Archive for December, 2010

Brand New Day

Posted: December 31, 2010 in Uncategorized

On this, the last day of 2010, I thought it seemed fitting to post the one and only poem-ish thing I wrote this year.  The night was late, I was up alone and thinking about how beauty finds its way through difficult seasons if we keep our hearts soft and our hands open.

—————————————————————————————————————-

I used to wake every morning to the promise of a shiny, new

Yesterday

Every day was not exactly the same, but each was cut from similar cloth

and sewn with similar thread, creating a pattern of familiarity that was

both

comforting and claustrophobic.

Then came September

and with it, a brand new day.

A day that demanded attention.

A day so new, in fact, that its colors splashed up on the shores of all

the tomorrows that might

or might not be.

This day tipped the scale on its ear

rearranging ideas and

redistributing emotion

so that a really bad day on the old chart was now just a blip on a beeping screen

and beauty that would have gone unnoticed before, now became a sustaining force

eliciting hyperbolic exclamations.

“My favorite coffee up is clean!  There IS a God!”

These sudden barometric changes are stunning

exhausting

brilliant.

New is difficult, but daring.

Uncertain, but adventuresome.

It’s a new day

so every phone call is filled with possibility

Every conversation, heavy with meaning

It’s a new day

so love that was hibernating beneath a blanket of unsaid words

now throws off the covers and welcomes the morning

It’s a new day

and it demands to be noticed.

Counted.

Lived.

Welcome, sweet season

You look nothing like I imagined

But you

are

redefining beautiful

——————————————————————————–

When you wake up tomorrow with a fresh 365 days stretching out in front of you, please know that whatever they hold, whatever they bring…He will bring the wonderful.  That’s who He is.  I know it for sure.

Happy New Year,

Steve & Bo

More and Less in 2011

Posted: December 30, 2010 in Uncategorized

In 2011, I will:

  • Trust more.
  • Eat less (it’s a carryover from 2009 and 2010)
  • Dream more
  • Disqualify myself less
  • Do more
  • Procrastinate less
  • Love more
  • Criticize less
  • Write more
  • Talk less (also a carryover)
  • Believe for more
  • Be content with less
  • Exercise more
  • Sit less
  • Celebrate more
  • Worry less

That’s my list.  Should be no problem at all.   Heh.  I’ll keep you posted and you can’t stop me!

What’s on your More & Less List this year?

Ready to Ring in the New Year,

Bo

New Year, Clean Closets (maybe)

Posted: December 28, 2010 in Uncategorized

One awesome perk of my job is that our offices are closed the week between Christmas and New Year which is actually so much cooler than a regular vacation.   Though a regular vacation usually contains warmer weather, it is also haunted by the awareness that  my coworkers (God bless ’em!) are back at headquarters, blasting my email inbox with 9,493 emails that will require attention immediately upon reentry into life-as-I-used-to-know-it.  This week is different.  It’s peaceful and quiet and, therefore, lends itself well to planning for the coming year.  I love it and that’s exactly what I do.  I dream a little, set some goals and then search for clever ways to get myself to stick to them.

This year, I’m looking specifically for new organization systems so my home can become the well-oiled machine it was meant to be and I can concentrate on more important things like beating Josiah at darts and stuff.  Today, I ran into Organized Home and – wow – it’s a plethora of fantastic organizing information and all sorts of helpful resources.  I especially liked the printable pages for a household notebook and I am building such a notebook at this very moment.

Take a look – but don’t get bogged or burdened – it’s the New Year, for goodness sake and I want you to love the moment!

And now, the question:  Is there anything in your life that you typically try to clean, sort, stack, shuffle or otherwise whip into shape at the beginning of the year?

Wishing you a well-ordered Tuesday,

Bo

Miracle Mug

Posted: December 27, 2010 in Uncategorized

Sometime in late summer, on a day that – for reasons I no longer remember – was not going well, Tess and I went shopping.  Shopping with Tess is one of my favorite escape routes from tough times because that girl is a fun time, I tell you.  I remember that the leaves were just starting to turn and our city was moving into my favorite season, and yet I was struggling to enjoy it because of whatever else was bothering me on that day.  I think maybe it even crossed my mind, “If only my issue was resolved, I could embrace the beauty of this season without reservation.”  We went into a little store that we rarely ever visit, and there it was…something so profound and perfect in its simplicity, that I nearly cried standing right there in the middle of the kitchen aisle.  Maybe this sounds crazy, but it was like God had sent His Word (three words, actually) straight to me  on a rough day when He knew I needed reminding.  I loved it.  I wanted it.  And I told my daughter as such.

Well, summer became fall and fall became…hard.  Hard in ways that have eclipsed whatever was bothering me on that silly little day and blocked it from my memory.  I forgot about he problem and I forgot about the Word from God and I forgot about the object of my affection which had so spoken to me in that shop.

Until Christmas eve.  When I opened this.

My gift from Tess.  I cried big, real tears and silently promised God that I would.  And I will.  Because life is too short to miss the beauty in every single moment.

The question for you today is:  did any Christmas gift make you cry tears of joy…or tears of “why me, God?”   We’d love to hear about it!

My favorite gift

Posted: December 25, 2010 in Uncategorized

I can’t think of a better gift for Christmas and for 2011.  Think about the miracles that are contained within the letters of this little lineup of words:

“This I know:  God is for me.”  Psalm 56:8

 

It’s my verse for 2011.  You can have it to if you you want it.

 

Merry Christmas,

Bo

Merry Christmas.

Posted: December 24, 2010 in Uncategorized

Dear friends,

Wow, what a year!  We end 2010 with faith, hope and a growing belief in the plans and purposes of God.  While this season of life has been challenging and somewhat uncertain, we have never had more reason to rejoice in His very certain goodness.  Here are just a few of those reasons:

  • We are blessed to live in the most beautiful city in the world (except for your city, of course) and continue to love calling Bend, Oregon home.
  • In a collapsing local economy, we have jobs we enjoy and in which we find great purpose.
  • Our nest is emptying, but still has two cute chicks in it:  Tess who’s a sophomore and Josiah, a 5th grader.
  • Our second daughter, Tori, is living a pretty fantastic life in Portland, Oregon as a live presenter at the educational animation company, Flying Rhinoceros.
  • Our biggest kids, Whitney and Corey, are still working at our church and we are beyond proud of their love for Jesus, each other and the world outside their walls.
  • We have an army of friends whose love, support and encouragement has never been more real or sustaining than it has this year.

In a fallen and frustrating world, we have glad hearts and peace on earth.  These are the gifts for which we are most thankful…may you know them in abundance during this season and always.

Because of Jesus,

Steve & Bo and family

P.S.  For the blog edition of this Christmas letter, let me add:  thank you.  For reading and responding and rebutting and coming back for more.  I appreciate your support and love and for sticking with me as I have used this little space to share some sacred, but scary things.  For emails and comments and conversations in Safeway aisles – I am unspeakably thankful.  I’m excited to be  – finally! – working on both a book and a new Bible Study and hope to be able to share more information with you about that in the New Year.  Until then, be well.  Be blessed.  Behold Him.

It’s that time of year…

Posted: December 22, 2010 in Uncategorized

No, not when the world falls in love (although it may be that too and since I’m already in love, I’m just not paying attention).  It’s that time of year when Bo buys her BIBLE!  Yay!  Rejoice and stuff!

Last year, I admitted to this odd behavior and I got some support and some You’re Nuts.  But I’m okay with that because I’ve got enough years into this practice that – at least for myself – I believe in it.  Now, I have to admit that I’m running out of translations.  So, unless I’m willing to learn a little mandarin in my free time, I may need to reconsider buying a new Bible for 2012 and move to an every other year policy instead.  For now, though, I can’t wait to get my hands on a fresh, clean, ready-to-be-read-and -loved Word of God.

After hardly any shopping at all, this is what I picked:

This is not a study Bible, it is a devotional Bible.  This means that it does not contain many study notes and contains a LOT of devotional notes, written by none other than Clive Staples Lewis.  If I were just starting out in this Bible-reading adventure, I would have chosen a Bible with study notes, but I have a lot of them and a lot of reference books, so I don’t need that at this point.  What I do love, however, is someone else’s voice in the mix of this great mystery, reminding me as I read that there’s always more to find, more to experience, more to behold in His Word.  No one does that quite like CS Lewis.

I know I’m a sap, but this little quote almost made me cry:

Do you see that beautiful thing?  Do you?  If you don’t, it says this:  “No philosophical theory which I have yet come across is a radical improvement on the words of Genesis, “In the beginning God made heaven and earth.”

See?  That’s exactly the kind of company I’m looking for before sunrise!

Here’s another page for your beholdment:

So, that’s what’s going down this year.  I’m so excited to launch another 365 days, tied closely to truth.  I will argue til the day I die:  it’s the right way to live your life.

Now I’d love to know:  what’s your Bible -reading plan for 2011?  Are you using your trusty old KJV?  Trying something new?  Working a new Bible reading plan?  Shooting from the hip?  Share the news, friends!  We’ll all learn from each other.

Incidentally, for those of you in Central Oregon, I’ll be speaking on The Inerrancy of the Word of God at Westside on January 2 and I can’t wait!  I’ve never been so excited to speak a message and I’d love it if you could come.

Believing in Truth,

Bo