Friday, July 31, 2009

Thoughts--100 Words




Weird. Happy, sad, angry, peaceful, frustrating, sweet, and haunting. All words used to describe thoughts.

I wish I better understood how the thought process works. If I understood it, I might control it better. Maybe I could put my thoughts in a nice compartmentalized box and drag it out when needed.

“Sometimes when I’m talking, my words can’t keep up with my thoughts. I wonder why we think faster than we speak. Probably so we can think twice” (Bill Watterson).

Maybe the answer is not understanding the process. Could the answer be just shutting up more often?

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Prayer--100 Words


Not sure 100 words is sufficient to describe prayer.

One million wouldn’t be enough.

Best to keep it simple. Why make this subject complex?

Gandhi said, “It is better in prayer to have a heart without words than words without a heart.”

I buy that. What words impress God? What words does He need?

Prayer isn’t just talking. Seems listening is vital in prayer.

Prayer is sometimes quiet. Sometimes screaming.

Prayer is more about God than silly rules or formalities.

Prayer is about God. Abba. Father. Daddy. It’s about closeness. And hearing.

Prayer is not about me. But Him.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Beauty--100 Words

Where is beauty found?

In the eye of the beholder, some say.

I find beauty when I see my wife at the end of the day. Or, at the start of a new day.

I find beauty in my son’s face as he smiles from across the room.

There’s beauty found in a bumble bee, rain, the ocean.

I find beauty in helping other people.

I find beauty in writing.

And in reading.

I find beauty in God and His love for me. While I seldom (or is that never) deserve His love, it is freely given for me.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Fishing--100 Words

“Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after” (Henry David Thoreau).

Countless times, I’ve thought I had life figured out. Seriously. I thought I had the details of life under my thumb. I was the master of my fate, future, and fortune.

Each time I had everything figured out, a curveball came my way. Out of nowhere. Blindsiding me completely.

Why do those things blindside me? I am not promised exemption from being blindsided.

Blindsiding is more normal than abnormal.

Could it be I’ve been fishing for the wrong things?

Monday, July 27, 2009

Compliments--100 Words


Don’t mistake that word for condiments—you know, as in ketchup, mustard, or mayo.

Condiments are spread over hamburgers and sandwiches.

Compliments are words said in appreciation for something done, spoken, or written.

There are many times that I actually like condiments far better than compliments.

Not sure why that’s the case. But, too often, I really struggle accepting kind words. Do I doubt what is said? Do I doubt their sincerity? Do I feel unworthy?

More than likely, it’s a little of all three things. I’m working at being more gracious when complimented. Just don’t expect overnight changes.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Employment--100 Words


Ralph Waldo Emerson said: “The crowning fortune of a man is to be born to some pursuit which finds him employment and happiness, whether it be to make baskets, or broad swords, or canals, or statues, or songs.”

Not sure employment is a “crowning fortune.” I’ll let others debate that.

Employment, however, is vital. It puts food on the table. A house overhead. Gas in car.

My wife has employment concerns. That’s not strong enough. Frustration? Disdain? Getting closer. Disgust? There you go! Wish people hired on merit. Not on who you know.

We don’t know the right people!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Live--100 Words


Someone called and said, “I didn’t expect to get you live.”

The options immediately went through my brain. Did they expect to catch me dead? Did they think someone else would answer? Were they hoping I wouldn’t answer the phone?

Oh. I get it. They expected my voice mail to pick up.

No one ever calls me. Really. Honest, they don’t. Well, other than my wife. Most people email or send a note on Facebook.

Is that wrong? Are we hiding behind technology? Or, do we just want printed proof of what we talked about?

What do you think?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Sports--100 Words


I love sports.

Not just the holy trinity: baseball, football, basketball. All sports.

I’ve watched tennis, hockey, billiards. I’ve watched strong men compete for a title.

I’d probably watch people flipping manhole covers if that were a sport.

My wife and sports? Not so much. She tolerates it.

So, for her sake, I try not to abuse watching sports even though I love it. I love watching the nuances of a game. Watching the mojo shift from one player/team to the other.

Sports is especially good in summer. No repeats. No summer replacements.

Anyone else addicted like me? Why?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Politicians--100 Words


Out of here.

All of them!

Vote them out.

Democrats. Republicans. Independents. Even those who switch parties.

Time has come to throw every politician out. City/State/Federal/All of them!

“Won’t their replacements be worse?” Are you kidding! How is that possible?

Can’t replace them all? Okay. Understood. What if we make them live by the same standards and rules the rest of us live by? Revamped healthcare? Okay. Congress has to live by same healthcare. Gasoline? Fine. Remove their private gas pump—buy Shell. First class flights? Get real—coach!

What’s good for Americans—should be good enough for them.

Patience--100 Words

Lorna, a Facebook friend, sent the following quote:

“The distance between mercy and judgment is patience.”

I’ve read that statement several times since receiving it. What do I make of it?

At times, I have tons of patience. Nothing seems to rattle me. Mercy flows in abundance.

Then, I don’t have any patience. Especially true when I am tired, patience flees. Or hides. Or is ignored.

During those times, I become judgmental. Way too often, too fast, too much.

Some say patience is a virtue. That might be another topic for another day. Obviously, I too seldom have that virtue.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Victory--100 Words


Struggling to see it. Not that life has to always be victorious.

At this point, I’d take any sign of it. Especially related to employment. My wife could use a victory. My coworkers could as well.

My heart tells me how to make sense of it. My pocketbook tells another story. Since I can’t eat what my heart says, can it be trusted?

Malcolm Forbes said, “Victory is sweetest when you’ve known defeat.”

If he’s right, I’d better get my teeth checked. I’d hate for the ones that haven’t been knocked out to rot from the sweetness to come.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Pain--100 Words


Does anyone like pain?

I know people who enjoy inflicting pain. Satan relishes our pain.

But, do you like experiencing pain?

I doubt it. It seems we are wired more for joy than pain. Peace vs. uncertainty. Known vs. unknown.

An anonymous writer said, “Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.” That seems to be true. Others may inflict pain on me, they can’t cause me to suffer.

Jesus experienced pain on the cross. But, the victory was His in the end, “Father into Your hands…”

That’s our choice as well—giving our pains to God rather than keeping them.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Getting Along--100 Words

Can’t we all just get along?

Obviously, the answer is no.

We can’t get along on the playground. We kick. Scratch. Pull hair. Spit. Cuss. Throw dirt.

We can’t get along at work. We backstab. We gossip. We go postal.

We can’t get along in church. We transfer membership. We fire staff. We worship others instead of God.

We can’t get along in our homes. We yell. Fight. Abuse. Ignore.

Can’t we all just get along? No. Not even as believers. Even though we are commanded to. What’s stopping us? Our humanity? Sin? Lack of prayer?

Shameful. Sad. Really is.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Power of Words--100 Words

The power of words. Been thinking about that lately. How others use words. How I use them.

“I hate you.”

“I love you.”

“You can’t be on my team.”

“You’re welcome.”

“You’re fired!”

Just words—that could be said. Simple words at that. Only one of those words even has more than one syllable. Simple words.

Yet, powerful. Some are kind. Others gentle. Some hurtful. Others gut-wrenching.

How well do you guard your words? Do you think before speaking? Or, say the first thing that comes to mind?

Shakespeare said, “When words are scarce they are seldom spent in vain.”

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Focus--100 Words


That’s a difficult word, well, to focus on. It’s easier to color outside the lines—isn’t that what today’s culture tells us to do? Think outside the box. Be creative. Don’t worry about details—think big picture.

But, isn’t God in detail? Why else give us fingerprints? Or, an appendix.

Sadly, government has lost its sense of focus. Everything is important, but nothing is the focus. We have 32 governmental czars overseeing who knows what.

Our churches have lost focus. We worship worship and not God.

Even more sad, I’ve lost my focus. It’ll return. Just not sure when.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Names--100 Words

Double names.

Is that a southern thing?

Billy Bob. Mary Frances.

I’m not referring to first/last names. I’m talking about people known by their first/middle names. Always. No exception.

My parents didn’t do that. They did curse me by calling me by my middle name instead of my first name. (I digress.) The only times my parents used my first/middle name together was when they also used my last name: Michael Steven Heartsill! Exclamation point—important. I was in trouble.

What name are you known by? Son? Daughter? Mother? Wife? Father? Husband? Liar. Truth-teller? Friend? Foe?

My hope? Christ Follower.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Disappointment--100 Words


I’ve experienced it. Caused it. Lived it. Suffered through it. Wished it would flee. And, I’ve struggled to understand it.


Never a friend. Always an enemy. Sadly at times—a constant companion.

Lately, I’ve spent time trying to understand disappointment—since it has set up resident in our family—after forced furloughs, blind-sided termination, health issues, disappointment was expected, just not welcomed.

Yet, it’s here.

Now what?

If only the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., could bring solace: “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.”

True hope comes from Jesus Christ. Come quickly Lord Jesus.