Archive for the ‘Life Experiences’ Category

To Our Fathers

June 20, 2016

I came across this poem that I wrote for Father’s Day back in June of 2000.  I thought that I would share it with you.

 

The job of father is not well defined.

One thing is for sure- it is full time.

Traditional chores of the trash and the yard

of fixing the broken

and of taking charge.

A father’s expected to provide and protect

but nowadays more expectations are met.

A father may help to cook and to clean

and in men’s restrooms changing tables are seen.

A father’s expected to advise and to scold

and then there’s the reason that a child is told

“Just wait, till your father gets home!”.

It’s a mystery at times,

what a dad’s supposed to do.

He may feel inadequate, confused or blue.

So it’s a good thing we’ve a Father above

who can offer us help with His Great Love.

As we turn to God with our fathering skills,

He will help us indeed, as we seek His will.

And so to our fathers on Father’s Day

remember God is our father

and seek to do things His way.

Pastor Curt

June 2000

Any advertisements that might appear are placed by WordPress.  I have no control over them, nor do I receive any money from them.

Advertisements

Time Matters

May 14, 2015

The last time that I remember being bored was the winter of 1982-83 in Beirut, Lebanon.  I was serving in the Marine Corps and was a part of the multinational peacekeeping force.  A part of my duties was to stand twelve hours of guard duty every other day.  Six hours on, six hours off, repeat.  Standing guard for twelve hours on the perimeter of an airport where you normally did not see anyone was conducive to boredom.

That was a long time ago.

Now, I have far more things to do than I have time or energy to do.  Since I have so much to do I find it helpful to make a daily list.  This list is kept on my computer and updated each work day.

The first thing on my list is the Today category.  In this category I list those things that are scheduled for that day, or that really should be done that day.  The minimum goal is to have those things completed each day.

The second category is Daily.  This category lists those things that I would like to do on a daily basis.  These are good, routine things that I try to make a part of each day.  This list includes things like make list, take vitamins, read the paper, do some other reading, pick up around the house, do some weeding, and so forth.  I really want to get these things done each day, but sometimes it doesn’t happen.

The third category is Should Do.  This list contains a list of things that I should do, that are waiting to be done.  Once the first two parts of my list have been completed, if I have any time or energy left, then I turn my attention to this list.  On a good day, I will get numerous things scratched off this list.

The fourth category is Call/Contact.  I place peoples names on this part of the list that I need to call or visit.

The final category is Could Do.  This part of the list is all of those things that I would like to do if I can find the time.  Sadly, if an item is on this part of the list, it is not forgotten, but it may never get done.  It’s only real hope is that someday I may feel the desire to bump it up into the Should Do category.

The nice thing about the list is that it helps me to stay organized.  I can get the things done that I need to get done.  I can have a sense of accomplishment as things are scratched off the list.  If I am having a day that is overwhelming, or that I am just not very with it, I simply go to the next thing on the list, do it, and check it off.  My wife can provide input to help me in prioritizing my day so that important things are not left out.  It works well for me.

Some people do not like lists.  They feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume, or they feel that everything must be done.

I can assure you.  Everything on my list will not be done today…or this week….or possibly ever.

I can live with that.

It is merely a tool by which I organize my time.  So if you want me to do something, I will write it down,  get it on my list, and it will get done…eventually.

Why Run 24 Hours?

May 10, 2012

I am still recovering from the 24 hour run that I participated in this past weekend.  My muscles are no longer sore, but some of the blisters on my feet have healed, and some are still an issue.

Why do a 24 hour run?

It is not for health reasons.  You don’t have to run for 24 hours to experience health benefits.  Actually, there are definite health risks involved, besides blisters and sore muscles, the possibility of joint issues arising is very real.

It is not really for competition.  I know that I am not good enough to be competitive.  Although this years winner was 58, so maybe I will improve with time.

It’s not really for fun.  I do enjoy participating but it stops being much fun after about forty miles.

I do it for the personal physical and mental challenge.

It’s not really about how I do, compared with others.  It is about what I can do compared with myself.  This year I improved my distance by 13 miles.  I am already thinking about a goal for next year.  I realize that it might be a little bit crazy, but I enjoy the challenge of seeing what I can do.

I think I can do better next year.

Yield!

February 28, 2012

When the light is green it is your right to drive through the intersection.

Way back in high school, I was driving home after class, when I had an interesting event.  I had stopped at a red light, a block away from my house.  When the light turned green I started to accelerate, but I noticed a truck coming out of the corner of my eye.  He wasn’t slowing down.  I stepped back on the brake and watched him sail through the intersection directly in front of me.  I can still see the look on his face as he realized, too late, that the light was red.  My friend who was riding with me, said “Wow!  I’m glad you were driving!  Greg or John would have accelerated right into the path of that truck.”

I learned an important lesson that day.  I had the right to drive through the intersection, but to avoid a collision, I needed to yield.  That lesson has served me well through decades of driving both automobiles and motorcycles.   You may have the right-of-way, but sometimes it is right to yield for the sake of safety.

Knowing when to yield is important in many other parts of life.  There are many situations where we can either stand firm, or “yield” the right of way.  This is true in family matters, work issues, neighbors, politics, and so on.  The first step is to recognize that things do not have to always go our way.  The second step is even harder.  That is being able to recognize when to stand firm, and when to yield.

Come Be With Us

September 1, 2011

When I was in the Marine Corps, going through training to be a tank crewman,  at Ft. Knox, Kentucky, we had one weekend of liberty.  I remember that I went off by myself and got a hotel room.  I did a lot of thinking, a lot of praying, and a lot of listening to music on my Sony Walkman.  I also wrote a song that, strangely enough was accompanied with bongos.  I am a drummer and percussionist.  The only instrument that I had brought with me was a set of bongos.  Anyway, the song came into my mind the other day while I was out for a run and I thought that I would share the words.  You will have to use your own imagination, for the sound of the tune, rhythm and accompaniment.   It has occasionally be done in church, so some of you have heard it.

 

Holy Spirit come be with us

come and fill our hearts today.

Holy Spirit come be with us                                    ( chorus)

come and fill our lives we pray.

 

Oh Lord God above

you are the one who gives us love.

For you loved us so much

that you gave your only son,                                (verse one)

to die for us on Calvary

and wash our sins away.

Oh Lord God above

come and fill us with your love.

 

chorus

 

Oh Lord God above

you are the one who gives us joy,

and we know that we need you                             (verse two)

we need the strength that your joy brings

to face our world today

we need the strength that your joy brings.

 

chorus

 

Oh Lord God above,

in a world of trouble and pain

you give to us a peace,                                          (verse three)

a peace not of this world,

Oh Lord God above

come and fill us with your peace

 

chorus

 

Oh Lord God above

come and fill us with your love.

Oh Lord God above                                     (bridge)

come and fill us with your joy.

Oh Lord God above

come and fill us with your peace.

 

chorus

 

I remember singing this song in my hotel room and having a sense of the presence of God.  It was meaningful to me at the time, and so I thought I would share it with you today.

Mid-life

April 14, 2011

The other day I helped a friend with some roofing work.  I was only out on the roof for a few hours, but I discovered that although I am in good shape for my age,  I am not as young as I once was, and those few hours wore me out.

My wife and I are looking around the house trying to figure out what we should get rid of next.  We used to look around stores dreaming about what we would next purchase.

When I try to lose a few pounds, it is far more difficult than it used to be, and they come back on in a blink of an eye.

I find myself thinking about retirement.  I realize that I am far closer to retirement than to the beginning of my work history.

I look forward to grandchildren, but will let grandma change any dirty diapers.

I realize that some dreams might not come true.

I continue to rethink the possibilities that the future holds.

God is not finished with me yet.

A Reason to Smile

January 6, 2011

I just came from a meeting of the local Lions club, of which I am a member.  The speaker this week had recently returned from a years lay ministry opportunity at an orphanage in Rwanda.  He showed many pictures and told many stories about the boys and young men with whom he had worked, and lived amongst for a year.  In the pictures the boys were all smiling broadly.  The lives and situations that were described were difficult at best and tragic stories were common.

Why the smiles?

Each of the individuals pictured had something to smile about: a meal, a job, an opportunity for education, a friend…something.

Our speaker pointed out that our lives can be so blessed that we forget to appreciate all the things that we do have, that we sometimes grumble about perceived shortcomings, rather than enjoying the  simple things that we have taken for granted.

As I left, having eaten a good meal, to go back to a job that I enjoy, driving a van that is paid for, knowing that I will eat again this evening, sleep in a warm house tonight, and have many people in my life who love and care about me, I must admit that a smile crossed my face…just because for a moment at least I realized how I am blessed.

Half-Way There!

November 16, 2010

When I was in my teens, I would go to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area for a few days almost every summer.  I was relatively small in stature, but wanted to prove that I was stronger than I looked, so I would volunteer to carry the canoe across the portages.  By the time I was sixteen, I could carry a canoe, while wearing a backpack, across the trails.

On long portages,  they would have places set up where you could lean the canoe, without actually setting it back on the ground.  This would give you an opportunity to rest and catch your breath.

The portages would be marked on the map with their distance.  It was always nice to know when you were at the half-way point, because it gave you an idea of how much further you had to travel.

I believe that I am likely at the half-way point of ministry.  I began my role as a lead pastor twenty years ago and, should Jesus tarry, and my health holds out, I imagine that I will continue in full-time ministry until I am seventy.

It is a good thing that I enjoy a challenge.  It has not been an easy portage, but I am at the half-way point, and it is well worth it.

Wilton Candy Shop

September 13, 2010

The other day my wife and I were enjoying a motorcycle ride.  We were taking turns picking destinations.  I chose the Wilton Candy Shop.

The Wilton Candy Shop actually sells candy, ice cream,  sodas, and sandwiches.  They make their own candy, ice cream and the sodas are actually soda water mixed with syrup at the counter.  The proprietor, George, is a ninety year old man.  He and his wife (she didn’t volunteer her age) are the only employees.    His father owned the shop before him, and he has worked there all his life.  The shop is open every day, seven days a week.  In the early years it was open from 7am to 11pm.  Now that George is advanced in years he has slowed down to working only half days…7am to 7pm.  It is a unique shop with a lot of history.

I am glad that I visited and became a part of its’ story.

Eat, Pray, Love (movie review)

September 7, 2010

The film “Eat, Pray, Love” starring Julia Roberts is not so much a love story as it is a life story.  Roberts plays a writer who takes a year off to get her life in order.

The first four months she spends in Italy, basically eating and spending time with friends.  This time period represents the need to find enjoyment in the simple, material, things in life.  It also points out the need to slow down, and the value of doing nothing. Tasting life, you might say.

The next four months are spent in India learning the value of prayer, meditation and forgiveness.  This time period helps her to connect with the spiritual aspect of life.  Her earlier existence had been without spiritual influence.  There is a brief prayer in the beginning where she states that she had never talked to God before that point, so this is very new, and difficult for her to learn.

The next four months she spends in Bali.  During this period she rediscovers the importance of human relationships, and yes, love.   Also, she is taught the  importance  of balance.  Balancing the various aspects of life is the final lesson.

So “Eat, Pray, Love” is a story about appreciating, practicing, and balancing;  the material, spiritual and relational aspects of life.  In some ways, it teaches some very valid principles.  Unfortunately, these principles are discovered by pursuing non-Christian religious paths.  The movie could easily be used to encourage individuals to find meaning for their lives through various Eastern religions.

The only true and lasting meaning for life is to be found in Jesus Christ who said that “I am the way, the Truth and the Life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.”  (John 14:6) and “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10b)