Paradox, or Balance?

Ashley O'Rear

Ashley O’Rear

Sometimes life defies explanation.

How can a heart be filled with joy and sorrow at the same time?

How can twelve years seem like an eternity, but wasn’t it just yesterday?

How can a simple photograph bring tears to a smiling face?

How can unfathomable blessing give rise to unconquerable pain?

Lessons from The In-Between


I was blessed last weekend to attend the Nashville book launch for Jeff Goins’ new book, The In-Between. Jeff said there are three lessons that he hopes readers will take away from the book.

Slow Down

Kyla Roma

Kyla Roma

This week I expanded my blog universe with the discovery of a couple of fellow bloggers whose writing style I absolutely love. One of them is Kyla Roma (pictured at right). In her own words, Kyla is “a twenty four year old girl living in the Canadian Prairies under the biggest sky I’ve ever seen. I’m a black tea aficionado, crafty lady, vegetarian, thrift shopping addict, puppy mama and wife. I’m a homebody, a voracious reader and am deeply silly.”

I came across Kyla’s blog on January 5, and was impressed with the one resolution she made for the year 2010.

Moral Courage (Part 2)

(cc) Walt Stoneburner - Flickr

(cc) Walt Stoneburner - Flickr

In “Moral Courage (Part 1)“, we looked extensively at the meaning and origins of morals. Morality, in the external sense, is the standard of right and wrong as established ultimately by God and revealed in His word. My own personal moral code is shaped as I decide whether or not, and to what extent, I will follow His standards. And that’s where courage comes into play.

Moral Courage (Part 1)

(cc) Walt Stoneburner - Flickr

(cc) Walt Stoneburner - Flickr

What do you think of when you hear the words “moral courage”?

Webster defines “morals” as: “moral practices or teachings; modes of conduct; ethics”. [1]

“Ethics” is defined as: “the discipline dealing with what is good and bad and with moral duty and obligation; a set of moral principles; a theory or system of moral values; the principles of conduct governing an individual or a group; a guiding philosophy; a set of moral issues or aspects (as rightness)”. [2]

So your morals can be defined as “what you believe about what is right and what is wrong, what is good and what is bad, what your moral duties and obligations are, and how you should conduct yourself”.

Sorrow and Joy

Joy and Sorrow

(cc) George Miller – Flickr

[PART 11 OF 12]

As Solomon chronicles his quest for meaning and purpose in his life, he makes an interesting observation regarding sorrow and joy.

“It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of every man; the living should take this to heart. Sorrow is better than laughter, because a sad face is good for the heart. The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning, but the heart of fools is in the house of pleasure. It is better to heed a wise man’s rebuke than to listen to the song of fools. Like the crackling of thorns under the pot, so is the laughter of fools. This too is meaningless.”
(Ecclesiastes 7:2-6)

Huh? Sorrow is better than laughter? That doesn’t make sense! A sad face is good for the heart? Doesn’t that contradict Proverbs 17:22?

“A cheerful heart is good medicine,
but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”
(Proverbs 17:22, which, by the way, was also written by Solomon)

Tolerance or Intolerance?

IntoleranceTolerance has become the Great Religion of America.

Webster defines tolerance as:

“sympathy or indulgence for beliefs or practices differing from or conflicting with one’s own; the act of allowing something” [1].

In other words, if you don’t agree with me or don’t believe the same thing I believe, I will indulge or allow that difference and still accept you as being “OK”. I am not required to change my belief system in order to be tolerant. I simply allow for the fact that your belief system isn’t the same as mine.

I think that is a good definition of tolerance, and constitutes a healthy and realistic approach to life … most of the time. I also believe, however, that there is an appropriate time for intolerance. Let me give you a couple of examples in an attempt to help you understand what I mean.

Turn! Turn! Turn!

Turn! Turn! Turn![PART 9 OF 12]

The Byrds had a chart-topping song in October 1965 entitled, “Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There is a Season)“. The song was written and composed by Pete Seeger in the 1950’s, who released the song on his album “The Bitter and The Sweet” on Columbia Records in 1962. The lyrics were taken almost verbatim from Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, King James version. [Source: “Turn! Turn! Turn!“, from Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia]

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven:

a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.