Some Assembly Require–The Gift God Gives

Each of us has received a gift, but it doesn’t come assembled. Instead, you have to do something to use it. It is like Christmas gifts with hundreds of pieces and vague instructions. I was finishing 8th grade when I was required to take an “aptitude test.” I did not need a test to tell me what I wanted to do with [...]

By |2022-03-20T15:10:46-05:00March 20th, 2022|Life Observations|0 Comments

One Question to Make Friday Satisfying

It's Monday morning. For most, that means a fresh slate. The problem is life always looks different on Friday afternoon. On Monday morning, we have a simple choice. It wafts into our consciousness in a single question. By Friday, we ask, "what did I regret doing or not doing?" The time to answer that question is not on Friday but on Monday. [...]

By |2022-03-06T15:39:30-06:00March 6th, 2022|Life Observations|2 Comments

The Story They Tell…Is Yours!

From the beginning of time, I know mothers say, “never talk about people behind their backs.” The trouble is not in the advice but the recipient. Everyone talks about other people. Some stories are complementary and praise-infused. Others are critical and dismissive. Life has a simple, that if followed, gives you control of the narrative. People will tell stories about you, but [...]

By |2021-12-02T14:42:37-06:00December 2nd, 2021|Life Observations|1 Comment

Stay Between the Lines—Why You Need Margin

The speed of life tramples time in a cloud of dust. Meeting after meeting drains the day, leaving you spent. Nerves fray, and numbness results. Deloitte commissioned a study that discovered 77 percent of employees encounter and suffer from “burnout,” Herbert Freudenberger coined the term to describe helping professions—nurses and doctors—whose brutal work schedules left them exhausted, listless, and apathetic. They burned [...]

By |2021-07-26T17:57:02-05:00July 26th, 2021|Life Observations|0 Comments

The Paradox of a Growing Life: Pruning Shearers

To have more in life, you need less of it. Let me explain.   In front of our house, we planted a red-tipped photinia a few years ago. Our goal was to hide a chimney that seemed to stick out of the view.   The shrub grew...and grew...and grew. It shot up and spread out, becoming misshapen.   We knew we had [...]

By |2021-07-13T20:49:50-05:00July 13th, 2021|Life Observations|4 Comments

Minding Your Mouth: Two Tests to Keep You From Opening Your Mouth at the Wrong Time

Who has not opened their mouth at the wrong time? For most, the taste of shoe leather is something familiar. In today’s Bible class, I taught about James 3, where James instructions about the damage inflicted by careless speech. He says: We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep [...]

By |2021-06-06T21:30:03-05:00June 6th, 2021|Life Observations|0 Comments

The Thought That Changes Tomorrow

  Tomorrow, Tomorrow, I’ll love ya tomorrow, it’s only a day away. -From the musical Annie- Tomorrow. We bet on it. Free time sprouts. Problems vanish. Life relaxes. More money. More friends. Weigh less. The problem is tomorrow never comes. It only arrives in the disguise of today. A hamburger joint hung a sign designed to draw customers. It read, “Free burgers [...]

To Sow Joy, Plant…

Scott Thompson's family has farmed the Wisconsin soil for over 70 years. He usually plants strawberries. Then, in the fall, he grows raspberries and pumpkins. This year, his crop looked different. He planted joy. You can't plant joy, but you can plant sunflowers. Thompson planted 22 acres of sunflowers. Thompson Strawberry Farm attracted families who picnic, wander fields of florals, and take [...]

By |2021-02-08T12:46:33-06:00February 8th, 2021|Life Observations, Reflections|3 Comments

The Plimsoll Line: The Case for Quitting

In the 1860s, the merchant marine fleet of England suffered many losses. Ships sank in record numbers. Many sank in the harbor. It fell to Samuel Plimsoll, a young naval officer, to spot the problem. As long as a ship had space, cargo kept coming. Soon, the weight pushed the keel lower until it sank beneath the waterline. Plimsoll had the solution, [...]

By |2021-01-26T19:20:13-06:00January 26th, 2021|Life Observations, Personal Change, Reflections|0 Comments

Putting Out a Smoldering Fire: A President’s Way of Dissipating Anger

All of us sit on a powderkeg of emotions. The worst of all is anger. Anger throws bricks through windows. It speeds up behind another driver, draws a gun, and starts shooting. It slaps a wife, batters children, and burns forests. It holds a keyboard as it types bitter all-cap letters into Twitter or Facebook. Harsh words wound. All are the results [...]

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