Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Leigh Steinberg said: “Never underestimate the capacity of another human being to have exactly the same shortcomings you have.”
Is that true?
Do you believe it?
It’s difficult to believe that others have the same shortcomings as me.
I see my shortcomings up close and personal. I know them by name. I know when they are coming. I know when they’re leaving. I know them intimately.
But, when I see others, I rarely see their shortcomings. They hide them. They keep the veil over them.
Is that the way people see me?
Is it necessary to live behind a veil?
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
The Old Testament says if we spare the rod, we spoil the child.
While no child likes to be spanked, no child needs to go without discipline.
Children know it—they know they need correction.
While they know that and they need it, they still don’t want it.
They want their way. In their time. And in whatever way they want it.
They despise correction.
But, who doesn’t? I’m far from being a child, but I still despise correction.
Even God’s correction. His “spankings” hurt as much as those my parents applied to my backside.
Yes, hurts. But, needed.
Monday, June 28, 2010
Heights bother me.
Let me restate that. Heights terrify me.
I don’t like tall buildings. I don’t like tall rides at the amusement park. I don’t like dreaming about being high off the ground.
I especially don’t like to fly. I don’t like taking off. I don’t like landings. I especially don’t like bumps while in flight. Turbulence and crashing seem too closely related.
The only height I really tolerate well is climbing new heights for God’s kingdom.
Those challenge me. They push me to reach. They motivate me.
And, on yes, they scare the daylights out of me.
Friday, June 25, 2010
If you found yourself on Jeopardy and the question was: “700”, how would you answer.
If you’re smart, you might answer it is the sum of 4 consecutive primes (167+173+179+181).
You might say it’s a Harshad number. (A Harshad number is an integer that’s divisible by the sum of its digits.)
You might answer it’s the tints of color in the rainbow the human eye can distinguish.
If you are spiritual, you might say it’s a number used 5 times in the Bible.
But, if you’re really smart, you’d say it’s the number of blog posts written by Steve Heartsill!
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Ever feel like you come up one short?
I grew up playing baseball. In those days, you couldn’t start playing until you were 5 or 6.
I’ll never forget batting against 10 year old pitchers! It wasn’t fair—for the 6-year-old batter, that is.
I often came up one short. If I were lucky, I’d bat 3 for 4 in the game. Still, I’d be one short of perfect.
I’ve often come up one short. At work. At home. As a father. As a friend.
Never a good feeling.
Not something to strive for.
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Ain’t ain’t a word.
You know that, right?
But, in some ways, it’s the only word to use.
Nothing else will fit the sentence like ain’t.
Bill Cosby once said, “A word to the wise ain’t necessary, it’s the stupid ones who need the advice.”
See what I mean?
Try substituting the word “isn’t” in there. Just doesn’t carry the same impact.
Wonder if Jesus ever used the word ain’t?
Maybe He said, “There ain’t no other way to heaven…”
Or, “Ain’t I the way, the truth, and the life?”
No matter how you say it, ain’t it the truth!
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Man. Has it been hot in Alabama lately.
While I don’t buy into the manmade global warming stuff, I do know summer has arrived in Alabama.
With it comes hot and humid days.
Notice. I didn’t say daytime.
It’s hot ALL day and night in Alabama in the summer.
That’s why I like cold weather.
In cold weather, you can put on layers of clothes. Just pile them on until you’re warm.
But, in summer, you can’t strip as naked as desired. At least not in public.
So. It’ll get cold again. Between January 10–12, 2011, it’ll be cold.
Monday, June 21, 2010
What runs through your veins?
I’ve heard some people have ice water in theirs.
The way some people drink coffee, tea, and soft drinks, they might have those running through them.
I take a blood thinner every day. I can safely say I have that running through my veins—and I want it to keep running!
Never really thought much about veins and arteries until after October 13, 2008—Heart Attack day at our house.
Veins became much more important that afternoon at 1:30 and shortly thereafter as a tube was sent looking through mine.
Protect what you can’t see!
Saturday, June 19, 2010
Most important day of the year.
Just ask any father!
It is a time to reflect upon our own fathers.
And, the job they did. Or, the job they did on us.
It is also a time to reflect on our own years of being a father.
To learn lessons discovered the hard way.
There’s no textbook that comes with our children. No owner’s manual.
Basically, shortly after birth, the doctor bundles up the screaming little child and says, “This belongs to you now.”
Honestly, that was one of the most frightening days of my life!
Friday, June 18, 2010
“Why do you write?”
I’m asked that question a lot. Maybe because I do a lot of writing.
That would seem logical, don’t you think?
So, why write?
After all, who reads things anymore?
In an age where everything is instantaneous, who has time to read someone’s rants, raves, reviews, or thoughts?
Well, here’s the kicker. I don’t write for you.
I write for me.
I write my thoughts. I don’t always think about your thoughts as I write.
These are things that cause my mind to race.
If they make you think along the way, that’s okay by me.
Thursday, June 17, 2010
As an elementary-age child, I was a runt.
I was the shortest kid on the playground.
The last chosen when teams were decided.
I was skinny.
I was a runt.
Because of my size, I became an easy target to get picked on.
The bigger kids would push and shove and make fun of me.
I took it, fearing what they’d do if I didn’t.
Finally, when I could take no more, I’d fight back. What I lacked in size, I made up in determination.
Some people would do well to remember that I still have fight left in me.
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Samuel Butler said: “The truest characters of ignorance are vanity, and pride and arrogance.”
Sadly, I think Mr. Butler was right.
We live in a vain world. It is certainly prideful.
Arrogance does seem to rule the day.
To some degree, maybe we are all arrogant at times. And prideful. And vain. An ignorant.
Not good characteristics to strive for. But, who really has to strive for them?
They seem to come so naturally.
God forgive such shameful behavior of those who claim to belong to You.
Open our eyes to see that our only value is found in You!
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Ever given much thought to it?
Just about the time I think I have real estate figured out, everything changes. And I do mean everything.
Our house was on the market 4 days. Then, we had a signed contract. Everything’s good.
USDA runs out of funds. Stalls the process of my purchaser. Everything’s bad.
USDA gets new funds. Back on track. Waiting two more weeks for word. Still waiting.
Now, we could lose the home we hope to purchase because of the delays.
I realize it could get worse. I do.
But, I’m tired of thinking about it.
Monday, June 14, 2010
On the schoolyard playground, I was often picked last when teams were chosen.
Didn’t matter the game. Kickball. Football. Baseball. Basketball.
Always last or next to last.
You see, I was small for my age. Short. Very thin.
But, my size didn’t reflect how fast I was.
But, speed mattered little on the playground.
It was always the tall kids chosen early.
They went first. They never knew the “thrill” of watching everyone else picked first.
I rarely think about being picked last.
As an adult looking back, I’m just thankful I was chosen at all.
I was included.
Friday, June 11, 2010
I often feel as if I don’t have a place on life’s totem pole.
What’s lower than being the lowest man on the totem pole?
Some days it feels as if I’ve fallen completely off the totem pole. And, honestly, I’m not always sure anyone notices.
“Suck it up” comes the reply.
“Get over it” is spoken.
Whether spoke in jest or seriously, what good do those words offer?
None that I can think of.
So, call it a pity party if you want.
Or, just call it honest.
I’m just trying to get back on the pole.
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Do you remember the TV show titled “Friends.”
It was quite popular in the 1990s.
In one episode, the conversation turns to crying. The “friends” are watching a movie. At the end of the movie, the girls and all but one guy are in tears.
Chandler isn’t crying. Chandler says he can’t cry. He hasn’t been able to cry since childhood.
Joey, one of the friends, says to Chandler that the reason he can’t cry is because “he’s dead inside.”
Does a lack of tears represent deadness?
I hope not.
I’m not a big crier either. Never have been.
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
What a difficult concept.
At least for me. Maybe I’m the only one. I rather doubt it. But, still patience may be a virtue, but it’s not my virtue.
I don’t like waiting.
Not in the bank line.
Not at WalMart.
Not at a restaurant.
Not in traffic.
I do not like waiting. Not even at church.
I’m just not that patient.
Oh, I wish I were. I’ve longed for it. I’ve prayed for it. I’ve waited for it.
Still, patience is a struggle.
What’s your thought on patience?
Are you an expert? Novice? Or, have you given up?
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Peace and quiet.
Almost two and one-half years ago, the Lord gave my wife and I a “little” surprise—Evan, our son.
Since that time, life hasn’t been the same.
The house is filled with screams and squeals.
Toys normally cover the floors.
We have endured skinned knees, teeth coming in, potty training, and even an eye being superglued shut.
I don’t think we would trade the last 2 ½ years for anything.
But, you might want to check back when he’s 16—when the squealing comes from tires leaving the driveway and the screams are to be left alone.
Monday, June 7, 2010
You remember the old song? Aretha sang about it. Maybe better than anyone else. She reminded us that all people are due respect. Honor. Dignity.
The up-and-in. The down-and-out.
The gorgeous. The not-so-gorgeous.
Baseball pioneer and great Jackie Robinson said, “I’m not concerned with your liking or disliking me…All I ask is that you respect me as a human being.”
Why don’t you re-read what Jackie said.
I echo his words. That’s really all I ask from others.
You may or may not like me. That’s fine.
But, you can respect me as a person.
Friday, June 4, 2010
I wonder when that word came into existence.
Must have been with the advent of email.
I have a love/hate relationship with my inbox.
My personality doesn’t allow me to keep my inbox full.
I know. It is terrible. But, I have to read, respond to, and file my emails quickly.
It’s a curse.
I can’t let them sit there. In bold. Unread. Waiting for action.
It is a sickness.
Recently, I sat next to a person who had 1,700-something unread emails in his inbox.
It was all I could do to keep from helping him clean it out!
Thursday, June 3, 2010
When did asking questions become a problem?
[Disclaimer: If you don’t like questions, just close out this post.]
We aren’t allowed to ask politicians questions any longer—that’s harassment or racism or sexism or some other ism.
We can’t ask questions at work—that becomes whining.
We can’t ask questions with family—we are prying.
People of my generation ask questions.
Tough questions. Deep questions. Important questions. We even question questions.
All we’d really like are some answers.
It doesn’t matter if we like the answer or not. Just answer the question.
Is that asking too much?
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
An unknown writer said, “Value yourself. The only people who appreciate a doormat are people with dirty shoes.”
A Belizean proverb put it this way, “If you make yourself into a doormat, people will wipe their feet on you.”
Lately, I’ve felt like a doormat.
Dirty feet. Muddy feet. Clean feet. All have taken a turn wiping themselves on me.
And, if you say anything about it, you are seen as whining or complaining.
Can’t you ask a question without being called a complainer?
Can’t you seek information without being called a whiner?
I don’t know. I really don’t.
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Promises are made.
Promises are broken.
Promises are kept.
John Lennon sang, “Love is a promise, love is a souvenir, once given never forgotten, never let it disappear.”
The breaking of and keeping of promises are closely tied together.
I don’t think most people make promises to break them; but, if great care isn’t given, that’s exactly what we do.
And, when that happens, hearts are also broken; lives are changed; and, futures are rewritten.
“I will love you forever” quickly rings hallow when a promise isn’t kept.
Let’s focus not so much on making promises as keeping them.