Tuesday, December 29, 2015
Saturday, December 12, 2015
Monday, November 16, 2015
A Cornucopia, otherwise known as the Horn of Plenty is often seen at Thanksgiving. The reason for its appearance is due to its origin.
At one time, the Cornucopia was made from a curved goat's horn that was hollowed out and filled with fruit and grains.
However, today, the Cornucopia is usually made from a basket type material. Maybe you have seen one as a decoration around Thanksgiving time? It is often used this way because the Cornucopia is a symbol representing the good things that we have to enjoy. I recently wrote about a dad and son taking a drive through a "poor" community only to have the experience backfire as the son realized how "poor" that he and his family really where. The Cornucopia is here to remind us of our abundantly blessed lives.
My church sits right next to a McDonald's and I am reminded that all of us can walk next door and get a belly full of food if we wanted to at any time.
This is not a guilt trip, just a gentle reminder to everyone that we have been generously blessed by our Lord just by living where we live. By default, we have way more than most could ever imagine.
The book of James teaches us that, "Every good & perfect gift is from above." This means God has been busy blessing you even if you have not realized it. Perhaps you may disagree, but let me remind you that you are alive reading this right now. You have legs to walk, feet to run and hands to grasp. You have eyes to see, ears to hear and lungs to breathe. He has given you a mind to create meaningful relationships and physical strength so that you may work. I could go on, but if you have not gotten this concept by now, maybe you never will ...
I do not own a Cornucopia, and to be honest, I always thought they were kinda weird, that is until I realized the deep symbolism embedded in them. I wonder, is this how the majority of us operate in our lives? Do we overlook our blessings? Are we painfully unaware of them? If I am honest, I do this more often than not. So perhaps it is time for me to go out and buy a Cornucopia. Once I have one in my possession, I will place it in my office where it will sit visibly as a year-long reminder to take inventory of my blessings.
From my family to yours.
Monday, November 9, 2015
Tuesday, October 20, 2015
Have you noticed that we live in a culture of blame? There is the overweight woman suing McDonald’s for making her fat. Did the Golden Arches reach out, grab her, and force food down her throat? There is the guy that throws his money away at the casino. Did the blackjack dealer drive him to the bright lights; take the money out of his wallet and place bet after bet? In both cases, shift went from the individual to some outside external force.
I read a book once with the title, “Take control of what’s controlling you.” Aptly fit for our society today. Dr. Henry Cloud wrote a fascinating book that inspired this post (It’s Not my Fault) that I benefited from measurably. In it, he says you need to, “Take responsibility for your life, then put your arms around reality and take ownership of it …”
I will unabashedly state that if you are the type of person that consistently shifts blame on externals --you have serious problems. I know it and your friends / family know it too. I can’t say for certain that you know it, but the sooner you understand this hang-nail about yourself the better off you will be. See, those in life that are successful, those in life that have risen above their circumstances have figured out some important life lessons, one is that they take responsibility for their own lives. Is it time for you to look inward, instead of outward? Choose to man-up and rise above the external forces and when you do you choose to be a victor instead of a victim.
Thursday, October 8, 2015
# 2 Be a Pathfinder:
Find what you are trying to accomplish, have a mission and a vision. Remember to get others involved (‘buy-in’) in the organization. You are not a maverick, you are a leader and remember this, if you think you are leading and then turn around to see no one standing behind you, then you are merely out for a walk. A good visual image for this is a map. Keep in mind that you are a leader and many times you will have a "feel" for the direction of the organization. You are like a captain behind the wheel of a ship; on the ship there are many mates who are on board with you so be sure to include everyone so that you get to the desired destination!
# 3 Get Alignment:
Make sure everything in your organization reflects the mission/vision. Peter Drucker thinks that great leaders have one simple, yet complex assignment...REMOVE OBSTACLES OUT OF THE WAY OF THE WORKER(S). How true. A great boss anticipates problems and sees roadblocks that hinder the performance of their people. Having a great mission/vision not only steers you in the right direction, it also allows you to avoid unnecessary routes that take up time and slow you down. As a leader, your job is to get the obstacles out of your people’s way! Whether it is a church or a business, take a look at where you are spending your money and what types of programs you are running. Are they wasting time, energy, and resources? Start clearing out the clutter and only do the things that align to your mission/vision. The visual image for this is a Steering Wheel. Which ever direction the wheel is turned, the entire ship goes that way!
Role 4 Empowerment:
John Lennon sang, "Power to the People!" and he wasn't kidding. Unleash the power of the people you lead! This is the where the fruit of the 3 three comes in. If you are in a leadership position today, you just might be leading the most talented, adequately equipped, and knowledgeable workforce in the history of the world. There are more college grads working at your local McDonald's today because of our economy. Take advantage (in the good way of course) of the talent you have right in your own workplace. Gone are the days of hierarchies and only a few men in charge of large organizations. Pull from the people, work together, include others, involve others in decisions, have weekly meetings, just get everyone in a room, buy pizza, and talk! The visual for this is men and women. Build a enthusiastic team, lite a fire, and get out of their way.
Monday, September 28, 2015
Friday, September 18, 2015
No excuses, Sir!
US military Academy at West Point, New York. Bob learned quickly there are only four acceptable responses when addressed by a superior officer: yes sir, no sir, I don't understand sir, and no excuse sir.
Speaking of government agencies, there was a great King in the Old Testament named David. David had his ups and downs as a leader, from slaying the giant Goliath to committing adultery with Bathsheba. However, something peculiar in his narrative connects to the story above. We pick up the story at the end of 2 Samuel after David takes a census (which he was directly told not to do).
And there it is folks.
Blame shifting will only get you so far, so quit shifting the monkey and take responsibility for your life.
Monday, August 31, 2015
When he grasped the glass, milk spilled on the tablecloth.
Wednesday, August 26, 2015
Thornton Wilder, in his play Our Town, tells the story of life as it is lived out in the mundane and amid the relationships of daily living. The details are specific but the lesson is like a mirror held out to all of us. We see the daily routine in all its monotony-the milk arrives, breakfast is eaten, working people go to their jobs, housewives tidy their homes, handymen work in the yards-each day reflecting the previous one. In the story the turning point came when Emily Gibbs died giving birth to her baby and the routine was suddenly broken.
But from the realm of the dead, Emily is given a chance to return to earth for a day of her choice as it was actually lived out, so she could enjoy it once again, this time through nostalgic eyes. She watches the harried activity and preparation that was going on in celebration of her twelfth birthday. As expected, on an occasion such as that the household is preoccupied with presents and food and chatter. The party buzzes with activity.
But from the sidelines Emily notices the complete loss of any personal attention that would make her day and life meaningful. The attention of everyone is on the occasion, not on the person and the relationships. She is appalled at such neglect. From the unseen, she pleads, "Just for a moment we’re happy. Let’s look at one another." But her plaintive cry is unheeded. They could not hear her because they are trapped by the superficial. The party must go on and the moments dissipate into activity. As she bids her final farewell, she cries, "Oh, Earth, you’re too wonderful for anyone to realize you!"
Then she turns to the stage manager, who has taken an active part in the play, and asks, "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it-every, every moment?"
The answer comes, "No. The saints and poets, maybe-they do some."
"Do any realize life while they live it?"
Really, I want you to take a moment and ponder this question.
Why is it that at the end of people's lives they all wish they had smiled more, worked less, and spent more quality time with those they loved the most? We wanted more engaging conversations, a lot less arguing and fighting over the trivial, and so many more hugs.
We tend to buzz right through life, from one calendar appointment to the next -all the while missing the remarkable moments that fill our lives. If this article strikes a cord with you I will ask that you take it; post it in a place where you can see it every day.
Because we all need reminders to, "realize life while we live it."
Wednesday, July 29, 2015
Share on Facebook if you are in the light!
Wednesday, July 15, 2015
My son, I think my life has been long enough now.
And I won’t visit Seoul anymore… but would it be too much to ask if I wanted you to come visit me once in a while? I miss you so much. And I was so glad when I heard you were coming for the reunion. But I decided not to go to the school…. For you…
I’m sorry that I only have one eye, and I was an embarrassment for you. You see, when you were very little, you got into an accident, and lost your eye. As a mother, I couldn’t stand watching you having to grow up with only one eye, so I gave you mine.
I was so proud of my son that was seeing a whole new world for me, in my place, with that eye. I was never upset at you for anything you did. The couple times that you were angry with me. I thought to myself, ‘it’s because he loves me.’ I miss the times when you were still young around me. I miss you so much.
-I love you. You mean the world to me-
Monday, July 13, 2015
Friday, July 3, 2015
And God gave me difficulties to make me strong;
I asked for wisdom,
And God gave me problems to learn to solve;
I asked for prosperity,
And God gave me brain and brawn to work;
I asked for courage,
And God gave me dangers to overcome;
I asked for love,
And God gave me people to help;
I asked for favors,
And God gave me opportunities.
Friday, June 26, 2015
Everybody, Somebody, Anybody, And Nobody
-----Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it.
Somebody got angry about that because it was Everybody's job.
Monday, June 22, 2015
DAD: "Yeah sure, what is it?"
SON: "Daddy, how much do you make
DAD: "That's none of your business.
Why do you ask such a thing?"
SON: "I just want to know. Please tell
me, how much do you make an hour?"
DAD: "If you must know, I make $100
SON: "Oh! (With his head down).
SON: "Daddy, may I please borrow
The father was furious.
DAD: "If the only reason you asked that
is so you can borrow some money to
buy a silly toy or some other nonsense,
then you march yourself straight to
your room and go to bed. Think about
why you are being so selfish. I work
hard everyday for such this childish
The little boy quietly went to his room
and shut the door.
The man sat down and started to get
even angrier about the little boy's
questions. How dare he ask such
questions only to get some money?
After about an hour or so, the man
had calmed down, and started to think:
Maybe there was something he really
needed to buy with that $ 50 and he
really didn't ask for money very often.
The man went to the door of the little
boy's room and opened the door.
DAD: "Are you asleep, son?"
SON: "No daddy, I'm awake".
DAD: "I've been thinking, maybe I was
too hard on you earlier. It's been a
long day and I took out my aggravation
on you. Here's the $50 you asked for."
The little boy sat straight up, smiling.
SON: "Oh, thank you daddy!"
Then, reaching under his pillow he
pulled out some crumpled up bills. The
man saw that the boy already had
money, started to get angry again. The
little boy slowly counted out his
money, and then looked up at his
DAD: "Why do you want more money if
you already have some?"
SON: "Because I didn't have enough,
but now I do.
"Daddy, I have $100 now. Can I buy an
hour of your time? Please come home
early tomorrow. I would like to have
dinner with you."
The father was crushed. He put his
arms around his little son, and he
begged for his forgiveness. It's just a
short reminder to all of you working so
hard in life. We should not let time slip
through our fingers without having
spent some time with those who really
matter to us, those close to our hearts.
of your time with someone you love? If
we die tomorrow, the company that
we are working for could easily replace
us in a matter of days. But the family
and friends we leave behind will feel
the loss for the rest of their lives. And
come to think of it, we pour ourselves
more into work than to our family.
Some things are more important.
Thursday, June 18, 2015
A psychologist walked around a room while teaching stress management to an audience. As she raised a glass of water, everyone expected they’d be asked the “half empty or half full” question. Instead, with a smile on her face, she inquired: “How heavy is this glass of water?”
Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. to 20 oz.
She replied, “The absolute weight doesn’t matter. It depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute, it’s not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I’ll have an ache in my arm. If I hold it for a day, my arm will feel numb and paralyzed. In each case, the weight of the glass doesn’t change, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.” She continued, “The stresses and worries in life are like that glass of water. Think about them for a while and nothing happens. Think about them a bit longer and they begin to hurt. And if you think about them all day long, you will feel paralyzed – incapable of doing anything.”
It’s important to remember to let go of your stresses. As early in the evening as you can, put all your burdens down. Don’t carry them through the evening and into the night. Remember to put the glass down!
Thursday, June 11, 2015
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
On September 15th, 1860, the great French acrobat Charles Blondin stood on a 3-inch thick tightrope stretched across the massive Niagra Falls gorge. Blondin had recently made history as the first person to cross the falls on a tightrope, and on this day, he inched across again, hovering precariously above the swirling, violent waters below.
As Blondin made his way safely across the gorge, the tense bewilderment of the crowd turned to a deafening roar of cheers. Then, Blondin spoke.
“Do you believe I can cross the falls again?” he asked.
The crowd cheered back, “Yes!”
Blondin responded, “Do you believe I could cross the falls carrying a man on my back?”
The crowd had seen Blondin perform many dangerous tightrope stunts. They knew he could carry a man on his back, and they roared back in reply, “Yes!”
Then Blondin asked, “Who will volunteer?” The crowd was silent.
Blondin pointed to an onlooker nearby and asked, “Will you trust me?”
“Hardly! I can’t risk my life like that!” the man replied.
Then, Blondin turned to his manager, Harry Colcord. “Harry, do you believe I can carry you across?” he asked.
“Yes, Charles, I know you can,” Harry replied.
“Then will you trust me to do it?” Charles asked.
Harry replied, “I will.”
Harry Colcord stepped onto the platform with Blondin and hopped onto his back. Blondin, with his balancing pole in hand, slowly began to carry his friend across the Falls. Though a few of the guy ropes snapped as they crossed, they both made it safely to the other side, and Charles Blondin cemented his place as the greatest tightrope walker in history.
Is Belief Enough?
“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.” -John 3:16
This is Christianity 101–the requirement for eternal life. But in light of the story of Charles Blondin, it begs the question about the meaning of the word “believe.”
The most ardent supporter in the crowd that day likely believed deeply that Blondin could cross Niagra carrying a man. Yet, when Blondin asked for a volunteer, belief was no longer sufficient. For someone to put their life in Blondin’s hands and become one with him on the rope, it required something more than belief.
It required pisteuo.
It Takes Trust
The Greek word for “believe” used in John 3:16 is pisteuo. While “believe” is the best English word we have for pisteuo, in Greek, the word evokes a deeply held form of belief that implies acting on the belief. We might also call it “trust.”
While Harry Colcord believed in Charles Blondin, he took it further. He acted on his belief with trust when he climbed onto Blondin’s back. The entire crowd believed in Blondin, but only Harry trusted in him. Trust was the difference! Trust is belief set in motion by faith.
So What About You?
God doesn’t call us to just believe from the sidelines. He requires that we step out in faith from the crowd. He’s asking, “Will you trust me?”
So what does trust look like for you? Are you unsure if you are a Christian? Maybe you are like many in the crowd that day: you believe in Jesus with your mind, but you know that if He pointed at you to ask if you’d trust him to carry you, you’d recoil and say “Hardly! I can’t risk my life like that!” Maybe it’s time for you to trust Him and climb on.
Maybe you are a Christian who knows God’s promises, but He’s asking you to do something crazy: to leave your good-paying corporate job to be a stay at home mom, to sell your house and move your family to the mission field, or to trust Him by tithing 10% or more. Maybe it’s time for you to climb on, too.
Whatever your situation is, the answer is simple–trust Him. He has proven he is trustworthy. He has shown you that. He is calling you to step out on faith–to become one with Him as He carries you across the perilous gulf. His hand is outstretched.
Will you trust Him?