Thursday, February 28, 2008

Sergeant Schultz, Professor

I think Sergeant Schultz’ approach to a sticky situation was often the best one—
ignorance. While it’s not always easy for me, it is the best.

Have you ever seen the T.V. show, “Hogan’s Heroes”? Sergeant Schultz (John Banner) was the bumbling, yet funny soldier who could have made life miserable for the prisoners of war at Stalag 13. Instead, he would regularly turn his face away from some obvious violation, and, with a German-tinged accent, proclaim, “Nothing! I know NOTHING!”

Lately I’m reminded that taking that position is sometimes the best move for me to make. I don’t mean that I turn away from egregious sins or errors, whether mine or someone else’s. I mean that what my eyes tell me is often way less than is actually true, and that can easily lead me to the wrong course of action.

Sergeant Schultz’ manner was the one the apostle Paul seemed to take when told about the behavior of the Christians in the town of Corinth. They were plenty guilty of plenty of things, including drunkenness (1 Cor 11:21), sexual immorality and fornication (1 Cor 5:1f), of taking each other to court (1 Cor 1:10f), of cheating (1 Cor 6:8), of divorce (1 Cor 7), of being a divided church (1 Cor 1:10f), of stubbornly remaining infantile in their faith (1 Cor 3:1f) and worldly in their living (1 Cor 3:3), of arrogance (1 Cor 4:18) and more. To be faithful to God, you might think Paul’s approach to these pagan-acting Christians would be to lower the heavenly boom on them, and give them a good and righteous whack across their unrepentant backsides.

His first words to them?

“Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given you in Christ Jesus, that in everything you were enriched in Him, in all speech and all knowledge, even as the testimony concerning Christ was confirmed in you, so that you are not lacking in any gift, awaiting eagerly the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will also confirm you to the end, blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Cor 1:3-8 NAS)

Why did Paul turn away from what he knew was true? He didn’t. He turned to what he knew was absolutely true, not just temporarily true. When Paul thought of the Corinthians he thought of them as they had become, not as they behaved. He lived by faith, not by sight (2 Cor 5:7), and that framed every view for Paul.

He knew that if the Corinthians were acting in ways contrary to who they had become it was because they had forgotten who they had become. Paul’s first duty was not to the correction of their behavior (“Stop that, you cruddy Corinthians!”), but to the awakening of their faith in God, who had made them sons. Knowing full-well their behavior, Paul looked away from it (“Nothing! I know NOTHING!”), and put what he knew was true of them into his mind. God chose them. God changed them. His approach came from there, and so did the correction that followed. But instead of first giving them restrictions, he gave them revival. Instead of conforming them to a proper look, he built them up in Christ.

The devil and his demons strategize that believers should identify themselves and others according to what they see—nothing more—while God and the angels work for them to believe they and others are what God says they are—nothing less. The battle for the Christian is over whether life is defined by what they see or by what they know. Battle lines drawn and faith hanging in the balance, are people defined by how they look, behave and perform, or are people what God says they are, even if they don’t look like it?

How we approach people will reveal where we’ve placed our faith, and it will determine our success. I’m not saying behavior is unimportant: I am saying that our way to behavior is vital.

I want to learn from Sergeant Schultz, an esteemed professor in the skill of turning away from what he saw, and I want to cling to what I know. That means I live by faith in God’s ability and plan. And for me, that’s the way to live.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Remaining In The Dazzle

For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God's abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ. (Romans 5:17)

Oh, Lord, make me to see and believe more that the way for me to reign in life is not by my performance, but my receiving your grace and righteousness. . .over and over and over again. I know there was an initial time of receiving, but I also know life is true and best when I am focused upon your grace and your righteousness for me.

For me, life is all about being dazzled by God.

Keep Your Focus

During the current and upcoming political campaign season here in the U.S., jumping to conclusions will be the number one exercise. Keep your heads, sons and daughters of God. While important, the political wrestling of this world is not the primary struggle for you. You and I don't focus upon the visible and temporal, but upon the invisible and eternal.

We live to know God and to be led by the Spirit.

There is so much that targets how we live and what gets our focus, so resist becoming overly heated by the passions of the day. Sow to the Spirit, and you'll avoid judging too soon.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

The End of Colonic Gaseous Emissions?

(Here's an article that discusses bodily stuff only us guys usually talk about. We get shamed if we snicker about it around the girls. The article makes me wonder how long it will be before we start seeing kangaroos here in Boulder County. We've got just about everything here, including the kooky, fringy stuff. Oh, and my favorite line is the third paragraph—brilliant! Don't forget to hold your nose!)

Flatulent kangaroos could save the planet.

Australian scientists plan to isolate, and possibly transfer to other species, the 'roos digestive bacteria, which unusually produce almost none of the potent greenhouse gas methane.

One of the primary sources of atmospheric methane is the digestive tracts of millions of cows, sheep, pigs and, um, humans. It's the byproduct of trillions of bacteria, properly called digestive flora, without which no mammal could get nutrition from starches and plant fibers.

With each belch and colonic gaseous emission, large plant-eating livestock contribute a bit more to global warming.

"Fourteen percent of greenhouse-gas emissions from all sources in Australia is from enteric methane from cattle and sheep," Queensland state government research scientist Athol Klieve told Agence France-Presse. "And if you look at another country such as New Zealand, which has got a much higher agricultural base, they're actually up around 50 percent."

But kangaroos, which eat plenty of plants, appear to have different digestive flora, emitting almost no methane. If those bacteria could be substituted for those of cows and sheep, it could drastically cut down on the amounts of methane pumped into the atmosphere.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Paying Attention?

What seems useless or bothersome today may be invaluable tomorrow. Know what I'm sayin'? So many of the little things we go through, barely hanging onto what we've come to know about God, are adding up. You know, a sort of "light and momentary affliction that's achieving for us an eternal weight of glory" kind of thing.

Know what I'm sayin'?

Here's a bit of an odd take on that whole concept.

(This comic is from a blog I enjoy, Lots and lots of good stuff for laughs. . .unless you don't need to laugh today. Sure, a little bit here and there is a little bit off color, but you can handle that, right?)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

I'm Just Sayin'

There's a fight comin'. Can you feel it? A couple of big American gangs are gettin' ready to rumble.

I know, I know. This has nothing to do with the stated purpose of this blog. But in a hyper-drive time of economic and political debate and savagery, you'll want to keep your head about you. If you're in Christ, then not only are you not of this world, you must be careful to avoid becoming entangled in it. This little tidbit (below) may help keep you calm and grounded in all the angry mud-flinging going on around you.

Beware of gang style platitudes—Evil corporations!—Cut 'n run Democrats!—because they stimulate an angry and aggressive response. I find that if I keep a few specifics in my head, I'll be less likely to join the fight or to throw a punch. Instead, I'll be able to remain friendly and engaged with anybody in either gang.

I'm just sayin'.

Economics professor, Mark J. Perry, points out that, “While we obsess over corporate profits, no one gives them credit for the massive taxes they pay to keep this country afloat. Exxon paid 30 billion dollars last year in taxes, which is as much, annually, as the bottom 50% of individual taxpayers. We’re talking 65,000,000 people. . .and did you know that the tax rate for the bottom 50% is only 3%? Meanwhile, for Exxon it’s 41%.”

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Terrible Teletubbies

Get your “They let their kids watch what?!” hat ready—we watched Rush Hour 3 with our daughters last night. Yep.

I have been in the ministry for more than twenty-five years, much of it as a SINK—a single income, no kids guy. Over those many years I have watched countless families deal with what seemed to be the most important, life-dependent and life-changing decision in the modern world—what movies to let their kids watch. The family that watched The Wizard of Oz together was blessed with the scorn of the family that didn’t. “There are witches in that film, you know.” The clan that watched Star Wars reaped the shame on you of the clan that did not. “If you feel the force, you may be going to Hell.” And watch John Wayne in True Grit? “He says ‘Damn’ and ‘Hell,’ doesn’t he? You want your kids exposed to that?!”

On and on it went. The purple Teletubby, Tinkywinky, wanted to make your kids gay, Barney made it acceptable to be androgynous, and Looney Tunes cartoon characters advocated violence. I don’t know though. As many times as Daffy Duck got shot by Elmer Fudd without any real harm made me think shooting someone was useless . . . okay, and maybe a little funny. I know—I’m deth-pickable.

Everyone was so nervous and scared of damaging the innocence of their little darlings. Lots of arguments over which films were acceptable and which were not ended in split decisions; the ‘we would never’ group went one direction, while the ‘we certainly will’ went another. Newly acquainted families examined each other by asking coded questions like, “What do you think of Saturday morning cartoons?” or “How’s that purple thingy on that purple Teletubby grab you?” Answers determined friendships.

Look, I think film-going and film-watching is a worthy arena for discussion and debate. And I don’t advocate sitting your five year old alone in front of the God Father trilogy (I made him an offer he couldn't refuse.), neither do I recommend having your seven year old take in the Lord of the Rings trilogy by himself. You might find him whacking his cowering brother with a stick-sword afterwards. You shall not pass, demon of Mordor!

What I recommend (and what Sarah and I do) is that you go through life together with your children, talking and teaching and commenting as you go. Our girls, now eleven and thirteen, know who they are in Christ—the holy, blameless, radiant, not-of-this-world daughters of God walking the earth. My girls are aliens. They also know that they walk with those who are of this world, who do not have God living within them, and who cannot sow toward Him and expect to reap as they do. That’s a huge difference! It’s very defining. Because Sarah and I want them to know God and to find Him where He is (in them), we’re not too quick to establish standards of right and wrong. We don’t want them living by standards—we want them living by Christ!

So, when Chris Tucker (Jackie Chan’s oft-profane side kick) yells, “Damn! She’s so fine!” we’re likely to pause the video and ask questions like, “What do you think?” “Knowing what you know about the invisible, eternal world, and the visible, temporal world, how is he making that assessment?” “If this film were real and you were there, what would you do?” “If he’s a Christian, what’s going on with him that he talks like that?”

It’s so easy to say, “Oh, that’s wrong! God says that’s bad!” But I don’t think that’s nearly enough. That teaches our kids to live by standards of measurement, which means they’re set up to live as judges, condemning this, but condoning that. What pressure. Sarah and I want our daughters to know God, not try to be God. Besides, the God they know is not now counting men’s sins against them, but calling them to reconciliation (2 Cor 5:18,19).

So, when Chris Tucker yells, “Shoot his ass!” or when a scantily clad woman slinks her way on screen, it’s common to hear comments from our girls. “Why does he talk like that?” “What is she trying to do by wearing that?” “If she’s a Christian, she’s not knowing God very well right now. She must need help with that.”

We think that’s great. You may be certain that we closely shepherd our girls concerning the films and T.V. and internet they watch. But we’re not living in order to preserve the innocence of our daughters; we’re living in order to assist them in their life with God, to know Him and His opinion and feelings and thoughts for them and for others. And we think that kind of movie-born interaction and talk makes dirty-mouthed Chris Tucker and terrible teletubbies worthwhile.

What do you think?

Monday, February 18, 2008

Love Works

Sometimes it bothers me how much I care about the church. Really. We seem ever to want to be motivated by crisis, by calamity, by a good cause and a good appeal, by a big need, or by a needed kick to our backside. I know the church doesn’t really want that, but it seems like it. And I sure don’t like it. It’s not that we shouldn’t be motivated by a sudden event, it’s just that we can become addicted to the energy and appeal of the moment. And there is something much better, something more true and constant, something given by God Himself. You were made for it.

I so love being carried along and motivated by the Holy Spirit, delighting in sharing in His thoughts and feelings, knowing Him throughout the day, that I long for everyone to have life like that. I love God and want to do everything from that motivation. I don’t yet do everything from that, but I want to. And so I’m kept to wanting to grow in love.

Love like that works.

I’m reminded of what love did to the Macedonians. God gave an amazing grace to these people who lived in “extreme poverty” such that in their joy they gave what little they had so others could hear the gospel. The Macedonians were in love with God, having been won-over by His love for them. And that love “welled up in rich generosity.” (2 Cor 8:2)

Paul then wrote to the Corinthians that they, too, should “excel in this grace of giving. I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others.” (2 Cor 8:8, italics mine.)

That’s why the Macedonians gave – they were in love! They didn’t give motivated by an appeal to sacrifice, they didn’t give to make sure their tithe was on time, they didn’t give because others were in need, and they didn’t give because it was the right thing to do. They gave because they were in love, and that made their giving “acceptable.” (2 Cor 8:12) Their gift wasn’t acceptable for any other reason but love.

And that’s what drives me nuts for the church. I want believers to know and be motivated out of a burgeoning love affair with God. I don't mean we should never give unless we're right then invigorated by love, but I fear we've gotten used to giving without it. We've learned to motivate and to be motivated by something else. That's what makes pushy pastors and manipulative motivators out of our leadership. And they don't like it any more than we do.

If we're not looking and doing good, it's because we're missing love.

If your motivation is low right now, go get some love – you need it and can’t live without it. If your giving lacks, if your service is stunted or reluctant, if there is gossip in the church and “sin in the camp,” go get some love – you cannot live without it.

“How can I get some of His love?” you ask. You might read Ephesians 1, or think about the gospel, which says you have been given everything for nothing, or ask Jesus what He thinks of you right now (you know it will be good!), or take a walk and start thanking God for what He has done for you in Christ, or pick up a favorite book and turn to that great passage about God’s love for you, or email or call someone and ask them to remind you who God has made you to be and what His thoughts are toward you. Or email me – I’ll help you. It’s an assist and pleasure for me to think on and talk about God’s grace and love!

Because for me, too, love works.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Beautiful Joy

I think this is something of why God thinks it's imperative we become like little children.

What delight. Not a care. Not a worry.

Have a great weekend.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Spontaneous Valentines

I did something really unusual yesterday. I gave my wife a dozen red roses. Flowers on Valentines Day? Not normal.

Joyfully and contentedly married for sixteen years now, I have given Sarah flowers on Valentines Day maybe two or three times, not counting yesterday. She hasn’t given me even a single bud on a Valentines Day. It’s not that we’re Valentines Day Scrooges—Bah! Humbug!—thinking the gift of flowers and chocolate an unnecessary display of financial irresponsibility. We’ve opted for something we think is better—spontaneous and reckless displays of authentic affection.

On Valentines Day, 2008, she never saw it coming. “Ohh! Husband!” she beamed.

I have given Sarah flowers dozens of times, but not once did she expect them. Every time I’ve delicately placed a bunch in her arms, her glowing face asked, “Why?!” Answering that question was both her delight and mine. Sarah deeply enjoyed hearing me tell her why in particular I loved her, or what little something she had done that had prompted spontaneous flowers out of her no-longer-secret lover. And I can tell you that I deeply enjoyed the exercise of love as well. Just thinking about running out and grabbing a bouquet stimulated my affection. And when I expressed it to Sarah in the form of flowers, my affection was consummated or completed by the act.

She was delightfully satisfied, and so was I.

I’ve learned that something similar is true in my affair with God. Sure, I thank Him and praise Him regularly for the general blessings of being His son—He’s made me holy and blameless and secured me in heaven. Even now, genuine thankfulness wells-up within me. But I like to ask God to do something unusual in the day, something unexpected toward me, something that would dazzle me, something that would result in my being delighted with Him. Simply, I’m only taking advantage of what I know Him to be—Dazzling. And not a little bit surprising.

Because I have stimulated my own expectations about God in the day (you might call it living by faith), I find myself eagerly curious about every encounter or phone call or email. I’m much more alive because I’m anticipating Him showing Himself or doing something obvious. The odds of me recognizing His movement, or of me hearing His thoughts or feeling His emotions have increased. I’m rarely disappointed. And if my happy laughter or a knowing smile lighting my face because of something I’ve caught God doing constitute flowers for God, then He’s got loads and loads from me.

And not one bouquet was obligatory.

One more thing. For the first time, Emma and Ellen received Valentines roses from me, too. Flowers all over the place. Happy girls all around.

Happy man, too.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Rescuing Temporary Nutcakes

If I should pastor a brick and mortar church again, I think I’ll name it, “The House of the Sometimes Sane.” Maybe there will be a rear entrance with a sign over the door that reads, “The House of the Temporarily Insane.”

Choose your door.

If it drives you absolutely crazy that your thoughts and actions are often times opposite to the way you want and to the Truth you love, you fit well with a long line of the mentally plagued chosen. What will help you? What’s the solution to your temporary insanity? A fresh booster shot of the truth about what Jesus has done for you and what He has made of you. It’ll drive out the crazies.

A famous and favorite MPC (mentally plagued chosen), the apostle Paul, wrote to a collection of temporary nutcakes who comprised the church at Corinth. Paul had been told that their behavior was awful—nothing like what a Christians’ should be. So, while rightly pointing out the wrongness of certain actions, he sums up his attempt to revive them—his primary goal—by telling them that those kinds of deeds were no longer in keeping with the nature of who they had become. Jesus had done something so radical to them that they had become literally incompatible with sinful behavior:

“Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Cor 6:9-11, italics mine.)

In other words, “Look, you’re acting like idiots, but you’re no longer idiots! You used to have the nature “Idiot!” to do such nasty stuff, but you have it no longer. Remember that whole, ‘new creation’ thing? Well, it’s true! You are no longer of an earthly birth, but have been born of heaven. You're magnificent, heavenly creatures! So come to your senses, be renewed in your mind, and quit it.”

Their faithful friend labored with them to bring the temporarily insane to their senses, giving them the truth, which, along with the Spirit’s work, clears the head and rescues the temporary nutcake.

Like the Corinthians, our ugly behavior doesn’t identify who and what we have become, it reveals we’ve temporarily lost our minds! And, of course, we act like it. When the Corinthian collection of the MPC looked and did awful, they needed to have their hearts and heads targeted with the truth, which is the power of God. (Romans 1:16) The apostle Paul knew it, even when they did not, and he treated them that way. He knew (and we should, too) that revival in our thinking leads directly to our behavior.

Next time you see a washed, sanctified and justified, radiant believer acting like a nutcake, encourage him with the truth that brings revival. He’s just confused, he’s just temporarily insane.

But you’re not. At least, not right now.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Safe At Home

Where are you? Right this minute, where are you?

Do you realize that at this very moment you are in Christ, actually in Him? Now, don’t water that down and think of it only as a metaphor, a nice figure of speech for God and theologians to discuss, but not for us regular folk. God has placed you into the body of Christ and that means everything for your everyday life.

An ugly tendency of my flesh is to insist that I see myself outside of Christ, separate from Him and kind of on my own two feet. I might commonly think of myself as for Him, or on the same team, but not in Him. When those separate from Christ thoughts really get rolling in me, then everything I do becomes subject to judgment. Under the fear of scrutiny, it’s not long before either I’m paralyzed with fear over making a wrong move, taking a wrong step, saying the wrong thing, or I am eventually induced to give up on the attempt to please God. After all, who can actually do that all the time anyway?! Judgment is such a difficult thing to bear.

In my thinking, God becomes the umpire of my life, and mostly I imagine He shouts, “Yer out!” I can almost hear the home crowd groan--Why does he bother to run, anyway?

However, the truth is that I am entirely safe, completely secure, holy and righteous already in Christ, safe at every moment! In Him I’ve scored already. No matter what seems to say “Yer out!” in life, no matter that I sometimes feel like I’m caught in a rundown, soon to be tagged out, or that I’m going to get a red card, whistled for a technical foul, or thrown out of the game for unsportsman-like conduct, it isn’t so—I’m in Christ.

Living by faith in Christ doesn’t excuse or mean He winks at bad behavior. Believing that I am in Him and have everything He earned releases me from the nagging fear of judgment, which always messes up my behavior anyway. Secure in Christ at every moment, I enjoy confidence in Him, and my behavior reflects it. The pressure is off me.

I can run the base paths of life without fear because at every point I’m “Safe!”

“It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God-- that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: "Let him who boasts boast in the Lord." (1 Cor 1:30-31 NIV)

Saturday, February 09, 2008


We lighten up around here on the weekend. I'm usually off running around with my family, or drawn together watching a movie, talking about God and praying, working on our family web sites, etc. In any case, I don't often set aside time for serious blogging.

You may have noticed that I like the whole Trunk Monkey thing. Previous posts don't lie. Mostly the ads are about revenge, protection and bribery, but this one provides a level of service I hadn't thought about. Here's a form of insurance no expectant couple should be without.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Happy New Life

Okay--it's February. So how’s it going with your New Year’s resolutions? Are you a better you yet? How are you doing with all those promises?

Be cautious.

I want to remind you that a really great man, one of this world’s best ever, failed dismally at doing what he thought he should and of keeping his promises and resolutions. Through his failure, Paul found something vitally important which he passed on to you and me, the first axiom of resolutions:
“For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.” (Rom 7:18b NIV)

Whoopee! Happy New Year! Now, I don’t mean to rain on your parade, but I do mean to save you from something—the way of the flesh. The flesh suggests an interpretation of life (“You’re not doing well in life because you’re overweight.”) and a course for living (“No more carbs or chocolate, exercise for an hour every day and get a new wardrobe.”), which, if successfully followed, will seemingly make life work. Or, because things aren’t going your way (interpretation of life), you are frustrated and depressed. So, get drunk, take a drug, eat a gallon of ice cream, look at pornography, get raging mad and you’ll feel better (course for living).

What’s missing? The Holy Spirit! You and I are no longer flesh, but spirit. If we are induced to live as if we had not become spirit, as if we had not been born again, we will live by the flesh. And the end of that is futility. It’s not normal anymore, and it will exhaust you.

Paul wrote: So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh -- 13 for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. (Rom 8:12-14 NASU)

Want to live? Then for you, life is by the Spirit. Life isn’t first something to do, or something to be done, but something to receive.

Here’s what I suggest: start your day, not with a list of things to do, but with a question. “What does God say He has done to me?” “In God’s eyes, who have I become?” “According to God, how do I live in this day?” “Father, what do you think of me?” Questions like these will cause you to sow to the Spirit. What will happen?

1. God’s life will be released in you. What’s better than that?
“For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.” (Gal 6:8 NASU) Your mind will be renewed, and you will be transformed (Rom 12:2).

2. You will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh.
“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.” (Gal 5:16 NASU)

3. You will know that there is not, nor will there ever be, one single moment of condemnation for you ever again. Following after the flesh will never allow that for you, but following after the Spirit will always keep that fact close.

“Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. 3 For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, 4 so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.” (Rom 8:1-4 NASU, italics mine.)

Want a happy new life? A new look? A new way? Living by the Spirit will manifest the life of Christ in you, and He will fulfill every need in you, for you, and for the new you.

And in this New Year, you’ll be better off than you think.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Enjoy Your Coffee

(I received this sometime ago and thought I'd post it again--I liked it.)

A group of alumni got together to visit their old university professor. The conversation soon turned into complaints about stress in work and life.

Offering his guests coffee, the professor went to the kitchen and returned with a large pot of coffee and an assortment of cups - porcelain, plastic, glass, crystal, some plain-looking, some expensive, and some exquisite - telling them to help themselves to the coffee. After all the students had a cup of coffee in hand, the professor said: "If you noticed, all the nice looking expensive cups were taken up, leaving behind the plain and cheap ones. While it is but normal for you to want only the best for yourselves, THAT is the source of your problems and stress."

"Be assured that the cup itself adds no real quality to the coffee. In most cases, it's just more expensive and in some cases even hides what we drink. What all of you really wanted was coffee, not the cup, but you consciously went for the best cups and then began eyeing each other's cups."

"Now consider this: Life is the coffee. . .and the jobs, houses, cars, things, money and position in society are the cups. They are just tools to hold and contain life, and the type of cup we have does not define nor change the quality of life we live. Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the coffee God has provided us. God brews the coffee, not the cups . . . enjoy your coffee."

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Theft Deterrent System

If your car has ever been stolen or broken into like mine has, then you'll appreciate this great idea. Bonus: you get a theft deterrent system and a pet all in one.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Hillary's Dream

My wife wants me to make sure I don't unnecessarily offend anyone by posting this comic. (Necessary offense is something else.) She wants me to say that I don't mean it as a slam on any particular political party or leaning, only as a funny bit of satire. And that's all true. So if this tweaks your nose, please accept my pre-apology.

As we run up to Novembers' election, the gathering storm of making and taking lots of things personally, is liable to get terrible and fierce. We’re going to pay so much attention to who said what and how, and to who might have offended whom, that it might not be possible to comment on anything political without someone somewhere taking umbrage. Short fuses will be the order the year.

Maybe I’ll avoid the whole arena—I have before. Maybe not.

But for now, if someone comes up with something funny like this about the other political party, I might post that on a weekend, too. See? Fair and balanced.

This is called, "Driving Miss Hillary."

I'm Gonna Need One of These

It won't be long until the boys spy-out my daughters and discover the treasure they are. While I'm working to hide and keep them to myself as long as I can, I'm also looking around for methods to encourage the undesirables to stay away. This seems like a good way to do it.