Monday, December 29, 2014

We sing, "These are the special times...".

We seem to live for them. The special times. Christmas. Other holidays. Vacation times.

We live from peak event to peak event, from one bright moment to the next.

We don't know how to live in ordinary time---the in-between time.

WAITING is the in-between time.

Football season just ended. We are WAITING for baseball season to begin.

We seem to feel that life doesn't happen while we wait.

We don't know how to act in ordinary time, the in-between time.

We act like life isn't happening NOW---it's only happening in the future.

Life is calling for us to be in the moment, this season---now.

When we learn to wait we learn that life is packed in the MOMENT.

T. S. Eliot was right when he wrote that there is, "a lifetime burning in every moment."

We need to stop straining and struggling and simply let life unfold.

There is so much wonderful life packed in the MOMENT!


Friday, December 05, 2014

Wilbur M. Smith was one of my favorite professors at Fuller Seminary in Pasadena, California.

He had a library of 25,000 books. He always looked upon his library as a workshop.

When he walked into the classroom he would be carrying a stack of books. He would plop them down on the speaker's stand and then he would begin talking. And for the next hour I was held spellbound.
Early on in my education I had attended a class on the Old Testament. It put me to sleep! Wilbur Smith brought the Old Testament to life. I would run out of his class and drive straight to my little office at the church building and begin preparing a sermon. I couldn't wait to preach. I was on fire for God.

I decided I had to have many of the books Smith had in his library and talked about. I never had a goal of 25,000 but I did line my shelves with many good books. When I retired from full time preaching I disposed of fifteen cases of books. But I retained many volumes. On one wall in our family room is a built-in bookcase full of books. In my office closet, one wall of shelves is full and there are two other bookcases in there. Out in the office there are four bookcases full of books and books stacked on my study desk and my computer desk and on a stand by my reading chair.

Now, since the only messages I deliver are funeral messages I am slowly beginning to get rid of books I no longer need. I am doing so with mixed emotions. I am a little sad to see the valuable books go but I am making wonderful discoveries. I am discovering all over again great articles on vital topics. I not only have many hard back volumes but stacks of magazines that contain outstanding writing on every theological subject imaginable.

Just yesterday I picked up a magazine thinking that I would toss it and ended up reading and studying the articles for over an hour. Serendipity!

Another magazine that was on its way out the door has inspired some thoughts that I will be posting on my blog soon. The thoughts come from a sermon that William Willimon wrote for Pulpit Resource. I smiled when I read anew this message that I first read back in 1997. I thought to myself, "This is good stuff." Serendipity!

So I go on sorting through books and magazines. I do so no longer dreading the work. I do so with eager anticipation. I'm finding treasures that have been "buried" far too long.


The Japanese Art of Decluttering And Organizing
By Marie Kondo

OVERVIEW: Japanese cleaning consultant Marie Kondo takes tidying to a whole new level, promising that if you properly simplify and organize your home once, you'll never have to do it again. Most methods advocate a room-by-room or little-by-little approach, which doom you to pick away at your piles of stuff forever. The KonMari Method, with its revolutionary category-by-category system, leads to lasting results. In fact, none of Kondo's clients have lapsed (and she still has a three-month waiting list). With detailed  guidance for determining which items in your house "spark joy" (and which don't), this international bestseller featuring Tokyo's newest lifestyle phenomenon will help you clear your clutter and enjoy the unique magic of a tidy home―and the calm, motivated mindset it can inspire.

AUTHOR: Marie "KonMari" Kondo runs an acclaimed consulting business in Tokyo helping clients transform their cluttered homes into spaces of serenity and inspiration. With a three-month waiting list, her KonMari Method of decluttering and organizing has become an international phenomenon. The Life-Changing Magic of tidying Up is a best seller in Japan, Germany, and the UK, with more than two million copes sold worldwide, and has been turned into a television drama for Japanese TV. She has been featured on more than thirty major Japanese television and radio programs and in the London times, the Sunday Times, Red magazine, and You magazine, among others.

MY REVIEW: Many books on decluttering have been written. And I have read most of them. This one is the best! That's not to say that I agree with everything Kondo has to say on the subject. But I do agree with almost all of it and I think this is a great book.

When I first saw the title I wasn't sure how I was going to feel about the book. Tidying up is a term I am familiar with but not one that I use very often. And I wasn't too sure about the Japanese art of decluttering because I really didn't know anything about it. Even now, I'm not sure if Kondo is really describing a method that can be described as a Japanese method or if it is just her method and she happens to be Japanese. It doesn't matter either way. This is a book that you need to read if you are interested in decluttering.

Kondo had my attention from the first chapter or section, Why can't I keep my house in order? to the last, The magic of tidying dramatically transforms your life. If you are seriously interested in this subject, you will not want to put the book down. Marie Kondo makes the claim that she is showing how to put your space in order in a way that will change your life forever. Is that true? Maybe! Yes, I think it just might be.

(I received this book from Blogging For Books in exchange for a fair and honest review.)