Archive for June, 2010

Determined, Stubborn or Crazy?

June 8, 2010

As I was out for a run yesterday the thought came to me, “Am I able to complete these runs because I am determined, stubborn or crazy?”

Determination is a good quality.  The ability to remain committed to a task and see it to completion is an important character trait.  I would like to think that I am determined, that I do not give up easily, that I will stay the course. 

stubbornness is the unwillingness to change your mind, or your actions even when it becomes obvious that you are wrong.  You do not listen to other opinions or try other actions because surely you are already right.  You don’t want to admit being wrong, nor are you willing to accept defeat.  The line between determined and stubborn can be a little blurry at times.  The difference is that determination is correctly placed, while stubbornness is determination misplaced, or placed on an incorrect action.

So what is crazy?  We slip past stubbornness, and into craziness when we fail to recognize that our actions are causing significant damage.  We think that we are right, we think that we are being constructive, while actually we are destroying the very thing that we are trying to build.  That is crazy.

I would like to think that in my life  I am determined.

I will admit that I can be stubborn.

I might even occasionally be, just a little bit, crazy.

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Sudden Death

June 7, 2010

I am not talking about a conclusion to a tied game.  I am talking about actually dieing, quickly and unexpectedly.  This past weekend in our area there was a fatal motorcycle accident.  In the Midwest there were tornados resulting in seven deaths.  I suspect that worldwide, there are many who died suddenly, and unexpectedly.  My heart goes out to the families that must deal with the sudden, tragic, loss of life.

It also makes me think.

Do we live our lives in such a way that we are ready, literally, to meet our maker?

Do we appreciate the time that we have on this earth?

Do we appreciate the time that we have with family and friends?

Are we making good choices?

Are we prepared for life…or death?

Who knows what the future holds?

Sudden death is not a game, but a shocking reality that some people must face.  For most, life goes on…but how will we live that life?

Oil, Water and Blood

June 3, 2010

Once again our Wednesday night Bible study has provided inspiration for my Thursday morning blog.

Once again it wasn’t my own words, or thoughts, that provoked this commentary.

We were discussing the story of Noah and the flood.  Actually, just the introductory verses in Genesis chapter six, were God had decided to pour out judgement against the evil that was in the world.  We were discussing the reality of judgement, and someone brought up the prophecy in Revelation about the coming judgement.  Specifically, Revelations 8:8&9 which reads :

“Then the second angel sounded: And something like a great mountain burning with fire was thrown into the sea, and a third of the sea became blood.  And a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed.”

He commented that the disaster in the Gulf is how this prophecy could be fulfilled.  It could be said that oil is the blood of an industrial society.  A series of off-shore earthquakes in the right places could create a means by which this judgement could unfold.

I am not saying that the current disaster in the Gulf is an act of judgement.  I am saying that perhaps we should read it as a warning.  It is a terrible tragedy and disaster of unforeseen proportions. Only time will tell truly how much damage has been done.  My heart goes out to the countless individuals whose lives will be forever changed.  I pray that God will help them stop the leak and clean up, but there is irrevocable damage that has been done.

We should learn something from this horrible catastrophe.

What is Normal?

June 2, 2010

Our lives have been pretty busy lately.  Actually, our lives are always very busy because of our involvement in a bivocational ministry.  When I say that our lives are busy, I mean busy in comparison to our normally busy lives.

Things have been so busy that I have begun to wonder when things will get back to normal.  Then I realize that our version of “normal” may not really be what I want to get back.  Maybe what I want, is to be able to have a life that is more like a “normal” life. 

What is normal?

The lives that people lead are all so very different, that how could we honestly, and accurately, define a normal life?

Perhaps what I am looking for is not a normal life, but simply a less busy, less stressful one. 

I may be in the wrong occupation for that to happen.

I guess that I will try to live the life that God has for me.  I will try to make good choices each day, to fulfill my calling, keep my obligations, try to make the best of my situation, to make good use of my time and resources, to live within my means, and enjoy the good that comes my way. 

Is that normal?

Our President’s Choices and Values

June 1, 2010

President Obama was associated for many years with a church in Illinois whose pastor has been recorded denouncing America.

Since moving to Washington, the president has decided not to attend church services, citing difficulties for secret service protection details.

This spring he decided that the White House would not formally participate in the National Day of Prayer, for the first time in years.

Yesterday, he chose to send the Vice President to Arlington National cemetary for the Memorial Day services, instead of going himself.  He was scheduled to appear in Illinois, but the event was rained out.

I suppose that I would rather have him openly aloof to religious observances as opposed to pretending it is important to him.

I concede that his choice to delegate the traditional Memorial Day appearance to the vice president does not make him unpatriotic.

These things do not destroy his ability to govern.

They do make me uneasy, and I don’t like it.