The Paradoxical Commandments

8 Aug

These are purportedly hanging on the wall at Mother Theresa’s orphanage in India. Something to ponder….

The Paradoxical Commandments
by Dr. Kent M. Keith

People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.

If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.

The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.

People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.

People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.

Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.

Practicing Patience

26 Jul

Two days ago, Apple (AAPL) stock lost 6% of it’s value. As a loyal Apple stockholder, I have learned not to put too much weight in peoples perceptions. Apple has taken hits over the years but has always bounced back. I’ve been tempted to sell many times but I kept riding my gut feeling. This time I was nervous.

If you haven’t slept through the last few months, you most likely know that Apple released the iPhone which from everything I’ve read, has pretty much lived up to the hype. The problem is that AT&T, who is the only cellphone carrier for the iPhone, reported small activation numbers. The market panicked and the stock went down. With all of the experts being disappointed in the activation figures, shouldn’t I be worried also? Should I sell off my Apple stock?

Patience is something that is hard to practice – especially when it comes to things we consider important – but necessary if we want to be successful. Patience makes sure you have more information before making decisions. Patience makes sure you don’t act out in an emotional state. Patience allow you to take a breath. Patience gives the time for the pieces to fall into place.

I am reminded that patience is one of the fruits of the spirit (Gal 5:22). Patience can also aid in persuasion (Proverbs 25:15). John Quincy Adams said, “Patience and perserverence have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish.” Patience is a difficult but, good thing to practice.

I didn’t sell. I practiced patience. As of this writing, the stock price has gained back all it lost and then some. It’s a good day!

Weight Loss Update

19 Jul

I know it’s been a long time so I thought I’d just post a short update on how I’m coming with my weight loss. It’s actually an anniversary of sorts. 26 weeks! 6 months! And how am I doing?

Well, I’ve lost 77.4 lbs!

My main goal is to lose 149 lbs so I am a little over half way! I am still averaging over 2 lbs per week. I am out of my XXXL shirts and into just XL shirts!

What’s my secret? Diet and exercise! No really! And….. it doesn’t hurt to have someone to be accountable to. For me, it is a room full of ladies at the local Weight Watchers meeting. Most of the time, I’m the only guy there so I’ve got to represent!

Lately, I’ve started running again. I was always too heavy to run and my joints just wouldn’t take it. Now, I’m starting and I actually feel pretty good. I’m at the run/walk/run/walk/walk/walk stage right now but gradually I’m working my way up. I even told my wife that I think I would like to run an triathalon (swim,bike,run). OK – I’m dreaming there but it’s good to have a goal!

Oh.. and one more thing that keeps me going?

I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:13)

Speaking of Philippians, we’re starting a new series on Philippians. I’ll be writing the daily emails for the study so if you’re interested, check out our Shine Like A Star series and sign up for the daily emails!

The New Religion of Al Gore

8 May

A few days ago, I had a discussion about how some people are reacting to this whole global warming issue and Al Gore’s book and movie in particular. I heard about the hotel in California that was going “green” and was replacing the Gideon Bible with Al Gore’s book. I made the comment then that Global Warming has become the new religion of the left. Today I read a blog posting that talked about one of Al Gore’s recent speeches in San Antonio. The actual quote that caught my attention was

“It’s in part a spiritual crisis,” he said. “It’s a crisis of our own self-definition — who we are.

That is just amazing to me. To equate Global Warming with spirituality? Maybe I wasn’t so far off in my supposition.

I suppose, to continue the analogy, Al Gore is the prophet – Proclaiming – the end of the world is near!

I wonder who their messiah will be? Bill Clinton?

Digg The Code!

3 May

And now for a brief geek moment.

If you haven’t already heard, a programmer figured out the encryption key for the new HD-DVD and Blu-ray formatted DVD discs and posted it on a forum. Here’s a link to a story about it.

Now, Cali Lewis of GeekBrief.TV and Geoff Smith teamed up to produce a music video of the “code”. It’s a funny video and a great song Geoff!

Posted here for your enjoyment!

An American Idol

30 Apr

Home PictureRecently, my wife and I have toyed with the idea of moving from the small quiet community of Blair to the hustle and bustle of Omaha. It seems that we get this idea every couple of years. This one began when I drove by a sign that said “Six bedrooms”! It seemed perfect. We made an appointment to look at the house a couple of times. After viewing it, we liked the house but were concerned with the traffic etc. on the street. What that one house did though, was set off a three week house hunting trip. We poured over the internet MLS listing of the Omaha metro area. We made appointments to view houses. We expanded our price range to more than I ever thought we would or could pay for a house.

After one busy weekend that consisted of five or six house showings, my wife asked me if I notice all of the religious statues in the different yards. The she asked, “You know in the Bible, people would build and worship idols and turn away from God? Are houses our idols?” My understanding of her question is: Do we put so much time into making our houses our palace that it has indeed become our idol?

Besides all of the actual “idols” we saw in various yards of these homes, we noticed that with each successive house we looked at, each builder or owner tried to outdo each other with various luxury upgrades. Granite counters, walnut cabinets, oak floors, porcelain tile, walk-in showers, bath tubs the size of a small swimming pool. Home theaters, multiple laundry rooms, ponds and fountains. Landscaping professionally done. As these “features” piled up, so did the price. As the price skyrocketed, so did the property taxes until the monthly amount that I would have to pay for property tax was greater than what my mortgage payment would be. Which is what prompted the question. Have we created our own idols? Are our houses and all that goes in and around them more important than serving God? Do we spend so much time trying to one-up our neighbor that we really don’t get to know them? I know driving to church on a Sunday morning, I notice many people slaving away in their yards. I often ask myself – do they know God?

It gets me thinking…

So, are we moving? Nope – at least not in the foreseeable future. After looking at many houses, we realized that we’re perfectly satisfied with our present house. Sure, we would love more room in our kitchen but other than that, we’re comfortable. [And it only takes me 45 minutes to mow the lawn :)] We would love to live closer to church but I guess we will just have to make a bigger commitment to get more involved; knowing that it will mean more driving. We would love to be part of a small group – to make friends and develop relationships.

Jott: Your Own Personal Assistant

19 Apr

Jott LogoHave you ever been driving and wanted to remember something you saw or heard but couldn’t write it down? Has someone ever told you an address that you wished to remember but didn’t have paper? How about that homework assignment or that great idea that comes to you in the middle of the night? Don’t you wish you could just tell someone to remember it for you and know that anytime you needed it, it would be there? Ever wanted your own personal assistant?

GeekBrief.TVI was recently made aware of from Cali of GeekBrief.TV. I thought the concept was cool so I decided to sign up and try it out. I can see where this could be addicting! I live in post-it hell! I have little bits of paper all over with notes of things I don’t want to forget. Usually they end up in a pile on my desk or stuffed into various pockets, planners, notebooks etc. When I want to find something I wrote down, I have to try to remember where I put it and then search through the pile of notes until I find it. I usually find it – but not without a great deal of effort. Enter Jott.

With, you register your cell phone (or any other phone you want to use) with their service and provide an email address. After everything is activated and confirmed, you are now ready to use Jott. Just call the toll-free number and when the automated service asks – who you want to send it to, say “me” and then tell it what you want to remember. Shortly after you hang up, you will receive an email with your message transcribed. What’s great about this is that I use GMail and with Google’s indexing, I can find just about anything in my email by doing a quick search. Essentially, I’ve just moved my pile of Post-Its into the electronic realm.

You can also register your contacts with Jott so you can send messages to people. You can send messages to individuals or groups that you create. If you register their cell phone number – they can also receive text-messages from you.

So far, I love this service. We’ll see how they scale once more people start using the service. It’s still in beta now and although it is free now, they say that they will eventually have to go to an ad sponsored or fee based business model. My hunch? They will build it, prove the concept and then sell it to Google for millions and millions of dollars! 🙂

Send me a Jott!

Time for a discussion in the church about Gay, Lesbian and Transgendered Issues

18 Apr

I just read an interesting post from Rich Tatum of the Blog Rodent entitled, How to get arrested at Central Bible College. Plus: The Unremarked Transgendered Issue. He talked about two Gay-Rights Activists from a group called Soulforce who were arrested at Central Bible College and used that story to comment on how the modern church – and Assemblies of God in particular have dealt with the issues of gay, lesbian and transgendered people.

Reading posts like this always stirs up a certain angst inside of me. It’s a feeling that I know something is wrong but I don’t know how to fix it. For years, our society has been slowly pushed into believing the normalcy of gay, lesbian and transgendered lifestyles. Now, if we believe differently, we are labeled as “homophobes”. I have wrestled with how to minister to people who believe this for years. I keep asking myself – how can good people, who believe they are Christians, embrace this lifestyle? Even to the point of encouraging more people to “come out of the closet”. My heart aches, as it does with anyone I see who is openly sinning against God. I want them to know that God does love them but He desires them to not act on their desires. Everyone sins – no argument there – but I believe that it is the person that is embracing his sin that is endangering his eternal outcome. Rich uses some great analogies in his post that describe the difference between someone who is tempted to sin and doesn’t act on it and those that do.

The transgendered issue is one that I haven’t thought much about. Rich lays out his personal view rather nicely and has me thinking. I would love for this discussion to continue. I encourage you read Rich’s post and also read the comments as there is likely to be a lively discussion.