Thursday, July 30, 2009
Monday, July 27, 2009
A perk (perquisite) of being married to an accomplished pianist is that I get to listen as my wife creates a new piano arrangement.
It is such a pleasure listening to her design a new arrangement. The beautiful chords and sequence of chords is sumptuous.
It doesn’t hurt to have a cup of freshly brewed Caribou French Roast coffee in hand either.
I don’t think that the creation process for one of my sermons is quite as elegant. Why is that?
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Did you know that God is a God of generosity and blessing?
Last night I experienced God’s abbondanza. I had just finished mowing the lawn and coming inside our home I mentioned to Joy, “the lawn is really dry, I’m going to ask God for a half an inch of rain.”
We sat down to a tasty meal of pork rib tips, sautéed zucchini from our garden. While Joy was finishing up dinner, I caught the weather report and the forecaster said, “the rain is going to split and go north and south of Chicago. It is unlikely we’ll get any rain here.”
That evening we noticed the weather system that had hammered Iowa (hail, rain and tornado warnings) seemed to be slipping south of us. I said, “God please turn that system and give us some rain.” The longer we watched the radar, the more we rejoiced as we saw the storm literally hook around toward us.
Not too much later, I heard some distant thunder. I looked at Joy and smiled. Before too long, I heard rain hitting the deck and by the time the “non-storm” finished up, we had 8/10 an inch of rain!
Thank you God. My lawn looks lovely now and is watered for the week.
Now, if I can transfer that faith onto the sale of this home in this current drought of a real estate market we are in…. “Thank you God for showing the forecasters wrong and our house selling in a dead market.”
People of Jesus live in FAITH and HOPE.
This is why the Psalms say, "I don't care how bad it is today, I am going to sing in the morning."
It is amazing how a guy who is one of the most decisive on the football field is being so indecisive about signing a contract.
Brett Favre has been a great football player. He was the icon in Green Bay for over 15 years (1992-2007).
Favre is statistically one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time. Favre is the first player to win the AP Most Valuable Player three consecutive times (1995–97).
He led the Packers to seven division championships (1995, 1996 1997, 2002 2003, 2004 and 2007), four NFC Championship Games (1995, 1996, 1997 and 2007), winning two (1996 and 1997), two Super Bowl appearances, winning one (Super Bowl XXXI).
He holds a number of NFL records including: most career touchdown passes (464), most career passing yards (65,
127), most career pass completions (5,720), most career pass attempts (9,280), most career interceptions thrown (310), most consecutive starts among NFL quarterbacks (269; 291 total starts including playoffs), and most career victories as a starting quarterback (169). (Wikipedia stats)
When you watched Favre play football, you would have to describe him as a gunslinger. He was amazing. Snap decisions , quick judgments. He would throw the football so quick, accurate and hard that many defenders couldn’t handle it. It would blow right through their hands.
So why is the “gunslinger” having a tough time making the decision on signing on with the Minnesota Vikings. I doubt if it is any loyalty to the Packers. If you didn’t know the Vikings and Packers are rivals, only overshadowed by the rivalry between the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers.
It has come down to the day before training camp and the big news is… “Favre can’t make up his mind.”
The ball has been hiked to him and he is standing there with it in his hands just looking at it.
It would be easy to try to figure out why he can’t pull the trigger, grab the pen, sign the contract. I’m sure there are all kinds of thoughts going through his mind… like the wear and tear of another football season on his 40 year old body and I would imagine he has enough money set aside. With his personality, he could easily get a contract with ESPN and do color commentary. Someone needs to replace John Madden.
On his own website it states, “Brett Favre: I'll stay retired, even if I get the urge” (February 2009) and now one of his agents is reporting, “he’ll probably make a decision next week.” I’m not holding my breath!
Enough about Favre, his story is only a tool to talk about decisiveness or indecisiveness.
"The percentage of mistakes in quick decisions is no greater than in long-drawn-out vacillation, and the effect of decisiveness itself 'makes things go' and creates confidence." -- Anne O'Hare McCormick (1882-1954), First woman to win a Pulitzer prize for journalism
Contrary to popular belief, your decisions don't drive your long term success - your decisiveness does. Said another way, when you reach a crossroads on any issue, the act of choosing creates power, not the choice itself. The issue is momentum. No matter what you choose, when you commit boldly with conviction, you create momentum. When you hesitate you don't. And success is built on momentum.
The more I think about this, I am reminded of Joshua’s challenge to indecisive people, “choose this day, whom you will serve” (Joshua 24:15).
I must confess, indecisiveness drives me crazy. But, I have no skin in Favre’s decision, so I’ll just take the lesson to heart to let my “yea be yea and my no be no.”