Distillations

Distillations

I recently took part in a creative poetry exercise that helped me to better appreciate and approach both the writing and reading of poetry. In this creative process, I took two full pages of notes about observations, feelings, and comparisons and distilled the two pages into one tiny poem. There was something freeing about this process of going from more to less. Instead of explaining everything, I was forced to distill the essence of it and let it stand alone without…

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I’ve Already Made It (Pt. I)

I’ve Already Made It (Pt. I)

“Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it. For we also have had the gospel preached to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because those who heard did not combine it with faith. Now we who have believed enter that rest…” Hebrews 4:1-3 I have already “made it”. I get to live from…

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God Sees Everything, And That’s Good!

God Sees Everything, And That’s Good!

Usually when people say “God sees everything”, it’s in the context of God seeing all the bad stuff you do behind closed doors when you think no one else is looking. This thought often strikes fear into the hearts of whoever might hear it. We’ve done some pretty awful things that we wish no one would ever know about. As far as I know, God does see everything. And that’s only a bad thing if you don’t understand how He…

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Original Glory?

Original Glory?

“I daresay we’ve heard a bit about original sin, but not nearly enough about original glory, which comes before sin and is deeper to our nature.” – John Eldredge in “Waking the Dead” As a landscape architect, I’ve sometimes worked on restoration projects. A few years ago, I worked on restoring an old rundown industrial site along the river in Shanghai.  These types of projects are a lot of work. Knowing ahead of time how much time and effort goes into such…

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Am I Saved?

Am I Saved?

I thought freedom came through making enough money to do what I wanted when I wanted. I thought security and protection came through having enough money saved up in a bank or an insurance company. I thought my significance came from collecting and earning life’s trophies and climbing ladders higher than people around me. I thought love came through securing women’s affection and men’s approval. It was never enough. To others, it must’ve looked like I was doing a pretty good job. Sometimes…

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Standing Before the Authorities

Standing Before the Authorities

By way of contrast, I’ve noticed how much easier it is to obey the law in the US than it is in China. Especially when it comes to the workplace. In the US, the typical employee has all the taxes and social security taken right out of their paycheck automatically. As far as I can tell, it’s usually done in most workplaces as prescribed by the law of the governing authorities. It’s not something most employees have to make much of a conscious…

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