A New Ordinary Year

Once again, three days to go.  The sixteen soon will replace the fifteen.  As creatures living in the realm of time, we tend to sync the seconds, mark the minutes, and even halve the hours.  Depending on your perspective and/or personality, you view our shared time-focused habit as valuable or incessant.  Join me, whether you desire to break or feed that habit, in changing it for the OrdinaryAs we close out 2015, prepare yourself to use 2016, all of it, to live the Ordinary.  I find the profound, yet understated, words of the Apostle Paul quite helpful.
Stay calm; mind your own business; do your own job. You’ve heard all this from us before, but a reminder never hurts.
1 Thessalonians 4:11 (The Message)

Stay Calm
You are familiar with the original and altered versions of this image originating in the UK during World War II.
By all means, if you like, wear the shirt.  Live it as well.

Mind Your Own Business
As a father of three exceptional children (Check back next week for more detail on that.) and a student of the great Text, I often feel the urge to quote Jesus’ words to Peter.

Jesus said, “If I want him to live until I come again, what’s that to you? You—follow me.”
John 21:22 (The Message)

“What’s that to you,” the Lord says.  Peter received the kindly-yet-firmly-stated reprimand because he was more concerned with prying into John’s future than focusing on God’s plan for his own. 

Do Your Own Job
The following is key to living the Ordinary Life:  live your life; not someone else’s.  Examples to the negative abound.  The budding musician who hangs it up to pursue athletics.  The spouse who allows the dream to cloud, even kill, the reality; thus weakening his/her marriage.  The author who abandons her own style in an attempt to sound like another.

Last century’s novelist and Nobel Prize winner, Pearl Buck, suggested -

“Many people lose the small joys in the hope for the big happiness.”  (goodreads.com)

December 22, 2015

Three days to go!  On the 25th, my three children will wake and go see what “Santa” brought.  Not too early though.  Living in Alaska, my wife and I don’t worry about before-sunrise awakenings; the sun rises well after 10 a.m. 

Now that all three of my children are in the double digits, the whole of the Goodman Five knows that, in truth, Vonda Kay and I (mostly the former) purchased the jolly elf’s gifts and ate his cookies (mostly me).  Nevertheless the pretending continues for all of us.  It’s fun to play along with the tradition of Santa, his elves, and reindeer.

Christmas Day is not an Ordinary day in comparison to the other 364 for most people.  People talk of a red-nosed creature and flying sleighs, children rise earlier, families hang around the house in pajamas for extended periods of time, feasts replace rushed meals, and requests to say “Cheese” increase.

Often, another unOrdinary aspect of Christmas Day is seen in the way we relate to one another.  Grudges are dropped for a bit.  “Please pass” replaces “give me.”  Hugs, and even kisses, increase.  Giving feels better (at least as good) as receiving. 

As I confessed last week, I am a huge fan of the Ordinary things of life.  With that coupled with our Christmas observations, I urge you to join me in an adjustment. 

Let’s make Christmas Ordinary! 

That is to say, let’s treat (don’t wait for New Year’s resolutions) our family members, friends, and yes, even enemies, as we do on the day of the celebration of the birth of Christ Jesus.

So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.  Romans 12:1-2 (The Message)

Welcome to "The Ordinary Life"

Hello.  My name is Mark Goodman and I am a fan of ordinary. 
As you join me on this blog journey, we will delight in the ordinary things of life that often receive less than their fair share of attention. 

Sunrises - yes, Hawaiian; but also the less often photographed as well.

Museum-ready works of art
- yes; but without overlooking the crayon creations of children.

I live in Anchorage, Alaska where my wife and I raise our three children.  We love Alaska, our home for over 14 years.  You will find one or more of us skiing down a mountain or down a trail, dancing ballet (not me!), playing racquetball, eating at Moose’s Tooth Pizza, hiking, reading, doing magic tricks, playing the electric guitar, piano, or violin, or just hanging out together.  

I serve as Senior Pastor of Rabbit Creek Church, our community of faith.  We love Jesus, reach out to people, and teach them to grow in relationship with the Lord. 

As I launch this blog, I must confess that I delayed for some time.  I prefer sharing my thoughts verbally or through the medium of an ordinary 0.5mm Pentel P205 pencil.  Three cheers for pencils!  That said, I realize that not all who read this blog will visit Alaska; and my pencil marks fade.  

Others blogs can focus on the “extraordinary” and “great.”  I commit this blog to the celebration of the ordinary and the good.  I trust that together you, the reader, and I will enjoy this journey through observing life.

Long live the ordinary!