Posts Tagged ‘ life ’

On Death…

100%

It’s a depressing statistic when you think about it. It doesn’t matter what you do, how hard you work, who you are, what your socio-economic status is…you are just like everyone else. You are part of the 100%. And there’s nothing you can do about it.

100% of humans will die at some point. There’s no way around. No one is getting out of this life alive.

Sorry to be so depressing, but it’s a reality we all need to be more aware of.

In 1722 Jonathan Edwards, an early American Theologian, wrote set of personal resolutions. #9 on that list was this:  “To think much, on all occasions, of my dying, and of the common circumstances which attend death.”

I know it’s morbid, but I’m sure that it gave him perspective.

This past weekend my wife lost a close friend she’d known since elementary school. It was a tough loss for her and for his family. But it wasn’t completely unexpected. You see, he had Cystic Fibrosis. So, for a long time they knew that his life expectancy was going to be much shorter than most. And as tough as this was for him and for everyone who knew him and loved him, I sensed at the funeral that this knowledge helped him live a life worth remembering.

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(These are the balloons we released in honor of every year of his life.)

The funeral truly was a celebration of a life. Friends and family shared story after story about the pure goodness that was found in knowing him. His life was a blessing to others and everyone who knew him is better off because of him.

Living with the knowledge that your life will come to an end encourages you to live a life worth remembering. What kind of legacy will you leave? What will people say at your funeral?

While there were many tears shed at the funeral this week, I can assure you that everyone’s heart was filled with joy.

At the risk of being too morbid I encourage you to think much of your death. Not the way in which you will die, but the type of life you will live up until that moment.

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I Put Sugar in my Coffee Today

I know…I know, but before you start to cast stones hear me out.

This past weekend I had the cool opportunity to do coffee samples for a friend of mine at an independent grocery store. It was a lot of fun. I made pour overs, gave out free coffee, used a Chemex and basically got to talk coffee with a bunch of people. My favorite part was letting people try great coffee. That always makes me happy.

However…there was something that I noticed. Even though we had sugar and cream on the table where we were giving out samples, there were quite a few people who refused the free sample by saying, “no thanks, I don’t like black coffee.”

There seemed to be this automatic assumption that if they weren’t a black coffee drinker then they weren’t welcome.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I usually drink my coffee black, but that’s because I drink good coffee. I spend the time and the extra couple of bucks to make sure my coffee is fresh and tastes great, but not everyone does that. I think the more really good, fresh coffee you start to drink the less you’ll use cream and sugar, but there shouldn’t be this stigma against drinking coffee with cream and sugar.

While I may be a purist and enjoy coffee black that doesn’t mean everyone else should have to.

Like I told the people who I was giving samples to, life’s too short to drink what you don’t enjoy.

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So, yes…I put sugar in my coffee today (mostly because I tried to blend some old beans I had laying around and it didn’t turn out great so the sugar helped mask the taste), but it’s nothing to be ashamed of. If you’re a coffee drinker who has to put cream or sugar in your coffee to enjoy it don’t be ashamed.

I would suggest trying better coffee and maybe giving good, freshly roasted coffee a sip before you add what you have to, but life’s too short to drink what you don’t enjoy.

Cheers.

Thoughts from Beer and a Bible

Of all the things that I do with my time Beer and a Bible is probably my favorite. Beer and a Bible is a group for people who want to openly discuss life, faith and the bible while enjoying a good brew. It’s something that we started about 2 years ago and I love it. It’s the perfect mixture of things that I love…beer, Jesus, people and talking about life.

To give you a very brief description of the way it works: we gather in the back room of a local Irish pub in Downtown Raleigh and I’ll read a story or a section of scripture from the Bible and then I’ll say, “Go.” The whole point is conversation, so we just let people go where ever the conversation leads them.

If you’d like to learn more about Beer and a Bible you can click on the link above or feel free to shoot me an email at info@beerandabible.com

One of my favorite parts about Beer and a Bible is simply the conversation. We have new people every week and people come from so many different spiritual backgrounds and life situations, so the conversation is always going to be different.

After another night of great conversation and insights into some stories in the Bible that I had never thought of before I thought, “Man…I should start writing these down!” So, my hope is after every Beer and a Bible (which meets every 2nd and 4th Tuesday) to share one or two of the thoughts or insights shared at the table I was sitting at.

Last night’s insights were great. We read from Luke 24:13-35, which is the story of the diciples walking the road to Emmaus. (Click on the scripture reference to read it for a little context.)

The main insight I took away from the conversation was this: When we do the things Jesus did we start to recognize who Jesus is.

I love this. These guys who were walking with Jesus could have just let him continue on his merry way after he called them foolish and basically just schooled them in biblical history. But, they didn’t. Instead, they strongly urged him to stay with them. Traveling on would have been dangerous. Walking alone along paths then would have made a traveler a prime target for muggers and thieves along the path. So, these guys ask Jesus to stay with them. They bring him in, they feed him and they show him compassion.

It is through that act of compassion that Jesus was revealed to them.

Compassion is a clear character trait of Jesus. Over and over again in the gospels we read how Jesus had compassion on a person or a group of people. Over and over again we read how he showed compassion to people by healing them and forgiving them of their sins.

When these guys treated people the same way Jesus treated people they got to know Jesus more.

What a concept, right?

I really believe, no matter your spiritual affiliation, that when we put the teachings of Jesus into practice that the world will be a better place. We will begin treating people with love and compassion. We will hand out forgiveness in the same way Oprah gives out free stuff!

Just like the two guys had a choice…of whether or not to invite Jesus to stay with them or to let him continue on down the road, we too have a choice. Each and every day we are given opportunities to treat people with compassion. We are given opportunities to let people continue down the path they’re walking, the path that’s usually lonely, the path that could lead them to dangerous places and situations…or we could invite them into our homes, into our lives, to our kitchen tables and share with them the love and compassion that we should have readily available.

We look to the words of Jesus as a reminder, “Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”

When we do the things Jesus did we start to recognize who Jesus is.

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