I was struck by this article as I read it. It was blunt, written simply, effective and powerful. This is just the way that America used to be. A country full of diversity, homogenized under the banner of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. America was the greatest political and social experiment on earth!
Then something happened. We lost our A's for effort. We dumped RIC and now all that is left of America is me. We are no longer America, we are ME. The quote Julius in Remember the Titans, "I am going to look out for myself and I'm going to get mine!"
I am dumbfounded at how the Greatest Generation begat the Me Generation. WWII vets are living legends, and if you are still privileged to see one, then shake their hand, buy them lunch and say thank you! Then maybe over lunch, you can ask them how did they live through the great depression, fix the Axis powers and prevail and then totally drop the ball in teaching those lessons to their children.
We have now moved to where we are a me-centered, narcissistic microwave society. We have lost the art of ingenuity, thrift and necessity. These have been replaced with exploitation and convenience.
The referenced article does not make you feel good, but perhaps it is the slap in the face that has come to us 50 years too late.
I really enjoyed this post by Tim Challies today about seeing the look on the groom's face when he sees his bride. I have thought the same thing. I too love to steal a glimpse of a groom as he watches his bride start to come down the aisle. His smile should be uncontainable and nearly as beautiful as the bride herself.
I know that my heart nearly stopped when I saw my dear sweet bride, locked in arms with my very soon to be father-in-law. I seriously had trouble breathing for a moment. However, few probably noticed as everyone, especially me, was fixated on this beautiful, amazing woman in white as she glided down that petal paved aisle. I have never seen anything so beautiful on this earth!
The only thing more amazing than that, as Challies reminds us, is that Christ will one day view His bride (the Church encompassing all believers) this same way. Once we are perfected in glory, we will shine even more radiantly than my sweet bride (which is pretty hard for me to imagine). His smile will light up eternity!
This is how much Christ loves those who follow Him. That is how much he loves me. I don't get that as I see, and many times wallow in, my imperfections as there are so many, but one day, by His sacrifice, those imperfections will be gone.
I saw this today and it struck. We so often do the later rather than the former. I am one who does not have natural tendencies toward asceticism, but I have been provoked by some of the thoughts from this site. We are a nation of hoarders, and I can be the worst offender if left to my own devices. I need to be reminded of the value of relationships over stuff.
It finally happened today. Tim Tebow got terminated, down-sized, released, fired, or canned by the New York Jets. Everybody knew for months that it was going to happen and finally put an end to the year-long circus that was his stint with the Jets.
I like Tim Tebow and wish him well, but I think that he needs to face some reality and understand that if he wants to play in the NFL it will have to be at another position. His skills do not fit the typical NFL mold, it is what it is, deal with it. However, the guy deserves a chance, which is what he did not get with the Jets.
So, if you have not figured it out by now, I am a Christian. Ok so my secret is out! I don't apologize for it or hide it, but I don't try to rub it in people's faces either. To quote Popeye, "I yam what I yam!" So, On Sundays, at a minimum, I will post things with a spiritual focus. So let's step on some toes, shall we. This article is truly convicting. Honoring God in the workplace. This is where a lot of Christians fail. We talk a good game on Sunday morning, but on Monday mornings, we fall flat on our faces, and I may be the worst offender. This post over on the Desiring God Blog, one of my absolute favorites by the way, has me humbled. It discusses how to honor God in the workplace. Most people do not steal money, or computers, or office chairs from their employers, but they steal time and rob them of skills. Pastor John Piper gets to the point on integrity as he writes, "Be absolutely and meticulously honest and trustworthy on the job. Be on time. Give a full day’s work. “Thou shalt not steal.” More people rob their employers by being slackers than by filching the petty cash" Slacking. The word just sounds terrible. How many of us can honestly say that day in, day out we give a full day's work. Depending on your job, that may be easier than others. Working outside, in a factory, or a restaurant, the opportunities to slack may be limited. However, in an office, with Internet access, the temptation to slack is much higher and easy to do, and easier to hide. This is where my ADD can get me into trouble. If I am not totally locked in on something I can lose focus and turn my attention to the next bright and shiny object that pops up. On a computer this can happen pretty easily. I am just checking the weather or the news and before you know it, I have chased a rabbit trail and now I sending a video on knitting a sock to my wife. It is that easy and it is stealing. Pilfering skills is another area. This can happen by slacking and not gaining skills as you should, or exploiting an employer to gain skills and immediately take them elsewhere. I would argue that both would be unbibilcal in the sense that our heart is not desiring to maximize our talents to the gain of our employers. Some might argue that employers are no longer loyal to employees, so employees owe them nothing. I understand that sentiment and have learned it first hand. I was called, at home, three days after our fifth child was born to say that I was laid off due to some corporate re-structuring. That hurt, and as hard as it was, I went in a couple of days later and cleared out my office and handed everything off appropriately. That was one of the hardest days of my life. I had so many emotions flowing in my veins. I was filled with fear, anger, resentment, and confusion. Somehow, by God's grace I got through it, and so many people were amazed at how I handled it. For once, I did the right thing, but I still have so many things to work on to honor God in all that I do at work. This is not a comfortable subject, but one that I feel needs to be addressed as God gets a bad name when Christians put in a bad day's work.
Well if you have ventured over to this blog, you will see that it has a theme of......well anything bright and shiny that captures my attention. My ADD mind can be captivated by almost anything for a bit, so items and thoughts I tend to share without regard to theme or category. You will probably see some trends form over time such as faith, family, sports, technology, gardening and living with ADD. My tastes are eclectic to say the least. I guess that you could say that this is like JACK radio, you know where the radio stations play what they want without listener feedback or requests. So if you don't like a post today, come back tomorrow and you will likely see something completely different. This is a taste of what it is like to have an ADD mind, just a stream of thoughts, not always connected, not always sensible, sometimes brilliant, many times mundane, but usually always interesting nonetheless. Enjoy!
The man who has planted a garden feels he has done something for the good of the whole world. ~Charles Dudley Warner I do not know what it is about planting a garden that makes me feel alive. There is work and expense, both in time and resources. There is generally a harvest to reap in the weeks ahead, but that is not why I like to garden. Gardens are the epicenter of hope. They bring us as close to creation as is possible on this earth I believe. The idea of planting a small seed into the ground and with a little care watch it grow into a towering vine of beans that produces hundreds of pods and seeds. This thought just amazes me every Spring when I begin planting.
If you have never planted a garden, start now. You can't be any less of a gardener than you are right now! Jackie Clay is an experienced gardener/homesteader/writer for Backwoods Home magazine, which is one of my favorites. This article gives you all of the basics on starting a garden. You can simply buy a big flower pot and plant tomatoes or peppers. Start small. Some people use a no-till method of starting a garden bed by simply buying bags of garden soil, poking holes in them for drainage and planting directly into the soil while still in the bag! Listen to Jackie and you will never go wrong! Regardless of where you live you can grow something. It teaches us so many life lessons and is very rewarding whether you have a bumper crop, or a few small tomatoes. You will be enriched through the process. So, get out this weekend and get your hands dirty!
Today begins the 2013 NFL Draft and strangely I am reminded of a scene from the brilliant 1989 movie the Dead Poets Society. This scene near the beginning of the film has two young men with the names Meeks and another names Pitts. Robin Williams' character describes these names as "Unfortunate". He goes on to charge them to carpe diem, seize the day!
So what does this have to do with the NFL draft, it reminds me of how labels can affect us. There is a long tradition in the NFL Draft that the last player chosen is dubbed, "Mr. Irrelevant". That sounds a little harsh, but unfortunately it bodes true in most cases. Since 1993 only seven Mr. Irrelevants have actually played in an NFL game and only one has played in the Super Bowl (and of course his team did not even win in Super Bowl XXXI).
I think about this with my wife, my children, my co-workers, myself. Being diagnosed with ADD is a label, and usually not a good one. Let's just say that it is not something you put on your resume. I have dealt with it my whole life and have seen the good, the bad and the ugly sides of it. It is something that I will struggle with until I stop sucking air on this earth. Even now, with all of the attention and awareness of the issue, it is still an "unfortunate" label to have, especially as an adult. I should have grown out of it, or dealt with it using medications. I didn't and I don't. I have tried to grow with it and I have tried to use medications at times, but more recently I have tried to learn how to harness it and channel it.
Labels are a very powerful thing and impact our minds. I caution all of us to avoid using labels on people, especially with our children. You know like, "This is the pretty one....He is the athlete....She is so smart....He is a little slow....She is so creative." They may be accurate in some sense, but it can pigeon-hole people into roles that they have to play the rest of their lives.
I am fascinated with 3D printing. No, this does not print glasses to wear to watch 3D movies or TV. It is something much better seems to be something right out of a Star Trek episode. 3D printing is very real and is now becoming accessible to people like us.
3D printing involves a printer that uses some substance that will "print" from a set of specifications from a CAD program. So, if you are designing a new coffee cup, you can design it a CAD program and then "print" a physical replica of it with a 3D printer. Large industrial companies have used these for years, but now these are available to the public for as little as little as $1,000. Think of all of the things you could print: a new pair of shoes, tableware, machine parts, an ice cube tray, or a replacement key!
Now move this to a whole new level and try to imagine what you could print. Perhaps a gun. You can click a button and watch an AR-15 print out while you watch Duck Dynasty, but you could, with time and effort print out all of the pieces to assemble a working firearm. If you think that I am off my rocker, then read this CNET article about an expert who has done this very thing. The have made a firearm from a 3D printer and have fired 11 rounds through it successfully. Ok, so this weapon is not ready to be used by Seal Team Six, but it worked and now the Pandora's Box of legality has been opened. Is this legal? Does it fall under traditional firearm legislation? Can it be stopped, contained, or should it be regulated at all? Considering the tenuous debate going on in our country as well as our branches of government, this a new and unthinkable wrinkle to be considered.
Many people celebrate today as Earth Day. This is not a bad things as far as remembering to be great stewards of this place where we live. It means to harness and use, not destroy and abuse it. However, earth day also has many political overtones that can divide. I would agree with the guys at All Pro Dad who shared the link to this awesome video. It reminds us that this Earth that we celebrate today is just a speck of dust in comparison to all of creation. So celebrate creation and more importantly, celebrate the one who created everything!