Simplify and Clarify…again

The recent, sudden, and unexpected deaths of two friends within the past two weeks have once again sharpened my focus on the 2012 theme of Clarify and Simplify.  Clarifying what life is really about, and simplifying my life so I can be completely aligned with it’s real purpose.

God created us to be friends with him, to love him and to bask in His Love.  We became selfish instead, and wanted all the good things He made for us to serve our own ends, instead of His.  Despite our selfishness, He became like one of us through His Son Jesus Christ, and not only showed us the way to live, but bridged the chasm that was created when we rebelled against Him.  He suffered and died by taking the sins of the whole world upon Himself, to pay the just penalty of our disobedience.

He came to life again and showed once and for all, that Death was defeated, through Him.

So, what is life all about?  Loving God with all my strength, thoughts, words, and actions, first and foremost.  Then loving my neighbors, including those that are not so lovable, and those who are diseased, poor, imprisoned, starving and dying.  The widow, the orphan, even people who belong to another political party, or who have different skin color and customs that I have.

Louise and Dave, thank you for your lives and the memories I’ll always have of each of you.

God, thank you for the reminder that life is short, and life lived to the fullest really is a life of loving you and loving others.  Of being God-centered and others-centered, not being self-centered.

May I deliberately strip away the things in life that I have complicated it with, and simplify to the point that loving God and loving others is as natural as breathing.

2 Comments

  1. There is not one word I would disagree with you on Garry. Maybe it is because I am in my 50’s that I find the theme: To Simplify and Clarify so appealing. Several years ago, Hebrews 12:1-3 burned into my mind. “Fix your gaze on Christ…” I have tried to keep it much more simple and focused as well. You would think an algebra teacher, who constantly demonstrates simplification processes with equations, would always look for the cleanest, sharpest, most direct way to live my life. Yet in reality, I’m more like the Family Circus cartoon where the young boy is sent on an errand to the mailbox but takes every alternative route to get there and back. As we age, losses like your recent ones will increase. We cannot escape the fact we will someday breathe our last breath. I stand with you in asking God to direct our steps as He sees fit.

  2. Gary, this blog couldn’t be any closer to what our ministry DeepStream is all about. Our tag is Love All…Worship One. (which is taken from the first and second greatest commandments. The whole idea of simplify and aligning to what is most important (the two truths above) are totally what we embrace and now in Guatemala are trying to live out and use to impact the culture here.

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