April 30, 2010

God's Transforming Power

One of my favorite stories is about the old timer who was interviewed during the party celebrating his 100th birthday. The reporter asked, “You have seen a lot of changes in your long life, haven’t you?” Without hesitation, the old man responded, “Yes, I certainly have, and I’ve been agin’ everyone of ‘em.”

It’s human nature to resist change. That’s why we hear people say things like, “A leopard can’t change his spots,” or “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.”

Why are people so reluctant to change? American author, Marilyn Ferguson reasons “It's not so much that we're afraid of change, or so in love with the old ways; but it's like being in between trapezes. It's Linus when his blanket is in the dryer. There's nothing to hold on to.”

The fact is that people do change and nowhere is that more evident than in those who come to accept the transforming power of belief in Jesus Christ.

For millions of people, “a new life in Christ” has changed weakness to strength, failures to victories and doubt and uncertainty to confidence and assurance.

Is there something about your life you want to change for the better, but you have not yet found the will power? You, too, can be renewed if you believe in God’s transforming power and love.

April 17, 2010

Silent Cal and Me

Calvin Coolidge, the thirtieth President of the Unites States, was a man of few words.

Dorothy Parker, who was seated next to “Silent Cal” at a dinner, said to him, "Mr. Coolidge, I've made a bet against a fellow who said it was impossible to get more than two words out of you." His famous reply: "You lose."

I sometimes wish I were more like “Silent Cal.” Why am I compelled to respond to statements from others with whom I disagree? These days, it’s someone’s views on politics which will often cause me to respond heatedly if I don’t agree with the speaker’s position.

To keep my blood pressure stable and avoid a possible stroke, I recently decided I will no longer discuss politics with others whose political views differ from my own.

If we are face to face, I get too emotional when I speak my mind, and if we are communicating on line, it’s too time consuming to prepare a well thought out response. I have other “stuff” I would rather do.

So, as of today, I have decided to take a page from the Cal Coolidge play book, and in the future when I am speaking or writing to someone whose views differ from mine, I will simply say, “I’m sorry. I don’t discuss politics with friends or family with whom I disagree.”

There are Ten Commandments but none requires me to tell someone when I think he or she is wrong.

April 8, 2010

Hannah's Fall

On Easter Sunday, Nancy and I spent the afternoon with our son, Doug, our daughter-in-law, Holly, and other family members and friends including our two great granddaughters, Hannah (4) and Haylee (1).

In addition to Easter baskets and traditional gifts, Grandpa Doug and Holly gave Hannah a new bicycle with training wheels.

Hannah’s first ride was tentative, but it didn’t take long before she was peddling up and down Doug and Holly’s long driveway with ease. Then she fell. But instead of running to her Mommy or her Daddy for solace, she declared, “Grandpa, when you fall down . . . you get back up really soon.”

Currently, over 3,000 books on “How to Be Successful” are available from Amazon.com, and undoubtedly, most will contain a chapter or more on the importance of persistence and determination if we are to succeed in any endeavor. Most books will include stories about people like Thomas Edison who failed many times during a period of thirteen months to find a filament to use in a carbon incandescent lamp.

Hannah Loughner, age four, already recognizes that failure doesn’t need to mark the end of any venture. Getting back up and trying again may put you just one step closer to success.

Sometimes, a child can say in a few simple words what adults write about in books.