country.  Which leads me to the black bear story…..

As I said before, we all stayed in tents both times that we went up there.  The cabin sat on a corner lot of sorts, with the lake straight out in front of it and a thirty-foot wide tributary from the lake that passed the cabin on the left and became a smaller lake behind the cabin property.  So our tents were on one side of the cabin and the tributary was on the other.  An old bridge made of railroad ties, as I recall (as was the main dock into the lake), spanned the thirty feet of water and connected the cabin’s mainland with an island on the other side of the tributary.  This bridge was a good five or six feet above the water (as a sharp 25+ year-old memory reveals) with a very old wooden rowboat on the cabin side of the shoreline.

If you recall my mentioning Nate and Jesse (the same Nate who went fishing for some Kelly in a previous story), Jesse was about four or five years old at the time of our first venture up there.  Even though we were told to stay away from it, Jesse somehow miraculously found himself standing in the old rowboat.  Then it started to sink.  And he started to cry….loudly.  His Dad was clear across the other side of the cabin where the tents were when he heard his youngest son cry.  He was a blur of arms and legs as he came sprinting across the property to where his son was in the rowboat (don’t be too concerned–the water was only a couple feet deep where the boat was).  He leapt into the water as he lunged for his son and whisked him right out of the boat.  Once Jesse was deemed safe and unharmed…..well, then the crap hit the fan for why he was even anywhere near the boat to begin with.

That same bridge, it was said to us kids, could possibly hold a black bear or two, which meant that there were possibly black bear in and around the woods that surrounded the cabin.  We didn’t see any, but I’m pretty sure I heard one.  The bathroom was a two-hole latrine about fifty-feet into the woods behind the cabin.  Not much of an issue during the day, but at night that distance became a very significant obstacle.  I remember one night making that very long trek through the fifty feet of trail that was surrounded by trees on either side, armed with nothing but the flashlight in my hand.  The latrine was within sight at twenty feet away, but just as I came within sight of it, I heard significant rustling behind me just off the trail on the right.  I don’t think my feet touched the ground those last twenty feet, and I certainly didn’t have to use the bathroom anymore by the time I found myself safely inside the confines of the latrine.  I have no idea what I heard in those woods just off the trail, but I wasn’t about to go look.  I waited a few minutes and then ran like I was shot out of a cannon those fifty feet back to the camping area where my parents and safety awaited  me.

My fondest memories, though, are God’s nature that surrounded us up there.  We had blueberry bushes all over up there, so one day for lunch, all we had were fresh blueberries in pudgy-pies (with sugar, of course); Todd and I took a canoe ride clear to the other side of the lake where a little nook offered us such solitude that the hushed tones of our conversation sounded like we were shouting; no sounds of civilization in the morning, just loons out on the misty water as the sun came up; and more than anything else, for me the very presence of God Himself to meet me there every day in His beautiful creation that was all around.

Should you get the chance to vacation in Northern Michigan–anywhere from the top of the mitten or higher–you will create for yourself a very memorable experience!

Things Change

Why do things have to change?  And why, sometimes, do they have to change so drastically?  Good questions with not-so-simple answers.

Take how we travelled as kids.  If you’re anywhere near my age, I’m sure you remember standing in the front seat (or inbetween the front seats) as your family car hurtled down the highway, your Mom holding you by the middle as you held your balance there and everybody laughed.  Or maybe you took your afternoon nap in the same car up on the “back dash”–that open space behind and above the back seat where the back window met the trunk of the car–where you were bathed in warm sunlight and fell asleep to the music coming from the rear speakers that were right by your ear.  Now, in the society of today’s world, the parents who let their children ride in a car like that would be called negligent, careless and irresponsible parents who don’t deserve to have children at all since they obviously don’t know how to take proper care of them in a vehicle.  Interesting, don’t you think?

What about something a friend of mine recently told me?  A local community had a fireworks show in the local city park on the Fourth of July–something that hadn’t been done in a long time and everyone was excited about seeing it again–only to afterwards be told by the local city officials that it won’t be happening at all anymore because “some people felt it was too loud”.  Well, what do they think is going to happen with fireworks??  And, to top it off, it was a handful of people who complained about the noise level.  What about the other ninety-five percent who enjoyed it and had no problem with the noise level?  After all, we are talking about a highly unusual event, this having fireworks on the Fourth of July business.  It just shows how we as a society have developed a habit of bowing needlessly to the wishes of a few which turns trivial matters into huge issues.

So what brings this discussion on?  Well, my family and I attended a local parade in our community that is held every year around this time of July.  Remember the parades you attended as a child?  Lots to see and hear, especially when it comes to all of the police cars, ambulances and fire trucks with all of their flashing lights and periodic blasts of horns and sirens.  Only now–at least in the surrounding communities where we are–you only see the flashing lights.  No horns.  No sirens.  I’m not sorry to say that in my mind, hearing the horns and sirens coming from way down the street is what made a parade back in the day!  What’s up with that?!  Our boys even made the international honk-your-horn signal that kids give to semi-truck drivers and the firefighter in the passenger seat who saw them shook his head, apparently unable to fulfill their urgent request (and mine).  It’s a parade!!  You’re supposed to do that!  What has our society come to?  The firetrucks can’t even activate their sirens or horns in a parade anymore!  So sad.

I suppose the next step will be that we won’t be able to drive 4X4 vehicles anymore due to their being too brutal on Mother Earth.  Surely there’s a small handful of people out there who don’t like them and are determined to see their extinction from our society.  At the rate things are going, they’ll get their way and we’ll have to revert back to snowshoes in the winter.  Hey!  That may not be such a bad idea after all…..

So what are your thoughts on this?  I’d love to hear from you!

A Reprise On Yard Darts

Being that it’s a holiday weekend, I find it necessary to do a couple of things.  First, I offer my gratitude to you if you or anyone in your family has served in our great country’s military at any time over the years.  Having Memorial Day off as a paid holiday isn’t all about getting a day off of work.  It’s obviously far more important that it’s a day to honor those who have served our country.  So….thank you.  And second, I find it necessary, because of a time factor I’m currently dealing with, to post a reprise of an earlier writing.  I think you’ll find it entertaining:

You know, it sure wasn’t the safest thing to do as a kid……that whole riding a bike down a hilly dirt road with no hands thing. No helmet, no pads, no protection at all–and those are some of my fondest memories!

What would those kids that were us back then have to say to the kids of today? (“You wear what? On where? Why??“)  What about the parents? (“You let your kid wear that? On where? Why??“)  Especially when it comes to riding in a car! I can remember moving all around our family van as my Dad was cruising down the highway. Nowadays, you just about get arrested for that. At the very least, the video someone has taken on their phone in the car behind you of your kid moving all over your van gets posted on CNBC, Fox News and any other T.V. show that will have panel after panel of so-called “experts” deliberating and arguing back and forth about the merits and pitfalls of such actions in today’s society.

So what would they say about “Yard Darts”?

Remember those? Two colored plastic circular tubes the diameter of a pencil made two big rings that were the targets (the boring part); then, four darts–two sets of two different colored 12-inch long, plastic-finned, 3-sided tops with heavy metal bases that came to a point–completed the ensemble (the exciting part). Ours were in a cardboard box with those happy 1970’s family posers throwing the darts at the other team’s target. Nothing but good, safe, family fun, right?

What did kids do with this family-fun game when the parents weren’t around? What every kid did! Throw those sharp pieces of kid-dom fun straight up into the air as high as possible and try to calculate trajectories to see if they’ve gotta run like a banshee to avoid being pinned to the ground. We had that big side yard to do it in, too! As I recall, sometimes my brother and I would spread out on the side yard and lob them into the air to see how close we could come to the other brother without him actually having to move.

Yep….not smart. But it sure was fun. And very memorable. Mostly due to the fact that neither one of us ever got hurt playing with those things (God was certainly true to my mother’s prayers for our protection growing up). So what’s available now? Maybe a Nerf version of what used to be a thrill ride for a kid–something “safe” and non-threatening. That’s like giving a kid a chocolate cake without the frosting. No thanks. Give me the real thing. We’ve become too “safe-sensitive” in today’s culture–not that I want to go out and buy a real Yard Darts game for my kids. But I do recognize a tendency in myself and my parenting to be over-protective and unwilling to just let my boys be the kids that they are…kids that want to do things that in my adult mind seem unsafe and unwise. Yet what did I do as a kid? Some of the exact same things I catch them wanting to do.

Us adults need to remember what some of the joys of being a kid are. And when you stop and think about it, those childhood experiences really all come down to this: sometimes the best teacher for a kid is the freedom to experience something for himself.

A Hare-Raising Experience

Today is Easter.  Happy Easter to you!  What does that really mean though?  Does it mean, “Hope you get lots of candy and colored eggs!” or does it mean, “Today’s the day Jesus rose from the dead!”?  Where do these two juxtaposed meanings for this holiday come from?

We have the German Lutherans to thank for the origins of the Easter Bunny.  Much like the person of Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny is something of folklore legend, who left a child colored eggs, candy or toys (or any combination thereof), depending on how good or disobedient the child had been.  This first appeared in literature in the 1600s, so it’s been around for awhile.

On the other hand, we know about Jesus Christ through what the Bible describes, as well as what literature sources outside of the Bible tell us (these were written by local historians of that time period, some of which are not Christian at all).  Here’s an interesting fact about the Bible:  It is a compilation of 66 books, written over a period of 1500 years in 3 different languages by men who lived on 3 different continents, many of whom lived many years apart from each other and never knew one another.  And yet, there is a common theme that runs through every part of the Bible:  God creates mankind in His image; mankind falls and sin enters the human race; mankind tries to redeem itself and fails time and again; God sends His Son to redeem mankind; those who receive the gift of Jesus’ crucifixion, resurrection and ascension will be with Him forever.*

Does that sound like a fairytale to you?  I can understand why.  I think our society is conditioned to believe that just about everything is “too good to be true”.  But it runs deeper than that for two reasons:  One, the human race has a very real enemy who hates us because he hates God, and as a result, he does everything within his power to destroy our lives; and two, that “sin nature” that’s in every one of us doesn’t want to admit that we even need any help at all, and–if you’re honest with yourself–it results in a person refusing to give up the sin in their life.  So, once again, it all comes down to a choice that is completely up to each one of us to make:  What will we do with Jesus?

Do you know that even historians who are Atheists acknowledge the historical authenticity of the Bible?  That there are historical documents in existence that put first-hand-witness accounts of Jesus’ life, death, resurrection and ascension within ten to twenty years of the actual events?  It astounds Christian and Atheist historians alike.  The empty grave speaks for itself.  No one has ever been able to legitimately explain it away.**

Does the Easter Hare have such a background?  I think you know the answer to that.  The life of wholeness and peace and joy that you have been searching for your whole life is right in front of you in the person of Jesus Christ!  So what will you do with Him?

*From “Good Or God” by John Bevere

**From “The Case For Christ” by Lee Strobel

Reflection And Vision

It’s that time of year again.  Through the fun times with family and friends, there has probably been a growing sense of something drawing to a close and something else starting anew inside each one of us.  Whether they want to admit it or not, everyone is–at least to some degree–reflecting on the previous year and looking ahead to the new one.

But what does that really mean for you and I?  Some people out there genuinely don’t care about this.  Come what may, they’re simply focused on their next paycheck so that they can party some more.  I’m sure you’d agree that if that’s all they want out of life, they’ve already reached their goal–with nowhere else to go from there (and if that’s where you might be, just know that “You can’t get there from here.”)

I think most of us, though, are keenly focused right now on where we’ve been and where we’re going.  So what does that mean for you?  I’m all for expressing my sense of humor, but there’s also a time for expressing some meaningful questions:  Where have you been?  And where are you going?  I wish I was face-to-face with you right now–as we walk this northern trail together in our snowshoes!–because I would love to hear your answers to those questions.  Maybe you don’t even have decent answers to either one of them right now.  That’s OK–at times, I haven’t either (and for years, the answer to that second question constantly eluded me).

This is just my opinion, but I can assure you–based on many years of experience (remember, a person with an experience is never at the mercy of a person with a theory)–that there is a world of difference between a person trying to figure out the answers to those questions on his own and another person relying on the God of the Bible to reveal those answers to him.  If you don’t believe that, don’t be offended that I do (because I’m not offended that you don’t).  We simply respect where the other is coming from, right?  Many of us believe different things.  That’s our God-given right and ability:  Choice.  But it’s at that point that everything separates and branches off into all kinds of different directions.  So how do you know which one is the right one?  Is there more than one?  These are things no one likes to address or bring up–mostly because they make people feel uncomfortable, and who likes to feel that way?  But doesn’t everything begin there?  If we’re truly honest with ourselves, we have to admit that there is a void inside of us that we are constantly trying to fill with something or someone (even if it’s filled with nothing but ourselves).

I’d like to avoid a deep and philosophical exchange today, but given this contemplative time of year, wouldn’t you agree that it’s almost unavoidable?  Regardless, I trust that you can at least see this:  Everything has to have a foundation.  If yours is shaky, whatever you build on it will fall (Jesus told us that).  He also told us that everything bears fruit……everything.  If you take an honest look at the lives around you–including your own–those that show the healthiest and largest crops of fruit are going to be those that have a vibrant and intimate walk with Jesus Christ.  (A couple of things to note:  look deeper than the surface at the fruit you notice in others’ lives; it may not be as healthy as it looks.  And secondly, note those key words: vibrant and intimate.  It’s sad but true that many of us know plenty of people who claim to have Jesus in their hearts that live dull, lifeless and boring lives.  Rest assured:   That is not what truly having Jesus in your life is like!  It is the most exciting–and dangerous–thing you could ever decide to do.)

As you look behind you to glean what you can from your previous year and look ahead to what potentially lies before you, are you going to choose to go at it alone?  Because if that’s what you want, God will honor that (just know that it was never meant to be that hard).  Maybe you’re even struggling with the feeling that life is ultimately meaningless and pointless.  If all we’re living for is to try to better ourselves and those that live around us, what lasting value does that really bring?  Don’t you know that you were meant for so much more than that?  Wouldn’t you like to reach the end of your life and know that you fulfilled everything you were meant to fulfill with it?  And then to hear the King of Kings and Lord of Lords tell you, “Well done, good and faithful servant!  Enter into the joy of your Lord!”  Talk about an eternal purpose!  That certainly gives your life true meaning.

I am excited for you!  What will your life look like in a year?  What are you really living for?  What changes will you make this year that could have mind-blowing, far-reaching effects that you can’t possibly imagine?  Let me know what you think and let’s find out together!