Saturday, January 29, 2011

Things get different

     I remember 35+ years ago living in Southern California and thinking I had to be cool -or KEWL, as they might spell it today- so I liked to get dressed up if I was going out. Of course at that stage of my life, in that context and in that culture, getting dressed up meant that I ironed a tee shirt (preferably one with some sort of anti-establishment message on it), and pulled on a pair of designer jeans. Today I prefer to dress down most of the time, so I don’t bother ironing the t-shirt (still wear the ones with messages – usually a different type of message, though) and the jeans are whatever is on sale from the Softer Side or at Wally-World.

         What brought that up is that yesterday I read Mark Batterson’s new Book Soul Print. And as I was reading it and writing a review, I kept thinking how much I could have used this book 30 or so years ago. If I had been able to live some of the practices Batterson writes about, my life might have been a lot kewler. But He also put the antidote to that kind of thinking into the book: it’s not the disappointments, delays and disadvantages that I need to waste time worrying about, but rather I need to be on the lookout for the divine appointments that tend to accompany the delays and discouragements.

     Batterson’s point is that when things don’t turn out the way I had planned them, it might just be because God is saying, “Hold on, I have something much better in store for you”. And as I look back I can see that God has taken me to places I never dreamed of, and as a result my life has changed in many different ways.

     Things didn’t always turn out like I had planned, but they turned out the way God wanted them to happen, and as a result of those disappointments, disadvantages and delays in my life, I’ve been primed for the divine appointments that God had in store for me.

      I didn’t become a millionaire by the age of 30, and it doesn’t look to promising for 60 either, but that’s okay. I’m rich in so many ways that are counted in a way that doesn’t include dollars.

     So I have a choice, and so do you. We can look back at the past, let that define us and lock us into a future that is devoid of joy, peace, hope and love; or we can turn the past over to God, and let Him use it to shape our future. The exciting wonderful future that he has in mind for each of us.

     And by the way, all those times of disappointment, disadvantage, delays actually have something in common with the divine appointments. You seem in good times or in bad times, I can turn to God and it will keep getting different. Actually whether I turn to God or not things will continue to get different, but different with God involved is a lot better than different without knowing that He is there beside me!


Friday, January 28, 2011

SOUL PRINT review: Get Ready for a Journey

David is one of those biblical personages that even pre-believers seem to know about, and in his latest book, Soul Print discovering your divine destiny; Mark Batterson sends us on a journey to discover our destiny with David as the tour guide. But it’s not just any journey; it’s a journey that helps us discover who we might have been, who we might become, instead of just who we are. It’s a journey that builds on the legacy that we were left with, and builds to the legacy that we will leave behind
I don’t think there’s a lot of new ideas in this book, but I might as well have been reading some of them for the first time, and I found myself thinking about how my life might have been different if I had read this book 35 or 40 years ago. If I had focused on becoming the right person, on enjoying the current season rather than focusing on the one to come. If I had recognized some of the disappointments to my plans as the divine appointments that God intended them to be.
            This book is deceptively simple. You might spend a couple of hours reading it, enjoying the writing style, and promising to try some of the suggestions for making your skin a more comfortable place to be, or you might savor it for longer periods of time, delighting in the knowledge that God has a wonderful plan for you, and Batterson has given you a map with a big “X” marking the spot where you can start the search for that plan.
            As I read I was given glimpse after glimpse of the me that God is still working on, not just the me that I might be content with based on the days that have already passed, but the me that God has planned for the days that are yet to come.
I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Blessed Are the Flexible

Early on in my military career I heard a saying that has stuck with me over the years. Sometimes it has stuck like glue, and other times it's stuck like water on a duck's back, but in some form or another, it has stuck.

It goes like this: 'Flexibility is the key to survival in the tactical environment'.

Today my Colorado/Palestine friend, Donna, reminded me of that axiom when she posted this variation on the theme - 'Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape!'

I was looking at a schedule, and thought that a certain project was due a week earlier than I had thought, (turns out it's not due for another 2 weeks). It's not even a big project, but it certainly would require some changes to my tentative schedule to get it done this week. And that's where the flexibility comes in. Its way too easy to get heartburn worrying over how to manage minor interruptions and deviations to plans, when all I really need to do is go with the flow. But because I 'hate' change, I have to keep reminding myself of this simple fact.

And there are certainly others who have had their plans changed. Daniel thought he was going to spend some time praying to God and he ended up in a den full of hungry lions. Instead of getting all upset, he just kept praying: all that changed was the location, and as we all know, we can pray anywhere. Paul Thought he was going to go to the province of Asia to preach the gospel, but he was prevented from doing so by the Spirit of Jesus. He kept preaching the gospel, just not in the place that he thought he was headed to.

Jonah had his plans changed too, he was happy where he was and God told him to go to Nineveh. That freaked him out, so he took all sorts of desperate measures - he ended up being thrown off the ship, swallowed by a sea creature, spit up on the beach, and adding insult to injury, ended up in Nineveh anyway.

It's good to make plans, but as all good 12 steppers know, it's not always wise to plan the results. I find that if I take things as they come, I might have to change my plans, but by staying flexible, it's a lot easier to not get bent out of shape. By staying flexible it's easier to survive.

And now that I've pontificated and waxed eloquent, I can take some time to freak out...

...see you in Nineveh!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

NDPA Plunge a Success

It could have been a lot worse. For example, there could have been crocodiles in the water, or piranhas. All we had to deal with was mud and slime under teh water, and a few chunks of something floating on top of the water...oh, yeah, those chunks were giant ice cubes. But it wasn't snowing, (except for a few flurries now and then), the sun was shinging (most of the time), the band was playing, Mrs. Gomberg was enthusiastically encouraging the students, teachers and occasional parent, and there were lots of people out there to support the plungers. Plus everybody seemed to be having a good time. The press came out to cover the event, there was food and hot chocolate (and even some coffee for people like me).

Thirty three people had pre-registered, and most, if not all, of them showed up. After the crowd saw how much fun it was, there were people rushing to get into the water: cheerleaders in uniforms, other students in jeans, and maybe an adult or two. 

I heard that between pledges for the plungers, food sales, registration fees and donations, that several thousand dollars was raised. That's a good thing. It costs a lot to send a kid to Spain for 10 days, and it wouldn't be fair to offer a program that most of the kids couldn't participate in because of the cost. The money from pledges that each student raised goes towards his or her trip.  The rest goes to keeping the costs down, and hopefully in the future a scholarship fund.

If you supported NDPA or an individual plunger, you deserve a big THANKS!

And if you didn't get to participate in some way this year, next year's ninth graders are already looking forward to their turn.

Friday, January 21, 2011

BRRRR! The Plunge Is Near!

Well, it's almost time. Tomorrow morning I expect to be at Fort Buenaventura for the North Davis Preparatory Academy 'Freezin' for a Reason Polar Bear Plunge'. (It may be too soon to call this an annual event, since the first one hasn't happened yet, but that's the plan) By this time tomorrow afternoon, I'll probably be in bed covered with about 20 blankets in the hopes of thawing out before church starts on Sunday.

Based on comments by friends, I'm not sure whether the snow that's predicted for tomorrow morning is a good thing or not. On the one hand, I like sunshine, but for it to be a clear sunny day, that means the temps will probabbly stay low. Snow probably means clouds, but it will have to warm up some if it's going to snow.

Hmmmmmmm -- what would be preferable - snowy and cold or sunny and colder?

At least the event organizers say that there will be a place to warm up after the plunge. Maybe I won't even need those 20 blankets by the time we get home.

If you'd still like to sponsor Nolan or me, there's plenty of time.  And we would also appreciate your prayers. About 30 students, teachers, staff and parents are signed up to get in the water. Please pray that the event is a financial success, but just as importantly, pray for the safety of all participants.

Look for pictures in the near future (if I don't drop the camera into the frigid water)



God Works in Mysterious Ways

God has this incredible way of giving us just what we need when we need it. And usually we don't even see it coming.

A few days ago a friend made a comment in the language that I fondly call 'churchese': that special vocabulary that people hear or pick up in church, and over time it becomes part of our vocabulary. Church people know exactly what we mean, but lots of other people don't have a clue.

Anyway, said friend made the comment, and I asked 'What do you mean by that?'

An explanation was forthcoming, along with a disclaimer that quite possibly the term hadn't been fully understood.  We made plans to talk at some future point when schedules allowed.

Today my friend read something and sent it to me for review, along with a suggestion that 'maybe this is what you had in mind'.

It was. God knew that my friend was ready to go deeper, and so He provided the shovel.

We're still going to have lunch.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Cold is relative

It’s almost 40º here today, and I’m still calling it cold. Or I was until I read an email from my sister in Rochester NY. My nieces went ice skating last night with the youth group from their church; it was a brisk
 -9º (yep that’s right, 9 degrees below zero). And then I talked to my brother this morning – the temperature there in Rochester is slowly rising, it was up to -4º .

If you read yesterday’s post, you know that I’m planning on getting wet on Saturday morning, and the water is likely to be cool. Well, it will probably be COLD. Someone is going up on Friday with a jack hammer and chain saw to cut a hole in the ice so we can get into the water. That water is going to be slightly colder than cool. Can you say "%&^#*" ?

But several times over the past 5 years I’ve been at the AB Kids’ church camp during July, and on more than one occasion got up at about 5:30 am to go down to the pool for the camp’s polar bear club. Each morning we thought that the water was cold. Granted the sun’s not up, and the camp is in the mountains, and the stream is run-off and snow melt, but the temperature is in the 80’s, so the water is probably not that cold.

And I really realize what a wimp I am when I go the Marshall White Center to swim laps. The director tells me that the water is about 85º, and I’m thinking that it could stand to be a few degrees warmer.

Talk about spoiled.

Talk about what a shock when I get into that water at Fort Buenaventura on Saturday morning.

So I guess the lesson from this is that there is probably somebody that’s got it better than you do, but there’s also somebody that’s got it worse. It’s all relative!

(for more info about the Plunge, see the schools web site: )

Sunday, January 16, 2011

'Polar Bear Plunge' Fund Raiser - I'm getting wet (and COLD)

Dear friends

On Saturday, January 22, Nolan and I will be jumping into the icy cold water at Fort Buenaventura State Park in Ogden, UT for a really good cause. Yes, you heard me right. I will be plunging right into the frigid, pond waters along with several dozen other crazy students, parents and teachers. (My cardiologist said it’s ok for me to plunge, but he did offer a referral to a good shrink ☺) The fun starts at 9:00am...come watch us get wet!

The event, organized by North Davis Preparatory Academy (NDPA), is just one way of enjoying the winter weather in Utah before students head off to see the sunny country of Spain. Attending a Spanish International School gives NDPA students the opportunity to participate in Full Immersion Spanish Course at ‘La Universidad Pontifica de Salamanca’. The program is designed for 9th graders, and Nolan plans to go on next year's trip. NDPA students will be utilizing the Spanish tongue as they complete the immersion program, and earn educational credits along with a diploma.

So here is the deal: I agree to get wet and cold and hope that some of you will, in turn, agree to sponsor Nolan. By making a pledge to support my playful suffering, you will help NDPA fulfill its very serious mission of furthering its students’ education, personal growth, and cultural experience. The suggested minimum pledge is $20.00, but any amount would be appreciated, all funds earned through the plunge will be held on account for Nolan until next year’s trip.

Please let me know if you can make a pledge towards this worthwhile event. Also know
that North Davis Preparatory Academy is a non-profit organization, which emphasizes a
K-9 grade bilingual education. You can learn more about NDPA at Remember, your contribution is tax deductible.

If you can make a pledge, you can let me know the amount now, and then I will follow up with you after the swim to collect your contribution. Or you can go to the school’s website, and make a secure contribution towards my plunge right now. (Donate to Nolan Dumas)

Either way, thank you very much for pledging your support, and encouraging me to freeze my butt off in the process!

And we sure appreciate your prayers as I embark on this latest episode of 'what we do for our kids".

Photographs to follow.
Thanks again,

NDPA is a 501(c)(3) organization and donations may be used as a tax deduction. The State Tax Exemption Number is N21961. The Federal EIN number is 76-0797632.
Thank you for your time and consideration. Nolan and I appreciate your support

Friday, January 14, 2011

Yesterday there was an article in the local paper about a letter that the County Sheriff had posted on his FaceBook page. Read it here: Because he is an elected official, and he had the 'nerve' to talk about his religious beliefs to employees, the letter, (which was according to the newspaper article on department letterhead), caused quite a bit of commotion. The Sheriff’s letter (which I haven’t had the opportunity to read, so I'm just going by the newspaper article) is said to have stated his view that God approves of capital punishment, and that working in the field of public safety, such as in the Sheriff’s department, is doing God's work.

A reporter from the newspaper called and asked if I would like to comment on the article. Read that article here: Some of my remarks were addressed by other contributing sources, so they weren’t repeated, but here is what I sent in for consideration:

Wow. There are a lot of issues addressed in the article you asked about. Does God approve of capital punishment? Did the sheriff cross the line? Is public safety doing God's work?

Briefly here are comments on all three issues.

Does God approve of capital punishment?
Throughout the first five books of the Hebrew Scriptures, or Old Testament there are several laws given which indicate that a person who violates that law shall be stoned to death. Since the laws came directly from God, it does indeed appear that He would favor capital punishment. But it was God who decided which crimes would be punished by stoning. God, not man decides the appropriate punishment for each crime. Having established that under the Mosaic Law, ‘capital punishment’ was the appropriate punishment for such things as adultery, touching the Holy Mountain, keeping a bull known to have gored people in the past and allowing it to gore someone else, blasphemy, gathering wood on the Sabbath, or cursing or attacking his father or mother, we don’t seem to have continued the tradition except on a selective basis.

However under Grace, which we live under thanks to Jesus Christ, things are different. When Jesus was asked to condemn the woman caught in adultery, he simply suggested that the person without sin should cast the first stone, and when all the religious types had left without further accusing her, neither did Jesus. Jesus also warned people not to judge lest they also be judged. The Apostle Paul wrote to the church at Corinth about sexual immorality: under the Mosaic Law, such sinners would have been stoned - under grace, Paul wrote that if they were professing to be Christian, they should be expelled from the fellowship and God would judge them.

J.R.R. Tolkien wrote “Many that live deserve death. And some die that deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then be not too eager to deal out death in the name of justice, fearing for your own safety. Even the wise cannot see all ends”.

God requires punishment for certain sins, but in many cases Jesus has already paid the price.

Bottom line, I think God approves of capital punishment when He has passed judgment, and He decides that death is the appropriate response. And by the way, God doesn’t consult me on who He should find guilty.

Did the sheriff cross the line?This is difficult, but only because of our culture of ‘politically correct’. A poll done in 2008 showed that about 76% of Americans consider themselves to be Christian; throughout the 1990s, over 85% called themselves Christian. While I don’t see a need to be deliberately offensive to non-believers, I also don’t see why a Christian should be prohibited from expressing views that a veto-proof majority claim to hold as their own.

Is public safety doing God's work? Many people are under the mistaken assumption that God is perfectly content with a couple of hours of our time each week, usually on Sunday morning; that’s not even a tithe (10% of the hours in a week would mean 16.8 hours in God's service). If we truly believe that God is worthy of glory, honor and praise, then everything we do should be dedicated to His service: Sunday worship, work, play, and the Sabbath rest. So in that sense, working at any job, in any capacity, as long as you’re a Christian would mean that you are working in God's service, doing God's work.
I think most people like to think that their employment serves a higher purpose than ‘just doing a job’ or ‘it’s a paycheck’ . And what higher purpose could there be than serving God, doing God's work, working in a way that gives God glory, honor and praise?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

My Name Isn’t Jonah – Yet: Some Thoughts on Following God's Plan for Me.

I like to know what the end results are going to be; or at least I used to think so. But the more I think about it, the less it seems like such a good idea. Besides, things usually don’t turn out the way I plan them, so why get my heart set on outcomes that probably aren’t going to happen.

A little over 30 years ago I was living in the Los Angeles area and decided to join the military. I hadn’t even heard back from the recruiter yet before I made plans to spend 20 years at overseas bases, and then return to Hollyweird where I would make a few movies at several million each, and then retire to a beach house from where I would write scathing political reviews.

My life didn’t turn out that way. Yes, I did put on a uniform, but I didn’t spend quite 20 years, and only half of that time was spent overseas. I still haven’t made any movies, in fact I don’t even watch many movies; California beaches are a few states away, and it’s hard to find someone still breathing who’s less interested than me in politics.

And then there are the plans that God has for me and my life. And I’m positive that knowing them in great detail would have been a disaster. In fact as I look back over even the last 10 years, I still can’t believe where He’s brought me. And if I’d known then where He planned on me being today I would have changed my name to Jonah. As in Jonah and the whale, or the giant fish, or whatever that thing was where Jonah spent 3 days.

Nope, my name would have been changed from Karl to “No Way am I going to Nineveh – I’m sneaking onto a boat and sailing off to Tarshish.

Don’t misunderstand, there’s nothing inherently wrong with where I am today and what I’m doing. Utah’s not all that bad a place to be; I like (most of the time) all 3 of my part time jobs; and there’s nothing scary about going back to school at the young age of 59. Well, maybe school is a little scary.

But the deal is I wanted to be on the beach - snow is pretty to look at, but shovels are bad for the back, and icy roads make me nervous. I was looking for a Bible study that I could do in my spare time while working at some kind of job with regular hours, not a Master of Divinity program at a theological seminary, not a pastorate, and not a Doctor of Ministry program. But what I thought I was getting into 10 years ago and where God has me now are over-the-top different things.

In other words if God had told me in the year 2000 what I would be doing in 2011, I would have laughed harder than 90 year old Sarai did when they told her she and her even older husband Abrahm were finally going to have that baby. Not gonna happen God! Like Moses, I didn’t do public speaking so I would have laughed hard until it finally sunk in that God wasn’t kidding - that within 5 years I would be delivering a sermon every Sunday - and then I would have turned 180º and started running faster than I thought possible.

But God knew me well enough to anticipate that kind of reaction, so He spoon fed me, moved me one step at a time, offered me opportunities to be faithful with a few things before entrusting me with many things. And before I realized what was happening I got from 2000 to 2011, almost without wishing that I was still on the boat to Tarshish.

If you’re familiar with the story of Jonah, you remember that God saved him from the belly of the whale, just to tell him once again that it was time to head for Nineveh. I guess when it comes right down to it, I’m going to eventually do what God wants, but that doesn’t mean that He doesn’t need to take some time to get me ready. I wish that I was more obedient than I am, but sometimes I still don’t like what God has in store for me, so maybe its better that I only have to one step at a time, and not the entire trip in one day.

So, if you knew what God had planned for you 10 years from now, what would make you change your name to Jonah?

Monday, January 10, 2011

God Does Exciting Things

Do you ever get excited about something? I mean really excited, and you just have to tell someone about it? Maybe it’s a book or a movie. Maybe you’ve found a new restaurant or hairdresser, or got a new job, or signed up for something that is guaranteed to change your life.

(At least until you read the fine print.)

But many of us have been given the greatest of gifts, we’ve been told the greatest of Good News, but for some strange reason, we're not excited; we seem to want to keep quiet about it. Something is wrong with that picture.

So today, since God is working mightily at the church where I’m privileged to serve, I thought it would be fun to share some of what He’s doing! Watching God work is exciting; it’s so exciting that I have to tell somebody – and that somebody is you. (BTW Not many people read my blog, but I’m so excited that I’m telling other people in other ways too!)

This is just some of the exciting stuff that God is doing at Ogden FBC/NBCC:

Exciting: someone on his way to the library, hears a familiar hymn, stops in, stays to worship, and the next week is singing in the choir,
Exciting: someone comes to a service and gets excited enough to be baptized
Exciting: the choir doubles in size and keeps growing.
Exciting: average attendance increases by about 16 %.
Exciting: welcoming people into fellowship with the congregation.
Exciting: a need for more programs and activities for youth and children.
Exciting: people seeing a need and volunteer to fill it: (no more begging!)
Exciting: support is provided to meet the church’s financial needs.
Exciting: helping the next generation take their place in the church hierarchy.
Exciting: unity rather than division
Exciting: fellowship with other churches in the Association and the Region.
Exciting: being part of a church that is recovering after a near death experience
Exciting: to see the Holy Spirit at work in the local church; in individuals and in the congregation as a whole

But all that excitement is not an invitation to get complacent because there is still a lot of work to be done. There are still a lot of people who need to hear the Good News. We exist to worship, and part of the way that we worship is sharing our exciting God stories with others. Yes we want them to come to church, but more than that we want them to experience the excitement that comes from a relationship with the Risen Lord.

So what kind of exciting stuff is God doing in your world today?

Saturday, January 8, 2011

He Is Lord, or is He?

As a general rule I don’t care much for praise choruses. Oh, sure, they usually have a nice beat, they’re easy enough to sing, and there’s nothing offensive about the words; but they generally don’t have much in them that explains any deep theology truths. Besides I get bored easily, so repeating a few words a whole lot of times just doesn’t cut it; unless of course you’re in the advertizing field and like to remind your customers that their customers need to hear something at least 7 times before it sticks.
And we all have our favorite ‘jingles’ – the ones that we absolutely hate, but can’t get out of our head: if we ever need that particular product or service won’t be able to remember any other name until it’s too late to change our mind.
But if we go to the source and study the scripture that a praise chorus is based on, we just might expand our knowledge. This week I’m looking at the lessons in the chorus “He Is Lord” – which is based on Philippians 2:11.
The words are fairly simple but they point out some basic tenets of the faith: Jesus is Lord; He was resurrected (which adds a lot of credibility to all the rest of it); and that one day He will return and everyone will acknowledge His Lordship.
That sounds a lot like basic Christianity. We accept Jesus as Lord and Savior, we believe that through His resurrection He conquered sin and death, and we are adamant about the fact that He is going to return and at that point everyone, some willingly, some not so much, will bow down to worship him.
But as I studied a little bit about what ‘Lord’ means when we call Jesus Lord and Savior, I was left with the sinking feeling, that all too many of us are happy to name Him as Savior with all the benefits that He can offer us for eternity; but we’re a lot less happy with the idea of letting Jesus be in total charge of our life: relationships, finances, work, school, playtime, morals, values, even where we go on vacation.
I’m not sure what having Jesus as Lord over my life might look like in 5 years, but I’m being convicted that even though I’ve given up a lot of control over the past decade, He needs to be handling a lot more of my life than I’m entrusting to Him now.
How about you? Other than Sunday morning, how much of your life does Jesus get to be Lord over?

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Trust in God

The Psalmist tells us that we’re better off trusting in God (Ps 20:7 “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. NIV), and the Disciple John tells us in one of his letters that Idols are a no –no (1 John 5:21 “Dear children, keep yourselves from idols”. NIV)

And even though we’re talking about a couple of different cultures and contexts, there are some definite connections.

In the Psalm, we’re talking about being in distress and looking for the way out. It’s amazing how instead of turning to God the Creator, we turn to created things to solve the problem. In this case people are turning to their chariots and their horses, but those things are merely symbols for our own resources. It’s so easy to fall into the trap of trying to do it on our own, that we forget that there’s an easy solution right there at our fingertips. Sometimes it seems that in times of stress an extra large dose of testosterone kicks in and we just know that we can do it ourselves; and that it would be a sign of weakness to ask for help for any quarter.

All too often we want to trust God when things are going well, but as soon as trouble hits, we start looking for another solution. Not quite what God had in mind when He created us in His image. And he certainly didn’t want us turning to ‘small-g gods’ either. If you spend much time in the Old Testament then you’ll find lots of examples of what God thought about them.

Come to think about it, there are also lots of examples of what those ‘small-g gods’ can do for you. "Zip! Nada! Nothing!" comes to mind as a clear picture of what help they can offer.

So when John warned his congregation to avoid idols, he was talking about those ‘small-g gods’ - created objects: created by human hands of gold or silver or stone, and totally unable to do anything on their own. I don’t think I know anybody who regularly prays to a clay object, but when we’re talking about idols we’re talking about anything that interferes with our worship of God. Anything that we would have trouble giving up even though God is telling us that we don’t need it and that it interferes with how He would like to work in our lives and draw us even closer to him. So whether we’re depending on our own resources, or believing in the power of created objects to solve our problems, we’re heading down a slippery path.

Asking God for help is not a sign of weakness, and He’s never too busy to listen to us; so there go two of the main excuses we have for trying to prove that we don’t need God's help. If you’re trusting in chariots and horses or depending on idols and find you’re going nowhere, it just may be time to call on God, and let Him answer you when you’re in distress.

Don’t fall into the trap of trusting in chariots or horses, keep away from idols, and above all, trust in the name of the Lord our God.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Broken Resolutions

Just like everybody, I started out with good intentions. This was going to be the year of getting it right, doing it right, keeping it right. I was going to get fitter and smarter, lose weight, exercise more, have a weed-free garden, never need a shave, and when I got done with all that (along about January 15th), I’d set out to solve the world’s problems, show congress how to balance the budget, and somehow figure out how to eliminate the national debt – all 74 trillion gazillion dollars, or whatever passes for dollars in Washington D.C. these days. But as I looked at what that would take, I was left wondering what I would do have left to do after about the 1st of February.

Oh sure, there are wars, and starvation, and AIDS to think about, but remember that they would all be taken care of under the category of solving all the world’s problems.

And then, like many others, I got tired just thinking about what doing all that would involve, so I opted to keep it simple.

Since I don’t have a very good track record with New Year’s resolutions, I decided to keep the list simple, and short. No sense in making myself feel too guilty over a long list of unrealistic adn unable to keep resolutions.

With simple in mind, the first is one that would be easy to break so I could get that over with and get on with my life: be a couch potato. Think about it, the entire year spent goofing off, watching endless hours of Talk Show hosts, television judges, and TV doctors.

Yeah, made me gag too.

So this morning I went to the pool and swam laps. It felt good. Due to illness, bad weather and the Christmas and New Year holidays, I haven’t got much pool time in over the past few weeks. I’ll be sore tomorrow, but by Thursday my back will be shouting 'thank you!'

And in the interest of short, there were only two resolutions on my list - I’m not doing so well with the second one either. If you happen to pass me on the highway, and I’m alone in the car but my lips are moving, I might be talking on my ‘hands-free’ cell phone, maybe I’m singing along with the radio, but I’m probably pointing out, in a very loving way of course, what I think of some of the idiots on the road, along with some good ideas for teaching them how to drive.

The 2nd resolution was to be a little kinder towards those who are so obviously ‘rules-of-the-road challenged’. So far I'm not doing so well, but maybe by the end of the year there won't be as many idiots on the road and I'll be able to do a little better.

If not there's always next year.

What resolutions have you already given up on?