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Sunday, January 23, 2011


My grandfather used to say “Never make a permanent decision based on a temporary problem.”

It was a solemn moment after the funeral of a high school friend that left me wondering…why?  Why would a young man in the beginning of his manhood want to take his own life?  What could have been so bad that he lost all hope for any possibilities in his future?  It was again one of those times, sitting with my grandfather on the tailgate of an old rugged pickup truck, where I poured out my confusion, frustrations and fears in a 90 minute rant.  My grandfather gracefully played his role of master listener, and then righted my tumultuous world with this simple statement.

Although the situation for the original application was much more extreme in result, the statement holds true with so many of the tribulations we endure throughout our lives.  When you are in the midst of one of those times were nothing is going your way, it can be easy to surrender to your despair.  But if you allow your frustrations to feed on selfish thoughts, catastrophe is only moments away.  The cliché that comes to mind is one used to describe many who make poor permanent decisions; its that they were on a “slippery slope.”

It brings to mind God’s words to Cain in Gen 4:7 “…Why has your countenance fallen?  If you do well, will you not be accepted?  And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door and its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.” (KJV) What is he saying to us?  He is talking about our attitude and the outlook that we have on hope in the center of our challenges.  In that moment God gives a simple but profound warning to Cain that he should be careful of how he responds to failure…one scripture before Cain murders his brother Abel over a temporary disagreement.

My Post “The Ratio of Life” (Click here to read) from April of 2010 is worth a quick read, as it elaborates on this very subject.  What is it that’s challenging you right now?  Is your marriage a little rocky and you’re thinking about divorce?  Maybe you are a teen and thinking of giving in to peer pressure in reference to alcohol, drugs or sex.  Or maybe you are thinking of quitting your job, giving up on finding a good mate or think that God doesn’t care about your financial troubles?  Whatever life trial you may face, now or later,  be careful that you don’t make decisions with permanent consequences because of temporary problems.  Success and victory are often just beyond the moment you give up…so don’t give up!  My prayer for you is that when life tries to push you down a slippery slope, you grab on to the rope of hope and climb back on top.  Trouble may endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning.  Be Blessed.

“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.  ~Jesus Christ 
John 16:33  (KJV)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

"Do Over!"

My Grandfather used to say: “Recognize and never waste a second chance”

Have you ever blown it?  You know, those times when you thought that you made the right decision only to find that things didn’t go quite the way that you had planned.  Or maybe you made a plan for accomplishment and just didn't follow through.  I have.  I know firsthand the disappointment of a wasted opportunity.  My grandfather’s quote, however, casts an anticipatory light on opportunities that we often overlook or squander… second chances.

In basketball, there is a statistic tracked called “second chance points”.  They occur when a team misses a scoring shot, but gets their own offensive rebound, retries, and scores.  I can even remember playing football in the street as a kid, and when a play was interrupted by an oncoming car, we yelled “do over!” giving us a second chance to run our play.  Here is the thought; in many situations a second chance is available, but far too often it isn’t utilized, because it isn’t recognized.  Whether it is an opportunity to lose those extra pounds, quit smoking or say the right thing – this time, second chances are obtainable, if we acknowledge them and take advantage of the opportunity they provide.

In my post “Well…What Do You Know?” from March 2010, we evaluated the differences between life lessons and mistakes.  This post evolves that line of thought, and hopefully evokes a pensive evaluation of your future plans.  On the crested wave of our New Year’s celebrations, I want to cast a unique light on an age old tradition - the New Year’s Resolution.  Have you made any New Year’s Resolutions?  Are there any that were the same last year?  Are there any that will directly affect anyone other than you?  What are these “resolutions"…really?

Resolutions are commitments to implement a solution to a personal challenge.  Resolve…that’s an interesting word.  At a simplistic glance it is an opportunity to “re-solve” challenges that we maybe didn’t get right previously.  My prayer for you is that you take 2011 as an opportunity to apply some re-solutions to the challenges in your life that really matter.  To take situations where you might have dropped the proverbial ball, you pick it up and yell “do over!” then go make a difference in your life or the life of someone you care about.  God’s grace fills our lives with second chances, seek them out and make the best of every opportunity.  Be Blessed

"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."
~ II Corinthians 5:17 (KJV)