Before anything else, I just want to let some things off of my chest.
First off, well, power’s out again here in the house. It’s not been good for the past couple of days – yesterday, in particular, the power went on and off since the wee hours of the morning, and then again later on as the day progressed. Today, the power was cut, oh, around 30 minutes ago. The laptop is on battery saver mode, and I’m doing what I can to get this out appropriately.
I see a need for us to have a higher capacity power bank, and if I could also have a set of solar panels, that would be great. It’s also during these times that I’m wondering if the DITO cellular data service provider is good in my area. What I don’t like, though, is that it doesn’t seem like they have a plan that provides us with unlimited data access. Then there’s the question of where to get water. I mean, that’s the goal, eventually – for this household to be self-sufficient. Eventually.
Second, things have been going swimmingly with a couple of investments I’ve thrown myself into, starting during the second half of March. All things considered, I should be de-risked (that is, I should get back the capital I put in) in a little more than 2 and a half months from now. The sustainability of these projects have apparently been under continuous fire, and I admit I have my own doubts; But, I suppose, this is why we continue to pray. I have my share of regret for not doing my homework, and my prayer is that the ventures last long enough for me to be out of the red. Everything that follows will be gravy – or, icing on the cake, if you’re looking for dessert.
Third, well, considering the sensitive nature of what I just shared, I don’t know if I want to be sharing all of this online. But then again, I’m reminded of the fact, the Truth that the Lord causes all things to work for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. And with that said, I have a little more to share:
See, for the longest time I’ve thought that Romans 8:28 was a way for me to feel better about everything that’s been going on through and to me. I claimed a creative adaptation of the same verse, as sung in the bridge of Jesus Culture’s old-but-gold song Your Love Never Fails; It doesn’t quote the verse verbatim, but we’re led to sing – ‘You make all things work together for my good’. And now that I reconcile what’s in the verse and what’s sung here, I could say that God is faithful to cause all things to work for my good – and ‘my good’ is defined as ‘the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.’
To see it in this light gives me more peace, in the sense that I may not necessarily see the good that’s happening to me and/or to others, but somehow, and in some way, God is indeed faithful to make all things work for the good of the body of Christ, beyond my own limited perspectives. The more we appreciate the Truth of how God has moved, is moving, and will move independent of our limited expectations, and more according to His infinite power and wisdom, the more we ourselves would move on to greater things.
So whether I see the sense and benefits and consequences in me posting this or not (that is, besides the fact that it adds to satisfying the word quota I give myself), I’ll just say that God is faithful. I’ll say that God is good, and God is faithful.
Fourth, I wrote all this, but I still find myself feeling bad. See, for the past 2 Sundays, you could say that I was winging it. I wasn’t prepared with a solid set of lessons to give to my congregation. I have my excuses, but I’d rather play the game of rationalizing. See, with other ventures and tasks popping up that are taking more of my time, (1) I now appreciate the value of the time I do have, a whole lot more than I used to and therefore (2) I see a greater need for me to manage my resources – energy, money, and time. Or, just power. As such, again, I run to the throne of grace in this, my hour of need, asking the One who exists beyond time and space, for His wisdom regarding power management.
That’s why I’ve been trying my darndest to rest up when I have the chance, so I could get my routine (exercise and writing) done before the rest of the day… and I’ve been forcing myself to write these recent days in particular, to organize my thoughts just so I’m ready with primo product and words to present on Sunday.
That brings up the fifth point – I’ve noticed a trend of things I’ve been spending more resources on, with less impact. Like driving off to take photos of the sunset, and the sunrise. Gas isn’t as cheap as it used to be, and my car isn’t as fuel-efficient as it used to be. And the time and gas consumed to go from one spot to the other, just to take different angles of the same sun that sets every day… well, it isn’t as worth doing as I thought it used to be.
That’s probably why I’ve been leaning more towards taking pictures, in my terms, on the fly, meaning if I see something worth a shot as I live my life, I take it. I haven’t been going out of my way as much as I used to, if only to take a picture of a landscape illuminated by the rising moon, or made ‘warm’ by the setting of t the sun… but I have been taking more random shots while in traffic, or as I walk around getting things done. I’m not sure if this is an indication of a loss of quality for quantity, but it seems I’ll be going down this path for now, at least where Instagram is involved.
Now that I write all this I see that something has stayed the same all this time – I still shoot and share, for stress relief.
Should the same principles be applied, say, in my preparing for my Sunday messages? I mean, now that I think of it, do all Pastors agonize this much – spending 6 or even 7 days fretting over what they have to say in 20-30 minutes on a Sunday? Now that I think about it, should my mindset in all this be, just me letting off steam every Sunday? I mean, that’s probably not the best term to use, but should my messages be composed by way of me going out of my way, or should they be formulated as I live my life?
Part of me says, ‘both’, but I don’t know, I guess I’m just glad that I’m seeing the latter as an option, versus me agonizing too much over ensuring that I’m in the right disposition and the right circumstances to write.
Just as in photos, I suppose the best messages are seen along the way.
I’m not sure if I had a sixth point. Oh, well, there it is. This is what I have in mind right now – a re-arrangement of power and creation; That is, more day-in-the-life photos with their own value, shared on Instagram and possibly other platforms, and for those ‘special’ shoots (where I go out of my way and dedicated more time and resources), I’ll place them in the platforms where I think they’re due. ChatGPT seemed to have me consider Society6.
Now with that in mind, I should probably organize my own day-in-the-life realizations and revelations and meditations… and maybe share them every Sunday. Or on possible podcasts and/or fellowships. And if I want to dedicate more time and resources, what, share them in a book, I guess?
Just as the WHO mentioned, we’re out of the global pandemic phase… but it seems the steps to going back to how things used to be are quite painful. One thing’s for sure: I seem to be moving along with the seasons, and in this particular season we see that there is a need to evolve, to change, to improve.
I mean, just as I said in the first ‘thing’; In line with all these recent power outages, I’ve brought back solar and backup power/internet sources to my priority list of things that need to be processed/acquired this year.
In line with my concerns regarding the sustainability of recent investments, and the risks connected to divulging what I think is more private and personal information online, I’m reminded of the Lord’s sovereignty. I am also brought to realize that even if I don’t see things work for my good, I can be at peace anyway, because it’s the Lord (who knows everything, can do anything, and is always for me) who takes the responsibility of working it – and now that I think about it, He may not necessarily be working for MY good, but that’s because He’s working for HIS good – or, well, the best!
In line with the anxiety related to not getting things done because of not being able to manage time, and in line with my not being able to be ready with an appropriate message for Sunday, I’ve had to adjust so I write primarily on Mondays to Wednesdays, so I have time for the other face-to-face ventures for the rest of the week.
In line with the realization of needless effort for minimal results, both in my message composition and in visual art creation, I seem to be exploring the possibilities presented by multi-platform engagement. Side note, I’ve learned somewhere that there is a need for us to learn human psychology and marketing as part of our general mental toolset – This is probably also bringing me to the conclusion that the best learning is still in application.
But there we go. In line with me writing all this, I’ve come to a realization – the seventh point. That is, as I’ve been writing: The more things happen, the more we see what stays, and what fades. As the sand moves, we see the rocks that stand still.
And sure, that sounds like a good place to stop, but let me take that a step further. It’s not that the rocks are superior to the sand; we shouldn’t see it in that light. The rocks will move, eventually. In movement, we’re reminded that it’s not what we see, sand or rocks, but what matters is Who we’re with, or who’s with us in the movement.
We talk about Christ as our Firm Foundation, but He is just as much our Water of Life. We see Him in the static as much as He is in the dynamic. Present in the rocks, just as He is in the sand. Present, and with us in the plans we take time to formulate, just as much as He is with us in the last minute choices and the split second decisions. For us in our doubts, with us in our convictions.
Times like this I remember the first few months where I started working. I remember saying that things have been happening at such a rapid rate that there simply isn’t time to write about it all.
Almost 20 years later and I say, the more things happen, the more we ought to be writing. I don’t think we want to miss out on the additional clarification and the additional refining of the mind as the body makes its adjustments to the changes of the world.
And in all the change, don’t be surprised if things are re-arranged…
and as things are indeed re-arranged, don’t be surprised if the one Constant sticks out.
In line with the changes, and all the adjustments I’ve brought myself to make, I will say this – that the One who was with me in the past, and sure to be with me in the future – He is with me here and now, in all that’s going on.
If it feels as if I’ve moved from the depths, suddenly back to the shallows, I guess that was necessary – only to see how Christ is Savior, and Lord over all.
Not sure I feel better after this, but I do feel good regardless.
Until the next post, God bless you.
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The floods have lifted up, O LORD,
the floods have lifted up their voice;
the floods lift up their roaring.
Mightier than the thunders of many waters,
mightier than the waves of the sea,
the LORD on high is mighty! Psalms 93:3-4
Good one, thanks Angie! 😀
You’re welcome Pastor. 😊
Silent reader here. 😁 But my identity revealed already. 😂
Thanks to your articles. Writing also relieves stress somehow. 👍😊