Archive for October, 2007

There Is A Time…

October 22, 2007

To me one of the most annoying things people can say to me when I ask how they are doing and they respond with any of these words, “I’m Alright, I wish it were Friday”, or “Good Its almost Friday!”, or “Great, today is Friday!”. This may just rank up there as one of my biggest pet peeves ever. I suppose that most people think of this as a good thing because the weekend has come, or they know that Friday means payday. They don’t like when I point out that once Friday is here, that means there are only two more days till Monday! You can’t just live your life for the weekends. Surely God has given us both the weekdays and the weekends. …or have you ever noticed when watching the TV News and the weather folks come on during the first cold spell of the winter and the news anchor makes the comment about, “when is it ever going to warm up???” then you can remember this same news anchor make the comment when we had the first really warm and humid day of the summer with “when is it going to cool down??”….or can you recall back to a time when people didn’t start decorating for Christmas until after Thanksgiving dinner had cooled off? Now we are lucky if we can get past August without seeing Christmas trees in Walmart!

Now, recently an op-ed piece was done in the L.A. Times (yea I know…I actually agree with something in there!) and it took on this topic with a lot of sense and I wanted to share it with you.

Slow down, people!

”Back to school” in July? Christmas cards on Halloween? Why do we live so fast?
August 14, 2007
By Andy Cowan

In this year of 2008 presidential politics, when it”s only 2007, I”m finding it more of a challenge living in the “here and now.” Society seems to focus more on the “there and then” down the road. As the theme song of the first Clinton running for president exhorted, I won”t “stop thinking about tomorrow.” But a half a year from tomorrow is where I draw the line. Now Iowa may be moving its caucuses to December. Why is everybody in such a hurry?

New car models used to be introduced in October. Now it”s as early as January. This rush to the future instantly devalues the present as well as the future. An ”08 car in January ”07 makes ”07 already sound as old and tired as ”08 will seem 12 months hence. The new model year is hardly the big deal it used to be because we don”t really buy into it. Next year”s versions aren”t trumpeted the way they were in, say, 1968. That”s when a cloth over a new car would hide the future from us until we were good and ready, even eager, to lay eyes on it.

We may be too jaded these days to believe that a measly year will make our lives any different. But our cynicism might also derive from the fact that the future is being shoved down our throats to the point at which the future itself has lost its mystique. On July 1, I heard someone on the radio already calling it “midsummer.” It seems like midsummer by July 1 because since late April it”s been previewed and advertised in hopes of snatching our pre-summer dollars. By July 15, the dreaded “back to school” phrase slithered onto the airwaves. Pity the poor kids whose “how I spent half my summer vacation” papers are about the therapy sessions needed after listening to that incessantly. Whether school is on the horizon or in our distant past, August to September is still the most traumatic month transition there is, so why rush into it?

Not long after it actually is back to school time, the greeting card manufacturers would have us believe it”s Halloween. You can tell when the real Halloween is over when Christmas cards start reminding us that yet another year is nearly shot — an even scarier proposition. More radio stations play only Christmas music as early as Nov. 1. But Christmas music on Christmas? By midday Dec. 25, like the needles from the soon-to-be stale pines, it”s already swept aside. And before you can say “happy new year,” card shelves switch from St. Nick to St. Valentine. Hallmark should just cut to the chase: “Happy We”ll All Be Dead Soon Day.”

With all of this said, the important thing to remember is that each day is precious that God has given us. Every season of life we go through is important. We all have a tendency to spend way to much time rehashing the past and almost always spend to much time planning for our futures. This is not to say that remembering God”s faithfulness or learning from our mistakes is bad or that planning and looking ahead is bad, these are good things. What we have trouble with is the fact that we never seem to just enjoy the present and be content with what God has us doing right now. It says in 1 Timothy 6:6:

But godliness {actually} is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment.”

it goes on to say in verses 7-12,

For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either. If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content. But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. But flee from these things, you man of God, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance {and} gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.

I was mentioning to a friend about this article and how in our lives we seem always be setting our selves up for the next accomplishment instead of enjoying the days along the way. We are a society that likes to ask scripted questions based upon the time of life we are currently living. As a child, we ask them what do they want to be when they grow up? Poor kids don”t even have a chance to enjoy the joys of not worrying about a thing. Then as they as graduate high school and head off to college they are asked when they are going to graduate? Then once they finish there education sure enough they will be asked when will you be getting married? Once you get married, almost immediately after the first dance, people will begin to ask you, when are you going to have a baby?? Then right after the first child, the question comes up (and this happened with my sister) people will ask, “when is the next baby coming?” Eventually life goes on and people begin to ask question about your kids and but don”t fret they are not done asking you questions. Really there is only one more question to ask and that i, “When are you going to retire?” Soon enough you will retire and then….die! After that no one will ask you any more questions, at least on this earth. When, not if, we die, we will face a few other questions. One questions is why should God allow you to be in heaven? Is is based upon your good works or some other temporal thing? If you have put your faith and trust in Christ Jesus that he is your Savior you will be saved and spend eternity with Him in Heaven. That leaves you with the other question that will be asked of you. As a disciple of Christ, we will be asked what we have done with the gifts, talents and the time we have been given here on this earth.

The reason I bring all of this up is to tie this all together. Yes we are good at bring up the past and always looking ahead to the future but what is most important is that today you will have the opportunity to do as it says in Ecclesiastes 12:13-14;

“…Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all. For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil.”

Remember that you cant just live for Fridays or for the weekends and truly live. God has given us ever day! Every day make sure you serve the Lord in what ever you are doing and enjoy the opportunities God has given to you. Reminds me of the song I sang growing up that said, “This is the day that the Lord has made, I will Rejoice and be glad in it.”

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Who Says Nothing In Life Is Free?

October 12, 2007

Yum

I went to dinner with a few friends the other night and we found new favorite place. Are attempt that night was to find a new place that we had never been. That brought us to Mimi’s Cafe. At first, we were not sure what to expect when we walked in and saw on there special board “Lobster and Mac & Cheese”. I ordered the Blackened Chicken Caesar Salad mainly because I knew that with this salad came a Seasonal Muffin. This muffin is there seasonal special called the Pumpkin Muffin. It came out right away, which at first seemed strange which quickly went away when I began to look at this amazing site. The scent had an aroma of pumpkin and spices, it was warm to the touch like it had just been taken out of the oven, and it looked like the perfectly shaped muffin. In any case, it tasted as good as it looked! Following this came the salad, which in my eyes had the perfect ratio of Lettuce/Dressing/Chicken/Crutons or as I like to refer to it as the “CDLC Ratio” of Caesar Salads.

The amazing part of this meal came at the end. As we were receiving our checks I asked if they sold the pumpkin muffins to go. Without answering my question the waitress says hold on we have a surprise for you! I thought to myself this is a weird way to answer that question? About five minutes passed when all of the sudden another lady came out with a to go box with four delicious muffins for each of us. How incredible is that. She explained that for their first time guest they like to leave them with a little reminder to make sure they come back for more. How great is that. A business that cares about its customers returning and really doing something nice for them for a change. Not to mention providing a quality product. That goes a long way to forging a good relationship with its customers.

So I am glad to say that there are still a few thing that are free in this world. It also reminds me of the fact that if I can get so excited over the fact I have just received four free delicious muffins. How much more excited should I be over the free gift I have been given so graciously. The gift of eternal life which is only found by faith in Jesus Christ.

Now That Is Confidence!

October 1, 2007

Alana

My parents have just arrived home from a trip to Erie, PA. they were able to visit with a lot of family including my lovely, talented and beautiful (..did i mention wonderful) niece Alana! And yes, she can now spell her name…(did i mention smarter then your niece) My sister gave them some photos from this past month that were great! During the trip one of the family members went up to Alana and said, “you are such a pretty little girl” and Alana replied very confidently, “Yes, I know…” Reminded me of the confidence that we should have. No, not in our looks, but in our hearts. We all have sinned and fallen short and our hearts are ugly towards God but because of what Jesus Christ did on the cross, and only because of that, our hearts are now viewed as white as snow, or that “pretty little girl” if you will. And we can be confident of that not because of us, but because of what Christ has done for us!