A starter home

This is a guest post by my good friend Johanna Fenton. Happy New Year to all!

The house which we just moved into was advertised as a “starter” home. I felt slightly offended, because we had fallen in love with the place but by no means would it be a “starter” home for us. We hope it’s a “finisher” home, meaning, we hope to stay here a really long time.

There are several different ways of counting how many times one moves. There are different measurements … like, do you count the time we moved to Dallas for 3 months? Or do you only measure the major moves … entire household in all?

By different counts we’ve moved upwards to 16 times down to 7 times, depending on how you define a “move.” That’s in the last 10 years.

And I realized for the first time that Jesus never upgraded from the time he was born in a manger in a the little town of Bethlehem. A song I like by Rich Mullins goes:

Birds have nests / Foxes have dens / But the hope of the whole world rests on the shoulders of a homeless man

Jesus had a starter home — a manger. And he had a finisher home — at home with his Father God.

Anyway, I’d like to say that a lot has happened in 16 or 7 moves. I’ve gone from “moving up” to “moving down,” far enough to fall in love with the quirky, dated elements of our “new” “starter” home. Here are a few … these are different shelf papers in our kitchen cabinets. Plus, you’ll see some lovely wallpaper. 🙂

It’s the shiny bits of life that catch you.

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The solution to gun problems

loveLove.

If individuals reach out to people with violent tendencies and show them love, at least a few killing sprees can be prevented.

Most people respond to someone who shows a genuine interest in who they are and is willing to listen to their problems.

So reach out to someone today. You never know what impact you may have on them and on others around them. Listen first. Don’t try to give solutions to their problems. The more you listen, the better chance you’ll be able to build a bridge. Then later you may help with their problems or suggest someone who can.

This is not a perfect solution — there are a few people who are unreachable. But it will work for most people. Wouldn’t you like to receive a little love today?

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Connection

connection - fingers touchingWhy do I blog? Why do you read my blog? Read on…

Listening to a sermon by Tim Soots today carried me on a long train of thoughts. He talked about how we all buy things to reflect or enhance our identity. Seeing someone drive past in a new car often makes me want a newer set of wheels. Our old Corolla works fine — but oh, how much nicer it would be to have a newer [whatever].

I put someone into a category by looking at the clothes they wear or the vehicle they drive. We all know that people are more than what we see. That lady driving a pink VW Beetle with eyelashes around the headlights may shoot her Magnum pistol very accurately. That little guy driving a gigantic truck may need it to haul water heaters to remote mountain cabins.

Just as our possessions are sometimes glimpses into who we are, so are blogs. When you read a blog, you only get a small look at who the writer is. Even when you’ve been blogging as long as I have (more than eight years), blogs only show a small slice of who you are. My blogging friend Elizabeth wrote about how adopting children drastically reduced what she could reveal online.

Similarly, I am reluctant to share some of my more deeply-held beliefs, not because of fear, but rather because I want my readers to listen to what I say. If I intensely delved into a subject that is very close to their hearts, in the opposite direction of their belief system, they might shut me out forever. I want to keep connections open.

Why do you read this blog? I can’t answer that. But I can tell you why I read other blogs. I like to read words from people I find both real and interesting. I enjoy finding out what makes actual humans tick. Today, there are few such blogs anymore. Many people used to be writing in that space, but countless dropped out or went commercial. I’m sad.

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Get together

brother and sisterIt was great to see my sister and her husband during the Thanksgiving holidays. Even though we had just over two days together, we thoroughly enjoyed seeing each other.

It can be costly — or there may be many rivers to cross before you see each other — but it’s worth it to make it happen. There are priceless experiences you already share. This time, you might create some new family memories!

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