The flashing cursor begs me write. 25 minutes is the writer’s right.
So I will carry on and continue to push. Even if it reads like mush.
It doesn’t much matter how it ends up. Whether readers think me brilliant or a schlup.
The point is that writers write and write they must. Or with the world they lose trust.
There is a gift in each soul to share. And the gift is given regardless of flare.
So write on little writer, put the word to blank screen. Many words may flow out or preferrably lean.

Poem by Jeff Meyer, December 30,2016

Trust or Control

In that moment, any moment, is an opportunity to choose. Trust or Control.

Today, on our way to my allergy shots we were following a car that had license plates that read PSALM 40

1I waited patiently for the LORD to help me,
and he turned to me and heard my cry.
2He lifted me out of the pit of despair,
out of the mud and the mire.
He set my feet on solid ground
and steadied me as I walked along.
3He has given me a new song to sing,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see what he has done and be amazed.
They will put their trust in the LORD.
4Oh, the joys of those who trust the LORD,
who have no confidence in the proud
or in those who worship idols.
5O LORD my God, you have performed many wonders for us.
Your plans for us are too numerous to list.
You have no equal.
If I tried to recite all your wonderful deeds,
I would never come to the end of them.
6You take no delight in sacrifices or offerings.
Now that you have made me listen, I finally understand—

11LORD, don’t hold back your tender mercies from me.
Let your unfailing love and faithfulness always protect me.
12For troubles surround me—
too many to count!
My sins pile up so high
I can’t see my way out.
They outnumber the hairs on my head.
I have lost all courage.
13Please, LORD, rescue me!
Come quickly, LORD, and help me.
14May those who try to destroy me
be humiliated and put to shame.
May those who take delight in my trouble
be turned back in disgrace.
15Let them be horrified by their shame,
for they said, “Aha! We’ve got him now!”
16But may all who search for you
be filled with joy and gladness in you.
May those who love your salvation
repeatedly shout, “The LORD is great!”
17As for me, since I am poor and needy,
let the Lord keep me in his thoughts.
You are my helper and my savior.
O my God, do not delay.

Later, in the waiting room, after receiving my shots Amy read this to me:
“I want a stronger conviction that, though God welcomes my honest
efforts, He manages quite fine without my Peter-like outburst of ill-
dashed conceived enthusiasm and then sudden loss of nerve, my opinion swapping and bully tactics, my reckless volunteerism to fix things for God and then desperate evacuation when things go wrong.” pg. 153, The Rest of God: Restoring Your Soul by Restoring Sabbath, Mark Buchanan

How accurate is this? When perplexed, confused, waiting, wondering, hoping, I panic and try to take control. Instead, what is necessary eludes me. “Oh, the joys of those who trust in the Lord.” it is not a one-time joy even as it is not a one-time trust(ing). It is an ongoing and persistant trust(ing). And in those moments, every single moment that trust is engaged, “oh, the joys of those who trust in the Lord.” Trust and joy, a matched pair when God is there.

So why does it elude me? This joy? Why, in so many of those gift-rich moments am I so quick to cry out with my own Jeff-like “outbursts of ill-dashed conceived enthusiasm?”

From the relentless resistance of a few at the Church to concern about Jon and Kyla, Matt and Kacie, Abbey, Alli…first move…try to talk my way to a solution, to a fix, toward an answer. Mostly into a corner where the joys elude me.

Because I haven’t trusted.

In God.

His providence. His provision. His fix.

In that moment. In the car. Not expecting. Bitching and moning. Talking with Amy the same tired old conversation about the situation, the challenge, the disappointment…God interrupts. He initiates.

Not in a controlling way. Graciously giving the gift of His Word on a Wisconsin License plate. “Psalm 40”

“Oh the joys of those who trust in the Lord.”

10 Things I Would Tell Myself At My High School Graduation

1984

High School Graduation. I left home the day after mine.

Moved into a garage in the back lot of Tommy Bartlett’s in Wisconsin Dells. Lived off of Dinty Moore Beef Stew. Worked at Robot World and Exploratory. Don’t laugh. Anything for money before College.

Before you hear Pomp and Circumstance for the millionth time. Before you listen to all those self-help speeches when all you really want to do is get to the celebration, check this out.

There are a few things that I’ve learned through the years since 1984 that I would like to go back and tell myself before my HS Graduation. So, in the spirit of the season, and in honor of my last High School Graduate, here they are.

10 words of encouragement I would like to share with my High-School-Graduating Self.

(1984 was a long time ago. A lot of life has happened since then. it’s not too late for me to benefit. And, Alli Meyer, if you’re reading, maybe this list could help you as you take the next steps in your journey. Yes, there is life beyond High School. Thank God!)

Never forget to…

1. Ask for Help

You cannot do everything yourself. In this age of individualism and rugged independence, you can miss out on tremendous blessings and friendships if you don’t learn to rely on others. Relationships are reciprocal, and mutually beneficial.

2. Master the Fundamentals

Daily, weekly, monthly, seasonal, yearly rhythms are built into the order of life. Find your rhythms and don’t accept artificial solutions that promise relief and never give rest. Avoid complicating your life by overextending yourself, many are dying from the pace they’ve set. Read more here.

3. Be Yourself First

Don’t have too many advisors. You know your own best answers. You were never created to be someone else-you are truly one of a kind.

4. Enlist Invested Partners

There are interesting people and there are interested people. Surround yourself with interested people. The key noticeable attribute of these people: they listen with curiosity, genuinely care, and love being with you.

5. Own Your Replenishment

Do whatever you need to do to figure out what replenishes your spirit. Make sure you intentionally include those moments within the normal rhythms of your life. Relentlessly defend that rhythm, others won’t defned it for you.

6. Try New Things

You can’t fail. You might just discover your next favorite thing. You could uncover a talent or calling that is yours to live.

7. Laugh More Often

Life is short. Life is hard. It is easier to live with a smile.

8. Release Your Quirkiness

You have interests and passions that others won’t understand. There will always be somebody who can connect with your unique preferences. The world needs YOUR quirkiness.

9. Broaden Your Learning

In an age of specialization, don’t be too quick to narrow your focus. Develop a comprehensive base. Your life’s work will more likely be a portfolio of skills.

10. Live Beyond Failure

See #6. There is life beyond death, opportunities beyond dead-ends, new hope beyond broken dreams. So, when you experience the end of something, take a deep breath and step forward with a bold curiosity that asks, “What’s next?”

What would you add to my list?

1 Habit That Might Just Save Your Life

Don't miss this 1!

1 Habit

What if I told you to pick 1 habit that might just save your life? 1 habit that would stimulate other healthy habits…

Could you identify 1?

In a recent blog, called Life in Rhythm I described how God established the rhythm of life at creation, and orders our days, weeks, months, seasons and years.

Drilling down a little deeper, I want you to consider for a moment that there are habits that are so foundational to your life, that those habits will naturally spill over into the rest of your life.

I’ve been discovering recently that there are a few habits that are so foundational to my health and wellness that I cannot afford to miss them.

The ah ha came for me in a recent article from Inc., entitled The 1 Habit That Can Make the Most Positive Impact on Your Life:

“…keystone habits are good habits that lead to the development of other good habits (made popular by Charles Duhigg in his book The Power of Habit).

 Here is an excerpt from the book on exercise:

‘When people start habitually exercising, even as infrequently as once a week, they start changing other, unrelated patterns in their lives, often unknowingly. Typically people who exercise start eating better and becoming more productive at work. They smoke less and show more patience with colleagues and family. They use their credit cards less frequently and say they feel less stressed. It’s not completely clear why … ‘Exercise spills over,’ said James Prochaska, a University of Rhode Island researcher. ‘There’s something about it that makes other good habits easier. (p. 109)'”

Read the entire article here.

What habits spill over into other good , healthy habits?

Hmmm… This may take some thought, some consideration. I found that I had really never thought of my habits this way. And another thing that alarmingly caught my attention:

As a Jesus-follower, I am learning to resist the temptation to compartmentalize my faith. My life, the entirety of it is lived in Jesus. There is no part of my life that is not impacted by Jesus. So, any healthy habits that spill over into other habits are what I call Life in Jesus Keystone Habits!

What are your Life in Jesus Keystone Habits: habits that lead to the development of other good habits?

In addition to exercise, which the article references as the #1 Keystone Habit, here are a few other “Life in Jesus Keystone Habits” I’ve identified for myself:

  • Getting up at 5 am

  • Morning Pages

    Julia Cameron, in her book “The Artist’s Way” introduced me to this exercise of writing long hand three pages every morning.

  • Praising God for something each day and sharing it with someone

  • Learn something

    …from a blog post that teaches me something new, read a book, listen to someone ‘s passion

When I do these 4 things faithfully, regularly, consistently, I benefit greatly. I eat better, sleep better, am more positive, productive, and peaceful. When I don’t do these Life in Jesus Keystone Habits, I am vulnerable to the unhealthy patterns that keep me stuck in my flesh! Yuck!

Once you have identified your Life in Jesus Keystone Habits, share them with a friend who can check-in with you and encourage you to keep going.

Recapping:

  • Identify your Life In Jesus Keystone Habits
  • Share them a trustworthy friend and give them permission to check in with you.

In my next blog post I will share with you how to make the things you’ve identified as Life in Jesus Keystone Habits actual habits!

Share your Keystone Habits with me!

Dream A Little

Take people to the future.  Every person has a latent dream.  Putting them there makes it possible.

People get stuck in the present on account of their routine or rhythm.  They feel trapped or helpless.

People get stuck in the past on account of their success or failure.  They feel content or guilty.

What we need are people who will sit with us long enough to help us a dream a little.  

I love to take individuals to a place where they can suspend disbelief.  Make believe.  Imagine if.  

I also love to see teams get unlocked as they dream a little.  Here’s a team exercise I use with teams as they try to answer the question:  Where is God leading us?  It’s called Newspaper Prophets and it’s in Auxano’s Vision Deck.  

Newspaper Prophets

Predict news headlines based on what you dream God will do through your church.  What will be the most newsworthy happening?  How will your church be different?  How will God use your church to change the community?

People and churches lose hope and lose their way when they stop dreaming a little. Our God is the restorer of hope.  He is the dream-giver, and future-producer.  And, He invites us to fully participate in making the dream a reality.  Isn’t that cool?