"Preach the gospel at all times, if necessary use words." - St. Francis of Assisi

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Perspective and Blessings

My heart is full, my mind is tired, my body is fatigued. It has been a very full and busy day starting with a rather horrid commute to work, another mind numbing training class on new software, a call from the vet to say that we need to increase the chemotherapy dosage for Murphy (my dog has a Pituitary gland tumor) for another 10 days, a meeting to try and mend a strained friendship and working relationship (which went well), and then to my second job at church for three music rehearsals. I left home at 7:00am and didn't get home until 10:00pm.

As I unwind from the day with a dog on my lap licking my elbow (bizarre), my mind reflects back on all the blessings I have and a sense of contentment and thankfulness comes over me.

I am thankful for the best family in the world. We all have our quirks and oddities, but we are close and have come through some major crises together with the help of God.

I am thankful for the best church in the world. A place where God's word is preached without apology or hesitation, a place where diversity in ethnic background, financial background and educational achievement are all welcomed and accepted, a church where the people genuinely care for each other and those around the community and world.

I am blessed by many of the teenage guys and girls who accept this old man as one of their own. I get jumped on, beat on and wrestled to the ground, but I am also hugged on, licked on (love licks), feel loved and am trusted to be honest with them and show them how much God and I love them. Thanks kids for all you mean to me, and most importantly, thank you parents for trusting me with your kids.

I love my Sunday School class....for their diversity, for their differing opinions, for their outspoken honesty, for their love for the Lord and desire to study the scriptures and apply them to their lives.

I am humbled by the number of friends I have. In all sincerity and honesty, I am not worthy nor deserving of them. But, still they stick around and my life is so much better for them.. I wish I could name them all here publicly, but they would torture me for who I would name first and the order that followed. Oh, I definitely know the order I would use, but that will never be known. So, just thanks for being my friends and for being my brothers and sisters in Christ.

However, I am aware of the perspective in all my blessings and am sobered by many things that are far beyond my little world of home, work, church and friends.

My heart hurts for the tragedy which occured in south Asia with the recent tsunamis. For the devastation of homes and loss of lives, I have no words with which to even pray. God, just be with those people and heal their land and homes.

It bothers me that I have young friends who are having to deal with cancer and other serious life-endangering diseases. I complain because of an ingrown toenail, or because a sore shoulder has sidelined me from playing golf or tennis. Yet, these people are struggling with their daily existence and keeping a strong faith in God. That is a witness and lesson for me.

My anger arises because I know that in probably five miles of my house, there are children going to bed hungry. There are women and children being physically and verbally abused, but are not to a point where they seek help. Yet, I am sitting in a nice comfortable house with a fire in the fireplace and a sleeping dog besides me. My worry is whether to eat a bowl of ice cream or not before I go to bed.

I support our President and the war in which we are currently involved. I am burdened because so many young men and women are away from home and families to try and make better the lives of other people at the risk of their own lives. I pray for their families here that God will hold them in His arms of Strength and Hope and bring their loved ones back safely.

And, I guess somewhat selfishly, it makes me sad to know my good little dog has cancer and is having to be treated with a chemotherapy pill. So far, the side effects have not been severe, but he has been my confidante and biggest fan for almost fourteen years now. He is my child, my friend and I want his senior years to be full of quality and love.

Well, folks, perhaps I shouldn't try to blog and share when I am so tired, but all these thoughts had been running around in my head and it has helped me to get them out. I would encourage anyone reading this to be aware of their blessings, for those things given to them by God for which they should be thankful. But, keep in mind the perspectives, too. The people and things who need our prayers and support, even if it means actually getting involved with their lives......hmmm, novel concept isn't it? Getting involved with people in need, I mean.

As for me, I'm heading to bed. I think for the first time in several nights, I shall sleep soundly.

Be God's,


At 11:26 AM, Blogger Janice said...


There is so much sadness in the world, and much of it is close to home, as you have mentioned in this message.

But how beautifully you expressed God's providence and blessings.

It is hard to watch our pets age and falter. Your dog is fortunate to have such a loving home.


At 10:13 PM, Blogger Vicki said...

Hi Jimmy,

Sometimes, as bizarre as it may sound, I've felt somewhat guilty for being blessed when others are suffering. But I'm thankful and humbled, and want to press on with life by becoming involved in other's lives to demonstrate the very love of God our Father. Just staying connected is powerful..to minister, love, and encourage folks. You've done this for me, and you've not even met me. Thank you for investing your time and prayers on my behalf, and for sending words of encouragement my way when things felt so bleak in my lttle corner of the world. What a blessing to be in the body of Christ! I'm thankful for you, my dear friend. Thank you for a lovely, thoughtful, and meaningful post. You may have been tired, but you spoke so eloquently to my heart.

Also, I'm so sorry to hear about Murphy. It must be sad to watch his declining health. Hang in there, and I will be praying for you, too.

Thanking God for you~


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