Sunday, June 30, 2013

Wisest Parental advice I've ever heard

The other day I highlighted something and I’ve been reading it every day since. It’s hard. It’s simple. It’s the wisest parental advice I’ve ever heard.

King David said it to his son, Solomon a long time ago, but it applies to me and you right here, right now.

David said: “My son, learn to know the God of your ancestors intimately. Worship and serve him with your whole heart and a willing mind. For the LORD sees every heart and knows every plan and thought. If you seek him, you will find him. But if you forsake him, he will reject you forever. So take this seriously. The LORD has chosen you to build a Temple as his sanctuary. Be strong, and do the work.” 1 Chronicles 28

Parenting is hard, yes. Complicated? It doesn’t have to be. To break it down, David said something like this:

Ten Commandments For Parenting.

1) Know God intimately.

Like when you’re in love; think about Him all the time.

2) Worship & serve Him

Sink or swim, trust Him. Say to self: there’s only one God—and I’m not Him.

3) With your whole heart and willing mind.

Don’t worry about being perfect. Just be willing to want to do it right.

4) The Lord sees what’s inside.

Your thoughts are on His speaker phone.

5) He’s not hiding.

He wants you to find Him. If you’re looking—He’s showing.

6) If you reject Him—He will let you.

If you love something set if free. God is love.

7) This is serious.


8) You are chosen to build a Temple.

You are the temple. “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.” 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 (NKJV)

9) Be strong.

Pray. Not by might, not by power, but by My Spirit says the Lord.

10) Work.

Do your best. Leave the results to God.

David summarizes by saying:

“Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Don’t be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. He will see to it that all the work related to the Temple of the LORD is finished correctly.”

Lord, thanks for making it simple. Now, help us to handle the hard and be the kind of folks you’d like us to be. Amen.


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Behold the Mona Lisa...the bass & the dart board

Behold the Mona Lisa. A beautiful work of art; a masterpiece. 

The original mind you, not a copy, not a forgery--the real thing. 

Now, let’s hang it here on this wall, between the large mouth bass and the dart board. 

It’ll cover up that stain on the wall. Never mind the dirt and cobwebs; we’ll just hang her right over the top.

What’s that?

So what if she gets hit by a few stray darts?

Everybody will see her hanging there.

There's nothing to hang her on?

Just hold her there against the wall. Let me grab my hammer and we’ll pound some nails right through the corners. If you don’t nail it down around here it’ll get stolen.

Sound crazy? Can’t believe I’d hang a masterpiece in such a place? You want to know what’s worse?

Well, dear precious sweet, innocent, lovely young ladies, you are the masterpiece. 

You are the priceless work of art. 

You are the one of a kind beauty… and you are doing this to yourselves.

What should be protected, revered and reserved for private showings of highest class and intimacy is flashed upon a filthy wall for others to drool over or throw darts upon. What should be secure is open and stolen...leaving you empty. 

It’s not that you can’t. 

But why would you want to hang yourselves on the filthy walls of facebook and internet?

You hold the beauty of the horizon. 

The sun rises and sets for those who appreciate her beauty. She always rises in the morning in the east and sets in the evening in the west. Those who appreciate her beauty will find her. And she doesn’t go out of her way to find those who don’t.

Your beauty will shine for those who will rise to see it, there is no need to flaunt and flash so you’ll be noticed.

Dress like a princess dear lady and you’ll be found by a prince.

Dress like a hooker and you’ll be found by a pimp.

What do you want?

Please know you are more than skin. 

You are heart and soul, and that is where your real beauty lies, as a diamond in the rough.  

Your Creator has made you a one of a kind masterpiece to shine as beautiful as the sunrise and don’t flash—shine.

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

photos courtesy of photobucket

Friday, June 14, 2013

The bass & the bird & the worm

This is not a fishing story. Well, actually it is a fishing story. But, it’s not your normal fishing story where the teller stretches the truth. This really happened just like this:


I’m sitting at the end of a long wooden dock. Long, like two hundred yards long. It runs along the shore of the inlet at Lake Istokpoga Marina. That’s my fishing pole leaning against the wooden rail. Yeah, I know the string is blowing in the wind with nothing on the end. That’s because the biggest bass I’ve ever seen in my life just snapped the line.

Now I’m trying to figure out what to tie on. I don’t have anything like that fat rubber worm I had on there. I just caught it, too. Yeah, caught it—not bought it. A couple of casts before I snagged the bass, I snagged someone else’s line and pulled in that fat white rubber worm. So, I figured I’d give it a try. Sure enough, about three casts in and that big honkin’ bass struck—and stole my newfound fat white rubber worm. So, that’s why I’m sitting here with line blowin’ in the wind trying to figure out what I should use.

And I’m also wondering about that bird, too. It was like something you’d see in a movie. I was sitting here minding my own business, fishing. I had just cast that fat white worm out and all of a sudden this black bird flew up and sat right there on that rail. I could’ve reached out and touched her with my pole. She just sat there looking at me. And then she started squawking real loud, like she was mad about something. Reminded me of some folks I’ve known. I looked around thinking maybe she had a nest full of youngins. No, didn’t see any nest; just a bunch of cobwebs and fishing string all tangled up in the open framed roof that covered this end of the dock.

That bird kept right on squawking for about fifteen seconds or so and I said, “What in the world are you squawking about?” And then, WHAM my pole bent over and about pulled me outta my lawn chair and into the lake. It did pull me to my feet, which scared the bird off the rail. I started cranking and got the fish close enough to the dock to see it surface, telling me it was the most beautiful bass I’d ever laid eyes on, other than maybe one hangin’ on a wall at Bass Pro Shop. I got excited and set the hook again, he didn’t like that and dove down under some lily pads. About that time my line snapped and he was gone.

Which brings me back to sitting here in this chair wondering about what I ought to tie on; maybe I oughta ask that bird.

I may sound crazy, and perhaps I’ve been hanging around kids under six too long or watching too many kid movies but, I’m wondering if that bird hid that big fat white worm and was mad because I found it. So, she squawked at that big fat bass and told him to get it back.

I donno—it just don't seem normal...whaddayathink? And if you could think of some life lesson or moral-to-the-story I'd sure be obliged, 'cuz I'm still sitting here scratching my head wondering what I'm gonna tie on.

long dock

where bass is still hiding

chair where I sat & rail where bird sat

sign in front of dock -as opposed to abnormal & unsafe?

Monday, June 10, 2013

When I grow up I wanna be a...

“Johnny said he wants to be a pilot when he grows up.”

All the parents clapped politely, Johnny’s parents clicked pics, and on it went. One by one each student walked to the front of the room, an award was hung around their neck and they turned to pose for a quick photo op while Mrs. Brooker, the teacher, told us what they wanted to be when they grew up.

And that’s how the kindergarten graduation goes.

We waited for our granddaughter’s moment. I wonder what she wants to be.

There were plenty of pilots and doctors and a few super heroes. One said he wanted to be Spider Man but if that didn’t work out he’d like to work at Walmart. Some said they wanted to be soldiers and the applause from the parents was a little stronger. Two said they wanted to be teachers and Mrs. Brooker’s voice smiled and she bounced on her toes a bit as she said it.

I watched parents puff up when their child announced they wanted to be a doctor or lawyer and other faces turn red when they said they wanted to be Bat Man or a Power Ranger.

Nevaeh, our granddaughter, waited her turn, and as usual God in His way of teaching me patience had her situated at the very end of the line. By the time she got to the front there wasn’t a profession that hadn’t been duplicated at least once—until hers, it was one of a kind.

They hung the medal around her neck, she turned and I snapped the best picture I could from the bad angle at which I sat. Mrs. Brooker smiled, “and when Nevaeh grows up, she said she wants to be a…mom.”

The room fell silent as everyone held their breath to see if they’d heard her right. And then a few quiet chuckles and polite applause.

I couldn’t have been prouder. And the way I figure it, she’s got it right. I just pray her priorities don’t get twisted and tangled into thinking that her occupation is who she is.

Nevaeh in line--end of line that is

Getting award! Ya!
Nevaeh photo op. Principle & Mrs. Brooker

Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

After the tornado

After the spinning howling flying churning—what remains?

Ground up and spit out, trees, houses and debris lay silent.

I know. I’ve been there after the tornado as an insurance adjuster, surveying damage, writing reports and recommending repairs. That’s what I do. Put a price tag on what it’ll cost to fix what’s broke.

But there’s more.

Beyond what my camera can see. Deeper than what my tape can measure. Over what the policy provides, is a broken vessel that no amount of money can buy.

Just like that. Lives change forever. End.

How does one put a price tag on that? What do you do? What do you say? How can we touch that which is beyond our reach?

I hear the news. It’s over, they report. Yesterday, they say.

But it’s not over. It’s still today.

The tornado’s been swallowed.

Silence roars within and

    Stillness whips the





The debris is removed.

Structures are rebuilt.

I read reports and fill out forms. But there’s more. I see it in their eyes. I hear it in their voice.

Who do I call to heal my broken heart?

Who’ll help me clean up the debris of my shattered life?

My house can be rebuilt—but what about my home?

I feel small. Like what I do matters little, compared to the enormity of what’s really been lost.

But there’s more. I remember a story about a man.

“Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, dreadfully tormented.”

And Jesus said to him, “I will come and heal him.”

The centurion answered and said, “Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof. But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed. For I also am a man under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”

When Jesus heard it, He marveled, and said… “Go your way; and as you have believed, so let it be done for you.” And his servant was healed that same hour.
(Matthew 8:5-13 NKJV)

The man needed something and simply applied what he’d learned from his job—and met with God. He went to The One with authority and made a recommendation about what needed to be done. And it was. Not by power not by might but by going to the One who could.

I can do that. You can do that.

I look at damage and recommend payment from carrier to insured. That’s my job. It’s what I do—but I can do more. I can look deep, and see the damage money can’t fix. I can make recommendations to The Carrier of carriers.

I know The One with no policy limits. He’s in charge of all restoration and knows how to fix every broken vessel; because He too, was broken, bruised and healed.

Sure, it may seem small, a quiet voice in the midst of a whirlwind. But I remember hearing another story about a Still Small Voice that spoke worlds into existence. And He still speaks, and He still hears and He will make all the difference. Ask.