Friday, June 22, 2018

Fight On

If it hasn't happened yet, don't fret.  Becoming the person you're born to become takes a lifetime of trial and error.  When that day comes and it just clicks, you will see the world as you've never seen it before.  The light bulb goes off.  The vague outline becomes a detailed work of art.  Your place in the world becomes significant.

Praise the day when your seedling breaks through the surface and you see the sun for the first time.  Be thankful for all the fertilizer consumed in order to make your opportunities possible.  Let your life be an inspiration to others.  Fight on.  Have a great day.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Got Grace?

Today is the longest day of the year.  For some, that may be too much to handle.  I prefer to sprinkle some grace on all my actions today.  It somehow enhances the flavor of everything on my too do list.  This first day of summer is an opportunity to take advantage of the early sunrise and the late sunset.  Sure, there will be encounters that will be challenging.  There will be people who push me to my limits.  They could probably use a little kindness, compassion, mercy and favor today.  I'm going to remember how Jesus handles tough situations – by serving others.  Give grace a try today.  Have a great day.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Be Happy in all Circumstances

Looking in the mirror is a great place to start before criticizing others for their shortcomings.  I did that this morning before dealing with a gentleman who represents a company I'm doing business with.  The whole arrangement started out fine, like dating.  I liked the way things were going so I decided to sign up for the "marriage."  Before the honeymoon was over, things fell apart fast.  I wasn't sure if things could be resolved.  Then, I looked in the mirror and remembered all the times I goofed up.  This helped me keep my calm and it was easier to accept the apology when this gentleman explained what happened.

The bottom line here is that it's important to be happy in all circumstances, including those times when relationships are failing.  Forgive quickly.  Communicate.  Be happy.  Life is too short to be angry or unforgiving.  Have a great day.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

What Does the Best Version of Yourself Look Like?

Today's message is meant for self reflection.  Be careful not to let your ego get in the way of your answer to the question posed, "What does the best version of yourself look like?"  I know I'm guilty of this.  I want the best version of myself to be bigger than life but that's not what my Creator wants of me.  He prefers others see a reflection of Himself when they look in my direction.  Often I get in the way and the picture is distorted.  The best way for me to get a sense of what I need for improvement is to ask my wife.  She may be speaking in a female voice but often times I hear Jesus when she speaks.

Jesus reminds us that to be our best we must be willing to serve others.  The greatest among us is the one willing to put himself or herself last.  I'm going to do my best to focus on serving others today.  When I wake up tomorrow I'm going to repeat this until the best version of myself appears at home, work and in my community.  There's a lot of improving to do and this job may never end.  That's okay.  If you can see Jesus when you look my way then I will be thankful I listened to my wife and heeded her advice.  Have a great day.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Helpful Tips for Handling Verbal Abuse

One of my day job peers was verbally challenged by someone who appeared to be having a bad day recently.  Those situations can be diffused as long as you're able to keep your cool.  I shared what I do when I'm the recipient of verbal abuse.  Here goes:

  • Recognize the power of the Holy Spirit who dwells within you and ask for guidance.  It's possible that the attacker may be under the influence of a dark demon who wants to bring chaos into the world.  While you're being verbally assaulted, silently pray for help.  Ask for wisdom.  Ask for strength.  Ask for calm.  Do not let your attacker know what you're doing and make sure he or she spews out everything before you say one word.
  • Show empathy.  Let the other person know you care about them and their situation.  If you can't help, let them know you will find someone who can.
  • Remember who wins.  If you're dealing with a dark spirit, be very careful.  The destructive force is off the charts, especially in these times.  In my personal life, the attacks are more frequent and more dangerous than ever.  I recall something my pastor from California told me to remember when he wrote the two most important words we need to know in response to evil – GOD WINS!
Perhaps one of the greatest joys in my life is sharing the Good News.  My new pastor shared his all-time favorite prayer and I liked it so much I decided to post it on my refrigerator door.  It's great for handling verbal abuse as well as any other difficult situation you may face in life:

Prayer to the Holy Spirit

Breathe into me, Holy Spirit, that my thoughts may all be holy.  Move in me, Holy Spirit, that my work, too, may be holy.  Attract my heart, Holy Spirit, that I may love only what is holy.  Strengthen me, Holy Spirit, that I may defend all that is holy.  Protect me, Holy Spirit, that I always may be holy.  ~ St. Augustine

Have a great day.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Happy Father's Day

One of my sisters is celebrating her wedding anniversary today.  She sent a FB message to her adult children letting them know that anniversaries trump Father's Day so they will need to delay celebrating.  Sharing can be challenging.  My wife and I no longer have our dads in our lives.  Even though they both departed a long while ago, it's days like today when I feel something is missing.  I think back to one Father's Day in particular in my youth when I scoured the backyard for cigarette butts so I could paste them onto a homemade card for my dad.  It wasn't easy for my dad to fight back those tears welling up inside his light blue eyes when he opened the card with the message, I love you, dad and want you to be around.  Please stop smoking.  The message got to him and he quit for a few days.  Unfortunately, the nicotine addiction was too strong and his life was cut short at the age of 67 when he lost his lung cancer battle.  I would give anything to share this special day with him but instead I will focus on the lessons he taught me.

Our youngest son fired up the Weber bbq grill last night and treated our family to some of the finest burgers I've ever eaten.  He wanted to make up for all the special celebrations he missed while overseas serving his country.  I thought about my dad while biting into my lettuce-wrapped burger, a deviation from dad's "world famous" burgers. Before dad departed he went out of his way to make sure I had a weber grill.  If dad were still around he would be selling ice to eskimos along with a weber grill.  I picture him at the head of the table talking about what's going on the world.  At some point he would quip, "hey son, that Father's Day message you gave me years ago about quitting smoking was well written but I want you to know I found a short cut to Heaven."

Those who know me well understand I'm not a believer in short cuts.  I do believe our days are numbered and we need to do our best to make our contributions before we depart.  I'm thankful to be a dad.  It's the best job in the world.  I'm going to savor this day and let my children know how much I love them.  Happy Father's Day to all the dads.  Have a great day.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Keep Your Cool in the Heat

Intense heat has a way of getting the best of our emotions.  Tempers flare.  Little things get to us.  Today happens to be one of those days when high temperatures and high humidity are in the forecast.  I'm going to do my best to stay cool in the heat.  Hydration is a must.  So is counting.  This is a technique I use when I feel my blood boiling over.  Before I respond to a negative attack, often brought on by extreme weather, I count.  This gives me time to collect my thoughts before saying something I wish I could take back.  The more intense the situation, the longer I count.  Try it the next time you need to keep your cool in the heat.  Have a great day.