May 16, 2022


Cypress Pond 12 11/04/2007 Oil Paint Rendered — Robeson County, North Carolina
We have to live with the life we have lived,
measured by the degree 
of sincerity and integrity
we brought to life in the way we lived.

By the degree of balance and harmony
we enabled.

By the amount of spirit, energy and vitality
we exhibited and enabled in the people around us.

By the softness of our step
the genuineness of our company,
and the quality of our presence.

Where we have been inhibited,
we get a mulligan
and can enjoy an eternity
of healing and recovery
in the best atmosphere for that
ever imagined.

And get to ask our abusers
every now and then
how it's going with them,

And, if we don't want to waste time
talking to them,
we can just laugh,
if we care to. 

I can't see me wanting to have
anything to do with mine.
Maybe after I've been there
about halfway through.



Dugger’s Creek Falls 01 05/22/2014 Oil Paint Rendered — Blue Ridge Parkway, Linville Falls, North Carolina
We die doing what we love.

Or, we die not doing what we love.

The difference is whether
we live doing what we love.

Doing what we love
will ask us to die 10,000 times 
in its service.

and sometimes

Those who don't do what they love
want no part of that,
of dying in its service,
figuratively or literally.

They have better things to do.

Doing what we love
asks hard things of us.

Asks us to grow up--
requires us to grow up--
grows us up--
in forcing us to decide
what is important
and to choose to do it
anyway, nevertheless, even so,
no matter what.

"That's asking too much!"
say those who turn and walk away
from the death they are being 
asked to die.

"I don't have time for that."
Say those on their way 
to passing a good time.
No matter what.

Jesus died doing what he loved.
He died for the sake of what he loved.
He sacrificed himself
for the service of what he loved,
and that was saying what needs to be said,
asking all of the questions
that beg to be asked,
and doing what needs to be done,
when, where, and how it needs to be done,
in each situation as it arises,
no matter what.

What we love asks hard things of us.
Asks us how much we love it,
time after time.

"I love playing the piano,"
say those who never practice.
Jesus would have practiced
when he didn't feel like it.


Sunflower on Black Oil Paint Rendered
What do you know/believe to be true of God
that you did not get from some other source,
including the Bible?

This is your own personal creed,
composed out of your own experience.

What do you have to say about God?

Here is a short list of what I have to say:

God doesn't know what's next.

God doesn't pick sides.

God doesn't have favorites.

There is no earning merit or favor with God.

God doesn't care who wins.

God dances with any partner.

God has a twisted sense of humor.

God loves a good joke.

God has no use for parades and fire works
and loud organ music.

God wants badly for us 
to be the best person we can be,
doing what needs to be done
the way only we can do it,
when and where it needs to be done,
spontaneously out of our own heart,
true to ourselves and our own virtues--
without thinking about it,
and certainly not because 
we think it should be done,
in each situation as it arises.

Published by jimwdollar

I'm retired, and still finding my way--but now, I don't have to pretend that I know what I'm doing. I retired after 40.5 years as a minister in the Presbyterian Church USA, serving churches in Louisiana, Mississippi and North Carolina. I graduated from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, in Austin, Texas, and Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana. My wife, Judy, and I have three daughters and five granddaughters within about twenty minutes from where we live--and are enjoying our retirement as much as we have ever enjoyed anything.

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