Friday, February 22, 2008

Sorting through the Spoils of battle

We have had a very interesting Adult Sunday School class going on recently, that is focusing upon how the Brain works and how memories can trigger emotions that are just as powerful as they day they occured. It gives scientific and biblical ways to allow bad memories to heal and quite frankly, it is one of the most interesting Adult Sunday School classes that I have ever sat in.

The idea of the powerful effects of memories caused me to do a great deal of thinking on the subject this week and I have a few things to share that you will hopefully enjoy. In the Old Testament times when Countries would war against each other, to the Victor went the spoils. All of the goods and livestock and monies would become the property of the Conquerers. But the things that were worth keeping would have to be sorted through and obviously, what was good would be kept and what was not, would be destroyed. The battle took work, the sorting took work, but the results would be well worth the effort.

2 Corinthians 10:4-5 tells us that we are in a war. And the battlefield that we fight it on is in the Mind. But it also tells us that we have powerful weapons in God to fight with. With all of that said and with my new found knowledge of the mind :<) I have made some personal conclusions. One of the reasons that we struggle in our spiritual battlefields is that we get stuck in the sorting process. We may win a victory but we get so caught up in the sort that we have difficulty in hanging on to the good and letting go and even destroying the bad. "Taking every thought captive into the obedience of Christ" is one of the keys. I've been attempting to make that a discipline recently. "Lord, is that thought pleasing to you, healthy for me and is there good in it." It may sound silly to some but I am learning that I can reject bad thoughts with Christ as my guide.

Let me give you an illustration of what I mean. Quickly think of the last 5 really good things that someone has done for you. Take the time to write them down and keep track of how long it takes you to complete the process.

Now, think of the last 5 times someone has hurt you. You probably won't even have to write them down and if you are like most people, this list will be filled a whole lot quicker.

Why? Is it because very few people do nice things? I don't believe that for a second. I believe we get stuck in the sort and we tend to remember our hurts much more than our victories. I'm planning to change that! One thought at a time!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Sick of the Weather

This year I have attempted to not complain about the Winter too much but with my surgery and recovery time, I definitley have a case of Cabin fever.

Contrary to the global warming alarmists, it has been cccc--ooooo--lll--ddd here lately! And it truly seems that the worst weather always happens on Saturday night and Sunday. If it's going to snow heavily, it must be Sunday. If the wind chill is going to hit 25 below or worse, it must be Sunday. Or so it seems, lately!

Thankfully, our Church attendance has maintained and even on some Sundays, shown a little increase. I guess it is true what they say, that the Midwest Winters build character but frankly, I am starting to feel like character is over-rated! :<)

But hey, I can't leave you without some good news! The forecast for this Sunday, is Sunny and a high of 37 degrees!!!!!! Woooooooooo weeeeeeee! I may wear my shorts! (OK all you COG hardliners, let out your breath from your collective gasps, we need the oxygen!)

Monday, February 18, 2008

Roger and Me

Much of the "News" recently has revolved around Pitcher, Roger Clemens, and his alleged use of performance enhancing drugs. It has almost turned into a lame form of entertainment with Clemens and his personal trainer, Brian McNamee, accusing each other of lieing and has gone so far as to have Clemens file suit against his former trainer.

Before I go any further, I thought I would share with you a list of similarities between Roger Clemens and myself. Roger and I, were both born on August 4th, 1962! At one point in his Career, Roger could throw a Baseball over 90 miles per hour and at one point in my life, I could throw------a Baseball! When Clemens signed his first huge Contract, he was asked what he thought the average American made in one year. His answer was $100,000? Similarly, I have often wished to be one of those average Americans! Roger is married to a woman named, Debbie. I am actually one up on Roger here because my Debbie doesn't need Muscle juice to be beautiful!

Yeah, we are similar! (meant with sarcasm) Clemens has been one of my Baseball heroes. Seeing him transition from a skinny kid that could throw hard into a 40+ year old man that had learned to Pitch in the process has been a wonderful experience for a Baseball lover but I must admit that the events of the last few months have certainly tarnished that image for me. At first, I was all in his corner. "Go get, em!" was my attitude when the Mitchell report first broke but then gradually, the tide began to turn. Then, last week, before Congress, waffling with made up, "George Bush" type words, ("Andy mis-remembers")the realization began to set in.

It's time for another Texas style word, Roger. "Fess up!"

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


Yesterday, February 12th, was Sam's 10th Birthday! It's really hard to believe he is that age, when I have not aged one bit!

As we celebrated, (and he was more hyped over this one than any other) my mind went back to the excitement of ten years ago. As many of you know, Debbie and I had tried to have children for more than 10 years, prior to Sam's birth. After many tears, heart break, and quite a bit of money spent, we had determined that we would give up our pursuit of parenthood and simply enjoy each others company for the rest of our lives. I believe our idea back then was to live as retired couples do, only much earlier!

During that time, I was very angry with God. Every time I would see a News report of a baby left in a trash bin, or of a young child abused, my anger would rekindle. Even after deciding to give it up, I struggled with this inner anger. Some feel that it is Sin to be angry with God. Looking back, I disagree. Was God wrong? No, but I sure had a difficult time understanding. You see, even though I was experienced anger towards God, I never gave up my Faith and belief in Him. I will readily admit that there were many times that I was tempted to but I had this inner belief that He would still give us the desire of our hearts and although I was weakened, wounded and bitter, I refused to let go of His hand.

It was Christmas of 1997 that I had pretty much worked my way through my anger and resolved to live my life to the fullest, with God in control. Around the first week of January in 98, my Mom called. A great friend of the family had a Sister that was pregnant, and she was not going to be able to keep the Baby. The young Lady had already made tenative arrangements with an Adoption agency when our Friend thought of us, called my Mom and asked if we would be interested. Although we had not pursued Adoption, we immediately said YES! Apprehensive and scared to death would be the best description of me during those days.

By Mid-January we recieved word thay the young Lady, had chosen us to be the Parents and on the 12th of February, Samuel Evans Holt was born. That's right, we had one month to prepare for what most people know as a nine month experience! Some think that God does not have a sense of humor, I know they are wrong!

It's been ten wonderful years and my 3 pound, 5 ounce baby boy is now a gangly, nearly 70 pound young man. The Young Lady who God used to bring this promise into our lives is a Hero, forever, in our hearts. And I look back on those days of anger and bitterness and now realize that a deep and abiding Faith in a God that will not fail, was formed through those times. That is really and truly the only way I can explain it.

Debbie is a wonderful Mom! She woke Sam up yesterday, with a Shower of Silly String! (and she says SHE has two kids) She and Sam are the loves of my life and life itself, is a beautiful thing.

Happy Birthday, Sam! Dad loves you!