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How Money Buys Happiness

Just found this, and it is too good not to share right now:

Truth and Honesty

One of Liam’s (my 2 year old son) favorite things to say right now is “I don’t know.”

I hope I am always willing to say this. It’s one of those things I think is a sign of maturity.  Even if (especially if) you aren’t 2 anymore.

Never Forget & Rascall Flatts

Here we are, September 11, 2014.

The answer to the obvious question:  I was at my office, at the church in Mart.  Internet wasn’t then what it is now, so the first I heard of the day’s events was from our building’s caretaker.

“Have you heard…?” 

I had not.  Honestly, I wasn’t sure at first that he was talking about something real or maybe he had just dreamed us into the latest of the “Left Behind” series.  It kinda sounded like that.

Once I realized it was indeed real, I did what most of us did – found a TV and glued myself to it.  Wonder, worry, pray, repeat.

Today, thirteen years later, before the date kicks in in my brain, I see several “Never Forget.”

Dang. Had I forgotten?

Clearly I had not; those social media posts took me back immediately to the same day in 2001.

Perhaps, though, I had forgotten if only in the sense that Rascal Flatts had helped me “forgot” my divorce.

I had never been much of a Country Music fan, but separated and divorcing in Mart left me with a lot of alone time AND one one music video station – GAC.

I became something of a fan of country music.  Looking back, it seemed an appropriate era of life to discover country music during.

Among the songs I discovered and listened to and bought and downloaded was Rascal Flatts “Moving On.”

I had a good bit of moving on that needed doing.  So I did.

But I didn’t forget.

I’ll never forget September 11, 2001.  But in many ways, I have moved on. I believe health, personal and social, is finding a place between the two.

Could you be confused for Jesus?

Last Sunday, September 7, 2014, I preached the second sermon in my series on John Wesley. This sermon was about how Wesley understood holiness and the holistic nature of the Gospel.  

In response, one of our church folk shared this story with me.  I feel like this very well encapsulates what I was trying to say:

A few years ago a group of salesmen went to a regional sales convention in Chicago . They had assured their wives that they would be home in plenty of time for Friday night’s dinner. In their rush, with tickets and briefcases, one of these salesmen inadvertently kicked over a table which held a display of apples. Apples flew everywhere. Without stopping or looking back, they all managed to reach the plane in time for their nearly missed boarding.

ALL BUT ONE !!! He paused, took a deep breath, got in touch with his feelings, and experienced a twinge of compassion for the girl whose apple stand had been overturned. He told his buddies to go on without him, waved good-bye, told one of them to call his wife when they arrived at their home destination and explain his taking a later flight. Then he returned to the terminal where the apples were all over the terminal floor. He was glad he did.

The 16-year-old girl was totally blind! She was softly crying, tears running down her cheeks in frustration, and at the same time, helplessly groping for her spilled produce as the crowd swirled about her, no one stopping and no one to care for her plight. The salesman knelt on the floor with her, gathered up the apples, put them back on the table and helped organize her display. As he did this, he noticed that many of them had become battered and bruised; these he set aside in another basket. When he had finished, he pulled out his wallet and said to the girl, ‘Here, please take this $40 for the damage we did. Are you okay?’ She nodded through her tears… He continued on with, ‘I hope we didn’t spoil your day too badly.

As the salesman started to walk away, the bewildered blind girl called out to him, ‘Mister…’ He paused and turned to look back into those blind eyes. She continued, ‘Are you Jesus?’ He stopped in mid-stride, and he wondered. Then slowly he made his way to catch the later flight with that question burning and bouncing about in his soul: ‘Are you Jesus?’ Do people mistake you for Jesus? That’s our destiny, is it not? To be so much like Jesus that people cannot tell the difference as we live and interact with a world that is blind to His love, life and grace. If we claim to know Him, we should live, walk and act as He would. Knowing Him is more than simply quoting Scripture and going to church. It’s actually living the Word as life unfolds day to day.

May someone confuse you for being Jesus today!

You and Change

A Little Thing I Learned Today

The dishwasher will not wash dishes if it had not been set to run.

One might think this is obvious.

I opened the dishwasher this morning to unload it. It had been my habit all week to empty it each morning, so I went to do so without thinking.

It turns out that it was not full last night, so we did not run it.

I wonder how often I react to something with more or different expectations than I ought to have.

Abercrombie and Fitch and The UMC

UMC - a andfAbercrombie & Fitch is ditching their logo.  Sales have been in free-fall, and, as one analyst cited in the article pointed out, “Personal style, specifically with teens, is becoming less about fitting in and more about standing out.”

2014 teens, apparently, do not have a collective goal to be just like 2004 teens.

News Flash: Teens are still teens.

The Life of the Brand, regardless of what brand it is,  is necessarily short – and likely getting shorter with each generation

The United Methodist Church has, similarly, been working on a re-brand.  For a couple of decades, in fact.

I can’t help but wonder if part of our problem in the #UMC is that by the time we get to a new strategy, we’ve taken too long to reach the generation we were aiming for.

By definition, the UMC takes a minimum of 4 years to make system-wide changes.

Is there any way we can re-structure to shorten this cycle?

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