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Jul 3

Mid-Year Freedom Methods

Posted on Thursday, July 3, 2014 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values

power_of_love_3Freedom is on my mind. In my opinion, freedom is one of our highest values.

And yet, true freedom includes understanding that we do not have the ultimate say, the ultimate choice or the supreme will.

“Responsibility means obligation, and obligation must mean a curtailing of freedom.” 1

Motives

“Humans love freedom like fish love water. They pretty much have to have it. Now, of course, what humans also love is having decent, clean, productive, emotionally rewarding lives. And that (curse that Adam and Eve!) means work. And work (curse that Adam and Eve!) means responsibility.” 

Jul 2

Mid-Year Freedom Minute

Posted on Wednesday, July 2, 2014 in Beyond Whatever Promos, Spiritual, Values

snow-69830_640Freedom is on my mind. In my opinion, freedom is one of our highest values.

It’s intriguing to think about our Creator-God’s first plan: “I have one rule. Enjoy your freedom, but do things my way.” Which  included, “Don’t eat fruit from that tree.” 1

The first people-problem: People chose their own way.

God’s second plan: You want life your way? My way was easy. You’re way is harder ever-after.

In order to make the harder ever-after easier God gave people ten rules to make life easier.

1.  I am God. I am the authority. Avoid confusion, you are not God.

Jul 1

Mid-Year Freedom Memory

Posted on Tuesday, July 1, 2014 in Values

AS41I was seven years old the summer I read my first comic book.

It was a hot, sunny day as I sat on the concrete porch of my parents’ house. For the first time I opened a used and somewhat worn copy of a comic book. It was Amazing Spider-Man issue 41.

Not knowing the story, the cover picturing a giant man in a rhinoceros costume charging out of the cover fascinated me.

Opponents

Aleksei-somebody (Sytsevich) was a Russian criminal who underwent treatments to transform him into a man with superhuman strength bonded to a huge, intimidating, rhino costume.

Jun 21

Against The Odds Reprise

Posted on Friday, June 21, 2013 in How To, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values

30255_bad_emotions_9And the meek shall inherit the earth…”

I heard that phrase for the first time when I was in teen. Though a quote from Jesus Christ, I heard it in a song called 2112 by the Canadian trio called Rush.

The Meek Shall Inherit The Earth

This is, wrote Dallas Willard, “This is the gospel for a silly world, all the more needed because the silly is made a matter of life and death for many. Sin, for that matter, is silly. If the kingdom did not reach us in our silliness who would be saved? Lostness does not have to wear a stuffed shirt to find redemption…Blessed are the physically repulsive…those who smell bad, the twisted, misshapen, deformed, The too big, too little, (and the) too loud”.

Jun 20

Blind, Broke and Blessed

Posted on Thursday, June 20, 2013 in Emotional, Financial, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values

983340_family_timeBlind

“I would give it all up to have that family back.” Those words came from a multimillionaire I met.

Meeting with him seemed intimidating at first. He was a business owner, an entrepreneur, a happily-married man and by all accounts a success, but in his mind, he had failed. He failed his first wife and their children.

His confidence became arrogance.
His determination became obsession.
His single-mindedness became blindness.

He gained a pile of money, but lost his family.
It’s a sad story, sadder-still, it’s a familiar one.

This “intimidating” man was actually a broken man.

Jun 19

Persecuted

Posted on Wednesday, June 19, 2013 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values

1375943_fireworks_9Yesterday my friend LeAndra posted on Facebook, “I have a love / hate relationship with this time of year…because of all the fireworks. I don’t know of I should hit the floor or look out the window at all the pretty colors…it all sounds like gun shots.”

She’s heard gun shots.
She’s heard fireworks.

Will the sound be followed by the beauty of celebration or the horror of violence?

The threat can be real; “hit the floor“.

Hit The Floor

LeAndra’s insightful comment reminded me of growing up bullied.

Jun 14

Mercy

Posted on Friday, June 14, 2013 in Emotional, Financial, Relational, Reviews, Social, Spiritual, Values

1111You know that I’m hungry and feeling sorry for myself when I post about food twice in the same week.

I love Thai food; and my dairy-free and gluten-free wife and I can both enjoy Thai food.

Amy and I may disagree on which Thai restaurant has the best Thai food, but we don’t often complain if one or the other suggests we get take-out, especially after a long day of gardening.

Mercy

One evening after a long day of conquering weeds I called Reuan Thai in Osseo, MN and placed our order.

Jun 13

Hunger pt 2 & Happy Anniversary!

Posted on Thursday, June 13, 2013 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values

1987d-Scan-120610-0003On June 13th, 1987 I married the girl of my dreams.

My dreams have not always been my reality.

For instance, we didn’t always agree. In fact, she once called me “wishy-washy” because I didn’t 100% agree with her political statement. I responded with a self-defensive snarky-pout, “I’m just open-minded!” We didn’t always agree the, nor do we always agree now.

And yet, my wife Amy continues to be someone I admire. She hungers for God, and hungers and thirsts for righteousness. Amy does so with grace and humility, in fact, if she reads this post she’ll be annoyed that I bragged about her and she’ll hate that she might not live up to someone’s expectations.

Jun 12

Hunger

Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 in Emotional, Relational, Spiritual, Values

751px-JucyLucyHunger?

I have been on a carb-limiting diet for the past two weeks. I am quite aware of the self-pity, whiny attitude that I can have when i don’t get to have what I want, when I want it and as much as I want.

Jesus told his listeners, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” 1

I wish that I cared as much about my spiritual well-being as I do filling my belly.

1 – Matthew 5:6, NIV

Note image from Wikipedia

Jun 11

Power Players

Posted on Tuesday, June 11, 2013 in Emotional, Financial, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values

Blessed be Barack Obama. the President of the United States.
Blessed be Angela Merckel, the Chancellor of Germany.
Blessed be Vladimir Putin, the President of Russia.
Blessed be Bill Gates, billionaire co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Blessed be Pope Benedict XVI, the head of the Roman Catholic Church.

image(1)

And, blessed be Gloria C. Mackenzie, lottery winner.

Blessed

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. 2

Blessed are the meek – the humble, gentle and lowly – for the whole earth will belong to them. 3