How about cozing up to reading a real, spy thriller?

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I’m a spy guy.  TV shows like NCIS and a movie like Mission Impossible intrigue me.
For something a bit different I recently read a book called The MOSSAD by Dennis Eisenberg, Uri Dan, and Eli Landau.
You’ve heard about the CIA, MI5, and the KGB, well there’s also the Mossad, Israel’s spy agency. From what I understand, the Mossad is right up there in its intelligence capabilities with the best agencies in the world.
This book is filled with really interesting stories from the spy world and international politics.  In so many ways, the stories that are written about are so far removed from the experiences in my life that it just kind of blew my mind that there really are “spy thrillers” really taking place.
If you want a very interesting, different kind of read, check it out.
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Might it be, that its time to move on?

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“Everyone has his own specific vocation or mission in life. Everyone must carry  out a concrete assignment that demands fulfillment. Therein he cannot be replaced, nor can his life be repeated.  Thus everyone’s task is as unique as his specific opportunity to implement it.”

quote from Viktor Frankl

What are you passionate about?
When is the last time you took time to evaluate your vocation and if it is time for you to move on to some other job?   With that in mind you, you might want to reflect on your abilities and your circumstances, including the right timing and see how things are lining up for you, big-picture-wise.
Do you still have dreams out there that are worth pursuing?   If so, what are you waiting for?

Be mindful of the power of the …

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Sometimes its best to say little.

Lately, I’ve had on my radar the awareness of the power of the tongue.  Within a week’s time, I saw numerous examples where I had the privilege of being able to pass along encouraging words to various people and benefitted from seeing their spirits raise and smiles come across their faces.

Those all were  very precious times.

Then again, there was probably four or five times, when I could literally hear words about to come out of my mouth that I was able to reel in at the last moment. They would have been words that I really felt like saying, but which would have hurt others deeply. I could easily envision the tensions that would have arisen as I released the venom in my words.

I understand that we can’t keep all of our thoughts to ourselves. We don’t want to turn into powder kegs of dynamite where we bottle up our frustrations and feelings until something very minor triggers our blowing up in anger and releasing very fragile emotions.

Yes, we need discernment to know what to say and when.

Let me encourage you to monitor your words and the tone of your words very carefully. Be thorough in evaluating this often. Whether its something said as a joke, but gets taken by the person in a hurtful way, or maybe its an outburst of impatience on your part towards someone whose mistakes have inconvenienced you….. on and on, I could go.

I believe you know of the potential dangers I’m alerting you to.  Be mindful of the power of the tongue.  Purpose to be a person who encourages and lifts people up, rather than tears people down.

How you can be a better “matchmaker” kind of friend…

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Picture this scene: you are sitting in your living room, enjoying a relaxing evening at home.  Then, for some reason, your mind races to your day at the office.

Your mind then thinks about an e-mail that got sent out from your HR department with a listing of currently available job openings that they are looking for help to fill.  You think to yourself that was kind of weird–that thought popping into your head.  Anyway, the thought goes away and you go back to relaxing and enjoying your evening.

About an hour later, a friend knocks on your door.  Its been a while since you last saw your buddy and wonder what’s been going on in his life. Soon, he begins to share with you that he is out of work, needing a job.  Your mind races back to the thought of the e-mail with  job postings that was sent out by your HR department earlier in the day.

You continue to listen to your friend share his struggles and then you hear yourself say the following words, “good luck.”    Seriously?  Is that the best you got?

I understand that for many people saying “good luck” is a socially acceptable nice thing to say, but you know what,  for the person to whom you say those words to, it really leaves them  with a cold and pretty impotent kind of comfort.

I’m speaking now to all of us who are Christians, who believe in the reality of a living and loving God and have a personal relationship with Him through faith in Jesus Christ.   Let me remind all of us that we have access to the throne of grace.   The Bible says, ” So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.”  (Heb. 4:16-NLT).

To your friend, you have the awesome privilege to listen to the concerns on their heart and then you have the opportunity to suggest,  “how about we take your concerns to Almighty God and let Him deal with them?”

I believe your friend would be extremely grateful to you for bringing them this help.  I believe they would find great encouragement and comfort in your gesture of prayer.

In fact, just today, I had a co-worker express to me a health concern she was having.  She was full of anxiety because of some tests she had to take. As she was getting ready to leave my office, I could almost hear the words “well, good luck” forming in my mind.  Fortunately, I stopped those words from leaving my mouth and I asked her if I could pray for her.  She said “yes” very enthusiastically.

We then prayed. When I looked up I was struck by the visible change in her countenance.  She was smiling.  She expressed her gratefulness that I would pray for her.  It was almost like some kind of weight was lifted from her.   It was so encouraging to see God comfort and encourage her so quickly.

Friends of this blog, if you are a Christian, let me encourage you when the opportunities arise  – be bold and play the role of a matchmaker.  Connect people who share a concern with you with a living and loving God who longs to be asked to be a part of the solution.  Give Him the opportunity to show that He is a good, God.

Blessings.

Like expanding ripples…

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There are a number of things wrong with Washington. One of them is that everyone is too far from home.

I thought that this was a pretty profound insight from this president.   I wonder how many people there are that are looking to conquer the world, and/or climb the corporate ladder to make it to the top of their organization, or industry, but in their crazed ambition, they have overlooked that their foundations back at home are crumbling.

Let me encourage you to never overlook or take for granted those people closest to you, whose lives you influence in far greater ways than you can ever imagine.  Realistically, there will be many attractive career opportunities available for you to pursue, but rarely do those moments occur when your little girl needs her daddy to be there because some boy just made fun of her,  or broke up with her.

And so vital is it for us,  husbands to understand that as we are describing all the bells and whistles that come our way with our successes at work that we don’t miss seeing the quiet efforts of our life partner who has always been there for us in our successes and failures.   I hope we never fail to appreciate and respect all that our spouses contribute to enriching our life, and our family’s.

Although your influence may expand in life, like expanding ripples when a stone is thrown in a pond,  never lose sight of your water_splashresponsibilities at home–  at the center of your life.

 

Isn’t it about time to let it go?

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“Everyone says forgiveness is a lovely idea, until they have something  to forgive.”

CS Lewis

When we harbor unforgiveness towards others, we weigh ourselves down with a ball and chain that we will continue to carry around with us until we choose to deal with it and how healthy or productive will we be dragged down by this extra weight.ball and chain

Can you relate to this truth in your experience?  Is there anyone who just hearing their name brings about a knot in your stomach, and raises your blood pressure?

So, how can you deal with those who have betrayed  you, or deceived you, or have  hurt you in some way ?  The answer to that serious question is found only as you move forward in mercy.

True, you might have had someone wrong you and it hurts, but let’s take a step back.  Have you ever let someone down? Have you ever been insensitive to someone? Have you ever not totally been honest with someone?   Regardless of how the person you offended responded to you, how would you have wanted them to treat you?    Well,  now is your turn and you have an opportunity to respond in a way you know to be right.

Now, let’s take it up a notch.

The Bible says we have all done wrong and sinned against a holy God?   Do you believe that?   Do you understand what our consequence should be for rebelling against Almighty God – death and eternal separation from Him.   We deserve His full judgement for our independence and disobedience.

Yet, He demonstrated in an awesome way mercy towards us.  What He did was to acknowledge our rebellious ways against Him and came up with a loving plan so that we could be reconciled back to Him.  His plan was to send His Son, Jesus Christ to take the punishment that our sins deserved, so that we will be free of the judgement for our ways.  His own blood would purchase our freedom. It was the greatest act of mercy and grace ever shown to man.

So, if we really can understand  God’s amazing act of mercy and kindness toward us, how then can we not forgive others when they have done something against us ?

Don’t you long to be released from the ball and chain of bitterness by forgiving those who have wronged you?

Isn’t it about time to be free!    Isn’t it time to let it go and move on?

 

I couldn’t believe it, she just flew past me

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There I was enjoying a bike ride on a beautiful sunny day.  The scenery was beautiful. I was cruising along at a pretty quick pace listening to some of my favorite music and just taking it all in. IMG_1812

I was thinking to myself how sweet this moment was and then it happened- I got passed on the trail by a woman who made it seem like I was barely pedaling at all !

“Oh, that does it”  I felt humiliated.

So like most men (and this isn’t a good thing to be admitting),  I thought to myself, “I can ride just as fast as she is.” I’ll show her.

 

After about 20 seconds I knew that all my effort of keeping up with her pace was not going to happen.IMG_1815

So, I settled for going to my original pace, which seemed much slower by now. 

As I thought about what had just taken place on the trail, I thought to myself,  “what a sad story!”

For a few minutes, I had lost all the enjoyment on my ride. Really, what did it matter?

I was amazed at how quickly I could get distracted by something so inconsequential.

As I thought more about the lessons to be learned from this experience, I thought about how important it is for me to focus on enjoying my life and not trying to perform like someone else.  I am responsible for doing my best in all the areas of my responsibilities AND  enjoying the process of living life.  I need to fend off distractions that pressure or tempt me to feel like I need more or I need to change for my life to matter, and be utterly thankful for all that I currently have.

 

Whew – I’m glad that I got that out.  Now, let me get back to enjoying the rest of my ride.IMG_1818

How are you doing at removing inconsequential distractions from your life and enjoying and being thankful for how God made you?