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My morning this day began like so many that have come before: a quiet awakening, a hot pot of coffee, and a majestic sunrise pouring through the windows.

My progeny (and all their pets) remained sleeeping, as did Little Frau.    As most mornings go, I began by moving slowly, pondering the day, wondering about events past, present, and future, and considering scripture.

A confession is in order here: it is difficult, when things are going well, to not feel like I had some hand in it, that this hour, this day, this year, in this lifetime, things are better because we are smarter.

We are not hungry.

We have technology.

We have the Bible in printed (and virtual) forms almost everywhere we reach.

We even have Christian music in our ears:

In this obsession with the things this world says make us happy
Can’t see the slaves we are in all the searching all the grasping
Like we deserve much more than all these blessing we’re holding
So now I’m running free into an ocean of mercy unending*

We, I, could not be any more wrong.   I wonder if Job ever felt this way when he arose each day.   Each day before it suddenly was taken away.

No, we’ve not done it any better.   We are just blessed.   And, with great blessings come great responsibilities.

No, this day, others woke up around this world, just like me, and just like men and women have done across the ages.

They, however may not have awoken in a quiet, climate controlled house.   They may not have walked a few feet to an awaiting cup of coffee.   And they may not have seen the sunrise, real, or figurative, a daily sunrise of their soul, if you will.

So come and empty me 
So that it’s you I breathe
I want my life to be 
Only Christ in me 
So I will fix my eyes
‘Cause you’re my source of life 
I need the world to see
That it’s Christ in me
That it’s Christ in me*

And so, I will think differently this day, as I attempt to in so many others.   That is no enlightenment: it is a realization, and a recognition that we live in the shadow of a blind spot.    A shadow that only the Sonrise can truly englighten…

*”Christ in Me” lyrics by Jeremy Camp

 

 

The passage of time

  
Has it been a week, already?   It seems the box was cracked open only yesterday, revealing an empty vessel, shiny and new.

In other news, when did I become “Mr Bingham”?   It seems we wake up one morning, and things have changed in substantial ways.

I began these thoughts months ago, interrupted, no doubt, by a fleeting moment that evolved into the passage of time.

I will end it here with a quick edit and hitting the “Post” button.

“Mr Bingham” needs to get ready for work…

When you just know


Something’s coming.   I can sense it.   I can feel it.  I can almost see it.

And yet, I have know idea what it may be.

Truth be told, it does not really matter.   As I sit in the pre-dawn quiet this day, the clouds are rolling north at a great rate of speed, providing fuel no doubt to the storms that are heading our way soon.

Such is life.  The older I get, the faster the proverbial clouds (aka, moments and days) roll by.   Their contents are events, trials, triumphs, and questions that help define who we are, and who we will become, whether it be from a storm or the product of a season of calm.

The clouds continue to roll north, now looming larger in the morning light.

But it’s OK.   I have this moment.  Our cat, my faithful quiet moment companion, is by my side.  I have some coffee.  I have the Word.  I have prayer.

Let the storms come, and go.   One day, it will all seem OK.

I just know.

Every knee


I will admit, I was surprised.

No, it was not by media response and hype to the death of an aging pop singer known for flamboyant appearances and hype.

It was hearing he had come to a level of faith 15 or so years back, read the Bible, listened to Christian music on the radio, and had recorded a cover or two of popular Christian songs, this one by Nicole Nordeman:

What if He takes His place in history with all the prophets and the kings

who taught us love and came in peace, but then the story ends?

What then?

But what if you’re wrong?

What if there’s more?

What if there’s hope you’ve never dreamed of hoping for?”

Little Frau alerted me to the realization last night, along with a word from The Word confirming what we’ve known all along:

“So why do you condemn another believer? Why do you look down on another believer? Remember, we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. For the Scriptures say, “‘As surely as I live,’ says the LORD, ‘every knee will bend to me, and every tongue will declare allegiance to God. ’” Yes, each of us will give a personal account to God.”

‭‭Romans‬ ‭14:10-12‬ ‭NLT‬‬

http://bible.com/116/rom.14.10-12.nlt

http://www.christiantoday.com/article/prince.releases.cover.of.christian.song.what.if/50051.htm

Is it really a gift?

It was an admittedly awkward moment, for many reasons.   As a gathering time ended, a single gift wrapped package remained on a table, untouched, unexplained, and not yet shared.

I inquired about it’s origin, it’s purpose, and it’s intended recipient.  In that moment, my question went unanswered.  Truth be told, it remains largely unanswered to this day.

You see, the gift was intended for me.  And yet, it went unconveyed.   It remains so even now.   The person bearing the gift neglected to share it, and I assume time and distance made doing so all the more challenging.   

This morning, a group of individuals in our church has been visiting about questions, opportunities, roadblocks, and victories.   At the heart of it all, we each have received a very precious gift, that being salvation.

We also each have gifts to share, but share them we must, or, as the mythical character Yoda might say, “to waste they will go”.

Life is full of admittedly akward moments.   Only through sharing our respective gifts can we help to make them all the better.

“This day”

  

“He may live long, he may do much.   But here is the summit.   He can never exceed what he does this day.”

Edmund Burke, eulogizing fellow man and slavery opponent James Fox (pictured) in British House of Commons, 1783

What was true then is true today.  This day began early with rude successive 3:00 AM wake up calls from pesky 10 year old girls (a dog and a cat), but the induced insomnia has given me opportunity to think, to read, and to pray, and I believe this day will be the better for it.

  
“This is the day the LORD has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it. Please, LORD, please save us. Please, LORD, please give us success. Bless the one who comes in the name of the LORD. We bless you from the house of the LORD. The LORD is God, shining upon us. Take the sacrifice and bind it with cords on the altar. You are my God, and I will praise you! You are my God, and I will exalt you! Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever.”

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭118:24-29‬ 

  
Day after day, it reappears.

I have this friend.   I’d like to say our respective roles are part mentor, part mentee, but in truth we are men at work, to borrow a phrase.   Therein, may I suggest, lies the rub.

He and I were touring through an exhibit yesterday dubbed “National History Day”.   In the course of conversation, he mentioned how over a third of all submitted written work is likely partially or heavily plagiarized.   Is it from laziness, or could it be mankind is caught up in the knowledge that there are new questions or problems under the sun?   

Solomon, himself, could not have said it any better, and yet I believe he did.   Touché?

In the spirit of “turnitin.com”, may I suggest some, if not much, of our work and daily walk is being vetted in this great algorithm we call life.

Truth be told, this idea drives a proverbial stake toward the heart of issues I am living with in many current friendships, each of which defines me as “the older guy” in the equation.

Friendships dealing with work.

Friendships dealing with disease.

Friendships dealing with temptation.

Friendships questioning purpose, and meaning.

Friendships abounding in love.

In my younger days, “Men at Work” was an Australian rock band.   While their stardom may have been short lived, at best, their lyrical musings came to me in a conversation with one young friend just the other night.   See if my plagiarized memory strikes a chord with you:

I can’t get to sleep

I think about the implications

Of diving in too deep

And possibly the complications

Especially at night

I worry over situations

I know will be all right

Perhaps it’s just imagination

Day after day it reappears

Night after night my heartbeat shows the fear

Ghosts appear and fade away.

  
Day after day, it reappears, indeed.  It did again today.  So, too, do the words of the LORD:

“Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest? “Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith! And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.”

‭‭Luke‬ ‭12:25-31‬ 

Overkill?   I think not.

Plagiarism?  Perhaps, but there is no problem new under the sun.

We all just need to turn it in, to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine.

Yes. I too read that somewhere.

Amen.

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