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

 

 

School is in session.

Today was all about school.

school

On Tuesdays and Thursdays, both my wife and I teach.

She is a college professor and I teach high school science.

My children, 9th grade and 6th grade, also had homework.

Our whole family was involved in learning today.

All except our dog, Murray, that is.

back-to-dog-school

Will it ever end?

No, I don’t think so.

Sure, school will end for my kids (someday). Maybe I won’t teach forever.

But there will always be learning taking place.

God is so vast that I could spend many lifetimes learning about Him and His creation.

Whether you are officially a student or not, it does not matter.

Keep learning! You won’t regret it.

P.S. Getting an education from God is free! What a deal!

Just a little ember

If you have read my posts this month closely, you will realize that I did not post every day in October like I said I would.

Yesterday, Sunday, was a long day and I was tired. So I went to bed instead of writing.

Now, however, I have an illustration that spoke volumes to me.

Once a month, we have a church small group that meets at our house. There is food. We generally laugh. Something from the Bible is discussed. It makes for a really enjoyable time with fellow followers of Jesus. We encourage one another.

fellowship

It was decided that we meet outside. So I pulled out the small, round portable fire pit and got a fire started. It was both for warmth and ambiance.

At 9:00ish, after we had cleaned up and everyone went home, I needed to deal with the fire.

In our firepit (think small depression in the lawn with no grass growing), there were a large number of old deck boards. We replaced our deck this summer.

I poured out the embers from the portable firepit onto the pile of used boards that were already stacked in the firepit.

Then I went in and watched some TV with my wife.

About 10:00, I was brushing my teeth and decided I had better check on the fire. There was a full-blown bonfire raging in my backyard! So cool!!! The embers had started the boards on fire without any assistance.

bonfire

But it was bedtime so I needed to put it out. Bummer, it was a great fire!

With the hose in hand, I doused the fire to the point where I thought it was too wet for even a spark to burn.

Guess what? Yep, you guessed it. When I took my dog out for his morning poop and pee at 5:30, the fire pit was empty! Nothing but ashes!

Apparently, the fire did start up again. It must have burned through the night. The pile of ash was still warm that many hours later!


All God needs is an ember. In my opinion, our availability is the ember that God can use to start a fire.

The world is broken and used up (like the old deck boards). Our life can be the spark that is used to set people ablaze for God.

If you feel dried up and spent, remember this:

Wood that is dry and empty is the quickest to start on fire.

Be available to God.

He just may start a fire in you or because of you.

Burn baby burn!!!

wood embers burning