Posts

Monday; May 29

Happy Memorial Day!  I like the spirit of today because it reminds us to stop and remember those who have passed from this world, but left a mark on it.  Whether it is the soldier who died on a foreign field, a first responder who paid the ultimate price for a neighbor or a family member who left a living legacy today is the day we remember them for what they did.            As I think about the spirit of Memorial Day a couple of things come to mind.  First, the people we remember actually did something to make a difference.  They didn’t merely tell us what was wrong or complain about the injustices they heard about, they got involved.  Everyone has the right to an opinion and we live in an era in which there are multiple forums where we can express our thoughts, but those we remember were active in their influence.  Comments and criticisms are easy to express – it takes a hero to put words into action.  The second thought I have is why should we wait to honor someone in mem…

Friday; May 25

Graduation is a busy time of year that provokes diverse emotions.For graduating seniors, it is a time of completion, a moment of relief, a time of reflection, a period of sadness (for the ending of childhood and childhood friendships) and a time of excitement for a great big world just waiting for the taking.Sure, leaving home and moving on to a job or advanced education can be scary, but it is also filled with optimism. While graduation can be an exciting time for those who have completed High School, sometimes I think about those who didn’t graduate.The thrill of accomplishment is not experienced by everyone.I wonder how they feel when they don’t get to walk across the stage and receive their diploma?I imagine the emotion may be just as complex as their graduating neighbors – fear over their future, bitterness toward those who they feel are to blame for their failures, disappointment in not completing the goal, frustration over a lost opportunity.No, not everyone who doesn’t graduat…

Thursday; May 24

When we think of leadership what comes to mind:shaping people into our image or taking them from where they are and molding them into being the best person they can be?Yes, I realize this is a leading question – we all understand that our goal should be to help people become their best – but, how many of us spend an awful lot of our time trying to force others into our mold?To be a leader means to have been a success, so if we have become successful we figure that others should do what we did to get where we are.The preceding sentence may sound confusing, but can you imagine how confusing we can be when we try to force someone into becoming what we are!It may have taken us decades to get to our level of leadership, so why should we expect others to achieve it in a matter of a few years?We may have attained our position because we are multi-talented, can you imagine how frustrating it is for people who have limited talents to try to achieve our accomplishments?Sure, we should help othe…

Wednesday; May 23

I am not one of the most confident people you will ever meet.Sure, I feel comfortable in most circumstances, but when it comes to making decisions I have the tendency to second guess myself.Typically, my tentativeness manifests itself in wondering if I did the best I could do or if I offended someone by a decision I made or by the way I presented myself.There may be others who find themselves with a similar lack of confidence, if so, here are some things we can work on together: 1.Invest quality research and effective evaluation in a decision.Confidence often accompanies knowledge and wisdom.When we take the time to gather the most salient facts and make the effort to analyze them appropriately, we can be assured that we are doing the best we can be doing. 2.Realize that we aren’t going to do it perfectly every time.I think we all know this on a cognitive level, but we tend to struggle with it emotionally.We want people to respect us and since esteem comes from aptitude we don’t feel li…

Tuesday; May 22

Andrew Jackson is one of those polarizing characters in American history – you either love him or hate him, there isn’t much room in between.Jackson, the American war hero and 19th Century U. S. president could be idolized or despised, but he couldn’t be ignored.The other day I was reading a quote of his that got me to thinking about our nation.Jackson said, “The planter, the farmer, the mechanic, and the laborer ... form the great body of the people of the United States, they are the bone and sinew of the country men who love liberty and desire nothing but equal rights and equal laws”.As I pondered this statement, it got me to thinking about how we approach social unity in our nation.Over the last few years it seems like we have tried to legislate people into respecting each other.We have relied upon political leaders and social groups to force us to be nice to one another.Yet, the truth of the matter is that unity and civility will only happen when we – you and me – decide we are go…

Monday; May 21

I am not sure how they figure such things, but I heard that 18 million Britons watched the royal wedding over the weekend.  That seems pretty impressive until it is compared to the 2018 Super Bowl which had around 100 million people tune in.  Again, even that hefty number is paled by the estimated 1 billion people FIFA claims to have watched Brazil win the Championship Game of the last World Cup and the 3.2 billion people who watched at least a part of the tournament.  Folks, those are some pretty impressive numbers.  Certain events have always evoked interest and in an era with multiple media outlets, most of us can watch pretty much anything we want to see.           Interestingly, there is something that will not only be available to each of us, it will become the focal point of the whole universe.  There will be a point in time when Jesus will become the center of attention – a time when everyone of all time will stare at the One who rules eternity.  After describing Jesu…

Friday; May 18

When we envision God, what comes to mind?  Depending upon our perspective (and maybe our immediate state of mind) a myriad of images can flash through our brains and hearts.  God is Creator, Sustainer, Savior, Lord, Father, Judge and Disciplinarian.  God can be described as love, hope, peace and vengeance.  I think that most of us are willing to admit that God is Great and God is Grand!   Now, that is cool – but, so what?  What are we going to do with the realization of who and what God is?  Are we going to keep it to ourselves or are we going to share it with the world?  Will we acknowledge it cognitively and academically or are we going to allow it to influence our behavior?  Are we have it tattooed on our arm or write it in our heart?  Maybe the most practical question for this weekend is how are we going to demonstrate our worship for God?  If we believe that He is worthy of praise, are we willing to dedicate a portion of time to publicly acknowledge our faith?  No, a public worsh…