How to Enjoy Fully the Moments of Your Life

We strolled through an ancient graveyard in Saltzburg, Austria as I suddenly spotted an old weathered headstone dated 830.  I looked again in astonishment to be sure that I saw it correctly in the fading light.

The sun dropped low in the sky behind clouds that had just rained giving the area a melancholy feel.  The wet grass, blooming flowers, and crumbling graves surrounding an ancient stone church in the middle of the bustling metropolis felt surreal.

 

Saltzburg Graveyard

 

I wondered about this man whose name was partially eroded by centuries of weather.

Who was he?  What did he do for a living?  Was he married?  Have children?  Grandchildren?

He once, as a little boy, played with his friends.  Perhaps enjoyed his children.  Maybe lived successfully.

 

Then he passed on in time and no one remembers.

 

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How to Experience a Miraculous Healing

I was sitting in my office chatting with a friend when he told me a story of his amazing healing.

He’d dropped by after golf and desperately needed cold water.

 

Child Healing

 

We got to talking about a mutual friend whose daughter is addicted to drugs.  He’s known her since she was a little and said, “She’s a lost soul.”

He went on, “I know what that’s like.  I’m a recovered alcoholic.”

Then he told me his story.

“I’d been sober for about 15 years.  Then I retired and started playing golf a lot.  Every day we’d smoke cigars on the course then come in and my buddies would have a few beers.”

 

“Pretty soon I found myself back smoking cigarettes and drinking.”

 

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How to Find Happiness Every Moment of Every Day

I struggled with depression when I was young.  I probably would’ve been diagnosed as border line manic-depressive if they routinely diagnosed those things back then.

My parents responded pretty much, “Get over it.”  Which actually worked ok in the short term.

I grew worse in college until one event I remember as a turning point.

 

Rainbow Happiness

 

I’d given my life to Jesus a few months before and discovered an underlying peace and joy.  Yet, I still struggled.

One summer morning I was working at my father’s machine shop taking inventory, a job I just adored. He especially saved for me.

I was standing in the shelves mindlessly counting parts.

I’d started the day feeling good when suddenly a wave of depression swept over me.  I felt numb and helpless.

 

I thought, “How can this be happening again?  Can I ever escape it?”

 

I felt powerless to stop these onslaughts and that caused me to feel even more despair.

I stopped and prayed, “God heal me of this.  Take away this pain.”

I struggled through the next hour and then the symptoms subsided. [Read more…]

Learning to Enjoy Life’s Journey Every Day

Sunday morning I sat in our sunroom listening to soft music enjoying the summer colors of our back yard.

I read a book by C.S. Lewis, “A Grief Observed.”  Frankly it’s a tough slog.

He wrote it as a journal through the year following his wife’s death.  He’s transparent, hurting and questioning.  He didn’t write it for publication but to clarify his thoughts.

It’s short so I read it in one sitting to get from the depth of his struggle to his resolution.  Though difficult I found it enlightening.

 

Men laughing

 

Later I glanced at an email from the committee planning our fiftieth high school reunion.  Yeah I know.  When did that happen?  Only a couple of breaths ago we celebrated our 25th.

 

I paused and thought about how life races by.  And how I’ve no time to waste.

 

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How to Enjoy Everyday Moment by Moment

I hiked along the shore of a beautiful high mountain lake early in the morning.  The cobalt blue waters surrounded by pine trees creeping to the shore.  An Osprey soared overhead in the blue sky then splashed into the water grabbing breakfast in its talons.  The wind gently rustled the mirrored water.

 

Hiking Lake

 

I thanked God for the four days we’d enjoyed with friends at their cabin.

Suddenly my blissful feelings were rudely interrupted as my brain jerked me back to reality.  I thought about what awaited me after we drove home that night.  A meeting tomorrow, writing my blog post, picking up my wife’s car from the repair shop.  Ugh, normal life!

You know?  Life’s reckoning for taking a few days off.

 

Instead of enjoying the beauty suddenly I was living 24 hours ahead.

 

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Staying Calm When Your World Explodes

I almost missed the end of the world.

I was at home in our sun room on Friday morning writing.  As I watched the humming birds and bees flit about the flowers I had no idea the world was exploding.

 

Fireworks exploding

 

When I’d turned off my computer the evening before the polls showed the Brits would vote to stay in the EU.  Yet the pollsters got it completely wrong.  Wow, go figure.

I glanced at the financial news about noon and the stock market was tanking.  The Prime Minister was resigning and the world was collapsing.

 

Here I was blissfully enjoying a summer morning writing with no idea the world was ending.

 

It reminded me of the 2009 financial collapse.

During that some clients were in full out panic.  The phone calls never ended.  I sounded like a yogi repeating my mantra, “Don’t panic.  Ride it out.”

Honestly, the most freaked out were the fundamentalist Christians. Their pastors preached this was the beginning of the Great Tribulation and they weren’t taking no for an answer.

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Rediscovering Love in a Marriage That’s Grown Stale

Let’s be honest, after decades of marriage it can grow a little less than exciting at times.  Going to work, raising kids, elderly parents and sick pets often leaves little time to enjoy the one you once passionately loved.

 

Walking together

 

Jennifer and I, after 40 years of marriage, seemed of late to be getting on each others nerves a bit.  We went through six years of taking care of her aging parents that left us little reserve for each other.

So the little things mounted up.

I’m a perfectionist.  Jennifer can let the small things slide.

She doesn’t sweat the small stuff.  I can sweat the smallest of stuff and turn it into big stuff.

Because of that she can seem at times like she’s not paying attention to some of the important details.

That makes me crazy sometimes because I pay attention to all the details even details that I probably really didn’t need to pay attention to.

Anyway, you get the idea, and I’m pretty sure you could add your own illustrations.

 

But at times it can leave us wondering, “Who is this person I married?  What was I thinking?”

 

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How to Find Peace Again in the Midst of a Chaotic Life

Do you ever feel like you’re caught up in some kind of cosmic battle?  I mean, we’re all bombarded every day with the negative aren’t we?

 

Hiking Alps

 

The news media breathlessly reports 24 hours a day on the latest crisis that could end the world.

The stock market tanks because of some economic report out of China.  The federal government spins out of control with the antics of politicians.  The World Health Organization identifies the next pandemic illness that will sweep the planet.

Add on top of that the real challenges we all face in everyday life and we can feel overwhelmed.

Yet, we need to stay engaged don’t we.  I mean, we need to be up on the latest news so we can prepare.  We need to marshal our forces, plan for the worst, be ready for the coming onslaught.

Yet, it all can leave us feeling exhausted, agitated and yes, sometimes just a wee bit cranky.

 

What happened to relaxing?  Where did the peace go?  How can I just turn off the noise?

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How to Discover Supernatural Guidance When You Need it Most

We all face times when we could use a little supernatural guidance don’t we?

We get slammed.  A pink slip in our pay envelope telling us, “Your services are no longer needed.”  A spouse says, “I’m moving out.”  The doctor tells you, “I’d like to run some more tests.”

Suddenly our world spins out of control and we could really use some answers.

 

Hiking path

 

So what do we normally do?

We discuss it with our next door neighbor, barber, brother, bartender.  Yet, often when you look at their lives they don’t have life wired up all that much better do they? [Read more…]

How to Find a Relationship with God When You’re Tired of Religion

Super hero Christians really made me nervous when I was in college.

I remember once, while living at the fraternity house, going to church.  I can’t remember why, probably as a favor to my mom or to meet cute girls.

I showed up for the late service because of a party the night before.  I walked in blurry-eyed with a headache.  Organ music played, light streamed through stain glass, everyone looked perfect all dressed up .

I tried to slip into the back but nope an usher took me right down to the front.  Third row back in the middle of a packed pew, I couldn’t escape.

 

Cloudy Church

 

By the end of the sermon the preacher had people crying.  People next to me were praying out loud and loudly.  Then the preacher told people to come forward to get right with God.

The dam broke, a flood went down.  Half of my row emptied so I followed them out of the pew then bolted for the side door to escape. [Read more…]