gratitude & hoopla: August 2005

gratitude & hoopla

"Nothing taken for granted; everything received with gratitude; everything passed on with grace." G. K. Chesterton


Thankful (2)

My sons. Two men of honor, no doubt about it. How have I deserved this, to be blessed with such sons! And both of them are leaving now. Heading out. Chasing the future down. It's time. . . .

In a few days Nate will be headed for Asheville, NC, following his dreams. Tim, to Montreal, following his. This is all good, but this is also hard. It's something to celebrate, and yet something also that makes me want to stop for just a moment, make time stand still for just a moment. Cry for just a moment.

Nate: your faith will get you through. We listened to an old song last night, Hard Times Come Again No More, but you and I both know it's not that way for us yet. There will be hard times again. Nevertheless, you go forth now in faith, trusting God. You will run this race in joy. May you always be able to tell the real from the counterfeit. May you go with God, continue with God, and arrive with God. You are an arrow from the quiver of the Lord.

Tim: you have a will to love. It's a hunger I see in you. It struggles for expression, and yet you will not let go. You have tasted of the better things, so you are willing to strive for them. You are blessed with perseverance, with vision, and, yes, with hunger. Know this: you will never be alone. God is with you, as I know you know. He will give you light in due season, and He will bring you through every trial. Love is your great strength. Never let go of that. Persist. You will love, and love will come to you. That's not simply my fond wish, it's my prophesy. Go with God.

I'm thankful for these boys. Supremely thankful. God has truly begun a good work in them, and I see that every day. They are wondrously made, and marvelous in my sight.


What's it all about?

So what's all this about? Does gratitude & hoopla have a mission statement? Is this a ministry? Why should anyone be interested in what I have to say?

Answers: 1) I don't really know yet. 2) No. 3) Kind of, I guess (or maybe not). 4) I don't know.

As I said in my closing post at Mr. Standfast, this is just me talking. Me. I'm gratified when people link up, listen, respond. I love it. But honestly, I'm not making any claim to wisdom, authority, anything. It's just me talking.

So what's it all about? What can you expect from me? Well, I read a lot, so I expect to share excerpts from these books in the hope that they might bless you as they have blessed me.

Also, I intend to give thanks to God here, a lot. The previous post, thanking God that my sister and her family had survived Katrina, will probably be a repeated motif. Thankfulness is a spiritual discipline that blesses its practitioner in a big way. It's cleansing. So I warn you, I'm going to practice this with fervent redundancy!

Oh, and by the way, it's personal. That's right, g&h is "all about me," sort of. I know that sounds incredibly self-serving, but hey, as I keep saying, this is just me talking. I'm going to talk about my stuff once in a while, simply because it can be healthy to do so. I'm not here to tilt at windmills of heresy, I'm not here to post rants, correct errors, hold forth in authoritative tones on politics, Scripture, truth, whatever. No, it's just me talking. Musing. Guessing. Thanking God. Sharing the good I find, and letting go of the rest.

There. That's what gratitude & hoopla is all about. God is good. God is strong. God is wise. And God is in control.

And I'm just so very glad about that.


Word is that my sister and her entire family are okay, having evacuated New Orleans ahead of the storm. Right now they're riding it out in Birmingham, AL. Thank you, Lord.


By Way of Explanation

Blogs are best begun on a whim, and should never be taken too seriously. For two years now I've been blogging over at Mr. Standfast, and it has been a rewarding experience. But in the course of the last few days I have begun to see that it's defintely time for a change. It is a new season in my life, in so many ways, and so time also for a new blog.

Why do I call it Gratitude & Hoopla? Again, whim. But no, more than that. God is showering his gifts on me, you see; has done, will do, and for me the only sensible response is, well, gratitude. Gratitude and hoopla! This has been brought home to me again and again lately. Joy, whimsy, to walk abroad "in a shower of all my days" (that's Dylan Thomas), to start the journey celebrating, because you know that's how it ends. This morning I read Psalm 149: "Sing to the Lord a new song." And a new blog! So be it.

Yesterday I heard a preacher say, "The party's on!" Yes, that's about right. The party's on. I'm no cockeyed optimist when it comes to this life, this world, but, well, I know the hope (the celebration) to which I've been called. The end, the destination, is a party. The joy then will be complete. Perfect. Not marred by sin, tears, dissipation. So . . . I'm already excited. If it looks and sounds like pure foolishness to you, oh well. I'm just letting you know, this is what I'm about. this is where I'm at. This is why it's called "Gratitude & Hoopla."

The subhead for Mr. Standfast was from G. K. Chesterton: "Nothing taken for granted; everything received with gratitude; everything passed on with grace." It's still my guiding principle here. And BTW, I should just add, all this is entirely because of Jesus. Jesus, the beginning middle and end, the all in all, the first and last, the anchor of my hope, the author of my story, and the host of the party.