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Showing posts from March, 2013

“Behavior is not always an accurate indicator of what’s going on inside.”

A thought from Andy Stanley (2009-08-22) from his book,It Came from Within!: The Shocking Truth of What Lurks in the Heart (p. 31). Multnomah Books. Kindle Edition.

Some people are good at hiding what is happening on the inside.They have done it so long.Now if they are hiding it then it probably is a negative thing, something painful, or a type of guilt.If it is good thing they probably don’t want to hide it.
I knew a friend who hid an evil practice behind a jovial personality.Only a few people knew the truth.He hid behind the façade of being a minister for many, many years.And he fooled a lot of people, even members of his family.Finally he was arrested and it all came out.
Some hide great emotional pain behind a smile or a fun loving personality. It is their way of not dealing with it but it needs to come out to someone who can help with the healing of it.
A few years ago, Margaret, my wife started having a problem in swallowing.My tendency would be to live with it and get used to livin…

“Power without humility is a bad combination.”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus from his book,Chasing Daylight: Seize the Power of Every Moment(Kindle Location 2555). Kindle Edition.

To some having power with humility would be an oxymoron but to Jesus it was the key to power.
Humility is when you say you need help, power to many is when you don’t need help.“I have the power to do what I want.”It is all a dependency issue.It is all in who you depend on.Humility is a dependency on God.It is saying, “I need You God in my life to give me the power and to use the power as you would use it”. Humility is real power.
Now the problem with power without humility is that it many times is used from a self-centered motive.And in that situation others can be hurt.
The other day there was a NASCAR race where two drivers were having problems between each other and one of the drivers at the end of the race purposefully drove his car into the other guy’s car and caused the other guy to wreck.And the other guy was injured to the point that he won’t …

“No football team has ever won a Super Bowl on the strength of the huddle.”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus from his book,Chasing Daylight: Seize the Power of Every Moment (Kindle Locations 2494-2495). Kindle Edition.

So true but we sure do like to try.So much we try to do sitting in our office or in front of the TV.We know we can make a difference.We have the talent, the ability and the idea.We are going to do it.We have the play, the plan we just don’t have the drive to break the huddle and go for it.
What is it that is keeping you from doing “it”, whatever “it” is in your life?What is it?There is something that you use as a reason or should I say an excuse for not starting.Stop for a moment and come to grips with that specific reason and then set it aside and go for “it”.Make it a stepping stone not a stopping place.If it’s a closed door to you open it up or knock it down.Don’t let it stop you.
Like in football, they get a penalty and lose some ground or they get tackled for a loss so they get in their huddle, come up with another play and then try again.…

“Randomness is an insufficient framework on which to grow a life.”

A thought by Leonard Sweet, (2012-03-13) from his book, Viral: How Social Networking Is Poised to Ignite Revival(p. 112). Random House, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

I am retired minister.When I was still working my work had a way of setting up a weekly agenda but retirement lends itself to a lot of potential randomness.Retirement didn’t mean I was done with life it just said I had more control. And I knew that wasn’t a potential good thing for me so I set out to build some structure to my day, to my week not because I had to but because I wanted to keep on making a difference with my life.
I have a clear framework to my day.It is the reason I am able to keep on growing mentally, socially, financially, physically, spiritually and influentially.All of those areas are a part of the framework of my life.They give my day great satisfaction and great productivity.
You see no matter what stage you are in your life, you need to be striving to make a difference in yourself and in the world around you.…

“You don’t forgive because the other person deserves it; you forgive because you have been forgiven.”

A thought by Andy Stanley (2009-08-22) from his book, It Came from Within!: The Shocking Truth of What Lurks in the Heart (p. 145). Multnomah Books. Kindle Edition.

That is why so many can’t forgive.They don’t feel like they have been forgiven.
One of the great benefits to having a relationship with Christ is the ability to forgive others because we have been forgiven.1 john 1.9 says, “If we confess He’ll forgive.”Now of course for some that is a problem.They will not ever admit that they have ever been wrong so confessing for them is a problem.But admitting is the plart you pay and forgiveness is the part He plays.
Now let me tell you, admitting can be so liberating in its self.I mean the action you did that you know is wrong keeps you in a state of negative guilt and in that state you feel miserable.And of course when you feel miserable no way do you want someone else to feel good.So no way are you going to forgive them.They shouldn’t feel better than you.They need to feel miserable t…

“You can exist without ever failing, but you can't really live without facing it.”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus from his book, Chasing Daylight: Seize the Power of Every Moment(Kindle Location 1502). Kindle Edition.

That has been the picture of Margaret and my life.It is really unbelievable the life that we have lived.I am right now sitting outside at Zeli Coffee Bar on the street where the Rose Parade goes down in Pasadena, California with the sun shining on my face.A little over a year ago we were finishing three great years of adventure living on Long Island just outside New York City.We then moved to Seminole, Florida for an exciting nine months on the Gulf of Mexico with my mom, my sister and brother in law and my brother but then the opportunity came and here we are in Pasadena.A lot of potential failures along the way but here we are.
I was reading this morning in the Acts of the Apostles in the New Testament of Philip.He had had the privilege of meeting an important Ethiopian official and made a difference in his life because he had gone where an angel …

“We must resist the natural tendency to cling to what is familiar.”

A thought by Leonard Sweet, (2012-03-13) from his book, Viral: How Social Networking Is Poised to Ignite Revival(p. 111). Random House, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

This past weekend they did some changes in the Starbucks that I usually go to and they are doing away with the tables where I usually sit.I said something to my wife, Margaret about it and she said, “You aren’t going to be a cranky old man are you?”That was very good advice for this old man.
It is so easy to live life in the familiar.You just don’t have to make decisions, you just do the same thing but that isn’t necessarily a good thing.Someone said that a rut is a grave with the ends knocked out.There is no adventure, no excitement, no challenge, and no variety in living in the familiar.I mean, there may be some new people to meet on the other side of Starbucks but for sure there is an opportunity to put one’s selfish desires aside.And that is always a good thing.
Maybe I need to change the coffee I drink.I mean, I have been dri…

“There must be a shift from where we have potential to where we are potent.”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus from his book, Chasing Daylight: Seize the Power of Every Moment(Kindle Location 2388). Kindle Edition.

Have you read the story in the New Testament of the man who gave talents to three of his servants and told them to invest them and make a difference with them?Two of them did what he said but one of them hid his.When the man came back he was upset with the man who hid his and doubled the two who invested theirs.
Every one of us has been given talents, has been given potential.Many do all they can to strive to live out their potential and are rewarded but some don’t even try. They live in the, I have no talent, no abilities; life is not fair so why should I try, world of hiding.Granted in the story the man gave 10 talents to one, 5 to another and one to the third but he did give talents to all of them and he had expectations for each one of them.The same is true of each one of us.
You have a potential even though you don’t believe it and aren’t using …

“We never have the luxury of hurting only ourselves.”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus from his book, Chasing Daylight: Seize the Power of Every Moment (Kindle Locations 2410-2411). Kindle Edition.

I read at least two newspapers every day and for the last while I have been reading about the two high school football players who had been at a party drinking and who had raped a 16 year old passed out girl.Well this weekend they were found guilty and these two boys and their parents took it pretty hard.There was one father of one of the guilty boys who had been an alcoholic in front of his son and who said with deep emotion that he was to blame.He felt responsible because he had not been a father figure.
Now many alcoholic fathers will say, “I’m not hurting anyone but myself” but this sad story shows that it isn’t the truth.Our influence as parents goes a long way in the development of those around us.
Now of course this young man is responsible for his own action but the father was an influence.There are so many who will be hurt by the agg…

“Whenever we take on a God-sized challenge, self-sufficiency is no longer an option.”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus from his book, Chasing Daylight: Seize the Power of Every Moment (Kindle Location 843). Kindle Edition.

That is one of the main reasons we are given the opportunity of taking on God-sized challenges, He wants us to depend on Him.When we can do it on our own then we don’t need Him and someone else. We do that so we won’t share the credit and also many times so we won’t fail.The need to not fail drives us more it seems than the need for faith.But to Him without faith it is impossible to please Him.To please Him or bring Him glory is the reason why we are alive.Somehow we need to really get that into our life view and live it.
Now I know there is fear in faith but there is also fear in failing.Failure takes something out of you and faith puts something in.
I can point to many God-sized challenges in my life but I think that retirement has been one of the most challenging opportunities that God has ever given me.For a while I wasn’t sure if I would find the…

“You can’t change what you do not acknowledge.”

A thought by Les Parrott, (2012-08-02) from his book, You're Stronger Than You Think: The Power to Do What You Feel You Can't(p. 76). Tyndale House Publishers. Kindle Edition.

Who me?I don’t have an anger problem,
What do you mean I drink too much?I can stop any time I want too.
What do you mean I’m too negative?I’m a realist.
What do you mean I don’t spend enough time with the family?Who is going to pay for all of this?
What do you mean I need to get up and make getting a job my job?There just isn’t anything out there.
What do you mean I’m too friendly with that girl at work?I still always come home to you.
What do you mean I’m too friendly with that guy at work?But my husband never listens to me.
What do you mean I’m always depressed?You would be too if you lived my life.
What do you mean I am too difficult to live with?If you would do what I want there wouldn’t be any problems.
What do you mean I need God in my life?What has He ever done for me?
What do you mean I need to …

“Where do we get the notion that God is eager to punish us?”

A thought by Leonard Sweet, (2012-03-13) from his book, What Matters Most: How We Got the Point but Missed the Person (Kindle Locations 2119-2120). Random House, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

Maybe it is from our own fathers.I’m so fortunate that I don’t serve a God like that because I had a father who wasn’t like that.So many times our view of God comes from our view of our own father and for so many that is so tragic.
I tell you the abuse that is handed out to so many children from someone who is their father is atrocious.That is the most unbelievable, horrible thing that a man could every do, to abuse a child, especially if they are their father.This world is so messed up in its relationships.It’s no wonder that people have problems with serving a God that we call father.
Could you ever please your father?If you are a father can your kids ever please you?That is so tragic.
Well, let me tell you can please God.Yes there is a prodding sometimes to get back on course as there was with my father …

“Every relationship has griefs. But we can choose not to let these harden into grievances.”

A thought by Leonard Sweet, (2012-03-13) from his book, What Matters Most: How We Got the Point but Missed the Person(Kindle Locations 2653-2654). Random House, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

That is where love comes in, at least the love that comes from a relationship with Christ.Now each relationship has a two-sided story and God’s loves strives to listen to their story and connect with their story.That is where the hardening or softening comes in.His love strives to listen, understand and forgive and in turn keeps one’s heart soft.It’s in making it a one-side story in which you have been wronged that it can turn hard.
My story has a period where my heart became hard.I was looking at everything from my needs, my desires and my wants and not acknowledging that Margaret, Brett and Stefanie had stories of needs, desires and wants.My self-centered living brought great pain into my family and eventually a protected hardness in my wife. It didn’t change until we changed location, job, and focus.God…

“Every face is a life story.”

A thought by Leonard Sweet, (2012-03-13) from his book, Viral: How Social Networking Is Poised to Ignite Revival (p. 84). Random House, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

Do you ever look at a person’s face and wonder what their story is?Do you ever ask them?
Have you ever wanted someone to ask you?I mean your life has had a difficult turn or a fantastic turn and you would just like to share it but no one asks.
It is so easy for us to walk through life afraid to look at people’s faces.We are just so busy and we really don’t want to see their faces, we really don’t want to listen to their story because we don’t have time to get involved.But it is different when we are on the other side.
The business of life has made it difficult to connect with people but just a moment of time can make a major difference for them and for you.
I usually sit at Starbucks right by where the drinks come out.It usually takes a couple of minutes to get their drink mixed so I usually smile or make a comment and from that a co…

“Will the knowledge that our secrets can be exposed motivate us to protect the secrets of others?”

A thought by Leonard Sweet, (2012-03-13) from his book, Viral: How Social Networking Is Poised to Ignite Revival (p. 78). Random House, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

The answer I believe is, “no.”It never has stopped us before and it won’t stop us now.Then you might ask, “What do you mean?Has someone always had the ability to know my secrets?”That really seems to be the problem.
Yes there is now greater potential for Big Brother or Little Sister or whoever to listen in to our conversations.I mean if you combine video surveillance with secret listening technology that monitors cell-phone traffic, e-mail communication, and your location, which is announced by your cell-phone signal you cannot hide.And that bothers so many people.But God has always known where you are, what you are doing or saying and He even knows what you are thinking and that hasn’t changed our behavior.We still do everything we want with no thought that someone is watching.
So why does it upset us that Big Brother and Little S…

“Life is a bunch of little things.”

A thought by Leonard Sweet, (2012-03-13) from his book, Viral: How Social Networking Is Poised to Ignite Revival (p. 69). Random House, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

Have you found that to be true?
We are in the middle of Spring Training in baseball.I have lived both in Phoenix, Arizona and Seminole, Florida two different times in my life and I love Spring Training.To me the enjoyable time of Spring Training is not the games but all the other stuff, all of the working on the small stuff, the fundamentals.It is the small stuff that when put together in the right way make a winning team.It’s throwing the ball to the right base, it’s the pitcher covering first base, it’s being able to lay down a bunt, it’s hitting behind the runner on a hit and run and so many other small things.
The same is true in life.It’s starting your day with a quiet time in the Bible and in prayer; it’s always telling the truth; it’s being faithful even when your spouse isn’t around; it’s making sure her car has gas; it’s b…

“Jesus never once used the word leader or anything like it to refer to his disciples.”

A thought by Leonard Sweet, (2012-03-13) from his book, Viral: How Social Networking Is Poised to Ignite Revival (p. 64). Random House, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

Here is the key, Jesus is to be the leader, we are to be the follower.That is what He taught but we have been consumed by our culture to believe the opposite.
I mean there are some who teach that if we do a series of steps we will get God to give us what we want.But here is the problem of that. Does a follower go to the leader to get them to give them what the follower wants?No it is the other way around. Somehow we have gotten this in the wrong order.What does the leader want, what does the leader teach?
Now Jesus all through the Gospels is telling His disciples what His Kingdom is all about.Now we need to really understand what a kingdom is.For one it is not a democracy.There are no elections in a kingdom.A kingdom has a ruler/leader/king and it has followers.His kingdom has Him as the Leader and those of us as His followers.
In t…

“Grace can’t be earned.”

A thought by Andy Stanley, (2010-10-19) from his book, The Grace of God (Kindle Location 116). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

I was sitting in my spot at Starbucks this morning with my table all organized and a man came up and asked if he could sit in the other chair.There was no other place to sit so I begrudgingly said, “yes” so he sat down and started using his half of the table.Now that kind of griped me so I wasn’t really very friendly or I should say very gracious to him.He had invaded my space without me asking him to.
I didn’t respond much better the whole time he was there.In other words, i blew it in being gracious to him.My pride and my feeling of being inconvenienced got in the way of my being gracious.
I went home and started getting ready to move some stuff over to our storage unit and I carried it down to the car, put it into the car, ready to run up and get some more stuff and then realized that I had locked my keys in the car to the car and to our apartment.Now I was…

“Feelings of loneliness almost always sabotage our efforts to find a way through our hardships.”

A thought by Les Parrott, (2012-08-02) from his book, You're Stronger Than You Think: The Power to Do What You Feel You Can't(p. 88). Tyndale House Publishers. Kindle Edition.

We really do need each other in good times but especially in difficult times.The good times are made better when we have someone to share them with and the same with difficult times.Now the answer to this is not whether you are married or single.There are so many lonely married people and there are also so many single people that aren’t.It is your feelings of loneliness that matter.
Now the fact may be that you have been married for 20+ years or the fact may be that you have never been married.The fact does not control the feeling.Fact, God is everywhere so you are never alone.Fact, there are people all around you who want to be your friend.Fact, there are people all around you who need you to be their friend.But those facts do not control your feelings.What you focus on, what you believe, what you tell y…

“Nobody ever got ready by waiting. You only get ready by starting.”

A thought by John C Maxwell, (2012-10-02) from his book, The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth: Live Them and Reach Your Potential (p. 32). Center Street. Kindle Edition.

I was sitting the other day with a friend who wanted to talk about blogging. She was excited about doing it; she even said she had six  set up.So I asked when she was going to start and she said, “Oh I’m not ready yet.It has to be perfect.”
I was walking the other day to my Starbucks for my morning coffee and I walked by the Pasadena Playhouse and I saw that they were having auditions all that day for the play, Sleepless in Seattle.As soon as I got to Starbucks I told a barista there about it.I knew she had moved from Virginia to LA to become an actress.I thought she would be excited and jump at the opportunity but she said, “I can’t do that.I’m not ready.”And I thought about the potential contacts she could have had if she would have just tried and she might have even gotten the part.
I’m not real sure of how many of the t…