This past Sunday, MM and I came across a definition of "abundant life" in an essay of Dallas Willard, who described this kind of life as what we lose as a result of nondiscipleship:

The abundant life Jesus said he came to bring (John 10:10):
- Abiding peace
- A life penetrated throughout by love
- Faith that sees everything in the light of God's overriding governance for good
- Hopefulness that stands firm in the most discouraging of circumstances
- Power to do what is right and withstand the forces of evil

MM and I want that kind of life. We feel like life needs to be more than drudgery and taxes and buying lots of stuff. We want a life of beauty, truth, love, and adventure. And we suspect that we will find those things in uncommon, perhaps unglamorous, places.


Last night we stuffed our little house with 24 people and almost as many pumpkins.

It was loud!

Filled to the brim with shrieking children playing tag in the kitchen; chattering adults cutting, carving, scooping, and creating pumpkin masterpieces in the living room; and quieter folks laughing and swapping stories on the front porch. The scent of popcorn, spiced cider, and caramel sauce wafted out the door to mingle with the crisp October night air, a mix of trees and moonlight and fireplace smoke. Cheery jack o'lanterns grinned down the steps as new neighbors and old friends mingled, taking photos of their creations.

This morning we awoke, tired and sore, to a house bearing the marks of a really good time: pumpkin guts stuck to the card table, kitchen counters piled with dirty dishes, and a brotherly note left in plastic letters on the fridge: "Max is stinky!" (Oh, poor Max.)

The whole thing cost about $30 to put on.

What abundance!

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