Monday, December 31, 2012

New Years Eve

Last night I sat around and listened to people share how happy they were that they were off on New Years Eve.  Others complaining that they had to work.  I thought it was an odd discussion.  Doesn't every body work seven days a week?  Isn't there always something that we have to do?  Sure seems like it to me. 

Seems like in life, you have to lean into the plow and keep working at it.  You take your rests when you can.  That is just the way the world seems to work to me.  No reason to complain, you just get up every day and keep going, and look for the good along the way.  Not very scientific, but it seems to be working.

I have great memories of New Years Eve's.  Invited over to someone's house.  Games, snacks, stories.  You fall into bed late at night and tomorrow the new year starts.  The older I get, the faster it is all going by.

If you have the day off today, enjoy it.  If you have to work, enjoy that as well.  It is all good.  Life is good.  Rain or shine, snow or not.

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

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Christmas Aftermath

Christmas is over again for another year.  We had a wonderful time at our house and everyone is glad to take some time to rest.  All the busy-ness tends to make everyone a bit tired.


Today is the last Sunday of the year.  You may not have any relatives with you, but I hope that you will make it to God's house.  He will surely be there.

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

Saturday, December 29, 2012

attendance

There are always several that ask about our attendance numbers for Christmas eve.  Please remember that numbers are only important because they represent people.  Human beings.  Numbers can also reflect the level of vitality in a congregation.

Last year on Christmas Eve we had a record attendance of 3003.  It always makes me nervous when we set records because you are always still expected to beat it.  If a baseball player hits a 360 foot home run, the next time that he comes up to bat, the fans aren't excited until he hits it 370 feet.  And a 350 foot home run, well that is just boring.  Anyway, you get the drift, there are some strange pressures that come to bear on pastors regarding attendance figures.

Having said all of that, we had a great night on Christmas Eve.  The music was super and I was very pleased with everything.  I so appreciate all of you that volunteered with hospitality, parking lot duty or ushering.  The total attendance for the Christmas Eve this year was 3281.  This is another new record.

Please join me in working to identify and retain every person that is now newly visiting Woods Chapel.  Please also receive my thanks for being the kind of congregation that people want to become a part of.  I am indeed the most fortunate pastor that I know.

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

Friday, December 28, 2012

something to think about

A reader shared this story and quote.......

Wes Swank passed away at the young age of 31.  His death was a loss to all those who knew him.  This was one of his favorite quotes.

“I go to work every day with people smarter than me, who are better at what they do than me.  I go to the gym every day and work out with people stronger and faster than me.  I spend my spare time with friends and family whose values and quality of character I aspire to reflect.  For all of these reasons, I get a little better, every day.”

I thank God for those who give us something to think about.  Heaven is a better place.

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

 

Thursday, December 27, 2012

accepting

What is that line from the serenity prayer?  "Accepting the things that I cannot change."

I really don't like the painful things that I am powerless to change.  I wish I could change them.  It is easy to get lost in the struggle of trying to fix that which I cannot fix. 

Sometimes Christians think that if they pray hard enough, or if they get enough people praying, that anything will be fixed.  Well, I am all for prayer, but in the world that I live in, honest people will admit to you that sometimes, things don't go the way that they want them to go, no matter how much they pray.

Jesus offered an interesting prayer, it includes a request and an acceptance.  "Lord, let this cup pass from me, but if not, then not my will but Yours be done."  Sometimes true spirituality is accepting that which we are powerless to change.  To learn to find the joy in these times is a great gift.  I find that I am often on a pretty serious search for this kind of joy.

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

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

the gift

What does a parent give to a child?  What does a son give to a father?  A father to a son?  What does a mother give to a daughter?  For that matter, what does a Father give to a daughter?  A mother to a son?

The joy of giving and receiving is beyond description.  It is such a wonderful opportunity to give to those we love.  I hope that you have taken the opportunity to invest in those that you love.  There is no greater joy in life than to help someone else along the way, along the journey.

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

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

today

Merry Christmas!!

I dearly love you all.

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

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve

Today there will be long lines at the shopping mall.  There will be hurried wrapping and baking.  The rush of deadlines and the pressure of trying to get everything done will cause many to be on their last nerve.

Today the churches will be filled.  The story will be read and the carols sung.  The pastors will remind their congregations of the reason for all of this.

God has spoken into this world.  Although the message came through a quiet babe in Bethlehem, His message still resounds loud and clear.  No evil of human endeavor can quench the message of God's light.  Every time a light bearer falls, someone else is there to take up the cause and point the way again.

God is redeeming the world.  God is reaching His people.  God so loved the world.  It is Christmas eve.  Don't be distracted.  God is not.  He is still on point, looking for hearts that are open to receive His wonderful message of love.  May yours be such a heart.

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

Sunday, December 23, 2012

for you

"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."
Eleanor Roosevelt

It is Christmas time.  You should be happy.  So should I.   What ever it is that is dragging your heart and mind down, don't let it do it anymore.  God loves you.  Jesus died for you.  The child was sent to a lowly place, to common people, to grungy shepherds.  God's message in Christmas is that every single one of us is loved, especially those who did not expect it. 

Realize who you are in Christ.  Realize that you are the object of God's love, God's delight.  Don't give in to the bad feelings that come from time to time.

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

Saturday, December 22, 2012

the end it isn't

Please join me in putting no stock in any future predictions of the end of the world.  In my lifetime I bet that I have heard of 50 different end of the world predictions.  The middle east is always in turmoil.  Please don't rush out and buy the books the next time that there is a big war in the middle east.

We just don't know about these things.  There is no reason for us to get ourselves all excited about trying to predict the end.  We can not do it.  When we try, we are simply engaging in speculative theology.  It wastes our time and it is not glorifying to God. 

Do you want to please God?  Then stop worrying about the end, and start being concerned with today.  Who can I love?  Who can I help?  How can I use the resources God has given me to bless someone else?

A long time friend sent me this version of a famous scripture.  I found it humorous....
"Of that day and hour knoweth no May-an."

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

Friday, December 21, 2012

the end

The Doors sang a song about "the end."  The Mayan calendar said something about the end.  Or maybe it didn't.  My entire life I have listened to preachers, prophets and ner-do-wells threaten the end of the world.

I stick with the words of Jesus, "of that day and of that hour knoweth no man."

Each day that God gives us is a gift for us to cherish.  Instead of hoping for the end, or worrying about the end, why don't we just throw ourselves with wreckless abandon at the gift of today.

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

Thursday, December 20, 2012

this Sunday

I know this is going to come up in the sermon on Sunday.  It is a Ralph Waldo Emerson quote- "rings and jewels are not gifts but apologies for gifts........the only true gift is a portion of one's self."

I don't know about you, but that little phrase has given me plenty to think about for a while.

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

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

a loss

He was born December 21, 1911, before the titanic sunk, before WW1. He was appointed a bishop in 1972 when I was 15 years old.  He retired from the episcopacy in 1980 and became a professor at my seminary.  At the age of 72, he was my oldest professor in seminary.

I remember how much I loved to hear him talk about faith in Jesus Christ.  He was an expert on prayer.  He was a good soul.  He used to say that "prayer was the soul's most sincere desire." He took a personal interest in me.

Bishop Mack Stokes died on November 21 of this year.  He was 100 years old.  He will be greatly missed, yet I thank God for the ways in which this wonderful man touched my young life.

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

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

momma said

Momma said there would be days like this.

Everywhere I went yesterday, I ran into people that were mad at me.  People that I had disappointed.  I hate days like that.  Much as I don't like to let people down, it happens.  They didn't want a bigger church, they don't like some new staff person, they don't like the sermons.  Any number of reasons for folks to be discontented in any church.

 I comfort my brain on days like that by telling myself that I did not mean to hurt them.  It was not my intention to let them down.  In fact, the opposite is true.....usually I was trying to do the right thing, and they just saw the world differently.

So, you keep going, you keep trying to do the right thing.  The sun will come up tomorrow.

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

Monday, December 17, 2012

those painful moments

"You didn't fail.  You have not lost.  Instead you have gained.....a chance to start again, this time, with new ideas, new energy and a new perspective.  An opportunity to try something you've always wanted to do without the ties of the past to restrict you."
Patricia Mitchell

Change, pain and perceived failure can be painful.  They can also be a chance for a new start.  A person has to decide in such moments, whether they will succumb or overcome, whether they will rise or fall, whether they will lay down or whether they will step into  the wind.

It's all in how you look at the moment.

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

Sunday, December 16, 2012

shhhhh

Shhhh.  Quiet.  Listen.  Don't miss it.  Sometimes I am talking when I should be listening.  Sometimes I  am worrying and scurrying when I should be listening.

There is a little sound.  A little sound of Christmas.  A little word.  It is the heart.  It is the core.  It is the central and only piece. 

Shhh.  Quiet.  Listen for it.

love.

That is what Christmas is about.  God's love.  Don't miss it for all of the hurrying.

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

Saturday, December 15, 2012

tragic

I am saddened, as all of you are over the senseless killings of teachers and children that took place yesterday.

We will be talking about this in church tomorrow.  Suffice it to say, while I am baffled by people that do such things, I feel pretty clear about who we are and the message that we have to give to the world.

I cannot control others, but I can control me.  And as long as I have life and breath, I am going to work to to the right things and to love every one that I possible can, for the sake of Christ.

Let us grieve for those whose hearts are breaking.  Let us pray that our Father console them as only he can.

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

Friday, December 14, 2012

your choice

How do you spend your time?  What do you get caught up in?  Are you drawn into endless arguments?  Are you fighting a battle that will never be won? 

As the Hasidic masters taught their students, “Rake the muck this way.  Rake the muck that way.  It will still be muck.  In the time you are brooding, you could be stringing pearls for the delight of heaven.”

How are you spending your time?

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

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Awake

We all want God to act.  We all want something to happen that will remind us of his presence with us.  We pray for miracles.  We beg for His touch.  But we cannot force God to do anything.  We can’t make it happen.

What we can do is wake up.  We can learn to open our eyes and our hearts.  At least that way, when God does act, we will notice.  We will be looking.  It will not pass us by.  Awake thou that sleepest, and the light of Christ shall shine on you.

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

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Good or bad?


Is the world good or bad?  Is life here a good thing or a bad thing?  Are you usually safe or usually in trouble?  Now there is no argument that there are some bad folks who make life terrible for others… gangs in Mexico would be an example.

But outside of those situations, I think that the world is basically a good place.  This is my Father’s world.  I was reading an author the other day who pointed out that the most common phrase in the Bible is “be not afraid.”

God is with us.  Be not afraid.  All is well.
I like it.

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

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

fighting depression

Little d depression.  Many of us get it.  It isn't any fun.  Big D Depression.  Fewer get it, but it can be very debilitating.  I talk to people all of the time who are dealing with one form or another of depression.  Here are some suggestions if you are struggling..........

8 keys to fight depression

1.  You may feel overwhelmed by many difficult things in your life.  Agree that most of them will be there tomorrow.  Make peace with that.  Focus your efforts on one of the issues.  Work on it until it is resolved.  Then move on to the next.  One thing at a time.

2.  Listen to soothing music.  Classical music or Fernando Ortega or whatever you love.  Music calms the savage beast.  It speaks to our souls. 

3.  Diversion.  Go to a movie.  Go occupy your time.  Give your brain a break by force filling it with something.

4.  Read something helpful.  Try the book, "Walking on Water" by Anthony Demello.  It really helped me during a very little d depression time.

5.  Spend time with Christian friends.  Surround yourself with positive, helpful, constructive people.

6.  Get outside and take in some of God's creation.  let the sun, the moon, the air, the wind, the trees speak to you of the glory of God.  Get outside of the four walls and let the heavens declare the glory of God.

7.  Exercise.  Go for a walk.  Start a mild callisthenic work out.  It is amazing how much better a person feels when they are exercising even a little bit.  It is a giant stress reliever.  This might be the first thing that you try.

8.  Pray.  There are some things that we can do, and there are some things that God can do.  Do everything that you can, but ask for the help of our loving Father.

It is a beautiful day in God's world.  Keep looking for it.  You will find it.  You will see it.  The goodness of God is here.

Monday, December 10, 2012

the blessing

Oh.  The blessing of a Sunday off.  Whether a pastor is on vacation, or present but not preaching that day, it is a blessing to have a Sunday when you are not preaching.  Sometimes people complain to me if I am gone, but please understand that your brain needs a break.  Your soul needs a break.  There is such pressure to have something to say, something spiritual, and it better be good!

It is so wonderful to have a Saturday when your brain isn't rolling over the information for the sermon every moment of the day.  You can actually work in the yard and enjoy the relaxation.  It is nice to have a week when you are not frantically searching for the right things to say.

So I was off yesterday.  It was good for my brain and soul.  Getting a break keeps our souls good and excited about life in general.  Thanks for understanding.

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

Sunday, December 9, 2012

golden windows

When I was a child, my grandmother used to tell me a story about a boy who looked to the west at sunrise and saw a home with golden windows.  He wanted very much to go to that very special home and be apart of the wealth, glamor, fame and wonder of that place.  He packed a lunch and started walking.  He walked all day.

Just as the sun was beginning to set, he arrived at the home only to find that it did not have golden windows.  In fact, it was a very common home just like his own.  And so he looked to the east, and as the sun was setting, he saw his own home, now itself complete with golden windows.

Grandma would explain how the sun does that to windows depending on whether it was rising or setting.  Then she would tell us the meaning.  Your home is fine.   Your things are fine.  Your life is fine.  You are fine.  All is well.  Don't think that the answer is somewhere else.  Find the answer where you are.

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

Saturday, December 8, 2012

our choice

There is a scene in the movie Evan Almighty where a reporter is interviewing Evan that sticks with me.


Ark Reporter: What makes you think God chose you?
Evan Baxter: He chose all of us.

It makes me think about when we talk about the people who are chosen and how it is usually followed by the statement ........God doesn't choose the equipped, He equips the chosen.

That statement seems have a sense of exclusiveness to me.

I Believe
We are all chosen.
We are all equipped.
We just need to say yes.

Peace,
Lion's Den Man

Friday, December 7, 2012

83 years ago

today is my mom's birthday

83
born a little over a month after the 1929 crash on wall street
she grew up in the depression era
pearl harbor was bombed on her 12th birthday (today) and so from that point on war replaced the depression.
at age 16 in 1945 the war ended
those were her child hood years

i doubt she knew how much of the plans made for her that were set aside. i never had the chance to talk to my grandfather about what he went through as a father and provider i am sure it was tough for him.

neither of my parents never talked much about those days growing up but in hindsight you can see how it affected their lives. never really complaining and never really wanting. they grew up "making do" and continued in that way of life their entire life.

so many things we can learn from our parents and those who came before us.

Peace,
Lion's Den Man

Thursday, December 6, 2012

beware of doug

i love this larson cartoon
my twist on this piece of humor is
i think everyone has a doug in their life
someone that we avoid
someone that makes us uncomfortable
someone that we find hard to communicate with
someone that always needs something or just simply gets in the way of our plans
someone that if we don't see and can't avoid really brings our day down

more than likely you have a doug lurking around
more than likely you are a doug too.... as am i

i need to remind myself of this and remember doug is ok if i don't let myself get in the way

Peace,
Lion's Den Man


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Grace

Yesterday morning, at the men's gathering, a talk was given on the topic of Grace. I think most will agree that although we are thankful for God's gift of grace it is still something we struggle to accept or understand at times. When we know we have done wrong to another, although it is nice to know when they have forgiven us, we are either unable to accept it as a truth or we tend to still want to prove ourselves worthy of that forgiveness. Many times how we accept it often plays into how we give it out as well.


In the book "The Ragamuffin Gospel", Brennan Manning writes,

We accept grace in theory but deny it in practice. Living by grace rather than the law leads us out of the house of fear into the house of love. "There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love." (1 John 4:18) Living by Grace inspires a growing consciousness that I am what I am in the sight of Jesus and nothing more. It is His approval that counts.

Yesterday's talk ended with an exercise that went something like this:
Close your eyes.
Think of something you have done that has made you feel unworthy of God's grace.
Now picture Jesus next to you.
He calls you by name and tells you that you are forgiven.
Thank Him.
Open your eyes.


Grace provides the freedom we need to carry on and do his work.

Peace,
Lion's Den Man

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

wagons

here is a twist on something i heard the other day.....


wagons. in church some people pull the wagon. some ride in the wagon. some need to be in the wagon and others need, at some point, to leave the wagon and pull. pulling feeds us. it strengthens us. it binds us closely to others we are pulling with and helps to keep the wagon on the path.

my guess is the majority of the readers here are wagon pullers and my guess is you weren't always but because of another puller's invitation you became one. there are lots of folks in the wagon that really just need a personal invitation to pull. as pullers that is our job too.

Peace,
Lion's Den Man

Monday, December 3, 2012

a simple message


It can be easy I think to take something that is simple and make it complex. sometimes we just tend to get in the way. sometimes we let others tell us what we should think or how we should respond or how we are suppose to view something. we are all so different and so we all have a different take or view on how things should be and that is ok as long as it doesn't stray from the truth....over the last few weeks I have been reading and listening to thoughts and opinions about what Christmas is "really" about and how, as believers, we are to suppose to respond to the Christmas message. Interesting how easy it is to make a statement and then argue it until it sounds like you have the answer....

I like this one myself....

John 3
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

That is Christmas. A gift of love from God. God is love. God loves us. God wants us to love each other. When we love each other by whatever means we can..... a smile and hello, a gift, serving, etc. then we are in understanding of the true meaning of Christmas.

Peace,
Lion's Den Man

Sunday, December 2, 2012

quotes

I recently watched a movie called the Tree of Life.  I was moved by some of the quotes, which I share with you today.



"The only way to be happy is to love.  Unless you love, your life will flash by.


There are two ways through life- the way of nature and the way of grace.  You have to choose which one you will follow.

Grace doesn't try to please itself.  It accepts being slighted, forgotten, disliked.  It accepts insults and injuries.

Nature only wants to please itself, to get others to please it too.  It like to lord it over them, to have its own way.  It finds reasons to be unhappy when all the world is shining around it.  And love is smiling through all things.

No one who loves the way of grace ever comes to a bad end.

I will be true to grace, no matter what comes."




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

Saturday, December 1, 2012

sermon series

I love the Christmas season, but it will soon be over.  It is pretty easy to know what to preach about during Christmas.  The story is the same every year.  But between Christmas and Lent, there is a period of 6-8 weeks that we need ideas for a sermon series.

You all are the best people in the world, and you all have great hearts and great ideas.  What would you like to hear about during that time period?  What topic would you like to hear a sermon series on?

Thanks for your help today, and in every way that you reach out and care about your church.

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

Friday, November 30, 2012

thankful -30

Today I am thankful for a new friend.  In addition to that, I am thankful for an old friendship that has been renewed.  I am also thankful for a long term relationship that has blossomed into a friendship. 

I am thankful for the ways that we can feel about others in our hearts.  I am thankful for the warmth, the joy and the hope that love and care can bring to a person's life.

If you take stock of your life and find no friends, then it is time to start looking.  Start working on you, and start reaching out.  If a man would have friends, he must show himself to be friendly.  Somewhere out there, there is a friend for you.  When you find each other, it is a great joy and it is well worth the work.  But it is sometimes work to find and build a friendship.  There is no time like the present to start the effort.  You will be glad that you did.

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

Thursday, November 29, 2012

thankful - 29

"People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are.  I don't believe in circumstances.  The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want and if they can't find them, make them."
George Bernard Shaw

The central question to happiness and contentment in this life is the choice that we make every day to focus on what is wrong, or to focus on what is right.  On any given day, there is often something wrong, but there is always something right.  The choice of perspective is ours and it makes all the difference in the world.

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

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

thankful 28

Today I am thankful for release.  The ability to release others from bondage.  To free them in my heart.

Someone hurt you.  Someone said something about you.  You are worried about someone.  There are so many ways that we get all tied up inside about another person.

You can choose to let them go.  To free them.  To forgive them.  To no longer count their sins against them.  You have the power to do this.  And when you do, how happy are you!  How happy am I when I no long hold a grudge.  Love keeps no record of wrongs.

If your heart is truly free, it is a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

thankful 27

As I sit here on this chili morning, I am thankful for Spring.  It's not here, and it won't be here for a while, but I am looking forward to it.  My feet are cold!

Now while  I am looking forward to Spring, I am not going to look forward to it so much that I ruin the rest of Fall and Winter.  Fall is good and Winter is ok, but I am thinking that Spring is looking good to me right now.

The cycle of life and death, the cycle of renewal that God has placed in creation is absolutely wonderful.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.  Don't wait for Spring to see the good.

Monday, November 26, 2012

thankful -26

from a friend-

Here is what I am thankful for today. Every morning I read one or more devotionals written by people who do not know me but cared enough about me to want me to grow spiritually and to see the joy in this part of our eternal journey. That list includes all those who labor behind the scenes and publicly to make our spiritual lives more rewarding (and easier in many ways). Included are the authors of the Bible and those who worked to make it available to everyone. Now for the point of my reading today. A couple I have read about for years both recently went thru cancer and achieved remission. The husband’s cancer is back. His wife, an author in one of my devotionals, described a recent visit to the doctor. She told the doc her husband was using the word “hopeless” a lot recently. The doctor shut his office door, looked the husband in the eye and said “your attitude is the biggest ally you have right now. You need to understand each day is a gift you can chose to open or not. I want to you to end each day by thinking of one reason why you were glad you were alive that day. You will be surprised how many reasons you find.” Today I’m grateful for the doctor, his advice (which I’m going to try), and for everyone who takes the time to share their spiritual thoughts with me and the world. What a gift!

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

Sunday, November 25, 2012

thankful - 25

"At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person.  Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have relit the flame within us."
Albert Schweitzer

And so I am thankful for you, for each of you.  Because although you may not know it, you have relit the flame of my life.  Your handshake, your hug, your voice, your smile.  You caring enough to take time to read this.  You have had a profound influence on my life, on my heart.  And as your caring has touched my journey, so you have great power in this life to bless others.

I am grateful for you.

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

Saturday, November 24, 2012

thankful still

"Saying thank you is more than good manners, it is good spirituality." 
Alfred Painter

I have believed in God my entire life.  I have believed in Jesus as long as I can remember.  There was a time that I thought I was something because I believed.  Then I became grateful. 

Gratitude adds an element to one's spirituality that makes it all about God again.  Gratitude tends to clean out the self and make room for the Spirit.

Of all of God's gifts, gratitude may be the one thing that sets our lives into proper balance.

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

Friday, November 23, 2012

thankful - 23

from a reader -

Things I am thankful for- Cinnamon-the fragrance warms a home. It is medicinal, a weight loss aid, and it tastes so good!  Always a reminder of simpler things, thoughts of home and family.

 
Holding a new baby, listening to the tiny grunts, the cries, smelling the sweet breath, envisioning a bright future; hope in a tiny perfect bundle.

 
Sailing on water;  deep sea fishing, whale watching, or cocktails with friends on the lake. How beautiful to feel the wind in your face, and warmth at your back.

 
Hot air balloons over California vineyards. Swooping down into the valley to grab a bunch of grapes then back up 500 feet. The pristine quiet aloft as you hear everything on the ground below.

 
A solid relationship with my grown children!  God has blessed us in pure joy!  We like traveling together, and meet twice a week to enjoy each others company. And they often bring their friends along.

 
Singing to someone; Happy Birthday, a lullaby, or a praise song to My Father.

 
Hands, all the hands that have served me in the big and the small things. Mother, Father, brother, doctor, nurse, lawyer, friend, wait staff, communion servers, cleaning, Christmas lights, lawn care, pastor, chef, police, fire, neighbors, Aunties, grandmother and husband, my husbands beautiful hands.
 
it' a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

thankful

Today is thanksgiving.  I could write about so many things.  But I am going to write about what is on my heart today.  I am thankful for my children.  Today for the first time in years, I woke up and they were here in my house.  I love that!  They are so funny and so smart.  They are young, and beautiful and they have a start at life, a shot at life, the ability to do better than I have done.

They all three have better jobs than I did at their ages.  They have fewer worries, fewer voices in their heads, and we love each other.  I am the most fortunate man, I am the most fortunate father.  I am thankful, with tears running down my face for my children, Alli 25 - Jenny 23 and Scott - 21.

Now there are lots of other things that I am thankful for as well, but I love my kids, we will talk about the rest of thankful things in the days to come.

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

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

thankful -21

I am thankful today for the songs of faith that sometimes roam around in my head.  They seem to find a way down into my heart.   There is nothing better than to find myself singing off and on, all day the words to a great tune.

"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, O let me nere forget, that though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the ruler yet."

or how about this one-

"Now thank we all our God, with hearts and hands and voices.  Who wondrous works has done, in whom this world rejoices.  Who from our mother's arms, has blessed us on our way, with countless gifts of love, and still is ours today."

I love it!

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

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

thankful - 20

from a reader -


I am thankful…


I am thankful he chose to dwell in my heart.

I am thankful for his presence when each day starts.


I am thankful for the smell of flowers, and the smell of hay. The smell of a barn, where the baby Jesus lay.


I am thankful for sparrows and how birds fly.

I am thankful for clouds way up in the sky.


I am thankful for water that quenches our thirst.

And I am thankful for fireworks  and how they burst.


I am thankful for trees and all they provide.

For their leaves and shade and a place for animals to hide.

I think it is awesome how tall some trees grow.

How they give nuts and fruit to feed the kingdom so.

Another thing that is simply amazing is how paper For the pages of the Bible, also comes from trees!

His Word is to guide us and teach us about living.

His Presence is found there and fills me with praising. For wood to build things, like the ark and the manger the baby Jesus laid in.

For firewood to keep warm and the frames of the homes we live in.

I am also most thankful for the cross that was made For the taking of sins so we can live with him today. 


I am thankful for friendships and people to love.

I thank God for the pilgrims and to see a morning dove.


I am thankful for neighbors who live close by.

I am thankful for schools and the flags that they fly.


I thank God for our eyesight, and how both eyes work.

I am thankful for ears and the way God made animal’s ears perk.


I am thankful for laughter, when things are funny.

Smiles and giggles and bees who make honey.


I am thankful for life and the way God chose it to start.

In the womb of our mothers where HE formed our heart.


I am thankful for snow when everything is white, A gift from heaven is snowflakes that glisten in the light.

Reminds me of another gift that came down from above, The precious Holy Spirit that fills our hearts with His love.

 
I love it when it rains, I love it when it snows.

I love the sound of thunder and how the lightening glows.


I love and adore and thank God for his Son.

Jesus…the Holy Spirit, the trinity…three in one.


I am thankful for the cross and the plan God had made How Jesus died there for us and then rose from the grave.


I thank God for family, and that I am his friend.

I am thankful for Jesus and the Holy Spirt, He did send.


He is faithful to all who will trust and obey.

My heart is so full of his love when I pray.   

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

Monday, November 19, 2012

thankful - 19

this one is from me.

I am thankful for forgiveness.

For the chance to learn it's importance.  For the ability to give it to others.  The air is always clearer when there is a drenching rain of forgiveness.

I am also thankful for those who have forgiven me.  There are more than I know of.  Think of that.  There are more people that have forgiven you, than you even know.  I have wounded others and didn't even know it, and they forgave me.

We all receive much more grace than we can know.  And so I am thankful for forgiveness.  Given and received.

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

Sunday, November 18, 2012

thankful -18

This one is from me-

I am thankful that sometimes I don't get what I deserve.  Jesus died on the cross to bear my sin.  Instead of judgment, I have been forgiven.  We get love and freedom, when we deserved something else.

The other night I was heading up to meet someone at La Fluente.  I was running late so I was in a hurry.  I am in the median, in that little strip waiting to turn left into the Price Chopper parking lot.  There is a good deal of traffic.  I see an opening coming in the cars that I can turn through.  I also notice that the car coming up is speeding up, almost as if they are trying to close the gap so I won't make the turn.

Here comes the opening, here I go.  I make it through, but it is much closer than I thought, and it was a very dangerous thing for me to do.  Even careless and imprudent.  It was dark that time of night, so it wan't until I was pulling through that I noticed that the car that was closing on me was...... a police car.

I rushed through the parking lot, another dangerous move, parked, turned off the lights, and headed in.  I watched for a while to see if a cruiser was lurking around looking for a brown truck.  The police car never came back.  I dodged a bullet.

Sometimes we deserve something, and we get something else.  So I am thankful today for good fortune and for God's amazing love and grace- all undeserved.

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

Saturday, November 17, 2012

thankful - 17

Shared by a reader -

I thank God for my son’s disabilities.  He was born January 6th and has been my Epiphany baby in more ways than one. I will condense our story by saying that my son’s disabilities have led us down a twisting path of incredible disappointment and devastating pain.  We face daily challenges ranging from life threatening situations, to less than supportive family members, a hostile school environment, financial challenges to emotional breakdowns.  Every time we took a step forward, we would be handed a new diagnosis, a new challenge. But at each moment when I don’t think I can handle it, God has shown us the way. 

I've never been more challenged in every conceivable way.  There have even been times when I questioned if life was worth living.  How could God keep letting life deal this innocent child blow after blow? I often find myself at the absolute end of my rope.  But then I open my eyes, and see God has shown me unbelievable opportunity to grow, to teach, to help, to get involved.  He has given me a luxurious struggle.  

I have grown in ways I never knew possible.  I've learned what selflessness means.  I've learned what commitment means.  I've learned what sacrifice means. 

I've learned how to appreciate the smallest joys of just getting through the day.  

I thank God for an otherwise more than comfortable life.  I thank God that I have the resources to afford to leave our school district.  I thank God I have the time and skills to run a support group to help others find their way.  I thank God for a nice car to use to get to various therapy sessions.  I thank God that I have good insurance to cover the various doctors’ appointments.  I thank God that I have a degree in education and can help my son get the resources he needs.  I thank God that I have a supportive husband and friends who “get it”.   I thank God for my son, no matter the challenges that come along with being his mom, every day of my life.  My Epiphany baby has taught me, more than anyone in the world, about being a Christian and becoming closer to and trusting in God.

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

Friday, November 16, 2012

thankful -16

from a reader -

I am grateful for the pets I've had in my life. I am grateful for the unconditional love they give. The first one I really remember was a poodle that Santa brought me several weeks before Christmas when I was 5. Heidi was such a good sport- she let me dress her up in doll clothes and would set in the doll high chair while I fed her pretend food. I also had a pretty white kitten, a pet goat (Nanny) that wasn't supposed to be a pet, several turtles, a really fat male mouse that, come to find out, wasn't fat... Or a male. (15 baby mice popped out of that thing!). Into adulthood, I had Maisy, the sweetest Rottweiler in the world, and Keesha, who had doggie-heimers. Having them put down was almost unbearable. It took two years before I'd even consider getting another pet, but I finally gave in. My Husband wanted another Rottie, and I didn't want one at all- so we compromised and got a baby Chihuahua named Bella. :) 9 months later... We got a second one named Bear. Bella & Bear (with a combined weight of 6 pounds) are the happiest and most loving little puppy dogs! When I come home they are so excited to see me. They make me feel 110% loved. Pets are sweet little 'extras' God created... not out of need for survival, but simply to bless us.

Dear God, thank you for the sweet creatures you made that we call 'pets'.


What are you thankful for?

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

Thursday, November 15, 2012

thankful - 15

From one of our readers..........


I am thankful for marriage, the opportunity to build 2 lives into one entity, something greater than each of us separately.

Rest, in the arms of a friend, a lover or my Father.

For a heart that loves.  To be able to extend a hand in friendship because I only want to love them. 

Light-sunlight, moonlight, starlight, electric light, candlelight, firelight. All beautiful, all different, all creating a different perspective. 

The American Soldier-some gave because they had to, some because they wanted to, and some gave it all, just as Christ did, so that I can be comfy cozy in my life. God, shake up my life!  Give me discomfort, that I might recognize need in others.

The human brain-gosh how I enjoy conversations with creative and positive thinkers. And the inventions that bring so much to my life, electricity, that brought radio, television, computers, IPad, ovens, microwaves, washing machines, clothes dryers.  And then there's tFal, and crock pots, and food processors!


what are you thankful for?

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

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

thankful - 14

During November, I hope to post something from each of you about what you are thankful for. To participate, simply post a comment or send me an email. Here is today's testimony of thanksgiving, from a reader of this blog-

I am thankful for the ability to think.  To examine how and why I do things.  To pray to God about how I might need to think and act differently.  Thinking and examining my life keeps me on the road to being closer to God.   I am thankful for the ability to think.

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

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

thankful - 13

During November, I hope to post something from each of you about what you are thankful for. To participate, simply post a comment or send me an email. Here is today's testimony of thanksgiving, from a reader of this blog-

I am grateful for my mom. She is the kind of mom that always makes you feel loved. Never have I doubted that she loves me, and that's what I have always hoped that's boys could say about me. No matter what- I know my mom will always love me. She's always been there for me and I know that she would do anything she could to help me. Mom has had more than her share of hardships, but she continues to push forward and be grateful for the things in her life. She's never stopped learning new things, and she never gives up. She doesn't hold on to grudges and she isn't bitter. A lot of people get grumpier as they get older, but not my mom. She becomes more content, more understanding, and less judgmental all the time. She's my mom, and I love her much!

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

Monday, November 12, 2012

thankful - 12

During November, I hope to post something from each of you about what you are thankful for. To participate, simply post a comment or send me an email. Here is today's testimony of thanksgiving, from a reader of this blog-

I'm not even sure where to begin. My heart is so filled with gratefulness to God for so many, many things.  Today, I am grateful for life. I'm grateful for the emotions (all of them!) that make me feel alive. So today, I won't complain about getting older... For it sure beats the alternative! ;)

Dear God, thank you for giving me my life.


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

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Thankful -11

From a reader -

I'm thankful that in the midst of God's apparent silence...sometimes over an extended period of time as I continually lay my nagging unanswered prayer before Him, He moves in such a way that I am aware He hears and is being God, even in my situation.

His answer to my prayer, as it comes, will be better than giving me what I ask. I am asking for the bad in my life to stop. God is crafting my story...and it's about Him, not me.

The reason I am frustrated with His "answer and timing" is because I'm more like me than Him. But, the more time I spend with Him...I suspect the more like Him I may become. One day, I'll come to think like Him...perhaps not soon, but one day. Then, I'll look back and bless His name for not "answering" my prayer by giving me my wish. Rather, on that day, my wish will be for His answer.

So, I'm thankful for a Father that cares more about my future than my appetite this hour. There's a peace that comes with trusting God. Bad things in life become manageable in a peace-filled place.

So, today I'm thankful for peace. That's a pretty awesome answer to prayer.


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

Saturday, November 10, 2012

thankful - 10


from a reader-

I am thankful for change!  That sounds very strange coming out of my mouth, because I resist change at every opportunity.  I never move the furniture, switch out pictures or holiday decor.  I am the girl who sat on the third floor of my high school on my last day before graduation crying, because things would never be the same again.  I stayed in a destructive marriage because I didn't want to get divorced, worked at the same company for 30 years and have mourned excessively when loved ones have died.  So how can I possibly be thankful for change?

Every once in a while I have a moment of clarity and realize that life may not be going in the right direction for me.  I start to see options instead of rigidity, light instead of darkness, hope in place of despair.  I like to say that I see the stepping stones in the pond.  Suddenly big changes are possible, moving half way across the country, going to nursing school, getting a new job, finding my Lord and Savior.  I know now that these changes are fueled by his Holy Spirit.

So now I see that I have actually moved from point A to point B.  I HAVE CHANGED!!  It still scares me, but it lets me know that I am alive and that God will be with me all through the stages of change.  He knows that I am afraid, but he does not leave me.  It is through Jesus that I can be thankful for change.

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

Friday, November 9, 2012

thankful -9

During November, I hope to post something from each of you about what you are thankful for. To participate, simply post a comment or send me an email. Here is today's testimony of thanksgiving, from a reader of this blog-

I am thankful for people that are not afraid to do the right thing.  They seem to have the ability to step into difficult moments with poise.  I am thankful that they are not destroyed by opposition or anger.  I am thankful that their perseverance usually pays off. 

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

Thursday, November 8, 2012

thankful -8

During November, I hope to post something from each of you about what you are thankful for. To participate, simply post a comment or send me an email. Here is today's testimony of thanksgiving, from a reader of this blog-

I am thankful for all of the good that can come to us in life, out of circumstances we would not choose.  Many of you know that my bride of 45 years went home to be with Jesus in August.  While the blessings in such a struggle that lasted 4 months, may seem to be overshadowed by the struggle, in my life that is simply not so.  I am thankful that I saw the church really become the hands and feet of the Christ.  While those times of ministry to me and my family were from mostly my WCC family, God chose to use many others in the roll He has given each of us, from His greater church.  Care givers that really care, medical professionals that were assigned to bring "bad news" and did it with such grace and mercy.  No matter what was going on at the time, there was someone who genuinely wanted to help in some way, so they did.  I have said many times, since Lynn passed on that it was such a blessing to see the church be the church as God intended!  From the prayer at mealtime of a preschooler expressing to God his hope for Lynn's suffering to end, another preschooler who wanted to "sing to Lynn" and did, to the many who reached out to our family in so many ways, God was glorified and I am truly grateful.  Have a blessed Thanksgiving Celebration and tell your spouse each day that you love him or her.

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

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

thankful - 7

During November, I hope to post something from each of you about what you are thankful for. To participate, simply post a comment or send me an email. Here is today's testimony of thanksgiving, from a reader of this blog-

Gratitude
I am thankful for my Lord and my God-to know He is mine, He is always there, a comfort beyond all boundaries, my encourager. 
For the fruits of the Holy Spirit, especially joy.  To be joyful in all circumstances.
For music; it stirs my soul.
For color;  and the eyes to see it!  But I think if I were blind, my mind’s eye would still see it.
For a sense of humor; being able to find the irony in our humanity! ;)
For self discipline.
For each sunrise; a clean slate for me, and all the world.
For the gift of prayer; an open communication with my Abba, for myself and to pray for others. 

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

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

thankful - 6

During November, I hope to post something from each of you about what you are thankful for. To participate, simply post a comment or send me an email. Here is today's testimony of thanksgiving, from a reader of this blog-

I am thankful for the life of prayer.  For the ways that I am learning to not just live, but to think about my living.  I love this quote from Meister Eckhardt -

"What we plant in the soil of contemplation, we shall reap in the harvest of action."

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

Monday, November 5, 2012

thanksgiving - 5

During November, I hope to post something from each of you about what you are thankful for. To participate, simply post a comment or send me an email. Here is today's testimony of thanksgiving, from a reader of this blog-

Jeff, I was feeling down and worried today. Thinking about how we were going to be able to deal with some issues. Thinking about what we don't have. Then I saw this and I stopped and started thinking about what I do have that I am grateful for. I am grateful for a good husband who is my friend as well. I am grateful for our two beautiful, amazing, daughters. I am grateful for our two dogs who can always make me smile and feel loved. God sure knew what he was doing when he created those "pure" little beings who only want to love and be loved. Well they like to eat a lot too, but their needs are few. I am grateful that I have a church family that I dearly love. I am grateful that I know I can have 3 meals today if I choose. I am grateful I have a home to go to and a 12 year old car that runs well and i still love it. I am grateful that i have health and no serious pains. I could go on and on for quite some time about what I have that I am grateful for. Even though it doesn't make my current problems go away, it made me feel so much better to think about all the wonderful "things" I do have in my life. The list of what I have and am grateful for is much longer than the list of things I don't have.  Thank you. Sometimes we just need a little prompting to remember. 

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

Sunday, November 4, 2012

thankful - 4

During November, I hope to post something from each of you about what you are thankful for. To participate, simply post a comment or send me an email. Here is today's testimony of thanksgiving, from a reader of this blog-

I am thankful that God's wisdom is so much more complete than mine. I pray that my focus will always be on understanding this, every day. It is such folly to think that we are the best person to guide our way through this life on earth.

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

Saturday, November 3, 2012

thankful - 3

During November, I hope to post something from each of you about what you are thankful for. To participate, simply post a comment or send me an email. Here is today's testimony of thanksgiving, from a reader of this blog-

Thanks for the chance to do some evaluation about our lives.   I am most of all thankful to two young college men at a small Catholic collage in Montana who brought their room-mate home with them in 1940.  But most of all I am grateful to them for asking me to be his blind date to go to hear Tommy Dorsey play at the Wandamere  Ball Room on Thanksgiving eve.  It ended in a marriage which took place in 1947 and is still going strong 66 years later.  While, like any marriage, it has had its stress and sadness and struggles,  it has been filled with blessings "pressed down and flowing over" and that is the thing I am most grateful for this Thanksgiving --- and every day of my life. 

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

Friday, November 2, 2012

thankful - 2

During November, I hope to post something from each of you about what you are thankful for. To participate, simply post a comment or send me an email. Here is today's testimony of thanksgiving, from a reader of this blog-

I am thankful for the selfless decision our daughter's birth parents made a little over 7 years ago in deciding to let us adopt her from the day she was born.  I wake up every morning thankful to be a mom!  After waiting over five years for this to happen and enduring many heartaches, hearing her sweet voice makes my heart smile.  My husband & I are truly blessed.

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

Thursday, November 1, 2012

thankful -1

During November, I hope to post something from each of you about what you are thankful for.  To participate, simply post a comment or send me an email.  Here is today's testimony of thanksgiving, from a reader of this blog-

I am thankful for my parents, they don't come any better than my Mom and Dad. I was raised in an average American home with 3 brothers and both a Mom and Dad in the house. My Mom and Dad were children during the Depression. Mom was 16 when she married my Dad then 20 after only knowing each other for about 6 weeks. My Dad was drafted just days later and served in the Korean war. WIthin 9 years they had 4 children. My Dad worked hard and Mom managed the house. They raised us to be honest, independent, resourceful, God fearing and to make the best of bad situations. My mom saw the good in everyone . They got to know our friends, they took us to church, they were Scout leaders, pack mothers, camp fire leaders, softball coaches, Sunday School teachers,MYF Leaders you get the picture. They attended probably every event any of us were ever in. They were always there. When i came home at night no matter how late i knew my Mom would be there to greet me and find out how my day/evening went. We played board games and card games together all the way through high school.. My Mom helped us with our English and History and Dad helped us with our Math and Science homework. We went to drive-in movies, wathced tv and ate popcorn, went fishing, made homemade icecream and ate dinner at home together. We were spoiled with love, rather than things.

As we all got married and moved away my parents continue to be there for us, our spouses, their grandchildren and great-grandchildren. They have spent time a great deal of time with each of their 18 grandchildrent individually. They know them, and each of the Grandchildren know Grandma and Grandpa are there for them! They treat everyone equally whether spouse, step, or adopted. They continue to be heavily involved in their church. They have become parents to some of our spouses who no longer have parents. They do things for people in need. My Mom still sees the best in people. When we have each gone through tough situations, they were there to support us and cheer us on. We still have a yearly get-together for Christmas and for the most part the entire extended family is there. Dad retired from KCP&L after 30 years. He worked hard and earned his way up the ladder. We affectionately call Mom the food-pusher. If you are at their house you are going to get fed whether you are hungry or not. She is a great cook.

My Dad turned 80 in August. He has had a lot of health issues over the years. He just got out of the hospital last week after a 2 week stay. In December of last year he spent the entire month in the hospital (and yes we all were there on Christmas to see him). But they keep going.
You will still find Mom and Dad at the church,either singing in the Choir, cooking for pancake breakfasts, or participating in some commitee or event..Dad as well still serves at military funerals. They are busy. If anyone of us asks them to come to an event, they will be there.

In just a few weeks my Mom and Dad will celebrate their 60th anniversary. They have been an example of Christs love on this earth in action.
I am blessed beyond belief to have them as parents. Parents don't come any finer than the set God gave to me.


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



Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween

I have such wonderful memories of Halloween.  Although I was raised in a very strict religious home, the gloves came off for Halloween.  All the rules changed.  Mom worried about evil all year long, but on Halloween, she just wanted to have fun.  It was so nice to have the pressure off and just be able to be a normal kid.

We would all dress up, put on scary music, and cook good things to eat.  She had a sign that had a witch on it that she would put on the door, the sign said, "Welcome kiddies, put all your goodies in the box below.  Go quietly and no one will get hurt."

I am so pleased as an adult, that our family has enjoyed this holiday together.  My children always had such fun roaming the neighborhood.  I have always enjoyed taking out the Hershey bars from their loot after they went to bed. Scott is in Denver, but the girls are coming over on Wednesday night and it will be a happy time.  I hope yours is as well.

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

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

not a believer

I am meeting soon with someone who tells me that they are not a believer.  I think that they want to believe, they just have a lot of doubts. 

When you have doubts, just remember this.  You may not be able to see Him, you may not be able to feel Him, but He is always there.  You may be feeling dismal, but God is still there.  Every day, every moment, you are never alone.

When the eyes of my soul are open, I see Him in the fall colors, in the miracle of the human body, in the laughter of a friend.  Oh yes, God is here and He is always around you.

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

Monday, October 29, 2012

pumpkins

So, last night we had a lot of fun.  The girls came over and we carved pumpkins.  I hope that they last until Halloween, but we carved them none the same.  I have one normal daughter and one with an odd sense of humor.

They get their odd humor from their mother.  I carved one pumpkin.   One daughter carved a normal pumpkin, the other carved one that said, "don't eat it [the candy]- lol ...."  How strange is that.  Ornery she is.  Last year she made one that said, "watch out, we have bad candy!"

Family can be so much fun.

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

Sunday, October 28, 2012

self esteem

I have a cat that has low self esteem.  He is never happy unless he is sitting on your lap.  You can throw him off 30 times in a row and he just keeps coming back.  It's hard to understand- good looking cat, well fed, life long member of our family, why would he have self- esteem issues?

Then I look at so many of us.  Nice families, great lives, but low self esteem.  I cannot tell you the number of people that I talk to that are unhappy with themselves or feeling bad for some little reason.  Sometimes they don't even know why they feel badly.

Let us take comfort in the loving reach of our heavenly Father.  He is always there for us.  He never throws us out of the room.  In His arms are comfort and consolation.  He can sooth the painful days.

Peter wrote, "cast your cares upon Him, for he cares for you."  The psalmist wrote, "cast your cares upon Him, for he will sustain you."

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

Saturday, October 27, 2012

college football

Today I am driving to Columbia for the MU game.  A friend called me last night and offered me a ticket.  How do you pass that up?  Whether you are an MU fan or a KU fan or a K-state fan, college games are awesome.

I hope that you are doing something enjoyable today. 

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

Friday, October 26, 2012

souls

Hmmm.  When you see people as souls, everything changes.  Remember what is really important.  They are just souls, on a journey.

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

Thursday, October 25, 2012

a little pain

Did you ever have a day that was just another day?  You just went through the motions.  Same old same old.  [we should not live this way, but we often do....]

Well there is a sure cure for the same old same old day.  Just add a little pain, and suddenly you know that you are alive.  A broken toe, a paper cut with lemon juice, an angry friend, or a disappointment is all it takes for you to become very present in your day.

Although we, by nature, do not like painful things, they do cause us to pay attention to life.  When we are in pain, the moments crawl by.  Days seem to stretch into weeks.  Maybe that is not a bad thing.  Sometimes I wish I could have more time in my life.  The days sure seem long when you are struggling.

So if you have something going on, rejoice!  God is with you and you are alive.  Smile, make friends with the painful thing and work to look past it to see the good.

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

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

one foot

Some days hold little inspiration.  You don't feel particularly on.  You don't feel particularly spiritual.  Yet we awake in God's world, which is full of wonder.  So you get up and go.  Plus, your boss is expecting you.

One foot in front of the other, we enter the day.  We go about our tasks and hope that somewhere along the way we will feel it.  It.  That special joy of being alive.  You know, it is just around the corner.  I know it is right there if I can just see it.

And so we go into this day.  One step at a time.  Looking, waiting.  Hoping.

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

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

acting and reacting

I have written about this before, but it is a constant issue for us humans.  In a given situation, am I going to react or act? 

Reacting is what we do when we respond to stimuli without thinking.  We just do what comes naturally.  Someone cuts us off in traffic and we retaliate.  Someone says something hurtful to us and we hurt them back.  That is reacting.  It's human, but it is rarely the best course.

Acting is different.  To understand that you can act instead of reacting is some very powerful news to humans that are able to learn this lesson.  You don't have to react to everything.  You have another choice.  Stop yourself, take a step back, take a deep breath.  Ask yourself who you are.  Ask yourself what you are about.  Say a prayer.  Breath in the Holy Spirit.  Consider your options and choose the healthiest course.  Then act.  Act out of the best of who you are.

Things always go better when we act instead of react.  I am sure that we will get another chance to do it right today.

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