The picture on the right is of me and my grandson, Grayden, this past Saturday at the Indians baseball game. When I was about his age, my brother and I attempted to relocate a heavy cement block. We dropped it along the way and it fell on my big toe, ripping my toenail off. Here are 4 lessons I learned about life at a very early age.
Lesson #1: Life includes pain. Sometimes a lot of it! When that block hit my toe, PAIN hit my brain. You think a hammer on a thumb is painful? Imagine a 5-ton cement block slamming into a big toe! (It might have weighed less than that. After all, these are the recollections of a 7-year-old boy.) I immediately began screaming and crying and running. I ran 3 times around the house before my mom could catch me to find out what had happened. Life is wonderful and amazing. However, pain is part of the package.
Lesson #2: Communicating well might avoid pain. To this day my brother, Todd, and I disagree about who let go of that block first. Here’s my version. He dropped it first. Even as a youngster I never blamed him for dropping the block. After all, it weighed 5 tons. (See disclaimer in #1 above.) It just would have been nice if he’d let me know he was going to drop the block. “Brother... I’m about to drop my end of this 5-ton cement block. You might wish to remove your big toe from directly underneath said 5-ton cement block.” Is this to much to ask?
Lesson #3: Consider Plan B. Perhaps carrying a 5-ton cement block was not the brightest plan I’ve ever come up with. Perhaps moving the block to the side of the house would not have given us the height we needed to step up to the roof anyway. Perhaps there was another plan that would have worked better. My first idea is not always my best idea. Think things through a little better.
Lesson #4: Painful experiences can still bring joy. While at the emergency room having my toenail removed, another excursion in pain (see #1 above), my dad showed up from work. He did not come empty handed. He brought me a new book: Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain. And he brought my brother the book, Tom Sawyer. While we were in the hospital, Dad wrote a paragraph in the front of both books. I’ve read that book a dozen times since always remembering that special moment when Dad came bearing gifts.
What painful experience are you going through today? The 5-ton cement block falling on my big toe was not the only painful experience of my life. It was just the first I clearly remember. Each pain-filled moment brings back these four lessons to my mind, especially the lesson about joy. “Where is the gift in this pain I’m experiencing today?” Ask this question the next time a 5-ton cement block falls on your life and see if there might be some joy waiting for you!
Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Mary Kay and I will be spending the morning with our granddaughters, brunch with two of our daughters, then this evening we travel to Mary Kay's Mom's home. I'm looking forward to a great day of giving thanks, eating turkey and watching football. I'm thankful for many things today, but right at the top of the list is the privilege God has given me to articulate His Gospel message.
Along the them of articulating the message, here is a well articulated message that put a smile on my face this morning. Enjoy!
Have you been wondering about the intersection of the Bible and technology? Have you been thinking about putting the Bible on your iPhone, Blackberry, or laptop computer? Or maybe you've been thinking about buying a Kindle 2 with a Bible on it? Stop thinking about any other piece of technology and watch this video. You will want to mortgage your home and your children's home so you too can own an iBible!
The following 3-minute video brings back great memories. Many a Saturday night was spent with my Mom and Dad watching Hee Haw in the early 1970's. Yes, it's korny. But why not? After all, it was Kornfield Kounty! (Thanks to Todd Rhodes at MMI for the link.)
I hesitate to write a title like this since the last time I did it, I lost the job within a month of writing it. But the video (a Super Bowl ad) reminds me just how fortunate I am to have a job I love. Besides, I would think it would be hard to lose this particular job. :)
I have a great deal of respect for the teaching of right doctrine. I'm reminded regularly of my charge as a pastor and as a preacher (2 Timothy 4:3). Having said that, I doubt that I will ever receive a phone call like this: Thanks to Out of Ur for the link.
Have you ever had a tough job? I've had a lot of jobs in my life. Even before I officially began my first "career," I learned the value of work. By the age of 21, I had mowed yards, bailed hay, picked corn, delivered newspapers, sold Christmas cards in July, painted mailboxes (thousands of them!), and for four years in college was a projectionist. (What's a projectionist? Someone who threads the movie film through a projector. Why not just insert the disc? Please don't ask. I feel old enough as it is!) My dear old grandmother would often tell me that the man who worked would never go hungry. I've never forgotten that advice. Nor have I ever forgotten this episode from I Love Lucy. Enjoy!
Have you ever said someone else's name at a most inopportune time? One of my biggest struggles is remembering people's names. Perhaps the only thing worse than not recalling someone's name is recalling the wrong name. Because of this episode of "Cheers," I always remember how important the right name at the right time really is. Enjoy!
I have always loved watching Everybody Loves Raymond. My daughter, Jessica, and my son, Jonathan know this and they buy me Raymond videos every year. I know why I love watching this sitcom - because I so identify with Raymond. He is so interested in pleasing everyone and trying to make everyone else happy that he often finds himself in a no win situation... hence the comedy. My favorite scene from all the years is this Christmas photo episode. Man, can I identify with this scene. Enjoy!
Have you ever considered what it must be like for someone new to come to church for the first time? Many of us "church folks" are just used to the way we do things, so we don't even think about it. Would you like to be able to see church in a whole new light? Consider: what if Starbucks operated like many of our churches? (Link here to go directly to the video.)
This actually makes me rethink some of the things we say and do at Crossroads. What about you?
I just happened to be walking past our Magnification Director's office this afternoon and looked inside. Lori Biddle, our Mag Director, was not there. However, her door was wide open. This is what I saw on Lori's monitor. She obviously uses her own version of "Windows." I think this might have been her "Memos" program. (Enjoying some humor on this busy afternoon!)
Have you ever wondered where Crossroads gets all of its creativity for its weekend services? The truth can now be told and is a secret no longer. Watch this to learn our secret connection to creativity.