Friday, September 30, 2011
Where do you find happiness? Real happiness?
When I was young, I found happiness in my career. I found satisfaction in what I was doing, what I felt called to do.
At times, I thought happiness came from what I owned. Or drove. Or wore. Or who I knew.
There have been times that seeing my name in lights brought happiness.
But now, I realize how finite those things are. They quickly pass. Like the morning fog or dew. Or, life itself.
Happiness is found in who I am in God. Happiness isn’t things. It’s loving God. And, loving myself.
Thursday, September 29, 2011
Maybe it comes with age.
Maybe it comes with experience.
Or, a combination of both.
At some point, you must stop caring as much what others think.
As a child/teenager, I struggled with self esteem. I never saw much value in myself.
If I’m going to be totally honest, I still struggle with that.
There’s a part of me that wants to please others. To put their opinion of me ahead of the opinion I have of myself.
I have to overcome that!
I must stop sacrificing the person I am only to be what others expect me to be.
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Joy comes in the morning.
Don’t believe me?
It’s right there in the Bible: “For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favor is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning” (Psalm 30:5 KJV).
Has to be true, right? It’s in the Bible! In the king’s own English!
The Gaithers sing about it. Choirs across America sing about it. Even Jimmy Swaggart sings about it.
It must be true!
Unless you aren’t joyful. Then, you find yourself asking, “Which morning?”
Hold on. Today may be anything but joyful!
God. Return our joy. Please!
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Do you struggle with uncertainty?
Uncertainty about your health?
About your job?
In your marriage?
With raising your children?
We all do.
Uncertainty is like a roller coaster or waves at the beach.
Life is going fine. Calm. Still. Nothing on the horizon to freak me out.
Then, almost out of nowhere, life’s roller coaster drops 100 feet, banks hard left, and then right. I feel unprepared.
Or, the waves crashing over my head, nearly drowning me.
The key to overcoming uncertainty isn’t found in the sudden drop or crashing wave. It’s preparing ahead of time that makes the difference.
Monday, September 26, 2011
I grew up in a lower middle class family. What we were, and I didn’t know it, was poor. We raised our own vegetables. We canned tomatoes, green beans, fig preserves, and pickles. We froze everything else.
My dad had a side job of cutting meat for farmers. Instead of getting paid in cash, they gave him cuts of meat.
We were poor, but not poor enough to receive commodities. You remember those? Peanut butter? Cheese? All of which came from the USDA.
But, on rare occasions, someone would give my parents commodity cheese. We ate good on those nights!
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
That word is used too much in the English language.
A terrible human being. A terrible father. A terrible husband. A terrible employee. A terrible friend. A terrible driver.
On and on that list often goes.
Do you ever get to the point where you just raise your hands toward the heavens and scream at the top of your lungs, “Am I ever not terrible?”
Sticks and stones may break our bones, but words do internal damage! Words leave permanent scars. Far deeper ones than physical wounds.
Can’t resist pointing out someone else’s terribleness?
Look first in your mirror.
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
But, filled with so much meaning and interpretation.
As young children, we often received a “talking to” from parents, peers, teachers, even church leaders.
As teenagers, we were “talked down to” by bullies. Or peers.
As adults, we are sent “to” HR for a reprimand. We are “talked to” as if we are 12-years-old.
I’m not a huge Rihanna but she does have a song lyric that I like: “Don’t talk to me like I’m stupid.”
I’m a person. Treat me with respect.
I’m a man. Treat me as such.
Either that or just leave me alone.
Thursday, September 8, 2011
Where were you that September morn?
I was pastoring in Alabama. I was also a volunteer fireman.
Within 30 minutes of the planes hitting the towers, our fire department was activated. Even though we were nearly 1,000 miles away.
Not for service in New York or DC or even in a Pennsylvania field.
We were activated to serve our community. All flights had been grounded. One plane was unaccounted for. They feared it might be highjacked.
We were to be ready for a crash.
I’ll never forget that day.
In so many ways, it changed my life and future.
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: the English language is weird. Sometimes. Most of the time.
It is amazing to me how so many English words have double meaning. On one hand positive. On the other hand, negative.
Take withdrawing, for example.
If a person is withdrawing to reflect, we commend them and wish we could withdraw as well.
On the other hand, if a person is withdrawing to hide or runaway from life, we worry and encourage them to rejoin life.
I often need to withdraw.
I’ll let you decide whether that is positive or negative.