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Archive for July, 2014

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We were made to be courageous
We were made to lead the way
We could be the generation
That finally breaks the chains
We were made to be courageous…
*

I have these friends. They are young. They are active. They care. The future is theirs for the taking.

That doesn’t mean they don’t encounter setbacks, just like all of us have, and do. Not so long ago, I was at their house on an errand, and we were dealing with and discussing a mutual life setback moment that had just occured. As we visited in the driveway before I left, I couldn’t help but notice the street signs in the corner of their yard. Half asking permission, half saying “I’m sorry, but… “, I walked toward the signpost and took out my iPhone to snap the picture shown above. One of the friends quickly replied, “Oh, I see a future blog post coming”. Little did either of us know.

Listen to my voice in the morning, Lord. Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly. Psalm 5:3

Down on the corner, out in the street
Willy and the Poorboys are playin’
Bring a nickel; tap your feet.
*

Life moves on. That doesn’t mean things are necessarily easy. However, as the song says, we were made to be courageous. As the other song infers, the beat goes on, and the song on our hearts should be playing loudly for all to see, hear, and tap their feet along with.

The only way we’ll ever stand
Is on our knees with lifted hands
Make us courageous
Lord, make us courageous

Seek justice
Love mercy
Walk humbly with your God

In the war of the mind
I will make my stand
In the battle of the heart
And the battle of the hand

In the war of the mind
I will make my stand
In the battle of the heart
And the battle of the hand

We were made to be courageous
And we’re taking back the fight
We were made to be courageous
And it starts with us tonight

To quote the fictional wiseman, Forrest, Forrest Gump, “that’s all I’ve got to say about that”.

The beat goes on.

We were made to be courageous.

I suspect my friends will not remain down, on the corner, for long. After all, they live at the corner of Liberty and Courageous. What better crossroads could anyone ask for?

* Courageous lyrics by Casting Crowns

* Down on the Corner lyrics by Creedence Clearwater Revival

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Expectancies

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The sun arose yet again this morning, and I am left to wonder what we should expect from this day.

What to expect?

Expect the unexpected.

As the sun is setting on the hourglass of time that we have called July 2014, the news making events have been unexpected, indeed.

Personal loss.

Three major plane crashes.

EBOLA.

The personal loss of others.

An infrastructure failure induced flood at storied UCLA.

A cold day in July.

I could go on forever, figuratively speaking, for I will not, at least on this Earth.

Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. Romans‬ ‭12‬:‭12‬

That’s just it. We are to be patient, and wait for the promise.

There’s a new Stephen Curtis Chapman tune that has been recently released, and a glorious unfolding sounds like something worth waiting for.

And, something worth expecting.

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Sunday morning greetings from way up high.

As I took a sunrise walk a few moments ago, I was blessed by nature in all its beauty and wonder.

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I was also blessed to find this little church, circa 1876, and I could not help but take the sign at the door at face value.

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The stillness in this old house of worship is powerful. I was reminded of an old song we used to sing growing up, and it seemed fitting to share here. May your Lord’s day morning be blessed as well:

Just a few more days to be filled with praise,

And to tell the old, old story;

Then, when twilight falls, and my Savior calls,

I shall go to Him in glory.

I’ll exchange my cross for a starry crown,

Where the gates swing outward never;

At His feet I’ll lay ev’ry burden down,

And with Jesus reign forever.

Just a few more years with their toil and tears,

And the journey will be ended;

Then I’ll be with Him, where the tide of time

With eternity is blended.

Tho’ the hills be steep and the valleys deep,

With no flow’rs my way adorning;

Tho’ the night be lone and my rest a stone,

Joy awaits me in the morning.

What a joy ’twill be when I wake to see

Him for whom my heart is burning!

Nevermore to sigh, nevermore to die–

For that day my heart is yearning

I’ll exchange my cross for a starry crown,

Where the gates swing outward never;

At His feet I’ll lay ev’ry burden down,

And with Jesus reign forever.

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Lyrics by Charles H. Gabriel, 1917

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The news broke last night of a local parent who died on the face of a mountain yesterday. My son quickly reminded me that he had played on a basketball team with this woman’s son and that we knew them in years gone by. She was described as “no climbing novice”, and was said to have died doing what she loved.

As a confessed climbing novice, I do love me some high elevation. Amidst the wind, and the wildlife, the storms, and the oxygen deprivation, there is a distinct beauty and peace about it. Some have described it as the closest you are to God while standing on this earth, and suddenly the appeal of building Babel seems to make some sense. Not much, but some.

You see, few dare to tread quite so high. While I spurn the more technical risks that claimed this adventurer yesterday, fears and falls are there to be overcome. It makes for a great memory, and often an almost equally good story.

A few short months ago, my late father gave me the watch pictured above. It is fed by a satellite, and reports not only time, but elevation, and bearings. I just noticed this week that it is called “Pathfinder”. Fitting, indeed.

Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path. (‭Psalms‬ ‭119‬:‭105‬)

As a confessed “living this life” novice, I do love me some high elevation. Amidst the wind, and the wildlife, the storms, and the oxygen deprivation, there is a distinct beauty and peace about it. Some have described it as the closest you are to God while standing on this earth, and suddenly the appeal of building Babel seems to make some sense. Not much, but some.

And I’m glad I have my pathfinder(s), and trailblazing predecessors, to help me navigate the way.

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Another favorite set of thoughts from times gone by. I’m pretty sure I penned this just after my last trip to Vienna. It seems that leaving town is good for the more expressive side of me.

Bing, Jeffrey Bing

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...always seen in public places.

I have this friend, and a pretty good one at that, who has been known to repeat this phrase a time or two.

Originally spoken in reference to wanted posters in Post Offices, news blotters, front pages, and the like, I think said friend might have been talking about the FB the last time he was quoted as saying the line. Could he have been referring to yours truly? Touché?

When they were handing out the gift of moderation in heaven, I think I may have been online and forgot to get my quota. It’s certainly a good thing that I don’t drink. Numbers of slides in PowerPoint presentations, numbers of gelatos/glasses of lime sherbet (auf USA) consumed in a week, numbers of sport coats in my closet…I could go on forever baby. Case in point?

So, what exactly is your point here, as…

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I never knew how it all would go when I originally penned this two years ago. And yet, here we are. Daddy lived life to the fullest right up till the end, and we are grateful for the memories.

Bing, Jeffrey Bing

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Greetings from the shores of Lake Pettijohn. As you can see here, it is a lush place. No, to be truthful, much like Garrison Keillor’s mythical Lake Wobegon, Lake Pettijohn is a prairie home companion of the heart and the mind, for the water is just not there. Or is it? We’ll come back to that after a few words from our sponsors.

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I drove a van load of young men down to PSCC yesterday. Prior to the blowout (on the luggage trailer, not our van, thankfully) it was a surreally quiet experience, much different from my sponsor driving past. In years gone by, this trip was filled with caffeinated young men one upping each other and making bold predictions of their planned exploits in the week to come.

Not so this year. I asked them all to buckle up, and they all promptly went to sleep. What was the…

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Bing, Jeffrey Bing

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I took my love and I took it down
I climbed a mountain and I turned around

And I saw my reflection in the snow covered hills
‘Till the landslide brought me down

As mentioned yesterday, we had an adventure, and a story yet to tell. That will come, in time, but as #1 son and I hoofed our way home yesterday, a flood of tunes library memories were conjured up as the music kept me alert and winging our way back home. Mark Shultz reminded me of the Sherpa. Fleetwood Mac, courtesy of Stevie Nicks’ songwriting, reminded me of our mountain trek team.

Oh, mirror in the sky
What is love?
Can the child within my heart rise above?
Can I sail thru the changing ocean tides?
Can I handle the seasons of my life?

Well, I’ve been afraid of changing
‘Cause I’ve built my life around you
But…

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