Saturday, October 1, 2016

Sing Out

Too many people do not sing because they do not have the voice of Frank Sinatra or Peggy Lee. Too many people do not play baseball because they cannot hit like Babe Ruth or field like Frank White. Too many Christians hold back from what they could be because they are not big famous souls like Billy Graham or because the are not Mother Teresa.

Dear friends, we as the church will never be what God calls us to be until every single one of us jumps in with both feet. Head over heels, committed to the mission. No holds barred, no excuses, lets just go pursue our potential in Christ.

"Use what talents you possess. The woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best. "
                         Henry van dyke

God can use you to make a difference in the world.  If you are watching from the sidelines, get up and get in the game.  That is where the true joy is found.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Friday, September 30, 2016

quote

One of my friends ends her emails with this phrase:

"Be the reason that someone smiles today."

I love it.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be the reason that someone smiles today.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

unintentional hurts

I am coming to believe that life is full of unintentional hurts.  Sure there are intentional hurts:  someone robs you, someone is bullied, someone does not take responsibility for their actions.  But even in many of these situations, the people that are causing the hurting are acting out of their own brokenness or fear.

I think of the wounds inflicted by my parents.  I know that they would not intend to hurt their children, they were doing what they knew to do, they were doing what the culture at the time told them was ok, they were acting out of their own brokenness.

And I wonder if I have hurt my children- unintentionally.  I called one of my kids the other day and I told them that I loved them and that I never want them to think of me as I think of my parents [sometimes.]  There are many unintentional hurts that show up in this life.  Everyone delivers them.  If you don't think that you do, I would encourage you to think again.

The beginning of ending unintentional hurts is to think and pray about what we are doing and why.  Why am I driving like this?  Why am I talking like this?  Why do I feel the need to say this to someone?  When we stop and think about what we are doing and how it might affect others, we have a good chance to reduce unintentional hurts, and that can only be a good thing.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday to my first born.  Happy Birthday to a beautiful person on the inside and out.  Happy Birthday to a kid who has grown up and gets it.  Happy birthday to one of my favorite people.  I will never forget your words to me that night at the Ocean Grill.

Allison, you are the best!  How proud your parents are of you.  Bless you.

Happy Birthday.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

tipping point


Malcolm Gladwell wrote a book called the Tipping Point.

One of the official descriptions of the book says this, "The tipping point is that magic moment when an idea, trend, or social behavior crosses a threshold, tips, and spreads like wildfire. Just as a single sick person can start an epidemic of the flu, so too can a small but precisely targeted push cause a fashion trend, the popularity of a new product, or a drop in the crime rate. "

Imagine the tipping point in your church.  It could be good or bad.  Bad = Imagine so many negative people that the good people get tired of the fight and leave.  Pretty soon, the momentum is all going south.

But on the other hand, imagine a different scenario where more and more people are jumping onto the bandwagon of loving God and loving others.  Imagine more and more people finding the joy of living their lives in mission and ministry.  Pretty soon there is a buzz created where people know that something good is going on.  They begin to talk about it themselves and work towards creating a world where we are discovering and living out the joy of the Christian faith.

Remember what happened in the movie Sister Act?  Once a tipping point was reached, the roof was repaired, the nuns were allowed out to actually care for the needy, and the pews began to fill up.

Every church has a tipping point.  How can each of us be used to bring about the Kingdom in our own setting?

Prayer:  "Oh God, help me to be a part of the solution.  A part of your vision.  A part of your dream.  Teach me to invest, to lean in, to give myself - my voice, my time, my all, with reckless abandon for your purpose."

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.


Monday, September 26, 2016

chaos

We don't like chaos.  We like control.

But let me ask you a question.  What do you think happens when the Holy Spirit really takes over a place?  If your church is 100 people on Sunday, what would happen if 60% felt the call of God to live out in mission and ministry?  There would be so many things going on that there would not be time to report them all  to the board.  Members would no longer be able to know about everything in their church.  In fact, they would be engaged in ministry themselves, and would probably no longer be insisting that they know everything that is going on.

Tom Bandy wrote a book called Christian Chaos.  It is about what happens to a church when the Holy Spirit takes over.  So many things would be percolating up from the hearts of people that we could no longer draw an organizational chart of it.  We could no longer control it.

Control it.  Can we control the Holy Spirit anyway?  Imagine a church that was beyond human management.  The Holy Spirit just sending people out in every direction.  Oh what joy!  Oh what fulfillment.  Oh what Chaos.

Glory to God, who is able to do far beyond all that we could ask or imagine by his power at work within us. Ephesians 3:20

It is a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

three questions

For 17 years at Woods Chapel UMC, we ran what we called a "permission giving structure."  It radically changed the profile and the personality of our church.  The concept is based on the idea that everyone is called to ministry and that programs, missions and ministries should percolate up from the grass roots up.  In most systems, programs, missions and ministries are prescribed by the church board or the pastor and staff.

It is my belief that the church was founded without top down direction and without prescribed actions.  It is my belief that the Holy Spirit did then, and still can today, speak into the hearts of  regular people and cause them to live out their lives in mission and ministry.

These ideas are ingrained into my brain, into my being and they won't go away.  I hope that all Christians in all churches will ask God what they can do for him.  When we begin to do that, no surprise, God actually fills people's hearts with ideas.  When people come forward with ideas, my brain goes to the three questions that we ask in a permission giving setting.

1.  Does this idea fit our mission?  
Does it in some way show a love for God or a love for others.  Does it in some way connect people with the journey of life and love.  Almost every idea that was presented over the years did so.  We had a few ideas presented that were about the person's personal business venture, but for the most part, ideas presented fit our mission.

2.  Who is going to do it? 
If God is calling you, then you need to take responsibility for the thing.  It cannot be dumped on staff.  We can't present your idea and then press members to join you.  If you want to start a support group for left handed people, then build a team before your launch.  If you want to go on mission to Transylvania, then assemble folks of a like mind.  Who is going to do this?

3.  How will it be paid for?  
Especially in this economy, nothing gets dumped on the church budget.  If God is calling you then He can show you a way to fund the thing.  Most ministry ideas cost nothing, were self funded or were paid for by user fees.  Of course not everyone can afford an international mission trip and we try to shy away from fundraisers.  But if God is calling you to a thing, God can help you figure out the funding.

New idea?  God speaking to you?
Does it fit our mission?  Who will do it?  How will it be funded?
If you have the answer to these questions, then I say - go.  GO.  GO!!  Fly!! Live out your calling for the ministry of Jesus.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to  see the good.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Grace and Truth

From time to time I get questions about the relationship between grace and truth. This is something that I wrote a few years ago that I feel compelled to share again.

Any time I talk about grace and love, I run into someone who wants to talk about truth. To them, the idea is this: truth trumps grace. Grace is only good in their mind when someone abides in the truth. But I ask, whose truth? They will insist that their interpretation of the Bible is true. But what some people call truth becomes a hammer to hurt people. This is exactly what Jesus fought against. Real truth draws people toward our Father.

I am all in favor of truth, but I think we need to be very careful. Most people understand grace. You can feel it and it feels good. It is rooted in love. It is unchanging. Grace and love are universally identified by humans.

Truth is a little different. Some of what I thought was true when I was 18, I no longer believe to be true. Truth can also be a matter of opinion. Even on biblical passages, people have so many opinions on the truth. Truth was never meant to be a hammer. If Jesus is the truth, then somehow truth is connected to love because Jesus is the man of love.

I believe in truth, but I think the list is much smaller than we think. To me it boils down to something like this:
God loves you.
He sent Jesus.
Receive that.
Love back.
find the joy.
Share the joy.
live the joy.

Gosh that sounds a lot like grace. I am not going to spend much time arguing with people about grace and truth. At one time in the past I spent a lot of time arguing with people. I have lived the life where I thought I knew the truth and I would push it on others. All I did was hurt people. Today, I choose the life of grace. It feels much more like the life for which humans were created.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Friday, September 23, 2016

love

God loves people but does God love me?  I believe that this is a common feeling for many Christians.  God loves everyone, but somehow I can't get it in my head that God loves me.

I struggled with this for years.

The thing that finally helped me understand God's love was opening my eyes to grace.   If you read the Bible looking for a mad god, you can find one.  But if you read the stories and look for grace, well, our perspective of God changes.  The Bible is God's love story for you.  Think of all the people that received grace in the Bible:

Adam and Eve, Noah, Abraham, Ishmael, Joseph's brothers, the woman at the well, Nicodemus, Zacchaeus, Saul, Peter, on and on the list could go on and on.  Everyone that comes into contact with Jesus finds grace.

May your heart and mind be so filled with the concept of grace, may your picture of God be so grace filled that you are bowled over by his love.  May your mind think so much upon grace that your ponderings reach the tipping point and you fall over, head long into grace and love.

When you pray, pray for a revelation of grace.  "Dear God, let me see and feel your grace and love."  Pray that over and over.

When this happens to us, we begin to know and actually feel that God loves us.  And the day that we get that, we roll out of bed as a completely new person.

It is a beautiful, grace filled day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

dark night

St. John of the Cross 1542-1591 is credited with being the primary source of the concept that we today call "the dark night of the soul."  Although many monastic types have written about it, the formula for the dark night usually runs something like this.  The steps involve the common experience of the believer in his or her journey towards God.

  1. Awakening - the human wakes up to God and becomes a believer.  They begin the journey towards God.
  2. Purgation - a time of cleansing when the Holy Spirit begins to steer the believer away from self.  This can be very painful.
  3. Dark night - a common experience where the believer feels that God has withdrawn.  Often the person's thoughts get stuck in their own unworthiness.  There is often depression, a plodding along in life.  The dry soul searching for God.
  4. Enlightenment- on the back side of the dark night comes enlightenment.  The clouds part, the mist lifts and the believer finds union with God.
Mother Teresa is said to have lived much of her life in a dark night, only to find the joy of union with God in her later years.

I think that most people, especially those who are serious about their spiritual journey will experience a dark night at some time.  They are painful and can last weeks or even years.

I have had my dark nights.  One of the blessings of a dark night is that it causes you to seek God even harder.  It's like we are lazy when things are going well, but in the dark valleys we cry out to God with a fervor that we might otherwise not.  If you are in the middle of a dark time, hold on.  There is hope on the other side.  Although we may not see that God is with us, he is!  He never leaves us.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.  

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

spirituality

I was listening to Garrison Keillor a few years ago and he was talking about someone from Lake Wobegon who was a good Christian, but had a clumsy spirituality.  I love the phrase "clumsy spirituality."

There are too many people in the world that think that spirituality is just so. Just so.  Dress just right.  Always be neat.  Overdress.  Act like you have it all together.  Don't let anyone see your warts.  Cover up any unsightly things in your life.  If it looks good, then it is good.

Might I remind us that Jesus did not pretend.

I have different ideas about spirituality.  I think it comes in many forms and many sizes.  Short, tall, fat, thin, black, white, pimply, wrinkly, cut, bruised, scarred over, and more.  Spirituality is letting people see who you are, it is letting people in, it is allowing others to join you fully on your journey of pursuing God in this life.  We are all  real people with real issues.  The journey towards God in this life time is a road filled with many ruts and turns.

Never feel like you have to be perfect.  You aren't going to be.  Spirituality is clumsy.  Normal people who are looking for faith will only relate to you if you are like them.  We are never better than.  Clumsy is ok.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

absorbing pain

When you love someone you absorb pain.
Paul said that we should "in honor prefer one another." Romans 12:10

When we hurt, we do not act out of our hurt, but we choose to love instead.

And so we take care of an ailing spouse.
We give an adult child space that wants it.
We park farther away so that visitors can park close.
We give money for the needy.
We change our habits to make the life of another more comfortable.

We do this because we love.
Love means absorbing pain.
It is what Jesus did on the cross.
Leaders do not inflict pain, they absorb pain.

I am sorry about this post.   It will not be popular.
But who do you love?  How can you absorb pain for them?

There is a holy thing about changing so that another can be blessed.
There is a joy in giving- that one never finds in taking.
Prefer another over yourself.  Take up your cross.  Lose your life to find it.

Give yourself away in love.  You will be glad that you did.

It's a painful but beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Talk like a Pirate

Today is one of my favorite holidays, it is national talk like a pirate day. I wouldn't miss it for the world. Here are some terms to help you make it through today as a joyful participant.

Avast ye=Pay attention
Hornswaggle=To cheat
Shiver me timbers=An expression used to show shock or disbelief
Head=Toilet on board the ship
Poop deck=Deck that is the highest and farthest back
Landlubber=A person who is not incredibly skilled at sea
Davy Jones' Locker=Refers to death
Ahoy, matey=Hello, friend
Batten down the hatches=A signal to prepare the ship for an upcoming storm
Blimey!=Something said when one is in a state of surprise
Booty=Treasure
Crow's nest=The place on the ship where the lookout stand is built
Heave ho=Instruction to put some strength into whatever one is doing
Old salt=A sailor that has a great deal of experience on the seas
Scallywag=A name that is used as an insult to someone
Seadog=An old sailor or pirate
Thar she blows!=An expression used when a whale is spotted from the ship
Three sheets to the wind=Someone who is quite drunk
Walk the plank=A punishment which entails someone who walks over the side of the ship off of the plank. Their hands are often tied so that they cannot swim and they drowned.
Yo Ho Ho=There is often used to express some sort of cheer but also can be used to call attention to the speaker.

Be sure to tell a joke or two.  
Where do pirates buy their music?
Aye - tunes
Why are pirates cool?
They just rrrrrrrrrrrr.

Rrrrrrr. It's a beautiful day in God's world, be surrrrrre to sea the good.



Sunday, September 18, 2016

prayer meeting

I have been to prayer meetings.  I have listened to prayer requests.  Lots of them.  We used to have joys and concerns in worship service where people could verbalize their requests.

Typically our requests are for people who are sick, people who have lost jobs, people who are lonely, people who are sick and people who are sick.  These are all fine.  These are all fine.  But they do carry a common theme which sounds a bit like - "God please make the world comfortable for us humans so that we can be happy."  While such prayer requests are fine, and the Bible teaches us to ask, I don't know that God's main purpose is to make our lives comfortable.

What if, instead of prayers asking God to make life better for us, our prayer requests were about making us better.  Sweeter.  Imagine 15 people are sharing prayer requests and this is what we hear:
"Pray that God will use me.  Pray that I can be more kind.  Help me to forgive that person.  Pray that I can be more generous.  Pray that I can be more loving.  Pray that I can find more ways to serve God."

My guess is that when our prayers begin to focus on how we are giving ourselves to God for his purposes, the sick will be visited, the lonely comforted and the lost, found.  I think my friend Terry McCarty used to say something like, "be the answer to someone's prayer."

Just a thought.  Probably not a very popular one.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.




Saturday, September 17, 2016

active listening


We are not very good at listening.  Someone else is talking, and we are usually thinking about what we are going to say when they stop talking.  Or we are daydreaming or thinking about where we are going later in the day.

If we expect to have real and valuable relationships with people, we must listen to them.  We must focus on what they are saying with a heart of understanding.  How does this make them feel? What are they experiencing.  Not what am I experiencing, but what are  they experiencing?  Listening is setting aside my life for a moment and leaning into the life of another.

How good are you at really listening?  I believe this is something that all of us can work on.  The world is a better place when we are hearing others.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Friday, September 16, 2016

the Titanic

A pastor friend was commenting on the condition of our denomination. He said that our leaders keep finding ways to "rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic."  Ignoring the deeper issues, we often try to solve problems with new systems. Sometimes systems are a problem and need to be reworked, but the real issue in most situations is heart.

I thought of this famous quote. Notice the date of it.

    “What the church needs today is not more machinery or better, not new organizations or more and novel methods, but men and women whom the Holy Spirit can use…for the Holy Spirit does not flow through methods but through men and women. He does not come upon machinery but upon men and women. He does not anoint plans but men and women. Natural ability and educational advantages do not figure as factors in this matter,but the capacity for faith, the ability to pray, the power of thorough consecration, the ability of self-littleness, and the absolute losing of one’s self in God’s glory and an ever-present and insatiable yearning and seeking after all the fullness of God. Men and women who can set the church ablaze for God; not in a noisy showy way, but with an intense and quiet heat that melts and moves everything for God. God can work wonders if He can get suitable men and women.”
                  E.M. Bounds
                 Methodist Preacher 1835-1913

Rather than more programs, I suggest more passion- for God, for life and for people.  When Christians find passion for life, churches take flight.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

My Father's World

One of my favorite songs is This is My Father's World.

1. This is my Father's world,
and to my listening ears
all nature sings, and round me rings
the music of the spheres.

This is my Father's world:
I rest me in the thought
of rocks and trees, of skies and seas;
his hand the wonders wrought.

2. This is my Father's world,
the birds their carols raise, [can you hear the birds sing?]
the morning light, the lily white,
declare their maker's praise.
This is my Father's world:
he shines in all that's fair;
in the rustling grass I hear him pass;
he speaks to me everywhere.

3. This is my Father's world.
O let me ne'er forget
that though the wrong seems oft so strong,
God is the ruler yet.

This is my Father's world:
why should my heart be sad?
The Lord is King; let the heavens ring!
God reigns; let the earth be glad!


I would like to comment on this thought for a moment today.  Yes.  This is my Father's world.  This world does not belong to the devil.  [he is a finite, created, not all knowing, not all present being.]  This world does not belong to the Americans, the Chinese or the Russians.  It does not belong to our bosses.  It does not belong to Donald Trump or Hilary Clinton.

This is my Father's world.  He gives humans a lot of freedom, and I know that he does not like everything that they do, but this is still his world.  This is my Father's world.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

the neutral zone

Are you in between two places?  Are you in between what was and what will be?  William Bridges calls  this the neutral zone.  It is a place where we can feel lost - like the Israelites wandering in the desert for 40 years.  No longer in Egypt, but not yet to the promised land.

A couple of notable quotes from Bridges' book:

It's not so much that we're afraid of change or so in love with the old ways, but it's that place in between that we fear... its like being between trapezes.  It's Linus when his blanket is in the dryer.  There's nothing to hold on to.
Marilyn Ferguson

One doesn't discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time.
Andre Gide

If you are in between two places, two jobs, or two lives then you know this feeling.  Please remember- everything is ok.  The Israelites had a pillar of cloud to guide them by day and a pillar of fire at night.  We may not have any pillars that we can see but God is still with us.  Everything is ok.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

I have trouble with this idea

My mom used to say, "no one makes you mad, you choose to be mad."  Another way of saying this comes from my favorite author, Anthony deMello.  He likes to say, "if you have a problem with someone, then you have a problem."

This concept makes my grey matter arc.  It makes me shake my head.  It challenges me.  It is a reminder that we give people too much power over us in this life.  If I'm OK, then I'm OK.  If my neighbor does not like me, if my cousin does not like me, if a friend does something that I find hurtful, I have a choice.  I can take it in and wallow in the pain, blaming them and focusing on them, or I can learn to let the painful things bounce off.

This is a really big challenge in life- to learn to let the painful things bounce off.  We all need to work on this- the art of learning to listen to the hurtful messages without allowing them to destroy our confidence.  No one makes us mad, we choose to be mad.  I would rather choose to be happy.  Let's keep working on that.

It is a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Monday, September 12, 2016

painting

One of these days my children are going to learn how to paint.  I know that I did not have children simply so that I could paint for them.

I remember when Jenny was in middle school she wanted her room to be painted pink and hot blue.  Oh my!  But I did it.  When she was in high school, of course she wanted the pink gone.  I think it took 18 coats of antique white to cover up the pink and blue.

After college, I painted her apartment, and then when she moved out, I painted it back the way it had been before.  Last weekend, I got to do something that was really rewarding.  On Saturday, I got to paint in her home.  Yes, in her very own home.  The old guy on the ladder may look old, but he is happy that he is painting something that his kid owns instead of another apartment.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.


Sunday, September 11, 2016

change your perspective

My friend Bruce came to town a few weeks ago.  We drove to Miami on Thursday  afternoon to catch the Royals-Marlins game.  We stopped in Napes at a gas station that also had a Subway in it.  We sat outside at this picnic table.  I was sitting across from him, near the tire on the truck.

While we were there, an ice truck pulled up right behind me.  I'll bet that the hot exhaust was about 4 feet from my back.  The driver got out and opened the side door and began throwing ice into the ice freezer.  [look closely and you can see him behind the freezer door] My back was to the truck.  All that I experienced was the hot exhaust blowing on me.  Bruce had a different perspective.  He saw both the exhaust on my back and the frosty air pouring out of the ice truck.

I complained about the truck being so close and the heat on my back.  He said, well you know Jeff if you just move over to the right a little bit, your perspective will totally change.  From hot to cool simply by moving about ten feet.

There is of course a cute little moral to this story.  Are you feeling the heat of life?  Are you focused on what is wrong?  Change your perspective.  Move over.  Look at the thing a different way.  A better way to experience this thing is just a few feet away.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

wait

Wait.  Don't say anything just yet.  Don't act just yet.  Wait.  Cool down.  Our actions and our words are always more pointed and difficult when we are upset.

It you talk to your children when you are angry about what they did, all they will remember is your anger.  Wait.  Cool off.  Let the pain subside.  Then you can talk to someone out of the best of your heart instead of the worst.

We all want to be heard.  We want others to "get" us.  We think our message is important.  Doesn't it just make sense to wait until the tension is eased so that our message can get through?  Cool off before you talk or act.  Wait.  It won't hurt, it will only help.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Friday, September 9, 2016

the goal of love

Richard Rohr recently wrote, "if your only goal is to love, then there is no such thing as failure."

Sometimes we make mistakes.  We all do.  But if you were trying to do what you thought was beneficial, if you thought you were acting in love, it may not have turned out the way that you wanted it to, but at least you began with the best of intentions.

Methodists talk about "being made perfect in love."  This is the idea that although we will still get it wrong from time to time, we choose to rise every day with the intent of loving others and reaching out to them.

I don't always get it right.  None of us do.  But there is no greater gauge, no better life program than to choose to be a person of love.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

words

Words can hurt.  We should be very careful about what we allow to pass our lips.

Psalm 19 says, "may the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing to you."  Had paper, pen, twitter, blogging, texting and email been available to the psalmist, he may have written this:

Lord, may the words of my mouth, and the meditations of my heart, may my tweets be sweet, may my blogs be wholesome, may my facebook be uplifting, may my texts always include a smiling emoji, and may my emails always be kind.  May all of it be pleasing to you.

When I have to send an email that I know is not going to be popular, I always have my wife or a coworker read it before it goes.  Sometimes we don't realize how we are coming across and their advice can help us see what we otherwise would not.

Wesley's first rule is "do no harm."  May we work more diligently at communicating in ways that show love, even when, especially when we are annoyed about something.  After all, God loves and deeply values everyone, even the ones with which we are unhappy.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

free hugs


One of my favorite sermons of all time was the one about free hugs.

When I was a young pastor, you could hug anyone.  Then came boundaries training and you had to be careful.  Now hugs must be initiated by others.  I can still hug you, but you have to tell me that you desire that.

Hugs are wonderful  Hugs are healing.  But remember that you must let me know if you want a hug.  There are many people in this life that are looking for a bit of warmth.  hug them.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

a typo story


Well if you have read my post before you have probably noticed a typo here and there. I apologize. I should do a better job proofing. I doubt I will catch them all though. I will fail again. It is inevitable, so I ask for Grace in advance.

All that being said a while back a friend of mine shared with me a difficult time he was going through. He mentioned how something I shared with him lifted him up at the right time. It was not planned on my part. I had shared this thought with him many weeks prior and he had stored it away. Then it came in handy at the right moment. I love when stuff like that happens. As we shared this story by email I “typo’ed” the word carrying for caring. Hmm…. When you care you carry. Maybe that typo had a purpose to it as well.

Peace,

Lion’s Den Man

Monday, September 5, 2016

grow


I went to concert this summer. It was better than I expected, it was awesome. I first heard this artist’s music 30 years ago.  I have a few of his CD’s but I had not kept up with him in a while even though he had continued to make new music. After the show I went on-line to read more about his career. I read stories and listened to interviews from his contemporaries. The theme was consistent.…”He kept growing while we stayed comfortable”…. “He always was stretching himself”….. “He never let himself be put in a box”…. “He saw no limits”…. “He followed the path less taken” ……etc.

Growth. It’s visible. It’s limitless. Seek it.

Peace,

Lion’s Den Man

Sunday, September 4, 2016

It doesn't count

My good friend Pat Stark said a few years ago in a sermon, if you think you are grateful, but do not express it, it does not count.  I am sure that I have written about this before, but it is on my mind again.

If you love someone but don't tell them, does that count?  If you are thankful, but do not say thank you, does that count?

Think of the power that is unleashed when we don't just think about how we love our kids, but we actually tell them.  Think about the joy that is released to a person when we smile, look them in the eye and say thank you.

My entire life growing up my parents loved me, but for some reason, could not say it.  I am glad that they loved me, but oh, it would have been nice to know it at the time.  I do not want my children to ever doubt that I love them.

If you love someone, tell them.  If you are thankful, say thank you. You will be glad that you did.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

I love you

What if you came to this blog every day and read the same words.  "I love you."  Those words and no others for an entire year.  Would you keep coming back?

We don't tell each other enough that we love each other.  I love you.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Friday, September 2, 2016

An old friend

Greg played softball with us for a couple of years. Greg gave a pair of really cool cleats to my son. Greg is a good man.

Greg met Annie and they fell in love. Love is a great thing. Annie attended another church, so like what happens so often, Greg left us and went to church with Annie. This is ok. This is good. Married folks need to work their lives out and sometimes they go to the other church. It happens.

So I had not heard from Greg for a while, but the other day he sent me the lyrics to a song and some well wishes. The title is I thought about you Lord.

I thought about trees
And how much I'd like to climb one
I thought about friends
And how rare it is to find one

I thought about You
The most gentle, sweet and kind one
I thought about You, Lord
I thought about You

I thought about life
And the way that things are goin'
I thought about love
And the pain there is in growin'

And I thought about You
The one who is all knowin'
I thought about You, Lord
I thought about You

I thought about You
And the songs that I keep singin'
I thought about You
And the joy that they keep bringin'

I thought about life
And a love that has no endin'
I thought about You, Lord
I thought about You


You can listen to the song here:

Greg- thank you for the song!  Thanks for writing to me!  I remember you and Annie with such joy!  God bless you my friend.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.