November 22, 2012

This city, Lord, it is yours.

photo courtesy of Geof Crowl
There is no denying that right now Detroit is in a bad place.  There is destruction and devastation everywhere you look, and the people are hurting.  I have never seen a city in such pain before, and it breaks my heart.  However, on Thanksgiving Day, as I lift up the needs of Detroit before the Lord, He has reminded me of his faithfulness, and prompted me to share this with everyone, in spite of the dire circumstances:
Habakkuk 3:17-18 
Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,

though the olive crop fails
    and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
    and no cattle in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
    I will be joyful in God my savior.

Knowing that it might not get any better for a long time does not change the fact that we can be thankful for so much.  In the midst of pain, we have life.  In the depths of despair, we have hope that these momentary afflictions create a backdrop for God's promise of a hope and a future.

November 19, 2012

Forced Creativity

Do you believe that you have the ability to do excellent work or to create beautiful art?
Someone once asked Somerset Maughham if he wrote on a schedule or only when struck by inspiration. "I write only when inspiration strikes," he replied. "Fortunately it strikes every morning at nine o'clock sharp.” - The War of Art
This is the consistency and the persistence that excellence demands from all of us.  To find yourself washed up on the shores of brilliance requires a daily dedication to the muse. Only after you have done the work, will you reap the rewards.

I don't mind making this personal.  I play the guitar as well today as I did when I was 16.  I speak Spanish today as well as I did when I was 12.  My endurance in running, my accuracy with a gun, and my maximum bench-press are all identical to where they were last year, 5 years ago, maybe even 10 years ago.

Pick the thing you always wished you excelled at, and then start.