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3 Thoughts 1.17.2022

Sometimes we are in a season of calm. Other times, not so much. It’s been a bit hectic here… Back in October we had to get our rental house ready for new tenants or AirBnB. We ended up going with AirBnB. Although it required additional time and money to furnish it and get it ready for guests, it has been a really good experience so far. As soon as t­­hat was “done”, it was time to prepare for the iNautilus Convoy (leadership seminar I host). I ran that for a week early December. Then, I needed complete all of the steps VU needed to get me into their system as a professor. Right as I was finally able to begin building my courses, I got COVID. In addition to reading 6 books in preparation for the classes,  there was holiday prep. Of course we wanted to enjoy some time with family for Christmas, so we did as much as we could amidst COVID. Then New Years. Then get the courses ready to begin teaching. Finally, get my chapter for the new book completed by the Jan 15th deadline. And now here we are.

The first day of the spring semester was last week and it went really well. The new book should be out relatively soon. Needless to say, with all of that, my blog has been neglected. In the spirit of giving the blog some much-needed attention, here are my 3 Thoughts for today:

1. Nothing New. There is nothing new under the sun. You/I/We cannot create anything new. Everything is derivitive. While that may sound bleak or pessimistic, that’s not where I going with this. Rather, it’s the idea that everything is built on the ideas of others. As creative as we think we are, we never really create anything. Only God has spoken the universe into existence from nothing. The most beautiful painting of a never-before-seen landscape is still not creation. There are familiarities… mountains, birds, trees. The artist is simply combining the known in a different way. Even an abstract piece of art with nothing recognizable is built upon materials. The paints, canvas, brushes, and even the colors are not of her creation. She is using them in a fresh or unique combination, but that is not true creation. Rather than lament this or attempt to argue, I suggest we simply embrace it. Although we cannot create like God, he did make us creative in the sense that we can weave the raw materials, resources, prior inventions into a combination that at least appears to be “new”. There is a really good video on Youtube entitled, “Steal Like An Artist,” that helps elaborate on this idea (and it was the source for my thought today.)

2. Saltwater. Here is an excerpt from my chapter of Cracking The Rich Code (to be released soon)

The sea is comprised of saltwater. Salt + Water. Taken individually, these two substances have almost nothing in common. They are seemingly unrelated. Water is usually a liquid compound of hydrogen and oxygen. It is a building block of life and often symbolizes renewal and transformation. Salt, on the other hand, is usually a solid form of a sodium and chlorine compound (both of which are toxic and dangerous when isolated). Salt is also necessary for life/health. However, when salt is highly concentrated it actually prevents life which is why it is used to preserve meats. Salt typically symbolizes purification and preservation.

Obviously, these substances are quite different, but when they are combined, something remarkable happens. The sea is teeming with life. Saltwater is necessary for life on this planet. It has a lower freezing point and higher density than water alone. In addition, saltwater is the key ingredient to electrolyte drinks which help replenish minerals needed by the body after physical activity. These electrolytes/minerals ionize bodily fluids. One of the reasons they are called “electrolytes” is that they promote conduction of electricity, and our nervous system operates on electricity. “Pure” or de-ionized water is an insulator; it does not conduct electricity. The ions that allow electricity to flow through water (and our bodies) come from minerals like salt. Oddly enough, salt is also an insulator. Yet when salt and water are combined, two insulators suddenly become an excellent conductor.

While that may be more than you have ever really wanted to think about saltwater, there is a point here. Combination of components often results in radical change.

3. God Loves You. Period. I wanted to leave it at that, but I felt the need to elaborate. He loves every single person. It does not matter what you have done, the thoughts you have, or how worthy you (don’t) feel. God loves you anyway. Even if what you have done is “terrible”, God loves you. What if you don’t believe in God? He still loves you. There is nothing you can do, say, or think that will make God love you any less. There is nothing you can do, say, or think that will make God love you any more. God loves you so much that he sent his only son to live the life of a human, to experience love and loss, to feel joy and pain, and to live a perfect life. By living perfectly, Jesus did what we could not. In all of humanity, he was the only person who did not deserve death and punishment. Yet he was tortured and killed, and his death (because it was undeserved) paid our debt. All the wrongdoings of all people of all time were placed on Jesus, and he died, voluntarily, so that our relationship with God could be restored. That’s how much God loves you. Period.