Friday, January 01, 2010


The title certainly applies to the Grace of God but my application is to the more mundane--yet still amazing to me--things about my life in recent days and now the beginning of the new year.

It's truly amazing to me to think of our trip to Florida--causing us to miss the Oklahoma snow storm--the week of Christmas. The amazing part was we called, texted, and communicated with our kids multiple times as we drove a thousand miles to our destination which was Panama City Beach Florida. Add to that the fact that Mary read some out loud from a book she had previously down-loaded in sixty seconds on to her Kindle as we traveled seventy miles an hour down an Interstate highway. The book was "Re-imagining the Church" by Frank Viola and is one of a possible five thousand her Kindle will hold. That's my entire library I would think. To date she has some hundred or so on hers. Truly amazing.

Come to think of it to be locked in a car with another person for a thousand miles and come out on the other end having shared, laughed, talked and genuinely enjoyed the company of the other person is and of itself nothing short of amazing. But after being married for fifty years to your best friend on earth and it be someone who is intelligent, articulate, beautiful, independent and someone you just plain love being around--while amazing--doesn't surprise me at all.

Then to share several days with a couple you've pastored and known for several years--who serves on the Board of Directors of your ministry and are now wintering in Florida at an exclusive RV Resort which was only three blocks from the wonderful motel where we stayed--with whom you laugh, play cards, dominos, enjoy steaks and wine, mexican food, pizza, and a ton of other junk food and leave already wanting to do it again, you tend to see it as truly amazing.

That brings me to a very special amazing thing. We Burlesons historically have all come together as a family for Christmas and the next year Thanksgiving and then Christmas again. Alternating-- you get the picture. We call it our noisy or our quiet Thanksgiving or Christmas. You can guess which is which.

This year was to be our noisy Christmas. But circumstances with the site Mary and I had rented for the past twenty years didn't work. What to do? Mary and I decided--after many e-mails with all--to use the week before leaving for Florida to get together with each family separately for a special time and then the two of us enjoy a trip to Florida.

The amazing part? While all hated to see the change necessary, all bought into it without hesitation and without negative reactions though it WAS a major change for us all. As Mary and I thought and talked about it all, we saw afresh that family is more than a get-together and those times can come and go but genuine love binds relationships with no strings attached. We knew this was where we and the kids were but to see it again practiced was special. Those kids are truly amazing. I know all moms and dads think their kids are the best but ours really are. ;)

As I read what I just wrote I realized that when I sometimes read such things I usually think--I'm rather cynical you know--that the writer may be trying to write what they WISH were so rather than what IS so. I know which is true of my writing as do our kids and I can thankfully leave it there.

Finally, I will be having my third surgery in thirteen months next Tuesday [January 5th] as my body is being repaired along the way while it continues to fall apart. Age does that. Mary and I have lost several family members and friends the past couple of years as she just wrote on her blog--I know the word "lost" upsets some Christians because we know where they are but for me there's still a lost ability to connect relationally even with the knowledge of our coming reunion--and we are more aware than ever that to have come to 2010 is an amazing thing.

Whatever this year holds it certainly is bringing us closer to the time when He returns or we join Him there. Whichever--it's amazing to consider the journey of Grace which is ours.


Paul B.


Becky Dietz said...

I agree. Life is amazing. As I thought over the past decade last night--4 kids getting married, 7 grandchildren born--I was amazed as well.

Aussie John said...


Great to see those fingers talking again. You've been missed by this Aussie.

Yep! Life is amazing, the "ups" and the "downs",all amazing, but what comfort in having the certainty that our great God is the one who wrote the tune and conducts the orchestra!

Are you and I not abundantly blessed with, and by, the families He has given us?.

Paul Burleson said...


To think of you and Andy having GRANDCHILDREN is a bit disconcerting for the Burlesons. You're WAY too young.

Aussie J,

Your recent post was something of a catalyst that got me thinking about the amazing part of being family.

Ken said...

Your Christmas sounds exciting. We met all of our children and my Mother at her house in Valdosta, GA. Like you, we had a wonderful time.
How is the hand?
Hope your new year is great!
Ken Colson

Anonymous said...

I hope your surgery went well and you are healing nicely!

When you have a moment, will you send me an email? I have a question for you that I would like to ask.

Molly (from Adventures in Mercy)

Paul Burleson said...


I've tried a couple of different ways to get my e-mail to you. I hope it worked. Let me know. My ability on the computer is limited and it kept coming back as undeliverable.

Good to hear from you.