Proud of My Country for a Lifetime!

“What we have learned over this year is that hope is making a comeback. It is making a comeback. And let me tell you something — for the first time in my adult lifetime, I am really proud of my country.” – Michelle Obama

I love politics.  I have since I was a kid.  And it matters because policies shape so many aspects of our daily lives.  There were many times I thought I would eventually wind up in politics.  In fact, a Major I served under in the Army said he was sure one day he would hear about “Senator Doebler”.  Since I’ve been in ministry, God has redirected my passion.  The church is the ultimate hope of the world, not government.  And Jesus is the ultimate answer to all of life’s questions.  So, my political voice has been quieted. 

But today, the gloves come off.  I can not stand on the sideline and observe quietly and let the statement made by Michelle Obama go unaddressed and be at peace with myself. 

RANT ON —–  GLOVES OFF

I am absolutely appalled that the wife of a candidate that has a serious chance to win the Presidency would make such an outrageous, ridiculous, and hideously wrong statement.  According to reports I read, she is 44 years old.  That would mean that her “adult life” has been lived out since the mid-1980s.  Which makes her my contemporary since I am now 46. 

What America has she been living in?  Because it certainly isn’t mine.  Oh…that’s right.  I only went to a regular state university.  She went to Harvard and Princeton.  Definitely not my America.  I struggled to support my young family when difficult economic conditions hit and joined the Army.  Oh…that’s right.  She worked for a prestigious law firm.  Definitely not my America. 

So how is it that in my America, a place where I once couldn’t get food stamps even though my family was living on MREs, I could still be proud!  How is it in my America, a place that I have had to work hard for every break I’ve ever gotten, I could still be proud!  How is it in my America, a place where I couldn’t even buy my first real home until I was 35 years old, I could still be proud! How is it my America, a place where Christianity is pushed further and further to the back of the bus, I could still be proud!

Maybe the better question is how is it in her America, a place where she went to the best universities in America and worked in the most prestigious professions while at the most prestigious firms, she has never found reason to be proud? Continue reading

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Get it Right…the First Time

I just had to post a quick entry to share a great quote that I ran across on the Smart Pastor blog.  Two Sundays ago, I challenged all of us to take the term “good enough” out of our vocabulary.  That is a term used by people who are willing to settle for far less than God has for them.  We often use “good enough” when we get tired and are ready to move on.  I’ve been guilty of it myself.  It’s a rationalization that keeps us from completing the job completely.  So here’s the quote I found:

If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?” – John Wooden

There you have it.  We come up with lots of reasons why we don’t have time to finish now…to do it right..now.  But how many times do we ever come back to it to actually finish it properly?  That’s right.  Almost never. 

Let this one perk a while…

Sunday Night Reflections

Some thoughts on today’s service:

Goofs – We started the morning with our worship guides in the trash can because they had the wrong date on them (my fault).  They were ultimately rescued, but we looked a little foolish.  I am glad though that we worship at a church that allows some mistakes.  That makes us real.  As the leader, I’m always striving to do the best I possibly can.  But I’m pretty sure I never make it through a day without a mistake or two..(heck, I’m not sure I make it out of the first hour most days).  We never want to be sloppy and accept mediocre, but perfection at the sake of heart and passion is cold and sterile.  I’ll take a few goofs along the way. 

Spirit – I’m not sure exactly what it is, but man, our response has been great during our music services all year long.  There is power and energy and joy.  I love hearing people SING!  What’s really cool is how the spirit in the body encourages the musicians on the platform.  It’s kind of like a crowd cheering on the team.  They feed on each other.  And in a spiritual setting, it raises the spiritual temperature in great ways. 

Heat – The truth is that our building is really cool…in more ways than one.  It’s been hard to heat.  But this morning, the temp was really comfortable.  Which is remarkable since it was in single digits outside (that has to be the result of sin).  We owe that to the hard work of Jeff H. who crawled through ducts for over an hour looking for ways to redirect the air flow.  I never cease to be amazed at the hard work that so many of you do behind the scenes.

Children’s Area – Totally dug the sign that Tim & Brooke made for traffic flow.  It was inspired by similar signs at Starbucks.  How can you argue with that as a source of inspiration?

Quote – Coach Greer did a great job with the message this morning as we broke into a new series – “In the Fire”.  It’s a great follow-up to the last series of pursuing “something more and going B.I.G.”.  I particularly liked the quote that he shared this morning:

  • Many an opportunity is lost because a man is out looking for four-leaf clovers.”

4leaf-clover.jpg

Wow, what a great insight.  It reminds of another quote that says the “opportunity often comes disguised as hard work”.  While we are often waiting and hoping for good things to fall in our laps, we fail to see the real opportunities to step out in faith and go B.I.G. because it looks a little too challenging.  But God gives us opportunities, not ease.  So here’s to a week of bad hunting for clovers, and great fortune at finding opportunities.