Favorite Quotes (2)

I was nominated to participate in the Quote Challenge.
The rules of the challenge are as follows:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you.
  2. Post a quote each day for three consecutive days.
  3. Nominate three bloggers each day to do the same.

I partially accept the challenge 😉  😀 !  If you read this and want to participate by sharing three of your favorite quotes over the next three days, great!  If not, no worries. 🙂

  1. A big thank-you and a shout out to A Different Perspective for the nomination. Go check out the site and leave a nice comment (you might even feel compelled to follow!)
    ~
  2. “No matter what the background of a child, camp opens doors, exposing children to possibilities and opportunities they might never know could be theirs.  Camp…takes kids away from things they value, to teach them the things of real value.”  (Former Disney CEO Michael Eisner)
    I worked at a Christian camp for nearly 5 years and this was my favorite quote about the impact of summer camp.  While the first part is true, it is the last line that really hit me with the intensity of its power.  And it’s not just true for children . . . many times it is not until we lose the things we value the most that we learn what really has value.
    ~
  3. Have at it!  Use your blog to share your favorite quotes!

Favorite Quotes (1)

I was nominated to participate in the Quote Challenge.
The rules of the challenge are as follows:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you.
  2. Post a quote each day for three consecutive days.
  3. Nominate three bloggers each day to do the same.

I partially accept the challenge 😉  😀 !  If you read this and want to participate by sharing three of your favorite quotes over the next three days, great!  If not, no worries. 🙂

  1. A big thank-you and a shout out to A Different Perspective for the nomination. Go check out the site and leave a nice comment (you might even feel compelled to follow!)
    ~
  2. “Just as a child cannot do bad coloring, a Christian cannot do bad praying.”  Brennan Manning in “Ragamuffin Gospel”.  This is probably one of my favorite prayer quotes of all time!  On refrigerators all across America, artwork is displayed that will probably never win a prize yet it is often considered by the person who put it there to be the best artwork of all time.  God wants His children to come to Him in prayer and live a life that is in constant communication with Him.  When we do so, He’s not concerned so much with our form or even our words but more so with our presence.
    ~
  3. Have at it!  Use your blog to share your favorite quotes!
Counting Days or Days That Count?

Counting Days or Days That Count?

Because I post and share a lot of photos on social media, I often get asked how I find the time to photograph the things that I do.  The answer is not all that complicated to give, but it can be pretty difficult to put into practice.  It has a lot to do with priorities and what I call making days count rather than living life counting days.

It is far too easy to go through life counting days until whatever the next thing we are looking forward to will take place.  And if we’re not doing that, we are counting the days until whatever we are in the midst of is over.  While keeping track of when things will happen or when they will end is not necessarily a bad thing, the problem comes when our focus of counting days keeps us from living days that count.

It is not an easy journey, and for most people the step from counting days to days that count is precipitated by an event, or series of events, that cause them to see the uncertainty of life.  And it’s not a decision that is made once and life is different from that point forward . . . no, for me at least, I have to decide often if I’m going to do something today that makes the day count.  Because it’s a daily decision, and often multiple times in a day, it is not an easy path to walk.  Many times the decision really rests on whether my choice for the day is about me or about someone else.  I’ve found, that while it may not always look like a decision that would make the day count, basing the day’s choices on what helps others or makes them happy is much more likely to end up being a day that counts.

The photo below is from one of those days that count — it counts because it was spent with my family and brought joy to all of us.  It’s also a good example of what it might take to make your days count.  It was a last-minute, beautiful day opportunity and it required some sacrifices of time in getting work done that needed to be completed.  But the point is that we didn’t focus on counting the hours of what needed to be done, but rather we focused on making the day count and dealing with the hours as needed.  Yes, the climb up the dune to this overlook was difficult and the trip meant I would have to wake up very early the next morning to get work done, but the scene was spectacular and created a moment that helped to make the day count.

I pray that you would consider the people who are important to you, and even those that aren’t but maybe should be, and find ways to make your days together count rather than just spending your time counting days.

In prayer,
Tom Lemler

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My Mom

The cleaning is done
and I’m ready for the day.
So, as I sit down
I have something to say.
To a godly mother,
no one can compare.
She cares for her family,
their burdens to bear.
 
She does what she can
with the hands of her own.
And prays oft to God
for the seeds which are sown.
Some days she acts tough,
and some days are sweet.
As the needs of her children
she struggles to meet.
 
But meet them she does,
with God’s help and might.
As she calls out to Him,
by day and by night.
He strengthens her hands
for the work to be done.
And fills her with joy
from daughter and from son.
 
You may read these lines
and think, “What does he know?”.
Well, these are the truths
that my mother did show!
Her life of strength,
and tenderness too.
Helps me see Jesus
as God shines right through.
 
And so as you ponder
just what you should do.
I have a message
that might be for you.
Honor your mother,
whether gone or still here.
By being a person
that would bring her great cheer.

© 2018 by Tom Lemler

 
After cleaning the church building to get ready for the Sunday service, I sat down and the opening lines of this poem fell out of my mind. I wasn’t sure where it was headed as I typed the words out, but I offer them in honor of my mom on this Mother’s Day! I’m sure my mom didn’t always understand me (I don’t even always understand myself 🙂 ) but she continues to be a great encourager and example to me.
 
In prayer,
Tom
Spring Reflections

Spring Reflections

I enjoy taking photographs of items that are reflected in various bodies of water.  As I’ve done this, I’ve discovered at least two key ingredients to a good (and accurate) reflection.  One is the stillness of the water and the other is the purity of the water.  In nature, both ingredients are highly variable even from one day to the next in the same body of water.  The photo below is one I’ve taken many times and sometime the water is calm and pure giving a clear reflection of the spring house, and other times there is no reflection at all.  The source of the water comes from a spring the little house is built over — thus a “spring house”.  The water is pure and clear coming from the spring, but once out in the open it doesn’t always remain so.

I suppose the same is true in my efforts to accurately reflect Christ so that He is seen when others observe me.  The source, Christ, is unchanging in its purity and clarity so any imperfection in the reflection has to come from me.  My ability to be still and know Him as God will be a determining factor in how well He is reflected in my life.  The purity I live my life with will either help people see Jesus in me or cloud their view of Him.  As I spend time at the well of Living Water and allow His Spirit and His Word to continually wash over me, I find that the turmoil and impurity of life no longer gets in the way of others seeing who resides within.

I pray that you and I would desire our lives to accurately reflect Jesus.  As we live out that desire, I pray that we would be both still and cleansed so we would not become a distraction to the reflection of Christ others should see in us.

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Walk and Pray

Walk and Pray

Today I had the opportunity to lead another neighborhood prayer walk as we asked God to make Himself known and to pour out His blessing upon the community.  I enjoy leading prayer walks because it gives me the opportunity to teach about developing a lifestyle of prayer in a practical context.  

The context behind a prayer walk is really not that complicated — you walk and you pray.  Praying on-site in a neighborhood, workplace, school, or anywhere else can help you learn to pray more effectively as you pay attention to what is really going on.  Yes, I can pray for a neighborhood from anywhere, but when I walk the sidewalks and observe with my eyes, ears, heart, spirit, emotions, and anything else available to me, I often pray about things that I would never otherwise even think about.

For me, prayer walking is a practice that helps me apply God’s command to “pray without ceasing.”  When I make a deliberate effort to pray, I find that I am constantly looking for things to pray about that would be meaningful in my conversations with God.  I might notice a home health care van parked in front of a house and pray for the person needing extra care.  I walk past an auto body shop and pray for those whose lives have been impacted in situations represented by the assortment of wrecked vehicles waiting to be repaired.  I walk by a park and pray for the families and children who will come and play.  I walk past a school and pray for the safety of all who are there each day.  And the list goes on . . . it seems that each house or property has something to say that would lead me to pray in a specific way.  Yet even in the specific prayers, I keep in mind the greater context that God would bless the neighborhood in ways that would make Himself known.

Tonight’s prayer walk was the first I had focused on the neighborhood I was in.  Depending on time available, my first prayer walk in a neighborhood is usually a perimeter walk as I surround an area with prayer.  Follow-up walks would then work my way up and down each street, asking God to help me notice the things I ought to see.

In case you’re wondering, I’m not writing this to try to say, “Look what I did!”  No, I’m writing this in an attempt to say to you who are reading, “Look what you could do!”

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