Friday, April 25, 2008


I love to golf. I love to get up in the early morning, drive out to the course, and smack that little white ball all around course (and yes, I do mean ALL around:). There are days when it is frustrating, and there are days when the shots come together like magic. Most days are somewhere in between.

Today I went out around 7:00 am with a friend. The two of us try to do this as often as possible, and as long as there isn't too much rain, we trudge through the grass chasing the dream of par. As I was walking down one of the fairways, which by some miracle I actually hit, I started thinking about how blessed I am. I am blessed to be able to get out and do play this crazy game. I am blessed to have a friend who liked to putter on the course with me. I am blessed to have a family I love and care about, and loves and cares about me. I am blessed with a faith community that is growing in faith and love of others. I am blessed ...

We are all given so many blessings in life. But we are also so busy that sometimes we miss see those blessings. There are also times when we have such tunnel vision that we see only the struggles, and the blessings don't make it into our line of sight. And sometimes we need to walk that walk, chase that ball, sit on that chair, and just reflect on those blessings we have been given. When we take this time and reflect on our blessings, our attitudes change and we start to see joy in more and more areas of life.

When we first came to Our Savior's we posted an acrostic that comes from Pr. Walt Kallestad. The purpose of the acrostic is to help all of us see the blessings we have in life and celebrate the joy of others. I thought it was time to revive this little phrase and get some feedback on it.

It goes with the word "Celebrate".

Cheer for others
Express nonjudgmental love for others
Listen wholeheartedly to others
Encourage others
Build authentic relationships with other
Receive the gifts of others
Appreciate others
Treat others with kindness
Energize others with grace

When we celebrate the gifts of others, and celebrate the blessings we have been given in our lives, we start to see that joyful side of God once again. This inspires us to keep celebrating and sharing our celebrations with a world that hurts too much at times.

May your eyes be opened to the blessings God has given to you. May you be uplifed with joy and celebrations. And may you always be filled with the grace and love of God.


Betty Dygart said...

I tried golf once. It was in college, and we had to take two semesters of some sort of physical education. We were out behind Old Main at UW Whitewater. I hit a ball and it went sailing over the chainlink fence, landing squarely on the top of a passing Volkswagon bug. It really freaked out the driver. I quickly turned to look at the opposite horizon, acting as though my ball certainly had gone in another direction. I changed my schedule that day---picked up field hockey. Ended up with many a bruised shin, but dive-bombed no more passing cars.

But, I know what Pastor E is talking about here. We need to celebrate those around us, be receptive of where they are, what they are thinking, how they are feeling. This isn't always easy, especially when personal concerns and worries overwhelm us.

However, I find that "getting outside of yourself" and thinking more about those around you, is helpful to your overall attitude about life.

I have to confess that I have spent the last couple of days in a funk. The bursitis in my left shoulder and elbow has been acting up, and I have not even felt the urge to go out to rake my yard. (God has been sympathizing with me, however, sending rain every day, so I couldn't be out there, even if I felt able. Thanks be to God.)

This blog topic, of celebrating others, of centering on people outside of ourselves, is a good one for me right now. I have been feeling sorry for myself and brooding. Jesus never did so.

My prayer today is that I can recenter my thoughts and feelings, away from ME, and concentrate on others. I am thankful for this daily blog, which helps to keep me on task, my task being to live more clearly in the way Jesus wants me to live. Thank you, Pastor E.

ingrids1088 said...

"Celebrate" wrapped in a hug. I have been blessed,through the years, with several special friends whom I have encouraged, loved, listened to, cheered on, wept with, treated kindly, energized, and received the same from them. Given our enduring relationship it is now enough to share a quiet hug which manages to express the appropriate support and caring that is needed and given. Of course, since we are women, we also continue to verbalize, analyze, theorize, and humorize.

Now I am wondering if the reverse could happen. Could this begin with a hug and progress to include the elements of "celebration"?