Thursday, October 27, 2011

Are we Winning?!

This weekend was our semi-annual girlfriend’s weekend.  A time for relaxation, renewal, and a little (or a LOT) of tie-dye.  We are exceedingly blessed to have a retreat in south-east Oklahoma out in the woods. 

Friday night was a gorgeous, clear night and we sat out for quite some time in the hot tub.  We marveled at the difference a lack of city lights can make in our view of the sky.  Each time we looked up, the stars seemed to have multiplied.  At first it looked like just a few – then dozens, then thousands and tens-of-thousands. 

We began to contemplate the possibility of other planets and life similar to Earth.  Suddenly I blurted out – “ I wonder if we are winning?”  My friends looked at me in quizzical wonder.  I asked again  - “I wonder if we are winning?”  Things I never gave thought started occurring to me.

 I don’t think we are God’s only planet.  With all the stars out there, I just don’t see that as being possible.  If we are not the only planet with life forms, how do we compare?  My feeling is that we might be the stubborn child.  The one God loves with all his heart, but we just haven’t gotten the message yet. 

While the “winning” was a bit tongue-in-cheek, I don’t think we are living up to our potential and doing all we can with the gifts God has given us.

Think for a moment of our global society as a team.  We have all been drafted. There are team captains, those with more experience and gifted with insight.  These captains are challenged to bring the others along, help the rookies find their way and develop their talents.  There is no salary cap.  If we perform well individually, we will reap the rewards commiserate with our effort, but there is a limit.

Our contracts have provisions for team performance in addition to those individual clauses.  In order to get the most out of life, we have to work in concert with others.  If we don’t pull together, and help our fellow man, the whole team loses. 

Monday, October 3, 2011

Be Careful Little Eyes What You See

When you have a 4 year old in the house, and she attends Sunday school and a church preschool, you’re gonna run into some Bible Songs.  My little one and I have been singing “Be Careful Little Eyes” lately.  The song tells us that the “Father up above is looking down in love, so be careful little eyes what you see”

I ran across this theme again in Matthew.  6:22-23 says “The light of the body is the eye: if therefore your eye be sound, your whole body shall be full of light. The meaning of the eye in this instance is the lens through which we view the world.  Whatever we let through those eyes can either fill you with light or darkness. 

It occurs to me that as parents, we are not nearly as careful as we should be.  The mind is a steel trap, and whatever we put in is there for good.  I often wonder why I can’t get it out when I want to, but that’s another story altogether! 

Back to the point – be careful what you see.  We expose ourselves to explicit, amoral or simply hateful behavior in the form of movies, TV and music.  We allow our children to experience all of these things and sometimes role-playing video games as well.  All of those sounds and images cannot help but have an impact on the way we view the world. 

I got involved in that lovely FaceBook game called Mafia Wars for a while last year.  I gave that game up before the others in my horrible addiction.  The reason I could let that one go was that I finally started really paying attention to the ‘tasks’ that were required to get from level to level.  They were AWFUL.  Kidnapping, murder, theft on massive scales.  All in the name of fun and diversion.  Why on earth was I even participating?!

Our kids are so susceptible to outside influences.  There is more information out there and easily available than ever before.  We owe it to our kids to limit some of the rubbish that enters their lives.  These things cannot be un-heard or un-seen.  A great deal of the information is simply too much for children to handle.  Someone once described information as a suitcase you have to carry with you.  No more than we would give a child the giant Samsonite, should we burden them with information on topics they are not equipped to process.

Whether it is a computer, a fuel tank, a body or a mind, the same principal applies:  Garbage In, Garbage Out. As parents we must lead by example. Our children will model whatever we do.  We owe it to our children to feed them as best we can.  Their health and happiness depends on it.


Saturday, October 1, 2011


I love Calvin and Hobbes.  There is a cartoon of Calvin that floats around with a caption that says- “God put me on this earth to accomplish a certain number of things – right now I am so far behind, I may never die.”  I am feeling every bit of Calvin today.  There are so many incomplete things in my life.  Add to that the things I have identified which I would like to do daily and have not, and there is a to-do list of MASSIVE proportions. 

It comes down to disorganization and procrastination.  I am THE BEST procrastinator EVER.  While Ben Franklin admonishes us, “Do not put off until tomorrow, what you can do today”, and I understand all the reasons why, I often cannot be compelled to save myself.  Intellectually, I know that my life will run more smoothly if I would just buckle down and do certain things regularly.  Somehow that which I know to be true in my head, simply has no power to compel me to take action. 

Often, I just do not have the mental stamina to do what needs to be done.  Sometimes it is the physical stamina.  I have identified a solution that I know works:  Work out every day and make sure to get my MonaVie.  (Good nutrition) It’s amazing what your body can do when you are healthy.  It is also amazing what your mind can do when you commit to a plan and are disciplined enough to carry through. When I do those two things daily, my life starts to resemble a well-oiled machine.  Because I have started my day well, one good habit leads to another and soon my list is getting done.

The problem is that I lose momentum.  I forget to drink my MV, or put off working out, and once I have done it for one day, it becomes easier to do the next time, and the next time and the next.  Once I lose the momentum, I get irritated when my day doesn’t go well.  Once again, I know in my mind what to do, but choose not to. 

A lack of accountability makes it super easy to get derailed, while being accountable to someone keeps me moving in a forward direction.  If I know someone is watching, or has expectations of me, I am almost hyper-motivated to get things done and done right.  Lose the accountability, and my whole life tends to go south. 

It would be unfair to place the blame on someone else for my own lack of motivation, so I can’t say “Well, no one ever held me accountable.”  Even when people try, I am often able to wheedle myself out of any negative consequences.  I CAN do this  - I have done it before.  I know My Heavenly Father is the best accountability partner I could ask for.  I just have to take his calls.


Proverbs 12:15
“The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man is he who listens to counsel.” (NASB)