Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Can we hear the Soldiers?

I haven't decided who I will vote for yet in the 2008 election process but I like what I am hearing from this guy. Apparently, our Soldiers do too. Click on the Subject title for the link.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Peace in the Storm

Prejudice in and of itself is not always a bad thing. For example, I have a pretty big sweet tooth and a belief that on the eighth day, God created Chocolate! I am way too fond of Candy Bars and I will eat just about any of them but if given the choice, I will choose a Snickers. Why? Because in my mind, beforehand, I have deemed them to be the best. That, in and of itself is not a bad thing, other than to my waistline!

Now imagine if I allowed my prejudice in Candy bars to slant my view of other people. For example, since I became so prejudice about MY Candy Bar that I look down my nose at anyone else who prefers another Candy bar. "In the original Greek" (as Pastors like to say) that would be called STUPID.

So, what is it when people allow silly pride and prejudice about their own race to affect their view of people from other races? "Because your skin is a different color than mine, I'm better than you" or "Because you speak a different langauge than I do, that makes me better than you" is even more STUPID. And yes, before you go there, I love STUPID people too! I want to smack them in the head more often but I love them just the same.

Thanks for listening to my rantings and when you get a chance, say a prayer for me that I will have peace in the Storm.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Do you ever wonder if the "higher ups" are just high?

I walked into my secular job recently to find a Huge Box with a note attached to it. It was from one of my "higher ups" and it read something like this:

"How could we make this container work in your department? We need to eliminate the double handling of parts. Sincerely, "higher up"

Sounds well and good, right? Then, with God as my judge, at the bottom of the note, it said: "Think outside the Box." Funny thing is, that it wasn't meant as a pun.

I am glad that it was written though because my first instinct was to climb inside that box to think!

If you can't tell, I'm not a big fan of "catch phrases" in the first place. Sometimes I believe we just need to THINK and leave the box out of it.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

The fun of getting Older

I received these in an e-mail and decided to skip the prayer and forward to 72 people for good luck! I hope you enjoy

Just before the funeral services, the undertaker came up to the very elderly widow and asked,
"How old was your husband?" "98," she replied.
"Two years older than me"
"So you're 96," the undertaker commented.
She responded, "Hardly worth going home, is it?

Reporters interviewing a 104-year-old woman:
"And what do you think is the best thing
about being 104?" the reporter asked.
She simply replied, "No peer pressure."

I've sure gotten old!
I've had two bypass surgeries, a hip replacement,
new knees, fought prostate cancer and diabetes
I'm half blind,
can't hear anything quieter than a jet engine,
take 40 different medications that
make me dizzy, winded, and subject to blackouts.
Have bouts with dementia.
Have poor circulation;
hardly feel my hands and feet anymore.
Can't remember if I'm 85 or 92.
Have lost all my friends. But, thank God,
I still have my driver's license.

I feel like my body has gotten totally out of shape,
so I got my doctor's permission to
join a fitness club and start exercising.
I decided to take an aerobics class for seniors.
I bent, twisted, gyrated, jumped up and down, and perspired for an hour. But,
by the time I got my leotards on,
the class was over.

An elderly woman decided to prepare her will and
told her preacher she had two final requests.
First, she wanted to be cremated, and second,
she wanted her ashes scattered over Wal-Mart.
"Wal-Mart?" the preacher exclaimed.
"Why Wal-Mart?"
"Then I'll be sure my daughters visit me twice a week"

My memory's not as sharp as it used to be.
Also, my memory's not as sharp as it used to be.

Know how to prevent sagging?
Just eat till the wrinkles fill out.

It's scary when you start making the same noises
as your coffee maker.

These days about half the stuff
in my shopping cart says,
"For fast relief."

Grant me the senility to forget the people
I never liked anyway,
the good fortune to run into the ones I do, and
the eyesight to tell the difference.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

A Father's privilege

Earlier this year I was privileged to Baptize my Son, Samuel! Sam had made a confession of faith in Christ and wanted Dad to Baptize him.

I've done some pretty cool things in my lifetime that I never thought I would be able to do. As a Drummer, I have played with some very gifted Musicians. As an Individual I have been able to meet a few people of great influence. As a Pastor I have married, buried and baptized some mighty fine people. But this was far and away one of coolest, most humbling and life affecting things that I have ever taken part in.

You see, Sam came along at a point when Debbie and I were not sure we would ever have a child. His name, Samuel, has a meaning of, "for this child, I prayed" and "gift of God." A million thoughts went through my mind as I baptized him with tears in my eyes and a smile on my face. I thank God for the privilege of once again, doing something that I thought I may never be able to do!

In typical Sam fashion, the first words out of his mouth when he emerged from the water was, "COLD!!"

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

October Baseball

It is here, once again! Time for the playoffs in the Major Leagues and time, once again, for Cub fans like me to wonder if "next year" could have possibly arrived.

I have a saying that I like to use in explaining my love for the perennial losers on the North side and that is, "Anyone can have a bad Century!"

Oh, the Cubs! The Cubs are a lot like Golf for me. Few things in life can be as equally exhilarating and frustrating at the same time. And Cub fans, we like the blame game! Heck, we have even blamed a goat since 1945. Now I'm hearing the name, Bartman, once again. Like Bartman finished pitching the game or booted the ground ball or swung the bat like an anemic amoeba in 2003.

I'm one Cub fan that doesn't believe in Curses although I can't quite remember what I said when Leon Durham let the ground ball go through his legs in 1984. The fact is that were aren't as cursed as much as we have been cheap. That's right, except for recent years, the Cubs organization have remained among the cellar dwellers in Club salaries and why not? When you have a ballpark that can only seat 2.5 to 3 million fans in one season and as long as those fans keep filling the seats with an inferior product on the field, why spend more money?

We spent quite a bit this year. Too much for Soriano in my opinion but even in a year in which the payroll topped 300 million, we sat on our hands at the trade deadline and did not go after this teams most glaring weakness. A bonafide Closer! I would feel a whole lot better about our chances in the playoffs, if we had an Eric Gange in the bullpen.

But regardless of what happens, I will have hope that we win it all this year. I will watch and listen to the games. I will get caught up in the emotional fervor and I will either witness history or be tremendously let down once again. Why? Because I AM A CUBS FAN!! And the one solace that Cubs fans have, regardless of where we finish, is this, at least I'm not a Cardinal Fan!!!! Peace to you, Darrell! LOL

Monday, October 01, 2007

An awesome God

In nearly seven years of pastoring in the City, I thought that I has seen it all but last evening brought a great and precious first to me that I am still marveling over today.

Every month that has 5 Sundays we have what we call "Hidden Talents Night." We use to call it 5th Sunday Sing but the participation grew to include a little bit of everything so we changed the name. It basically is a fun night for people to try new things, old things or unique things that hi-lite their talents for God. We do it all for God and we have fun in doing it. We showcase everyone that wants to participate from young children to Senior Adults.

I don't generally know the agenda of a particular Hidden Talent night by my choice. I like to be surprised. I have a Minister of Music that I trust and who knows my heart and I give her the reign to run with it. Well, last night I was truly surprised. One of my former Heroin addicts came forward to sing a song. I knew that he was there but I thought it was for his child's participation. Imagine my surprise when this young man came forward and sang a beautiful song about the merciful love of God.

Why was this such a wonderful surprise? There are times in ministry and especially the pastorate when you wonder if you are ever getting through. It was just a couple of years back when I stood over this same young mans Hospital bed as he lay literally dying from a Heroin overdose. Just two days before I had been prompted by the Spirit to tell this young man to not do what he had planned or it may cost him his life. My thoughts as I stood at his Hospital bed ran the gamut of everything imaginable and I asked God for mercy for this young mans life. Mercifully, God spared him.

The young man continued to struggle with his addiction even after this close call and I had wondered if he would ever break free. I'm happy to report today that he has been clean and sober for quite an extended period of time now. He is becoming actively involved in Church and prison ministry and the song that he sang last night was a song that a ministry group had sang to him,once upon a time, while he was in prison.

How great is our God? How indescribable are His acts? How never ending and complete is His mercy? What an awesome God we serve!