Posts Tagged ‘decision making’

The Acceptable, the Good and the Perfect

May 7, 2015

I am a percussionist.  I have played percussion instruments in performance groups and in worship teams for over thirty-five years.   As a percussionist, I have a fairly large collection of instruments.  I have a vibraphone, marimba, orchestra bells, timpani, congas, bongos, tempo blocks, cowbells, tambourines, a guiro, afuche, claves, various types of shakers, and more.

I played drums and percussion in school.  There was music.  I played what was written.  When I was first asked to play in church, I asked if there was music.  The director laughed, told me no, and that he would teach me to improvise.

Now I hardly ever use written music.

One of the challenges that  a percussionist faces is determining what instrument is going to be the best choice for a particular song, or part of a song.  Personally, I pray that I will be inspired by God’s Spirit to best be in tune with the worship that is taking place.  Paul speaks of singing in the Spirit, my goal is to play in the Spirit.

Last night during the worship service, as I was selecting which instrument to play, it occurred to me that it was a good illustration of our life choices.  In the same way that I have many instruments from which I can choose to play, I also have many ways in which I can spend my time.  In fact, I have far more things that I could do, than I could possibly have time or energy to do.

I could play many instruments and sound decent, but there is only one instrument that would be best.  It is the same in life, the challenge is to select the best thing to do with our time at any given moment.

I am still working on that.

Romans 12: 1-2

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

In playing my instruments, I want to be the best that I can be.  In life, my desire is to be in the perfect will of God, not just the good, or the merely acceptable, but the perfect.  I am glad that God accepts me in my imperfection, but I want to be the best that I can be in my service to God, not just as a musician, but in all areas of my life.

I hope that is true for you as well.

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Adjustments

June 27, 2011

Today is the first day of the summer classes.  I enjoy teaching, but the summer session is a serious encroachment on my schedule.  We meet four days a week for three hours. From the time that I leave home, until the time that I return, it is about  four and a half hours each day.  The problem is that I already have trouble finding the time to get things done.  Now that I will have less time available, I will need to make major adjustments to my daily schedule.  I do believe that there is enough time to do what God wants me to do.  I will pray for guidance that I will use my time wisely.  It is like budgeting money, which I am very good at, now I will have to budget my time.

Desire, Reason and Will

March 31, 2011

As human beings it is natural for us to desire things.  Perhaps we desire a degree, a better job, a spouse, children,  a nice home or car; perhaps we want to have more friends, or to be closer to God,  and so on.  The list of things that we might desire could be a long list.

Reason can be employed to achieve the fulfillment of those desires.  Sometimes, when we apply reason, we realize that certain desires should be discarded as unworthy or unreasonable.  Other times, it may be difficult to craft a plan by which we may successfully attain our desires.  Other times, we will be able to conceive a plan that should work.

Once we have a plan, we still must have the will power to see that plan through to its conclusion.  Sometimes the plan must be modified and adopted to changing circumstances.  Sometimes we lack the necessary skill or resources to follow through.

Sometimes we don’t even try.

Sometimes we quit.

Yet, sometimes….. we succeed.

Inform or Inflame?

August 24, 2010

A partial truth can be more damaging than an outright lie.  I have had conversations with people who had a small piece of the truth, but that piece had been taken out of context, or misapplied for the express purpose of provoking an emotional response.  Emotions can be powerful motivators to get a response, but it might not be the right response.

It would be best if we responded with both reason and emotion.   In fact, perhaps we should take a lesson from Mr. Spock, and allow reason to guide our decisions, free from the entanglement of emotion.  Once a decision is reached, then our emotions can come on board.

Be careful of the sources of information.  They may be telling the truth, but is it the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?  Or are portions of truth being used to manipulate a response that is desired for reasons unknown to the recipient?   We are responsible for our actions, and we should be careful of the informational sources that guide our decisions.

The Search Continues

July 20, 2010

“Think carefully, you only get to spend your money once.”

This is advice that I gave to my children when they were young.  To begin with they got an allowance and they were allowed to spend it however they wanted to spend it.  Then when they were sixteen they got part-time jobs.  Again they were allowed to spend their money however they wanted to spend it, but we no longer gave them money.  We provided a place to live, food to eat and some basic clothes.  They had their own money for gas, entertainment and stuff.

You only get to spend it once.

We are currently in the market for a black leather studio couch.  It has been hard to find.  We are also looking for a travel trailer.  We have specific ideas about what we are looking for and it has not been easy.  At times it has been discouraging but we hold off on our purchase because we too, can only spend our money once.

Do you wait for what you want, or settle for what you can find easily?

There are many things in life that we have to choose.  How we spend our money and our time, are important decisions.  Sometimes we have to choose quickly.  Sometimes we can afford to wait.

Choose wisely.

Trading Freedom for Security

July 8, 2010

Last night at Bible study, a women shared that she had quit her job even though she did not have another one lined up.  Someone else commented that  she had traded security for freedom.  She needed the income, but had been discontent for a while at her place of employment.

It got me thinking.

The health care bill is supposed to provide security by providing coverage for everyone, but it has mandatory obligations.

Air travel is much more restricted, for security purposes.

Banking regulations will probably soon be in place, hopefully providing greater economic security.

These are three recent examples of decreasing freedom for increased security.  I suspect that as we examine our lives we would find that there is often a tension, or a trade-off, between freedom and security.  I am certain that there are times that the trade-off is worthwhile.  There are other times that I suspect we have made a poor bargain.

Deal? or No Deal?

Freedom?  Or Security?

Lesson From A Broken Fan

June 24, 2010

When we brought the fans out of storage this past spring one of the upright fans had become broken.  It had probably been knocked over at some point and the joint where the motor attached to the post was broken.  We made an attempt at a repair and it worked…sort of.

I purchased some new fans.  It looks like it is going to be a long summer, and we try to use the air conditioning as little as possible because we prefer fresh air.  When I replaced the broken one in the kitchen, I started to bring the broken fan to the basement.  Gloria stopped me and asked me what I was doing.  I replied that I was going to keep the fan for replacement parts.  The motor and switch were still good and one of our other fans might go out.  She informed me that I was not going to keep that broken fan around, waiting for a chance to use it.  We have enough clutter as it is.  She was right.  I threw it away…with a twinge of regret over the waste.

I think that sometimes our lives are over filled with things that might be useful, but are really only adding to the clutter and the mess.  I suspect that less clutter, less stuff, less activities, might just possibly mean more.

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?

Choices and Value

May 25, 2010

Most of us have limited resources.  What we choose to do with those resources reflects our values.  How do we spend our time? Our money? Our energy?  Are we investing in things that will ultimately make a difference? Do we think about others? Do we think about the Kingdom of God?  Or is it all about our own enjoyment, comfort, or status; our own lives?

Our choices define us.

Are we making the right ones?

Want To

May 18, 2010

On my preceeding post, I presented that there are many, many things that require my attention on a daily basis.  There is not time enough for everything, so I am trying a different way of ordering my life. 

However, life is not just about what I need to do, and what I should do,  there should also be some room for what I WANT to do.  

Balance.

Choices.

I have found that I miss blogging.  I enjoy the opportunity to write out  my thoughts.   So I suppose that it is appropriate to make some choices about what I want to do with my time.