Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Robert McCloskey said, “I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I’m not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.”
Understanding is not easy. Understanding a teacher lecturing. A preacher preaching. Understanding your wife (or husband) as she/he talk about their day. Understanding your toddler who babbles more than talks—that’s difficult to understand.
Understanding God can be difficult. Or, at least I’ve found that to be true. My hindsight eyes work far better than today or tomorrow’s eyes.
Lord, give me eyes to see. And, to see clearly.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Rollo May said, “Depression is the inability to construct a future.”
I don’t know about the accuracy of that quote.
Seems to me that depression is more far reaching than just not being able to construct a future.
Depression is what keeps you sleeping in bed all day or awake all night.
Depression is what drives a person to silence, screaming, cursing, anger, or death.
Depression is what makes a person put on a stiff upper lip, thinking no will even notice that it is just an act.
Depression seems to always be close by, but never a good friend.
Monday, October 26, 2009
Few enjoy sports as much as me.
Baseball. Football. Basketball. Racing. I enjoy them all.
From the time I was a child, our backyard was a three-season sports field. We played baseball in summer. Football in fall. Basketball in winter. Springtime? Well, you had to study at some point!
Sports today are different from then. In those days, it seemed the games were purer. People played the game for the love of the game, not money.
Today, that’s not true. Signing bonuses. Strikes. Hold outs.
I’d like to return to the love of sports of my youth.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
When I lived in Virginia, restaurant servers often asked at the end of a meal: “Are you done yet?”
Never quite knew the origin of that phrase. We didn’t ask such questions back in Alabama.
Lately, I’ve found myself asking the question “Are you done yet?”
I’ve asked it in various situations. Settings. Related to various topics.
Up until now, I would have probably said, “No. I’m not.” Maybe that’s keeping a stiff upper lip. Maybe that’s living in denial. Or, maybe it was just stating fact—I wasn’t done.
Not today. “Are you done yet?”
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
24 hours. 1,440 minutes. 86,400 seconds.
The same allotment. No more. No less.
Yet, some people accomplish more than others. And, they do it without complaining about not having enough time, energy, or enthusiasm.
What makes the difference?
Andrew Jackson, our 7th president, said, “Take time to deliberate; but when the time for action arrives, stop thinking and go in.”
That’s the problem. Many people jump into the day without proper deliberation—we don’t organize our day. Yet, others never stop thinking enough to dive in to the day.
Today, no grumbling. I’m just going to dive right in.
Monday, October 19, 2009
What does that mean?
Think about it. What makes a person a friend?
Having things in common? Going to the same school? Church? Neighbors?
Being a “friend” on Facebook? Hopefully, you know that everyone who requests to be your friend or who accepts your friendship request isn’t really your friend.
In the same way, not everyone who claims to be your friend in life isn’t your friend either.
Winnie the Pooh said, “If you live to be 100, I hope to live to be 100 minus 1 day so I never have to live without you.”
That’s a friend.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Been thinking a good deal about fall lately. Especially this week as we might see temperatures drop into the 40s.
Think about some of the ways we use the word fall.
There’s the fall season.
There’s falling in love. Falling down the stairs. Falling out of someone’s good graces.
There’s falling down on the job.
If you have read my many posts, you should know that I love words and how we use them.
So many words in the English language have double meanings.
Others are clear as can be.
And example? Simple. “For God so loved the world…”
Monday, October 12, 2009
Do you like anniversaries?
Today is my one-year anniversary. Columbus Day, 2008. A day that will live in my infamy. At 1:30 PM, while holding my 8-month-old son, I had a heart attack.
A real one. One of those the TV commercial describes—“1/3 of people about to have a heart attack feel fine” kind-of-heart-attacks.
Fine to heart attack, in one heartbeat.
The Bible says, “Life is just a vapor.”
I didn’t see my life pass before my eyes. I didn’t have a near death experience.
Today, one year later. I’m fine.
Oops. Probably shouldn’t say that.
Friday, October 9, 2009
Most people don’t admit to showing favoritism.
At least not proudly.
In the Bible, Isaac favored Esau over Jacob.
That didn’t turn out great, did it?
Later, Jacob favored Joseph over the others.
You would think Jacob would know better.
Centuries have passed since those stories took place. How many of us have not learned the lessons of Isaac or Jacob?
Even in the church, we show favoritism. We look the other way when some people sin—because they might help us later.
James 2 said something about favoritism. Basically, James said, “Don’t do it!”
Why haven’t we learned?
Thursday, October 8, 2009
[For those who don't know, that's Evan in the picture, my son. Here, he's eating a chocolate cookie. He's the most joyful person I know!]
Are you? Am I?
Why be joyful?
“Make a joyful noise unto God, all ye lands” (Psalm 66:1).
“Sing aloud unto God our strength: make a joyful noise unto the God of Jacob” (Psalm 81:1).
“O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation” (Psalm 95:1).
“With trumpets and sound of cornet make a joyful noise before the LORD, the King” (Psalm 98:6).
“Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands” (Psalm 100:1).
Oh. Okay. No excuse. I know better.
So, why do I struggle so?
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Oh, such a nasty word.
Earnest Benn said, “Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it whether it exists or not, diagnosing it incorrectly, and applying the wrong remedy.”
We’ve all seen that coming from Washington. Doesn’t matter whether the Democrats or Republicans are in office. Too often wrong remedies to problems that don’t even exist!
Sadly, politics isn’t limited to government.
Politics are too often found inside the church building.
Bone-headed decisions. Man-made rules, practices. Wrong remedies. Wrong motives.
Scripture never teaches to operate the church like government.
So, why do so many insist on it?
What makes a person incompetent?
Is it that they do things differently from me?
Am I right and they are wrong?
Does age have anything to do with it?
No. No. No. No.
Billy Joel said, “I am, as I’ve said, merely competent. But in an age of incompetence, that makes me extraordinary.”
I understand that. The last four months have taught me that truth even more! As I’ve watched my wife seek employment, endured lies from “professionals”, and even in my own life watched people not follow through with on their word.
I’ve grown tired and frustrated.
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Maybe a survey is in order.
Are you a quiet person?
Or, are you the exact opposite?
Are there times you are quiet and other times when you aren’t?
I tend to be a processor. I have to listen to the facts being presented, roll them around in my brain a few hundred times, and then formulate my thoughts about it.
Then and only then do I speak. Or at least that’s my goal.
Some people think that silence is agreement. Can’t silence be processing? Can’t silence be weighing the options before me?
What’s wrong with being quiet?
Monday, October 5, 2009
The Amazing Race.
Maybe you’ve seen it on TV.
Pairs of people travel the globe trying to win a million dollars. Old people. Young people. Couples. Siblings. Gay people. Ministers. College students. Even Harlem Globetrotters.
All racing, seeking money. Seeking fame.
While The Amazing Race is somewhat amusing to watch, it no where depicts the most amazing race—the one all of us are on. Some race slow. Some race quickly. Some have a short race. Some have a long race.
The most amazing race is the race to serve Christ throughout each day. That’s the most amazing race possible.
Saturday, October 3, 2009
A great event every four years. Winter. Summer games.
I’ve watched the Olympics over the years. Being a southern boy, I understood the summer games far better than the winter games. After all, what did I know about hockey or bobsledding?
But, was 2009 the year for our President to be salesperson-in-chief for the city of Chicago? Isn’t the President the Commander-in-Chief and not a community organizer in Chicago?
I thought so.
With unemployment still rising, the economy still sucking wind, earthquakes and tsunamis in American Somoa, seems to me those are far bigger items to focus on.
Friday, October 2, 2009
Someone said, “We are all a little weird and life’s a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love.”
Got to love that quote.
We really are all a little weird, in our own way. It’s just a matter of how it comes out.
Are you okay with that? Do you thrive in your weirdness? Do you let it weigh you down? Is your weirdness a joy or a burden?
I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Weirdness. Good or bad?
Thursday, October 1, 2009
I’ve been noticing that some people seem naturally happy. They are always smiling. Laughing. Bubbling over with joy. My noticing isn’t scientific. Just observation.
Some people, well, just aren’t ever happy.
Have you noticed that?
They could inherit $45 million and not be happy that it wasn’t $60 million.
They have a job. But, it’s not good enough.
Their children are far from perfect. Their health is less than ideal.
Simply put, they are miserable. No amount of money or jobs or children or health, nothing is going to change it.
Unhappy people make me tired. Really tired.