Archive for March, 2014


Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

Saturday we were riding our bicycles on a picture perfect morning through the rural countryside of Williamson County, Tennessee.  Our ride would take us past miles and miles of Lexington Four-Rail fencing, through Wynonna Judd’s farm, past creeks and dales and majestic buffalo silently grazing in lush green pastures —- scenes that rival most any picture book.

While straining to make it to the top of a steep hill, as is my usual custom, I was fantasying about the thrill of reaching the crest and roaring down the backside at 40 mph with the wind in my face and the hard pedaling in my rear.

I have found that thinking about the downhill reward always makes climbing a wee bit easier. When we got to the top our plans abruptly changed. Due to road work, loose gravel covered the road for the next mile or so.  There would be no downhill rush this day. Neither would we even ride down the back side.  We would have to walk it.  Riding a bicycle is unbridled fun; walking a bike down a steep, gravel covered road wearing bike shoes is not.

Fortunately, the weeping and gnashing of teeth were short lived and we soon found ourselves back on our bikes laughing and having a good time again. As I learned early on, bicycle riding pretty much mirrors life. Loose gravel happens. It only screws up the ride if we let it.

Something to think about


Thursday, March 20th, 2014

One morning last week, I was slammed  with an early breakfast, followed by a trip to the dentist and a hospital visit. When I got to my office, I was way off my normal schedule. I sat at my desk, mentally going through the things I needed to do next. I got them all clear in my mind to the point where I felt like I had a workable plan and then it hit me. “Dang, I’ve got to spend some time with God too!” That is the exact thought I had — my bad! Normally, I am especially faithful with that part of my day; but that morning, timing had not allowed for my regularly scheduled one on one with Him.

Alone in my office, I was immediately embarrassed by my crass reaction to the realization that, in my haste to get “caught up”, I had forgotten my  meeting  with the One who created me, saved me, radically loves me and provides for my every need. The truth is, my reaction showed me once again what a work in progress I remain. Why did I react with such an ungrateful attitude?  If I believe what I preach, which I do, how could I possibly let a hectic day short circuit my connection to the Lord? What if I had been scheduled to hook up with Coach Whisenhunt, Jake Locker or even CJ? Would I have forgotten? Would those have elicited a “dang” too?  What do you think?  I asked for and accepted His forgiveness and I thanked Him for this teachable moment.

He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west. The Lord is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him. For he knows how weak we are; he remembers we are only dust.  Psalms 103:12-14 (NLT)

Something to think about


Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

Breaking News:  In the future, every one of us is going to experience some new problems, some new pressures and some new opportunities.  Sometimes we’re not going to know what to do or even what to think. So where do you go for advice in a new situation?  You can “Google” it. You can ask around; check with folks who’ve been there. Those are well and good. But how often do you simply push pause and talk to God about it?

For reasons I do not understand millions of, seemingly otherwise normal, people watch the likes of Shawn Hannity and Rachel Maddow every night. They pay attention to and hang on to their every word. Yet, God Himself tells us to pay attention and trust Him and we usually blow it off. Does that make any sense? Anytime you pay more attention to what a talking head says over God, you are already in deep trouble.

God is always reliable because His guidance is 100% dependable. He does not have to please a sponsor, a PAC or pump up His ratings. He’s not constrained by time.  He’s in the past, present and future all at once.  You can’t fathom that can you? Neither can I. On a smaller scale that is like me trying to understand how my smart phone works. If you could figure out God, you’d be God. But we are not required to figure Him out.

Proverbs 28:26 Those who use God’s wisdom are safe. The point is you don’t have to know everything right now. You don’t have to have all the future figured out.  All you have to know is the best place you go to get answers.  All that is required is to trust Him. Remember that fact tonight when you get all worked up watching the cable “news” channels.



Day I Was Thrown Out of Church

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

The greatest gift God gave you is the gift of choice. The Bible says we’re made in God’s image. I know some of you don’t want to hear this but here it comes.  Your dog may be your best friend but the Bible clearly teaches that he is not created in God’s image. As much as I would like to believe otherwise, I would be shocked if “Joe” or any of my other dogs come running to greet me when I come sashaying through the pearly gates.  Animals do not have a free will.  Human beings do.  That’s how we’re like God. But our freedom to choose is a double edged sword. It can be used for either good or bad. God in His wisdom has given us some help that should guide our choices: The Ten Commandments, the Bible and our consciences are some of the primary ones.

Over the years religions have expanded on the Ten Commandments until, as a rule, they pay more attention to their plethora of self-concocted, man-made rules than God’s original ten. So what are we to do in areas of life where God has neither said, “Yes, you can do this”, or “No, you absolutely cannot do it”.  When there is no clear direction how do you know? Here is a clue. Romans 14:14 (NLT)  If someone believes it is wrong, then for that person it is wrong.  Circle “believes” that is a critical word. When I was in college we used to go to the Kentucky Derby each year. In the whole time I never saw a horse, but we sure did party in that infield. And the girls were quite cute too. Since Derby was on Saturday we usually spent the night in Louisville.  The next day being Sunday, a couple of us, who were Catholic, always went to church while the others slept late. One of those Sundays is etched into my memory because, on that particular bright spring morn, we were asked to leave God’s house by a couple of ushers, not because we looked hung over, but because we were wearing Bermuda shorts. Unfortunately, that was all we had to wear.

Why did the two of us go to church in the first place? Was it to worship God and sing His praises? No that was not the reason. We were covering our bases. We went out of fear. We had been taught since first grade that to skip mass on Sunday was a mortal sin (worse of the worse). As I got into my late teens and twenties I started to doubt a lot of what I had been taught, but I was not sure one way or the other about skipping church. The principle: When in doubt, don’t.  If I can’t do it with a clear conscience, then I shouldn’t do it.  It is always wrong to violate your conscience, even though you may have been taught a lie.  Hope I’m wrong about Joe.

Something to think about.