There Are No Guarantees

I’ve written before about my love of forums before… and how a forum friend of mine (that I’ve never met in real life) came to my rescue with the gift of a used cell phone.

Today, I’ll share an important life lesson that another forum friend (also that I have never met in real life) taught me.  It’s a little difficult to write.

It’s something I’ve wanted to write for a few days now but just couldn’t seem to find the words.

One of the forums I frequent has become like a second home to me. There’s a group of 10 – 20 of us who have been regulars for years.

We all share a common interest, Android phones, but that interest has extended beyond the phones.  We’ve become interested in each other.  We’ve become friends!

With that back story, I’m sure you can appreciate the punch to the gut I received when I logged on earlier this week to learn of the death of one of my forum friends.

One day we’re discussing phones, troubleshooting problems, and cracking jokes.  The next day he doesn’t make it back into his house after shoveling snow.  Massive heart attack. I was numb when I read the news.

I’ve lost friends and loved ones before… but they were always expected.  The kind you could see coming and share a final goodbye. This was a total blindside.

It’s weighed heavily on me this week and consumed many of my thoughts.  I had one of my craziest weeks at work in recent memory. Whenever I started to throw myself a pity party I remembered my friend.

That sobered me up real quick! It made me realize that even though my day wasn’t exactly the one I wanted I could still go home at the end of the day and have supper with my family.

This week, and my friend’s sudden death, has made me realize how fragile life is… and that we never know when our time is up.  It’s made me hug my kids a little harder and longer.  It’s made me appreciate what an amazing woman and mother my wife is.

It has also had me wondering if there are relationships and situations that I need to make right.  Do I need to ask for grace?  Do I need to grant it?  These questions have been consuming my thoughts lately.

I normally end each blog post by asking a question.  Today, I ask a favor.  Please think about your life.  Ask yourself the same questions I’ve been struggling with.  Do you need to ask for grace? Do you need to grant it?  After you’ve thought about it… do something about it.

Thanks.

I know the value of life and how it's not promised so I appreciate every day I have with the people I love. - Unknown Click To Tweet
If you enjoyed this please share it with your friends:

In A Mealtime Rut

When our family plans ahead and formulates a game plan for the evening meals for the week we have a pretty varied menu and try new recipes.  Get behind and fail to do it, like this week, and we tend to fall back into about 4 or 5 “go-to” meals.

The thing is when you “go to” them too much… you start to get sick of them.  That’s where our family is at with spaghetti, frozen pizza, and black bean quesadillas.

The evening meal we often struggle with most is Friday night.  It’s the start to the weekend.  We’ve put in a long, hard week at work, and our girls are dancing until just past suppertime… all of these things kill the desire to cook.

That’s where we first got into a rut with frozen pizza.  After we couldn’t take that on Friday nights we switched to chicken strips. Now we’re at the point where we’re sick of that too!

On my drive home tonight my wife and I were kicking around ideas for supper.  We didn’t want to spend a ton of money but wanted something easy.  That’s when we settled on a meal our family likes to do every so often; a baked potato bar.  Basically it’s just baked potatoes with a bunch of toppings.

Baked Potato Bar Toppings

We already had potatoes, sour cream, shredded cheese, and broccoli at home from stocking up our freezer and pantry.  The other thing we like to top them with is chili and ham.  One daughter likes chili.  The other likes ham.  My wife and I like them both.

Since we were out of my homemade chili in the freezer I stopped by the store for a can and to get some ham.  In less than 5 minutes and for under $5 I was in and out and headed home.  Meanwhile, my wife had scrubbed some potatoes, wrapped them in foil, and stuck them in the oven.

Baked Potatoes in Oven

It was the perfect meal for a Friday night.  Simple, filling, and not frozen pizza!  We even had leftovers.

Baked Potato Plated

If you haven’t tried doing a baked potato bar with your family give it a try sometime.  I bet everyone will love it.  Especially since they can dress up their potato just the way they like.

Ever get into a food rut in your family?  What food did you get sick of because you made it too often?

If you enjoyed this please share it with your friends:

Weekly Verse – Open The Eyes Of My Heart

Recently a friend made a comment on Facebook about listening to a new podcast by Rob Bell.  I new the name and was immediately interested.

I was familiar with Rob Bell from the Nooma series of videos that I have seen several times at our Church and in Sunday School. His style of presenting a message always spoke to me.

Eager to try it out and wanting a new podcast to listen to, I immediately downloaded the first episode.  It was the soundtrack for my morning commute the next day.

If you’re a fan of the Nooma videos you will enjoy this podcast.  The presentation style is similar and Bell has a way of breaking things down so they’re easy to understand and make you think.

Episode 3 of “The Robcast” has had me thinking this week.  In it Bell challenges us to “Find the Divine in the daily, the Sacred in the slog, the Holy in the human, and the Christ in the common”.

He also mentions a verse in Ephesians.  One that I was familiar with but wanted to take a closer look at.  I spent a little time comparing the different versions of it and found that I really like how it reads in the Contemporary English Version of the Bible.

Ephesians 1:18 CEV

“My prayer is that light will flood your hearts and that you will understand the hope that was given to you when God chose you. Then you will discover the glorious blessings that will be yours together with all of God’s people.”

This verse and the challenge of finding the “Divine in the daily” has helped get me through a rough week.  It’s comforting really, that when you open your eyes and those of Robyour heart, you’ll see God and his love all around you.

I’ve listened to Episode 3 titled “Receipts” a few times now and plan on listening to future episodes of The Robcast on my Monday morning commute.  I figure it will be a great way to start the week.

If you want to give The Robcast a listen you’ll find it on iTunes, Podbean, or the podcast player of your choice.

If you enjoyed this please share it with your friends: