Thursday, January 26, 2023

Comparison Trap

 I don't want to admit to the number of times that I have thought, "how is it fair that he has that and all I have is this."   No matter how well things might be going for me at the time, there will always be someone who seems to have more.  "Seems" is the operative word here.  Yes, there is a chance everything is good with the other person, but how many people do I know well enough to really know what their total situation is?  Not many.  That person with the nice house or the nice car may be struggling with their marriage, a relationship with their child or Cancer.  To take this a step deeper into the dungeon, there have been times when I have hoped for something bad to happen to someone that is ahead of me.  This is the most viscous form of jealousy.  In John 21, Peter is walking with Jesus after his resurrection and Jesus asks Peter three times if he loves Him.  Peter responds "yes" and is hoping for some confirmation from Jesus.  Instead, Jesus instructs him to care for His sheep and lambs.  And then Peter stepped into the trap - the comparison trap.  He asked Jesus, "what about this man?", referring to John.  Jesus replied, "... what is that to you?, you must follow me."  Jesus makes it clear in his own words that we are not to be distracted by what blessings others might have, we are instructed to follow Him.  I want to do this more.  

(These are my thoughts, but they were inspired by this article written from a Mom's perspective.)

Thursday, January 19, 2023

Speak Jesus


If you have been keeping up with this blog for any period of time, you know how important music is to me.  I started playing trumpet when I was 11 in the sixth grade band, and still play in the Georgia Wind Symphony.  Regrettably, as an instrumentalist, my focus when listening to songs with lyrics is on the music and not the lyrics.  My church included the song "I speak Jesus" in its worship time on Sunday.  If you would have asked me what the song was about before today, I would have guessed it was about telling others about Jesus, which is absolutely one of the most important things believers are called to do.  I love the song (the tune) and decided to take another listen this morning.  I forced myself to focus on the lyrics and was inspired.  The song talks about "speaking Jesus" to help me through whatever I happen to be struggling with at any moment.  I am terrible at doing that, but want to do that today - and hopefully more days.  I had not heard of Charity Gayle before today.  I'm not sure how.  I  love this video because there aren't a lot of flashing lights and distractions.  It's just Charity, the band and the backup singers worshiping from their hearts - and their guts.  I hope you are inspired, too.

Thursday, January 12, 2023

Guarding the Galaxy

You may have seen a familiar celebrity face around recently.  Chris Pratt is currently filming The Electric State  in Atlanta with Millie Bobby Brown of Stranger Things fame.   Chris has some hits and misses along the way, but he is probably best known for his role as Peter Quill in Guardians of the Galaxy.   I also liked him in his role in Jurassic World.  But my favorite clip of him was from an MTV Awards Show four years ago which he reposted recently.  He was speaking to mostly teenagers when he announced nine rules to live by.   He mixed some humor with a very direct message about God being real and the importance of praying.  If you have seen it yet, or want to watch it again, here it is.  Kudos to a celebrity who is willing to use his position to guard our galaxy in the hopes of making it a better place to be.

Thursday, January 5, 2023

Jimmy and Jesus

For the next semester of our ConnectGroup, we will be studying the Book of James.  I was doing some preliminary research to make sure I have a baseline for the study.  It turns out James is Jesus' brother.  But there seems to be multiple theories about what that means.  Here are the three most popular:  1) James is the younger brother of Jesus, and his parents are Mary and Joseph.  2) James is the son of Joseph, but not Mary, making him an older step-brother to Jesus.  3) James is actually a cousin to Jesus as there is no word for cousin in Aramaic, so the Aramaic word for brother was sometimes used for cousin.  I haven't done enough research to know which I believe, but what I do know is that James knew Jesus closely, and he authored one of the most important books in the Bible.   The Book of James is known for its practical advice of how to live like Jesus, with the key verse being James 1:22.  "But be doers of the Word, not hearers only, deceiving yourselves."  I look forward to learning from James and the other members of our group.

Friday, December 30, 2022

Incomplete Christmas

I love this week of the year as it encourages me to stop for a minute and think about what is really important.  I missed having my dad around for Christmas this year.  He loved Christmas.  When we were young, we would set up a stage with floodlights and flying reindeer in our front yard a couple of weeks before Christmas.  "Santa" would miraculously appear around dusk and sit in his rocking chair until there were no more kids to talk to.  We would have as many as 100 kids per night stop by.  It was widely known that 2401 Carson Drive was the location of the real Santa Claus.  "Don't fall for those fakes in the malls."  My dad passed away 19 years ago from Melanoma.  We discovered it way too late, and it had spread to most of his major organs.   Our times together between his diagnosis and his death were some of the sweetest times we had together, but Cancer is a vicious killer.  If you are interested in helping to find a cure for Cancer, there are plenty of organizations that need your help, but you can't go wrong with the American Cancer Society.  I hope you have a great and purposeful 2023.

Thursday, December 22, 2022

All is well?

All is well?

Carrie Underwood is the biggest thing to ever come out of American Idol and is arguably one of the most popular female country singers of all time.  I have liked her from the start, but I get that true country music fans might consider her a newcomer or too "pop".   Carrie has another side to her that increases her appeal for me.  She is a believer that is not afraid to let people know it in an industry where it is mostly unpopular to talk about.  I have posted this video before, but I could post it every week and it wouldn't be too much for me.  All is certainly not well in our world today, but all can be well with us if Jesus takes up residence in our hearts.  Merry Christmas.

Thursday, December 15, 2022

In His Wakes

This week in my business post at Spot On The Lake, I wrote about Kristi Overton and her father's company   Kristi held the world record in slalom water skiing for 18 years and is now using her influence to serve others and introduce them to her faith in Jesus.  She started In His Wakes ministry which offers a Day to Remember on the water to at-risk youth and adults who might not otherwise have a chance to do that.   Kristi and the staff use the day as a chance to introduce participants to what Jesus has done for them in their lives, in the hope that they might come to know Jesus as well.  I love seeing gifted people use their passions to help build God's kingdom here on earth.