Thursday, January 31, 2013

Moving Into The Future

I know how easy it is to get stuck in a rut and to slip into a comfortable, safe place in life. We look at our accomplishments at that point with a variety of emotions. Those filled with pride of what we've accomplished, knowing we've done our best, or those filled with a bit of regret,  disappointed at where the road has led us.  

We've all had places where we've felt the ups and downs, the success and the emptiness, the whirlwind of activity and the lethargic feeling of a load too heavy. We've all crumbled under the weight of too much stress, unexpected grief, and lingering pain. We've all attacked a goal, or problem, or trial with all of our might, exhaling when we reached the finish line. We've all lived a part of our life, to the best and the worst of our ability. We've all lived......Life......

So what is it that seems to keep some of us running the race, while others reach a point in life, then settle in to the golden years of complacency. Why is it that some are driven everyday to live life to the fullest, while others live everyday, going through the motions. I've been in both places of the spectrum, exhilarated at times and defeated at times. I've had to take a deeper look at what was different in my life, in both circumstances.

I've learned that when I become complacent, I've turned my view to the past, it's accomplishments, it's mountain tops and it's successes. I bask in the glory of what was and rely upon it to feed my self worth. I've found that only when I look to the future, not only setting goals, but actually setting them into motion, do I become filled with a new energy and purpose. The fires of my passion seem to be reignited and the flames soar to new heights.

I remember a conversation I had with a man about 35 years ago. He said to succeed you have to stay hungry. He also had me imagine standing at the edge of a cliff. I said, what now? Then he pushed me off of that cliff.

Looking at the past can be a great learning tool, as well as give us a sense of accomplishment. But moving into the future, with our eyes, our mind and our actions, is what it takes to keep that life moving. It's not enough to set goals for the future, we have to act on them. We have to hunger for them. We have to dream big and act, setting things in motion. If we just dream......well.....we dream. We may not accomplish everything, but if we don't act, we won't accomplish anything.

and the Journey Continues.......

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Hate Thy Neighbor

I grew up in the church, went to Sunday school every week and learned a lot of Bible verses along the way. I, as so many in my small town, grew up learning about God's love.

We learned in Mathew 22, that Jesus said, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first greatest commandment. And the second is like it, Love your neighbor as yourself"

Another in Luke 6, "Do to others as you would have them do to you. If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them........But love your enemies, do good to them and lend to them without expecting to get anything back.Then your reward will be great and you will be sons of the Most High"

John 13 says, "Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that your are my disciples, if you love one another"

So what brought me to these scriptures...........I guess it was hate......

Seems like these days, if your neighbor doesn't agree with you on something.....we choose to hate that neighbor. We may tell ourselves that no, we don't hate them, we just disagree. But what comes out of your mouth shows what's in your heart, and too many times it's hate, not love.

It seems that in the past few months, the hatred and anger in this world has jumped out at me like a neon sign. What is even more alarming is that so many of those who confess of following God and accepting Jesus and His ways.......are yelling out with hate and anger the most.

Maybe I let the woes of the world weigh on my heart too much. But maybe we all need to feel the pain a little deeper, listen to our words a little clearer and see if what we profess, is how we live our life.

Just because someone disagrees with us or has different beliefs then we do, doesn't give us the right to make jokes, throw mud or shout with anger.

"Love thy neighbor as thyself".....maybe...just maybe, we don't love ourselves that much. Maybe that's why it's so easy to spew anger and hate out into a world that needs more love.

Sometimes I feel like I'm fighting a loosing battle, trying to express my feelings that there is a better way. Maybe I should let people live their lives the way they matter what the cost. Maybe I should look deeper inside before I judge others from their outward appearance. But when I see those, yep even those I went to Sunday school with, those that continue to profess God's love, but live the life of one who's lost their way, it overwhelms me.

As I've said before, most of the time when I'm preaching here....I'm preaching to the choir and I'm the lead soloist. I just ache living in world where we show hate to our neighbor, where we show hate to those who disagree with us politically, where we show hate to those we were told to love. Sure we all have the right to express our opinion, but why to we have to express it with so much hatred.

I know that not everyone grew up the way I did, or has the spiritual beliefs that I do. But I do know that we all have a place deep down inside that tells us to stop when we are cruel, stop when we show anger, stop when we make jokes and cynical remarks. Then again, maybe it's been so long since we listened to that voice......we've forgotten how.....

Maybe....just maybe, we can take a moment to reconnect with God, or with that inner voice and say, Hey.......I can do better....I choose to do better.....I will do better........

and the Journey Continues......

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Speaking Out

For some reason, I assumed that the new year would bring out a more relaxed and calmer Me. That I would share words of hope and encouragement, while sharing Life Lessons Learned along the way.

For those of you who follow me on Facebook,, you may have found that I've become more vocal, speaking out on things that seem to hit a raw nerve.

As to why....I'm not sure....

Maybe I've just grown tired of the hatefulness, the attitudes, the my way or the highway, that so many seem to continue to live by.

Why do we continue to spew words of division and anger.  The world has enough of that. Why can't we see that there is so much more to life than adding to the troubles of the world. It's as though some find delight in bringing about conflict, adding to the downfall of our society.

I understand that we all have our opinions and beliefs, our views of the world and how it should be. That's what our freedom is all about. What I don't understand is why we have to use anger and negative attitudes to present them.

We've struggled as a country the past few years over politics, gun laws, lifestyles, religions and a variety of other causes. We seem to think that if we don't shout out from the rooftops, our voice won't be heard. But our voices of anger only bring more conflict. Look at congress and that point is exposed. The battle over politics and keeping face for their party, has stopped all progress for the good of the people. Pride and stubbornness has dominated Washington.

Maybe we live our lives by example of those in leadership. We see congress bickering constantly, so we emulate them by bickering constantly. We push our way as the only way, ignoring reasoning, logic and common sense. We forget that everyone has the right to their opinion and it's not our place to judge, but find common ground to open up communication, instead of building up more walls that prevent any progress.

So if I tend to speak out more, it's not because I have all the answers to what's right and wrong. I just want the world to be a better place. Is it possible for everyone to get along......probably not....but if we don't try....each of us....what hope do we have. If we don't break down our own walls, how do we expect be able to reach out. If we don't realize that it's OK for someone to believe differently, we will never find common ground.

Don't let your life be a life without joy. Don't let your anger make you and everyone around you miserable. Give the world hope by giving it life. Take a stand to make the world a better place, one act, one word, one step at a time. Because.....if you don't......who will......

and the Journey Continues.......

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Morality Lost

Watching the news this week, I was troubled by the report of Kanye West announcing at a concert, that he and Kim Kardashian were expecting a baby......and the crowd roared with approval.....

Let me word this differently. Kanye West and Kim Kardashian who are living in adultery, as she is still married to someone else, are have an illegitimate baby....and the crowd roared with approval.......hmmmmmm.....

A few days before, Jessica Simpson announced that she and her boyfriend were pregnant with their second child........and everyone was ecstatic.

We listen to the roar of hip hop music, rapping out language that make some of us cringe. We watch our culture being demoralized and made the norm.

We say, that's just the way it is now, that's what people do, nobody gets married these days. I find it a bit interesting that gays and lesbians are fighting so hard to get married, and so many heterosexuals are running from any kind of commitment, wanting the icing but not the cake.

So many kids having kids, so many kids killing kids, so many kid lost in the system of life, of purpose, of hope and dreams.

Whether it's the parents, or the schools, or the record labels, or the churches.......
We've all let our kids down, by accepting the new norm.

The record label's bottom line is money, not morality. The schools are trying, but seemed to have lost the battle except in a few special places. So many parents are living the same lives that their kids are emulating. The churches are trying, but have been unable to reach so many, so lost.

So what am I trying to say.......

We can look at it one way and say the world is, and will continue to spin out of control, loosing all sense of respect and morality......or.....we can make a choice.....

To give up, or take a stand. To do nothing, or do our part. To continue to praise people for immorality, or shine a light on a world of darkness......

Seems like I'm sounding a bit pious. Maybe I am, or maybe I'm just tired of seeing what we've become, missing out on a world of possibilities where love, and respect, and morality can give us a better way of life.

Maybe I'm just getting on my soapbox......but as I continue to say.....

Be Who You Wish The World Would Be

and the Journey Continues.......