In case you haven’t noticed, we have a debt ceiling crisis. I know this because the media and the politicians have told me about it. I’m supposed to be concerned about it. I’m supposed to be worried that Social Security checks may not go out. I’m supposed to be worried that the United States may default on its loans. So, the debt ceiling needs to be raised so that the government can borrow more money to pay for things. I think I have the solution, but that isn’t what I want to write about.
I’m not worried about it. I’m not even all that mad about it.
Let me tell you why.
According to Paul, I was chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world. I figure that makes me valuable in God’s eyes and nothing eternally tragic is going to happen to me. By the way, you can find that Ephesians 1 in your Bible , if you’re keeping score.
Being anxious about it won’t help me one bit. It won’t add anything to my life except, well, more anxiety. It won’t add any more days to my life. It won’t do anything good for me. Check out Matthew 6.
God cares about birds and grass. Same scripture as above. He feeds birds. He clothes grass. I’m more valuable than they are. He’s going to take care of me.
God has it all under control. The President, Senate and Congress cannot do anything that He doesn’t want done. Check out Psalm 33:10.
Ultimately, all of these politicians are God’s ministers. They are there to ultimately achieve God’s purposes. And yes, I have a hard time seeing that. I just have to believe it. It get this from Romans 13.
Does all of this mean I just take a pie in the sky approach to life? No. I’ve just decided to not worry about it and be anxious about it. Sometimes I’ll blow it. But all in all, I’ll trust the One who has it all under control.
How about you? Do you struggle with anxiety and worry over the debt ceiling or other matters?
Today it’s 35 days until the University kicks off the 2011 football season. What happened over the past week and what is coming up during the next week?
It seems that Tennessee missed out on another Athletic Director this week. Depending on who you believe, Joe Alleva from LSU was set to become the next athletic director. Either way, it’s back to square one for the search team.
Tennessee received two commitments this week. One was at a position of need, defensive tackle, in the form of Damien Jacobs. The other was a head scratcher when George Bullock, Knoxville West kicker, was offered a scholarship. I will trust that the coaching staff know what they are doing .
Fall camp begins Tuesday. Many questions will have to be answered as practice begins. Will the defensive line be improved over last year? Will we have enough linebackers? Will Tyler Bray show improvement or a sophomore slump? It all begins for us in 35 days. News will be coming out on a daily basis. I only have two words to describe it all.
I kissed a frog and I liked it. No, not really. And I apologize to Katy Perry for ripping off her song for my title. I think it’s ok since she is sort of a member of the family. You know that, right? She got her start in Christian music, so that kind of makes her a member of the family.
But Jan really did accuse me of kissing a frog. Why?
I had a wart.
Ever had a wart? I had never had one in my life until a couple of months ago. I didn’t know it was a wart. It was in the weirdest place, between my lip and nose. At first, I thought it was a pimple. I thought it would go away. It didn’t.
I kept nicking it when I shaved. I would pick at it with tweezers. I thought it would fester and I could pop it. It never happened.
A funny thing happened. Even though I knew that I needed to get it checked and removed, I kept putting it off. I would rub it several times a day. It became a part of me. I couldn’t imagine what I would look like without it.
Finally I went to the doctor. She looked at and pronounced it a wart. The nurse numbed it and she sliced it off. That was the most efficient way to get rid of it. She just cut it off. Now it’s healed. It didn’t scar. I’m back to normal, the way I should be.
Is that the way sin is? We keep nicking it. We tweeze it. It becomes a part of us. There is only one solution to removing it. It has to be cut off. And there is only one Doctor who can do it. Only He can perform the “surgery” needed to restore us to what we should be. He gets rid of our “warts”.
Ever had a wart???
It’s Twitterific Thursday where I write 140 words or less about some random subject.
What’s right around the corner? I don’t know. Neither do you. That’s the problem with the Unknown, isn’t it? The uncertainty.
We don’t know if the economy will bounce back or tank.
We don’t know if our jobs will remain stable.
We don’t know if our health will stay good or not.
We don’t know if our churches will grow or shrink.
We don’t know if our kids will stay close or pull away.
We don’t know if they will get into trouble or stay trouble-free.
We don’t know if they will marry, have children or get divorced.
So, let’s be honest.
We really don’t know what will happen.
The Unknown stands out there waiting for us.
It consumes some and others are ok.
But those of us who follow Christ know the one who knows the Unknown.
Let’s trust Him!!!
I don’t usually have two posts on Thursdays. This isn’t really a typical post of mine. I just want to let those who regularly visit the ole’ Deuceology blog that there are a couple of “rules” changes coming up. I want everyone to know what to expect.
You can come to expect Two For Tuesdays. That day is remaining the same.
However, today is the last regular Twitterific Thursday.
Tomorrow will not be a Follow Friday.
Monday will not be about Dreams. Or it may be.
You may recall I made some rules for my blog a few weeks ago. And I enjoyed it. For a while.
But I have so many ideas that I sit down to write that they are starting to back up on me. And then I feel locked in to find something to write about for Twitterific Thursday, Follow Friday and Dream Monday.
That doesn’t mean I won’t write 14o Words (or less) about subjects. It doesn’t mean I won’t write about dreams. It doesn’t mean I won’t highlight friends.
It just means that I’m not locked in to doing that on certain days.
I found myself mimicking other bloggers in certain ways and I really want to be more original than that. So, I’m making a rules change. It’s my blog, so I guess I can.
Thank you for sticking with me during the early stages of this blog. I’m still within the first two months of this thing. You have stuck with me despite mistakes and bad posts. Please keep coming back. And please comment. I would love to hear what you think and have to say.
I’ll leave you with a question.
Do you make rules changes in your life from time to time?
Something happened the other day that was very troubling to me. It caused me a great deal of stress over several days. I prayed about it. I prayed about it some more. I asked my Sunday School to pray about it. Something really cool happened.
That prayer was answered quickly.
It was answered very positively to my benefit. I was happy. I was ecstatic. I did my happy dance. I told a friend about it at the grocery store when Jan and I went to buy bread and Blue Bell ice cream (thanks Holly and yes, Blue Bell is an important food group).
But………….what if it hadn’t been? What would I have done?
Would I have been as satisfied with waiting on God to say yes later?
Would I have been as satisfied with God saying no?
Would I have been satisfied with God saying wait a while either way?
Prayer doesn’t always get answered the way we want or according to our timeline either, do we? We pray and we wait. Sometimes the wait is long. Sometimes the wait is short. Sometimes the wait is joyful. Sometimes the wait ends in disappointment.
But what if we could just get to the point of waiting. No matter how long, we wait. No matter what the answer is, we wait.
And we accept it.
And we glorify Christ no matter what.
That is a prayer that we should hope gets answered.
Have you ever thought about whether your church thinks globally? I don’t mean whether or not your church gives money to international missions like my Southern Baptist church does. We give a certain amount of our money to what we call the Cooperative Program that supports missions. We take up an offering called the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering that supports international missions. At Easter, it’s the Annie Armstrong to support North American missions.
But back to the original question: Does your church think globally?
Does your church do more than take up money? Does your church send mission teams out locally? Does your church send teams out regionally? Nationally? Internationally? For me, thinking globally is being outwardly focused? Is your church outwardly focused?
Or is it focused solely on what’s going on within the four walls? Is it focused on what’s happening on Sunday and Wednesday?
Please don’t tell me that people are doing things to help out, but are being so “spiritual” that the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing. I’m talking about our churches being proactive and intentional in going out into their communities, regions, states, nations or the world.
I believe that churches who are truly following Christ are thinking globally? They are focused on what’s going on outside the four walls. Sundays and Wednesdays are time to worship and “fuel up” together for doing just that.
So, back to the question
Is your church thinking globally?
I’m sure you have heard of her by now. You may have heard about her during your sermon Sunday. There are even books written about her. The Proverbs 31 woman. She is often held up as the example for Christian wives to follow. She is the kind of woman we men are told we need to look for. I won’t try to detail who or what she is here. No, what I really want to highlight are the women in the Bible who seem to be her opposite and that we want to AVOID in our lives. Here are a few.
The Genesis 38 Woman. This is the woman who is wronged by a family member. More than likely, it’s her father-in-law. She takes revenge by seduction and blackmail. This tends to make family reunions a bit uncomfortable.
The Genesis 39 Woman. This woman is probably a cougar. She encourages her husband to hire young men to help around the house. Like Hall and Oates said, “She’s a man-eater. Watch out, boy, she’ll chew you up.” She also has a temper and is likely to falsely accuse her victims and land them in jail.
The Judges 16 Woman. This woman will give you a haircut for 1100 pieces of silver. That seems steep for a haircut .My wife, Jan, gives me a haircut every two weeks, but I have never given her 1100 pieces of silver. I believe that she is also prone to hosting syndicated radio shows and spouting sappy sounding advice.
The 1 Kings 19 Woman. While named after one chapter of the Bible, her reach extends much further. She’s not very fond of Godly preachers. She is so bad and evil that it is hard to find anyone who will even bury her. After she is gone, people will admit that she has gone to the dogs. I have never met anyone by her name, but sometimes people will call women in their community by her name.
Compared to these women, that Proverbs 31 woman sounds pretty good. Let me find my Bible so I can figure out what kind of woman she is.
Cadel Evans won the Tour de France yesterday. He had been runner-up twice, but finally broke through to win the race. It had been his dream to win the Tour since he was 14.
What was my dream when I was 14? To be an accountant. Exciting, huh? Actually this had been my dream since I was much younger. My uncle was an accountant, so I wanted to be like him.
Actually, this wasn’t my dream. It was the dream some well-meaning family members had for me. They wanted me to have a good job and make good money. So, at a very young age they encouraged me to follow in my uncle’s footsteps and become an accountant. So for years my dream was to do that very thing.
The problem was that I woke one day in college and realized that I didn’t want to be an accountant. And I didn’t know what my dream was.
So, what do you do if you don’t know what your dream is? Here’s what I would suggest.
Ask God. Ask Him to plant it in your heart. Ask Him to reveal to you. Ask Him to make it clear. Don’t expect audible voices or burning bushes. But ask Him to make sure you know.
Ask people who know you what you are good at. Being a car mechanic would have been a poor dream of mine. If I had asked people if that would be a good dream, they would have told me to go in some other direction. Fortunately my dream was never to be a car mechanic.
If you’re a parent, encourage your children. Tell them to dream. Make sure that they are dreaming their dream and not yours. I have never told my daughter what to be or do when she grows up. She wants to be a nurse/nurse practitioner/physician’s assistant. She’s heading in that direction. Want to know when she first began dreaming of this? When she was around four. We watched a video of her when she was young a while back. She told us on the video back then that she wanted to work in a hospital. She still wants to. I do everything I can to encourage her in her dream.
How about you? Have you ever had someone else’s dream? Have you asked God for your dream? Do you encourage your children to pursue their own dreams?
Sometimes the strangest thoughts pop into my head. The other day I was at work, working hard on a spreadsheet. What thought entered my head? Taking candy from a baby.
This saying usually indicates that something is easy. That’s not what I thought about though. I didn’t think about this spreadsheet being easy, like taking candy from a baby. No, here’s what I thought about.
What’s a baby doing with candy anyway?
I never gave my kids candy when they were babies. That thought never entered my mind. In fact, sometimes when they got a hold of some candy, I took it away from them. It wasn’t always easy. Sometimes I had to pry their mouths open and stick my finger down their throat looking for that candy, wrapper and all, they were trying to swallow.
So, shouldn’t I try to take candy from a baby?
That led me to my next thought. Compared to God, aren’t we babies? Do we have hold of things that we don’t need or that aren’t good for us? Does God ever decide that he needs to take things away from His babies? Yes, I imagine He does. We think the candy that we want and have hold of is exactly what we need. God knows better. We know that as parents. Which of us would give our children a snake when they asked for a fish? None of us. We aren’t going to give our children something that would harm them. Same with God. He will not give us something that will harm us, no matter if we think it’s the best thing for us.
The question is this: How do we react when God takes away something that we want and have so that He can give us something good that He wants us to have.
How would you react? How do you react?