Posts

Monday; November 12

It is easy to point out the flaws in our nation or harp on past failures, but when it is all said and done, this is a good nation made possible by good people.Our system of justice is not perfect, but it is better than most.Our leaders may not represent everything we expect from them, but for the most part they do care about our nation and those who elected them.Our borders may not impenetrable and our defenses may not be indestructible, but we can sleep soundly at night without fearing an invasion from our foes.This is still a great place to live! Thankfully, when I went to my polling place last week I didn’t have to worry about someone standing behind me dictating to me (with a rifle pointed at me) how I was going to vote.When I woke up this morning, I didn’t have to wonder if this was going to be the day that the invaders were going to attack my town.When I left my house today I didn’t have to worry that before I got home it would be seized and used to quarter government (or opposi…

Friday; November 9

There is a philosophy in volunteerism which states that if you want something done, find a busy person and give the project to them.On the surface, this not only seems counter-intuitive but also counterproductive; yet, there is certain amount of truth in the process.Busy people will find a way to get things done.They are interested in being involved and invested in making things happen.Now, having said this, there is another truism I have noticed, the less I do the less energy I have.Again, that sounds backwards – wouldn’t it make more sense that rested people would be more capable of doing something?The problem is that the less I do the more comfortable I am doing less. Throughout my years I have been on both sides of the fence, but one thing I have noticed is that I am a lot more excited and involved when I am busiest.I may feel beat at the end of the day, but the invigoration I feel for what I am doing makes up for the tiredness.I sleep better at night and am more excited for the da…

Thursday; November 8

I am not sure when the trend began, but I am noticing that our world is getting noisier.  Sportscasters tend to yell at us to draw attention to the scores.  News shows are filled with people talking over each other in an effort to sway us to their opinion.  Even restaurants appear to think that playing loud music and stopping serving so their wait staff can line dance will help them sell more steak.  It seems like people believe that the bigger and brasher the effort the more of an impact it will have on us.           Interestingly, religion can to struggle with this, too.  We are tempted to have louder, more spirited services that focus on attention-getting techniques.  Religious debates often deteriorate into who can be the loudest voice spritzing the most venom.  Yet, bigger is not always more impressive.  When the Lord was trying to get Elijah’s attention, He tried an unorthodox approach – quietness.  God confronted His servant in this way, “Then He said, ‘Go out, and sta…

Wednesday; November 7

The other day I went to my local Big Box Electronics store intent on getting a new gadget.Folks, I have to admit that I really like new gadgets.I don’t always get the most expensive of shiniest thing they have but, I can be lured to new stuff.As I was assessing what I wanted with what it was going to cost me, I began to realize that what I wanted was what I already had – I just wasn’t using it to its fullest capacity.I could use the gadget that was already paid for in an expanded way and I would achieve the results I sought (and could save my money for the next cool new thing that was sure to come along). The reason for this confession is that sometimes we don’t fully appreciate what we already have – especially when it comes to our religion.In an effort to become “more relevant” or “more progressive” we are tempted to look for something new when what we really need is to just use what we already have to its fullest.Rather than seeking a program to reach more people would it be more ad…

Tuesday; November 6

Today is the day many of us have been looking forward to for a while.  Not only it is election day, it is also the last day for political ads – maybe some honesty and civility can return to our society.  As I think about elections I am intrigued by how important they to some people and how personal they seem to take it.  Unfortunately, that has translated into a blindness that seems to overwhelm the Biblical admonition, “Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.” (Colossians 4:6).           As we prepare for the post-election life together, let’s remember a few basic principles: 1)  As members of a free and open society, we all have the right to speak our mind and vote our conscience.  Just because you disagree with me doesn’t make you a bad (or ignorant person).  Our political system is based on the principle that the people effected by the process should have a voice in the process.  Debat…

Monday; November 5

I have new favorite college football team.My time in Orlando gave me a first-hand look at the University of Central Florida program and the way Scott Frost developed a winner.With the coming of Josh Huepel (a South Dakota kid) I have gotten swept up into the Knights community.Oh course the “high octane” offense and 21 game winning streak hasn’t hurt, either.While I have jumped on the bandwagon, I do so with an understanding that UCF will not be in a positionto get into the College Football Playoffs. It may be frustrating that a team that could go two years without losing a game will get locked out, but that is the way it is going to be.It may not be fair, but it is the reality.Now, I could become frustrated and get all worked up about it or I can sit back and enjoy some fun college ball and – if or when they get a chance to play another top tier team – hope that they will be able to show the detractors how good they really are. The reason for this revelation is to make a statement – no…

Friday; November 2

Have you ever heard something several times then, all of a sudden, a new meaning explodes in your mind?Last Sunday morning we were reading this passage from Colossians 1:19-20 when something struck me, “For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him,and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.”.While this passage is filled with good and godly stuff, the phrase “having made peace through the blood of His cross” stopped me in my tracks.I have never experienced a crucifixion, but from what I know about it, it had little to do with “peace”.Crucifixion was an act of violence often involving several cruel efforts to inflict punishment and hasten death.Crucifixion was done in a way to promote public humiliation – to strip away a person’s dignity.In the Roman times crucifixion was the reminder to an occupied people of the power of the Roman gove…