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Friday, September 17, 2010

There Are Things...

...that I will never fully understand- The theory of relativity; free-choice versus predestination; how wig kiosks in the mall make it. 
One thing I don't fully understand, but know to be true, is that we have some choice in how our day will go.  Oh, not that we can choose what will happen to us, but that we can mentally prepare ourselves for meeting the day's challenges with an air of optimism.  We can wake in the morning and say, "Lord, I don't know what today holds for me, but I do know that you are beside me and will guide my thoughts and actions."  Notice that I say "guide" my thoughts and actions and not "steer" them.  For in the end, He is my captain, offering the sound advice of a proven, surefooted navigator.  I, however, quite often ignore the iceberg that was pointed out some miles back.
Regardless of what today holds for me and my family, I will at least try to face it with the realization that my reaction to a situation will make it better- or worse.  Nothing in between.  And knowing that I am not facing this day alone makes all the difference.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Now It's Time For...

...which picture is older? Extra points for naming the 3 people who are in both pics. Extra, extra points for naming the Boy George look alike in the bottom photo.
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Monday, September 6, 2010

For Those Of You...

...who have ever felt that life was on hold or that your dreams have been put on the shelf, I have some good news: God may be doing His best work in your life during your downtime.  Why do I say that?  Well for one I've felt it in my own life and seen what comes of the waiting.  I will refrain for a moment from getting "preachy" and offer an everyday, practical example from my own experience.

I have enjoyed a long career with my company- almost 17 years.  A few years back I decided to try something different within the organization, going from sales management into a marketing position.  I moved my family to beautiful town near the corporate headquarters, set up my office, bought a nice house and for 3 years thoroughly hated it.  "Oh, you made a mistake", you might say.  Hardly.  God systematically broke down a hardened, ego-inflated heart over those 3 years.  He forced me to re-evaluate my life and re-engage with my family.  For me, He drew a clear line in the sand between my livelihood and my life.

The bible is full of stories of great men and women who, despite their own ideas of what they should be doing with their lives, had to wait upon the Lord.  Take the apostle Paul for example.  Many people think that he was converted on a Damascus road and instantly began his world-changing ministry.  The reality is that after his first brush with ministering to the Jews he barely escaped with his life.  This led to 3 years of seclusion and study in Arabia and eventually 5-6 years back in his hometown of Tarsus.  Can you imagine that?  Paul was raised and trained in Pharisaic law, had been converted to Christianity in one of the most dynamic ways possible and now he was back in his hometown making tents.  Now that's a dream put on a shelf!  It's also God working on a very hard case, moving a man from self-centered to servant.  As you know, the story has a happy ending.  Barnabas, a lesser know apostle, seeks Paul out, asking for help to preach to the growing church in Antioch.  And so begins the next 20 years of Paul's worldwide ministry. 

Are you in your "Tarsus" right now?  Waiting for something... anything?  You're in good company if you are.  It may be that your train has been derailed because of a financial misjudgement; a failed marriage; a lost job; a tragic accident or chronic disease.  Maybe it's due to circumstances for which you have no control.  Whatever the case, there is something great in store for you- God precedes His best work in our waiting.

As F. B Meyer wrote almost a century ago"As you go down the long corridor you may find that He has preceded you and locked many doors which you would fain have entered; but be sure that beyond these there is one which He has left unlocked.  Open it and enter, and you will find yourself face to face with a bend of the river of opportunity, broader and deeper than anything you dared to imagine in your sunniest dreams.  Launch forth on it; it conducts to the open sea." 

Thursday, September 2, 2010

I Don't Know About You...

...but I've always enjoyed the political commentary of George Will.  Straightforward, thought provoking commentary about politics and history seems to be his forte.  While I don't agree with all of his views on things, I'm always left with the conclusion that they are well thought-out and believable, undoubtedly more so than my own.

Yesterday I sat next to George Will on a plane from Washington DC to Columbia, SC.  He's shorter than I thought, but with a head of hair I can only hope for at his age.  Sort of a less wrinkled Lou Holtz, minus the bubbly personality.  Well, that's not exactly correct because he giggled several times while reading a biography of the late Daniel Patrick Moynihan, underlining the best parts with a blue pen.

"I see you're reading about the late Senator Moynihan, Mr. Will.  Did you know him well?"
"Yes.  He was a very dear friend", he said.
"Oh, I'm sorry for your loss", I said. 
After a pause, "Why are you heading to SC?"
"I'm presenting to a group of local veterans tomorrow about the Battle of the Bulge", Mr. Will said, never looking up from his book- that dirty blond hair being blown gently by the airplane's overhead air spout.
Giggle, followed by an underline with the blue pen.

For those who don't know, I only appear idiotic.  It's a mere surface trait to a brilliant mind.  I actually have some scope of knowledge regarding American history and knew that the "Battle of the Bulge" was not an Oxygen channel original reality show about weight loss.  I decided to go for the throat and impress this tiny but wicked-smart politico.

"So, er, who's your favorite historian on the subject. hmmmm?", I said.
Giggle, sigh, blue pen underline. 
Never looking up from between the pages of his dear friends life he said, "The memoirs of Truman".

Oh, yes of course, the memoirs of Truman!  Darn, I should of thought of that.  After that brief exchange I left the poor man alone, lost in his memories of the distinguished gentleman from New York.
Sniffle, sigh, underline...