Showing posts from June, 2021

Changing Your Focus Changes Your Attitude

"And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him." ~Colossians 3:17 I don't know if it is your experience or not, but I have noted many times that if I start the day off on the wrong foot I'm usually out of step all day.  It's usually a small thing.  The lid comes off my coffee cup and I spill it all over my shirt. I forget something at home. It's always something small and insignificant that gets me rolling downhill and before very long I'm in a mood.   Once you get a mood, you ever notice you just can't see anything good.  Somebody brings in donuts and you're annoyed because you're not supposed to eat donuts.  Somebody says they like your shirt, and you think they either want something or they're being sarcastic. I finally figured out a way to to stop that once it gets started.  I just take a few minutes, I open up my bullet journal, turn to a clean page, and

What Is Your Thorn?

"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." -2 Corinthians 12:9 Theologians and historians have speculated for two thousand years what the "thorn" in Paul's side was that he talked about in 2 Corinthians 12.  John Calvin believed that thorn was spiritual in nature--the sting of a guilty conscience for falling into doubt or shirking his duties.  Martin Luther thought that thorn was Paul's constant struggles against those who opposed him and tried to undo the work he was doing--God's work.  Some have believed that thorn was sin, or sexual temptation.  Some believe Paul was referring to an actual physical ailment.  There have been many theories about what that physical ailment might have been--chronic headaches, epilepsy, bad eyesight (perhaps a lingering symptom of the blindness he was struck with on the Damascus Road),  or a recurring fever. The truth is, we really don't know.  We know it was a burden to Paul, and he as

Starting Your Day With God

I've always been a regular Bible reader (usually in the evenings), but until a few years ago I didn't have a regular habit of study and devotional time. I decided three or four years ago to start setting aside ten or fifteen minutes first thing in the morning for devotional time and prayer.  I found a good devotional I liked, and each morning, I'd read the recommended texts, then read the devotional, and then spend a few minutes in prayer.   Establishing a new habit isn't that easy sometimes, but I found that this habit took root very quickly.  I found I looked forward to that quiet time in the morning, and it went from ten or fifteen minutes a day to a half hour very quickly.  Many days I'll get up early and spend an hour.  That time has been transformational for me. I began to see God at work in my life a lot more clearly when I began setting that time aside.  That's when I started thinking about seminary and realizing that God had a plan for my retirement tha

America Is Alive And Well

Finally, America is getting back to normal it feels like after COVID. Like many Americans my family has been dying to get out of the house and do things again.  We've been going to our local ballpark every Sunday afternoon to watch our local baseball team play the last few weeks. It's great fun--and way more affordable than the Major League Parks. I hadn't been to that ballpark in years!  The first week we went, I was down under the stands buying hotdogs before the game.  It's a very busy and very noisy place under the stands in the 75 year old ballpark (they've filmed movies there because it's definitely old school era).  I'd just gotten to the counter and placed my order when suddenly everything went quiet.  I looked around and everyone was just standing there.  Even the people at the concession stand were just standing there.  Frozen.  I wondered what on earth had happened. And then I saw a guy take his hat off and I knew.  I listened, and sure enough, th

Great Read: The Happiest Man On Earth by Eddie Jaku

"There are always miracles in the world, even when all seems hopeless. And when there are no miracles, you can make them happen. With a simple act of kindness, you can save another person from despair, and that might just save their life. And this is the greatest miracle of all."   ~Eddie Jaku, Auschwitz survivor I read a truly remarkable book this week, "The Happiest Man On Earth" by Eddie Jaku.  Eddie turned a hundred years old in 2020, and considers himself the happiest man on Earth . . . he is also a survivor of the Auschwitz concentration camp.   I've read a lot about that period of history over the years being a student of history, and I've read a lot about the Nazi genocide.  A few years ago, my friend Greg Knott and I spent an afternoon at the Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C.  It is without a doubt an experience I will never forget--it was a place where the history I'd read in books and the history of reality collided in a startling way.  Neit