Posts

Wednesday; August 15

One of the neat things about this time of year is the Little League World Series.You don’t have to be much of a baseball fan to get sucked into the charm of this international competition.Young people (children) with a love for baseball are surrounded by some great traditions of the game.I believe this is a special event because at the heart of this amateur exhibition is a blend of talent and sportsmanship. As I watched a game the other day I was reminded that these pre-teens had a mental concept of the game that was not always matched by their physical ability.They had been taught where to throw the ball, but they couldn’t always get their bodies to make the throw in time to get the runner.They knew the correct positioning for fielding a grounder, but sometimes the small gap between position and coordination resulted in an error.Ironically, those human imperfections may be what makes the game so pure and enjoyable. When I was watching the game I got to thinking about how the dilemma of…

Tuesday; August 14

When Jeane and I got married in the summer of 1981 I am sure there were a lot of people who just shook their heads.I had broken my jaw earlier in the summer and my mouth was still wired shut.Travel was uncertain because there had been a strike resulting in over 11,000 air traffic controllers losing their jobs.Neither one of us had a job and we had no place to live.Our combined life savings was what we had received as wedding gifts.Our ceremony was held on a hot day in South Florida and the air conditioning went out in our reception hall (rumor was that it was so hot that the wedding cake was leaning).As we set out for our honeymoon Tropical Storm Dennis was churning offshore in the Atlantic and it arrived in Miami about the same time we did.In retrospect it didn’t seem like we were getting off to a rousing beginning; yet, as I look back on that day (and the 37 years in between) I realize we had something going for us – we loved each other and were committed to one another.To us, those…

Monday; August 13

How much faith do we have?  I know that is hard to quantify something like faith, but I believe there are some things that need to measured – not by percentages, but with a simple “yes” or “no” answer.  For example, how would you do on this faith quiz:
1.  Do you have the faith to believe that God is powerful enough to create the heavens and the earth?
2.  Do you have the faith to believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God?
3.  Do you have the faith to believe that God loves us enough to provide salvation for mankind?

          Most people who are serious about their Christianity have no doubts with any of the previous questions – so let me ask another one:  Do you have the faith to believe that God is willing to forgive you of your sins?  Did you notice a difference in the last two questions?   I believe it is easier to believe in a generic forgiveness for all people than it is for many to believe in specific forgiveness for personal sin.  Maybe it is because we know ou…

Friday; August 10

We aren’t really told much about the early life of Jesus.We know about His birth and we are told that He grew up to be a responsible young adult, but that’s about it.There is; however, one story about Jesus as a young man found in the Gospels.When Jesus was twelve-years-old Joseph and Mary took their family to Jerusalem for Passover.When they started home, they left without Jesus.After a while they realized He wasn’t with any of the relatives, so they headed back to Jerusalem.After three days of looking they finally found him sitting in the temple learning from the wise men.When they chided Him for the scare He gave them Jesus responded with, “Why is it that you were looking for Me? Did you not know that I had to be in My Father’s house?” (Luke 2:49).I am not sure that Joseph and Mary fully (and immediately) understood Jesus’ response, but this would become the theme for His development – for the rest of His life He would be found doing the Father’s business. If people went looking fo…

Thursday; August 9

“Stop being argumentative!”I can’t tell you the number of times I heard my mother tell me this.When I was younger I thought her objection was to me disagreeing with her, but that wasn’t the issue.Her admonition was for me to stop harping on a point.I think she loved me enough to allow me to have a point of view, but I wasn’t wise enough to speak my peace and move on. Argumentativeness isn’t a disagreement, it is continually rehashing what has already been stated.It isn’t providing new evidence, it is merely replowing old ground – often with more emotion and less restraint than the time(s) before. I still haven’t learned this lesson as well as I should, but I am beginning to see the futility of harping on a point.If I haven’t convinced someone in the first couple of attempts, saying it a half dozen more times probably won’t make a difference.Sure, as long as there is give and take there might be value in continuing to discuss things, but when logic and reason are finished and al…

Wednesday; August 8

Do we celebrate success?It is easy to answer the question in the affirmative and, maybe from a national or community perspective we might, but I am not so sure that we do this in some of our most intimate relationships.Whether it is in our marriages, families, churches – or even on an individual level – I don’t know that we do a good job of enjoying the good times.Often, after finishing a successful program we move on to the next experience without taking the time to acknowledge what we have done.When we reach our 13th or 22nd or 37th wedding anniversary, do we savor the moment and celebrate the fact that we have done something many couples never get to experience?When we finish a successful event at church, do we spotlight the occasion or do we move ahead with the next event on the calendar?When we accomplish a milestone in our lives do we take a moment to relish what we have done or do we reflect on it to merely critique what went wrong throughout the process (we call this “lessons …

Tuesday; August 7

In the late 1970s songwriters Jackson Browne and Bryan Garofalo wrote a tribute to life on the road as a major pop star.The song, “The Load Out” became a hit (especially when combined with the remake of the Maurice Williams song, “Stay”) and came to define a generation of concert-goers and the behind-the-scenes people who made it all possible.As I listened the song recently I was struck by the words, “People you’ve got the power over what we do – You can sit there and wait or you can pull us through – Come along, sing the song – You know you can’t go wrong.”.As I thought about these words I realize just how much performers depend upon the crowd to generate an energy that allows them to do their best.When the audience is engaged, the show is bound to be better than if the crowd just sits there like a bump on a log. Many of us are familiar with the New Testament passage, “Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account. Let them…