Friday Coffee with PJ
1. The other night, just before I was to lead our India 2013 team meeting, I thought I should check my passport to be sure that my Indian visa was current (on my second trip to India in 2008, I opted for a long term visa . . . but I could not remember if it was for five or ten years). I was glad to see the year 2018 listed as its expiration date. But then I thought I should take a look at my passport. I was pretty certain I had renewed it in 2006. But nope! I had renewed it in March of 2004. No problem, right? I will be traveling in November of this year and my passport doesn't expire until March 1, 2014. But then I recalled reading somewhere that if your passport expires within 6 months of any international travel, you must renew your passport before departing on your trip. Hmm. So I went to the State Department's passport website and read the following: "If possible, you should renew your passport approximately nine (9) months before it expires. Some countries require that your passport be valid at least six (6) months beyond the dates of your trip. Some airlines will not allow you to board if this requirement is not met." Sigh . . . one more thing to add to my never diminishing to do list! So yesterday I took care of it. I sure don't want to be left standing at the gate as my team departs for Mumbai!
As I thought about this ... I asked myself, "When is an expiration date not an expiration date?" I guess when it's on your passport! Of course, I understand why this is done. Countries and airlines want to be sure that if your trip somehow gets interrupted and you have to change return dates, that your passport will still be valid! So I get that! But there is ONE expiration date that is set - and that is the date that you and I will one day depart this life for the next! God has numbered our days (Psalm 139:16). So ... in the face of this reality - are YOU ready to meet God? If you have any question about that, please check out Two Ways to Live: The Choice We All Face.
2. I was struck by one particular verse that I ran across this week. The verse is Psalm 96:30 and it reads, "I will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify him with thanksgiving." In particular, it was the last half of the verse that got me thinking. We can magnify God as we give thanks! And of course, in magnifying God we are putting him on display for others to see! That really got to me. Because my default setting is not being thankful. My default setting is that of complaining (when I take the time to intentionally listen to myself, I find myself complaining far more than I thought possible!). So ... I have determined this week to begin each day with a time of thanksgiving to God. In addition, whenever I catch myself complaining, I immediately confess that to God and replace it with thanks! Will you join me in this effort? Let's stop complaining and start thanking. In the process, God gets magnified and we grow more satisfied!
And just so you know, I am VERY thankful that I checked my passport's expiration date when I did!
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