Showing posts from November, 2014


The day after Thanksgiving —also known as Black Friday— marks the official start to another Christmas shopping season. Many a valiant soul will venture out to local malls, fighting the crowds to find good deals as they work through their Christmas shopping lists. In fact this year many retailers have jumped the gun and are advertising their Black Friday is already in progress. There is a lot of competition for the money in our pockets. Some time ago, I read a newspaper article that referred to the opening of a new mall with this statement: “… a pastor was so moved by the retail magnificence around, that he quoted Scripture, ‘Jesus said, I came that you may have life and have that life abundantly… and what do you suppose abundance means? All of this, of course!’”   That’s a troubling notion that somehow our material prosperity is directly related to our relationship with Jesus. Does the abundant life really mean that Jesus came to help us shop ‘til we drop? I don’t think so! T


A recent home project that I thought would be rather simple turned out to be an education in “trial and error” — a phrase used countless times — and it suddenly occurred to me what the second half of that equation actually means. It means that in the learning process there will be errors: mistakes, mishaps, shortfalls, unmet projections, and disappointing outcomes. You might be thinking, "Duh"; I guess the statement really is obvious. But it occurred to me that I have a tendency to want to learn by trial and success.  I want things to work the first time I try so that I can be done with it and move on. Think about it: How much more productive you could be if everything worked as planned. How much more efficient your life would be if nothing ever backfired. However, this is not how God set it up. His plan is that you learn through a process that isn't always easy and is rarely painless. But the results are always worth it. David wrote, "My troubles turned


A concerned husband goes to see the family doctor: "I think my wife has a hearing problem. I often have to repeat things again and again before she hears me."   "Well," the doctor replies, "When you go home tonight, stand about 15 feet from her and say something. If she doesn't reply, move about five feet closer and say it again. Keep doing this so we can get an idea of the severity of her problem." So the husband goes home and does exactly as instructed. He stands about 15 feet from his wife, who is standing in the kitchen, chopping some vegetables. "Honey, what's for dinner?" He gets no response, so he moves about five feet closer and asks again. "Honey, what's for dinner?" No reply. He moves five feet closer, and still no reply. He gets fed up and moves right behind her, about an inch away, and asks one final time, "Honey, what's for dinner?"   She says, "For the fourth time, vegetable stew!&q


I came across this story and would like to share it with you. Ever feel like a frog? Frogs feel slow, low, ugly, puffed, drooped, and pooped. I know. One told me. The frog feeling comes when you want to be bright but feel dumb, when you want to share but are selfish, when you want to be thankful but feel resentment, when you want to be great but are small, when you want to care but are indifferent. Yes, at one time or another each of us has found himself on a lily pad floating down the great river of life. Frightened and disgusted, we are too froggish to budge. Once upon a time there was a frog. But he really wasn't a frog. He was a prince who looked and felt like a frog. A wicked witch had cast a spell on him. Only the kiss of a beautiful maiden could save him. But since when do cute chicks kiss frogs? So there he sat, an unkissed prince in frog form. But miracles happen. One day a beautiful maiden grabbed him up and gave him a big smack. Crash! Boom! Zap! There he was,