Friday, October 24, 2014

Let Your Light Shine

I'm excited about a coming change to my work commute.  Although I'll still be driving the same route to the workplace, the journey will be a little different because of the addition of streetlights along the highway close to Deerfoot Parkway where I merge onto interstate traffic.

Why the excitement?  For years, the Deerfoot Exit has been a trouble spot with numerous accidents.  Several years ago some traffic lights were installed to lessen the danger of mishaps.  However, the exit still was tortuous due to its darkness.  Hence, one can understand my giddiness with something as simple as streetlights.

Yet, even though the lights were installed several months ago, there is still one major problem...they haven't been turned on.  Although the lights add an attractiveness to the interstate and the Deerfoot Exit, they simply aren't doing their job.  They aren't shining, a basic function of a light I guess you would say.  In addition, I read where some additional lights will be installed further down on the interstate on my way into work.  Yet, according to the newspaper source, the contractor has up to six months to complete this installment.  So, if I understand correctly, even though streetlights are being installed, the official lighting may not occur until many months away.

Jesus said, "Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven." (Matthew 5:16).  Just as the anemic streetlight along the interstate, if the light is not turned on, it doesn't do anyone a bit of good.  By providing some light to others in good times and bad, their life journeys may be a little easier along the way.

Both of my books, "A Place I Didn't Want To Go: My Victory Over Cancer" and "Glorified Sickness: Honoring God Through Illness" provide ample light for anyone going through cancer or major illness.  I feel confident you'll be illumined by them if you check them out on Amazon and Kindle.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Raising The Bar

I've seen a few scattered bumper stickers around town on several vehicles.  One is a round sticker with the number "13.1" in the center.  Another is a similar sticker with "26.2" in the middle.  Although some people may not have the foggiest idea what these numbers mean, since I am a runner, I know exactly what these stickers are saying.

First of all, "26.2" is the length of a typical running marathon or 26.2 miles.  On the other hand, "13.1" is the length of a half marathon (which I ran twice in my pre-cancer days).   Those who put these stickers on their cars are obviously runners such as I and are proud to have completed a marathon or a half-marathon.

However, I saw another sticker the other day which looked very similar on a car in the parking lot at work.  Yet, in the center of this sticker was "0.0".  I looked a little closer to the sticker and noticed in small letters below the numbers "0.0" were the words "I do not run".

I guess this person, while making fun of runners, is proud to be an underachiever.  Although I don't really know this person, it could be just an example of how they have lowered the bar of success in their life.  You know, don't really strive for anything, don't really shoot for anything extraordinary in life, being content to just be mediocre.  As I heard someone say, "If you aim for nothing, you'll hit it every time."

Hence, I believe in raising the bar, not lowering it.  I may aim for the moon and not get there.  Yet, it may be amazing actually how far I might can get off the ground if I set my goals high.


Monday, October 6, 2014

To God Alone The Glory

I know it is only October, but our church choir has already begun practicing music for our Christmas performance in December.  This is not too unusual, seeing that some of our songs require weeks (perhaps months) of preparation.

One song in particular has really captured my attention.  It is a compilation of "Joy To The World" and the "Hallelujah Chorus".  I can already sense what a wonderful worshipful song this will be at the conclusion of the program.  Joyful singing accompanied by an orchestra will be a tremendous finale.

This led me to do some research on George Friedrich Handel, the composer of "The Messiah" and perhaps its most popular song, "The Hallelujah Chorus".  Born in Germany, Handel had written several operas before receiving the text for "The Messiah" from a man named Charles Jennens.  Handel subsequently wrote "The Messiah" in twenty four days, hard to believe that a work of such beauty could be developed in such a short period of time.  When he was writing "The Hallelujah Chorus", it was reported that Handel saw all of heaven before him.  I can certainly understand this, seeing that "The Hallelujah Chorus" propels its listeners into the very presence of God.

Finally, after completing "The Messiah", Handel signed his marvelous work with the letters, "SDG" or Soli Deo Gloria  (To God Alone The Glory).  Handel's signature alone would not have sufficed for this divinely inspired work.

By the time he died at age 74, Handel had composed 42 operas, 29 oratorios, more than 120 cantatas, trios and duets, numerous arias, chamber music, a large number of ecumenical pieces, odes and serenatas, and 16 organ works.

I hope I reach the finish line in life like Handel, one whose music continues to inspire.