Month: February 2010

Congrats to Canada…Ehhhh!!!

Maybe it’s just me…

But I watched the gold medal hockey match today between the US and Canada, and although I was hoping for a different outcome, I really enjoyed the game as a magnificent display of athletic talent.   To be honest, I wish there was a way to play another game to really determine the winner, because just a few days ago we beat the Canadians and we both only have one loss.  Oh well… I am proud of the USA Hockey Team as well as all of the other Olympians.  I have been impressed all week at the display of sportsmanship throughout the games.

What impressed me more, however, was something that happened during the medal ceremony immediately following the game.   The Canadian fans showed an extraordinary amount of character when they erupted in cheers for two of the US players; I will concede that one, Ryan Kesler, received the cheers because he plays for their beloved Vancouver Canucks, but the other, goalie Ryan Miller, received even more cheers, not because he plays in Canada (he plays for the Buffalo Sabres), but because he played a tremendous tournament and game (he only allowed eight goals in six games).

I must say that I was impressed mainly because I’m not sure that my fellow Americans would have responded in the same way; rather, I fear, they may have booed.   Canada deserves congratulations, not just for hosting a spectacular Olympics, but also for displaying a wonderful example of graciousness.

I, for one, must tip my hat to our neighbors to the north.

And that is…Just Me.

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Do You Want to Know A Secret?

Do you  want to know a secret?  I am finally willing to come clean and let all of you in on a little secret that I have been carrying for years.    It will be good to release of this secret that I have been holding on to for so long.   I know that none of you that are reading this post will reveal my secret.    I am sure that you are not like those that were part of a  study of 3,000 men and women (aged 18 to 65) done by the University of California.
Results of this study showed:
  • Typically, people will spill the beans to someone else in less than two hours after receiving the secret.
  • Four in ten would repeat the secret no matter how sensitive or intimate the subject was.
  • Boyfriends, husbands, best friends and mothers were most likely to be initial recipients of the information.
  • No matter how precious the piece of information, it’s often out in the public domain via the computer  in some form within 24 hours.  Permanently out in the world-wide web with no way to delete it.
  • Nine in ten women (30 – 65) deem themselves trustworthy –  but they still spill the secret as quickly as anyone.
  • The study found that the average man or woman hears three pieces of gossip each week, and will pass it on to at least one other person.
  • Three in ten ‘have the urge’ to reveal secrets, with nearly half telling another to ‘simply get it off their chest’.
  • Religious background made no difference in the frequency of sharing the secret.
  • However, two-thirds end up feeling guilty after spilling the beans.
  • Three quarters of men claim they are capable of keeping quiet about a secret, and 83 per cent consider themselves 100 per cent trustworthy.
  • More than six in ten people think it is acceptable to share a friend’s secret with someone who does not know them.
  • Over 40 per cent saying their husband is their ultimate confidante.
  • Intimate issues, true cost of purchases and affairs emerged top of the secret-sharing list.
With this information taken in consideration, I am confident that the readers of my blog and this post will not share the details of the secret I am about to finally share. If you do succumb to the temptation and give in and share my secret, I hope that you know that you will be responsible for the content of that which you share.  You will be held accountable for “knowing”  the secret and will be judged for knowing it.
So now on to my secret. First, let me say that there I share this with some embarrassment.  I am ashamed that I have not been more forthcoming with this information.  I have, at times, been out in the open with it and in the past some people have even saw it in me.  So this information may not shock everyone, but for some it will be a surprise. For those that read this and are surprised by my secret, I am sorry.   I apologize for being deceptive in the way I presented myself.
The secret I need to reveal today, is the fact that I believe that Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth and the Life.
I also believe the following:

  • I affirm my belief in one God, infinite Spirit, Creator, and Sustainer of all things, who exists eternally in three persons, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. These three are one in essence but distinct in person and function.
  • I affirm that the Father is the first person of the Trinity and the source of all that God is and does. From Him the Son is eternally generated and from Them the Spirit eternally proceeds. He is the Designer of creation, the Speaker of revelation, the Author of redemption, and the Sovereign of history.
  • I affirm that the Lord Jesus Christ is the second person of the Trinity, eternally begotten from the Father. He is God. He was conceived by the virgin Mary through a miracle of the Holy Spirit. He lives forever as perfect God and perfect man: two distinct natures inseparably united in one person.
  • I affirm that the Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity, proceeding from the Father and the Son and equal in deity. He is the giver of all life, active in the creating and ordering of the universe; He is the agent of inspiration and the new birth; He restrains sin and Satan; and He indwells and sanctifies all believers.
  • I affirm that all things were created by God. Angels were created as ministering agents, though some, under the leadership of Satan, fell from their sinless state to become agents of evil. The universe was created in six historical days and is continuously sustained by God; thus it both reflects His glory and reveals His truth. Human beings were directly created, not evolved, in the very image of God. As reasoning moral agents, they are responsible under God for understanding and governing themselves and the world.
  • I affirm that the Bible, both Old and New Testaments, though written by men, was supernaturally inspired by God so that all its words are the written true revelation of God; it is therefore inerrant in the originals and authoritative in all matters. It is to be understood by all through the illumination of the Holy Spirit, its meaning determined by the historical, grammatical, and literary use of the author’s language, comparing Scripture with Scripture.
  • I affirm that Adam, the first man, willfully disobeyed God, bringing sin and death into the world. As a result, all persons are sinners from conception, which is evidenced in their willful acts of sin; and they are therefore subject to eternal punishment, under the just condemnation of a holy God.
  • I affirm that Jesus Christ offered Himself as a sacrifice by the appointment of the Father. He fulfilled the demands of God by His obedient life, died on the cross in full substitution and payment for the sins of all, was buried, and on the third day He arose physically and bodily from the dead. He ascended into heaven where He now intercedes for all believers.
  • I affirm that each person can be saved only through the work of Jesus Christ, through repentance of sin and by faith alone in Him as Savior. The believer is declared righteous, born again by the Holy Spirit, turned from sin, and assured of heaven.
  • I affirm that the Holy Spirit indwells all who are born again, conforming them to the likeness of Jesus Christ. This is a process completed only in Heaven. Every believer is responsible to live in obedience to the Word of God in separation from sin.
  • I affirm that a church is a local assembly of baptized believers, under the discipline of the Word of God and the lordship of Christ, organized to carry out the commission to evangelize, to teach, and to administer the ordinances of believer’s baptism and the Lord’s table. Its offices are pastors and deacons, and it is self-governing. It functions through the ministry of gifts given by the Holy Spirit to each believer.
  • I affirm that the return of Christ for all believers is imminent. It will be followed by seven years of great tribulation, and then the coming of Christ to establish His earthly kingdom for a thousand years. The unsaved will then be raised and judged according to their works and separated forever from God in hell. The saved, having been raised, will live forever in heaven in fellowship with God.
Salvation Begins With God

Have you felt the “tug” of God on your heart?  Becoming a Christian is one of the most important steps you will take in your life on earth.

This call to salvation begins with God. He initiates it by drawing us to come to Him.

    John 6:44
    “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him …”
    Revelation 3:20
    “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in …”

Human Efforts are Futile

God desires an intimate relationship with us, but we cannot obtain it through our own efforts.

    Isaiah 64:6
    “All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags…”
    Romans 3:10-12
    “…There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.”

Separated by Sin

We have a problem.   Our sin separates us from God, leaving us spiritually empty.

    Romans 3:23
    “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

It is impossible for us to find peace with God through our own efforts. Anything we try to do to obtain God’s favor or gain salvation is worthless and futile.

A Gift from God

Salvation then, is a gift from God. He offers the gift through Jesus, his Son. By laying down his life on the cross, Christ took our place and paid the ultimate price, the penalty for our sin — death. Jesus is our only way to God.

    John 14:6
    “Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.”
    Romans 5:8
    “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Responding to God’s Call

The only thing we must do is respond to God’s call.

But how? How do I become a Christian?

Receiving God’s gift of salvation is not complicated. The response to God’s call is explained in these simple steps found in God’s Word:

1) Admit you are a sinner and turn away from your sin.

    Acts 3:19 says: Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.”

Repent literally means “a change of mind that results in a change of action.” To repent, then, means to admit you are a sinner. You change your mind to agree with God that you are a sinner. The resulting “change in action” is, of course, the turning away from sin.

2)  Believe Jesus Christ died on the cross to save you from your sins and give you eternal life.

    John 3:16 says: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”

Believing in Jesus is also a part of repenting. You change your mind from unbelief to belief, which results in a change of action.

3)   Come to Him by faith.

    In John 14:6 Jesus said: “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.”

Faith in Jesus Christ is a change of mind that results in a change of action—coming to him.

4)  You may pray a simple prayer to God.

You may want to make your response to God a prayer. Prayer is simply communicating with God. Pray using your own words. There is no special formula. Just pray from your heart to God, and believe that he has saved you. If you feel lost and just don’t know what to pray, here’s a prayer of salvation you can pray.

Dear Lord,

I admit that I am a sinner. I have done many things that don’t please you. I have lived my life for myself. I am sorry and I repent. I ask you to forgive me. I believe that you died on the cross for me, to save me. You did what I could not do for myself. I come to you now and ask you to take control of my life, I give it to you. Help me to live every day in a way that pleases you. I love you, Lord, and I thank you that I will spend all eternity with you.

Amen

So there you have it.  My secret.  To those of you that were expecting more I am sorry.  I am also sorry that I have not been a better example to my family, friends and co-worker of what Christ has done in me.  I want to be a better example and I do not ever want to apologize again for my faith.

If you would like to talk more about my secret, I would be happy to do that with you.  Just send a note to thelegacybuilder@aol.com and I will respond.

And remember, it’s only a secret until you tell somebody.  Share the testimony of what Jesus Christ has done  for you.

” For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in His glory, and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.”  Luke 9:26

Holding On to Your Faith… Even When God Doesn’t Make Sense

This week was an interesting one for me.  I had the opportunity to talk to a man (Chuck) that has been going through a really hard time in his life.  For whatever reason our paths crossed and we just started talking and he shared that he felt like everything around him was crashing down.  He wondered where God was and why would He allow a believer to go through all that he had gone through.    He felt alone.

I let him talk.

From my personal experience, I feel that we all need the time to vent.   I know when I was going through my darkest times all I really wanted was to say it out loud.  I did not want sermons or advice, nor did I want someone to tell me they were praying for me.  What I wanted and needed was someone just to let me say it out loud.  Even though I was my own worst enemy and created my own problems, I needed to verbally express my frustration with my situation.  I was not blaming God, I just wanted to say it without the judgment of other believers.

Chuck was no different, he had been experiencing a bit of the dark deep void that Christians occasionally face.  This isn’t the first time that he had been through a period of what felt like he was totally alone.

We all have been there, you know what I mean, you can’t concentrate when you read or study the Word, the music that lifted you up or quieted your soul either irritates you or leaves you feeling numb, verses that you know by heart and depend upon to comfort you seemed to have been erased from your memory.  And your prayer life?  What prayer life?  You stumble and stutter, get so sleepy, too busy, hit the wall and “bounce prayers off the ceiling”.  That is the picture of Chuck’s life for the past few weeks…we have all been there too.

In the past, when this would happen to me,  I would be rather frantic trying to figure out why this was happening.   I would be angry and start railing at God for “forsaking” me.     Sometimes I would even  profess that I was giving up!

I am thankful that I made it through those times.   I did not have anyone to verbally say it out loud too.  So I would drive in my car, miles and miles of driving.  Radio off and at times,  me screaming at the top of my lungs of my frustrations and my pain.  My Christian friends were not there.   But I did not do it alone.  There is a friend that sticks closer than a brother…and although I was always taught that I needed to be reverent when I prayed, I’ve learned that sometimes prayers can be done in different ways.  In my times of frustration and loneliness, when I thought all was lost and there was no one there, I cried out to God and He was listening all the time.

In times of struggle and frustration, it is okay to question.  It’s okay to cry out.  You do not have to always understand why you are going through hard times.  You don’t always have to feel happy about the way your life is going.  Your salvation is not dependent on your feelings.   Hard times do not equal displeasure from God.

So I let Chuck vent and get the burden off his chest.  He was doing a good job at expressing his feelings about things.  In the middle of a particularly rough segment, I started to see some of the stress leave his face and heard some relief in his voice.  He suddenly stopped talking.   He realized that he had gone on for 10 minutes and I did not say a word.

And Chuck said ” What am I supposed to do?”

I wanted to make sure that I didn’t fall into the  Christian clichés  I had heard all my life.  While they may be true on some levels…these kind of statements don’t always help in times of real trouble.  They come across as real impersonal.

  1. “Just pray about it…”
  2. “I’m praying for you…”
  3. “You just need to ask for forgiveness…”
  4. “You have un-confessed sin in your life…”
  5. “I feel sorry for you…”
  6. “Jesus loves you…”
  7. “You’re running away from God…”

I am sure that there are many more that could be added to the list.  Again, all of these responses have their place.  They are indeed true when applied correctly.  Unfortunately, I have seen these used in the wrong manner and at the worst times.

I thought for a moment and I tried to remember what would have helped me when I was going through similar things.   Only one thing came to mind, I said…

“Hold on…hold on to your faith…even when God doesn’t make sense.  It will be okay,  just hold on to your trust in God! “

I waited for a second to see his reaction.  I began to see the edges of his mouth slowly move and he started to smile.  He looked at me and said that this was the first time someone did not try to convince him that he was so full of sin and that he should question his salvation because he did not understand why God would allow him to go through hard times.

What is the Lord teaching all of us in times of trouble? In the bad times like Chuck was going  through?  I believe the answer is simple…

Hold on.   That is all, just hold on to your faith and your trust in God.

Hold on when you can’t see the end of trouble,  hold on when you cannot hear God’s small voice and hold on when you do not feel like God is there at all.   The lesson learned for all of us is that God is holding on to us even when we don’t feel His arms around us.

Instead of me just telling him to just pray about it, I was able to help him see that God allows us all to go through things in our life that we don’t understand.  It is part of the “testing” of our faith.  This “testing” does not always mean you are in sin.  There are reasons why God allows it.  Sometimes in life we see clearly why, in other times, we will never really know until we get to heaven.  The bottom line is that God wants us to remain faithful and holding onto to our faith regardless of the situation in our life.

If you are struggling with hard times.  Times where you feel so far away from God.  Reach out and just hold on.  Remain faithful.  Determine to stay the course.  You can trust that our Lord will take you through the deepest, darkest, loneliest times.  Just Hold On.

May you be blessed abundantly today and every day.


“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit”

Romans 15:13

“Never Can Say Good…Bayh”

Maybe it’s just me…but you can almost hear the beat of that old Jackson Five  song: “Never Can Say Goodbye”.

I have attached this video for your listening enjoyment while you read the rest of this post.  It will be the best part of it.

Evan Bayh, the Indiana Democratic Senator, has announced that he too is quaking in his boots and suddenly deciding not to run as beleaguered Democrats are quickly realizing their arrogant posturing this past year has stirred up a political hornet’s nest that is likely to bring most of them down.

I have tried over the last few hours to come up with something positive to say about my fellow Democrat Evan Bayh…and I can never find anything good to say about him.

Senator Evan Bayh

While Bayh is only the latest and certainly not the last to realize that America’s anger is real, some Democrats continue their Little Big Horn mentality in holding high the liberal banner as countless arrows fly. They have re-doubled their endless attacks on Sarah Palin, tea party supporters, conservatives and their ilk.  How long are the Democrats  going to assume that all of these “tea-parties” and Scott Brown’s election is just a blip on the map of politics.  These are major concerns, with major consequences to their party.   I believe that they are in denial.  I do not see the leadership coming from the democratic party now…I see them falling back on “playground” politics of blame.  Making  issues about failed Bush polices will get them nothing but a Republican majority real soon.   If they continue to deny that they have serious problems in the leadership of the party then I am to assume that they are too blinded by self righteousness.

The once foaming-at-the-mouth Bush bashers have now morphed into “Palin Impalers” in what can only be termed a cult of hate of the first magnitude.    Not only is she constantly belittled as dumb and stupid (a tactic the Bush bashers honed to perfection), she is also portrayed as leading her moronic followers and fellow conservatives lemming-like off hate-filled, gun-toting, Kool-aid drinking cliffs toward political oblivion. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

As a Democrat since 1978, I am finding it so hard to read and listen to fellow democrats cry and whine about Dick Cheney and his “so-called”  hatemongering.   During the last five years the Democratic party did nothing but tell George Bush how much they hated him, his policies and Cheney.  Nothing that Bush did was right in their eyes.   Harry Reid, the Democrat Senate Leader even told school children that Bush was an idiot and the list could go on and on.

The issue of bi-partisanship is a one way street for most Democrats.  They want the compromise of a few republicans in order to pass their agenda but are they really willing to compromise themselves?  I do not see anyone in the democratic party willing to do so.   So they cannot cry foul because the Republicans are not willing to come to the table and work with them.  I  hear my fellow democrats whine about the fact that the Repubs won’t “work together” in a bi-partisan fashion. Why would they expect them to?   They (the Democrats) have jammed everything down the throats of the American people, without any regard to working together.  In the democrats self-righteous position of the majority,  they are the ones that do not understand nor appreciate bi-partisanship.  The Democrats cannot have it both ways.   They cannot criticize, spew hatred for the last five years and then cry foul when it comes back at them.

They have done this to themselves…in their attempt to put Bush in his place, they have alienated themselves from the American people.   Make no mistake, if Scott Brown’s election is any evidence…the worst for them is yet to come. Blaming Bush and Cheney no longer will pay any benefits to the Democrats cause.   Stooping down  and playing the blame game is over.  Bush…Cheney….is old news, let’s move on.

While the now departed “Never can Say Good… Bayh” was often portrayed as a moderate, almost conservative Democrat by the overtly liberal faction of the party, neither Democrats or Republicans will miss his weak-kneed stance on tough issues.  Yet, Bayh has, perhaps, seen the lipstick writing on the mirror better than many others.

The message is this:  “the weak and liberal need not apply”.   The American public has had enough of this foolishness. Both Democrats and Republicans need to shut up and listen.

That is why Sarah Palin scares the Bee Jesus out of both sides.

And that is…

Just Me.

What is a Global Warming Scientist to Do?

Note:   I have stayed away from writing about politics and controversial subjects for a while now.  I was just focusing on some personal writing over the last few months.  However, the events over the past few weeks concerning the whole  “Global Warming” issue have made me frustrated and ready to pull my hair out.  While I believe in making sure we are to be good stewards of the world that God has given to us, the whole “green movement” and the so-called science behind it is crumbling and I think it is time for those who are still defending it as if it is an absolute “truth” need to take another look.  Because many of the scientists that supported it are changing their position.

What’s a Global Warming Scientist to Do?

Well…maybe it is just me, but I believe the whole global warming hoax just keeps on unraveling as it’s supporters continue to cling to their sinking ship.  The problem is, as some still cling to their Titanic as it sinks, others are bolting for the remaining life rafts.  Too many global warming scientists were on board for the life rafts to save them all.  Only a few are being saved from the “cold” waters of evidence.

The latest to bolt and is trying to squeeze  his behind on a life raft is Professor Phil Jones.   Jones  is the director of the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the  of East Anglia (UEA), which has been at the center of the row over hacked e-mails and un-substantiated research.  As one of the main voices of the whole global warming…the earth is ending because of man-made pollution,  Phil Jones of Britain’s University of East Anglia, has admitted in an interview with the BBC that there has been no statistically significant warming in the earth’s atmospheric temperatures since 1995, according to London’s Daily Mail.

“Professor Jones also conceded the possibility that the world was warmer in medieval times than now – suggesting global warming may not be a man-made phenomenon. And he said that for the past 15 years there has been no ‘statistically significant’ warming.

I guess this puts into question, Al Gores movie.  In 2006, Al Gore came out with his Oscar-chosen movie, “An Inconvenient Truth.”  Due to the movie’s consequent hyping by an enthralled media, Mr. Gore’s “documentary” has grossed over $24 million in the U.S. and over $49 million worldwide, making it the fifth-highest-grossing documentary in the U.S. to date, (from 1982 to the present).

Yet, in 2007, the U.K.’s High Court found that the film was both “biased” and “alarmist” and noted nine specific “scientific” claims, which were at best unfounded and at worst outright lies.  To be shown in British schools, the High Court ruled, would require tedious instruction to students on the errors and bias contained in the film.

Interestingly, one of the film’s claims which was noted as unsubstantiated by Britain’s High Court was the recently debunked.  Mr. Gore’s assertion that the disappearance of snow on Mount Kilimanjaro in East Africa was expressly attributable to global warming has been found unscientific and based on faulty research.

The British ruling was widely ignored by the main stream media on this side of the big pond, however, and the movie continues to be shown to unsuspecting students in government schools and universities nationwide – with no disclaimers whatsoever.  It is shown as TRUTH…and if you deny it’s claims you are considered a right wing conservative ignorant fool.

None of Mr. Gore’s newly demonstrated scientific errors should really come as any surprise, however (after all, the man flunked out of divinity school).  As noted by the Washington Post in this 2000 article on Gore’s lackluster college transcripts, the media-heralded scientific genius — Prophet Al — spent his entire tenure at Harvard avoiding all courses in mathematics and logic.  The two science courses he had to take, Natural Science in his sophomore and senior years, he managed to receive a D and a C+ respectively.  Gore’s college science performance was easily predictable, however, as his high school transcripts showed that the only courses in which Mr. Gore scored A’s were in art and religious studies.

I guess I have to give AL Gore some credit…considering his poor grades and his invention of the internet, he did get pretty far in making up facts and science.   I just wonder when the Academy will recall his  Oscar?

This week I made statement on my FACEBOOK account.  I said in my status,

“Where, oh where, has Al Gore gone?  If anyone sees him, I need some help in shoveling my driveway and I need some cash to help pay for my heating bill.”

To which, I was given the following response…
“These guys claiming that the snow in Washington disproves climate change are almost unpatriotic. They are denying science.”
Bill Nye, the Science Guy.
That’s right…I was given the good old Bill Nye the Science Guy quote to defend global warming. Apparently, Bill Nye was interviewed by Rachel Maddow for MSNBC and made that statement.  I really don’t think a Mechanical Engineering degree from Cornell qualifies Bill Nye as an expert on Global Warming. As a matter of fact, he never was a Scientist at all. He was a consultant to Boeing on their hydraulics and started the whole “Science Guy” thing as a result of some success as a Sketch Comedy Act in Seattle. Nye corrected the host of Almost Live! after the host pronounced “gigawatt” as “jigowatt”, a mispronunciation made common by the film Back to the Future. The character name came from the host’s comment, “Who do you think you are? Bill Nye the Science Guy?” Thus his claim to fame…is not true science.  I guess Bill Nye is the last stronghold for them.

The admissions from Phil Jones will be seized on by the sceptics of Global Warming as fresh, clear evidence that there are serious flaws at the heart of the science of climate change.   They should be.

In times past, when the presented evidence was apparently in their favor, it was used by global warming fanatics  to denigrate the views of those that chose to disagree.   But now the evidence for Global Warming is based on false premises. I wonder what they are going to say now?  A quote from Bill Nye is not going to cut it.

The call is for us to be generous to those same fanatics that still deny that there are serious problems with their science.  They are not evil…just wrong.  They must be embarrassed for looking so foolish after their consistent arrogant assertions that their views were correct and we “deniers” were all ignorant fools.   The cat is out of the bag and that boot is now plainly on the other foot.

So…what’s a global warming scientist to do?   Acknowledge that your ship is sinking.  Grab a life jacket or hang on to the lifeboat.   Secondly, apply to replace Bill Nye as the “true” science guy.

And that is…

Just Me.

Read more at the Washington Examiner: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/blogs/beltway-confidential/Global-Warming-shocker-Climategate-scientist-admits-no-warming-since-1995-84337497.html#ixzz0fZC6vKnb

Need A New Perspective? Change Your View

Maybe it’s just me but I hate snow.

There are no words that really allow me  to express my true feelings about how much I hate snow.    The only thing I can think of that is remotely positive is the fact that is does make my yard look as nice as my neighbors.

This week we had our first big snow storm of the year.  Now mind you, it wasn’t the blizzard of 1978 (that I survived), but it was a pretty big one.  Schools canceled, businesses closed and the shelves of bread and milk were empty at the grocery stores.

We have a policy at work that if the county in which you live declares a “Level Three” snow emergency, we do not go into work.  So just like the days when I was a child and would watch endless hours of TV to see if school closed, I watched and listened for every news outlet to see if my county would be declared a level three snow emergency.  No such luck.   I had to get up, shovel the sidewalk, the driveway and try to make my trek in to work.

They had to have made a mistake, because from inside my house looking out my front window, I could see snow, lots and lots of snow.   Our front yard was buried and I couldn’t see the street that was a mere 25 feet away.  It’s all blended in with nearly seven inches of snow.   The street, the sidewalks and my yard were all covered.   From my perspective of looking out my front window, it was obvious that there was way too much snow to go anywhere.

But I did.

After shoveling for what seemed  an eternity, I drove two blocks down to the main street of our neighborhood and the view was much different.   The road at the end of our street was clear.  It had a few wet spots, but for the most part is it was dry and easily passable.

Sometimes our perspective on things keeps us stuck where we are.  If I judged whether or not to go out based on what my yard and what the neighborhood looked like, I would be at home for the next month.  But it was ok to venture out, in fact, once I reached the end of my street, things were better than they were in front of my house.  I would never had known or experienced the difference had I not left my driveway.

The conditions I observed just a mere two blocks away changed my perspective on how bad the situation really was.  Have you limited your options because of your perspective?  Have you not trusted someone to help you pull out of your comfort zone to something better?   We have all done it – in our jobs, in our relationships (or fear of relationships), in our life experiences.  We have stayed inside our safe, warm homes thinking there was snow and ice everywhere, and not trusted those who have gone before us.

Sometimes at work if I’m trying to work out a problem or detail on a project I will sit on the other side of my desk in the visitor’s chair.  Changing my point of view, changing my perspective many times brings new ideas or fresh answers.

Be encouraged to step out and explore a little, change your scenery and you might change your mind and heart about some things.  Let me know how it goes.

As for me… right now my perspective is being viewed through the warm thoughts of summer…

I don’t know about you but that is…”just me”.

Are You Sure You Want to Wear That?

There was an unfortunate fashion incident.  At school.

I was involved.  Memos flew and phones rang.

If I told you the details, I’d have to silence you.   Or move to Minsk.

So the details of my unfortunate story will remain untold, at least until I feel I can post it and still keep my dignity.

That being said, for whatever reason — cultural, spiritual, X-chromosome deficiency — I am a clumsy dresser.  When my wife stands in the closet, she is planning, inventing, dreaming.   When I stand there,  I am wondering what time the game starts and what I am going to eat for lunch.    So I keep things simple — three or four outfits max.   Wear them over and over and over….

A few months ago, I needed to buy a new suit.  I had not worn a suit in 16 years.   I was in need a new one.   So I set out on my journey to find me something nice, something classy.    As I walked the isle of  Value City’s Big and Tall Men’s Department, I was trying to find that perfect suit that would be just that…classy.

That is when Bob, the 20 hours per week, minimum wage earning, white socks with penny loafer wearing attendant in the men’s department came up to me and said,  “You know ‘they’ say…How you dress tells everyone how to treat you. Your clothes say quite a bit.”

I was afraid to ask what he meant.

“They” say that fashion takes only common sense, but that begs a question: Who the heck are “they,” and why are “they” making my life miserable?  Is there a round table where “they” decide what is in style?  It is like the bad experience from my high school days when the Cool Committee decided what was and what wasn’t cool.

And there’s the rub:  white sock, penny loafer Bob was right…the  clothes you wear do say a lot about you.  I was afraid of what my clothes were saying about me…

When I returned home, I couldn’t look my clothing in the eye. The shirts seemed to slouch on their hangers.  Sliding through the hodgepodge, I realized that my only hope was a closet fire.

If it is true that what you wear says a lot about a person then I wonder what Paul the Apostle meant when he wrote in Colossians 3: 12-14, 

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”

I believe that Paul  is sharing that it is also important to wear the wardrobe that God has for us.  He uses the analogy of clothing because our behavior is something that people see about us.

Just like a bad suit, we look bad in negative behavior.

Instead, Paul admonishes us to clothe ourselves in love.

He then says to accessorize this love with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience and forgiveness.

What an ensemble.

Can you imagine if we were intentional in putting on this behavior everyday?   What a difference it would make in our life and the lives of those around us.

Today, decide what you want to wear.   It is your choice.

God has custom made an outfit just for you. The clothes fit perfectly and bring out your true self.   Go ahead, find a quiet changing room and go change.

Clothe yourself today with love, compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience and forgiveness.

These things are what I want to wear today…

and that it is…  “just me”.

 

Rules of Life According to Rooney Kirchenbauer

I would like to post what I like to call the rules of life according to Rooney.  Who is Rooney you ask?  Well… Rooney is my grand dog.   That’s right, my grand dog.  This past week I had the distinct privilege to have Rooney stay the night and we had a little bonding time together.  I am not sure that bonding is what happened but I did learn a few things about the Rooney Rules for Life.   Rooney is not necessarily “Man’s Best Friend”, it would be better said “Women’s Best Friend”.  Rooney for whatever reason loves women and although he is warming up to me and he is starting to accept me in his inner circle, he still keeps a safe distance.  These rules that I refer to are most applicable to how Rooney deals with his sister Eisley (That’s right I am blessed to have two grand dogs).

Rooney Kirchenbauer

So…here are the

ROONEY RULES…

1. If I like it, it’s mine.

2.  If it’s in my mouth, it’s mine.

3.  If I can take it from you, it’s mine.

4.  If I had it a little while ago, it’s mine.

5.  If it’s mine, it must never appear to be yours in any way.

6.  If I’m chewing something, all the pieces are mine.

7.  If it looks just like mine, it is mine.

8.  If I saw it first, it’s mine.

9.  If you are playing with something and you put it down, it automatically becomes mine.

10.  If you have any questions…refer to the statements 1 thru 9 listed above.

Eisley and Rooney Kirchenbauer

Mistakes We Knew We Were Making

I believe that mistakes and failures are a part of being human.  They are precious life lessons that can only be learned the hard way.

Have you ever made a mistake?

I’m not talking about the little ones you can sweep under the rug.  A huge one.  The kind that changes your life, alters your direction, makes you feel as though your world has just collapsed…and maybe it has.

You can’t go back.  You can’t pretend it never happened.  And in that moment, you’re utterly helpless.

I’ve been there.

But I am not alone.  We all make mistakes.  The problem is that most people just blame someone or something else as to why they made the mistake in the first place.  I find that there are very few innocent mistakes that have happened in my life.  My experience tells me that the mistakes I have made in my life have been made with clear thought of what I was doing before I did it.  I either did not realize the magnitude of the results or I did not care at the time.  This is true with most people.

Take Responsibility

It is sad enough that someone makes a mistake, it is worse when that mistake is blamed on something or someone else.   A number of years ago, there was a popular  show on television that coined the phrase, “The devil made me do it!”.  It was quite popular and you heard it everywhere.   The problem is that in reality the devil probably had very little to do with the mistake or failure in your life.   We forget that most times in our lives, we are our own worst enemy.  Take responsibility for the failure and move on.  Don’t blame anyone else except yourself.  If for nothing else than for putting yourself in a position to fail in the first place.  We ALL have choices.

Don’t Pile On

There was a time when person made a mistake, that it was private.  It never really left the privacy of a persons home or in the worst case the church lobby.  But things have changed.  Never before in history does the common man have instant access to spread rumor and gossip about another person.   I don’t know about you, but it seems to me that there is a lot of self-serving criticism these days.  I am really concerned when I read the posts on FACEBOOK,  MySpace and other social networks such as Twitter.   It has given people immediate access to share gossip and criticism of others who have made mistakes.

According to FACEBOOK, the average member has 338 friends.  I feel that number is way too low, but using that statistic, if your take in account that maybe 80% of them you don’t ever care if you talk to them or not.  That still leaves somewhere around 67 people you communicate with fairly regularly.  Take in account the principle of the Six Degrees of Separation (also referred to as the “Human Web”) which refers to the idea that, if a person is one step away from each person they know and two steps away from each person who is known by one of the people they know, then everyone is at most six steps away from any other person on Earth.    Daunting when you think about how much damage can be done by a simple word of gossip or words that tear down another person that you post on your computer.

Almost instantly, I can post something on Facebook and know that within seconds I have potentially  shared it with thousands.   As if the church lobby wasn’t bad enough for these things to happen, we now have brought it into our home and we can freely share in the privacy of our living room.  Like a viral pandemic, it spreads through conversations and the Internet.  There’s no desire to help the person who has made the mistake or help them find the answers in life they need.  It’s nothing more than, No mistakes allowed.  Because if you do, I will post it on my computer for all the world to see.  We need to stop kicking people when they are down.  We need to help those who have fallen, those who have made a mess of their life.  As believer’s we need to offer the same forgiveness that God imparts on us.   Be part of the solution to the mistake.

What About Second Chances?

God is about second chances.  Good thing too because not a single one of us has the resume to make it on our own.  We’ve all made mistakes.  Huge ones.  Life changing ones.  They send us running down the wrong path, following the wrong leaders, seeking the wrong goals.  And yet Jesus shows up to give us that second chance.  And He gives it freely!  It’s amazing really.

Unlike the world, God isn’t interested in what we did but who we are.  He doesn’t see the mistakes of our past but the joy of our future.  He can wipe our slate clean and walk with us forever.  And He wants to!  He actually and sincerely wants to…with all our problems and emotional baggage…and even though we’ll continue making mistakes along the way,  He won’t post it on the internet.

I’ve known people who have hurt others.  But when they turned to God and He gave them a second chance.  I’ve known people who have lied, stolen and betrayed.  But when they turned to God and He wiped their slates clean.  I’ve known people who have fought God and cursed His name.  But when they turned to Him, He forgave them.  When they turned to Him…He saved them.  Just like the white out we use to fix our mistakes when we write, God white outs our mistakes….He sees them no more.

Jesus did not come into this world with self-serving criticism.  He did not come to point out our mistakes and reject us.  He came to give life and hope and joy for all who believe in Him. God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him. (John 3:17) I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. (John 10:10b)

Mistakes, we all make them.  No one is exempt.   I think all of us wish we could erase some of the dark times in our lives created by our mistakes.  But all of life’s experiences, bad and good, make us who we are.  Erasing any of these life lessons would be the greater mistake.  A lesson is never learned until a life is changed.  Change is available for you today.  God is waiting for you to just ask for forgiveness  and He will forgive.  New life can be found in Him.

All you have to do is ask.



Swimming Lessons are Better than a Life-Line to the Shore

“…swimming lessons are better than a life-line to the shore…” – C.S. Lewis

Hey, Mr Lewis!!!  Stop pointing at me!!!

C S Lewis is one of my favorite authors.  Just when I think I have learned something from what he wrote, I read it again and something new that I did not see hits me right in the middle of  my forehead.  I never stop learning when I read his books.  Clive Staples Lewis (1898–1963) was one of the intellectual giants of the 20th century and arguably the most influential Christian writer of his day.   His major contributions in literary criticism, children’s literature, fantasy literature, and popular theology brought him international renown and acclaim.  He wrote more than thirty books, allowing him to reach a vast audience, and his works continue to attract thousands of new readers every year. His most distinguished and popular accomplishments include The Chronicles of Narnia, Out of the Silent Planet, The Four Loves, The Screwtape Letters, and Mere Christianity.

Well, today I was reading his book, Weight of Glory, and this line in the book jumped out at me. …swimming lessons are better than a life-line to the shore.  For of course, that lifeline is really a death-line ”  Man, does this cut uncomfortably close to the things I am struggling with these days.

C.S. Lewis is making a metaphor of God being a Sea or an Ocean.  And the challenge for us is to deal with the temptation to not dive in, or float out, to just trust in God for the things that He has prepared for us.   But what we normally do is to just stick our toes in…because in reality we are  afraid of what God has in store for us.   Too many times our “solution” is to have a life-line.  Always holding on to something that we perceive as “safe”.   We always want to have a backup plan, just in case my commitment doesn’t work out.  Our actions betray what we say sometimes.  We say that we “trust and obey God in all things” all the while holding on tight to a perceived lifeline.  The the end result of that is nothing like “trusting” in God.  Many of us do this…it just shows us how weak our faith can be sometimes.
Well, as Lewis later explains, that idea of just dabbling,  of not jumping in, comes from the Tempter.   Moderation (out of fear)  is  winning.   Then, paralysis sets in our lives and we don’t grow at all.   We don’t experience.   We don’t help others… and the list of failures could go on and on as a result of our lack of faith and trust.

Yesterday, I read a line from my devotional that said, “Whoever fears any man does not know God well enough.” In my case, it would probably more accurately be, “Whoever fears for his  future does not know God well enough.” I am afraid that soon, I won’t ever be able to do the things that I love doing  the most.   I am afraid that if I do not have a “life-line” how will I make it through the next few years.  I am afraid of the future job  security at work.   I  am afraid that  any another path will be a mistake.  Where is God in all this?  What is my future?  What happens next?   What is God saying to me?

Why am I afraid to let go of that line?

I’ll tell you most of the answer: because of my family, the people I love most in the world, and who depend on me, will go out to sea with me if I let go.  Or, if Lewis is right, they may sink with me too if I hold on too tightly, and don’t learn how to swim with the changing current.

So, what I am going to do?  I’m jumping in.   I am going to Swim.   How about you?