Don’t Miss the Trees

The forest or the trees

photo courtesy Ben Millett

I was reading my devotional, Day by Day with Charles Swindoll, last night and learned something I found rather interesting. I learned the origin and meaning of the word serendipity. I think this word is a very important word as well. It’s key to living a full life I believe.

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Soothing the Savage Beast

Music

Photo courtesy *MarS

I love music. I always have. I’m not musically talented really. I just enjoy listening to it. I did play trombone in high school and have dabbled in guitar and piano, but that’s about it.

I like just about any genre of music. The one thing it has to have though is meaning. I don’t really like frivolous, feel good songs. What I love is when an artist pours their passion into the music and/or lyrics and it comes through. Because of that, one of my favorite types of music is hard rock. To me, the passion of the instrument really comes through. I find it interesting that groups such as Metallica have also played along with a full orchestra. To me, that really exemplifies what I mean about the passion of the music. Let’s see one of those boy bands try that with their meaningless drivel.

That’s just one example though of what I like. I also listen to country, classical, New Wave, Hip Hop (Rap), and you name it. Like I said, to me it’s about the passion of the artist, not about the style of the music.

I’m particularly fond of the harder Christian groups. I like older stuff like Petra and Whiteheart, but also newer groups like Seventh Day Slumber and Kutless. To me, Christian Rock is the pinacle of music. It combines the passion of the music with the passion of the words, which are also The Word. It doesn’t get much better than that. When I’m in a funk, it’s that type of music that speaks to me the most.

I’ve been thinking about blogging about some of my favorites. I’m not going to focus so much on an analysis of the group or the music though. The focus will be on how the song speaks to me. I’ll probably include links to the song  and the lyrics. Sort of a devotional in some respects.

What do you think? Sound interesting?

Hope or Hope?

Wish or Hope?

photo courtesy Ken Lee

I was reading my devotional today and there was a particular comment that really jumped out at me. The author referred to the change in the word hope as we tend to think of it today versus the way that it was used in the Bible.

We tend to use the word hope more as a wish, “I hope it doesn’t rain”, “I hope I get a Nintendo for my birthday”, and the worst is “I hope I’ll have a good retirement”. We’re looking forward with a desire for something we feel we have no control of.

A more positive and appropriate use of the word hope is more of a knowing. It’s the kind of hope that stirs something in us. A hope that causes us to look forward to something better that we know is coming.

As a christian, I have the hope that there is something better for me beyond this life. We can also have hope in this life. It’s a hope based on plans and dreams, not on wishes upon a star. If we are being wise with our money, we have the hope of a good retirement. If we’re restoring a car, we have a hope that we’ll be driving a slick hotrod in the future. It’s a faith with action.

The first kind of hopes provides nothing but a momentary pleasure or more likely a sudden disappointment. The second kind of hope provides a lasting drive and anticipation of the better things to come and a knowledge that what we do today has a purpose. Are you wishing or hoping?

Two Simple Words

Thank You Sign

photo by rustman

Two small words. Yet so much power. How often do you use them?

Have you sincerely told someone “thank you” recently?

How about to someone who really was just doing their job but deserves a little appreciation anyway?

Try it. I’ll bet you’ll be pleased with the results.

Just think how that person is going to react the next time you make a special request. All it costs is a couple of extra seconds of your time, and maybe a little swallowing of your pride.

By the way, thank you for reading my blog. It means a lot to me. I hope that by sharing what I’ve learned or am learning, that others can benefit too.

The Power of Words

Words

photo by Darwin Bell

Have you noticed how common the common language has become? It seems that words are losing their impact. There are still people out there that can command language to do impactful works, but in general it seems as though many words have lost the rich meaning they once had.

Take the word awful for instance. You might hear someone say “that soup was awful”. The word used to have so much meaning though. Awful. Full of awe. “That sunrise this morning was awful.” There are so many other words out there to describe something as bad. Why did awful have to be changed?

How about provocative? These days you are most likely to hear the word used to describe the attire of a young lady who should probably be showing a little less skin. Again, let’s look at the root though. Provoke. To stir up. The ending -ive. Tending toward a specified action. So provocative should provoke us to action! Isn’t the oil slick in the gulf provocative? It should be!

And finally, how about careless. We use the word to refer to someone who is clumsy. How about someone who is a free spirit? Couldn’t they be described as careless? “In spite of the tragedy surrounding her, she was totally careless.”

Words can be so much more inspiring than they have come to be in this age of texting and tweeting. I’m a big advocate of keeping up with the times as evidenced by the fact that I’m even blogging. But let’s not lose site of the power that our words hold. Let’s all try and be more careless, provocative, and awful in our day to day lives. C-U-L8-R.