About 8.3%

8.3%. That means there is 91.7% of something else.

Can you guess what the 8.3% represents?

Hint: December (or any other month)

Scratching-Head

If you have not guessed it by now…well…

Each month consists of approximately 8.3% of the entire year.

12 months at 8.3% each equals 1 year!


Just for the number’s sake, let’s say a person celebrates Christmas only in the month of December.

This would include hanging decorations and putting lights on a tree. Singing songs (or extra radio listening) about Christmas and wrapping presents.

Perhaps you go to Christmas cookie exchanges. My wife is headed to one tonight. I look forward to all the good stuff coming back home with her!

However one celebrates this holiday, it can only be done in December.

That means that 91.7% of the year is not spent thinking about (or at least celebrating) Christmas.

sad face

Don’t worry. You can think about Christmas all year round!

But for this post, I am saying that people only celebrate Christmas 8.3% of the year!

Put a pin in the 8.3% scenario as I pose another question.

What is the meaning of Christmas?

Why do we fill our homes, yards, and schedules with all things Christmas?

Why do we even have this holiday in the first place?

That was actually three questions.

Now let’s tie these two threads together.

First, answer the questions in bold type.

Now, take that answer and apply the 8.3% principle.

Is (insert answer to the questions here) deserving of 8.3%?

Or, is 8.3% enough time devoted to (insert answer to the questions here)?

Beautiful business woman with idea light bulb above hand isolate

 

Depending on your answer, you might find that you should be spending more or less time celebrating Christmas.

Whatever conclusions you made while reading this post, they are yours. Own them.

Have a great week.

Next post: a unique perspective from a white upside-down tree.

Using a chalkboard will get your hands dusty.

At my school, we use chalkboards. You heard me correctly. Chalkboards.

Every day I teach, I need to constantly wash my hands and use hand lotion due to the excessive dust from the chalk!

chalkboard

Let me fill in the context.

I teach various science classes at a private Christian academy. We meet on the second floor of an old catholic church. The church is more than 100 years old. They still hold services on Sunday but during the week, there are some 45 students filling the halls with chatter as they rush to and fro through the halls. Here is a picture of the church.

annuciation catholic

The building is old therefore the stuff in the rooms tends to be old as well.

So I use a chalkboard. A dry erase board would be nice.

Now don’t get me wrong here. We have wi-fi in school. I use a computer to show various videos. My two high school classes are intertwined with Google classroom.

It makes for a nice blend of new and shiny versus old and dull.

One of my favorite parts of my day (this sounds really trivial as I type…) is when I clean the board.

A damp cloth is all it takes. The eraser gets most of the lines but the wet rag will make the board look new again. A clean luster shines off the black slate.

cleaning a chalkboard


I am looking forward to 2020. It will be a chance to start new again. Just like that old chalkboard that has seen thousands of chalk lines, there have been thousands of marks in my life.

These marks can be mistakes I have made.

People I have met.

Choices I fretted about.

Places I have visited.

Food I have eaten.

And not all of them are worth remembering.

I smile as I look back on 2019. Most of it is positive or good. But there is always room to improve.

I know that I am forgiven and that God has placed me in His hand.

Of this, I am sure.

I just wish that some of the junk would be washed away.

That is why I like new and fresh starts. The junk seems to be washed away.

May these last few weeks of the year be a great time to reflect on God’s faithfulness.

Remember His goodness.

Re-live His blessings.

And look forward to many more things in 2020!

Teaser: In January, I am blogging about some Old Testament characters. But until then, for the rest of December, I will be looking at Christmas from a rather untraditional and unexpected point-of-view. I hope you join me.

tree, presents, stockings

 

 

Could or should?

2016 is almost finished. I would think that most people would reflect and look back on what the year has been for them. Not a bad thing to do.

Unless you stay there. Unless you get stuck wishing you should have done things differently. The mud of the past is very sticky.

“I could have given more this year.”

“I could have read more books.”

“I could have sent more thank you notes.”

“I could have…”

The past is past and there is no changing it.

I hear a song recently. The title is All is Well. There is link to the video as well after the lyrics. Here are the lyrics:

 
All is well all is well 
Angels and men rejoice 
For tonight darkness fell 
Into the dawn of love’s light 
Sing A-le 
Sing Alleluia 

All is well all is well
Let there be peace on earth 
Christ is come go and tell 
That He is in the manger 
Sing A-le 
Sing Alleluia 

All is well all is well 
Lift up your voice and sing 
Born is now Emmanuel 
Born is our Lord and Savior 
Sing Alleluia 
Sing Alleluia 
All is well

Christ has come to earth as a baby. All is well.

He then lived, died, and was resurrected. All is well.

jesus-will-be-right-back

Sorry the image is blurry. This picture is of my page-a-day calendar. The white square in the middle says “Jesus will be coming back soon.”

And then all will be well again.

Don’t waste time think about what could have been. Instead, think about what you should be doing for 2017.

2017 is full of great things! God is good like that.

Happy New Year!

Come back next week for the start of a new series; Alphabet Soup.

 

A stone and it’s waves

Christmas time…celebrating a birth. The Christ child laid in a manger. The star showing the way. We all know the story, right? Hang on a minute and we will get to that very story.

But first…

Two weeks ago, I had a conversation with a good friend. It seems that every time we talk, something good comes from it. Thanks Nick!

One of the take-aways I had from the conversation was about influence.

We all have influence in our lives. Like a shadow covering the edge of the light, we don’t always see the influence we have on people. Why is that? Does God hide the influence so that we don’t see our total impact on people? Not really sure.

Imagine a stone. Now throw that stone into the water. What happens?

ripples

We have all seen it. The stone creates waves. Those waves are like influence. 

Some thoughts of mine regarding the stone and the waves:

  1. The waves all originate at the place where the stone entered the water.
  2. The waves are uniform in size and shape going out from the stone.
  3. The waves will continue until they hit the land.
  4. The stone, after creating the waves, sinks.
  5. The waves, once began, cannot be stopped, only redirected.
  6. Bigger stones make bigger waves.

Let’s bring this together now.

We are the stone. At least that is the way I feel that God designed us. We were made to splash! Waves of influence are the destiny to which we have been called. 

Will I let God toss me? Once I make that decision, God pulls back His mighty arm and lets go! Can you see Him throwing rocks?

Now that I have been thrown by God, my life is not my own. See Galatians 2:20.

Here is the catch, I am meant to sink. Rocks do not float.

I don’t mean sink as in fail. What I mean is that God uses a rock to create waves.

Waves equal influence.

Okay, back to the Christmas story. I want to recall a few “rocks” of historical note.

Mary.

Joseph.

The shepherds.

The Magi.

King Herod.

Baby Jesus.

If you look in the waters of our history, you can still see waves radiating outward from these rocks. 

God is using the influence of these rocks to impact you and me.

And it is about time we realize that we too, are making waves.

The choice is yours and mine to make. Let God throw you today!

Are you this one?

rock

Or this one?

ripples

 

 

 

Page 715

Page 715 in my bible only has three words on it. It is blank on the back.

All it says is “The New Testament”. Here are some pics.

Page 714 ends with the last verses of Malachi. Page 718 starts with Matthew.

Think about the bible for a moment…

It covers thousands of years of history. There are many genres and writing styles used by 40 some authors. Can you count all of the people of which the bible speaks?

But yet, in all of that amazing stuff there is a period of silence. Page 715 

That single page represents silence. History tells us that the silence between Malachi and Matthew is 400 years. 400 years of nothing.

No prophets. No judges. No stories. No wars. Just…nothing.

Where was God?

Is your life stuck on page 715? Do you feel like God is not there? No voice? Nothing happening? There is silence and it is deafening.

But, (and there is always a But), God. Yep, He is still there. 

Let’s jump to page 867 in my bible to Galatians 4:4. This is my favorite Christmas verse.

Here is the first half of the verse in various translations:

New International Version
But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son,

New Living Translation
But when the right time came, God sent his Son,

Berean Study Bible
But when the time had fully come, God sent His Son, 

New American Standard Bible 
But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, 

King James Bible
But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son,

Holman Christian Standard Bible
When the time came to completion, God sent His Son, 

International Standard Version
But when the appropriate time had come, God sent his Son, 

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
But when the end of time arrived, God sent his Son

GOD’S WORD® Translation
But when the right time came, God sent his Son [into the world]. 

 

After 400 years, God sent His son.

From silence came the Word.

From nothing came a Baby.

From darkness came the Light.

my-bible-3

 

Have hope this season. Christ is alive and well. You don’t need to live on page 715.

So turn the page and keep reading! God has great things for you this December!

Stay tuned next week for another Christmas post.

Have a fantastic day and Merry Christmas!