Posts Tagged ‘decisions’

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.

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Reduced to Walking

June 23, 2010

Monday I went out for my ten-mile run.  I attempt a ten-mile run every other week.  I had thought that I might have to run inside because there had been a thunderstorm, put it passed, and I decided to run outdoors. Running outside is greatly preferable to running around a small track that takes fourteen laps to get a mile. 

The only problem is that the sun came out.

Then it got hot.

And muggy.

When I was young, I loved to run on hot, sunny days.

I am not so young anymore.

By the time I reached the turn-around point I realized that it wasn’t going to happen that day.  Only once before, while on a run,have I stopped running and walked.  The remaining five miles I alternated running and walking.  I did manage to complete the course. 

The reason that I had been reduced to walking is that I was concerned about heat issues. Heat exhaustion and heat stroke should be taken seriously.  I do know the symptoms and slowed to a walk when I started to become a little light-headed.   Apparently, I still have sense enough to know when to quit, or at least, to slow down.   I had also marked where there were bodies of water available to douse myself in, if the symptoms became more serious.   I also have the foresight to tell the person working at the gym counter when I should be back, and when to become concerned.   I was back before that time ran out.

Life is like a run.  Sometimes we attempt to do more than we are able to accomplish.  It is important, whether in running, or in life, to know when it is time to make adjustments.  When we can press through, when it is time to walk, and when we should just stop.

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.

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.

Need to or Should do?

May 6, 2010

I am a very good money manager.  I understand budgeting, planning and the difference between needs and wants. 

I am not as good at managing my time. 

For almost two years I have posted a new article Monday through Thursday pretty consistently.  That may now change.

I am going to try to apply the same reasoning to my time management that I do to my money management.  Need versus Want: that expresses my understanding of money issues.  It is translated into: Need To, Should Do and Want To when it comes to time matters.

I am going to do what I need to do first each day.

Then I will do as many of the things that I should do that I can find the time or energy to accomplish.

I will fit in the things I want to do when possible.

Writing new articles is something that I should do, as I feel that it is an extension of my ministry, but it is not something that I have to do, so there will be some days that it does not happen. 

We’ll see how it goes.

Initiative, Judgement, and Execution

May 5, 2010

Good initiative.

Poor judgement.

That was a critique that was frequently given to individuals during my days in the Marine Corps.  It was meant to applaud the fact that an individual recognized a problem, and tried to fix it.  The problem was that the solution that was attempted, was not a good idea.  The individual lacked good judgement.

Sometimes it was good initiative, good judgement, poor execution.  In this scenario, the problem was recognized, a good plan was established, but something went wrong with the execution of the plan.  Things didn’t go as anticipated.  Sometimes this was avoidable, and sometimes it was something out of anyone’s control.

Of course, sometimes things went well.  Ah, the sweet smell of success.  The problem was recognized, a plan was established and the task was accomplished.  Problem  solved.

This process must start with the recognition of a problem. 

Sometimes that is the hardest part.

Live the Dream

April 1, 2010

I believe that we are given the freedom to choose our actions within the natural limits of our circumstances.  If we are not happy with our lives we have the ability to dream, to think,  to choose, and to act.

We dream about what we would like to see different in our lives.  What do we want to see different in our future in comparison with our present?  Dreams have no boundaries.  We can dream about whatever we would like to be true.  It’s our dream, and we can dream about anything that is real, or unreal, possible or impossible.   Our dreams are limited only by our imagination.  Dreaming can be a good thing.  It can provide motivation to propel us into action.  Dreaming can also be a bad thing because we do not live in a dream world but in a world of reality.   Are we living the dream?  Or are we dreaming about living?

If we want to live the dream we must sort out our dreams and determine what dreams are achievable in our real world of limitations.  Now, if we do not want to stay in our current situation, if we want to change, we must think of a way to make our dreams become our reality.

We must choose what we truly want, and what we are willing to do to make those desires become a reality.  It is important to think clearly and to choose well.  This process can, and should be, reviewed regularly.

It is also important that we recognize that the only factors that we can truly control are our own actions and attitudes.  If our dreams are dependent on the actions of others, then we must recognize that we do not have that ability. (Although many try, and to some degree, are successful in controlling others, that is not the point of this article.)   We must learn to control our own lives if we wish to see change.

This process does not have to be done by ourselves.  If we ask God to guide our dreams, thoughts, choices and actions, then God will help us by the presence of His Holy Spirit in our lives.  If we are seeking to be conformed to His will, then His power will work in, and through us, and we can be much, much more than we could possibly be on our own.

 So we dream, think, choose, and act; to make our dreams become our reality.

Cricket in a Skillet

March 25, 2010

Last night in Bible study, a lady referred to a “cricket in a skillet”.  She was illustrating how sometimes people can be very busy, but not accomplishing anything.  We began by discussing what it meant to be lazy.  We had agreed that laziness was difficult to define, but that it could be understood as an imbalance.  On one end of a scale are people who work too much, and on the other end of the scale are people who work too little.  Work could be described, not simply as manual labor, but any helpful, productive activity.  We recognized that “work” would mean different things to different people, and that our type of work would change throughout our lives. 

Then came the question of the person who is busy, but not accomplishing anything.  They are not lazy, but they are misdirected; the cricket in a skillet.  We agreed that it was important that God give us wisdom to properly direct our activities, so that we can be productive.  We want our lives to be balanced, focused; and directed by the Holy Spirit.