Wednesday, September 30, 2009
I think that word used to mean something.
Two men shook hands. Their word was their bond. No lawyers needs. No paperwork required. Just a handshake.
People used to keep their word. It was a given. To do otherwise was the exception.
Lately, as I’ve watched my wife look for employment and as I’ve gone through a few transitions of my own, I’ve watched how few people keep their word. They promise to call. Then don’t. They promise jobs. They promise hope. They offer security. They even offer a hand.
Where have the guarantees gone?
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
American writer Rita Mae Brown said, “A deadline is negative inspiration. Still, it’s better than no inspiration at all.”
I live by deadlines. It’s the nature of my job. My work lives and dies by deadlines.
How about you? How are you and deadlines?
Think about the student with a paper due today. The contractor finishing the house. The engineer building a new car. All face deadlines.
You have deadlines too. Some are important. Some aren’t. One deadline is urgent—the moment you breathe your last upon earth. It’s coming.
You don’t want to be unprepared for that moment.
Friday, September 25, 2009
Been hearing that word a lot lately.
Parents worried about the influence Obama would have on their children.
Companies worry about the influence healthcare plans might have on their company.
Church leaders worry about the influence society has on their members.
Scott Adams said, “You don’t have to be a “person of influence” to be influential…the most influential people in my life are probably not even aware of the things they’ve taught me.”
So, what influences you?
TV? Politicians? Church? Family?
Hopefully, none of the above.
I hope your biggest influence is God. Only He is worthy!
Thursday, September 24, 2009
What causes you to celebrate?
I’m not talking about a smile where the corners of your lips slightly curl.
I’m talking about not caring who sees you jumping for joy, screaming like a 7-year-old child who’s about to go to Disney World for the first time, or a high school senior who’s been accepted to the college of her choice.
What causes you to celebrate like that?
A child’s birth. A good report after surgery. Keeping your job when layouts take place.
Oh, what’s that? You aren’t celebrating.
Celebration is a choice.
Decide today what your attitude will be.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
First there was The Guiding Light, Days of Our Lives, Another World, and General Hospital.
There was Jerry Springer.
Next, Oprah, Dr. Phil, and Ricki Lakes.
Now, we have Judge Judy, Alex, Joe Brown, and Jeanine Pirro.
These shows have one thing in common: they all depict how far mankind has fallen and turned from God.
Yesterday, I took leave to be with my sick son. He enjoyed watching Sesame Street and Peep and Imagination Movers. All decent shows for a 19-month-old.
During his nap, I turned to other channels.
And, remembered how thankful I am for the “off” button.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Yesterday, while ministering in a caring place, I saw countless acts of kindness. Few were random. Most were intentional. All made a difference in another’s life.
From giving directions to someone who is directionally challenged to the healing hands of a medical professional, all acts of kindness. From a parking attendant with a huge umbrella to the prayers for healing and comfort, all acts of kindness to people in need.
Some acts of kindness take time, some require none. Some are planned, some are spontaneous.
What kindness will you show today, in Jesus’ name, to a person in need?
Monday, September 21, 2009
The guy who pulls in front of you as you try to park. He swoops in and grabs the spot. Your spot.
The woman who gets in the 20 or less item aisle at the grocery store, but has 50 items in her buggy.
What is our world coming to? What is happening to us?
I know times are hard. Most of us are struggling through the economic collapse. But, that’s no excuse for the rudeness we’ve seen lately.
(Oh, Kanye says Beyonce’s blog is better than mine!)
Folks, let’s get a grip!
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Positive thoughts come to mind when that word is spoken.
This weekend, I’m hoping for some relaxation.
Doing as little as possible.
Putting my mind into neutral and coasting.
A slow coast at that. Not in a hurry. No schedule to keep. No pager. Or phone.
If the weather holds, we’ll hit a few yard sales on Saturday. We’ll eat quiet meals at home. We’ll prop our feet up, snooze if the mood hits.
And did I mention watch football? Do that while wife snoozes. That way, we’ll both be happy.
What’s your plan for the weekend?
Friday, September 18, 2009
That’s where I am. Tired. From the top of my bald head to the dead skin on the bottom of my feet.
No manual labor today. Didn’t dig ditches or lay bricks. Didn’t run a marathon. Didn’t go to the gym or work out.
Exhausted doesn’t have to mean physically. Why do people assume that?
A person can be spiritual exhausted.
Not there either.
Exhausted can also be mental. That’s where I am.
What’s the cause? How about life itself. Job stress. Unemployment. Promises. Broken promises. Interviews. Waiting.
Exhaustion passes. Rest helps. So does prayer. And, time.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Do you have a fire in your belly?
Something you are passionate about? Something you long for?
George Bernanos said, “A poor man with nothing in his belly needs hope, illusion, more than bread.”
So, what’s in your belly right now? Are you living out your passionate longing?
If not, what’s stopping you?
I’m trying to live out my passion. Tough when almost every life turn puts up a stop sign and says, “Not now.”
Still trying to figure out what to do with that fire now. Can’t move forward. No desire to go backward.
Now what? Suggestions anyone?
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
How do you define racism?
I’m not talking about what you hear on TV. Or talking heads that represent an interest group.
Those definitions are tainted by the agenda they are pushing.
I’ve stopped listening to talking heads—liberal, conservative, middle-of-the-road. I don’t need other people telling me what to think.
God gave me a brain.
I should use it.
Especially with racism.
Paul said with God there is neither male nor female, Jew or Greek. Paul said that God is not a respecter of persons.
If loving everyone is God’s practice, why isn’t it good enough for me?
Friday, September 11, 2009
That word is always on our minds at this time of the year.
9/11/2001 did that to us. No, we will never forget. At least I won’t.
I still remember thinking that we were under attack. By some unknown people.
However, for some of us, terror is more than an anniversary to remember.
Young children sometimes have night terrors.
People in Iraq face the daily terror just by going to the market, or worship, or their home.
Unemployed people face the terror of an unknown future and dwindling bank account.
What “terrorizes” you?
Failure? Death? Health issues? Job? Family?
Thursday, September 10, 2009
People come in all shapes and sizes.
Some people laugh a lot. Some never see humor in anything. Or in any situation.
Some people cuss. Some spit. Some dip. Some even skinny dip.
Some people are rich. Some are famous. Some people work hard and never get their head above water.
Some people have vacation homes. Some have nice homes. Some people are homeless—unless you count the interstate overpass and cardboard box.
All people are unique.
But one thing is common among all people—all people, everywhere need a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
Do you know Him?
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Intriguing word. Only 4 letters. Yet, filled with options.
We make war. We make peace. We make out. We make love. We make up. We make over. We make do.
I especially like this “make” quote. Tennessee Williams said, “Life is partly what we make it, and partly what it is made by the friends we choose.”
Life is what we make it.
There’s much truth to that. Some people spend their life making something of themselves. Some people spend their entire life wasting time.
I’ve done both.
I’m getting better using my time wiser than wasting it.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Tough word. Or, at least I find it to be.
Normally, I don’t have trouble forgiving others. You know, those who have hurt me. Said terrible things. Acted in the wrong way toward those I love.
That forgiveness comes somewhat quickly. And normally, easily.
I find it much more difficult to forgive myself for the things I do wrong.
I tend to dwell on those things. Beat myself up about it. Analyze it. Then analyze it some more.
Age hasn’t changed that bad habit.
God and I are working on it.
I’m not there yet. Hope to be soon.
Monday, September 7, 2009
Let’s see. There’s Labor Day—a day when few people work.
There’s labor pains—which women will tell you, no man will ever understand.
And, there are labor unions. Not sure anyone understands them.
There’s also labor for the kingdom.
It was Paul who said, “for this we labor and strive, that we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, and especially of those who believe.”
Why do you labor? A paycheck? Your security? For prestige? For fun?
How about for God? No matter what your “labor.” Do it for God.
Saturday, September 5, 2009
You could buy a lottery ticket—that’s taking a chance.
You could close your eyes, stick out your arms, and take a chance crossing the street.
Or, ignoring chest pains, a dull tooth ache, or blood flowing from a cut—those are chances.
Is there a better way? Isn’t there a better way to deal with our health, career, family, or even with God? Do we have to take chances?
Not if we are smart.
Annual checkups with our doctor, reviews at work, time with family, time in the Word and prayer—all better ways than simply taking chances.
Friday, September 4, 2009
I hate to wait. If I have any other choice I’ll choose it over waiting.
That holds true at the bank.
I’ve been known to move to another lane at the bank, change lanes of traffic repeatedly, move to another checkout lane, and just park the car instead of waiting on a space that “might” come open.
Terrible trait to have. My wife will confirm that. Friends will as well.
What do I do? What do you do about it? I can’t be the only one who struggles with this!
Right? Be honest!
Thursday, September 3, 2009
I sometimes don’t seem very grateful. I recognize that.
I’m not alone in that. But, this blog isn’t about your failings. Just mine.
You see, I’m not always grateful for the freedoms I have as an American.
I’m not always grateful for the faith I can live openly in our country.
At times, I’m not as grateful for my wife as I should be.
Often, I’m not grateful for the home I live in, food I eat, clothes I wear, or the car I drive.
I tend to take too much for granted.
For that, I repent.
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
It’s official. I’m tired.
When I told my wife those words, she asked why.
The statement was easy to make. The answer to her question was much more difficult.
I’m tired for many reasons. I’m tired of uncertainty.
I’m tired of feeling out of control of my own future.
I hear some of you—get a grip. Get over it. Grow up.
If those are the best words of wisdom that can be offered, I’d simply say—save the advice for someone else.
Harsh? Maybe so. Pity party? No, not yet. Just feeling tired. Really tired.
It’ll pass. Soon.
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
“Go ahead and make up your mind!”
Anyone ever tell you that?
Sometimes, decision-making is easy. Sometimes, well, it ain’t. Pardon the grammar, but it ain’t always easy.
Often, when faced with a decision, you just have to ruminate on it. Understand? As my dad would say, “chew on it for a while” or “mull it over.”
That’s probably wise—to chew on it a while. That might actually cause us less grief down the road as we live with the consequences of making too many quick decisions.
As Winnie the Pooh says, “Think, Think. Think.”
Smart thinking Pooh!