Recently, my youngest son kept asking me to play him one-on-one in basketball. I finally acquiesced and accepted his offer. Knowing that all dads eventually will be bested by their sons as they grow bigger and faster (while we dads grow older & slower), I determined that this would not be the time that he would be able to beat me.
I did everything I could to beat him: I used my bigger body to get in the paint, I used the traditional “sky-hook (he laughed at me),” I tried my trusty jump shot at the corner of the free-throw which failed me spectacularly. When it came down to it, he is just too good of an outside shooter and I am too out of shape. The result is that he bested me in a game of one-on-one. All of my boys can now beat me at multiple sports!
Continue reading “10 out of 10 people…”
Tears started welling up as I heard my sister tell me about a friend of hers that committed suicide this week. Yes, the week before Christmas this thirty-two year young woman with three precious girls took her own life. I could feel my heart bursting for those innocent little girls. The mayhem that this decision made will echo for a lifetime in the lives of those closest to this woman. Questions like “Why?”, “How did it come to this?”, “Why didn’t we see this coming?”, and dozens of other questions will be asked.
Christmas is a difficult time for many people. Unfortunately, too many of us see Christmas as sending out the “perfect Christmas card,” putting up the “perfect Christmas decorations,” making certain the Christmas desserts appear perfect on that decorative plate for the upcoming Christmas party, and other mainly trivial items surrounding Christmas.
Continue reading “Christmas Is About People”
This morning, my wife and I have arrived on the campus of the Christian college that our daughter will be attending as a freshman this fall. Of course, the excitement that we have for her and her future is off the charts!
The entire process of checking in, finding one’s dorm assignments, getting a mug shot for your ID card (my first card was a real picture laminated & pressed onto an ID card – yes, very ancient!), carrying one’s entire belongings into a dorm room, meeting new roommates, figuring out how you are going to share that small room with three other roommates and all of their stuff, and trying to process the myriad of other tidbits of information is exhilarating for an 18-year-old moving away from home for the first time.
Continue reading “When Your Future Looks Hazy”
One year ago today, one of the world’s most beloved entertainers, Robin Williams, took his own life. Very few entertainers have cut across such a wide swath of age groups while entertaining the masses. From Aladdin to Peter Pan to Mrs. Doubtfire, Williams put his very own mark on every movie or act that he performed.
Several months ago, my wife and I had stopped at some yard sales in a small town near our home. While perusing a box of older VHS movies, I came across the movie Dead Poets Society. I had never watched the movie but remember hearing about it years ago. I purchased it for $1 and several weeks later watched the movie. Although we could debate some of the finer philosophies presented throughout the movie, one thing was undeniable. Williams was brilliant in playing his part as an English teacher encouraging his subjects to not just endure another English class but to seize life and live it for all its worth.
Continue reading “Entertained & Saddened”
With the recent suicide of Robin Williams due to severe depression, I have heard many well-meaning Christian friends comment something like this:
“It just goes to show that money doesn’t make you happy.”
“Wealth, fame, and popularity does not bring joy.”
“Having lots of money or being famous will not bring you inner peace.”
And although I agree with the truth behind these statements, we sometimes like to say certain statements to bolster the position of the Christian. We say them to show (albeit falsely) that we don’t struggle with these types of things. I am sure you have heard them. They go something like this:
“We Christians have that inner peace that the world doesn’t have.”
“Having Jesus Christ in my life keeps me from being depressed.”
“If they only had God in their life, they wouldn’t struggle like they are struggling now.”
Anyone that has been a Christian for any length of time and has dealt with people, knows the real truth – Christians struggle with depression too.
Continue reading “Christians Struggle Too”
In my day job, when I am asked to assist an employee with a problem, I often ask them a very important question. If their response is in the negative, I nearly always ask them to do this one thing before we go any further. This one thing has solved more problems in the type of work that I perform than anything else. Recently, as I asked an employee this question, she looked at me with a sheepish grin (one of those grins that said, “I know I should be doing this more often, but I’m not) and told me “no.”
Before I finish that story, I think the first time I remember seeing a verse next to his signature was during high school. You see, my dad’s company had gone out of business and for a period of 3-4 months, he had to go out-of-state for employment to provide for our family (if you only knew my dad – he is the best Christian I know). So, he got on a plane in Missoula, Montana and flew to southern California to work with my uncle in his construction business.
Continue reading “Restart”
The 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics ended last weekend. My family and I couldn’t get enough of them! For the most part, our family enjoys sporting events and when the Olympics rolls around every two years (summer/winter), we watch, cheer, and “oo & ah” on a nearly daily basis. You’ve got to hand it to the Olympic athletes – here are people who have trained much of their life for this moment (or in the case of the 50K cross-country skiers – an hour and 45+ minutes). I always feel bad for the skater who falls on her first triple-axle during the long free program or the speed skater who is nudged on the first turn and goes sprawling into the boards. They have trained for countless hours for this moment.
I admire the Olympic athlete in any sport. They train and train – countless hours are spent honing their muscles, their balance, their strength, their resolve – all with one goal in mind. They want to win to stand on the medal podium. Hear their nation’s anthem. Make their country proud. Win the gold medal. A very noble pursuit indeed. I applaud every athlete from this recent Winter Olympics.
But I couldn’t stop thinking of a certain phrase of Scripture in which the Apostle Paul refers to some type of Olympic Games in I Corinthians 9:25, Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown, but we an incorruptible. Paul is not denying, denigrating, or demeaning the efforts of the Olympian. No, he just puts it into perspective. And what a perspective for the Christian! Verse 24 we are admonished to run, that ye may obtain! In verse 26, Paul tells you what he is going to do. Whether you join him or not he says, I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air.
Continue reading “They (the Olympians) Do It To Obtain a Corruptible Crown…”
If you choose your wardrobe upon what others might think of you, you are living for man’s approval.
If you choose not to attend a certain leadership/ministry conference because of what some might think of you, you are living for man’s approval.
If you choose not to post a helpful article or quote online that you just read due to the name of the author and what others might think of you, you are living for man’s approval.
If you choose not to make ministry changes in your church due to what fellow brethren might think, you are living for man’s approval.
If you choose to sidestep certain topics in your preaching ministry, you are living for man’s approval.
If you choose to elevate preferences above convictions, you are living for man’s approval.