Monday, May 19, 2008


Words are powerful. We've all heard that. Words have different meanings across time and cultures as well. Two thoughts about words.

Over the years, I've learned to be very careful with words. In particular, this applies to sentences that begin with "I am" and "You are".

When we begin to describe ourselves, with sentences that begin with "I am", where did we learn to believe about ourselves what we are describing? Some people describe themselves as tired, or broke, late, busy, overwhelmed, at peace, active, stupid, and a host of other adjectives. We generally express verbally what we believe about ourselves. The challenge with self-description is that we as individuals have been endowed by our Creator with potential and creativity that has yet to find limits. Most of the limits we face are self imposed, based on what we believe, and which are often borne out by what we say.

Does this mean we can accomplish anything? Not necessarily, since there must be desire involved. God in His love will not give us the desire to accomplish something that is physically impossible for us. For example, God hasn't given me the desire to be an NBA AllStar. Desire though, is the subject of another blog.

What about those sentences that start with "You are"? When we describe others to them, can we do it in a way that is uplifting and encouraging, rather than destructive?

The second thought is simply the matter of giving our word. When we tell someone yes, let it be. When we tell someone no, let it be as well. Choosing to be bound by our words gives us a peace of mind, and a sense of self-respect that's available few other ways. This applies whether it's keeping an appointment, making good on promises to our children, our customers, our boss or others, or our marriage vows.

Many of us work by written agreements of some kind, whether they are called contracts, service agreements, engagement letters, or some other name. A well drafted agreement gives us essentially one right, and that is the right to enforce the agreement in court. In effect, using the courts to force someone to keep their word. The courts can find for the plaintiff, which gives the plaintiff the legal right to collect. It doesn't give the plaintiff money, it simply gives the plaintiff the legal right to look for and take it. In effect, the law defines minimum standards of behaviour, and the civil and criminal penalties for violating that behaviour.

Choosing to live by our word instead, even though we may have a written agreement, allows us the freedom of doing all we can to serve others, going above and beyond what may be called for in a written contract. There generally isn't much additional time required, but the results often have an incredible impact on the bottom line. Even if there is no noticeable difference on the bottom line, the example we can set for others by living by our word can have an enormous impact.

Until next time...

Thursday, May 15, 2008


Joy is an interesting concept, and comes from a deep appreciation for the gift of life, and being alive. Happiness, in my experience, is often attributable to external factors or circumstances.

So, how do we find and keep this joy, when the externals aren't to our liking, or perhaps downright nasty? Once I find the perfect answer, I'll let you know. Best I can tell, it comes from what we focus on. I've learned to begin each day with gratefulness. Not necessarily in general, but for specific things. The things that come to mind include being alive and pain free, being able to talk to my children, and knowing that they return my phone calls, for starters. Others might include the fact the Teresa is with me, although I'm very human, and subject to all the frailties that come with that package.

Let's see...the shower is hot, the car starts on the first turn of the key, there is food in the frig, and the list goes on. Are there problems? Of course! In fact, if there were no problems at work, I'd be out of a job.

At lunch I ate a fine meal, and visit with a buddy I enjoy seeing from time to time. Yep, I'm grateful, and life is good.

Until next time...

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Going Green

Well, it looks as if the whole world is going green. Overall, a very commendable idea. After all, we have been given the responsibility of being stewards of our physical world - "rule over" is one phrase that is used.

This focus on maximizing our utilization and minimizing damage to the physical world is the right direction. These actions are consistent with the call to stewardship.

I've heard some rumblings that man is an intruder on planet earth, or that there is no distinction between man, animal, or plant life. Such thinking doesn't surprise me, since very few folks seem to have much grounding in the distinction between man and the rest of the world.

Facts are, man is not an intruder, and there are enormous differences between man, and the rest of the physcial universe. Man was created in the image of God - not a physical image, but in His image, nonetheless.

Man was given the physical world for his enjoyment and use, with the charge to be fruitful and multiply. The additional charge was to care for the rest of God's creation. This second charge is the basis for stewardship.

This foolishness about overpopulation is nothing but heresy, and needs to be called such. This idea that man exists on the same plane as animals or plants is a sister foolishness, foisted on young people by those who would shake their fist in the face of God.

Each person, from the moment of inception, has incalculable value, simply because they are created in the image of God. Our highest and best life is to be a reflection of the glory of God.

Let us enjoy all creation, as it has been given us to enjoy. Let us appreciate the children and grandchildren that follow us, and continue to teach them well. Let us continue to care for all that we were given by our Creator to care for, and strive to live a life that reflects His glory.

Until next time...

Monday, May 5, 2008

Baby Hair

Last Friday, I had the opportunity to visit our daughter and grandaughter. I arrived just before bedtime, and Scarlett, who will be two in a couple of weeks, was waiting on me. When I opened the door, she lifted her arms, ready to be picked up. As I lifted her to me, she laid her head on my shoulder, and placed an arm around my neck. She didn't move until I put her in her crib, some fifteen minutes later.

During this time, I had an opportunity to rock her, and sing the little songs I had been singing to her since before she was born. As she rested so securely, it occurred to me that there is very little in life that is as soft, or smells so sweet, as baby hair.

Until next time...