Who’s On First?

Who’s On First?

This afternoon during some devotional time I was reminded of the famous skit by Abbot And Costello, Who’s On First? 

I am reading through, Jesus Calling, a devotional book by Sarah  Young. The devotional for today asks the question what things come absolutely first in your life? Your career? Your family? Your spouse? Your possessions? What do you always drop everything for? If it isn’t Jesus and His Love for all of humanity, your priorities are wrong. 

Now, don’t get me wrong. I believe your devotion to Jesus Christ and His gift He gave us on The Cross and His resurrection can be shown by putting your family and other human beings first on your list. So, who’s on first in your life? Is it really Jesus Christ or is it something else? Live out your calling today by putting Him first and you will see the best venture of your life come to pass. Who is truly on first for you today?

Roads And Tides

Roads And Tides

When I was 16 it was 1992. I was a student at Montevideo Senior High. I wore Zuba’s and jeans every day of my life. I was a band geek and a choir singer. I played the violin. 

Some would say I never took anything seriously. Those same people would probably still say 23 years later that I still do not take anything seriously. Because I really don’t. 

At the time, I didn’t know it but life goes quicker the more the years go by. At 16? I thought I had it all! I thought I was gonna be a superstar of some kind. 

Even with the delusional thoughts of grandure I was still the shy one. I had never been on a date. I had my select group of friends in that time of my life too. Some of whom I still speak with on an occasional basis. Most have moved on. 

Me? I am standing at the door of 40 years old and I am right back where I was then. Back in the small town I spent my last four years of high school. A lot has changed, but one thing that really hasn’t is the minds and dreams of SOME 16 year olds. This post is for them. 

You are now 16. A whole new world has been opened up to you, I am sure. You are beginning to think, “what will I do next? College? Maybe military? Maybe I have it all planned out.” 

Guess what. You DO NOT have it all planned out at 16!!! Ever! When I was 16 I was going to be a doctor in psychology. Or an artist. Maybe by some miracle I would end up on the family farm and working the land (my brother got that one). I had a bunch of dreams and goals. I admit, 99% of them involved getting out of here. 

A small town is not really full of opportunities for a disabled male with passion to make his mark on the entire planet. A small town is not really any place for anyone to make a big mark on the planet. Although, it has been done, by men and women alike! 

So, you are 16. You have a driver’s license. You may even have the keys to mom and dad’s car, or maybe even your own car. One thing I can assure you is, nothing will remain as it is. People will come and go. Friends will move on, and sadly, even die. Dreams will come and go and die. New ones will emerge. 

The key, my sixteen year old readers is, don’t go through life thinking you’ve got it all figured out. I am now more than twice your age and I sure don’t! 

Grasp opportunities! Even the small ones. Enough grains of sand can make a big splash in the ocean. Enough grains of sand will create a beach! 

You are never alone, even when you create your own beach. People will always be around. Take note of who is around today. One day, they may be gone. 

This life is full of roads and tides. They come and go, they change directions. Some roads lead to a dead end and you need to back track. That’s okay. Sometimes when we come back to the beginning, we find where we should have been all along. 

Dear Future Me

Dear Future Me

I have been putting off this part of the Daily Post Prompt for a couple days now. I hope you all have read my letter to my 14 year old self. Tonight, we are to write a letter that is to ourself in twenty years. This is a tough one. 

I mean, twenty years. I will be 59-years old in twenty years. Where will I be? Will I still be here? Will I be making a difference? What if I am not? Why look twenty years into the future and try to guess how it will look? I learned that lesson when I was 14 and wondered where I would be today. It certainly wasn’t in the life I have. Don’t get me wrong, I have a great life! It’s just nothing at all like I planned.  

 Life has adaptations. Life has changes and road-blocks. Life even has beginnings and endings. I don’t know why the pessimistic side of me is making a guest appearance tonight after more than a year of blogging, but here he is!! 

Tonight, as I write this a million thoughts keep popping into my head. Why look so far in the future? What if my future ends tonight or in the next year? Why worry about any of it when all we have is now? 

Jeremiah 29:11 says, “I know the plans I have for you, says The Lord. Plans to prosper you and give you hope and a future.” When you work a dead end job, no plans for any meaningful promotion and live in a body that is broken down and feels pain more than not these days, it is difficult to look twenty years in the future and think, “wow! I’m still gonna be here?” 

  Then the optimist in me comes crashing through that door and says, “hey man! Buck it up and suck it up! You have an awesome purpose that you live every single day! Sure, you are not in a job right now that is what you are worth, but hey! Your job is not where your worth is found anyway! You bring joy to so many people every day, find your worth in that!!” I like the optimist in me! He keeps it real. 

  
See, this morning in church one of the teenage girls spoke about her battle with anxiety and depression. Guess what? Keepin’ it real, I gotta tell ya, I battle it too! I know I live in a body that is so terribly broken that some days I wonder, ‘can I really go on like this another twenty years or God willing 50 years?’, but that’s where plans for hope and a future come in. 

We were all built for greatness! You were, I was, the babies in the womb are too! We need to let everyone find that path to greatness. 

Twenty years from now, dear self, you may be doing some great things, or you may be called home. I really don’t know what the future holds for you. But, I know that right now, at this moment, you can let the world know it is not all bad and not one of them is alone as long as you have existed and they read your words. 

  
Please, share this message of hope and a future with anyone you think may need it. My friends, your future may be prosperous. Your future may be full of pain and disease, or even death. But right now, right at this moment, YOU HAVE A CHANCE TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE!!!! The question is, will you? Edification or demolition? Your words, when put together with action, make a difference! 

Twenty years from now, I may be gone. I may still be here. No matter where I am, I will be making a difference and it will all be because of this one post. I love you all! ALL LIVES MATTER IN THIS MOMENT!!!! 

  

Make A World Of Difference!!!!

Make A World Of Difference!!!!

Today’s Daily Post says I just won $1 billion dollars. How would I spend the money?

Well, first of all, I would say, “sit down Dr. Evil, this money is mine!! Not Yours!” And then I would give 100 Million Dollars, again with my pinky turned up towards my mouth, to my church. We have an amazing capability for outreach and change in our community and even further, but 100 Million Dollars donated to my church family would literally change the world!!! None of it would be pocketed, it would all be used to further The Kingdom Of God, which is to say helping all of humanity, and the knowledge of The Gospel. And as a Christian I am called to tithe to further The Gospel of Jesus Christ. Now, this isn’t to say I won’t tithe in other ways to other Christian Organizations either. But, my home church and its outreach comes first. So, ten percent goes to them.

So, that leaves $900,000,000!!!! Hhhmmmmm…. Where to go from here? Well, first off, all debt for my family, loans, houses, cars, college loans… Gone! My family would be debt free! Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that took $3 Million. Oh boy! Still have $897 Million left!

There is a twenty acre piece of Heaven on my parents farm. My wife and I would love to build a home there. The land for 20 acres right now is probably $160,000 and then we’d have to landscape and build a suitable home. So, let’s say, $600,000 total for landscaping and building a wheelchair accessible home with 6 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, a wrap around porch (which my wife really wants), a paved driveway, 2 out buildings, 8 acres of lawn and the land. Yup, I would say that is about right. Leaving $995,840,000 to go.

Oh dear, well, there is The Spina Bifida Association of Minnesota, a charity near and dear to my heart, $500,000,000 goes to them. Hopefully with that money they can make sure that all Spina Bifida is erased from existence. So, now we have $495,840,000 left. Forgive me if my math is wrong on this. I have severely let my math skills faulter!!!!

Starvation in the world? gone! I don’t know if it’s possible, but I would think $400,000,000 should take a huge chunk out of ANYONE going hungry if the funds are allocated correctly towards a sustainable source that feeds all people in the world.

Oh, look at that, $95,000,000 left!!! Invest $25,000,000 into a CD or Roth IRA that gets some great interest. The well will never run dry. Start an organization for kids in every single town, village and every 10 miles radius  of every major city in The U.S. No kid shall go hungry, no kid shall go without learning all the awesome things a kid should learn. Music, arts, writing, reading, love, compassion, having a family who cares about them. If a kid has a dream, this organization sees to it that it happens! We need to create dreamers in the world again.

Mr. Holland was right in 1995!!!! “Take away music and the arts, pretty soon these kids won’t have anything to read or write about!!” Welcome to the new world! Why are 80’s movies being churned out and remade into worthless pieces of unimaginative crap?! Because 20 years ago this country began saying sports was more important than band, choir, arts, writing!! CONGRATULATIONS AMERICA!!!!! You’ve created a generation, or two, who don’t know how to create something new!!!! Thanks a lot!

So, now, because of that stupidity, I have to see classics, like Footloose and Ghostbusters remade!!! But, you couldn’t stop there! Oh No! You had to make Ghostbusters politically correct! Please, do not see this as sexist bashing, but Ghostbusters does not need to be remade with women of comedy!!!

Wow! I totally got off track! See what happens when we concentrate on what is wrong in our world? Our focus veers off course and we lose sight of our goals and what is truly important!

Where was I? Oh yeah…. Anybody else need any money? With all my plans and hopefully eradicating world hunger and spinal cord injuries and no child not living their dreams and imagination potential,  I still have more than enough to survive because I was smart enough to invest it into things that will create huge returns!!!

Please, if you ever come into even a fraction of this kind of money, be smart with it and take care of people. We are here to relate and this kind of money would make a world of difference to a world of people! Yes, I am speaking to those who have this kind of money right now!!! Are you utilizing your wealth to help the world or help yourself? There are over a billion ways to help and they still leave you with plenty to survive. Are YOU making a big enough difference in the world?

Shoulda Woulda Coulda. 

Shoulda Woulda Coulda. 

Today’s Daily Prompt was to talk about something we know we should do but haven’t. Oh, where to begin on this list?

1.  

 I should pray more. The Bible says to pray without ceasing. That means every single moment of our lives should be spent with God. But, we always prioritize our lives over that. I have started a simple way of beginning each day, “Hi, God! What are we up to today?” It opens the line. God knows you are ready to speak with Him before you do, so this is more for our human side than anything, but it opens our mind to staying connected. Speaking of staying connected. 

2. 

  I should stay in touch with family better. I have five siblings. At this exact moment in time, I could only give you some details about one of them, and only two details about one of them. Which means, I have three siblings I couldn’t even begin to tell you what’s on their minds, or going on in their lives. However, the few details I have heard about through our parents, you won’t get those stories from me. Because they are not my stories to tell. Reach out to your loved ones, won’t you? You may end up surprised by what is going on in their lives. And you will stay connected to what is supposed to be the most important relationship of your life!!

3. 

  I should eat better. I am a man who loves it simple. Grill up a burger or grilled cheese, put soup in a bowl and microwave it. Microwave a pot pie or a potatoe. Yup, that’s me! Too many starches, too many sugars and my wife will tell ya, NOT ENOUGH WATER!!! I eat horrible!!! However, this is something we are meaning to change after the past couple days. My body is not reacting well at all to how I have been treating it! 

Not enough exercise, not enough water and not enough good foods!! Let me tell ya, preservatives in your body won’t make ya a mummy!! 

There is an entire list of things I should, could and would do. We could be here for days! But these are my top three. We are here for relationship with God and with others, most importantly immediate family. And to do that, we need to eat right and exercise. Our bodies were not meant to die at an early age, but many people do because of lack of good food and exercise. What is on YOUR LIST Of shoulda, coulda, woulda? 

The Heat Is On!!! 

The Heat Is On!!! 

We have had our fair share of heat here in West Central Minnesota this summer, but today I am talking about a different type of heat. The heat of deadlines, the heat of battle! 

It may seem funny, but while in college I seemed to choose the school and the degree program that brought on the most deadlines and therefore heat. 

I graduated from Brown College in the Communication Studies program. I know what you are thinking, verbal and non-verbal communications, but it’s so much more than that. Sales, promotions, speech classes every semester. All under the stress of deadlines. 

Through this process I learned to put priorities in order and do not procrastinate! Well, that’s not true. I’ll come clean. I seem to most times work best under pressure. I graduated from Brown College with a 3.8 GPA! I think the deadlines in the situation of college caused me to kick it into gear. 

Now, if you were to ask my wife what happens when deadlines approach, she’d tell you I mainly crumble. She works a full time job and I am only part time because of my disability. Well, when she gives me a honey-do list, I usually start it right before she gets home! So, it really depends on the situation, I guess. 

I guess if you want to see how I will react under pressure your best bet is to give me a deadline for something. Usually, I will step up and get the job done. It’s very rare that I don’t accomplish what I set out to do. But, we are human. Things happen, right? 

I say, if you set out to do something, give it your best and leave the rest up to God. It is okay to let Him take the wheel, but like I told someone last night, just because we ask God to take the wheel doesn’t mean we are to sit back and do nothing. Stay the course and give it your best at all times and in all things. And if that means to let the pressures build, so be it. 

Meant To Be There, Or Not.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “The Zone.”

I used to be a radio broadcaster. I was a weekend part-timer for a local station ten years ago. Sadly, I graduated from college and needed to find a deeper level of employment with a pay grade that could cover my upcoming college loan payments. So, with deep regret and still regret to this day, I left. I knew I was born to be a radio broadcaster and I gave up the one opportunity I had. Momentary laps in judgement and one I will never get back to do over.

When I was on the air at the radio station there were times, many for me, where it just flowed. I knew what I was going to say before I even said it. I came up with clever ramps to songs and my timing? It needed a little work, but it was better than most could be just out of the gate. God called me to do this thing and I was zoned in every time I did it! There were times that I would sing along with the songs, there were times I would sing while taking meter readings. I was good at what I did and I knew it and it made me happy. So, why did I let it go? GREED!

Of course, we could look at this from the flip side of things. If I was truly meant to be there and I left, why am I not back there after ten years? If you love something let it go, if it comes back it was meant to be, right? Well, I guess this thing was not meant to be, but when I was doing it, I was always in the zone.

What is your zone? Are you there now? Are you working toward it? Let me give you some final advice before I sign off of this post. When you find your zone, PROTECT IT! YOU ARE THE LINEBACKER OF YOUR ZONE, NO ONE ELSE IS! DO NOT GET DISTRACTED BY OTHER THINGS WHEN YOU ARE IN YOUR ZONE! STAY THERE! FIGHT THROUGH THE LITTLE THINGS AND THE LITTLE THINGS WILL BECOME BIGGER OPPORTUNITIES! If you let it go, it may never come back, so stay in the zone.

In The Zone2