The Bucket List Is Nothing New!

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According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of a bucket list is, “a list of things that one has not done before, but wants to do before dying.” What comes to your mind when you hear bucket list?

For some people, that bucket list consists of travel to an exotic foreign country or the thrill of doing something crazy (to the rest of us) like skydiving or bungee jumping. Others have it in their hearts to self-publish a book including their devotions (this is on my bucket list), life stories, hobbies, or passions. The inspiration for bucket lists can seem endless!

My dear friend and fellow blogger Donna Cronk (www.donnacronk.com) has turned her bucket list of opening a bed and breakfast in her hometown into two novels: Sweetland of Liberty (2014) and That Sweet Spot (to be published this year.) We dream, talk, and even write about our bucket lists.

The idea of a bucket list is nothing new. Examine this passage from Luke in the Bible and you will recognize the feelings evoked by the desire and the fulfillment of a bucket list item. Luke 2:25-32: Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. Moved by the Holy Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God saying: “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all people, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.”

The Holy Spirit placed that overwhelming desire in Simeon’s heart to see the Lord’s Christ before he died. Simeon fulfilled his bucket list by being sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s nudging. Simeon showed up at the temple with expectancy. He embraced his bucket list and praised God for granting his heart’s deepest longing. We hear the joy in Simeon’s response, “You now dismiss your servant in peace.” Paraphrasing in other words, “My bucket list is completed. I can die in peace now.”

What desires has God placed in your heart? Are you listening for the Holy Spirit’s confirmation to realize that dream in God’s perfect timing? Are you open to the new experiences that God wants to bless you with?

God gives us the possibility to dream big. Bring your heart to God and let Him transform you with a bucket list that will thrill and fulfill you. Like Simeon, a personal experience with the Lord’s Christ is to be at the top of the list!

Luke 1:27

For nothing is impossible with God.

 

Luke 18:27

Jesus replied, “What is impossible with men is possible with God.”

 

Are You Swimsuit Ready?

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The perfectly toned woman with the perpetual optimistic personality is trying to get me pumped up. In between cardio kicks and hip hop dance moves, she reminds me that all my hard work will pay off. I will be swimsuit ready. I really don’t care about swimsuit ready. I wanted a new workout and this DVD was a freebie. Now every time I exercise, I hear her words of encouragement. I can look good in my swimsuit. Are you swimsuit ready? There is a more pressing question I need to address. Will I be Jesus Christ ready? Jesus is returning to earth. Will I be ready for his second coming? The answer involves more than time in my schedule for physical exertion. The answer requires honest reflection. Let’s see. How is my attitude towards the people God has placed in my life? Am I serving God wholeheartedly? Who am I purposely sharing the gospel with? Can people recognize Jesus in me? Salvation through Jesus is a free gift. Living out faith in Jesus and being prepared for Jesus, now that’s work. Hard work done through the Holy Spirit. Real work that demands sacrifice of self. Excuse me. I gotta go. I have work to do to be Jesus Christ ready. And maybe I’ll dig out that swimsuit too. What about you, are you Jesus Christ ready?

Luke 18:8b

However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?

 

1 Thessalonians 3:12-13

May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you. May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones.