Posts Tagged: gift


30
Mar 13

More than eggs and bunnies

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Hi… welcome.

As you can see it’s Easter weekend with all the eggs, flowers and… bunnies?  Humm, I think the bunny looks a bit suspicious.

The day I am writing this blog entry is Good Friday.  It’s a special weekend.

This weekend is more than eggs and bunnies.

Those who are regular readers know that I stay away from God stuff.   Well, at least talking directly about God stuff.

Most everything I write has an element of Spiritual truth but I avoid being “in your face” or churchy.

I ask that you stick with me today even though I plan on talking about some God stuff.

But talking about God does not mean I will be preachy.  I never will.

Do I believe that God is more than an invisible force in the universe?  Of course.

Do I think a relationship with God is important?  Absolutely.

And since I have encountered a God in a personal way, do I want people to know Him too?  Yes.

But in all honesty it is not my responsibility to get you to believe the way I believe.  I can’t.  If I share something that helps a person in their God search, super.   But I still can’t make a person believe the way I do.

It has always been my belief that if a person is open, God would reveal himself in his own way in his own time.

I ran across a video that describes the last sentence perfectly.

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Pretty cool huh?

I’m sure some people watching the video were okay until Jesus was mentioned.  For whatever reason most individuals don’t seem to mind “God” talk, but throw Jesus into the discussion and people seem to get weirded out and start to bristle.

I think broad God talk is safe.  People feel like they have enough room to maneuver with their own personal beliefs.

But when Jesus is brought into the mix it forces a narrower discussion.

Like most things in life, the things that are the best, most valuable, and potent are the things that require some effort and investment.

Most people like a God relationship but enjoy it more from a comfortable distance.

The reality is, a God who desires intimacy with His creation does not want distance.

Think about it.  Does a parent want a distant relationship with their child?  Absolutely not!

Regardless of where you are in your faith… this weekend is the time to step beyond where you are and explore two simple words.

Consider Jesus.

Yep, just open up and consider the reality and implications of an encounter with Christ.

Even though I talked about “Jesus stuff” today, I hope you will come back to visit.

See you next week.


11
Mar 13

You Can Do It!

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Howdy, me again.

And yes, I have one more blog entry on the topic of creativity.

I realize that a third entry on the topic of creativity is not that creative but I’ve a couple of more thoughts to throw into the mental mix.

In the last entry I talked about the amazing freedom and joy a child experiences when they create things.  I still feel joy when I create but the innocent unbridled freedom to create has been sadly dulled.

Maybe it’s not that way for you but for me reliving my childhood experience was both refreshing…  and sobering.

I saw a video one time where an educator talked about how and why children begin to loose their creative edge and energy.

The educator is Sir Ken Robinson.  Obviously he is British and has faired pretty well in the “Sir” category.

He is remarkably insightful and amazingly entertaining for an educator and a Brit.

Take a look at the TED Talk video.

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Pretty good, huh?

But having dulled creativity does not mean all is lost.  I do believe we can breathe life into dormant creativity.

It does not happen by accident.  We must be intentional and risk taking.

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Clean out a corner of your mind and creativity will instantly fill it.

- Dee Hock

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As we rekindle the creative fire I believe that one experiences greater intimacy with their Creator.

Why, because we bear the marks of our Creator.

Think about it.  Humans are the only animal species that can create something out of nothing.

We can imagine, design, plan and execute.

Imagination… creating something out of nothing.

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Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties.

- Erich Fromm

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To be perfectly honest with you, any attempt to type any more on this topic would be trying to create something out of nothing.

I could give it a go but I don’t want to waste your time or mine.

Have a good day.

Ciao.


20
Dec 12

Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth

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The title is a weird saying huh?  And the picture is ugly too.

I love these old axioms, but it seems their popularity has waned over the past few years.

Unfortunately they seem to have been snatched out of existence like a chicken leg on a Golden Corral buffet.  Gone… one minute it’s there and the next minute… whoosh… never to be seen again.

The wonderful thing about these old axioms is that although the verbiage is a bit dated the core truth remains sound.  That’s the beautiful thing about Truth… it never changes.  Regardless of the wording, the truth is still the truth.

And this is the time of year that elevates the magnificence of Truth even more.

Fair warning – GOD ALERT!!!!

Now for all of my non-Christian friends you don’t have to worry.  You know by now that I don’t get all preachy on you and expect you to believe what I believe.

Hopefully it will make you think but regardless of where you land spiritually you can still get a lot out of my meanderings.

The entire Christmas thing is that God came to dwell among us human types.  Some of you may be wondering what’s the big deal.

Believe it or not, it is a big deal… a very BIG DEAL.

God decided to go slumming with his peeps.  Let me be clear, gods do NOT do that sort of thing.

Christianity is the only religion on earth where the god being served comes down on our level to have relationship with man.  In all other religions man has to work their way up to become like the god being served.

If a person does enough good things and goes through certain rituals they eventually progress into some sort of deity.

The weirdest thing is that the nation of Israel had been expecting the Messiah to come for generations.

But here’s the other key to the story… He came… but not the way they expected.

If there is a pattern with God is that He doesn’t come in ways we anticipate.  That’s why so many of us miss His moving around us because He doesn’t come in a way we expect the God of the Universe to come.

If He came in a way we expected then He would not be God… because He would be within our grasp.  God is not within our grasp of intellect.

Any Spiritual insight always requires a step of faith.  A step beyond where we are and believe that God is at work.

If we are willing to crack that door our life will never be the same.

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You may be wondering why the weird axiom about the gift horse as the title of this blog.  God offers a free gift… yet we have difficulty just accepting it.

We want to examine, test, or evaluate the worthiness of the gift.

This time of the year is the time of gift giving.

But a gift is never possessed if we don’t receive.

Ciao.


11
Dec 12

More Christmas Frivolity

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Welcome, great to have you hang out with me for a while.

Since it is the Christmas season I have been talking about what types of gifts men or women like.  So I will continue to unwrap the topic a bit more.

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Side Note: “…unwrap the topic…”

Yes, I know, that was really bad.  I couldn’t resist the easy layup of a pun.  And yes, I realize that puns of this nature do not reflect well on my intellectual prowess.  But it is what it is.

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The fact that men and women are different is not new news to anyone.  But the fact that we are so different is something for which I am very, very thankful.

In the last entry I mentioned that all you need to get for a guy is something that makes noise, a tool of any kind to take something apart (putting it back together is optional), a toy or some sort of electronic gadget.

Yes, women are different.  The fairer gender tends to like things that fall into one of four categories.  As I started to list them I found that they all started with the letter “S”.

Girls like things that are – Soft, Sentimental, Smell good, or Shiny.  I could throw in another “S” that girls like.  No, not Sexy, even though it is a good guess and it’s something that is both a guy and girl thing.

The other “S” I was thinking about is Silliness.  Now let me explain.  There is “goofiness”, which no girl likes.  And there is cute silliness, which girls tend to like, especially if it involves a cute guy.

I ran across a video that will perfectly illustrate my point.

As a guy I could relate to doing something like this… but would never attempt.  I wouldn’t try it because 1.)  I’m not a cute enough guy; 2.) I can’t dance; 3.) Cute is hard to pull off when you’re over 30.

Girls… enjoy the video.  Guys, it’s ok for you to watch too.  It’s a good idea to consider if you’re under the age of 30.  Make sure you get to the dancing part.

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One of the comments below the video had a very good description of this little escapade.  They mentioned that it was so cool and uncool at the same time.

I have never been able to pull off something that is cool and uncool at the same time.  I have mastered uncool pretty well but I’m still working on the cool part.

Regardless of what you thought about the video whether it was cute silliness or just plain stupid goofiness, the guys were having fun.

FUN!!!  Innocent fun.

Regardless of age, cuteness, or ability to dance, fun is for everyone.
You may find this hard to believe, but God created fun.  What really throws some people is the notion that God is really fun.

Most people see Him as a crotchety old geezer that has no sense of humor.  Boy, are they ever wrong.

I think after Christmas I will need to dig into the funny God thing… because He really is funny… not goofy… funny.

Yes, I even believe that God can pull off the cute silliness thing… even though He is over 30 and probably can’t dance.

Ciao


29
Nov 12

Average Joe who desires to be mo.

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Yep, me again.

Since my last blog entry I have been mulling over what I had written.

Toward the end of my mental meanderings I questioned the level of spiciness in my personality.

So I have been exploring the possibility of my possessing a boring, non-descript, yawn producing, bite the side of your mouth lest you fall a sleep type personality.

I used to think that I was a somewhat engaging person with a modicum of humor.  But after watching the video of Silas Robertson I realize that I have about as much spice in my personality as a baked potato.

It’s wholesome and filling but it doesn’t particularly stand out.

The natural question that follows such mental nonsense is, why is having a personality with some spice important to me?

It’s a simple answer.  I want to be unique just like everyone else.  I don’t want to be just one of a billion potatoes.  At least throw on a little bacon (well, lot’s of bacon), sour cream and some chives.

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Oooo… Ahaaa, that’s better.

Of course I am taking this spicy personality thing a bit to the extreme for emphasis, but there is an important point to be made.

Are you comfortable with who you are?

Do you like who you are?

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Now we all have things about ourselves that we preferred were different to some degree.  For example I wish I didn’t look so much like Brad Pitt.

Take a look at my picture.

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Yep… irritating.  I am constantly asked for my autograph.  Where’s Angeline?  Paparazzi sticking their cameras in the window of my 1998 Yugo.  Very tiring.  But such are the “Pitt” falls of looking like a celebrity.

But I digress, fundamentally the question is, are you comfortable with who you are?

I am very comfortable with who I am… uh, for the most part.

Now if I am totally honest I don’t think I would be hung up on this “being comfortable in your own skin” thing if I had it all together and felt totally comfortable with myself

So I am still sorting through what all this means.

But I do know this.  Feeling comfortable with one’s self is based on how much you accept how you were created.  It took me a while but I really embrace how God made me.

I am (and you are) uniquely made.  How cool is that?

Once again, just imagine how boring this world would be if we all had similar likes, dislikes, traits, and temperaments.

Whether you have spice or your strengths tend to be on the more bland side, Viva la difference!

See you Monday.

Ciao.

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21
Nov 12

Yep… Thanksgiving Meanderings

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Believe it or not… I am still alive.

Yes, your calculations are correct.  It has been nine days since my last blog entry… nine days.

I have no real excuse, but things have been pretty weird.

The unfortunate reality is that this entry also is being typed in a hospital room.  It has not been a good nine days.

Thankfully it looks like my family member is not in a life threatening place… but there were some touchy moments.

So there is a lot to be thankful for on this day before Thanksgiving.

But don’t get yourself all worked expecting a syrupy sweet, heart tugging, tear jerking, schmaltzy Thanksgiving Day list of all the things to be thankful for.

Yes, there is plenty to be thankful for.  Blessings galore.

You ought to know by now that I am not going to be that predictable.

I love Thanksgiving but I think I love unpredictability more… with a splash of irreverence thrown in.

So I went on a search to find a couple of funny, slightly irreverent, somewhat questionable and not very politically correct videos.

Enjoy.

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OK, granted the last video was not the best video in the world but I needed something to break the monotony of sitting in the hospital room.

The next one has some big stars in it and is pretty funny.

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Regardless of where you are… make time to be thankful.

Yep, I’m still sitting here in a hospital room and I am very thankful… bored (as you can see from the videos) but thankful.

Gobble, gobble… have a wonderful Thanksgiving.


25
Oct 12

The Extraordinary Ordinary

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Hi again.

The other day I was talking to a person that thought they were made to do something special.  They are here for more than to just live.

I don’t think that is out of the ordinary.  Most people believe they are here for a purpose.

The problem is, most of the people who feel this way spend their life looking for something extraordinary to do or accomplish.

They are searching for the “Big Splash” moment where they realize their existence.

I fully believe that we all are made to be exceptional.  But few will have a big splash opportunity.

Our opportunity to be extraordinary… is in the ordinary.

This is not a cute play on words.  I am very, very serious.  Too many have believed the lie that one’s impact on the world comes in headline form.  Not at all.

It’s ordinary people being faithful in the seemingly ordinary that makes an extraordinary impact on our world.

All around us are wonderful examples of the quiet unsung heroes that are changing their small part of the world… making it better than the way they found it.

These are quiet strong people who are giving, loving, serving, healing, teaching or nurturing without the fanfare of society.  Yet they are the foundation of our society.

A couple of years ago I shared a video about such a person.  Her name was Susan Izatt.

A few years ago a reporter by the name of Steve Hartman did a series on CBS news called Everyone Has A Story.  I loved it.  He would take a dart and throw it at a map, go to that town, pull a random name out of the phone book and interview them.

Susan refers to herself as boring and has nothing to offer.  Take a look at an extraordinary ordinary hero.

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Do something heroic… simply heroic.

See you Monday.


12
Oct 12

Digging out of a Funk

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Hi all.  I’m vibrating at a pretty high speed today.  I know that you are thrilled for me.

If you have no idea what I mean by vibrating you will need to check out the last blog entry.  Just so you know, vibrating at a high speed is a good thing.

Also, please be assured that there will be no vibrator jokes today.  I am sure you can see a person can easily go in a lot of different directions (no pun intended) with that topic.

Now that I have escaped the Monday funk, life is all blue skies and happy dust.  I can’t help but smile and bob my head back and forth in happiness as I vibrate in my chair.

OK, enough with the happy dust and vibration.

In the last blog I passed along some helpful hints on how to get out of a funk that I found on the web.  Frankly, they were pretty pitiful.

Those ideas may work for some folks but for me they just depressed me more.  They were too gooey or something.

So I thought I would share my own tips on how to get out of a funk.  I will call them my Funk Busters.

FUNK BUSTERS

Buy a Vibrator – sorry… I couldn’t help myself.  It was too good of an opportunity to throw in at least one vibrator joke.  But then again, it could be a Funk Buster for you.

The Andy Griffith Show – I am actually somewhat serious about this one.  You can’t help but feel better when you watch something upbeat, funny, and especially wholesome.

Actually the point isn’t The Andy Griffith Show specifically, but something that lifts you up, takes you to a better time, and appeals to the better part of us.

For your entertainment pleasure I found a rare video of someone singing the words to theme song with some scenes from the show.

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Find a puppy to pet – How can anyone stay in a funk if they pet a puppy?  I found a couple of cute videos.  The first is about someone putting puppies to sleep and the other is waking a puppy up.

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Feel better?  I do anyway.

A Baby’s Laugh – Yep, my reputation is officially ruined.  But the joy of a baby’s laugh is infectious.  And frankly, this is the kind of infection we all need.

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I do have one more Funk Buster.  There is no video for this one but it is the most important one.

Do Something – Seriously.   I am no different than anyone else when I am in a funk.  It feels like I am swimming in molasses.  Everything is difficult… even the simple things.

The trap of a funk is that it causes us to focus on ourselves.

The videos I showed are a small start because they make you feel better.  This is when you need to make the decision to do something.  Take the joy of the moment and translate it into action.

It doesn’t have to be something big.  It can be anything that causes you to move and change focus.

So… after watching these great videos and reading this blog, turn off your computer and take a quick walk, go get a coffee, do something.

See you Monday.

Ciao.


3
Sep 12

A different look at shoes

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The blog today may seem a bit morbid… but it is not.  Not at all.

A friend of mine has only a few weeks to live and is in Hospice care.

When the topic of death surfaces most people avoid it because it’s unpleasant.  We have a natural self protection instinct that keeps our minds from going in that direction.

Somehow we believe that if we don’t think about death it might delay the inevitable.  Fanciful thinking.

Although my friend is facing death we had an extraordinary talk about life.

It is life that I wish to talk about.  There were several things that struck me about life during our conversation.  It is these insights I would like to share.

Our view of life is from the context of life.  Life is all we know.

We look forward and charge the hill of life.  We identify our goals and mission and advance forward the best we can.

A person who is dying views life from the perspective of death.

Unless a person has had a serious encounter with death we cannot fully understand life.  We the living may think we understand… but we don’t.

But I did get a taste of it while visiting my friend.

Relationships and conversations with people who are nearing death are on a different level.

Our time talking together was simple and unguarded.  We laughed, swapped stories, talked about life and death, and ordinary things from an extraordinary perspective.

This is the kind of communication that I believe God intended originally in the Garden of Eden.

Simple, unguarded, open, powerful.

What struck me too was the beauty of the details we the living miss.

As we visited my friend talked about the things that bring him joy.  Interestingly, the things that brought the most joy from a death perspective of life were things he never thought of while going through life.

I asked him to give me an example.  He said the animals on the bottom of kid’s shoes.

Huh?  Animals on the bottom of kid’s shoes?  Please repeat that.

As he shared the details I knew exactly what he was talking about.

When his oldest adult daughter was about two he would transport her everywhere on his shoulders.

She would run to him, jump in his arms and then with the father’s strength that two year olds only know he would throw her on to his shoulders.

After she was safely on his shoulders he remembers grabbing one of her feet hanging next to his chest and lifting it up and look on the bottom to see which animal she was wearing for the day.

This is something he never really thought of at the time.  But this is a view of life from a death perspective.

The joy of life is the small stuff.

His mind did not race back to the career advancements, the deal made or the new car he drove.  Joy was found in a little girl’s shoe.

As we go through life we easily get caught up in career, bills, decision… life stuff.  At times things become so looming that it is overwhelming.

Added to the cacophony of life stuff there seems to be a constant unseen weight.  These are things beyond our control that adds to the already weighty pressures of life.

We worry about the economy, the state of the world and safety for our children.

All I know is that as my friend drifts closer to death, the things that we see as big issues of life have become unimportant.

It is the details of life that are bringing joy… tiny, seemingly insignificant details.  Details that he had not thought of for years.

Although death does take the body it need not kill our spirit or rob our joy.

We may not have much choice over the former but we have full control over the latter.

One of the greatest blessings I have learned in my life is that out of the ugliest of situations there are wonderful joys to be discovered.

Joy comes in the strangest forms.  Even the bottom of a little girl’s shoe.

See you Thursday.


5
Jul 12

Truth or Consequences

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Guten tag… in case you are wondering it’s German for Good Day.

Don’t ask why I started the blog with a German greeting.  I’m not sure what hit me.

I just had this wild hair to say something in German.  Maybe my lederhosen are riding up a bit too tight or something.

Ewww… that’s not a pretty thought.  And no, I’m not German.

I think I had better stick to the task and type my blog.

If you have been reading my blog at all you know that I love a good quote.

You don’t have to necessarily agree with the quote but if it’s really good it should take your head to a different level of thinking and force you to consider the various meanings and applications for life.

I find the most intriguing quotes are those that tend to be short and simple.

The other day I ran across a quote from Gloria Steinem.  I don’t mean to insult any feminists out there but I have never really cared for Gloria.

The fact that I don’t care for her tells me that this is a good quote.

If a person is a genuine seeker of truth it doesn’t matter where truth comes from as long as it pierces the veil of status quo and moves us to a better place.

Gloria’s quote is short, saucy and holds a lot of truth… about truth.

I really believe both parts of her quote.  The truth will set you free and that it will also piss you off.

Wow… how true.  The truth really can be painful.

It’s my opinion that most people don’t really want the truth.  They want to hear things that match their thinking.  Sad, and so narrow.

But to grow and become better we need the truth.

Truth isn’t pleasant but it has the power to transform.  The person who is open is forever changed when they hear and take in truth, regardless of how painful.

I heard someone say that people are not growing because they never hear the truth presented in such a way as to invite discovery.
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“I never gave anyone hell.  I told the truth and they thought it was hell.”
– Harry Truman (33rd President of the United States)
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Truth is generally presented in one of two extremes.

Sometimes people are not straightforward enough.  It is lost amid a wash of verbal timidity.  The power of truth is diluted with hints and innuendoes.

Then you have the other extreme.  Truth is callously jammed down someones throat

What’s really sad is that the greatest Truth of all is lost because some people feel it is their call to beat another person to death verbally, all in the name of Jesus.

I don’t know about you but I want Truth.  I invite people to be direct and honest with their input… don’t hint… tell me what I need to hear.

But on the other hand, it’s hard to be open if I am getting beat over the head.

Writing this challenges me to examine how I present truth.

Humm… something to think about.

See you Monday.