Monday, February 29, 2016

Now what?

He finally did it.  Leo won an Oscar for Best Actor!  That's just great, I am happy for the guy.

It's the peak of achievement to be recognized by your peers as excelling at an extremely high standard.  I am sure as he was clutching the gold statue, he felt an enormous sense of pride. 

Actors are "workers" just like all of us.  They have to be dedicated and driven in order to be competitive.  I suppose someone else could have won the part in The Revenant and done just as good a job.  Maybe that person would have won an Oscar to!

Here's where I am going with this.  Once you reach a certain level and complete a life goal, what now?

Leo will take the trophy home and put it on his shelf, then maybe take a step back and think to himself "Wow, I did it!" and then keep looking for the next big role!

You have to keep in mind that, after a big achievement, life goes on!  It's hard to rest on an award and coast along when you still have to get up and go to work everyday.

Maybe you finally got the job you wanted or married the person you dreamed of.  It could be that you have overcome an addiction or gotten out of a bad relationship.  What about getting out of debt?  That's a huge one!  What happens after all the outstanding bills are paid and the credit card company is no longer profiting off outrageous those interest rates?  If you don't have a plan for the future of your money, you can bet that THEY do!

This is the point...I think goals need to be set for our lives, but it's a good idea to have a goal for after that.

For one, it makes the present goal look a little more achievable because you have set a timeline for completing it.  Secondly, setting goals beyond your goals, gives you a sense of where you are going in life.  It's comforting to know there is a plan.

Set big goals,reach higher and further...

But don't forget...there's always more out there!

Monday, February 22, 2016

There's a new cool kid in town.

Alex and Spock share Vulcan logic.
It's official!

My kid is cooler than me.

I knew it would happen someday.  Just when I thought my "dad" superiority would reign supreme, I have been knocked off the throne!  Oh how the mighty have fallen!

The days of "Get dad to fix it" or "Dad knows how to work that" are long gone!

It used to be me who could do anything and had all the answers!  I was Wiki-Dad-a-pedia!  I could tell you a little bit about anything through extensive "minutes" of skimming general information.

I was also Dad "The Tool Man", Dad "The Expert" and Dad "The Strong Man".

Now I am just, Dad!  It's more of an honorary title now!

Kids grow up way to fast.  Like faster than fair.  If life is like baseball, kids are born and step up to the plate, hit the ball and slide  into home before you, as the umpire have time to even know when the season started!

To keep the sports analogy going, this weekend we went bowling as a family, It was adults against the kids and, Alex, my son, was late.  We were all waiting for him so we could start the game and when he finally showed up, he casually dropped his coat, grabbed a ball and threw a strike!  Then he sat down.  WHAT!?  So casual, like it was nothing!  I don't think he even looked down the lane!  The pins themselves were stunned by what had just happened.  They were not even done wobbling from being set by the magic machine!  I got up and proceeded to knock one corner pin over and roll two gutter balls. My score was lower that any of my kids AND their cousins!

I thought, OK, I'll show him up later!

He bought me a Millennium Falcon quad copter for Christmas and I have been getting really good at piloting it around the house.  When we fired it up back at the house after bowling, I showed him some moves!  Wow, I could fly the "circle" and the "liftoff".  Impressive!  I went on about how I could land it on a shelf.  Boy, was I skilled!  I put in the time and practiced!  If I was Han Solo, Chewie would be impressed by my skills!

Then it was his turn.

Within moments, he was cruising it around corners and back and forth in the living room!  WHAT?!   Chewie would have thrown me out on Tatooine if he had a choice between me and Alex!  The Death Star would have blown ITSELF up, had he seen "Alex Solo" coming!  I feel like Darth Vader would have tipped his dark helmet in admiration if Alex flew by at lightspeed.

Again I felt like, that used to be ME!  I could master any difficult toy with ease!  I was the king!

What happened?  Did I just lose all my cool DNA?  Do I need a transfusion?

Am I jealous?

Good question.

A little.

I want him to do well, I want him to excel.  I want him to be the best he can be!

But I want "one thing" that I rule at!

What could it be?

I'm still looking!

Monday, February 15, 2016

Are You Hungry?

One of the things that I love about the scriptures is how we get a picture of how Jesus lived day to day.  What would it have been like to hang out with the Jesus posse?

If we sit back and let our imagination fill in the gaps of everyday life, we have to conclude that if Jesus was a real guy and he was who He said He was, then He did regular everyday things like we do.

One of those things was eating.  Jesus did not usually like to eat alone.  

I had breakfast alone this morning.  It was a hurried meal.  I was super hungry and I just wanted to get it over with.  

Meals are usually a social event, meant to serve two purposes.  The first of course is to satisfy hunger.  Without food we just die, so that's bad.  The second objective of the meal is to sit down for a short period of time and share the events of the day or discuss topics of interest.  It's ironic that talking has such a big part to play in an activity that involves filling your mouth!  I guess it's because if someone is chewing, another person has the floor for a few minutes!

Dinner guests are another thing.  Who we CHOOSE to eat with says a lot.  Because the evening meal is supposed to be a time where conversation flows, Who's at the table makes a big difference!  If you think you're just there to eat, think again!  Like it or not, you will be the odd one out if you just crunch your salad and slurp your soup without adding to the discussion at hand. 

We have the luxury of sending out an invitation to anyone we want to come over to partake of our daily bread.  The scriptures say Jesus would come over and eat at your house if He was invited!  Did it matter your status?  Was it a prerequisite that your house be spic and span?  Did you have to cook gluten free?  NO!  You just had to open the door and put something down!

Jesus ate with many people who were considered what you might call undesirable or "sinners".   Why?  Because He was invited!

The act of hanging and eating with tax collectors and sinners caused Him to be accused of bad behavior. 

How could you sit down and eat with people who were not "holy"?  One guy even said to the disciple gang, "Why does your master eat with sinners?"

What I like about a meal with Jesus is that there was no us vs them with was just US,  Just humanity.  One big family, where all are welcome!

His response was this "Those that are not sick, don't need a doctor!"

Why would He choose one group over another?  We all need time with Him.  The meal is the perfect time to chit chat about the things that matter most in a relaxed atmosphere!

I would have loved to have sat down for pizza with Jesus and just ask Him a ton of questions!

Is this why most of our praying happens at the dinner table?

I don't know but now I am hungry, both in my tummy and in my spirit!

Monday, February 8, 2016

God is ALWAYS Working!

Me and pastor Keith Taylor form Newmarket Church of the Nazarene

Tell me if this has ever happened to YOU...

You are thinking/praying about something, then at church, the pastor will speak about that very thing you were secretly wondering about!

These types of incidents really convince us that, despite all the human effort we put into doing church and living life, ultimately God is the one who gets His message home to our hearts!

I had the blessing of speaking at Newmarket Church of the Nazarene this past Sunday.  Pastor Keith Taylor took a moment before introducing me to the platform to tell a story.  In the story, a man was powerfully brought to  a saving knowledge of Jesus after picking up a hitchhiking pastor.  The pastor had been prompted earlier to thumb his way to church and was reluctant to follow the leading of his spirit due to the image of being considered a hobo!

What the pastor did not know is that the man who picked him up had a praying wife!  She had been praying for him for 40 years!

That day, in the vehicle, he surrendered to the love of an awesome God!

My message that morning was all about how we work together WITH God to reach a lost and hurting world.  Our part is to spread the word and God's part is to give the increase!  I used the parable of the sower in Matthew 13.

It lined up so beautify with the story pastor Kieth told, that I was pretty excited to share it!

I can't imagine how that message must have been for someone in the congregation that day!

We won't know until the after life, just what the impact of our words are.  All I know is, it's comforting to know that as we work in our churches or ministries, God is also working!

Monday, February 1, 2016

Who Are You?

Some people seem to have real good grasp on who they are and where they want to go in life.  If you ask them about their chosen profession, they will tell you about how they started, what their goals are and what goals they have after they reach the ones they just told you about! Their vision is clear and realistic, grounded with solid counseling from qualified mentors.

Do you know such a person?  Do you sort of just hate them a little?  Do you think they are arrogant and full of pride?  Maybe it's because, like me, you are jealous of that level of well-adjusted foresight!

Let's be  honest, it can be difficult to plan just a few hours of our lives due to all the commitments that just seen to come at us in waves!

We read in the bible that Jesus was very clear and focused in on what his objective were in life.  All the activity in His life was driven by those goals.  He also helped others focus in their objectives.

Are all of us called to be itinerant ministers like Him?  Of course not.  But we are called to be like Him in the way He ordered His life after a clear purpose.  Otherwise we are just living day to day, waiting to die!

What's your life about?