Archive for August, 2010

Pity Parties

August 31st, 2010

Man, have you ever had those days where you just want to complain and grip and spend the day saying “whoa is me…”?

I think I started the day that way today.  I even told Amy as she left for the day, “My day is gonna suck!”.  (yes, I know one of the S words, right behind ‘shut up’ and “stupid” that I should not be using”).   But really, do you ever feel that way.

I left for my run, with that attitude, returned with that attitude and then sat at this keyboard for 25 minutes with that attitude.  Stewing.  However, something deep down inside kept telling me, no, that’s not the way it is.

The fact is that it’s easy for us to let the world force us to think about ourselves and our supposed problems and to crowd out what is good around us.  I think I have been writing about this a little too much over the last few weeks.  But its not just because I struggle here, its because I know from other conversations that we all do.

I canceled the pity party this morning, washing it down the drown with the shower water.  It’s no way to approach the day.  It’s no way to impact others. Why does that verse in Philippians keep haunting me?

3Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. 4Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.  Philippians 2:3-4

Lets be humble, and more concerned about others then our own simple lives.  No Self-Pity Parties today!

Hearitly Ahead

August 30th, 2010

Yep!  It’s Monday again, and here comes the monotony of the “work-a-day” world full force towards us.  It’s so easy to want to pull up the covers and stay were you are.

So it seems like one of those days that we need to turn to the the expert in futility – the write of Ecclesiastes.  It is well know that this dude, King Solomon, realized the vanity and futility that sits right int the face of men.  However, he didn’t give up, nor give him.  For he make this declaration:

10 Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the grave,  where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom. Ecclesiastes 9:10 (New International Version)

Well, that’s a little morbid, but its real.  We get one chance at this little game of life.   I think the Message is even more plain on this topic:

7-10 Seize life! Eat bread with gusto,
Drink wine with a robust heart.
Oh yes—God takes pleasure in your pleasure!
Dress festively every morning.
Don’t skimp on colors and scarves.
Relish life with the spouse you love
Each and every day of your precarious life.
Each day is God’s gift. It’s all you get in exchange
For the hard work of staying alive.
Make the most of each one!
Whatever turns up, grab it and do it. And heartily!
This is your last and only chance at it,
For there’s neither work to do nor thoughts to think
In the company of the dead, where you’re most certainly headed. (Ecclesiastes 9:10, The Message)

So here’s the deal, yep, Monday stinks.  But we only get so many of them.  Lets make ’em count!  Get out there with all your might and impact the world around you!

Do it up!

Attitude Friday

August 27th, 2010

Well, its Friday, Football’s here and Fall is in the air.  It’s about to be the best time of the year!  wOOT wOOT!   That just something to get pumped about!

However, my mind it still hanging back in Philippians, so this is a weak post today for such an awesome day. However in twitterland its Follow Friday, so lets use this day to remember who we should be following:

1If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. 3Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. 4Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.  5Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:  Philippians 2:1-5

And he choose to give up being equal to God for you!.  Be Humble, and impact those around you today by follow the example of the Christ.

Joyful Noises

August 26th, 2010

I have decided to take a new take with waking up my teenager – singing.  Yes there’s something about a song in the morning.  Its not as incredible as Amy singing “Good Morning, Good Morning,its time to start the day”.  Which is usually akin to a song bird.  No, for my eldest it was more of a rendition that would quickly get 3 X’s on America’s Got Talent.  There’s nothing like a verse of “This is the day, this is the day that the Lord has made, the the Lord had made” coming from your father at 6:30 to get your stumbling out of bed.

Anyway, that turned into a musical morning today, (and a reduction in the grouchy voices!)  From Andrew playing some new chords on his guitar to Alex hopping from the piano to his keyboard as he maneuvered through the house there was song all across the home today.

Music is a mood changer, so how about all of using a little praise today to keep your mind focus and attune to the way your should hit the day.

1Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands.

2Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing.

3Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

4Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.

5For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations. (Psalm 100:1-5, King James Version)

Be Glad!

Best Laid Plans

August 25th, 2010

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you,” declares the LORD, Jeremiah 29:11-14 (New International Version)

I have been frustrated lately by plans.  The ineffectiveness of my plans, the impact of other people’s plans on me and the seemingly lack of control that I might have in the goings on around me.  The toll of daily life can distract you from the fact that God does have a plan for you and he will use you.

Over this past weekend, while I continued to be in a stupor about my plans,  I received an email from a good friend from work.  I had been wondering why he was not on line Friday, as we had some items were where debating and I was searching for him via instant message.  Well, turns out he had had a heart attack on Thursday afternoon, and subsequently underwent major heart surgery on Monday. And then there’s Monday.  On Monday morning, I awoke to the news about a teenager who had a diving accident over the weekend and was potentially paralyzed.  A few hours later I would discover that I knew this family.

WOW, so as this week has continued, I thought about how immediately and urgently their plans had been changed.  Then there’s a third friend in her thirties who had a heart attack last month.  (Ok, it does seem that I am getting old – so and so is sick, so and so broke a hip, etc., I promise this blog will not turn into the gore report)

But seriously, these events were not in their plans – BELIEVE ME!  So how do we rationalize the verse in Jeremiah in fewer than 400 words?  Well, this week I have been trying to realize that God’s plan for us may not be as clear as “Go here and to this for 2 days and then go here and do that for 2 weeks, and then spend a year in this city”.  I think God’s plan for us is worked out in the mundane, normal, drama filled life.  God’s plan for the dude I mentioned yesterday is not nearly what he thought it might be.  God’s plan for the three individual’s above may be a little cloudy at the moment.  The same may go for you and me.  But the cool thing is there is a promise,  if you seek me, I will be found.

Today, let God work in your life, instead of working God into your life.  Give him your heart.

(That’s just less than 500 words, what do you think?)