Month: July 2012

Ten Things I’m Thankful For Tuesday

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1. My DVD collection. I just love it. Sections include karate flix, kids movies, classic television show collections, live concerts, comedies/romantic comedies, sports dramas, and movie musicals.

2. Man Weekends. Just had one with the homeys. We found out Little Chicago restaurant is worthy to be called my new favorite spot for pizza. I have been on a long quest to find pizza I can believe in. Feels good to have arrived.

Deep dish, Signature pie – that’s what you need to try at Little Chicago.

3. T-shirts. They’re probably in the top 5 of my favorite articles of clothing. Seems like manufacturers used better, more durable material back when I was a teenager.

4. Dairy Queen’s “mini size” blizzards. The small blizzard was always a little too much ice cream, though part of me always loved having a little too much ice cream.

5. Men and women who serve our country in the armed forces. I spent time last weekend with my childhood friend – a guy who once spent the first year of his marriage mostly sitting inside a tank in Iraq while his wife waited for him here.

6. iPod Touch. I love having my calendar on it, and I’m glad the Wi-Fi requirement forces me to take breaks from being “connected”.

7. Really good news I just received but promised not to repeat! I want nothing more than to talk about it here, but I won’t. Basically, something folks have waited years for has finally begun.

8. The color green.  Pretty delightful, I must say.  The best is the kind of green you see when your eyes fall on a scene where mountains above and around you are covered by trees during summer or spring.

When I was living in the mountains, people always got excited about the colors of autumn leaves, but my love for fall colors didn’t compare with the way green trees affected me.

9. The opportunity to help college students transform themselves. Today, I was torturing one of my student leaders, requiring him to stand in my office and practice a presentation I’ve asked him to deliver next month. He is a very talented student.

I’ll make him work harder for this than he has ever worked for a presentation.  And over the next two weeks, he will reach a new level as a presenter.

10. The fact that there are times when my phone buzzes because someone knew he could call me and say, “Hey, I need you to be praying for me — I’m just really struggling with temptation today…”

That fact is such a heavy blessing on me that I don’t know how to describe it, except to say it feels like one of the greatest facts I’ve ever known.


Article: “What Successful People Know About Weekends”

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Just the other day, I was remarking to a friend that failure to make plans in advance causes me to miss out on a lot of opportunities to do things I love and see people I love.

Maybe yahoo!Finance heard my comment, because it proceeded to feature a really good article on maximizing the potential of weekends by way of planning in advance.

The link below will take you to the piece. I couldn’t agree more with the point about making sure plans include the three categories of activities that make people happiest — the article actually named the same three categories my pastor spoke of in a lesson he taught years ago about maintaining one’s whole self.

What Successful People Know About Weekends – Yahoo! Finance.

Memo To Husbands

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when a stranger at the grocery store tells your wife she is beautiful, her reaction may be a reflection of you.

Does she blush like she hasn’t been spoken to that way in years?
Or does she reply dismissively, “I know that – my husband tells me constantly.”

Ten Things I’m Thankful For Tuesday

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1. Sweeney Todd special edition DVD – ordered and headed my way in the mail.

2. Surprise parties to plan. I get a kick out of the process of brainstorming and scheming and eventually blowing someone’s mind with an unexpected outpouring of love from friends and family. There’s a little something in the works as we speak, as a matter of fact.

3. Indian food frozen dinners at Trader Joe’s. Who knew?

4. Ibuprofen.

5. Canton Jones. Saw him live again – he generates crowd energy like no other. Also interesting was the fact that he ended his performance early because he was overwhelmed by the Spirit of God. Couldn’t stop crying and thanking the Lord for being in his life.

6. Al Murphy. This man is a hilarious friend of mine who travels a lot on business. We were able to catch up last weekend, and the conversation helped me laugh and even grow up a little.

7. Beauty. To me, this includes man-made beauty (art) as well as the handiwork of God that inspires man-made beauty.

8. Still lovin’ the fact that Sweeney Todd is en route to me, but I’m also thankful for an invitation to a men’s retreat coming up in the fall. I heard a lake is involved in the scenic mountain setting…hopefully, it is stocked with fish!

9. Little Chicago restaurant. Chicago style pizza, friends. I had no idea this place existed; will be trying it out this week. This could mean something big in my quest for great pizza in Nashville.

10. A place to serve in the body of Christ. Once a person decides to find a way to contribute to the work of a local church, it can take a long time to identify and the assume the right role. To me, the “right role” means an area of service where a person’s gifts meet the church body’s needs. Being in that place feels good.

I Saw God

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I have realized that two women are towering figures in my life history. They have hugely impacted my life ever since I was a kid. The older I get, the more I understand what a big deal they are and what a privilege it is that I had their presence in my human experience all these years.

These are spiritual women I’m talking about. They are ordinary in general but spiritually exceptional. An interesting side observation about them is they have endured a great deal of suffering over the course of their lives.

They have affected me and my idea of what it means to follow Christ, accomplishing this through certain things they’ve done for me…things that include an incredible amount of praying, teaching, caring, sacrificing, ministering, giving, and loving. Also, their lives were always a great example of commitment to Christian faith, so modeling is another thing they did for me.

Even though I haven’t seen very many examples of male Christian leadership up close over time, the female examples I grew up with are world class.  In fact, if I were to live a life of Christian leadership that matches their example, it would be a life lived better than the lives of most men I know of.

And it is clear to me that I have seen God – His nature and attributes revealed to me – through those two women He placed in my life.

Here’s to those women.

Things To Know About Introverts

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If you look up the word “introvert” in the dictionary, you will see this:

Yours truly.

What can I say – I’m an internal person.

Anyway, it was interesting to me that the Psychology Today website featured a list of 7 things extroverts should know about their introverted friends, and I thought most of the list was spot on. Would you like to know my favorites from the list?

A few things to know about introverts…

#2 We aren’t judging anyone when we sit quietly. We’re just sitting quietly, probably enjoying watching extroverts in action.

Definitely true. I have learned that when I’m new to a group, my silence may make some people feel insecure. It’s weird that people are struck that way, but I can’t change it, though I wish I could. And in those situations, there are times people try to get me to talk more so they can minimize their insecure feelings. Of course, once my random or wacky thoughts are verbalized, those people may wish they had let me remain quiet.

#3 If we say we’re having fun, we’re having fun, even though it might not look that way to you.

Also true. My excitement and intensity don’t always appear on the surface – a lot of the time, they are within.

#5 If you want to hear what we have to say, give us time to say it. We don’t fight to be heard over other people. We just clam up.

This is almost a direct quote from my life. Why should I have to exert myself just to be given the group’s attention so I can express myself? Doesn’t make sense; doesn’t interest me. This is part of the reason a smaller group or a one-on-one encounter usually seems preferable to big groups. Big groups have too many people trying to be seen and heard and considered clever by the others.

For more on the subject, go here:

Seven Things Extroverts Should Know About Introverts (and Vice Versa) | Psychology Today.

For You And Me

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This photograph stopped me in my tracks, so I wanted to share it. I saw no sign of how to attribute photo credit, but I found the image at!/FoldsOfHonorFoundation.

(Folds of Honor Foundation provides post-secondary educational scholarships for children and spouses of military service men and women killed or disabled while serving our great nation.)