September 30, 2010

Race Time Is Nearly Here

Saturday is a major event in my town’s social calendar. The Oktoberfest Wiener Dog Race. I went a few years ago and there were close to a 100 dogs racing, and I understand the event gets bigger by the year. Not sure if any ringers come in from wither coast. It is a lot of fun to watch. I mean, what can be funnier than racing wiener dogs against each other? Rumor on the street (or in the run) is that there is still time to enter a speedy wiener.

I have been searching for something with which to break a recent blog fast.

This is it.

September 17, 2010

In the Presence of the Lord

Had a great drive into work this morning, watching the sun rise as I headed down I-635E towards Dallas. A great sunrise, wish I could have taken a picture, but that is not advisable when you are doing 60 (in the slow lane) down the highway in DFW.

I wish I could have taken a picture because it was a good representation of what I felt this morning; I felt the presence of the Lord in my life. Nothing dramatic (no thunder or trumpet) but the soft assurance that He is in my life and He is sovereign.

It was a great feeling to have, I hope it stays with me all day as I move about my routine on a Friday.

It is so good to know that He is always present, but even better when you feel Him close by. My day has a smile on it because He chose to show me that He cares for me deeply today.

I don’t know why it was today, but I am immensely grateful that it was.

September 16, 2010

Hanging In

It is a great feeling when you accomplish what it is you set out to do. We love goals, and we love to reach them even more. (I always try to set my expectations low enough that meeting them will be easy).

I am finding that a good deal of accomplishing what you set out to do requires one key ingredient: hanging in there to get the job done.

Nothing breeds success like perseverance.

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith

2 Timothy 4:7 (New American Standard Bible)

May you fight the good fight today and accomplish what you set out to do.

I do not know why, I just feel I had to say this today.

Hang in there!

September 15, 2010


Speaking to a friend yesterday, he told me he had reflected on what I had said in a recent blog post and as a result, needed to talk to some people about some stuff.


While those of us who blog are looking to share thoughts and ideas, and are hopeful that they make an impact with someone; I always find it a bit daunting when someone actually tells me that something I wrote actually has done that. It makes you stop and reflect on what it is you are doing with this whole blogging thing, makes you reflect on whether your words are making things better, and not worse.

I take comfort from the fact that I seek to follow Christ as I live my life, I seek to make Him the standard by which I am measured (and I do fall short, but only those times when I am measured against Him). It is the best barometer for measuring how it is I am impacting the world around me, the standard of Jesus; His teachings, His life, His commands to us on how to live our lives.

The impact, the effect I have on others will never be the wrong one if I am following hard after Him, seeking out the His will. I can be assured of doing as He wills, if I am faithful to Him alone in the pursuit of my life and how I interact with others. I have no idea in this particular instance of what I might have impacted, what course of action, what path I have set someone down. I trust that it is the path He would want walked, the footsteps He would have fall in the time and place He chooses to hear them.

Nor can I know what path it is that I might now walk on as a result of how I think about what I am writing now.

But this I do know.

I cannot go wrong if I stay on The Narrow Road.

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September 14, 2010

Tryouts Continuing

I have now been using both foursquare and Gowalla for a little over a week and I must say, I am torn between the two. Both of them have features I like, both of them would benefit from some aspect of the other. I guess as of now I am a Gosquare fan.

Gowalla has more of a travel based theme, with it's passport type stamps, region based pins and the trips component that allows you to design or follow trips as you collect stamps in your passport. However, that clearly will show up as one starts to travel out of town, something I have not done yet and something I do not do as a regular part of my employment or leisure time activity.

foursquare has more of a social theme to it, it seems the interaction with others is more of a driver to it than the travel aspect of Gowalla. The badges are not as pretty to look at as the stamps and pins of Gowalla, but there seems to be more of an aspect of measuring yourself against others as opposed to your self. Just one check of the leader board will give you that feel.

I ran across this blog entry on EverythingEverywhere recently that really goes into some detail and I found it on the mark and a realistic assessment from someone who has tried it more than I. You can read this to get a real appreciation of the differences between the two.

As a result, I also stumbled across, a way of checking into both services simultaneously, which makes it a little easier to manage both and continue the tryouts. Easier, that is, when it works and actually locates the spot I am checking into.

The bottom line is that the tryouts continue for several reasons. Indecision (likely), desire to be fair to the process I have established and allow more time to fully vet my experiences with the two (possibly). is allowing that to be a little easier.

Or maybe I just like collecting stamps and pins and badges (most likely).

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September 13, 2010

The Passion of Life

Having spent a good chunk of last week in and around the annual convention of CareNet and having participated in the first National Care For Life Forum that we co-hosted with them on Friday, I was impressed most of all with one thing about the people I got a chance to meet and talk with.


They all had a passion for the ministry they were doing, promoting and defending the sanctity of life. They had a passion for the Lord, knowing in their hearts that true progress in sanctity of life issues and initiatives would only come through faith and trust in Jesus Christ and His intervening grace to change minds and move the mountains that are in the way.

These are people on the front lines of the sanctity of life battle daily, who bear a large part of the brunt of criticism, ridicule and attack by those who say they are for choice, but are really for their choice, and no other. These are loving, caring people, who choose not to judge, but to love on and offer alternatives to the abortion juggernaut they face, one fueled by media support, government support and overwhelming financial support.

They have passion, but they have peace as well. The peace of mind that comes from knowing you are near to and working on something that is dear to the heart of God. If they have trouble sleeping at night, it is because they are anxious to get up the next day and do more, or they concerned they did not do enough on the day that just ended.But it is not the torment of knowing that they are doing something wrong, it is the drive of wanting to do more right.

They have passion, but they are not wild eyed religious fanatics. They are intelligent, thoughtful, concerned and deeply caring people.

If the ministry I work in is doing just some small amount in encouraging, exhorting or edifying them, I am so grateful for the opportunity we were given to do so; it was a privilege from the Lord. I can only pray the good discussion and ideas that circulated at the Care For Life Forum will turn into actionable plans and goals.

To all I met last week, and to those I didn't; thank you for what you are doing.

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September 10, 2010

Sanctity of Life

I am going to enjoy today. As part of the ministry I work with, we are going to be spending the better part of the day meeting with people who are heavily engaged in the sanctity of life arena. I call it an arena because it is a better for those who hold to a Christian worldview. Life is sacred because life is created by God. Humanity was made in His image, and each individual life begins at the moment God conceives of it and allows it to happen. Life is a spark from the finger of God.

It will be interesting today what new thoughts and perspectives come out of the day of conversation and brain storming. I am interested to see how we can make an evangelistic approach become an even more important facet of the issue. Know Christ, trust Christ and I think you will place more value on all life as Jesus did. To share Jesus is to share life.

There are people who have dedicated their whole life to working on various parts of this issue. I hope to meet some of them today, to be encouraged and edified by their wisdom and knowledge, their passion and drive. To learn better how to do what they do daily.

I hope I come back with a lot of good thoughts I can share in the future.

I hope to come out of the day a better person than when I went in.

September 9, 2010

Living Water

With all the weather we have had here the past two days, I have driven quite a bit in heavy downpours and flooded roads. Fortunately, I did not experience any of the tornado activity that touched down around the Dallas area yesterday evening, just the driving rain and flooding of the morning. I thought of this verse after I got home yesterday:
Jesus answered and said to her, "If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, 'Give Me a drink,' you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water."
John 4:10 (New American Standard Bible)
Living water. Strong, moving, irresistible. It can often be turbulent, it is always powerful.

Living water. We can be swept up and along in it.

Living water. Offered freely by Jesus to all of us who thirst so much for it.

This is not the soothing sound I mentioned a few days ago of gently moving water. This is strong, firm movement; a force to change everything in the path it is taking. I am thankful today that after yesterday I will never think of this verse and others mentioning living water quite the same again. I will think of the power, the force, the life changing nature of the living water he offered. Of the living water I have accepted from His loving hand.

Living water. Let it flow through your life.

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September 8, 2010

Try Outs (foursquare vs. Gowalla)

The past few days I have begun experimenting with my next avenue of social media. Location based social media. I understand I am way behind the curve here, but gimme a break. I'm a boomer and I am trying. The two I have chosen to play with are foursquare and Gowalla. I have been on foursquare a few days longer so I am more familiar, but after experiencing a bout of overcapacity issues this evening (can you say fail whale?), I decided to test in tandem.

So far, Gowalla seems to have the better graphics; Gowalla artwork on the pins and stamps is much better than the badges of foursquare. But foursquare just has badges (at least I think that is all); Gowalla has pins and stamps and items (which can be swapped some how). Gowalla seems a bit more confusing, but that could be my basic unfamiliarity with Gowalla as of yet.

Time will tell. I cannot see myself staying on both for very long, one has to win out over the other. I do not know which way it will go, but I will try to make it a long enough tryout to make a reasoned determination.

Any thoughts? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

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September 7, 2010

Settle for Less

It occurred to me recently that we are quick to accept society's standards for what is acceptable to watch, listen to or read. Well, maybe not quick, but we are easily influenced and often do not even realize it. The message of our culture is so pervasive, so invasive, bombarding us during almost all of our waking hours, we become unaware that it is happening. Never immune to it, but clearly unaware.

I think that is why quite time before the Lord is so crucial, why daily reading of the Word is so necessary. Because without it, we show we are so ready to settle for less. Ready to settle for man-made values and not God-ordained ones. To settle for the less challenging (and following Jesus is a challenge to a sinner) for the more comfortable (living as a sinful being in a fallen world is clearly a situation that would put us in a false, and temporary, peace of mind).

Settle for less. The fleeting, the temporary, the here and now. Ignoring the better part, the eternal, the lasting, the forever. It is offered freely, it is offered as a gift. It is offered to you and I. Have you accepted it? Do you grasp it in your hand? If so, are you trying to make sure you do not settle for less while you are waiting for more than you can ever imagine?

I think I need to try harder not to settle for less in my life. I think I have been listening more closely to the world lately, and as a result have deafened myself to the soft sure voice that will point me to the everlasting joy that awaits me.

I need to look more closely at my path down The Narrow Road.

September 6, 2010

Soothing Sound

I sit in my backyard listening to the sound of the spa in the pool, a little waterfall sending off it's water-music.

What is it about the sound of gently moving water that we find so soothing? True, the sound I listen to now is artificially made, not the natural course of water flow. But it soothes nonetheless.

There must be something of the voice of the divine Creator in a gentle moving body of water, something that calls us to listen. Something that quiets us, calms our heart, rests our soul.

Or at least it does mine.

Do yourself a big favor today before the Sun goes down.

Listen intently to some gently moving water.

September 4, 2010

Life Marches On

After a most welcome period of several days of rain, after weeks of 100+ weather, it has been sunny again for a couple of days and is in the 60's this morning. I am out back enjoying our new patio, looking at what all has been going on in the backyard. (And mobile blogging, all this over my cellphone). This is what I saw, which was not there a few days ago. Mushrooms, or toadstools, whatever (not really sure what is the difference, if you know, please let me know), growing up in a few days of sunshine. Not sure if they are magic mushrooms, I'll have to watch and see if our 14 year old dog starts chasing squirrels again.

Amazing growth, life marches on. It will not be stopped by the likes of man, because it is at the behest of our Creator.

September 3, 2010

The Rut

Have you ever felt like you were in a rut? You probably have. I feel that way from time to time, stuck in a mental rut, cycling through the same thoughts, feelings and emotions. Running them in my mind, picturing them, chewing on them. I think about the poem in my head that I wrote about yesterday, about it recessing back into my mind. Maybe it was sucked into the vortex of the spin cycle of the mental rut I am describing here. I guess that is possible.

And the frustrating thing is that while my mind is in this seemingly endless spin cycle; it also seems to be trying to figure out how to break free. I know there are new ideas that need to come out; breakthroughs in thought. (At least they are breakthroughs for me. You may hear them and say, that's it?)

I guess that is what keeps my mind from giving in to the vortex and giving up. New thoughts, new directions, progress. I want to believe, I have to believe that the greatest progress comes out of the spinning churn of recycled thoughts, because it takes that little extra mental push to hatch the new ideas and have them establish their own path of flight.

So I can be encouraged. I can treat the spin cycle as a rut, or choose to think of it as the crucible in which new ideas will be born and set free. I can think of the spin cycle as a trap, a mental gravity trap of some sort; or I can treat it as the launching point of the next series of steps I take in a new direction of progress.

I think this is where my faith comes in. I cannot be stuck in a rut with Christ by my side, for He is moving me ever forward towards Him. The times I feel in a rut is probably due to loss of focus on Him. If I take my eyes off of Him, I lose my balance and enter the spin cycle.

That being said, I need wait for His timing. I can open my eyes to the world and see it spinning around and around. Or I can close my eyes in prayer and see Him.

There is no rut if I choose correctly. That is my hope each day.

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September 2, 2010


To put your minds at ease, this is not a post about the economy. I am talking about the recession of thoughts back into the deep recesses of my mind. (Where else would things recess into but recesses?)

I am speaking of a poem that was lingering about in my mind just not ready to come out, no, just not yet. I had mentioned not long ago that I felt it coming on.

And now it is gone. Into hiding. It lays buried deep in my mind if it exists at all anymore. If it ever existed in the first place.

For those of you who would think it strange that I would even write something I would try to pass off as a poem. I have done it before. Here. Here. And here. Not to mention here and here. I think there is one other somewhere else, I just cannot find it right now. Wait a minute, here it is, I found it.

Not very good, but there they are. What troubles me is not the loss of the poem (OK, a little), but the fact that I can lose a grasp on a thought, one I was sure was there but now is lost. (For once I saw, but now I am blind? Does not make a good hymn lyric.)

It is gone for now. So be it. I wonder if it will come back, but if it does, will I even recognize as the thoughts I had from before? Or will it all seem so new to me? I guess I have to be glad my faith is not like the rest of my thought process. It is there and is not going anywhere.

It occurs to me that the reason for that is simple: my thought process is man-made. My faith was wrought by God, and woven into my very fabric. The man-made is fleeting, temporal, passing. The God wrought is eternal, spiritual, lasting. The two are not comparable, because God is incomparable. The reason for it is not understandable because a divine being is incomprehensible to a finite mind. We cannot understand Him fully, maybe we are just better off writing poems about Him instead. In addition to praying to Him and worshiping Him that is.

I may just have to write a poem about all that one day.

September 1, 2010

Moving Forward Or Falling Back

This past weekend I experimented with mobile blogging, just two quick posts. I must admit, it leaves a lot to be desired, but I guess it may have some applicability to my blog if I am overly mobile and need to blog on the run, in which case it is probably good that the blog posts have to be short. In my condition, I would not be able to run all that far before the process of breathing would take up so much of my attention and strength to make the possibility of continued blogging a far fetched concept.

But I thought I would try it (jury is out, but the early reviews are not enthusiastic. Which is ironic since I like short blog posts. But I guess maybe not that short). At least the capability is enabled and available to me. And isn't that important today, to have things available to us, whether we want them or not; whether we use them or not. It seems that's when we get most agitated, when we lose access to something available, whether we really need it or not. We are beyond wanting things we need, beyond wanting things we want; we are at the point of wanting things we want to want.

As I reflect on this, it seems like I have to move forward or I begin to lose precious ground, at least as far as the world is concerned (at least as far as the world is concerned when it isn't concerned about wanting the things it wants to want).

Progress, per se, is not bad. Progress for the wrong reason is. If I can use this to communicate better on this blog, so much the better. If it is just another bell and whistle available to my whim and fancy, it is not all that good. Not at all. I do not like change for change's sake (no more than I like want for the sake of wanting to want).

So where do I look for progress first and foremost? In my faith:
For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.
Philippians 1:6 (New American Standard Bible)
If He stops my forward progress, I have big problems. Because His is progress for the good, not change for change's sake. So it is change that I want, and more importantly, change that I need.

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