February, 2012


27
Feb 12

Divine Comedy or Comedy is Divine

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Hello.

First, to all of you who took your time to read my last blog entry… sorry.  Yes, it was pretty lame.  Hopefully there were a couple of chuckles.

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Laughter is an instant vacation.

Milton Berle

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I love humor… it’s just that some stuff is not funny.  Have you ever known a person who thought they were funny but in reality they were just goofy?

Side Note: Please… no reference to my last blog!

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There is another way to look at the goofy person who, in your opinion, tries to be funny.  Maybe the person really is funny and… guess what?… maybe you’re the goofy one.  Just a thought.

This may sound very strange to you, but I see humor as being very Spiritual.  Yes… Spiritual.

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I believe that laughter is a language of God and that we can all live happily ever laughter.

- Yakov Smirnoff

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If you are a regular reader you know that God, and having a relationship with Him, is the center point of my life.  You also know that I don’t preach to you or try to make you believe as the way I do.  But I digress.

I have known (and believe) that God is Love, Spirit, power and all sorts of mighty things beyond our feeble ability to fully grasp or understand.

But interestingly enough I believe there are things on a secondary level that are the essence of the nature of God that we tend to overlook.  I am talking about things that make life unbelievably joyous and meaningful.

For example, humor, music and creativity (the Arts) to name a few.

Here’s some of my reasoning.  I have noticed that certain things have amazing power to move people; mighty things that touch us in deep ways.

These are gifts to all His creation to enjoy.  And because they are from God and the essence of who He is… they are powerful.

Even to the atheist things like music, creativity and humor seem to have a mystical quality that transports us to a different level.

But like anything that has power, these good things are exploited for evil.  Oddly, this is another reason that tells me these are God things.

As you can see, humor is Spiritual to me.

The fact is, God is funny.  I’m serious, He’s really funny.  I have no question that He loves a good laugh and loves seeing us laugh… what joy!

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There’s something about these pictures of laughter that is soothing, huh?

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“Humor is mankind’s greatest blessing.”

“Against the assault of laughter nothing can stand.”

- Mark Twain

There is power in humor, joy in smiles and healing in laughter.  Humm… looks pretty DIVINE to me.

See you Thursday.


24
Feb 12

Child in Control

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Hi, I think you caught me on a strange day.

I have been sitting here the last two days trying to write something with substance and meaning and the child in me keeps reaching over and grabbing the wheel and taking me off the road of seriousness into the ditch of goofiness.

So I have decided to let the child have its way.  But as we know, a child in control can be fun and entertaining or a complete train wreck.  We’ll see.

I have decided to just play today.  Take a few minutes and play too.

I have collected all kinds of weird or funny stuff (at least in my opinion) and figured this would be a good time to just pass them along.

Side Note: In other words, it gives me a chance to unload all this crap that has been occupying space on my computer.

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So strap yourself in for a madcap adventure of falderal.

I thought this next picture was very clever.

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Silly, yes… but fun none-the-less.

Life Questions

  • How in the world are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?
  • Where is the line between boredom and hunger?
  • How many roads must a man walk down before he admits he’s lost?

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Here’s an interesting billboard.  You gotta love this lady’s spunk.

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Life Truths

  • When I die, I want to go peacefully like my grandfather did… in his sleep… not screaming like the passengers in the car.
  • Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you’re wrong.
  • There is a great need for a sarcasm font.
  • Bad decisions make for good stories
  • Shirts get dirty.  Underwear gets dirty.  Blue jeans?  Blue jeans never get dirty, and you can wear them forever.
  • When it hits the fan, it isn’t evenly distributed.
  • I asked God for a bike, but I know God doesn’t work that way.  So I stole a bike and asked for forgiveness.
  • If I agreed with you we’d both be wrong.
  • Politicians and diapers have one thing in common. They should both be changed regularly, and for the same reason.
  • We didn’t fight our way to the top of the food chain to be vegetarians.

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Guy Humor

  • What are the three words guaranteed to humiliate men everywhere?  “Hold my purse.”

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Well, I guess we have to stop and get back on the road to the real world.  But it was fun to play a bit.

I ran across one more quote that fit well.

If God is watching us, the least we can do is be entertaining.

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I try… see you on Monday.

Ciao.


20
Feb 12

Noun or Verb

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Welcome back.

Wow… the title really weirds me out.  I am the last person in the world to be talking about anything that has to do with grammar or correct use of English.

Another strange thing about this blog entry is that it should have been posted last Monday the day before Valentines Day.  I read something this morning that stirred my thinking so I am going with it.

This blog entry is all about lieben, elsker, gra’, amore.  No matter what language you use… yes it’s LOVE.

Ahhh, Love.

Yes, I can see you now.  As you read about Love your mind explodes with visions of flowers blooming, the birds singing and little winged cherubs hovering.  Now your mind sees a handsome young man whirling his beautiful love round and round in the center of a flowered meadow.

Oh my, I have to stop before I sink into a sugar coma.  That last couple of sentences were even too much for me to handle.  I think I need to throw up.

Just kidding, just kidding… well… kinda.

There are two parts of love – Glow and Go

The “Glow”

“At the touch of love everyone becomes a poet.”
-  Plato

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Life is the flower for which love is the honey.”

-  Victor Hugo
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Don’t get me wrong, I love “Love” too.  I like the “Glow”.  It feels good, it makes you smile, and you feel loved in return.  Good stuff, seriously good stuff.

But in our “feel good” society I really believe that we have tended to lose touch with the larger part of Love – the “GO”.

This is the verb “Love”… action.

This next statement is a sobering truth.  You can tell what you love by what you do.

Our actions naturally reflect what we love.

For example, we can love the “Glow” more than the object.

Let’s be honest.  It’s easy to “Go” when you feel the “Glow”.  But when the “Glow” is gone, what happens?

Real Love is more, far far more than the feeling.

The deepest and grandest Love is that when the “Go” is  present and demonstrated when the “Glow” is absent.

The object of our love is more important than what I feel and what I want in the moment.

This makes Love very sacrificial.


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“Love always involves responsibility, and love always involves sacrifice. “
-  William Barclay

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This “Go” thing forces an important question, what do my actions tell me about what I love?

It’s worth considering over the next few days.

Ciao, till Thursday.


16
Feb 12

The Elegance of Invitation

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Hi, me again.

I don’t know about you but the picture above tells a lot of story.  My mind can take it in all kinds of directions with a beginning, plot and an ending.

The person who created it (I wish I knew so I could give them credit) took a simple unassuming photo and told a story.

But what fascinates me even more is that each of us can look at the picture and write a totally different story depending on how we view it and interpret it.

I liked it because it made me think.  It invited me to interpret, explore, examine and make assumptions.

There is something amazingly powerful and elegant in simple creativity.

I am talking about the type of simple creativity that from the page, screen or canvas somehow mysteriously extends an invisible hand with the index finger motioning an invitation to come in for a closer look.

It doesn’t get any better than that.

I do understand that some things are done in the name of “artistic purpose” to evoke an emotion of some sort.  That’s okay to a degree.

But like most things in our brash, brazen, “bombard the senses” world, the goal is not to invite or even evoke an emotion, but to grab you by the neck and drag you in.

So many things these days try to force us to think a certain way and lead us to their desired conclusion.

Or even worse, some so called artists (or creative types) assault our senses and sensibility with extremes.

And it’s sad to say, but in far too many cases the intent is to provoke us with a condescending jab at what they view as our narrow, bereft existence.

I don’t know about you, but I am always at caution when faced with anything that tries to forcibly impose a thought, belief or direction.

It could be my own hang-ups that make me cringe at these types of things… but I don’t think so.

It is my opinion that people who are so consumed with forcibly imposing their view in reality are just projecting their own narrow world.

I genuinely want to grow and not be trapped by what I perceive as the “what is” in life.  Because I desire to step beyond where I am, I work hard at being open, inquisitive and explorative.

Life is short and I don’t want to waste time by looking in every nook and cranny.  Because of that, I have become attuned to those things that stir or have a compelling call.

So, if you are looking for a blog that reaches off the screen and grabs you by the throat and drag you to where I am… you are in the wrong place.

Hopefully there is something I say that causes you pause, makes you think, breaths life into a goal or dream, or… just makes your life more enjoyable.

Thanks for hanging out with me today.

See you on Monday.


13
Feb 12

A Person of Action

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Howdy, welcome back.

Just so you know, the picture above really doesn’t have a lot to do with today’s topic.  I thought it was an interesting picture… and who knows… maybe this blog is a sign for someone.  Maybe you?

After I wrote about the perils of indecision in the last posting I figured I had better give equal time to the dangers at the other end of the decision continuum…  Decisions made too quickly.

If you read the last entry you know my bias.  I believe that a person is better served in life if they make decisions quickly.

That is to say, make thoughtful decisions without unnecessary delay.  The unnecessary delay is the deadly trap of the indecisive person.

Now there are a lot of people who take making quick decisions to the extreme.  They knee-jerk their way through life creating a lot of unnecessary destruction along the way.

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They react to the whim of the moment and make a snap decision.  Unfortunately some of the snap decisions are correct and it validates the delusion that their decision making process is correct.

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Side Note: The same can be said about those that are indecisive.  They hold off on making a decision and something turns our right.  This, in their mind, justifies their indecisiveness.

Remember, “We look for evidence to validate our beliefs.”

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Here’s the key.  We should act with thoughtful diligence… not react.

There’s a big difference between Act vs. React.

In their purest form these two terms are very distinct.

Act is a controlled, measured response to something that happens, a stimulus.

React is an uncontrolled response to the stimulus.

But, like all things that involve people, few things are completely pure in their meaning.  People tend to work in shades of gray.

Some people split hairs by saying that they just make quick decisions and are fully in control - as they grab for something totally out of their butt.

And many people can make quality decisions in an instant because they have a handle on the situation.

Act does not mean slow.

The bottom line is this.  Anyone reading this blog entry has enough life experience to know where they tend to fall on the IndecisionDecision continuum.

You know if you usually drag your feet in making a decision or if you tend to be too hasty in your decisions.

Either end of the continuum is a destructive place.  There are consequences for being too slow or too fast.

The sobering reality is this.  The consequences of these styles of decision making are not limited to just the individual.  There is usually collateral damage.

So with all this blather about decision making, I have two questions.

Where do you tend to fall on the continuum?  Honestly.

What’s your decision about decisions?

Your response to the second question will tell you a lot about the first.

See you Thursday.


10
Feb 12

I’ve Decided to be Indecisive

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Yes, I am a day late with my blog entry.  Sorry about that.

I started this blog about ten times on ten different topics.  All of them were totally lame.

So as you can see by the picture and title, I finally decided to write about indecision.

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“The highways of life are full of flat squirrels who couldn’t make up their minds.”

-          Unknown

What I thought was going to be a fun, light topic to just poke at and possibly entertain myself (and hopefully you), has turned into a remarkably serious topic… Indecision.

We all fall somewhere on the decision – indecision continuum.  And let’s face it; we all have times of indecision.

But if we are honest with ourselves we all tend to lean on one direction or the other… one who tends to put off decisions or one who makes decisions quickly.

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I’ve never been able to plan my life. I just lurch from indecision to indecision.
- Alan Rickman (aka Snape of Harry Potter fame)
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So, what’s your tendency?  I hope you do not lean toward indecision.

I think we all agree that being able to make quick sound decisions are important for success.  What I don’t think we realize is how destructive indecision can be.

Indecision is not only destructive, but dangerous.  Just ask a squirrel.

In all honesty, squirrel jokes are about the only fun or light thing I can make of the topic of indecision.

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There is no more miserable human being than one in whom nothing is habitual but indecision.
- William James
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The quote above is a pretty strong statement.  I don’t know if I go quite as far as saying that “there is no more miserable human being” but I believe the basic premise to be spot on.

But here’s the seriousness of the matter.  Life is not static.  It is in motion… constant motion… like a car moving down the road while the squirrel is dancing back and forth trying to make up its mind.

Unlike the car that tries to swerve or stop, life will not break for you.  We have to be able to make up our mind and move. 

If you don’t make a decision and move you become the roadkill on life’s road.

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I, like you, don’t want to make a mistake.  I think that’s natural.

Not making a decision because of fear of making a mistake… is a mistake.

If you make thoughtful choices quickly (I’m not talking about knee jerk decisions) you have many more options to choose from.

The longer you wait, your options are diminished.  And if you wait long enough the decision is made for you because there are no other choices.

Then you can salve your psyche with the rationalization that failure wasn’t your fault because circumstances dictated the action.

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Indecision and delays are the parents of failure.
- George Canning
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So I’m going to ask you a pretty heavy, yet important question.

What decision should you make today that you have been putting off?

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You notice I said should make and not need to make.

If I said need, some of you would justify not making a decision because its not at a NEED point.  Should is a different matter.

Some of you reading this know exactly what I mean.  There is something pressing and you know you should make a decision.

This may sound odd, but I encourage you to make a decision about making a decision.

I’m serious.  I was not trying to use a silly play on words.

Make a decision today about making a decision.

Since we are talking about decisions, I hope you decide to visit me again on Monday.

Ciao.


6
Feb 12

Fight or Flight?

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I went to church yesterday.  Yep, church.

Hell, I think everyone ought a go to church.

Side Note: I just had to say that.  When I use a salty word like “hell” it kinda throws my church goin friends.

For my non-Christian friends you’re probably laughing that I would even consider “hell” as salty.  It is for me.

Now, on the other hand, the “F” bomb would really get everyone’s attention.

But I digress.

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Why I bring up church is that our minister brought out a point that I had not realized before.

Now before my non-Christian friends start getting the yips and start becoming paranoid thinking I am going to get all preachy because I mentioned church and minister in the same sentence… relax.

I am just going to share an insight that applies to us all regardless of what we believe or think about Jesus.

The minister was talking about a very well known Bible story – David and Goliath.  It’s about a young shepherd boy fighting a literal giant.

Side Note: If you are not familiar with the story it is well worth your time to read it.  You can find it in the Bible at I Samuel 17.

It is a fascinating story.

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Every time I have heard this story it is used as a metaphor about “the giants” in our lives we face.

Giants in our lives are things like relationship problems, addictions, health issues, depression, work challenges, personal shortcomings, etc.  You name it and we all have some giant in our lives… we all do.

This time was no different, the minister used it as a metaphor.  But what was new was something I had failed to notice before.

I am going to share the Bible verses and focus on the part that sparked the “ah ha” moment.

The two verses are I Samuel 17:48-49.

“As the Philistine (Goliath) moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him.  Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it (with a sling) and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground.

Take a look at the first sentence.  If you notice, there are two parts.

The first part is Goliath’s (the giant) move.  He moved closer for the attack.

The problems we face and the challenges we have are attacks.  They keep us from experiencing the fullness life has to offer and seem to hit us at the most inopportune times.

But the second half of the sentence is David’s move, “He ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him.”

Wow… he ran quickly toward.  This was the “ah ha” moment.

I don’t know about you but when facing a giant I tend to do one of three things – I fight, stand my ground, or hunker down.

We are to run at problems.  Aggressively running toward the battle is so counter intuitive.

If not, the battle comes to you on its terms… not yours.

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Avoid problems, and you’ll never be the one who overcame them.
- Richard Bach

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I have a lot of questions as to what all this means.  I in no way have a handle on this insight.  But I do know there is something here I am to take a look at.

Hopefully it has stirred something in you.

Later… see you on Thursday.


2
Feb 12

I wish, I wish, I wish

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Hi, I hope you have been tagging along the last couple of blogs. 

We have been talking about two phrases that determine the course of your life.  Each of these two phrases has as its key word… “If”.

The two simple phrases are, “What if…” and “If only…”.

We spent the last blog talking about the “What if” phrase.  It is the phrase that is future focused.  The positive application of this little phrase charts a life course and loads it with possibilities.

But as we all know, there are always two sides to a coin.  The other side of this coin is “If only…”.

Whereas the “What if…” mindset takes control of one’s life, “If only…” thinking relinquishes control.

“If Only…”

I hope I don’t sound judgmental, but I do not understand why some people choose to occupy space on this side of the coin.

Don’t get me wrong.  I have my share of “If only…” experiences in my life too.  I would have liked to have some things different.  Some were no fault of my own and some are totally the result of my own hand.

But the past is the past and I REFUSE to give it the attention or energy it tries to demand.  Looking backwards is energy used in the wrong direction.

Sadly, I know several people who are consumed with things that happened (or didn’t happen) to them in the past. 

Before we go any further it is important to note that I am not arguing with the fact that bad things happen to people.  It’s sad but true, some terrible things happen to people.  Things that are completely unfair and wrong.  

I am not debating the fairness of anyone’s particular situation, good or bad… but I am saying this… spending time on the “only if…” side of life is a losing proposition

Not only is it a losing proposition, “If only…” is victim position.  And victims feel they have no choice… except maybe revenge… but that poison pill is more deadly than refusing to let go.

There is NO win at all for expending energy in that direction.

Just so you know, I am not saying it’s an easy task.  Negative things in our lives are pretty tough hombres… they’re tough to kill. 

We think we have finally buried them and without notice we feel the slimy hand reach from a shallow grave to grab us once again.

Wishing something did or didn’t happen doesn’t change it.  The anger or resentment one hangs on to only breathes life into the death spiral.

We begin to live off the carcass of a dead past.  We sort of become the road kill on the highway of life. 

But the good news is there are other options to lying on the side of the road with tire tracks across our middle.

The scars you abhor as marks of pain become symbols of strength and character.  That’s the amazing prize of victory. 

I am inspired by J.R. Martinez.  In 2003, Martinez sustained severe burns to over 40 percent of his body while serving as a United States Army infantryman in Iraq.

As many of you know he is an actor and recent winner of the TV show Dancing With the Stars

Obviously from the picture we can see his scars are external.  He is a remarkable example of not choosing the victim phrase of “If only…”.

Its remarkable how small words can be so powerful… it all depends on how we choose to look at them.

Ciao… see you Monday.