Peace in the Middle of the Storm by Jeff Tacklind

These past few weeks have felt oddly serene.  There is a calm in my soul, but not the kind that comes from a lessening or diminishing of conflict or chaos.  Just the opposite, really.  The storm clouds in life have only seemed to loom more ominous on the horizon.  Change is coming.  I can feel it.

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Beyond the Veil by Jeff Tacklind

I’m still buzzing from the black hole photo that was released last week.  Science has made such amazing strides to look forward and backward into our origins and now, into the center of mass and gravity so enormous that time itself becomes irrelevant.  Isn’t that so bizarre!  At the center of a black hole, time is infinite.  We are getting a glimpse of a reality so beyond our comprehension.

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Asking Questions by Jeff Tacklind

Time for a confession…

There is a feeling of uncomfortable dissonance that occurs inside of me when I’m weighing a new idea.  A twinge of guilt, like I’m breaking an unspoken rule.  I hear this voice in my head that says, “good kids simply accept the answers they are given and don’t ask why.”  I’m not sure where I learned that, but it somehow stuck.  All I knew, growing up, was that, for me, the questions couldn’t be helped.  I couldn’t just nod and move on.  I wanted to know where the idea came from, why it was there, and what were the limits of its virtue. 

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Confidence by Jeff Tacklind

If I could level up any one attribute of mine, it would be confidence.  I’m not sure why, but it feels like the low roll on my character sheet. Please forgive me for reverting for a moment to my childhood D&D days, but the rest of my attributes… strength, charisma, wisdom…all of these get a fairly decent number.  But confidence is way down there at the bottom. Like an Achilles heel.  And it doesn’t seem to improve over time.  

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The Fullness of Time by Jeff Tacklind

We’re in the afterglow of Christmas morning, here at the Tacklind home.  There’s a fire, slowing dying, in the fireplace. Wrapping paper is still strewn everywhere.  There are plates stacked in the sink, still sticky with leftover cinnamon roll icing. In the next room I can hear the pleasant staccato of Gabe’s drumming on his new drum pad.  Patty is asleep on the couch, enjoying a much deserved, midday nap. New sweaters and socks are worn by all.

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Savoring Joy by Jeff Tacklind

Christmas is almost here! Christmas Eve is a week away and for my kids, it can’t get here soon enough.  This season, for them, is about a building anticipation.  The joy steadily increases as we get closer and closer to the 25th of December.  Candlelight services and carols mean we’re almost there.  They can’t wait!

 But for me, it is just the opposite.  I want it to slow down.  I want to savor these last few moments.  To linger in the beauty of this season.  To relish this moment for the wonderful gift that it is.

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You Have Everything You Need by Jeff Tacklind

There is a principle in mathematics known as the Copernican principle which flies right in the face of modern values.  The general premise is that things that have been around for a long time are the ones that will endure the test of time.  And conversely, the more recent things will soon be gone.  It tells us that the exceptions are fleeting and so rudely reminds us that nobody is special.

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The Gift of Waiting by Jeff Tacklind

One of my favorite childhood memories at Christmas time was waiting for the holiday specials to air on television.  We’d read the TV guide beforehand to figure out what night Charlie Brown Christmas was going to be on, and then make sure we were ready with a huge bowl of popcorn for that wonderfully nostalgic moment when the revolving word “special” would appear and you’d know the wait was over.  The anticipation was suddenly so worth it.

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Day 40 by Jeff Tacklind

I told Mia today that I feel like I’m right in the midst of finals.  It was been such a full week!  And tomorrow it all culminates with an Easter message followed by an egg hunt with my sweet little nephews in the front yard.  I look forward to the feeling of completion.  Not because I want to get through this.  I look forward to the deep satisfaction comes in the moments of rest after having run further than you thought possible.

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Just Enough: Day 38 by Jeff Tacklind

I had a nightmare last night.  I was sitting in the front of the church on Easter Sunday, realizing that I had nothing prepared for the sermon.  I began to frantically put together my ideas for my talk, but as I scrolled through my phone, trying to look up Bible verses that I could teach on, I wasn’t getting any cell reception.  My browser kept loading half way and getting stuck.   And it wasn’t one of those nice, short dreams.  It went on and on.  I actually got up to preach and found myself winging it.  It wasn’t a terrible sermon, but the feeling was.  I hate feeling unprepared.

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Calamity: Day 37 by Jeff Tacklind

I always dread answering a call from Patty minutes after she’s left the house.  I always fear the worst.  Most of the time she just forgot something…a grocery list or something like that, and I can just text her a picture of it.  But lurking in the back of my mind is always the fear that she’s been in an accident.

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The Gift of Marriage: Day 35 by Jeff Tacklind

It is wedding season.  Yesterday I did a premarital counseling session after church for one of my favorite couples.  This Saturday I’m doing a wedding for two incredible friends from my church.  And tonight I did a vow renewal for Patty’s cousin… two of our dearest friends.  And I am always so honored to get to be a part of such a sacred moment in two people’s lives.

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Palm Sunday: Day 34 by Jeff Tacklind

There is an spiritual exercise that I have led several times that is called visio divina, or divine seeing.  Essentially, it is the incorporation art and prayer.  There is something truly powerful in the way that art draws us further and further in, layer after layer, as we patiently sit and listen with our eyes.  Some of the most powerful moments of my experiencing God’s voice have come when sitting before a beautiful piece of artwork.

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I Presently Struggle With _______: Day 33 by Jeff Tacklind

Today I do pullups.  I’ve been doing P90X again and this is one of my dreaded days…legs and back.  Because pullups are hard, man.  Tony Horton goes around and asks each member of his team how many they are going to do in that set, and I’m always humiliated.  They throw out numbers that shame my own…22, 16, even 12.  And then there’s me…4!

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Good Tired: Day 32 by Jeff Tacklind

I'm always exhausted by the end of Thursday. Here it is, almost 4 o’clock, and this is the first actual pause in my day.  It has literally been one meeting after the next.  Since 6:30 this morning.  And it doesn’t end until after the elder board meeting tonight at 9, and that’s if I’m lucky.  Probably more like 10ish. 

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Abundance: Day 31 by Jeff Tacklind

There is a brand of ink for fountain pens called Noodler’s Ink that is my very favorite.  It writes so smooth and dries quickly.  It comes in every color you can imagine, but I always just choose black.  And one of my favorite things about this company isn’t just the ink quality, but the fact that the bottle is filled all the way to the very top.  Which might not seem like a big deal, but it is striking to me every time I open a new bottle.  All the way to the brim!  Who does that?

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Weakness: Day 30 by Jeff Tacklind

One of my favorite personality tests is the Clifton Strengths Finder.   The test identifies your top five strengths and then categorizes each of them into one of four quadrants of leadership style.  My top five are ideation, strategic, intellection, learner, and input.  All five of them, rather uniquely, fit into the strategic thinking category of leadership.  No wonder I enjoyed that Think Tank so much!  Ideas and learning are like candy for me.  Intellectual discussions are better than Disneyland.

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