Turn! Turn! Turn!

…(To Everything There Is a Season)

The 60’s folk rock band, The Byrds, sang a popular song which quoted the Book of Ecclesiastes:

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, a time to reap that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

My life has experienced the reality of seasons, most notably the recent decision to step away from being the owner operator of a coffee shop on Pensacola Beach.

The last 4 years have been amazing and difficult, extremely satisfying, and extremely exhausting. Business ownership proved to be the greatest challenge of my life, as it tested and tried every part of me.

But, here I am, still standing and moving forward. I believe only the years to come will truly show all that I learned, what kind of impact we had on others’ lives, and the level of growth, wisdom, and understanding I gained through this chapter in my life journey.

I was impressed to return to my blog and overhaul it. There will be a redesign and then a relaunch. This will accompany my desire to get beck into the reading that I grew to love over the years, and renew my book review blogger status. So, stay tuned for blogs to re-emrge, and I hope you will join me in the next chapter. 🙂

Steve

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Tomorrow, It’s Only A Day Away: Part One

In all the different seasons through which God has lead my family, there are many lessons that He has taught us. One that He has been reminding me of lately is that of living for today.

The next several posts will be a little series on today and tomorrow. We will focus on the importance of living life today, and when we should consider tomorrow.

Jesus, in Matthew 6:34, says,

“So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.”

And in Proverbs 16:9, it says,

We can make our plans,

but the Lord determines our steps.

So, then why make any plans for the future? Let’s just live out today as if it’s our last!

But we also see in Proverbs 24:27 some wisdom in considering tomorrow:

Do your planning and prepare your fields

before building your house.

And in Matthew 25, there is the parable of the ten maids— five were wise and five unwise. Of the five wise maids, it was said,

but the other five were wise enough to take along extra oil.

In fact, it was their planning ahead for a delay that ended them in the house with the bridegroom; and not being locked outside, forgotten by the bridegroom! So, could proper preparation be a key to spending eternity with God? Jesus says in this very chapter of Matthew,

“For you do not know the day or hour of my return.”

Here’s a few questions to help set up the discussion:

  • Do you worry or get anxious about what the future holds?
  • Do you plan for the future, or do you just let things happen a they come?
  • Are you always waiting for today to end?

Looking forward to the discussion (please join in)! 😉

Steve

The Times, They Are A-changin’

As the seasons turn from summer to autumn, I’ve been thinking on the seasons. (And all the different songs have been playing in my head… “With every season turn, turn, turn…”, “Seasons change, people change…”)

I grew up in southern New England, then went to college outside of Philly, lived in the mountains in Pennsylvania, and then Detroit. There are some similarities with all these locations – one of them is this: wind chill factor.

The weather in these places is all the same. Four full seasons; summers stay in the high 80’s most of the time, with occasional days in the 90’s, and maybe 1-3 days close to 100 (with humidity); a good amount of rain in the spring; beautiful foliage in autumn; and cold winters. Snow, wind, ice, snow, gray skies, wind, hail, black ice, wind, snow, below-zero temps, frozen pipes, snow and wind… did I mention wind and snow? The thing is, that’s all I know! I LOVE THE SNOW!!!

This year is different. No foliage, 340 days of sunshine, palm trees, hanging Christmas lights in 50 degrees (haven’t actually experienced that yet – I asked a native what Christmas was like), and… HEAT! The summer is packed with heat.

I spent my whole life factoring wind-chill. That was the only real weather factor – that howling in the winter that made 12 F feel like zero. A few months ago, I learned a new weather factor – “heat index”. This factor makes 96 F feel like 110 F. Now, there is humidity up north. But it’s not an every day reality. And there is wind-chill down south, but you only really notice it when you are walking the beach and the sun has already gone down.

Cha-cha-changes… There are seasons in life, and these seasons take place within the different chapters that are being written – like a sub-plot. For my family, a new chapter started when we left Detroit and moved to Pensacola, and while here in Pensacola, there will be different seasons that we experience (i.e. living with family for the first few months, then moving into an apartment, and then maybe we will have a house one day). The things that we were comfortable with, used to, and even really liked (like snow), may not be real factors in our lives any more.

This can also happen in ministry. As the autumn leaves fall (up north), maybe there are other things that are falling away. Will there be a new season with different kinds of life coming forth in the spring? Where I once measured “wind-chill”, will I instead be measuring “heat index”? I love the snow, and am very comfortable in the snow; but will I continue to live in the snow?

How about for you? Are there new seasons on the horizon? Is there something new that you sense God leading you into?

Turnin’ up the heat,

steve

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