Archive for the ‘Humor’ Category

Last night, we went to dinner at a local restaurant.  Our time was blessed by great food and simply being together.  On our way out of the restaurant and to our car in the parking lot, something caught my eye.  As we made our way to our car, we had to walk through a line of other cars.  As I passed by a truck, I noticed something odd hanging from the rearview mirror inside the vehicle.

Tree Air FreshenerIt was an air freshener shaped like a pine tree.  You may be thinking – “where have you been, those things have been around for years!”

It wasn’t the presence of an air freshener shaped like a tree, hanging from the rearview mirror that grabbed my attention.  It was the fact that it was still wrapped in it’s cellophane wrapper!

My first thought was “there is an illustration here.”  The thought that followed immediately on the heels of that thought was, “I need a picture of that!”  However, common sense kicked in and the thought of being arrested for messing around with another person’s vehicle outweighed my desire for photographic evidence.

As I have considered the scene, my mind has continued to ponder the comedy of an air freshener, hanging where often they are seen hanging, yet with no ability to do what it was created to do.

I think this might just be a testimony.  Actually, I believe it is the story of each of our lives from time to time.

God created us with specific gifts and skills and talents.  He has filled us with passion for specific things.  Each of us is completely, and utterly unique – – just like everyone else!

He did this with specific dreams in mind – very real possibilities for each of us to experience a fulfilled life – the life he intended for us from the beginning.

But so often, we never take off the wrapper.  We live our lives going through the motions and possibly looking like we have it all together and that we are where we need to be, but just like that air freshener, we are not using our gifts and talents for their intended purpose – to glorify the king!

Today, I challenge you to remove the wrapper and live into the life God created you to live!

Be a blessing today!


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Need Help VisorI had a friend send this picture to me yesterday.  As you can see, I am not sure the person used the sun visor properly – so either some training in proper use of this particular sun visor would be in order or someone needs to call the police.

My first response was that if I need police assistance, I am not going to put a message on my windshield and hope for the best.  But as I have thought about the picture, and the comical prompting to take it, I have continued to muse about the lesson I can learn from what the picture shows us.  The lesson to be gleaned is one of the importance of observation.

In this instance, either the person putting the visor into position did not pay attention to what they were doing or even worse, based on the fact that there was no police presence, no one observed the message and called the police.  Either way, someone was not paying attention.

I wonder how often we miss an opportunity to experience God at work in our lives because we are just not paying attention?  We rush to get to where we are going and we fail to pay attention to God’s movement all around us.  How often do we miss an opportunity to experience God’s movement because we fail to notice the chance to be used to make a difference in someone else’s life and situation?

God is at work and wants to meet with you today.  God wants to use you today to make a difference in the world and the lives you meet. Will you be observant enough to seize the moment?

Stay on your toes today!

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Have you ever had the blessing of watching God move?  I have to admit, the visible evidence of the invisible occurs all too rarely in my life.  And while I am confessing, I know that the rarity of its occurrence is not an absence of God moving but rather an absence of presence on my part.  God is at work all around us every minute of every day – we just rarely slow down and pay attention.

I am working through a book right now entitled, When It’s Rush Hour All Day Long, by John Tadlock.  In the book, the author refers to the reason we live at such break-neck speed as “hurry sickness.”  He even offers a quiz to see if the reader suffers from hurry sickness.  Unfortunately, he does not offer a scale of determining just how deeply the reader suffers from the ailment.  I am afraid if he did, he would have to re-calibrate it after I took the quiz.  One of the questions in the quiz is something like – do you count the people in each line at the check out and estimate how many items they have in their carts in order to gauge the speed of the process and then choose the line based on your best estimate?  As I read that question, I found myself wondering – “Who doesn’t do that?”  But then the next question hit a little closer to home – do you keep tabs of the other lines as you are waiting to determine who is winning?


Now I will say, not once in my life have I finished before the other lines and walked by them and yelled – “LOOSER!!”  Alright, maybe I have thought it – but I have never said it out loud.

We all suffer from hurry sickness in our culture.  In fact, if it were really a disease, I believe it would be considered a national epidemic.

What has become normal pace for us leaves little time to see God at work.  We don’t even take time to process the things we realize are occurring around us.  We just shrug things off and move on with little thought.  How will we ever see the movement of the invisible?

The first step is to realize you must slow down.  God did not create us to live at such a pace.  In fact, Genesis records that when God was in the process of creating the world, the seventh day was set aside for rest.  Did God get tired creating the world?  No – I don’t believe that was the reason God rested.  God set a precedent.  God created us to need rest so God created Sabbath – rest – cessation from work.

This seems like an odd topic to discuss on a Monday.  We are just getting started on a new week in which we have a full schedule and plenty to do.  But God created us for relationship.  When we get so wrapped up in our schedule – our To Do list – our world – we forget to look for God.  We fail to see God at work all around us.  We miss the blessing.  We miss the fulfillment we are seeking desperately.


Slow down!

God is at work!

Just look!

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In the words of the great theologian, Steve Martin, “Where ever you go, there you are.”

When I was a teenager, Steve Martin was in the height of his popularity as “one wild and crazy guy.”  While I have never had the opportunity to meet him or even see him live, I watched and listened to his acts religiously – maybe that says something about me.

At any rate, that quote has always made me smile.  But as I have been preparing for this Sunday, I have asked myself, “Is that true of me?”  Where ever I go, am I really there?  It is so easy to go through the motions.  It is possible to be somewhere physically but not really be engaged.

My encouragement for you today is this – where ever you go, really be there!

Be a blessing today!

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We have finally made it to the point in our remodel project to be able to put paint on the ceilings and walls.  So I got the bright idea to try and find an airless paint rig.  I put the word out and found a couple of folks who had one and would let me borrow it.

So for the past two weekends I have been trying to get our house painted.  The process has taught me a few things.

  1. There is a reason why a lot of tool rental places don’t rent paint equipment – and for those that do, why they charge an arm and a leg.  If the unit is not cleaned properly after it is used, it will be almost impossible to use again.  So I have spent almost as much time cleaning the unit as I have actually using it.
  2. What goes up also comes down.  When spraying ceilings, just remember that not all the paint will make it onto the surface.  Much of it will make into your eyes.
  3. Just because you are painting in the dining room does not mean the kitchen is not also getting some paint.  The way the gun works is that it takes normal paint right out of the can and turns it into a fine mist.  This mist drifts where ever the draft carries it (there is a sermon there I think).
  4. Masking is your friend.  Even though it takes longer to mask the room than it does to paint it, it will be time well spent. (Masking one’s self is also a good idea).
  5. There is only one way to put the filter into the gun and still have it work and it is not the way that makes common sense.  After a couple of hours I learned this by frustration.
  6. You know you have been painting with a paint gun when you wake up the next day and there is paint in the corners of your eyes.

These are just a few things I have learned while using an airless paint gun.  But at least the house is almost painted.

Have a  great day!

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Dust Storms and West Texas

I have often wondered what prompted early settlers to put down roots here in this area of west Texas.  Most days I would say it was the beautiful sunrises or sunsets.  Or maybe the magnificence of wide-open space.  But after a day like yesterday, I wonder if the wheels didn’t just come off of their wagons and they had no money to put them back on so they settled here.

We have been back in west Texas for going on 9 years now and yesterday ranked in the top 3 for the worst wind storms in that time frame.  We had winds in excess of 70 mph.  Limbs were falling out of trees, shingles were lifted from roofs and small animals were blowing down the street.  OK, that last one is a bit exaggerated.  But the point is that it was a windy day.

Now in many parts of the country, wind is annoying but it is not life-altering.  But in this area of west Texas, when the wind blows like it did yesterday, so does the dirt!   The street on which we live is about 350 yards long.  On a normal day, when I round the corner to turn onto our street, I can easily see the houses on the far end of the street.  But yesterday, as I returned from church, I turned onto our street and realized, I couldn’t even see half way down our street because of the blowing dirt.

As I pulled into the garage and shut the door, I asked myself, “Why do I live here?”

But as I thought about that question, I remembered the answer – its the people!  I have lived in a number of cities in Texas and in many different regions, but there is something special about west Texans.  They are a down to Earth, honest, hospitable sort.  Still to this day, a hand-shake will sign any deal for many folks.  They are generous and kind and for the most part, easy going.

I still don’t understand why those early settlers picked this place to make their homes, but it is clear to me why people stay!

So that is why we are living in west Texas and loving it (even after breathing dirt for a day).

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Real-Life Video Game

Last Saturday, the wind was blowing from the south at about 40 miles per hour.  The dirt was blowing and so was anything else that was not nailed down.  Kristi and I decided to make a quick trip to Lubbock to do a little shopping.  Now for those of you not familiar with the geographical location of our fair city, we are due west of Lubbock.  So picture, if you will, the setting.  We are headed down highway 114 traveling east at about 70 miles per hour.  The wind is blowing from the south at 40.  Because of the blowing dust, the visibility was not all it could be and the gusts made it interesting to try and keep the car on the road.  And in the midst of all of that, every 30 to 45 seconds, I had to dodge a tumbleweed rolling across the highway.  It was actually kind of fun.  As we got into the edge of Lubbock, Kristi said, “That was like being in a real-life video game.”  (I actually began looking forward to the challenge of driving home).

I love living in Texas.  I have visited many, many other places but I have never lived anywhere but Texas.  In fact, I was thinking about this last night – of my 45 years, I have lived 32 of them in west Texas.  Places like Andrews and Fort Stockton and Kermit – west Texas – these have been home to me.  Now, here in Levelland, I am back in west Texas.  Maybe it’s the sunsets or the warm, dry climate.  Maybe its the lifestyle.  Maybe it’s the people – good, solid, hard-working and caring.  It is actually a combination of all these things – notice I left out the dust storms.

But at the heart of it, as I reflect on my time in the metroplex and other areas, I think the reality is, as long as I am where God wants me, it is a wonderful place.  It could be anywhere in this great state (and even, heaven forbid, outside this state).  As long as I know we are where God wants us, we will grow to love it.

But there is still something about west Texas.  I mean, where else can you live where a simple drive on the highway can turn into a real-life video game?

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We Do Some Weird Things

Every once in a while, I ponder over things that make me go, “huh?”

We do some weird things in our culture.  Things like:

  1. Say we need to exercise more but fight over the parking spot closest to the front door of the store.
  2. Drive to three different gas stations comparing prices in order to save $.01 cent per gallon on gas (saving an average of $.15 cents) but burn $.20 cents worth of gas finding the cheapest price.
  3. Move to the desert and then pray for rain.
  4. Eat more food in one meal than many around the world eat in two days and then blame the fast food industry for our own obesity.
  5. Pray for God to make us stronger Christ followers but fail to put in the time in Bible reading and prayer to actually grow.

These are just a few of the things that cause me to ponder.

What are some things that make you go “huh?”


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Several days ago I received a courtesy letter from my eye doctor telling me it was time for my annual check-up.  Yesterday morning I decided I would attack my To Do list and get some quick “wins” by being able to check something off.  So I called the eye doctor to schedule an appointment – thinking it would surely be sometime late next week before I could actually get in.  Nope – they had an appointment for yesterday at 2:45.  I was already on the phone and committed so I took it.

I got there and filled out the usual paperwork and then was politely ushered back for the routine puff of air to the eye (Wow!  That’s fun!) and then on into an exam room.  The doctor came in and everything went like clockwork.  I even made it through all the:  “Better one . . . or two?  Three . . . or four,” routine pretty much unscathed.  But then came the dreaded question:  “When is the last time you had your eyes dilated?”  I tried to tell her it hadn’t been that long, but alas, she had my chart and could see it had been a number of years.  I had no excuse.  So five minutes later, there I sat with the eye drops in, waiting for my pupils to get to the size of frisbees.

Everything checked out fine, but the walk back to the office was excruciating.  I never noticed the sun being that bright!  Back in my office, I turned on a lamp and turned off the overhead lights and even the computer screen was too bright.  Couple that with the fact that I couldn’t focus my eyes and it made the rest of the afternoon a bit challenging.

Believe it or not, I have a reason for telling you this story.  Turns out that the reason one should allow an optometrist to dilate one’s eyes is to allow them to check the eyes for problems.  By forcing the pupil to dilate, the doctor is able to see what is really going on inside the eye.  The point is to determine how best to maintain good vision for the patient.

As I thought about it, I was reminded of a comment made in a book I am reading called, The Leadership Challenge.  One of the fundamental keys to good leadership is clarity.  As a leader, you must be clear about what needs to be done.  Part of that clarity is found by asking yourself the question, “What grabs me?”  Or another way of asking it is, “What fuels my passion?”  The answer to these questions can only be found when you look inside yourself and really think about what is going on inside you – the things that drive you and keep you up at night.

So just as the doctor dilated my eyes yesterday to see what was going on inside, I must spend some time looking inside myself and rekindling the spark that fuels my passion.  Only then can I lead from the heart and only then can I lead in a manner worthy of being followed.

Set aside some time to look inside yourself today!

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Commando Shopping

Yesterday, Kristi and I both took a vacation day from work and went shopping to wrap up our Christmas shopping – OK, we went and did ALL our shopping (prior to yesterday, we had not bought a gift)!  It was a great day – being together and getting things done.

But what made the day was our approach to shopping.  I am not a great shopping partner for Kristi.  When you goes shopping, she shops.  She compares, she analyzes, she tries things on.  When I shop, I take a different approach.  I call it Commando Shopping.

Yesterday, because we had to get all the shopping done in one day, we opted for Commando Shopping.  When we got in the car, we had a plan and we stuck to the plan – all day.

Commando shopping can be described best this way – Get in, get out and leave no one behind.

That is what we did!  It was awesome!

Now, if I can just find the time to wrap them . . .

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