Saturday, December 31, 2016

never too late


My wife and I got together with some old friends last night on the eve of New Year’s Eve. We use to do this every year for many years and then life, kids, moving further apart in distance made this very good thing fade away. But, fate has it way and last night after a 17 hiatus the old group, one and all, got together again. Kids had grown and so had we but it was like we had only missed a year. The old stories were remembered and the new ones were shared and everyone was glad the night had come together again.

Friendships.  Don’t lose what you have, but if you have, then go and get it back. You will only regret the time apart.

Peace,

Lion’s Den Man

Friday, December 30, 2016

love


I love my mom. She is 87. She has a large family that loves her dearly. She lives is a nursing home and is in the advanced stages of memory loss.  Sad.

She fell the other day. Broke her hip.  Sad. The surgery went well. The surgeon said she has strong bones. My sister said it was because she fed herself and us a lot of cheese. Levity…got to love it.

I am very glad for the parents God gave me and for the family that I have and the love that abounds. Some are not as fortunate and for that I am again, sad. If that is you more than likely you are here because you have faith and hope and love.

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

Peace,

Lion’s Den Man

Thursday, December 29, 2016

no hurry


How old do you have to be to start seeing that things are moving too fast?

In the movie Shawshank Redemption the character Brooks, who had been in prison most of his life, gets paroled. One of his first observations was, “I can't believe how fast things move on the outside. I saw an automobile once when I was a kid, but now they're everywhere. The world went and got itself in a big damn hurry.”

My dad use to say things similar to that and now I catch myself with similar thoughts and comments. I drive to work and watch cars blow past me left and right and my speed is above the limit. I didn’t use to see that in the past. Maybe I use to drive faster or maybe I am just slowing down.  My brother retired a couple of years ago. He is in a slow and easy mode now. To know him before you might think something is wrong with him, an illness perhaps. But in reality he is just taking it all in. He is investing himself and his time in others. Not a bad way to spend retirement. Not a bad way to spend each day!

Peace,

Lion’s Den Man

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

washing your hands

I was washing my hands the other day.  I remembered how my wife taught me after she went to work at Children's Mercy Hospital, that if you don't wash your thumbs too, you aren't washing your hands.

Anyway I was washing my hands the other day because I had picked up some stuff from the parking lot and my hands were gritty.  How delightful it was to turn on the faucet and squirt the soap out and clean my hands.

Then it occurred to me:  many people around the world, maybe even most people, do not have the privilege of washing their hands as we do.  The lack of water, the lack of clean water and the absence of soap would all keep one from washing their hands as we do.

I paused to thank God for the simple gift of washing my hands.  We take way too much for granted.  I thank God for the gift of water and soap.

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


Tuesday, December 27, 2016

worry and trust

Worry and trust are mutually exclusive.

If I ask an adult who has lived in a town a long time to go to the grocery store for an item, I don't worry about it because I trust that they can manage it.

If I ask a brand new 16 year old driver to make his first solo trip in a car to go to the grocery store to get me something, I am going to worry because I don't really trust that they can get it done right.

So when we worry about things in our life, what are we saying about God?  God you are inept.  God you don't have what it takes.  God you aren't big enough.

Worry and trust are mutually exclusive.

God is big enough to manage the thing.  He cares about it all as much or more than you do.  Don't worry, trust Him.  See him as able.  See him as big enough.

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

Monday, December 26, 2016

today

This is the day that the Lord has made.  Let us rejoice and be glad in it.

When we spend time reliving our past, we are dragging out old emotions and situations that cannot be changed.  We are wasting our time wishing they were different when they are what they are.  Counseling can help us deal with our past, but simply replaying the old tapes over and over again robs us of the joy of living in this moment.

When we rehearse our future, we are planning for something that we cannot control.  Now some planning is good, but when it is worried rehearsing of how something is going to go wrong, then it is not healthy and we are again robbing ourselves of living in the moment.

Reliving the past failures and rehearsing future ones rob us of the gift of this day.

Today is a gift.  That is why they call it the present.

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

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas

Unto us a child is born.  Unto us a Son is given.
Merry Christmas my friends!

May your day be filled with joy!
May your week be filled with joy!
May your life be filled with joy!

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

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Christmas Eve

Today is Christmas Eve. It's a busy day at the church, but it is a great day to be in church.

I know that every day is the same. I know that every day is a gift from God. But there is something unexplainably magical about Christmas Eve.

Egg Nog. Family and Friends. Sitting by the tree. Wonderful Music. Giving thanks for the last year. Giving thanks for life itself. Appreciating God. Candle lighting at church. It is indeed the most wonderful time of the year.

Today we have services at 3pm, 5pm, and 7pm. You are invited and welcome to attend. If you live far from here we invite you to watch our services live on the web or attend the local church of your choice.

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

Friday, December 23, 2016

favorite Christmas songs

There are of course many great Christmas songs, but here are some of my favorite:

Hark the Herald Angels Sing
I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day
Once in Royal David's City
In the Bleak Mid-winter

How many of those four are you familiar with? Probably all of you know Hark the Herald Angels sing, but do you know the others? Learning new and obscure songs is kind of cool. If you don't know the others here are some youtube links:

I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day

Once in David's Royal City
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NMGMV-fujUY

In the Bleak Midwinter [this just brought me to tears]
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_hs9-Sxf9j4

Do you know any obscure Christmas songs that I should learn?

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

Thursday, December 22, 2016

It's still true

So my wife and I went over on a Saturday morning to see Christmas in the park at Riverside Park.  There were lots of trees and decorations, refreshments and singers.  I stood and listened to this trio sing a number of songs, one of which was What the World Needs Now.

I thought how odd that they were singing a song that was popular long before they were born.  I thought about how true it still is today.  What the world needs now, is love sweet love.  It was recorded in 1968 by Jackie Deshannon.

Here is the link to the song.
What the world needs now by Jackie Deshannon

What the world needs now is love, sweet love
It's the only thing that there's just too little of
What the world needs now is love, sweet love
No, not just for some but for everyone

Lord, we don't need another mountain
There are mountains and hillsides enough to climb
There are oceans and rivers enough to cross
Enough to last 'till the end of time

What the world needs now is love, sweet love
It's the only thing that there's just too little of
What the world needs now is love, sweet love
No, not just for some but for everyone

Lord, we don't need another meadow
There are cornfields and wheat fields enough to grow
There are sunbeams and moonbeams enough to shine
Oh, listen, lord, if you want to know

What the world needs now is love, sweet love
It's the only thing that there's just too little of
What the world needs now is love, sweet love
No, not just for some, oh, but just for ever, every, everyone

What the world needs now is love, sweet love.


It is still true.

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

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

hurricane Mary

I mentioned Mary in yesterday's post and it reminded me of this picture from Hurricane Matthew.  My family had decided to hole up in Vero Beach, and the stores were out of everything on the East Coast.  So since I was in Cape Coral and supplies were available,  I made a list and started loading up the car.   Tarps, generator, cases of water, propane tank, gas cans, anything that I thought we might need.

The car filled up and I had to pile some of the stuff on and around Mary.  I hope that she did not mind, but the flammables ended up right next to her.  I jokingly asked that she would protect us and keep us safe, even though I put gas and propane next to her.  I'm sorry I just think it turned out funny that she was packed in with that stuff.  She usually has the seat to herself.

Anyway, we all lived thru the hurricane so Mary did her job.  It's a busy time of year for her so I am going to take good care of her this week.

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

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

wreck

Last Thursday about 3 pm I was driving on highway 80 just outside of Labelle.  There was a pretty good amount of traffic, and per usual, everyone was jockeying for position.  We were coming up to a stop light in front of the Walmart and I moved over into a lane that was clear and thought, "now I'm in the clear." 

The only problem was, the light was red.  Suddenly I realized that I was in the middle of the intersection and people were turning left in front of me.  I jammed on the brakes.  Thankfully I wasn't going that fast, and was able to stop.  Horns were honking at me, and rightfully so.  Everything that was not tied down came flying up towards the front of the car.  Thankfully, Mary was buckled in and she was not hurt.

The people behind me had watched in horror and had left room for me to back up onto my side of the intersection.  I looked around at some of the the other drivers and mouthed "sorry."  The light changed and we went on.  I was glad that this error did not result in a crash and I was glad that it was not witnessed by law enforcement.

But I thought to myself...........  I am always talking about paying attention, and look at me... I totally spaced off.  I was completely out of touch with what was happening in that moment.

We need to pay attention to life and not get sidetracked.

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

Monday, December 19, 2016

footprints

This is from an old friend that used to give tours of Kansas City.

I don't know whether you've ever been to the west side of the big open area in Union Station, but over in an inset, just before you go the the restrooms area is a long two tiered marble ledge. Back when I did tours for ten years, I would always take visitors to the City to that unique marble area and let them observe the footprint indentations in the marble. That is all that's left of the old shoe shine stand where soldiers passing through KC on troop trains, during WWII would stop and get their shoes shined.

Each of us leave footprints behind in this life.  They are being etched into the marble of the hearts of those we come into contact with.  

Walk intentionally.  Walk with care.

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

Sunday, December 18, 2016

when judgment stops

I think that most of us by nature tend to gravitate towards right vs wrong, good vs bad, right vs left.  This ongoing need to divide people into two groups creates a good deal of worry and angst in our lives.  Folks that get fixated in the world of judgments end up living a life that is constantly consumed by conflict.

So what if someone voted for the other candidate.  Does that make them bad?  Does that make them an enemy?  So what if someone has a different opinion from you on capital punishment?  So what if they root for the other sports team?  We have come to define ourselves by being on a certain team instead of being on the human team.

Jesus loved everyone.  He welcomed everyone.  He embraced Jayhawks, and Gators and Tigers and Seminoles.  Labels meant nothing to him.  It did not bother him that Matthew was a tax collector or Simon a Zealot.  Peter wasn't seen as an uneducated fisherman, he was seen as a person created by God, because Jesus saw him for what he was.

Someone will say to me, "but Jeff, they are wrong!"  Maybe so, but that is not mine to judge.  Judge not lest ye be judged.  Yes they may or may not be going to heaven, but who made me in charge of that?  Are you in charge of that?   When we set ourselves up as the judge, all of life becomes a tension filled courtroom.

On the other hand, when we begin to release ourselves from the need to judge others- love, peace and joy rise to the top.  It is like they were there all the time, we just had to get ourselves out of the way.

Try it.  Make a concerted effort to release others from the labels of the past and just see them as someone that God made.  What the world needs now is love- still.

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

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Seeing into a person's soul

It is such an unusual thing, it is hard to describe.  There are some people, that for some reason, you can kind of  "see into their soul."  Maybe it's a spouse, maybe a friend or relative, but you can see into their souls.

Someone once said that the eye is the window of the soul.  I believe that they were on to something.  If you look at people, and if they let you see in, you can often see what is really there.  Sometimes I see hurt in others, sometimes I see fear, but my favorite thing to see is goodness.  Some folks are just good souls.  It is like they have lived through hell and still see the good.  They are beyond judgment.  They look at others and value them.

When we start seeing people as souls, we stop worrying about if they are young or old, pretty or not, rich or poor, etc.  We just see the goodness in them and the value of who  they are as a child of God.  I believe that God looks at us and sees the good.  He made us and called his creation good.

Look someone in the eyes today and offer them a sincere thank you for whatever they may be doing.  Really you are just recognizing them, seeing them, seeeeeeing them, and letting them know that they are valued.  We were made to love and value others.

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

Friday, December 16, 2016

An old friend called

An old friend called me the other night. I got to catch up with someone that I had not talked to for a while.

Oh, it was so delightful. To hear a familiar voice, to hear the joy, the laughter, the memories. Oh, it was so very good. 🙂😊😊

Please call the people that you care about. You will be glad that you did.

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

Thursday, December 15, 2016

not enough parties

We don't throw enough parties.

We are too serious.  We are too consumed with making a buck and all of the tasks at hand.  Even parties become something that we must do, that must be perfect, that are dreaded, and finally we are relieved that they are over.

There are lots of parties in the Bible.  Jesus turned the water into wine at the wedding in Cana.  David danced before the Lord.  There are many stories about the great banquet in heaven.

Friends, life is to be celebrated, enjoyed, savored.  What if we threw a party for no reason at all?   Set a date, invite who you will, and just enjoy being with those you love.  Don't clean the house, don't make expensive food, just make it easy.  No worries.

Everyone bring something easy.  I'll put on the music.  Walk in and smile.

We don't throw enough parties.

How about a party, a celebration, just because we are alive?  Isn't that worth a heartfelt, joyful smile every now and then.  We need to dance with life.

For no reason at all, throw a party!  I love it.

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

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

faith

I went to a movie on Thanksgiving day.  During one the of the previews there was this line, "when you have no possessions, the only thing that matters to you is your faith."

I think that this is very true.  We get caught up in our cars, clothes, homes, and stuff.  They can easily become idols that interfere with our faith.  Everything that we own, owns a piece of us.

In Nicaragua, there is a faith in the hearts of the people that is pure and clear.  It is all they have to hold on to.  They have no worldly items in which to put their trust, and so their trust falls to where all trust should fall..... to our Father.

How can we move our faith away from objects, to the Almighty God?  Here are some ideas.
1.  Recognize that you don't need more.  Stop collecting more stuff.  No more garage sales shopping.
2.  Wear the same old clothes.  No need to buy new simply because you are tired of the old.
3.  Be satisfied with that TV, even if it isn't the latest version.  Same thought with your phone.  We don't need the new iPhone.
4.  Start giving things away.  Find someone that needs what you have more than you do, and give them some of your stuff.

Free yourself from the power of things by distancing yourself from them.  When we begin to do this, we begin to find the life that truly is life.

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

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

to know

There are some comforting thoughts in this life:

  • to know that I don't have to fear death
  • to know that I have a home to go to
  • to know that my children are doing ok
  • to know that God always gives me a second chance
  • to know that I can, we can probably figure our problems out
  • to have tools in the garage
  • to have people that like me

Probably the most comforting thought in the world though, the one that makes such a difference to me is this:  there are people that love me.

For all of my faults, in spite of my mistakes, there are people that love me.  I hope that you have people that love you.  It makes all the difference in the world.

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

Monday, December 12, 2016

smile

There are people in this life that just make me smile.

Is it their kindness?  Is it their humor?  Is it their persistence to stay positive?  I don't know, but they are a blessing to me.

In a world where too many people are seeds of worry and angst for us, I certainly hope that you have people in your life that make you smile.  You know, you just see them from across the room and they light you up. I hope you have people like that.

Be that person to someone else.

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

Sunday, December 11, 2016

favorite time of the week


  

I realized something the other day- one of my favorite times of the week is Sunday morning before worship service.

This is when I get to see people up close.  This is when I get to look into the eyes of some of the most amazing people that God has ever made and smile at them and with them.  This is when our brief greetings and brief gazes tell each other that life is still good and everything is ok. This is a moment that we are reminded that all is well.

Community is built one person at a time.  The world is changed, one person at a time.  The kingdom comes one person at a time.  

I love every person that I get to talk to on Sunday morning.  Maybe that is why I hope to see you in church.  When we see each other there, we have a common desire of finding joy in something that is bigger than we are.

One of, probably my favorite time of the week................ Sunday before service.
Today is the day.  I hope to see you!!

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

Saturday, December 10, 2016

why can't I sleep?

I used to sleep like a baby.
A few years ago I realized that this was changing.  I fell into a pattern of sleeping for about 4 hours, then waking up, wandering around the house, and trying to go back to sleep.

One of my older friends said, "welcome to old age."

Now it is a pretty common occurrence. Four hours of good sleep in the bed, followed by an hour or two of wandering the house, cleaning up or working on the computer, finishing with an hour of sleep on the couch.

I would much prefer to sleep all night for 8 hours.  It does not seem to have anything to do with what is going on in my life.

Any suggestions?

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

Friday, December 9, 2016

Tikker

I was talking with a friend and noticed her unusual watch. I asked her what it was. She said, "it is a Tikker." From the Tikker web site:

The Tikker Watch was designed to provide you with a constant reminder that life is truly short and we should take advantage of the time we have on this planet. The Tikker System will give you an estimate of your life expectancy and then counts down every second so you can make choices that will enhance your life such as exercise, a healthy diet, or finding ways to reduce stress. Buy one now and you will see how it immediately and positively affects you and those around you. Start a new way of looking at life today.

Ahh, a tool that we see every day that reminds us of the brevity of life! Ahh, another opportunity to see the value of every moment of every day.

I like it.

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

Thursday, December 8, 2016

unusual writing


I have a friend who has an unusual way/style of writing. A brilliant man who made and makes a huge difference in my life. In response to an email from me, he wrote this:

at least
once
a week
someone
i meet
on the street
mentions
you
and i
remember
almost
daily
what
was
still
is
even
though
for no reason
understood
i dont make
contact
now
very late
i am

So I decided to write back to him in his own style. Here is what I sent him......

I
will never
forget
what
we had
have
amazing
it was
love
never
ends
i
thank
god
for
every
thursday
that we
met.
holy
holy
holy
i
love
you

Oh my friends, let us pause and give thanks to God for every friend that has made a difference in our lives.

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





Wednesday, December 7, 2016

a good song

A friend sent me this link and thought I should post the lyrics to this song. I agree.

here is a link to the official video
Tim McGraw - Humble and Kind

"Humble And Kind"

You know there's a light that glows by the front door
Don't forget the key's under the mat
When childhood stars shine,
Always stay humble and kind

Go to church 'cause your mamma says to
Visit grandpa every chance that you can
It won't be wasted time
Always stay humble and kind

Hold the door, say "please", say "thank you"
Don't steal, don't cheat, and don't lie
I know you got mountains to climb
But always stay humble and kind
When the dreams you're dreamin' come to you
When the work you put in is realized
Let yourself feel the pride
But always stay humble and kind

Don't expect a free ride from no one
Don't hold a grudge or a chip and here's why:
Bitterness keeps you from flyin'
Always stay humble and kind

Know the difference between sleeping with someone
And sleeping with someone you love
"I love you" ain't no pick-up line
So always stay humble and kind

Hold the door, say "please", say "thank you"
Don't steal, don't cheat, and don't lie
I know you got mountains to climb
But always stay humble and kind
When those dreams you're dreamin' come to you
When the work you put in is realized
Let yourself feel the pride
But always stay humble and kind

When it's hot, eat a root beer popsicle
Shut off the AC and roll the windows down
Let that summer sun shine
Always stay humble and kind

Don't take for granted the love this life gives you
When you get where you're going don't forget turn back around
And help the next one in line
Always stay humble and kind

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

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Happy Birthday

Daughter Jenny and Cathy
Happy Birthday to my dear wife Cathy!

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

Monday, December 5, 2016

the essential part of the equation



Piggybacking on yesterday's post. The essential part of Christianity is learning to die to one's self. We fight this tooth and nail. After spending our entire lives learning to stick up for ourselves, we one day wake up to the invitation [which has always been there] to put the heart of God first...... Before me, before my will, before my comfort, before any of us, should come the desire to love others.

The scriptures are full of invitations for us to die to self. Romans 12:10 says

"Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another."


What are ways that we prefer others? What are ways that we honor others? Here are some that I can think of:

1. drive as if they have a right to be on the road too.
2. let them go before you at the grocery store.
3. let them pick where you go to eat.
4. hold back critical comments
5. assume not that I am right, but that I may be wrong about them.
6. see difficult people as dearly loved by God.
7. let them sit in your pew
8. smile and say hello to everyone.
9. leave a bigger tip

There are 10,000 other ways to honor others. Please add to the list. I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic.

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






Sunday, December 4, 2016

the two functions of religion

Richard Rohr was writing last week about the two functions of religion.

The first is to help one's self find it's true identity in God.  We are created by him and loved by him.  We are alive in Christ.  We have a true identity, its in him.

The second function of religion is to eradicate the self.  Rohr quotes Ken Wilbur,  "the second function of religion does not fortify the separate self, but utterly shatters it.  Mature spirituality offers not consolation but devastation, not entrenchment but emptiness, not complacency but explosion, not comfort but revolution.  Rather than bolster our habitual patterns of thinking, it radically transforms our consciousness and gives us what Paul calls the mind of Christ."

It is sad that so many Christians identify themselves by their position, their power, and their possessions.  None of those things matter.  We are all souls on a journey toward God.  We find our identify "in Christ."

Unfortunately, since we find our identity in the wrong things, we hold tightly to the self.  We protect it, even when Jesus calls on us to lose our selves and to die to our selves.

The world would be a much happier place if Christians discovered their true identity and allowed their lives to be spent each day, living each moment as the hands and feet of Christ.

Today is a new day.  Let's give it a try.

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

Saturday, December 3, 2016

2 friends

Two friends were talking before Thanksgiving.

Friend 1:  "Are you going somewhere for Thanksgiving?"
Friend 2:  "No.  I am hosting Thanksgiving."
Friend 1:  pauses - "Why don't you host Thanksgiving every day?"

I love this story.  Why don't you host Thanksgiving every day?  Why don't I?
Why don't we all recognize that when we are awake to what God is doing in the world, everyday is or should be Thanksgiving.  Let's host it!

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

Friday, December 2, 2016

another story from my life

It is a Wednesday night in 1974.

          After work one day at the bicycle shop, I drove my blue 63 Ford Galaxie to church for an evening Bible Study.  I sat in the back - on the very back row.  I listened to Pastor Gerald Fry talk about the way that God can touch your heart by the Holy Spirit.  As he spoke, I felt a tingling all over me, as if God had come down and flooded the inside of my body.  With each word that the Pastor spoke, I was struck with a deeper desire to have this God.


            After the study was over and the crowd had disbursed, I went up to the front and asked the pastor to pray for me.  He did.  He prayed for me to have the Holy Spirit.  When I left there, I felt that I did indeed have the Holy Spirit.

Looking back on this story years later, I would not describe this as a conversion, because I was already a Christian.  And I believe that when you become a Christian, the Holy Spirit dwells in you.  So I did not receive the Holy Spirit that night, He was already with me.  But it did seem to be some kind of a quickening or awakening.  All these years later it is still a very good memory that makes me smile.

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

Thursday, December 1, 2016

a note from a friend

Almost everyone that lives in Cape Coral moved here from somewhere else.  So everyone around here knows what it is like to move away from friends.  Here is a note from one of my KC friends, just telling me about their day.  I was so proud of them and their heart for the kingdom.  😎

it sure is a good thing to be kind and pay it forward.
I was in Chicago for a business meeting all week last week. On Sunday I went to lunch at Ditka’s and ordered two burgers and fries, one of them was to go. In conversation with my server she learned I was getting the second to give to a random homeless person. She was so touched. I found someone on the street and gave it to them. The person was grateful but not extremely so. Oh well I thought they are going through a tough time and I am not to judge their reaction. I felt good.
Later I bought a wrap at Starbucks for another person and later gave someone else some money.
My heart and mind were in a good place that day and I wanted to share my good fortunate with a few other folks.

Oh how stories like this thrill my heart.  Notice that my friend was not concerned that the recipient was not grateful, they were just glad to help.  Friends there is so much joy in helping others.  Remember Jesus ended the story of the Good Samaritan by saying, "go thou and do likewise."

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

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

in or not in the Bible

There are many famous phrases that people assume are in the Bible.  Two good examples of "not in the Bible but we thought they were" are:

God helps those who help themselves.
and
Cleanliness is next to Godliness.

One that some people regard as a common old saying or colloquialism but actually is in the Bible is this:
Do unto others as you would have them to do unto you.
                                               Luke 6:31
                                               Mt. 7:12

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you is not merely a request that we be nice.  It is also an insinuation that we should not retaliate and it can be applied to so many  things in life.  If you are upset about something and wish to lash out, just ask yourself how you would like to be treated if someone was upset with you.  If you are cut off in traffic and want to retaliate, remember the times that you inadvertently or in a hurry popped in front of someone.  How would you like to be treated?

Great advice from Jesus.  That is why it is called the "Golden Rule."

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

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

stories pt 5


This is part 5 of a series of stories from my life. Earlier posts began a few weeks ago.

I was 16. By this time, I had a growing heart of faith in Christ, but I was also causing my parents some real grief. I was a typical teenage boy.

I purchased a picture from a man who came into the bike shop where I worked. It was a man out on the rocks…a seascape.  It cost about $25 which was a good deal of money for a young man that made $1.50 per hour. I knew that this picture should be my mother’s birthday present on July 19th.

The day came to give her the picture.  Remember, I am a pain in the neck at the time.
She was drinking her morning coffee, sitting in the backyard at the patio table, 4 chairs with a fringed umbrella. She opened the picture just as the sun was coming up over the peak of the house. The edge of the umbrella and the roof-line, cut the sunlight into a beam. The beam of light was fluted by the tassels on the edge of the umbrella. The light looked as though a beam of light was shining from heaven, down upon the man on the rocks.

My mother started to cry. I started to cry. She said, “do you see it?” I said, “I see it.” She said, “that man in the picture is you, and now I know that God will take care of you my son.”

Later in life, when I was going through a rough patch, my mom gave the picture back to me.  She said that I would need to see it more than she did.  The picture has hung in my office for 30 years.  Come by and see it sometime.

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

Monday, November 28, 2016

election results

I have talked with several people since the presidential election.  Some are happy, some are sad.  I heard a speaker talk recently about the joy or disappointment of who won and who lost.  He reminded the audience that for Christians, our identity does not spring from Trump or Clinton, Democrat or Republican, or winning or losing.

Our identity is found in Jesus Christ.  We are created in the image of God.  We are his children and we have to remember this before all other concerns.  We belong to our Father.

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

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Celebrate Recovery

I had heard of the program "Celebrate Recovery" while living in Kansas City.  Cape Coral First hosts the program on Monday night.  Although many think of it as a place for those recovering from alcohol or drugs [and it is] it is also a place for anyone with a hurt, a habit or a hangup.

That takes in most of us.

At CR the worship service has a tone of reality and intensity that you don't always find in most churches on Sunday mornings.  The discussion, the prayers and the determination is inspirational.  You know that every person there is deeply seeking God.  No one is going through the motions.

If you have a hurt, a habit or a hang up, you may want to try CR.  It meets every Monday night and everyone is welcome.  There is a light dinner from 6-6:45, then worship and 7 and small group at 8 if you choose to stay for that.

Too many people live with hurt when help is right around the corner.

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

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Eckhardt

Eckhart von Hochheim (1260 – 1328), commonly known as Meister Eckhart was a German Catholic Priest of the Dominican order. He is a revered and studied, theologian, philosopher and mystic.

About all I really remember about the guy is this quote:

If the only prayer you learned in your whole life was, "thank you," that would be enough.
                                                                           ~Meister Eckhart

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

Friday, November 25, 2016

thankful

How did you feel when you awoke this day?  Happy? Sad?  How do you feel about the day before you?

I don't know who said this, but I think it is true:  "If you can find one thing to be thankful for, and keep focused on that, everything changes."  In other words, my entire composure can turn for the better simply because I am focusing on a positive.

Gratitude is so powerful.

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

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Thankful

Today I am thankful for many things.

I am thankful for my family.
I am thankful for grace.  The forgiveness that God and others give to me and the same that I can offer to others.
I am thankful for food.  So many people around the world are hungry today.
I am thankful for the chances that we have to help others and the joy that comes into our lives when we learn to live outside of ourselves.
I am thankful for friends, old and new.
I am thankful for the gift of life itself.  To be alive, to live, to breathe, to see, to think.  Life is such an amazing gift from our Father.

I am thankful for you.

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

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

tomorrow

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day.  It always makes me remember that famous French General Napoleon.  He hated Thanksgiving.  It was his worst holiday.

Why, you ask?

Because anytime Napoleon sat down to a dinner of Thanksgiving turkey, all he ever got were the bony parts.

That is one of my all time favorite jokes. 😊

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

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

stories pt 4


It was the next to the last day of 8th grade. I had not missed a day of school in two years. I was trying for perfect attendance in Jr. High. We were walking home from school and my head and neck hurt. I still remember that. I moped around. I missed school the next day. I ended up in bed. My head was feeling progressively worse. I was stuck in bed. This went on for a week. I begged my parents to take me to the Doctor. They were fairly reluctant to do so, and figured that I would get over it. Finally they relented. The doctor took one look at me and put me in the hospital.

They explained to me that I had meningitis and proceeded to do a spinal tap on me. I was 13 years old. I was in such pain; the spinal tap did not bother me too much.

This was in the old days when visiting hours were enforced and hippa laws did not exist.  The doctors explained my condition in a manner that I knew I was pretty sick.  I remember them telling my mom that the next 24 hours would tell if I lived or died.

Late one night while I was in the hospital alone, I awoke in the middle of the night. At the foot of my bed was an angel. It looked like an angel or a heavenly Jesus. I don’t know why, but I said to the being, “If you let me live, I will give my life to you.” I don't know why I said that - I was just a kid.

I got better. That last spinal tap was a real nasty experience. As striking as this experience was, the significance of it never really registered until other things began to happen to me later in life.

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

Monday, November 21, 2016

stories about me 3


Your first Prayer. Your first spiritual thought.

When was your first spiritual thought that was truly your own? Mine was in the summer of 1969. We were moving to California. I was 12. I felt that I had made a mess of my life to that point…..which is an interesting thought for a 12 year old. Actually a terrible thought for a 12 year old..........

I remember sitting in my room. It was full of packed boxes. Tomorrow the movers were coming. I remember sitting there, forlorn, and sad because I was moving, sad because I had “ruined” my friendships and because I was not popular, and hopeful that I was going to get a new start in California. I prayed a sincere prayer,” Lord, help me to make new friends in California.” I have always remembered that moment. It was my first sincere prayer.

Sincere prayers are good.  A great question to ask about your prayers is this.... "was I sincere?"  That is all that matters.  I must believe that God honors sincerity.

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

Sunday, November 20, 2016

stories about me 2

I was in church every Sunday growing up.  No exceptions.

We got to take one toy.  I always took a G.I. Joe.  In my childhood, children were to be seen and not heard.

When I was in third grade, I was walking out of church with my mom.  We were in line to shake hands.  Pastor Koenig asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up.

First, being a good Lutheran, I told him the truth:  "I want to be a football player."
Then, because I felt sorry for him, I also said, at the age of 9, "I want to be a football player, or a Pastor."

I have no idea why I said that. I was a kid.  It is a mysterious moment in my memories.

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

Hello Scott C

Saturday, November 19, 2016

stories about me

Although I have no imminent sense of my demise, I am going to post some of my most private stories over the next few weeks.  Stories that I have not told.  Stories that introverts hold close.  Stories that are random, stories that may or may not mean something to you.

Here is the first one.

I was born on July 5, 1957 at St. Luke's hospital in Kansas City.  I was baptized on Sunday July 14th, 1957 at the Zion Lutheran Church at 75th and Belinder in Prairie Village, Kansas by Pastor Fred Koenig.  [today it is no longer a Lutheran Church, I think that the church is known as the Mercy Church.]

My mom, who was a mess most of her life, told me on several occasions that my first smile was the during that baptism.

A smile at your baptism?  Sounds like a good start to life.  I have always taken a sense of joy in that first smile.

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

Friday, November 18, 2016

freewill

Someone asked me about free will the other day.  They said that they don't see much of it in the Bible, especially in the old testament.

I would first say this, if you read the Bible looking for a God that seems to control everything, you can find that God.  But if you read the Bible looking for a God that seems to give people room and allows people to exercise their free will, you can find a good deal of that as well.

Samson was not forced to tie the foxes tails together.  He chose to do that.
Moses pushed back on God but finally accepted the job of leading Israel.
Peter chose to deny Jesus.
Jesus chose to go to the cross.

On and on we could go.
The question is, do we want to believe that we are marionettes or do we want to believe that we have choices.  I don't think that we glorify God when we blame everything on him.  I do believe that God is pleased when we make choices that are pleasing to him.

So live.  L.I.V.E. Live.  God has given you the gift of choice.  Choose well.

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

Thursday, November 17, 2016

On winning

When our teams win, we are happy.  When our teams lose, we are unhappy.  I think that too much of our egos are tied up in the fate of our sports teams.

Remember that when your team wins and you are happy, there is an entire other group of people that are unhappy.  And remember that when your team loses, someone somewhere who was rooting for their team is happy.

It is ok to want other people to be happy.  We are not going to win all the time.  Other fans have the right to celebrate from time to time.  In this life we need to share the love.

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

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

servers

Since I am alone a lot, I eat at local restaurants from time to time.  If there is a server that I like, I might give them $5 as they walk by, even if they are not my server.  They ask me "why?"  I tell them that I am sure that someone shorted them today and so I am just making up for that.

One server flat out told me "no" the other day and I said to them, "oh, please don't rob me of the chance to be nice to you.  If you prefer, take it and give it to someone else."  They took the money.

Sometimes folks are so surprised by kindness that they don't know what to do.  Next time you do a random act of kindness and are resisted by the intended recipient, just tell them that it makes you happy to be nice, please don't rob me of the chance to be kind to you.

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

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

nothing to say

It is hard to blog every day when some days you feel like you have nothing to say.  I thank my friend Lions Den Man for stepping in to cover for me in times like that.

Sometimes life is hectic.  Sometimes my brain or heart might be running low.  Some days it is hard to know what to write.  If you have days like that, well you are not alone.  Stay with it.  Keep going.  Keep living.  Keep caring.  Things almost always get better.

Spend time with those who love you and give your heart some room for your smile to return.  Resting is allowed.  Sabbath is encouraged.

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

Monday, November 14, 2016

society

A few years back a movie called “Into the Wild” was made about a young man who chooses to drop out of society.  I heard a song from the movie the other night. Sad to say I never listened to the lyrics until that moment. They have me thinking…..

Society – Eddie Vedder

it's a mystery to me
We have a greed
With which we have agreed

You think you have to want
More than you need
Until you have it all you won't be free

Society, you're a crazy breed
I hope you're not lonely without me

When you want more than you have
You think you need
And when you think more than you want
Your thoughts begin to bleed

I think I need to find a bigger place
'Cause when you have more than you think
You need more space

Society, you're a crazy breed
I hope you're not lonely without me

Society, crazy and deep
I hope you're not lonely without me
There's those thinking more or less less is more
But if less is more how you're keeping score?
Means for every point you make
Your level…

Peace,
Lion’s Den Man

Sunday, November 13, 2016

simple works


A prayer was given to close and send us on our way last week at the WCC Men’s Gathering. It followed a thought provoking talk about the times we are experiencing here in the United States. Concerns maybe we all have were brought forth.  Dealing with them using the teachings of Christ help put them in perspective.

The sending prayer message was simple and simply perfect. Guide us Lord. Guide us.

Peace,

Lion’s Den Man

Saturday, November 12, 2016

good motto


Things happen. Life happens. Blink. Blink. Blink.
Choices. Good. Choices Bad.
Reflect. Don’t dwell. Learn. Move forward.

“I wouldn't be where I am today if it weren't for those character-building situations. Mistakes are stepping stones to an evolving life. “

Motto -. “It’s a new day. Clean the Slate.”

Peace,

Lion’s Den Man

Friday, November 11, 2016

designed with a purpose


My wife and I took a trip a few weeks back to the Crystal Bridges Museum. The main purpose for this visit was to tour the Frank Lloyd Wright home they now have on site. Many take-aways for me but the one that stuck most was when our tour guide pointed out the intention of the home’s design. “To push you out of spaces of little value and into spaces where you are forced to be social with man and interactive with nature.”

Maybe it’s just me but I think we need more places like this.

Peace,

Lion’s Den Man

Thursday, November 10, 2016

I'm normal

So I have gotten into the habit of adding these words when someone introduces me as their pastor.
If they say, "this is Jeff Brinkman, my pastor."
I have started saying, "yes but I am normal."

Someone called me out on that the other day.  They asked if I was saying that other pastors are not normal.  Well, that is not what I mean at all.

What I mean is that many people expect a pastor to judge them or guilt them.  Sometimes pastors come across as above you.  I reject this.  I will not judge you or guilt you.  And I am not above anyone.  The spiritual life is something that we do together.

I am normal.  Sort of.

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

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

lose on purpose

I heard a story the other day about a married couple that had this rule.

If there ever is an argument, the one that apologizes first, wins.

I love it.  Go home and lose an argument.  The person that you live with is more important than who is right or wrong.

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

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

critter

A critter had taken up residence on my back porch [lanai] at the parsonage.  I never saw it, but I saw the results of it's bathroom breaks.  From the size of the droppings, I thought that this was a big mouse or a rat.  I wondered how something like that could get into the porch and where it was living.

I got tired of cleaning up after it, and I was tired of not knowing what was out there, so I got some glue traps and put them in strategic locations.  About a week later, I captured the culprit.  One really big lizard, and boy did he eat a lot.

I'm sorry for his family and friends, but at least now the patio is clean again.

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

Monday, November 7, 2016

question

A friend of mine recently wrote and asked a question:

If God's will be done and our life is pre-written, why should we spend time asking God for favors or to change things? Maybe we should just thank him for the blessings we have? Bewildered...


I wrote back: I don't believe that it is all pre-written. I believe in free will, that we have choices and our choices matter. Having said that, I also believe that gratitude is among the most noble of character traits.

In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. 
 1 Thessalonians 5:18

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

Sunday, November 6, 2016

I thought of you today

I thought of you today.  With joy and a deep sense of appreciation, I thought of you.

Then I got to thinking about how nice it is to know that someone is thinking of you with warmth in their heart.  I am so glad that our Father is thinking of us, and thinking of us with grace and love.

I thought of you today.

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

Saturday, November 5, 2016

What is important

I received the following from my friend Dave Templeman.  He is a great guy and wrote this on his blog about his friend and coworker.  I thought it was worth sharing.  You can read this on his web site at http://www.thatjobguy.com/2016/10/whats-important/

In February of this year my friend and colleague Jeff McMahill was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma. The survival rate for his particular strain (Burkitts) is anywhere from a 30% – 91% depending on the level of risk. Jeff was diagnosed at Stage 3 but being an otherwise overly healthy male the doctors were confident he would be on the upper end of that range. I knew it would be a difficult recovery but have been completely optimistic he would survive this horrid disease. My heart was broken last week when doctors told him that treatment had not eradicated the cancer, it is now growing out of control, they are out of options, and it is time to call hospice.

Tuesday, October 25th my friend Jeff was told he had a month left.

In the week since that awful day his family has not left his side. Dozens of friends have been to see him, many who leave with a heart wrenching goodbye hug. But amidst the profound sadness has been the sound of laughter as we reminisce over a life well lived. Jeff does not want to spend these last days alone. He is surrounding himself with those who love him and rather than simply die, he’s living his last days to their fullest.

What’s important to Jeff right now should be important to us all. The stuff means nothing. What’s important is the relationships we build throughout our lives. The experiences we share together.

Jeff and his wife Annie went to New York last year for Game Four of the World Series. I remember Jeff telling me he wasn’t sure why they were spending so much money on a single baseball game, but he spent it because who knows when the Royals would be back in the World Series. The Royals lost the game they attended, but the next evening at a NYC bar full of Royals fans while everyone else poured their champagne into glasses, Jeff sprayed his bottle all over complete strangers.

That’s how Jeff is, and that’s how I’ll remember him. A man full of life, loved by all who had the privilege of calling him friend.

Bank accounts can be rebuilt. Broken relationships can be repaired. You can always get more “stuff.” Time is the only thing you can’t get back.

Cherish every moment – the clock is ticking for us all.

And it is a beautiful and precious day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Friday, November 4, 2016

finally

Finally a bumper sticker that I like.

In a world where I get sick of political slogans on cars, and guilt laden "Christian" things on cars, I found this beauty.

Wag more, bark less.  A friend tells me that this is the slogan of a brand of pet items.  It should be all of our slogan.

Life is too short.  Wag more, bark less.

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


Thursday, November 3, 2016

Mayan Temples


I could never understand how Mayan temples, in fact, entire villages could get covered up with vegetation in such a short time.  Being from Kansas City, things die off in the winter.  The growing season is shorter.

When we bought the house in Florida, I started having to trim plants and trees.  Oak trees, bird of paradise [12' tall], ginger, hedge, palm trees, viburnum and the list goes on.  Any time I am there, there is something to trim.  Nothing ever stops growing.  I am not at the house every week, but if I were, there would be a pile like this out at the street every week.  It is amazing how fast things just keep on growing here!

And so I think of how many people get stuck in life and stop growing.  How would our lives improve if we were all open and willing to keep stretching and growing!  We never arrive in this life, we should always be in growth mode, moving towards our God.

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


Wednesday, November 2, 2016

trunk or treat

On Monday night I witnessed the historic Cape Coral First UMC's trunk or treat.  I had heard all about it.  Popcorn, snow cones, hot dogs, [all free].  40 cars decorated, DJ, bubble machine, bouncy houses and thousands of people.  It did not disappoint.  It was everything that I had heard about.

What I was not prepared for was how the event made me feel.  Yes of course it was a good event for our members- getting together, dressing up, letting their hair down, having fun, fellowship, and enjoying the kids and their costumes.  But, the observation that so so many of the people there had come from the community was touching.  Unchurched, lower income folks whose kids probably didn't get candy like this very often.  It was a blessed gift to the wider Cape Coral community.  I thought of the story that Jesus told in Luke 14 about a great banquet.  The master of the house invites his friends to come for the feast and they all decline with lame excuses.  One just got married.  One bought a cow.  So the master sends the servant to the far side of town, to the other side of the tracks and the least of these are invited in.  Into the master's home where there was a great celebration of love and family.

What I saw on Monday night was a beautiful picture of kingdom living.  Everyone is welcome.  Everyone is celebrated.  Everyone is loved.  I was blessed.

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

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

All Saints Day

I love music.  I assume that most people do.  There is lots of music in the Bible- harps, tambourines,  lyres and such.  Today is All Saints Day - a day when we remember our loved ones.

And so I thought of this song.  Music reaches us.  It speaks into our souls.  I find songs all the time that make me stop and think.  I heard one the other day that I really like.  Mike and the Mechanics sing In the Living Years.  Here are the lyrics:

Every generation
Blames the one before
And all of their frustrations
Come beating on your door

I know that I'm a prisoner
To all my Father held so dear
I know that I'm a hostage
To all his hopes and fears
I just wish I could have told him in the living years

Oh, crumpled bits of paper
Filled with imperfect thought
Stilted conversations
I'm afraid that's all we've got

You say you just don't see it
He says it's perfect sense
You just can't get agreement
In this present tense
We all talk a different language
Talking in defence

Say it loud (say it loud), say it clear (oh say it clear)
You can listen as well as you hear
It's too late (it's too late) when we die (oh when we die)
To admit we don't see eye to eye

So we open up a quarrel
Between the present and the past
We only sacrifice the future
It's the bitterness that lasts

So don't yield to the fortunes
You sometimes see as fate
It may have a new perspective
On a different day
And if you don't give up, and don't give in
You may just be okay

So say it loud, say it clear (oh say it clear)
You can listen as well as you hear
Because it's too late, it's too late (it's too late) when we die (oh when we die)
To admit we don't see eye to eye

I wasn't there that morning
When my Father passed away
I didn't get to tell him
All the things I had to say

I think I caught his spirit
Later that same year
I'm sure I heard his echo
In my baby's new born tears
I just wish I could have told him in the living years

Say it loud, say it clear (oh say it clear)
You can listen as well as you hear
It's too late (it's too late) when we die (it's too late when we die)
To admit we don't see eye to eye

So say it, say it, say it loud (say it loud)
Say it clear (come on say it clear)


link to the song on youtube

The chorus has an interesting line - "say it loud, say it clear, you can listen as well as you hear."  I think it simply means that if you have the gift of hearing, then you can actually listen to someone if you choose to do so.

So here is this song about our parents and how we don't get them and we fight them, and then one day we become them.  Oh my, this is so my experience.  And how I wish I could say thank you to my Dad while he was still alive- in the living years.

My parents died fairly young.  Mom at 61, Dad at 72.  If your parents are living, call them and tell them that you love them.  Do it while you still can.

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

Monday, October 31, 2016

Halloween

Today is Halloween.

My mom had a big devil. She was always worried about him and always resisting him. People that believe in a big devil often spend lots of time talking about him. They are wasting time that could be directed toward our loving heavenly Father. For more on this topic see:

http://www.jeffbrinkman.com/TH_ChristianTheol.html

Anyway, all of this went out the window on Halloween. My mom loved Halloween! She would put on scary music, turn the lights down and wait for the kids. She had a sign with a witch on it that she put on the front door every year that read, "Welcome kiddies, put all your goodies in the box below. Go quietly and no one will get hurt."

I just want to weigh in on Halloween. It is not the devil's day. The devil does not get a day. he is a created being. he is not the opposite of God. he can't be everywhere at the same time any more than Gabriel or Michael, the other archangels. I am not even capitalizing the word he when I refer to him at the beginning of a sentence.

We should spend our days loving God, not fighting the devil.

Halloween is a great day for kids. Love them. Dress them up. Feed them candy. It makes for great memories.

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

Sunday, October 30, 2016

quote

A dear friend of mine recently sent me a quote from the book  UNFINISHED by Richard Stearns.  That book is the follow up to one of my favorite books, The Hole in our Gospel.   I asked her how she got connected to the book.... I loved the answer... she sold her home and the person that moved out left the book there. So she picked it up and read it.   Here is the quote.

 "If we are not personally engaged in God's great mission in the world, then we have missed  the very thing He created us to do."

No commentary needed.

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

Saturday, October 29, 2016

cars are evil

Give a 16 year old a car and their world changes.  It totally opens up.  Take away the keys from an aging parent, and their world closes in around them.  Give a Christian a car and you run the risk of total moral failure.

I am beginning to believe that a car is like a truth serum.  Give a person a car and who they really are comes out.

We all have streaks of selfishness, we all think what we are doing is so very important, and when we are in a car, it is on display for all to see.  People plaster their cars with crosses and such and then drive like they are possessed.

What if we all made the commitment to go the speed limit.  I think that would be the Christian thing to do.

What if instead of telling people that we were Christians, we drove like we were Christians?  Christian music playing from the radio and fish on the tailgate are no substitute for love, joy peace, and patience even when we are in a hurry.

Cars are evil.  They make good people do crazy things.

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

Friday, October 28, 2016

I'm right

I’m Right- aren't I????

We love to be right.  We hate to be wrong.  Why?
We all think that we are right.  If we thought we held the wrong view we would change our minds.  We think we are right.  We hate to be wrong.

Well, sometimes we are wrong.  I am wrong.  You are wrong.   Be open to being wrong.  It is going to happen.  We just don’t see things as clearly as we like to think that we do.

I may be right, I may be wrong, I may be crazy.  Our life meaning, our value is not defined by how right we are.  It is hard to enjoy life when we always have to be right.


It’s a beautiful day in God’s world.  I am totally right about that.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

better

It is better to suffer for doing right, than to suffer for doing wrong.
And a person can always choose to do right.
what are the choices that you face today?
It’s a beautiful day in God’s world, be sure to see the good.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

made me cry

I was in Nicaragua a few weeks ago and I was given a packet of cards to read on the trip.  One friend wrote something that touched me very deeply.  He wrote, “I wish I was in Nicaragua with you.  Heck, I wish I was anywhere with you.”  It made me cry when I read it.  It is making me cry now as I write about it.  I am going to steal that line and use it.  

I wish I was there with you.  Heck I wish I was anywhere with you.

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


Tuesday, October 25, 2016

friend


A friend sent me this quote.............

I would rather walk through darkness with a friend, then walk in the light alone.
Helen Keller

Interesting quote when you consider it comes from a blind person. I want to ask her to clarify...... are you saying that I am ok, content as a blind person because I have friends walking with me?

Certainly friends make the difficult times more bearable and are of the most precious commodities in this life.

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

Monday, October 24, 2016

spiritual help

 Someone asked, what will we do of a spiritual nature for the people of Nicaragua?
We can pray for them.  We can probably take them Bibles.  We can encourage them.

But let us remember that they are already Christians that deeply love and trust God.

How about we fly them here and let them give a sermon series to us on how to trust god when you have nothing.
4 weeks on…………
  • How to trust God and not complain when you have substandard health care
  • How to trust god when you live on $150 per month
  • How to trust God when you don’t have running water, a shower, or air conditioning
  • How to trust God when other Christians make excuses as to why they are not helping you.
  • How to trust god when you never get a vacation from your life


How can we help them develop spiritually?
I don’t know.  Maybe they are the ones that need to help us.


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

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Song

When I was a teenager I used to have a cassette tape of Bill Gaither music.  I thought of one of those songs the other day.  Here are the lyrics:

Something beautiful, something good.  All my confusion, He understood.  All I had to offer him was brokenness and strife, but he made something beautiful of my life.


God can make something beautiful of your life.

Maybe you feel like you are on the wrong path.  Maybe you are lost in a maze.  Maybe you made the mess and maybe it just happened to you.  While I don’t believe that God fixes everything [I don’t believe that it is God’s purpose to fix things for us.] I do believe that when we allow God to come alongside of us, life gets better.


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

Saturday, October 22, 2016

My friend

My friend is hurting.  They are tired.  They are pressed.  They are nearing burn out.  I wish I could help my friend, but I am powerless to change their situation.  All I can do it tell them that I’m sorry.  I understand.  I feel for you.  I love you.

My friend hurts.  I hurt for my friend.


I guess that there is something good, something beautiful about loving others and caring for them.  Who hurts in your life?  Do you hurt for them?  May we always be those who bear one another's burdens.

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