Saturday, September 26, 2009

Early on Saturday Morning

Saturday mornings are much quieter than weekday mornings. No school traffic and less work traffic. There is an increase in one kind of traffic: bicycles! But the make much less noise. A noise that’s actually kinda soothing.

Settling in with a cup of coffee and something to read while the rest of the family still sleeps. Listening to our dog bark lazily at something across the road. Noticing the absence of clock alarms sounding.  All is quiet on this cool autumn morning. The first Saturday morning of the new season!

I’ve read from the Psalms this morning how God watches out for the helpless. Though the evil, the arrogant, and the selfish take advantage of so many people, God promises to care for those faithful to him. Faithfulness carries with it the reward of God’s protection and blessing. This is not always evident in this life but always present throughout eternity.

I will focus on this promise and consider how God may want to use me to bring this promise to others.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Apologizing for Bad Behavior

The last few days have been rich with examples of bad behavior. First there was the US congressman from South Carolina, Joe Wilson. Mr. Wilson listened to President Obama’s speech Wednesday night with emotions rising within him. Then when the President said that his healthcare plan would not be extended to illegal aliens, Mr. Wilson could stand it no more. “You lie!” The joint session of Congress could not have been any quieter than at that moment. “You lie!” rang through the hall. People from all political persuasions immediately called for Mr. Wilson’s apology, which he gave.


Then Serena Williams was on the verge of being eliminated from the US Open Tennis Championships when a line judge called a foul on her, giving her opponent a point. Because of the point, it was match point against Williams. Williams, one of the best tennis players in the world, lashed out at the judge using language we would be embarrassed for our children to hear. Tournament officials got involved and Williams left the court, giving the match to her opponent. She later apologized.


Next, it was time for Kanye West to act foolish. And he came through in fine fashion. His friend deserved the award on MTVs VMA telecast but another artist took the prize. While Taylor Swift was making her acceptance speech, West takes the stage and claims that Beyonce’s video was the best and should have won. The uproar was immediate. I was watching a football game but began receiving Tweets about it as it was happening. Entertainment insiders and outsiders called for an apology. He posted an apology on his website but later removed it.


Not a good week for your last name to start with a W.


I think Wilson, Williams, and West should have apologized for their terrible behavior. More importantly, I believe they should change their behavior. Emotions should not overtake a person so that they misbehave. Attitudes should not be more important than manners. Everybody has a right to their opinion and to disagree with others. How that disagreement is voiced is as important as the right to disagree. When you think that you or what you have to say is more important that someone else, you have sunk to a level below decency and manners.


To Joe Wilson, Serena Williams, and Kanye West: hopefully, genuine apologies have or will be given and better behavior will validate the apology. If your actions don’t back up your words, don’t bother to speak.


P.S. Mr. Wilson, I’m not opposed to what you said, just how you said it.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Where were you on September 11, 2001?

It was just a few minutes after 8:00 A.M. and we began to get calls telling us what was happening across the northeast. I worked at ICT Group in Morrilton, Arkansas. ICT is a call center handling customer service calls for many of the nation’s leading mortgage companies. I was in a training class when I heard the news.

The rest of the day was different than previous days. While we tried to carry on as usual, that was impossible. The uncertainty bred a sense of fear throughout the building. Rumors about wars, rising gas prices, and the end of time spread quickly.

Many people – some Christians, some not – asked me if this was the beginning of the end. Is this Armageddon? These questions opened the door for me to share the gospel freely. I would respond that I didn’t know if this was the end of time but I did know how important it was to know for sure you were ready for it. I spoke freely of Jesus Christ and am thankful for the opportunity.

The quick, strong response by the United States under the direction of President George W. Bush restored order and kept us free and safe. The sacrifice of the US military personnel is heroic and the key to our success in the fight against terrorism. My prayers have been that God would bless each person responsible for the freedom, safety, and strength of the United States.

Many families will mourn tomorrow. They lost loved ones on 9/11 on American soil. They lost loved ones over the past 8 years overseas. We all must pray that God keeps his promises to comfort the sorrowful and punish the wicked.

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Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Obama's Speech

Have you read the text of the prepared remarks the President plans to give today? I did. It didn’t take long so everyone should read it. I think it’s a good speech and my child should hear it. The only disagreement I have is over the state of the environment. I don’t believe it is as fragile as the President does.

But the speech avoid politics and he certainly has the freedom and power to speak to children in the public schools. His influence upon the public schools in other ways should be of greater concern. I have a niece in private school. She won’t have to hear this speech unless her parents read it or show it to her. I have a similar choice: I can take my son out of school today. I will not do that given the prepared remarks I have read. I hope the President sticks to the teleprompter. And I hope there is no Q&A time allowing him to inject politics into the classroom.

I am praying for my son and others to hear a message of encouragement and responsibility that spurs them on to excellence. I’ll take care of teaching him morality and ethics, right and wrong.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Morning Light

"The path of righteousness is like the first gleam of dawn, shining ever brighter till the full light of day." (Proverbs 4:18)

I'm in the Ozark mountains, skies are overcast. Still, I can see the morning light come through chasing away the darkness. I want my life to reflect Christ so clearly that it chases away the darkness in the lives of people I meet today. Not just like a sunrise on a cloudy day but a full noon sunlight on a cloudless day.

My righteousness is as filthy rags but I no longer am clothed in my own but I now wear the righteousness of Jesus Christ. Let it shine today!


Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Twelve and a half years

Today is our anniversary! Deana and I have been married twelve and a half years. We were talking this morning about the way we have changed over the years. We decided to love each other and that has helped us experience some amazing things. I stick to my decision and my love for Deana is as strong as ever…that hasn’t changed. One thing that has changed is the things about her that I love. I know her better now than then and there are so many things about her that are lovely and loveable.

So I wanted to take a minute today to tell you that I love Deana and to tell Deana that I love her. We got a late start so we may not make 50 years, but if you think about it we are already halfway there. Twelve and a half for me and twelve and a half for Deana equals twenty-five years! Maybe we will make it to fifty!