Halloween Traveling

Whenever I travel, I love getting to watch people & traveling on Halloween is a double bonus, which raises even more than my usual question collection. Here are some things I think about as I watch people when I travel on Halloween:

  • Let’s believe that they’re wearing a costume rather than thinking that’s their normal attire
  • Yes!!  Superman is on my flight!!
  • Stillettos and airports – these ladies are on my all-time amazing list
  • I don’t understand why you’d be rude to someone who is helping you
  • traveling is a great opportunity to express Genuine Love – a cool way to brighten someone’s day 🙂
  • boots in security lines are tricky to navigate – stick w flip flops ,)

Happy World Series to the Red Sox 🙂

strength in diversity

My kids and I have recently watched two very good movies – “Glory Road” (about the 1965-66 NCAA basketball team from TX with 7 African Americans and 5 white players that won the NCAA Championship that year) & “42” (about Jackie Robinson, the first African American baseball player to play MLB).  Both of these movies have lots of really powerful messages, one of which relates to the strength that comes from being inclusive rather than exclusive.

In my thinking, this lesson is true not only in racial contexts but also in lots of different applications.  If you consider the recent firestorm the John MacArthur has launched against Charismatics, perhaps there are some lessons for both sides of this controversy.  And maybe the overarching lesson for both sides of this controversy is that  the Holy Spirit would challenge us to be better at genuine love than in our abilities to beat each other up over our theological differences – Romans 5:5 🙂

volatile

Ok friends, I’m writing this blog knowing that I’m stepping into some very serious controversy.  In the past several weeks there have been lots of feedback on John MacArthur’s book, “Strange Fire”, a book that takes a critical position of the Charismatic movement in today’s world.  There are more than enough brilliant people taking sides on Mr MacArthur’s position – in both opposition and support.  Whatever your thoughts or opinions are about Charistmatics or Mr MacArthur’s beliefs, let’s keep in mind what Paul says about the works of the flesh in Galatians 5:19-21.  Such works include not only immorality and idolatry, but the works of the flesh also include:  enmity, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions and factions.  Let’s remember that Jesus prayed that we, His followers, would be one like He is one with the Father, John 17:21-22.

No matter if you agree or disagree with Mr MacArthur, if we are followers of Jesus, then we don’t need to be disagreeable with a fellow follower of Jesus – smile 🙂

Getting Better!

There are lots of areas in my life that I’m trying to improve: fitness, cooking, relationships, ministry, leadership & more. If I’m not careful, all of this could be overwhelming. But this is something my dad would always say, “inch by inch, it’s a cinch but yard by yard it’s hard.”
So I’m making incremental changes & starting to see some improvements. I can tell that my health is getting better, my cooking has fewer burning torches, some relationships have been more stable & there are some other good things that are going on. So let’s keep our focus on God, remain thankful & keep growing inch by inch 🙂

Chasing Carrots

I’m in the midst of trying to lose some weight that I’ve put on over the course of the last year – blech. So of course I’ve been doing the exercise & more healthy eating thing & thankfully, I’m slowly making progress, which is rewarding 😉
But here’s something that I’ve been thinking about: we can put short term rewards in front of us for helpful motivation, but lets think in terms of something more long term. For example, it helps when I put on my pants, that it’s not quite the same wrestling match – but the long term goal is that I’m more consistent w my exercise & disciplined w my eating.
Lets consider letting the short term rewards position us for more long term benefits, and play lots of basketball in the meantime ,)

God Goes B4 Us

Sometimes I can get jittery about the future – lots if uncertainty, some fears, concerns & more. But as I was praying this morning, God reminded me that God goes before me & is waiting for me in the future. So friend, lets trust God in these truths:
*God loves us more than we can comprehend
*God is working in our lives to create good outcomes as we stay in love w God
*God is in control #fullstop 🙂

you are always popular!

Remember in school when you wanted to be popular?  Did you ever do anything stupid to try & fit in?  Personally, I’d prefer to forget some of the dumb things I’ve done, in the attempt to be popular & accepted – those are some sketchy memories to say the least!!!

With that being said, here’s a really comforting thought:  you are always popular with God & you’ll never lose your popularity with God.  You are always on God’s “hit parade” and God is always eager to be with you – moreso, God loves it when you spend time with God.  You are continually acceptable to God through what Jesus has accomplished.  You’re POPULAR!!! 🙂

genuine love isn’t arrogant

We get to work with a really cool team of people & Tues mornings we make some time, as a team, to connect with God.  This morning, we did an exercise around the definition of love in 1 Cor 13: love is & love is not.  One of the things that is continuing to linger with me after this exercise is that love isn’t arrogant.  I’ve been thinking about this idea & here are a few things for your consideration:

  • love connects but arrogance repels
  • arrogance is an exalted but erroneous perception of self
  • arrogance sabotages true intimacy
  • arrogance is a frequent cause of isolation
  • arrogance suffocates genuine love

different can be better

I was having a nice conversation with a friend & we were talking about how much we enjoy our daily prayer times with God.  She said something that stuck with me in a funny way.  She said, “I wish I didn’t have to leave God’s sweet presence when I have to move into the day’s activities & demands.”  It was an interesting comment that has lingered in my mind for more than a year.  When she first said this, I readily agreed with her with sadness.  But after thinking about this for a few weeks, I started to consider that if God is everywhere at all times, then we never leave God’s presence.

Perhaps we get to discover God’s presence in different contexts:  busy, still, anxious, peaceful, uncertain, stable, clear, restless, hopeful, discouraged, hurt, loved, weakness, strength, joy, pain, . . . . .   Maybe we are learning to sense God in lots of different ways & contexts not only in the normal & expected ways 🙂

my dad died a year ago

Tomorrow will mark the 1 year anniversary of my dad’s death & it’s been an interesting journey over the last year with some good & some not so good stuff.  While I have no intention to ignore the “not so good stuff,” I think you’ll find it more helpful & interesting to read of some of the “good stuff” today (maybe I’ll do the “not so good stuff” in a subsequent blog):

  • about 2 months ago I had a really vivid dream about my dad & it was extremely comforting.  I dreamt that my dad was hugging me like he did when he was alive & really healthy – super strong & caring
  • people have been exceptionally kind, caring, patient and generous with words, time and support
  • I find that God the Father seems more real to me now
  • I have grown more dependent on God for more things in broader areas of my life – good for an independent soul ,)