Creation in Praise

Moon at my window—Oh, so bright!—like the light of an angel. You are guard of the night, watching and protecting all who sleep, there to let the animals see.

Sun on my face, fiery Chariot of Day! When you arrive, colors leap to life and the darkness hides. You make the world beautiful and take away coldness and fear.

Stars in my eyes…way up high, torches lit in the constant night. You are the cosmic sands of time scattered throughout the vast unknown. Quietly you come and go, endlessly.

LORD of incredible wonder, you made them all. You are God—how beautiful you must be! And your Heaven is surely greater than these, a paradise for the King and his children!

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The ‘Mike’: Update

Hello Readers. As you’ve noticed, I’ve not posted in a while and it’s due to new work, a long-awaited answer to prayer as some of you know. Yet there are trade-offs and one of them is less time doing what I absolutely enjoy: writing.

Just know that I have not abandoned The ‘Mike’. I still get here and to some of your blogs to look around; and I always reply to comments. I will create new posts when I can (and you can imagine all the topics and ideas waiting to be written!)

Missing your spiritual encouragement,

Michael

The ‘Mike’ Gets Versatile!

CC BY-NC, It's Great To Be Home, Flickr

CC BY-NC, It’s Great To Be Home, Flickr

Well it’s happened again: a fellow blogger has nominated The ‘Mike’ for an award! This time it’s the Versatile Blogger Award (VBA), and the nod comes from my friend at Journey With God. Thanks so much!

The VBA, according to its WordPress page, recognizes quality writing, unique content, and “the level of love displayed in the words.” Gee! That’s a high mark I hope I meet. At least one person thinks so!

Requirements are not unlike other awards: display the award; thank and link back to the nominator; nominate (15) other blogs; and offer seven interesting facts about oneself.

And the Nominees Are…

So, let me tell you what blogs I think meet the criteria. In no order…

Although these writers don’t have to accept the award, it’s my pleasure to introduce them to you. I hope you’ll enjoy these blogs as much as I do.

Now About Me

Seven interesting things…hmm. I’ll make it quick.

  1. I am very laid back.
  2. I think 80’s music is the best music ever.
  3. I am good at organizing and actually enjoy cleaning.
  4. I love any baked good—and I love baking them!
  5. I spend 10-times more time revising my blog posts than I do writing them.
  6. I think I would’ve made a great lawyer or musician in another life.
  7. I was probably closer to killing myself than I realized my first and only time skiing, but it was a blast!

The ‘Mike’ Gets a Liebster Award!

Liebster Award

“Thank you! You love me! You really love me!”

Okay, this isn’t the Oscars (or The Mask), but it is a nice recognition from a true pal. My buddy Stephen from the blog Faith Comes from Hearing recently nominated me for a Liebster Award, an internet-based blog award. I’ve always felt that the real honor of my blog is that anyone would read it at all and take what I say to heart. But real friendship is a plus, and folk expressing the love you offer back to you is special.

So thanks, Stephen. Although I cannot nominate him, you should really check out his blog. It’s a real shot in the arm of spiritual vaccine!

What Is Liebster?

Well that’s a good question because there’s nothing official about it. It’s purely an internet award, probably originating in Germany. (The German word liebste means “darling.”) It has generally been offered to great up-and-coming blogs with fewer than 3,000 followers, which has since dropped to 200—go figure. It seems that the purpose of the award is merely social and to attract new readership.

The rules have commonly been:

  • Accepting the award by posting the logo on your site, thanking and linking back to your nominator. One doesn’t have to participate, but what does it hurt?
  • Explaining the rules of the award
  • Answering a set of questions asked of you by your nominator
  • Nominating 5-10 blogs you wish to recognize, notifying them by commenting on their site and…
  • Interviewing your nominees with a set of 10 questions

Wadda Ya Know?

Since Stephen didn’t list a set of questions for me to answer, I will respond to the same ones his nominator asked of him.

What are you most passionate about? My faith. I grew up in church and with a deep reverence for God. I want to please the Lord, and I sincerely desire his ministry through my life.

What is your heart’s desire? To be a truly influential pastor one day. I don’t equate that with fame and modern-day tactics often witnessed. Instead, I hope to speak life-changing words that cause people to know Jesus, his great love and astounding glory.

Who is the most influential person in your life? My mother. My father passed away when I was four years-old. My mom had five children, ages 17 to 3, and she never remarried. Yet she kept our home running smoothly. We never lacked and always knew we were loved. She kept us in church and was a tough disciplinarian. She genuinely enjoyed us and still does.

What are two items on your bucket list? I have a moderate-size bucket list right now. One is to adopt a child. I’m nowhere near marriage or children, and I’d love my own kids. But there’s something special about remembering less-fortunate children and desiring them. It is the ultimate gift. The other is to surprise folk in grocery stores by purchasing their groceries.

How do you best handle heated situations? I’m a really coolheaded person, so it takes much (or the right button) to get me angry. I think skillful conversation is how I diffuse situations.

What is your favorite scripture? How has it helped you on your life’s journey? Joshua 1:8: “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success” (ESV).  It keeps the Word of God a priority in my life. If I’ll build my life on the Word, I cannot go wrong.

What do you think are the three qualities of building and maintaining quality friendships? Acceptance, open communication, and fellowship.

What was your most memorable moment in life? There are many things I could say, but the most memorable for me remains my six wonderful years at Oral Roberts University…great friendships, personal growth, and experiences.

What is your favorite book or author and why? I’ve read very many books; it’s difficult to pick a favorite. But I do love the (Christian) writings of C.S. Lewis and Frederick Buechner. A non-Christian standout is Jared Diamond’s Guns, Germs, and Steel, a Pulitzer-winning, geo-historical explanation for the rise of civilization. And let’s not forget the pertinent food works of Michael Pollan.

If you could go anywhere in the world—no attention to cost—where would it be and why? Well I’ve taken my dream trip (France) and I’ve lived in Japan. I’d love to see New Zealand or Iceland next. I’m pretty adventurous.

The Nominees: Paying It Forward

Well I’d like to present five sites that I read regularly; I hope that you’ll check them out, too. In no order, I nominate these blogs for a Liebster Award:

Nominees, thanks for all the inspiration, hope, and hilarity you give me. I hope you’ll accept the award and any additional traffic it brings you. Here are the questions I’d like for you to answer:

  1. What does writing do for you?
  2. What writer feeds your soul? Why?
  3. What is the most fabulous excursion you’ve taken?
  4. What post of yours means the most to you? Why?
  5. What about you will be most instrumental in God’s eternal plan for you, whatever that may be?
  6. What makes you cry?
  7. If your writing were discovered a thousand years from now, what would people learn about you, today’s world, and your interests?
  8. Talk about meeting your favorite Bible character (not Jesus).
  9. Describe your writing process for something that moves you deeply.
  10. Describe your perfect meal and ultimate dessert.