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The Waiting Game

A nudge, give me clarity.

A feeling, give me a sign.

A command, will I listen?

Have you had a feeling?  You know the one where you seem to have found a sixth sense? No, not like in the movie…”I see dead people”.  More like someone is watching you, or knowing the time is right? How often? Do you wait on these feelings before acting?

I am challenged in my life. Over the years it’s seems that I’ve had clear feelings about the direction I should be taking with my life. Am I right to expect this now, or am I using it as an excuse? Are you?

What are your plans for your life? Have you thought about it, or do you coast by day by day with no plan? Let me talk about this idea of a plan first, then we’ll wrap up.

I think as American’s or those living in wealthy countries we typically have or had at one time a plan for success. It’s who we are. Maybe these plans got sidetracked or squelched. Maybe there is no light at the end of the tunnel, seemingly. Let me challenge you to consider the plan outlined in the Bible. See if it can be sidetracked or squelched as compared to your personal plan.radical

God challenges us to “Go”, to “Make Disciples”, and “Baptize” from Matthew 28. God’s plan is all about telling the story of salvation, to making it known what this thing called sin is and to helping usher in as many people into the Kingdom of Heaven as possible. If you believe as I do, then this is a worthy cause. Much higher than my goal of making tons of money (which as you know can’t be taken with us upon death).

I’ve been reading an excellent book by David Platt, called “Radical”. I highly recommend it for Christians and non-Christians. Why non-Christians? Because this book truly and unabashedly explains what a true Christian should be all about. It clears the air over the argument that “I don’t want to be a Christian because of what the Christian’s I know are like”. It paints the picture of what God expects and ironically, it’s straight from the Bible in which we’re supposed to be reading, supposed to be learning from though prayer and meditation. It’s a challenge, but should that be a surprise?

Consider these biblical truths…. Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. All liars…will have their part in the lake of fire. You are saved by faith not by works. Everyone who calls on the name of Jesus will be saved. For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. Believe and be baptized, every one of you.

God’s plan is for us to all be saved. Who is going to spread the word? Have you considered that the Bible does not say that only a couple of people are to GO? All of us are to spread the Gospel. All of us are to BE teachers and speakers and vessels for God’s plan to spread. If we choose not to, we are fooling ourselves, we are passing the buck. We are waiting for someone else to do the work, when we have already been called.

Do we wait for the feeling, the nudge? Or, do we listen to the clear command that has already been placed on our lives? You have been called to be a part of the plan. There are no excuses.

For clarity, FEEL the nudge.

For a sign, READ what is already there.

To listen, OBEY His command.

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The Lost Ability to Cope

https://i2.wp.com/glamslamtennis.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/Anger-Post.jpgI had to cope with waiting in line at the BMV – boring!  I had to cope with riding in the car for 1 hour with nothing to do!

The idea of coping with things in life has almost gone by the wayside.  Let me explain.

Technology now allows us to have entertainment at our fingertips 24/7.  No more boring waiting rooms, or heaven forbid the need to read a magazine.  No more gazing out at the countryside as the car travels quickly down the interstate.  No more coping skills being developed…

Have you ever considered that developing coping skills may be extremely important?  I believe that a lack of coping skills helps to develop a world class complainer.  Waa Waa Waa.   Sure, coping with losing a game on a DS or 3DS can be oh so traumatic, but wait, all we need to do is reset the game and start over until we get the result we want….again, no coping skills being developed.  Sports allow for some coping skills to be learned, but really, when EVERYONE gets to make the team nowadays how is that realistic for training a young person for life?  Do we even pray anymore?

Will your young one be yet another young adult who feels entitled to everything life has to offer?  You might ask how in the world I can jump from coping with riding in a car or losing a video game to how a young adult may struggle in life after mommy and daddy?  I tell you (and you know it) real life is full of disappointment and the need to know how to gracefully deal with it.  We don’t need to be raising a bunch of complainers.  I know because my generation was on the “imaginary line” between dealing with real life all the time and having instant comfort all the time.

My faith even warns me of this time:

2 Timothy 3:1-5 (NIV)
But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.

Whether you adhere to the the words of the Bible or not, I’m quite sure we don’t want the next generation to be whiny, lacking self-control, complaining all the time and unable to cope with the real world.  I see it in my son, even with all my efforts to teach him, he is unable to cope with everyday life much of the time.  He has many outlets, TV, video games, but he has healthy responses too like reading and hobbies learning about and watching birds.  I pray I am able to give him balance, since he must also live in this fast paced self serving world… This world where it is all too apparent that the love of pleasure in all forms has replaced the idea of loving God.  I struggle with this!

So, how do we cope with life?  Have we forgotten to teach about gazing upon the wonders of God’s creation as we drive down the road?  Have we forgotten the Spirit of sharing our faith with our neighbor in line at the BMV?  Have we tossed in the towel and become self serving without realizing it?  Are we boastful and proud, lovers of money, rash, conceited and most of all have we grasped a hold of a form of godliness but denied it’s power (i.e. giving to a good cause yet never being an active part of the cause)?  A huge part of life is learning to cope and handle the challenges placed before us, not to ignore them and bury ourselves in something “that we want to do“.  Digest this challenge and make changes to your life first, then show your young ones what it’s all about.

Have you made an Impact on your world?

Have you ever sat back and considered what your life has really meant?  You know, those times when nature stands still and you just kind of think for a while.  Quiet, still, then Whoa!  What am I doing here?

As we age and our bones start to hurt, our feet get sore when we stand up, or we deal with our first injury (young people, don’t worry your time will come so read on), we will find time to contemplate our existence.  My questions are,

“Are you happy with what you have accomplished?”

“Have you made a worthy impact on the world?”

“Have you had ANY impact at all in your sphere of influence?”

“Do you even care?”

If you don’t care, then I challenge you to reevaluate your priorities.  If you do care, but have no good answers to these questions, then guess what?  You can start to make an impact now!  Isn’t that a good realization?  You CAN start to make an impact now.  You can START to make an impact now.  You can start to make an impact NOW.  When the hammer of your life falls, did it create any sparks?  I can still create some!

So what will it be?

Here are some ideas:

  • Start today to be randomly kind to strangers.
  • Make a phone call to some younger or older people in your life that you don’t know as well as you should.
  • Share your story with loved ones (they DO care).
  • Write down some of your cherished memories, for when you are gone, so too are those memories.
  • Serve in something, a ministry, an outreach, a soup kitchen, organizing events for your neighborhood, scouting, etc.
  • Give.  Be generous to the people in your sphere of influence.
  • Listen & Engage.  Ask people about their lives FIRST.  Share about your life later.
  • Make a list of things you would like to accomplish, and do item number one.

Make a change today and share what you are doing in a comment below.

The Life Cycle

I’ll hasten things along and start with insects.

Aphids are eaten by Ladybugs or Praying Mantis.

Leftover dead bugs are eaten by flies, worms and carrion (and yes, bacteria, fungi, etc).

Larger bugs and worms are eaten by birds and other small animals.

Trees and other plants grow from nutrients of decaying matter, like those dead bugs.

Berries and other fruits are eaten by all of the above (including plants – great recycling!) and are eaten by larger animals.

Vegetables and grasses are eaten by various insects and animals, large and small.

Dead animals of all sizes are eaten by all of the above.

Humans refuse to eat fruit, vegetables and other natural foods.  We do tend to get our fill of those animals though!  Antibiotic, steroid fed meat, yummy!  We get cancer.  We get fat.  We die.

Death comes to all of the above.

Ever notice that those animals that are fed “people food” are fat and probably die from cancer?  I love those cute fat chipmunks and pigeons, dogs and cats.

Seems like I may have stumbled across something interesting while writing this column, but I can’t seem to put my finger on it.

I think I’ll sit back and think a bit with a Diet Coke and eat some processed macaroni with Velveeta cheese, some bleached white bread with hydrogenated oil filled peanut butter and maybe some Capri-sun to get my fruit intake for the day.  Oh, yea, I need a veggie.  I just tossed some French fries in the oven.   Now what was I going to do?

The “Other” Tabs

I know my “Home” tab is seriously jealous of this post….but there are many other tabs here that often get ignored. The “Silly, Silly, Silly” tab just might make you laugh or, even better, allow you to spew out something from your own comedic juices.

Enquiring minds…

Want to know…Well, I’ve been reading a bunch of news that I’m fed up with.

Racism is defined as racial prejudice or discrimination.

Prejudice in this context is well defined as an opinion or judgment formed melting-potwithout due examination; prejudgment; a leaning toward one side of a question from other considerations than those belonging to it; an unreasonable objection against, anything; especially, an opinion or leaning adverse to anything, without just grounds, or before sufficient knowledge.

Discrimination is well defined as treatment or consideration based on class or category rather than individual merit.  It is also defined as prejudice.

So, I have never understood why the terms “race” and racism are still so fervently used in our society.  As many wise people have proclaimed, “the way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.” [most recently spoken by Chief Justice John Roberts] Or…”the use of race does greater harm to our social fabric by being there than by being eliminated.” [Edward Blum of the American Enterprise Institute].

It does seem simple.  With kids, if we don’t want them to spill the beans and talk about something, WE DON’T TALK ABOUT IT.  This isn’t to say that racism didn’t or doesn’t happen, but we do have a president that seems to buck the idea of racism being alive and well.

Frankly, the time has passed where all the checks and balances were needed.  The programs and safety nets that were put into place to straighten out our “racists” ways are a waste of tax dollars.  They now only stifle the majority and take away the majorities’ rights (or former majority in some areas of the country). 

I mean how can it make sense to have a Society of Black, Hispanic or Asian Engineers but it would be “racist” to have a Society of White Engineers?  There was a time for some of these groups, especially the NAACP, but now that time has passed and these groups are racist or at a minimum discriminating in and of themselves.  Any blind person knows the “merit” issue behind discrimination has been a joke for years.  If there are 10 equal people up for a job, the minority applicant disproportionately gets the job.  Prove me wrong.  That’s discrimination!  Read that definition above again.  Has anyone ever considered that a valid reason why minorities feel like they are victims of racism may be that people view them as receiving special treatment?

Eliminate the use of these terms, eliminate these unnecessary groups and in effect launch the elimination of macro-racism once and for all.  If not, be ready for accepting White or Caucasian into the circle of special groups seeking ways to help “their” people.  I don’t want any part of it.

As a Christian, I believe we are all ONE people, the term racism is invalid in my opinion.  We are childish and need to grow up as a society.

Coincidences 2

I think I’ll start tallying coincidences using the numbers after the title.

Here goes:coincidence

Thursday night my wife and I catch the last half of 13 going on 30….a cute movie with Jennifer Gardner.  In the flick there is a scene where they all go nuts dancing to Michael Jackson’s Thriller.  I just love that scene for some reason.  The next night we go to my niece and nephew’s dance recital and the “stage dad’s” perform Thriller on stage doing that cool and feaky dance…

Several month’s ago I ran into an old high school acquaintance at the gym.  Today, I’m working a kiosk at church and walk up to the counter and this same friend is standing there working the adjacent kiosk.  We’ve been at the same church over a year and a half and didn’t know it.  It’s a fairly big church, but such a small world.