Wrecked on I-40

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Her Dodge Charger lunged off the interstate- slamming into the guardrail at over 80 miles an hour.  The car spun around three times into incoming traffic, narrowly missing our vehicle.

I had noticed her minutes earlier.  I looked over at her passing car and saw that she was texting on her phone.  She almost hit an eighteen-wheeler before slowing down.

Minutes later she flew past me in the right lane- again…texting.

I swerved to avoid hitting her wrecked car in the aftermath.  From my rear view mirror I watched her safely emerge from her totaled vehicle.  She was lucky to be alive.

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”- Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring.  What is your life?  For you are a mist that appears and then vanishes.  James 4:13-14

I don’t know why that young woman was in such a hurry.  I do know that she wasn’t paying attention to the road.

I’m guilty of the same thing, I’m afraid.  I can lose sight of the path I’m on.

I spend too much time chasing “things.”

Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.  Colossians 3:2

These earthly pursuits can be distractions.  They can make me careless.

Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you.  Proverbs 4:25

When I’m not concentrated on Jesus, I can wander into trouble.  How about you?

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.  Matthew 6:33

Pray for me to keep Jesus the priority for my life.  And let me know how I may pray for you.

God bless.

 

 

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My daughter is gone

Carson HollianneMy daughter leaves tomorrow morning…for a month.

Carson is going out west to serve as a counselor for a YoungLife camp in the Colorado Rockies.

Carson is truly excited is the opportunity to work with the campers. They’ll come from all over the United States to experience life at a beautiful, rustic camp in the Rocky mountains.

And each night she’ll have her Bible open. Carson will read and study with the campers. She’ll pray with the guests.   She’ll get the opportunity to talk about Jesus Christ- and share the impact that He has made on her life. She’ll answer questions and have to defend her faith.

She’ll be a witness.

Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers as an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.  1 Timothy 4:12

Carson isn’t letting her age be a factor in serving as a witness for Christ. In fact, she sees it as an opportunity to work with peers who haven’t had the opportunity to form a relationship with Jesus. And she’s excited about it.

She’s not perfect, but her brokenness inspires her to study, learn and witness more.

Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.  Philippians 3:12

You can learn a lot from your kids.

I wish I had her courage.

I struggle with opportunities to share my faith with others- even when those opportunities are made clearly apparent. I need a child-like faith.

Please pray for Carson to be an effective vessel for Jesus this summer- and for me to have the courage to share my faith when given the opportunity.

And let me know how I may pray for you.

God bless.

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Graduation: 10 lessons I wish I’d known 20 years ago…

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I had the honor of speaking at a commencement ceremony at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville last week.  It was an exciting afternoon- with happy graduates, proud family members and smiles everywhere.

As I began preparing my remarks, I realized that it was the 20th anniversary of my graduation from UT.  It was an exciting time.  I had just accepted my first “real” job on a college campus, I was about to marry Hollianne, and we were preparing to move to Ohio to begin our lives as a married couple.

Looking back, I realized how much I’ve learned in those twenty years.  I decided to share ten of these life lessons with the graduates.

10 things I wish I’d known 20 years ago:

10) Every decision you make in life impacts someone else.  Think about the implications of every choice you make.  One who is wise is cautious and turns away from evil, but a fool is reckless and careless.  Proverbs 14:16

9)  The job isn’t ever just about you.  The opportunity to have your job is a privilege.  Treat your coworkers with care…as equals.  Success is earned by working together as a team.  Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.  Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

8)  When it comes to “being in the know”, those who talk a lot usually aren’t in the know.  Idle talk is useless in the workplace.  Be a part of the solution…not a part of the problem.  Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.  Ephesians 4:29

7)  Take tasks off your boss’ desk.  Leadership is a lonely activity.  Those that we serve in the workplace have numerous demands on their time, and they need to find people that they can trust.  Become someone worthy of that trust.  And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles.  Matthew 5:41

6)  No task is too small for you.  Humility is a wonderful thing.  For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.  Luke 14:11

5)  You are replaceable.  No single person is essential to the success of a business.  You will never be bigger than the organization you serve.  When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom.  Proverbs 11:2

4)  Everybody has a first name.  All people have worth.  All people deserve our respect.  It is essential that we know those people around us who are investing in the success of our organization.  Get to know their interests, their joys and their pain.  Invest in them.  Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.  Philippians 2:3

3)  Whatever task you are asked to do, do it with all your heartWhatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men…  Colossians 3:23

2)  Dinner with your family is important. We are all busy.  We will never complete our to-do lists at the office.  But it is essential that we invest in those that we love…and that love us.  The work will always be there.  It’s important to build our relationships with those that bring us joy and renewal, too.  Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.  1 John 4:7

1)  When you don’t know what to do, remember to do no harm until you do.  Find good, trusted mentors and seek their counsel.  Wisdom comes from careful reflection and life experience- so seek help from those you trust when faced with difficult decisions.  If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.  James 1:5

Let’s pray for all the new graduates- high school and college- this week.  May they find success and peace during this period of transition, and may they glorify God in all that they do.

God bless you.

 

(reprinted from May 2015)

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Words from a loved one

B on dining with dad day

I experienced one of life’s highlights today.

I attended the annual “Dining with Dad” program at Britton’s elementary school.  It was a time for dads and their kids to eat and enjoy some time together.

The best part?  Each child had made a “likeness” of their father.  Each cardboard cutout came with 8 different neckties…and each tie had an open-ended statement for the children to make comments about their dad.

“What I like best about my dad is…”

“I like it when my dad….”

“I know my dad loves me because…”

“My dad is special because…”

B’s comments took my breath away.  They were from the heart…so pure and honest.  His responses were comments that I will treasure forever.  I’ll permanently place this art project on my desk in our home.

There’s something so powerful about the written word.  Words from those we love can comfort us and bring us peace.  Words encourage us and add joy to our life.  Words can give us hope.

It’s such a blessing to have written words from our Father in Heaven.

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.  Psalm 119:105

Jesus spoke words of hope.

Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.  Matthew 24:35

God’s word has been collected for us.  All the comfort we need in our lives is contained in those incredible sixty-six books of the Bible.

Sad?  God gives hope for the brokenhearted (Psalm 34:18).

Anxious?  God promises peace (Philippians 4:6-7).

Need encouragement?  God provides promise of better days (Revelation 21:4).

My prayer this week is to take more time to read and meditate on God’s word…and to live up to the comments Britton wrote about me on that art project.

He deserves my best.

God bless you.

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