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Archive for the tag “hope”

“What Inspires You?”

Shiane Hawke--X-Factor

This morning, as I sipped my standard cup of non-gourmet coffee and spent my allotted fifteen minutes scrolling down the facebook newsfeed, I stumbled across a post that inspired me.

A shy fourteen year-old from Darby, England, Shiane Hawke (pronounced Cheyenne) walked onto the “X-Factor” stage without the stereotypical superstar look—whatever that looks like.  (Note: if you are famous or popular or rich simply because you look a certain way, it doesn’t say much for you or fame or the popular intelligence and soul.)

Shiane is just Shiane—she’s bright and winsome, but she was on the newsfeed this morning because the girl can sing!  She stood alone before a live audience of thousands and a television audience of millions and blew their socks off with a spot-on (only British I know) rendition of “Mercy.”

Bottom line, I was inspired.

I watched the clip not once, not twice, but three times! I was stirred, motivated, moved—again, inspired.  It wasn’t a “spiritual” post, but somehow it was.  It made me want to get better at what I do… to be a better person… to try, try again… to take chances… to forget about my limitations and fears-due-to-perceived-limitations—and just go for it.

What inspires you?  What makes you want to do better and  be better?  What puts the life-breath back into your life?

A particular artist?… a writer of great songs or fiction?… a motivational speaker?… a visual artist?… a coach or teacher? …going to a certain  place?  …being around a certain group of people?

Maybe you are inspired by someone who has struggled against all odds and found their way to great success.  Those stories are my favorite.

Be inspired, friends.  There is inspiration at every turn.  God, inviting you to come-out, come-out from wherever you are.  There’s life and hope and love and joy–as the saying goes, “There’s gold in them thar hills!”

Assignment:  Look in the obituaries this morning.  If your name is not listed, assume this is your day.

Go for it.

And now for the clip…

http://blog.petflow.com/they-all-made-fun-of-this-girl-until-she-opened-her-mouth-wow-you-have-to-hear/

Peace and Passion

Keith

4-10-14

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“The Dalai Lama..The Super Bowl…and Much ado about Something”

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It’s been an interesting week in the news—or, at least, on my news feed. 

Birmingham and Atlanta, paralyzed by winter storms…The State of the Union Address…American Idol auditions…The Phoenix Open…Richard Sherman re-rants… Peyton Manning… a trip to Rome, GA, to see “the fam”…a new song or two…almost getting the caramel cake icing right.

I didn’t say it was MSNBC.  It was just some of the headline news on my screen.  What did your news feed look like?  What were the lead stories?  What stories bumped other stories or interrupted regularly scheduled programming?  In a week or so, which ones will you still remember?

Scripture would suggest that God—even with unlimited memory—just lets go of a lot of what happens over time. It’s just not worth saving. Unfortunately, so much of what we do and say and buy, and labor over, and worry about, and invest in—time-wise and money-wise—probably won’t make The Editor-in-Chief’s “Remotely Important” list.

A Shakespearean title comes to mind: “Much Ado About Nothing.”

Rescuing people trapped on gridlocked interstates; taking care of children who can’t leave school; hosting total strangers in churches and homes?  Something.

Spending tens of thousands of people-hours and, billions of dollars on food and tickets and travel and security and pre-game and halftime rehearsals—for yet another non-competitive Super Disappointment?  Nothing.

With all the amazingly important options out there—most of which cost little or nothing in monetary terms—we human beings keep going back to the same old “Nothing” bin and trying to make something out of nothing.

Late breaking news… “Actor/Oscar winner, Philip Seymore Hoffman, found in NYC apartment, dead of apparent drug overdose at age 47.”  Amazing talent.  Hyper-successful. Respected by his peers.  Loved by a beautiful life partner and mother of his three great kids.  And heroin.  It’s just a shame—all that “something” lost to a “nothing.”

The Dalai Lama wrote, “The planet does not need more successful people.  The planet desperately needs more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers and lovers of all kinds.”

I would paraphrase that wisdom: “WE do not need to be more successful people.  We desperately need to be peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers and lovers of all kinds.”  

Yes, desperately.   The Nothing’s are killing us.

Keith

2/3/2014

keithelder.com

“Claypool, Bigger Rooms, and the Way We Grow”

If I had to sum up the life journey in a few words, I think I would choose hope (what keeps us in the game)…then transformation (growth)…and ultimately, holiness (peace with God, neighbor, and self).

My experience and observation would suggest that the transformation/growth part happens in stages.  We go to a seminar or a seminary or retreat.  We meet or lose a special someone.  We read an earth-shaking book.  We are diagnosed with a life-threatening illness.  However it happens, we wake up in a different place.

I was at a seminar in Birmingham. The speaker/presenter was the late, great, John Claypool.  Having converted from a childhood in the Baptist Church to the Episcopal Church, Claypool became known for his appreciation of grace, his buttery-smooth delivery and his piercing insight.

Insight for the day (in paraphrase):

“You know, we all start out in a little room—our mother’s womb. It is warm…safe…comfortable.  All our needs are met.  But one day a traumatic event occurs—we are thrust into a bigger room…the delivery room to be exact.  Bright lights, noise, cold.  We cry, “We want to go back!”  But in time, we adjust   We get used to “the new digs”…accustomed to a world of Mom’s nursing and Dad’s knee bouncing and siblings’ sparring.  Life’s good.  But then the day comes when we are yanked out and thrust into yet a bigger room—school. It is strangers and books, lunch and recess, and teachers and homework.  Yikes!  But, over time, we adjust….”

Claypool talks of other rooms—leaving home, marriage, work, retirement, and inevitably Heaven.  His point: that growth is a process of moving from smaller rooms to bigger rooms.  Call them chapters or stages, but the move from one to the next will be uncomfortable at best, excruciating at worst.  It’s a trauma… a new perspective…a gnawing dissatisfaction.  But something makes the old status quo unacceptable.

What room are you in at present?  Does it light your fires and bring you joy?  Maybe you’re in a new room with a mix of discomfort, excitement and fear.  Maybe you are in transition.

Wherever you are, count on it: there will come a time when you have to change rooms.  And that’s not a bad thing.  It’s just the way we grow.

Keith — 3/16/2013

“Expiration Date… NA (not applicable)”

It was a picture-post on “The Idealist” facebook page.  A sky with birds hovering over a tree…in a boat…with a light in a window on the trunk of the tree (shades of Keebler elves)…and a girl standing at the bow of the boat gazing into the future.

Caption: “Your dream doesn’t have an expiration date: take a deep breath and try again.”

I REALLY like this. Being a Boomer who’s taken a few tumbles and had many a doubt as to whether I will ever see my potential realized, this reminds me to hope.  The idea shows up all over the place.

“It’s never too late to have a happy childhood.” –anonymous

God called an already up-in-years Abram and Sarah to pull up roots and go to a new place—and start a family.

God called to 80 year-old Moses from a burning bush and said, in essence, “It’s time to do your thing, Moses.  Go tell Pharoh to let my people go.”  The Red Sea, water from rocks, manna from heaven, and forty years of wilderness wandering—all came after Moses turned 80.

God kept old Simeon and Anna alive long enough to realize the hope of seeing the Messiah come.  (Luke 2:21 ff.)

And it’s not just about age.

Jesus used little kids, disenfranchised women, greedy tax collectors, fiery zealots, and a foot-in-mouth-prone “Rock” (Peter) to make the kingdom magic happen.  He even used a few rich people.

Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me, though he dies, yet shall he live.”  Paul wrote, “If any person is in Christ, he/she is a new creation.  Old things have passed away, behold the new has come.”

I wonder how many of us have given up on our dreams or ideals because it (whatever “it” is) got hard. Because we sinned and fell short of the glory.  We’ve thrown in the towel on a job or a call or a person or a love or a dream—or ourselves.  News flash—the past is prologue, folks.  The clock’s still ticking… the game is still on!

Remember: “Your dream doesn’t have an expiration date: take a deep breath and try again.”

Keith   3/06/2013

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