Monday, January 24, 2011
I had been living and working in Memphs, TN for about 3 years and my company wanted to promote me. They actually gave me a choice of where to live - New Jersey or California. All you need to do is look at today's weather and see that California was the obvious choice. I was headed to CA to replace a guy that was the first National Accouts Director that Nabisco had ever appointed. He was a legend and had hand picked me to replace him as he was to retire about 6 months after I arrived. Well, things went great for about 5.5 months. Customers and the job were everything that anybody could every want. Then, the guy that I was to replace took about a month of "trial" retirement off and didn't like it at all. He concluded that he wanted to work a few more years and started trying to destroy my reputation and my career. Thank God I had a boss that could see through all of this and I was actually promoted into an even better position albeit much more difficult work. The result of all of this was my building consumption of hate for the guy that tried to destroy me. I was so consumed that I would drive to work and savor the ideas of how I could hurt the old man. Finally, I realized that I just had to let it go and forget about what had happened. I realized that the only person hurt by being consumed with hate was me. I realized just why Jesus told us that we needed to learn to forgive - just like him.
Isn't it amazing that God's plan for us - in both love and forgiveness is exactly what we need to be healthy and pleasant?
When people asked the greatest commandment, Jesus answered first love God, then love each other. We cannot possibly love each other if we cannot forgive each other. We need to be as consumed with love as I was with hate for the old man.
We can't be consumed with love for each other unless we follow the words that tell us - first love God, then love each other - and we cannot love God unless we are consumed with him.
Well, these are my monday thoughts,
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Santa Ana and Honduras are not too far away from the USA - at least by flight time but, they are a world apart in many other ways.
- Our little country of Honduras has about 8 million people and the USA has about 320 million.
- Honduras is about the same land mass as Tennessee which makes the USA way more than 50 times as large.
- The average age of the population of Honduras is below 20 and in the USA it is above 30.
- The average family in the USA has a car or 2, a house with 2 or more bedrooms, TV with cable, computers, internet, I-phones, and plenty of food. In Honduras more than 60% of the population live in poverty, live in a one room house, struggle daily for food, will never own a car, and may not even have access to electricity.
- In my little country, the average age of first conception for young ladies is below 15 years old. In the USA it is over 21.
- In Honduras today there are more than 1000 people - including kids that will try to find something to eat in a city dump.
- In the USA - as flawed as it is, there is a foster care system that helps to rescue abused & neglected kids. In Honduras many of these kids just run away and live on the streets.
I could make a long long list that contrasts the differences between our little corner of the world and life in these United States. The point is, we need to open our eyes to what is happening in the world around us. We need to realize how blessed we are to be able to say, my home is the USA. We need to consider how we can utilize what God has given us - not just writting checks but by going and doing. We need to be the change that we want to see. We need to lead others and we need to share the Good News that we are blessed to know.
Sunday, January 02, 2011
Watching all the football and visiting here in "SEC Country" reminds me just how crazy some folks are about "The Team". (doesn't really make any difference what team -The Team - is. Seeing excitement in action has me thinking "what if?"
- What if we were as excited about going about doing things for others as we are about our team winning the Orange Punch Bowl?
- What if we were just as excited about sharing Jesus with somebody as we were talking about our team's bowl performance?
- What if we decided that people are more important than an accumulation of stuff?
- What if we decided that we were going to trust God when he said that we don't need to worry?
- What if we actually lived lives like we were the person that we want others to believe we are?
- What if we decided to share the new clothes with others and keep the used ones for a while longer?
- What if we kept the car for another year and spent the $500 a month feeding hungry kids?
- What if we decided to love others - even when they don't love back?
- What if we decided to go for a year without using the word HATE - especially when it involves another person?
- What if we decided that we will no longer say anything bad about anybody - even when we know that they are saying bad things about us.
- What if they know we are believers because of our love and our actions?
Happy New Year,