Archive for the ‘My Life’ Category

imageSo I was doing my quiet time one day last week with a new online tool I found (quiettimediary.com – go check it out), and as part of my daily Bible reading plan I was reading Proverbs chapter 20. In verse 10 it says, “Differing weights and differing measures – the LORD detests them both”. When I read that, an incredibly intelligent and spiritual response popped into my mind. “Huh???”. I know – this never happens to you when you read the Bible, but it does to this simple minded fool. So as I have often done in the past, I just went on, filed the thing in my mind to ponder, and went on about my day.

Fast forward to early this week when I had to travel to Atlanta on business for a few days, and I found myself walking down the streets of downtown Atlanta looking at all the unique people. There were policeman, guys doing construction, guys and gals in suits, college students, and a few homeless people as well. For some reason, the thought popped into my mind that to God these people are all equal, and that he loves and measures them all exactly the same. Hmmm, wait a minute. Measures? Where did I recently see that? Oh yeah – Proverbs. So I scurried (I do that sometimes) back to the office and looked that verse up again. Ah-haaaaaa. Very cool. God uses the same weights and measures for EVERYONE. But do I? Do I value the homeless lady as much as the policeman or the lawyer? Do I apply different measures to them or weigh them on different scales? Ashamedly I have to admit I do. God hates differing weights and measures, and I am going to try and remember that everyone is equally valuable in His eye, and it should be the same for me.

Now before one of you great Bible scholars out there tell me that is not what that verse means, let me tell you that is what God showed me with the verse. I opened the Book, he planted the seed. I ran into a situation that made me think of the word “measures”, and God took me right back….., to HIS Word. Wow, what an incredible living guide to living our lives through God’s eyes. The Bible. So don’t fret if when you read it, you hear yourself go, “Huh”. Give the seed some time to grow, and God will reward it.

Thank you God – for that wonderful guide book! The B-I-B-L-E.

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Connections

Posted: December 7, 2011 in Lessons learned, My Life, Spiritual Thoughts

imagePeople rushing hither and thither.  Some running and looking excited, some just look tired and bored.  Tall people, short people, people of all races and ethnicity.  Everybody going somewhere, and they all depend on the actions of others to help them get there.  Some are alone, some are with others, but they all have one thing in common. Wanna guess where I am and what it is they have in common?

If you guessed the Atlanta airport, you are right.  Man oh man are there some funny looking people here (I know – I am one of them!).  As I watched them, I realized that they all have something in common.  They are all looking for a “connection”.  I liked that word, so I looked it up on my handy dandy iPhone.  Connection means, “The action of linking one thing to another”.  Okay, that makes sense, I see lots of people linking up around here with planes taking them somewhere they want to go, but it raised a larger question for me.  What am I connected to?  What do I want to connect to?  Of course right now I am wanting to connect to a plane to take me home to my wonderful wife and daughter, but I have lately realized that I want more than that.  I want to be connected to people, and have us work together to connect closer to God.  There have been a lot of times in my life where I was pretty alone, and it was by connecting with others I came through it.  I believe we all need that, and a while back I decided I wanted more of it.

So a couple of weeks ago, I got intentional about making some connections.  I got involved with a new process at  my church called “Huddles”.  Huddles connects 2 or 3 men together to help each other be accountable.  Accountable to God, to themselves, to their family and friends, etc.  I have met twice with one of my Huddle “connections”, and I have to tell you I have really, really enjoyed it. We have now invited another man into our group, and I really look forward to connecting more with him as well.  It just feels like it’s gonna be good!  There is a process for ladies as well called “Tangles”. 

Well, gotta go make my plane connection, so I will leave you with this verse:

I Cor 14:26 – “When you come together, each of you has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation.”

Sounds like we need each other, huh?  So go!  Get connected!

Life with no email ….

Posted: August 29, 2011 in My Life, My Work

SO for the last two days my email account I use for like …, everything, has been down.  I feel so out of touch, plus it is my work email so I have been up all night last couple nights working on and worrying about it.

imageI was once asked if I could have been born in any time period of life, when would that have been.  I do not know what year it was, but I want to live in the time where you sat on the front porch as a whole family, whittled and talked and watched the kids play.  Simple.  Uncomplicated., low paced. Restful.  All those things I want in my life but cannot get most times since things come at me faster than I can handle them.  Come to think of it, I want my porch on the beach like the picture here.

I wish God would do this:

Mark 4:39
He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.

How did it get like this? Is there a way to slow it all down and still be a part of society?

Here I am …, but why?

Posted: August 26, 2011 in My Life
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“Here I am…., On the road again.  Here I am…., up on the stage”.

You may recognize a few of the words from the Bob Seger song, “Turn the Page”.  This is what came to mind when I sat down to put keyboard to blog today.  Go check out the lyrics on that link, it could almost have been a song about blogging. 

It has been a while since I posted a blog entry, and I keep hearing Mandy Thompson tell (nag?  Encourage?) me to just stop and write, so here I go.  I thought I would just dive in and try to explain why I even want to blog my personal thoughts, since the words I blog seem to come from a place I do not readily connect to at a conscious level. Okay – that sounds strange, even to me.  What I mean by that is that I seem to have around 4 or so actual different levels of thought:

  • Public – These are the thoughts I have that I communicate verbally.  They are wayyy too guarded.  Think about it – you do this too, hide your real thoughts.
  • Private – Only for my own consumption.  Sorry – you would freak out if I shared those with you.  #tmi
  • God stuff – I know he hears all the thoughts, but sometimes I have specific conversations (thoughts because they are not always verbal), where I think differently and more honestly than I even do internally to myself.  And yeah – he talks back to me.  I hope that freaks all you atheists out.
  • Blogging – I try and mix all the above up into a written form that I want to share.  Why?  For one thing, I want to get your input, but it doesn’t matter if I do or not – just better if I do.  Secondly, I want to help you elicit a little honest thinking as I try and be relationally real at an appropriate level.  So if it makes you think a little bit…., Yayyy.

What comes out in my blogging category is a real hodgepodge of what is in my head, so can be wildly different from day to day.  But in some strange way it all comes together in a reasonable manner – or at least to me it does, your results may vary there.  It just serves a real clarifying purpose for me, as I try and organize my thinking.

So there – that’s why I am here, on the stage.  Weird, or does it make some sense to you?

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Connecting thoughts to words

Posted: June 6, 2011 in My Life

Oh my how I struggle with this.  I need to spend more time doing the oh so therapeutic spilling of my thoughts into this blog.

What I truly do not understand is why it is so hard to stop and take the time.  I enjoy it — I really do, but when it comes time to do it, it feels like a chore.  I make it worse by following people like Mandy Thompson, who totally makes me sick when I look at the apparent ease with which she is able to push good thoughts out into blogdom.

I struggle on …..

imageChristmas is in just a few days, but I am not gonna talk about that.  Can we just chat a bit instead?  I wanna get in your heart for a minute.

At a restaurant this weekend, I witnessed an obvious family argument.  It was such that it literally stopped all conversation around it as people watched the drama unfold.  The end result of it was that it unsettled the attitudes and the hearts of many people around them and literally sucked the joy from the room for a moment.  It was sad to see, and it spread grief to others so quickly.  For a moment, it made my heart heavy, and at Christmas time, that really annoyed me!

I have mentioned this before, but my good friend and pastor Jay Hanson is often heard asking the question, “What is the condition of your heart?”.  I want to ask that question of each of you today, and I want you to think of it in terms of what is deep inside, especially during this holiday season.  Jay asks a couple of companion questions as well:

-    Is your heart glad (light) or sad (heavy)?
-    Why?
-    Has someone hurt your heart?
-    Have you hurt someone else’s heart?

These simple questions can help you get closer to where you are in your spiritual life, and understand how your own heart condition can affect those around you.  By stopping and examining what is really in your heart as only you can do, you can make incredible progress spiritually and relationally.  If you do this examination on a regular basis, you can approach most things with a calm sense of peace that will take you to all the right places and decisions.  Discuss the condition of your heart with God regularly.  You will never hear anything from him except the truth, and he is the Great Healer of hearts.  I love this verse from Proverbs:

Proverbs 4:23 (NIV):
Above all else, guard your heart,  for everything you do flows from it.

As we all get ready to celebrate Christmas, approach it with a healthy heart, and guard it jealously!  If you work on getting that healthy, just think of all the hearts that will be uplifted – just because you made sure yours was light.

Merry Christmas – may God grant you a light and merry heart this year!

imageMirrors give off a reflection.  I bet you knew that already.  Why do we use mirrors?  Because we do not have the ability to clearly see an image of ourselves OR see what is behind us.  Christmas is a time of reflection.  It is a time when we stop, look into the mirror of the past, pause, think about the birth of Christ and what it means, and celebrate it with family and friends.  Okay–so that’s not anything original, right?  Well, let me give you a new way to think about it.

Every day we make decisions that can change our path for the better or for the worse.  Every conversation can strengthen a relationship or can tear it apart. During EVERY season of our lives, we should always take time to reflect.  We should stop periodically and examine where we are, take a look in that virtual mirror and see where we have been, where our decisions and actions have taken us.  Have you ever said or done anything and later found out it was the wrong thing or that it caused pain?  You found that out by reflecting, probably.  If you had never looked in a mirror of memories, you would not have realized it or had been able to see it clearly.  But, what do you do with your reflections?

Let me approach this another way and show you how to get even more value from reflection.  Since I am a computer guy, I think in computer terms sometimes.  In computer science, "reflection" is the process by which a computer program can observe and modify its own structure and behavior.  Did you catch that?  "Observe AND modify its behavior".  Ahhh, that offers a different perspective on reflections doesn’t it?  What if we did that in our lives every day.  What if we looked into the mirror of our past actions, and used what we saw to modify our behavior for tomorrow?  I’m not sure about you, but I have made some bad decisions in my past, and I really do not care to repeat them.  But, if I reflect on them and use that examination to modify my behavior, I bet that I will not make the same mistakes as easily.

So don’t pass through this Christmas season missing some really good results of your reflection.  Look at your family and reflect on how much time you have given them this year. Look at your job and decide how you may want to modify your behavior to be a better employee.  Look at the birth of Christ in the inner reflective mirror of your soul, and decide if you need to modify your spiritual disciplines as a result of that.

Life is a great thing.  Don’t pass through it without reflection – and modification.