Hope in a Broken World

I haven’t written about the VA Tech shooting this week. But that doesn’t mean it hasn’t been heavy on my heart and mind. The thought that comes to my mind over and over is that this world we live in is broken. It isn’t supposed to be this way. People aren’t supposed to treat one another badly. We aren’t supposed to make fun of one another. We are sure as hell not supposed to kill one another. We are supposed to honor and love one another. But we do… The world is broken.

Thank God for little reminders that life goes on. Click below to read more and see the pictures of the little gift God has left us…

In the artificial wreath on our front door is a very real nest.

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A Carolina wren has decided that her babies deserve to be born at the Anderson’s home.

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Is this totally cool or what?

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Somehow, the thought that life goes on encourages me. Mama wren is only concerned for her nest and her babies. She doesn’t give any thought to world events. Sounds nice to me.

Bell’s School

On one of our first dates Jeanie and I were driving around Charleston and I realized we were near where I went to nursery school (aka day care). I told Jeanie she was in for a surprise because I was going to show her some place that was part of my history. I stopped the car in front of a house that had been transformed into a day care with a fenced backyard playground. A hand painted sign out front said, “Bells Nursery School”. We called it Bell’s School. She looked at me as if to say, “you are kidding.” What she said was, “I went to daycare here too!”

Continue reading Bell’s School

What’s next?

For the last several months I have been focused on two events. My daughter, Erin’s wedding and the 10K bridge run. Now that these are past, I find myself asking again, “What’s next?” My “to do” list has grown and my “to be” list beckons. What’s a “to be” list? It’s a constant question nagging at me to know more of who I am. What makes me tick? Does my life matter? For many years since reading and re-reading the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, I have struggled with my Personal Mission Statement. Answering the question, “What am I here for?”

A tight group of my friends and I are exploring this together beginning with our values. Together we are wrestling with defining what it is we value in life. I find it difficult to narrow down and nail down what I value. There are so many things that I value in different ways. I think that there are different ways to approach this whole exercise in naming values. I can identify values by where I invest my scarce resources. My friend Mark (who writes a blog here) calls this revealed preference. We value what we value because… well, we just do. This is revealed by examining what we are already doing. In Matt 6, Jesus said, “…where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” That makes perfect sense to me, and it is a start, but it isn’t enough.

There’s a part of me that wants more than just whatever feels comfortable in the moment. This part of me realizes that I have tendencies to do what I don’t want to do. I also know that I can make choices that will get me to what I’m after in the long run (even though they are not comfortable). I know that I’m no good at fighting my urges alone. I need the power and Grace of God and the help of my friends. I know that God has made me the way He made me for a reason. As I learn more about that reason, it will help me know what I want to value and where I want to go. Ultimately, I want to live for Christ… and if you know me at all, you know that when I say that, I do not mean becoming more religious. I mean being the best damned1 Jim Anderson that I can be, infused with the Holy Spirit of God living in me.

I don’t fully understand it, but i know that God is calling me to be more me and more Him at the same time. One thing I am sure of… when I am fully me and God is fully Himself in me, it will look like no other person in history. We aren’t supposed to be identical. He gave us different gifts, strengths and talents for a reason. He loves variety!

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1Sorry mama. I know you don’t like bad language, but I needed to write that word. It wasn’t against you, it was for me.