Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Is it Real? Is it True?

Too often we limit our perspective to the narrow difference between what is fantasy and what is real. Worse yet, we collapse the extreme ends of those perceptions (True and False) right to the edges of our limited perception. We find ourselves assuming that what we experience as “real” MUST be true, which only causes us to flee deeper into our desired fantasy.

Broadening your perspective takes a lot of humility, but it is essential to realize that: YES... What you’re experiencing is REAL, but it is not always TRUE. It will not last forever; it is temporal, it is relative just to your perspective. If we ask God to help us through these storms, he gifts us insight into his eternal perspective, gives us HOPE & FAITH to know that the short-term sufferings we experience are worth the REAL struggle to thoroughly enjoy the AMAZING TRUTH of the resurrected life for eternity.

Fantasies are not worthless. They can contain profound truths. Dreams and art tug at our hearts. They cause you to strive toward how life should be rather than how life is. Fantasies make a great vacation from reality, and we all need them, but we can’t live there, nor can we allow ourselves to get so far down the rabbit hole that you begin to convince yourself that the fantasies are real. Don’t lie to yourself. Listen to others around you who can see your blind spots and can expand your perspective.

Breathe. Don’t dwell in reality, don’t let it crush you with its weight and burdens. You can’t control it. You can only control your response. Fear (false expectations appearing real) will tempt you into impulsively reacting, making judgments and actions based purely on your perspective. Don't do that. Wait. Listen. Dig into your identity and respond out of the core of who you truly are.

When life gets Real, run toward the truth, don’t retreat into the fantasy.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Remembering my Grandparents

I'm a little surprised that I have taken as much time away from writing as I have. Life has been good. This last month has contained a lot of contemplation and I want to share with you some memories that I have been processing, stories of faith, thoughts about family, and a focus on what is yet to come.

The two wonderful people pictured here are my grandmother Sarah and grandfather Robert Custer, my mom's parents. They were each integral parts of my development into the man that I am today. Joyfully, we were able to celebrate my grandmother's life when she passed away just before Easter this April. She join's my grandfather who went home to be with the Lord about 9 years prior. At the age of 95 my grandmother had lived a wonderful life, one of full emotion and complete devotion to her family, friends, and community.

One of my most fond memories of my grandmother was the time she would spend in her garden. Growing up in Ohio, it wasn't uncommon to be introduced to micro-farming. Whether it was flower beds with a few pumpkins, tomato plants, beans, squash, or cucumbers,