Winning Gone Wild

Winning isn’t everything, winning is the only thing.   Vince Lombardi

AS a young kid our house was on a street half way up a hill. At the bottom of the hill, water would collect after rain. Often the water would sit for days or weeks and grow green algae in it. The water was so dirty that as a kid, I kind of assumed it was sewer water (it wasn’t).

About fourth grade, a buddy of mine (we’ll call him Mortimer) and I came up with a great game. We had an empty Coke can. This was when Coke cans were still made of tin. Pretty hard and impossible for a kid to crush.

To win, you had to hit your opponent in the head with a water filled Coke can, as he flew by on his bike as fast as his legs could go. Best game ever.

First up! Mortimer, standing on the curb, throwing that can at my head as I flew by on my bicycle!

It’s a miss. Nothing but air! My turn.

Mortimer rode by as fast as the wind. I hurled that can of sewer water with all my might!

Rats. Clear miss. His turn.

This went back and forth for a while with no winner. We were either a) really fast bike riders or b) kind of uncoordinated. You decide.

Then it was my turn to throw again. I reared back that tin Coke can filled with vile liquid. Mortimer flew by, his skinny legs pumping that bike as fast as it would go. I threw as hard as I could. Mortimer ducked. But not far enough.

14747486 - bam. comic book explosion.

I HIT HIM! I HIT HIM! SMACKED HIM IN THE SIDE OF THE HEAD I DID!

Oh, glorious day! I hit him! Praise the Lord! The victory was mine! I was the triumphant champion of the sewer water throwing competition!

What happened next was quite shocking.

Little Mortimer fell off his bike and lay in the street with a bloody head. He seemed to be hurt. Who would’ve EVER seen THAT coming??????? Not us! You’d have to be a fortune-teller, witch doctor or clairvoyant to guess that outcome.

Young broken-headed Mortimer was whisked off to the emergency room by his parents, and the fun was all over for that day (never fear – he was fine the next day but for some strange reason not in the mood for another round Coke-Can-Smash-To-The-Head).

We were so stupid 🙂

WINNING ISN’T ALWAYS THE BEST THING

Every day people go out into the world to win, without thinking through the consequences of winning. What will you win? What is the prize?

Wins the girl! Uh oh. The prize is losing his family, estranged from his kids because he happened to be married to another.

Wins the deal! Bad news. The prize is jail and/or the destruction of the company because the deal included normal business stuff you “just gotta do” to succeed (Enron, Arthur Andersen, Worldcom,  the list is endless).

Wins the job! Oops! The prize is kids losing the kids because the hours are not compatible with familial interaction.

Wins the promotion! Wow! The prize is a spiritual train wreck because there’s just no time for trivial and frivolous pursuits like Christ’s church or Christian community in a small group or Sunday school because this particular promotion requires you sacrifice everything for the company.

Wins the guy or girl’s hand in marriage! Yayyyy! Except the prize is a marriage that careens off into spiritual nothingness because the thought was, “they’ll join me in spiritual pursuits AFTER we get married!” They rarely do.

Wins fame and fortune! Uh oh. The prize is a string of marriages, depression, eating disorders, substance abuse, craziness and sadness (read biography of any number of superstars).

Winning isn’t everything. It all depends on what you win.

It’s been said that you can climb the ladder of success only to find that your ladder is leaning against the wrong wall. 

WHAT ARE YOU TRYING TO WIN?

You SHOULD run to win. You SHOULD live to win. But ask yourself, “Win what?”

Mortimer and I could’ve saved ourselves some pain and blood (his blood not mine) if we’d just thought things through BEFORE we tried to smash each other’s cranium with a can.

The Apostle Paul was all about winning. All of his life he pursued “the win.” But it wasn’t the right win until Jesus grabbed hold of him. Then, his race became very specific. He said,

Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.
1 Corinthians 9:25

There’s only ONE race that matters and ONE win that completely satisfies and blesses. And that’s the race of following Jesus with all our heart soul mind and strength. Loving Him, blessing Him, following Him. And He gives to all who run His race the prize that never fades, never flounders, never falters – the prize of life forever and ever with Him.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.
We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion
Hebrews 12:1-2a (NLT)

The way to win…is to run the race God has given you, and run it with your eyes always always always on Jesus.

 

 

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Mike Pence = Taliban

Washington DC is #1!  Washington DC is #1!

#1 for what David?

Ok – I exaggerated. DC is #4. DC is in fourth place in the US regarding Ashley Madison cheaters, with 50,000 members looking to discreetly commit adultery (the website connects married folks who want to cheat).

But Mike Pence is the freak.

An article came out in the Washington Post about the Vice Presidents’ wife. The article revealed how disturbingly deviant Mike Pence really is. He said (HIDE THE CHILDREN’S EYES – IT’S HORRIFYING!):

He doesn’t dine alone with a woman other than his wife.

Some people got the vapors over this. Here are a few choice tweets:

  • I wonder what happened that led to these rules?
  • Sounds like someone who knows he has no self-control.
  • God spare us the Jesus freaks.
  • Would love to see what’s hiding inside Pence’s closet.
  • He is extremely creepy. Just makes my flesh crawl.
  • American Taliban.

    Stymie
    If this causes you to hyperventilate, you a) never saw the full Little Rascals episode (the boys realize the error of their ways) and, b) take yourself way too seriously. This is hilarious!

The consensus of the left is that Mike Pence (and every Christian) is part of the He-Man Woman Haters Club.

In response to all of that craziness, here is a great tweet:

“Bill Clinton never dines alone with his wife. Who’s REALLY crazy?”

I know I know. So unkind. But the truth of our day is that for many, a serial adulterer is a hero and the man who sets boundaries for himself is the freak (and he just said dining alone with a woman so spare me the histrionics about not meeting with women – he didn’t say that).

But guess what? 

Billy Graham has a similar rule. No one has ever accused him of being a member of the He-Man Woman Haters Club OR of having an affair.

Cal Thomas said years ago, “The Puritans may have had some problems. But AIDS was not one of them.”

Rick Warren has been preaching this for years. From his 10 Commandments to Help Staff Maintain Moral Purity, the first two (which don’t apply to singles) are:

  1. Thou shalt not go to lunch alone with the opposite sex.
  2. Thou shalt not have the opposite sex pick you up or drive you places when it is just the two of you.

“Too much purity!” Not our problem today.
“Not enough adultery!” No one is claiming this is our problem.
“We need more divorces!” said no one ever (divorce lawyers excluded).

Here’s my thought: In a career and town that is known for cheaters (Clinton, Weiner, Gingrich, even Petraeus) Mike Pence is wise to set boundaries to protect his marriage, and every man and woman should set their own similar boundaries so they can keep that marriage that God gave them! In other words, don’t be an idiot!

In marriage, you’ve got a GREAT thing! What’s so great about it you ask? Just this:  Genesis 2:24 (love this) says  “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.”

One flesh. That is great news if you’re like me. I married waaaaay above my station! And because my wife and I are “one flesh” – on the day we were married, I instantly became a much, much better person because I’m part her.  Yay me!

And marriage is such a great gift that God wants you to pull a “Mike Pence” and do whatever is necessary to protect it. 

In the NIV, Genesis 2:24 says a man should be united to his wife. “Be united” is so tame and sounds wussified to me (wussified? see definition here – it’s really good!). It doesn’t suit the need of the day. King James says “cleave,” which is a better action word, but no one today knows what it means since it’s a 16th-century word. The ESV says, “hold fast.” That’s an action word.

Hold fast to that marriage. 

Brings to mind a picture of an angry sea that is rocking and a rollin’ and the ship is about to capsize. The captain lashes himself to the ship’s wheel, so he can’t be thrown overboard. He’s holding fast to the ship’s wheel. If the ship goes down, so does he (I have no knowledge of sailing ships – I just made this up – but it is a good picture of the verse).

What God intends in Genesis 2 and what we need today are people who leave mom and dad and everything else that might get in the way and hold onto that marriage like grim death!

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Actual photo of Grim Reaper. Snapped it with my Iphone and ran like the wind!

“Hold on like grim death” = to hold tightly to something, despite great difficulty.

Genesis 2:24  ESV    Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

What Billy Graham and Rick Warren and Mike Pence know, is one of the best ways to hold fast to a marriage, is to make sure you don’t ever put yourself in a compromising position. Almost nobody ever says, “When I get married I want to commit adultery.” Yet somehow, millions commit adultery every day. 

Why? Because it’s MUCH easier to cheat than to celebrate your 50th wedding anniversary.

So hold fast to your husband or your wife! Not in some weird/controlling/stalker/creeper/abusive kind of way. That’s just crazy. But hold fast through the hard times and tempting times with an understanding of the weaknesses and frailty of all men and women and do whatever is necessary to protect that great gift of oneness. And never apologize for that.

And if you’ve already blown it? Repent, stop it, reject the sin, and move forward with Jesus.

American Taliban indeed. Oh geez.

Amen and amen.

 

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Take This Job and Quit It?

One day in the land of Matthew 4:18, Jesus is walking along the shore of the Sea of Galilee. He sees two brothers—Simon, also called Peter, and Andrew—throwing a net into the water, for they fished for a living.

Wait a second!  Do not read ahead! Don’t gloss over that because it’s really significant.

They fish for a LIVING.

You got that? Are you sure? Because it’s a really, really big deal.

This is how they pay the bills, bring home the bacon, earn their keep, support themselves (ok-not bring home bacon-they are Jews. That doesn’t happen until Acts 10:13. Still way before I was born-praise God! Bacon=happiness). 

that-face-you-make
Dumb. But kind of funny.
They fish. It’s a job just like the job you have that pays the mortgage/rent, the electric bill, pays for gas and food for you.

So Peter and Andrew are doing their JOB.

Jesus called out to them, “Come, follow me, and I will make you fishers of men!”

I can imagine many possible excuses people might offer. Sure Jesus! I’ll get right on that-

  • When I’m done making a living!
  • When I’m done paying the bills!
  • When I’m done catching all these big fat scaly stinky fish!
  • When I’m done taking the fish to town!
  • When I’m doing selling them!
  • When I’m done binge-watching on Netflix!
  • When I’ve paid off the mortgage, got a nice nest egg set aside, the kids are grown, and college is paid for.
  • How about I just follow you on Twitter?

But the Bible doesn’t say any of that! It says something really amazing:

Immediately they left their nets and followed Him. Matthew 4:20

As in…they left their JOB at once and followed him. Just think about that!

Peter and Andrew

walked…

off…

the job.

WHO DOES THAT? WHO WALKS OFF THE JOB BECAUSE SOME GUY WITH A MESSIAH COMPLEX SAYS, “COME FOLLOW ME?”

Positively insane. Nobody gives up everything! You pray a prayer, you tell Jesus you love Him, sing songs to Him, and you go to church when:

it’s not inconvenient,

it’s not raining,

it’s not so pretty that you want to get outside.

But they just walked off the job because that’s what Jesus told them to do!

Truly insane. Unless….

Unless what David?

Unless…instead of HAVING a Messiah complex, He really IS the Messiah. Then…leaving everything behind and following Him is the absolute sanest thing you can do!

And because they, “walked off the job” to follow Jesus, they changed the course of history. All of history after this, “following of Jesus” bit would be different than all of history before. They walked off the job to follow the one who divided history (BC and AD, or if you’re a secularist, BCE, and CE-sorry! Jesus still divides it).

So…Jesus may not be calling you to quit your job (although He may!).  But guaranteed 100%, Jesus bogatais calling you to follow Him in some real and tangible and concrete ways that change your world and life, for the rest of your life. He’s calling you to put all of your trust and faith in Him – as your Lord – King – Savior…and your Leader.

 

 

Follow Him.

Amen, amen.

A Powerful Secret for Radical Change

Everyone has a secret to change your life. You’ve seen some of them. Here are some great ones:

  • Dollar Shave Club.
  • Hair Club for Men.
  • Viagra – from the commercials on my TV, this strange blue magic pill called Viagra turns you into a strong cowboy who knows how to pull a truck out of the mud with horses or fisherman on the wild and angry sea. Call me a cynic, but I question that.
  • Sea Monkeys!

Of the above, I think Sea Monkeys have the highest probability of life change.sea-monkeys

Best Life-Change Story I’ve Heard

Frank Laubach was a missionary in the Philippines in the 1930’s.Today missionaries all over the world send emails, Skype, even have websites.

An American missionary stationdfgfgded in the Philippines in the 1930’s would be completely removed from the world he knew. Contact with home could only be made via boat or plane. So he was:

  • Isolated.
  • Alone.
  • On his own.
  • With only Jesus to trust to fulfill his (and His) mission.

How did he do it? He tried an experiment. He determined to take ONE second of every minute to turn his mind to Christ. A moment here, a moment there, connecting with His Creator.

How did it go? It changed the trajectory of his life.

In his own words:

“I feel simply carried along each hour, doing my part in a plan which is far beyond myself. This sense of cooperation with God in little things is what so astonishes me, for I never have felt it this way before. I need something and turn round to find it waiting for me. I must work, to be sure, but there is God working along with me.

God raised Frank Laubach from being a lonely missionary in the Philippines to a Christian world statesman, the founder of World Literacy Crusade, and a great influence on the United States foreign policy in the post-WWII years. And he attributed all of his brilliant ideas and incredible energy and effectiveness from this practice: practicing the presence of God.

You can have moment by moment guidance from the One who makes the universe safe, for your marriage, your work, your ministry, your life.

The Bible refers to this. It says right there in, 1 Thessalonians 5:17 “Pray all the time.

How in the world do you do that?

It’s easier than you think.

It’s called, “breath prayers.” “LORD – PLEASE GIVE ME GOOD BREATH WHILE I GO TALK TO THIS CUTE GIRL,” says I, as I walk across the business school to ask my future wife out.

But that’s not what I’m talking about. Stupid me.

Christians have practiced breath prayers for a long time. It’s picking a simple phrase or Scripture that you can say in one breath and praying it all day long, over and over, Frank Laubauch style, keeping the conversation going with the Father. Like  this:

  • I love you, Lord.
  • For me to live is Christ.
  • Use me today Lord.
  • I am Yours.
  • Make me pure.
  • Make me holy.
  • You are my God.

Pray it all day long to honor God and keep in constant contact with Him. My experience is that it keeps my mind sent on Him, and my heart (affections) directed toward Him.

hike

HINT: Set a reminder on your phone for 5 minutes from now with the breath prayer you want to pray. When it pops up on your screen, pray it, snooze it for 5 minutes, or just leave it and look at it every few minutes. Mine has said, “For me to live is Christ!” all day today.

Here’s what I can promise you: If you begin to constantly practice the presence of God while standing, sitting, waking, sleeping, working and playing, you’ll never lack the Father’s presence – pouring out His peace, direction, purpose, kindness, goodness, making Christ known,  and divinely leading you through the morass of life on this earth.

His promise to you:

You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in You, all whose thoughts are fixed on You!
Isaiah 26:3

Now get on with it. He is waiting for you.

Amen, amen.
Transformation

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Live Today FOR Forever

Everybody Dies!

George Bernard Shaw famously said, “the statistics on death are quite impressive, 1 out of 1 people die.

And mostly we think of death as a bad thing.

Mostly. Because fire ant death is good.

flamethrower-640x533
An absolutely rational response to fire ants.

As a kid, a friend and I discovered you could light a Wonder Bread bag on fire, and it will drop flaming balls of plastic – kind of like napalm. So what did we do? We napalmed the ants!

Even to this day, I do not grieve one single ant death.

As the Ortho Fire Ant Killer commercial says, “There’s nothing good about fire ants…All they do is build a big mound in your yard and bite the heck out of anyone who gets near it…you cannot rehabilitate a fire ant. You have to kill him, his little red friends, and that big fat queen down there making more fire ants.”

The commercial ends with that universal principle of life (which is joyous in regards to fire ants), “Everybody dies!”

We all die! Death is total and universal in each and every generation.

And we don’t know when. Your time could be right now…or maybe…now…or maybe…now. Still reading? Guess it’s not your time. Yet.

One time during a sermon on the unpredictability of death I paused and said, “Let’s see if anyone’s time is right now.” Nobody died. No one’s time then either. Although later one guy did say my comment was in bad taste. Maybe.

But we all do die. Which means our time is limited. So how best to use the time? 

Grinch
One way to spend a day.

Simple. Live for eternity. This life is limited-but eternity is UNlimited.  Zig Ziglar said, “You’re going to be dead a lot longer than you’ll be alive, so you better have some really long-term goals.” And I’d add, you’d better invest for the long-term too.

Live forever. Live today for forever.

“Great! Excellent David! How? How do I do this living today for forever?”

Consider the options: 

I could live for my house. It’s not gonna last forever.

I could live for my country. As great as it is (and the US is the greatest country in the world), it probably won’t be around in a thousand years (I’m very patriotic and believe we should serve our country and I thank God for our country. Just realize it’s not “the” end game).

I could live for my company. Oh – you mean like EF Hutton, RCA, AOL, Enron? All huge enterprises that have vanished forever (I’m not suggesting you don’t work hard at your job and give your very best – the Bible says to that – Col 3:23).

None of those are “forever” kinds of things that have a payoff in eternity.

So what lasts forever? 

Jesus does. Jesus lasts forever. So live for Jesus.

“How do I do that, David? Talk is cheap! A lot of people say they, ‘live for Jesus’ but it kind of looks like they spend all their time on themselves and ask Jesus to bless all of that.”

Join Him in what He’s doing.

You do know He’s doing something right? He’s building His church. Adding people to His Church one person at a time, through thousands of local churches (He calls them His body) all over the world.  He said in Matthew 6:18, “I will build My church.” And He’s been working on it for 2000 years. As Rick Warren said, “Nothing on earth will last forever – no business, government, or nation. But the Church will.” And that’s why he (Rick Warren) has given his life to building the local church.

So you want to live today, for forever? Join Jesus in what He’s doing. Take all that stuff He’s given you – your time, your talent, your treasure, your experiences, your heart and mind and soul – and jump in and get to work. Put all of that to work for Jesus.

Build His church.

Build His church by serving faithfully in your church (this is so important He talks about it a lot in His Book – like how you are part of His body – 1 Cor. 12).
Build His church by working for Jesus on your job – with honor and integrity and a faithful witness in action and word.
Build His church by serving Jesus through serving your community.
Build His church by loving Jesus through loving your neighbor.

Build His church by…

living and
breathing and
talking and
praying and
celebrating and
mourning and
dying…
in and for….Jesus.

Live today for forever.

Live it for Jesus.

Amen and amen.

 

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My Way I Pay-God’s Way I Win

As a kid, I heard this crazy story in the Bible about Jacob putting on a goat skin to fool dad (Isaac). I had several thoughts about that: creepy, scratchy, itchy, liar, deceiver, scoundrel (deceiver came from Sunday school lesson – my vocab wasn’t that advanced).

But as I read the story today (Genesis 27), I have an entirely different thought. And it’s this: everyone – not just Jacob – everyone in the story is a scoundrel!!! It’s like Pirates of the Caribbean 2 or 3 or 4 – I forget which one – where everyone in the movie lies, and everyone is out for themselves. Everyone is a wretch!

Same in Genesis 27. I’ll explain.

First – Quick Synopsis: Isaac (dad) believes he can ignore God and give the blessing to Esau. Jacob deceives dad for a blessing. Mom conceives to deceive dad for the blessing. Esau demands that dad give him a reprieve from the loss of his blessing (which he willingly traded for a bowl of stew years earlier).

Bottom line? Everyone wants their way. In the words of that old song, “I did it my way.”

But here’s the catch: My way…I pay.

At Burger King – “Have it your way!” But I don’t have any money. Then “No way” and “Hit the highway” and “Come back another day when you can pay.” But if you can afford to pay, you can have it your way.

Genesis 27 everyone pays.



Bear with me – another “Quick Synopsis” on how everyone pays:



Isaac (dad) torched his family with a fire that would burn for years.

Rebekah (mom) lost her favorite son. Because Jacob had to flee Esau’s anger, she would never see Jacob on this earth again.

Esau: lost everything…literally. Lost his birthright which meant privilege, power, and possessions in inheritance.

Jacob: a life on the lam – ran from Esau to Uncle Laban, who was even a better deceiver than he.

Everyone demanded the blessings of God…their way. And for everyone, there was a steep price to pay.

So here’s the takeaway. For you. Today. 

Do it my way, I pay. And the price will always, always be higher than the benefit received.

Isaac, Rebekah, Esau and Jacob all paid a much much higher price than any benefit they received. And you will always pay a higher price any time you ignore God and do it…your way.

Do it God’s way, I win. Always. And the benefit will always, always be higher than the price paid.  

Delight yourself in the LORD, and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD; trust in Him, and He will act. Psalm 37:4-5

The final word – you don’t have enough in you to pay the price of doing it your way. He already paid the price on the cross for that. But He has enough to pay it big when you increasingly bend the knee in every area of life to Him.

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First World Problems & Thanksgiving

What is God’s will for my life? Grey coat? Brown coat? This car? That car? What hair gel does He want me to wear? Or should it be a putty? Is it carbs, fiber or protein? What is His will? These are the questions that keep me up at night!!

I love this! So good. 
God’s will (or a major part of it) is pretty simple. You get this one thing and you are on your way. It’s gratitude.
Here it is spelled out for the doubters:  Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. I Thess 5.18
See that “will of God” part there? It’s like it came from an instruction manual or something. Crazy.
We suffer from a lot of ingratitude. Probably not you, but those lesser beings among us. Like me.
Came across this on Twitter. Actually my daughter’s twitter. Which I creep. People post (tweet…whatever) “first world problems,” demonstrating the silliness of our complaining in light of life around the world. Here a few of my favorites:
·         My refrigerator is too dark because there’s too much food in it blocking the light.  
·         I would Instagram my Starbucks holiday cup but they spelt my name wrong.
·         My mini-fridge is too cold.
·         I went to a buffet and got too full before I could eat all the different foods I wanted.
·         Everyone needs an iPhone. It’s so hard to express what I’m feeling without using emojis.
·         One of my peanut butter stuffed pretzels had no peanut butter…
·         And my all time favorite: “My metal belt buckle touched my tummy and it was chilly.”
Here was mine this morning – for real: I was trying to send a picture on my iPhone, and it wouldn’t send. It made me angry. Kind of embarrassingly really angry. Like I’m poking the touch screen furiously trying to make it go kind of angry (makes me laugh as I type it’s so ridiculous).

Now really…how dim is that? I have a phone that transmits messages…like magic…through the AIR!!!!No wires!! No carrier pigeons!! No note tied to a rock and thrown through a window like Ernest T. Bass! I just type words onto the magic glass and my words fly…they FLY through the air to another person who then reads my notes – sometimes half way around the world!!!  I’m like Aladdin and the magic lamp (only it’s a phone) and people that I personally know in the world are walking a mile 3 times a day for water, and I’m angry because I can’t send a picture right at the moment I want to. Silly.

And God offers a way out of this foolishness. It’s called gratitude.
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of Godin Christ Jesus for you. I Thess 5.18
So I copied something last year and I’m doing it again this year. As Thanksgiving approaches, each day I’m writing something I’m thankful to God for on Facebook to practice the discipline of gratitude and to remind myself that what I have to be thankful for, is exceedingly and abundantly more than what I am lacking. And to be a witness to others of the greatness and goodness of God.
Here are my first four posts – just as an example – you can see the rest on my Facebook page. But here’s the bottom line – are you thankful to God? How about starting now? Whether you post it somewhere as a witness to others that you are thankful or take a few moments each day to look to the heavens and thank God, you will be blessed when you do.
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. James 1:17
____________________________________________
OK behind as usual -Thanksgiving Day 1 – I’m thankful to God for Jessica Bohanon Dyson giving me the idea again this year to countdown to Thanksgiving by posting what I’m thankful for (I’ll be playing catch up today and tomorrow).
Day 2 – I am SOOO thankful to God for blinding Cindy Ruzicka so that she would fall in love with me and say “yes” when I knelt on the beach at Galveston (across from Gaido’s) 25 years ago to propose. 2nd best decision I ever made (Christ was first). I married UP big time. She’s beautiful, Godly, kind hearted, and loves me in spite of myself. And she’s the greatest mom to my girls I would ever wish for. I could go on and on for days and my admiration for Cindy would still be vastly understated. God is good and God is great and I give thanks to Him for Cindy – who I love greatly.
Day 3 – Let me be clear…today is a toss-up. One of the two has to go first so I tossed a coin. It’s Summer this morning. I’m so thankful to God for my 12 year old Summer. I LOVE being with her. Going to the country, going hunting (she doesn’t hunt-just goes with me). When I’m with her, there is nowhere on earth I’d rather be. Nowhere. I am absolutely that fond of her. She’s a gorgeous knockout, has had me laughing since she was born, is incredibly disciplined and loves Jesus. It is hard to communicate how much the depths of my soul fills with gratitude as I consider the idea that God blessed me with her. God is so good and God is so great and I give thanks to Him for Summer – who I love greatly.

Thanksgiving Day 4 – I’m thankful to God that in 1995 He chose to bless me with a huge surprise – a little girl! I was expecting a boy. What an over-the-top blessing to be a daddy to a girl! Better than I could ever imagine. A gorgeous knockout, disciplined beyond anything she received from me, hilarious, and a deer hunter who wears pearls while hunting! Plus – this is the best part, she is faithful to the Lord, teaching junior high girls at church every Sunday for three years now. I know I’ve said it before, but when I’m with her…there is nowhere on this earth I’d rather be. As Peppermint Patty quotes her father in Charlie Brown, Taylor Ruzicka is my “rare gem”. And since that day God blessed me in 1995, I have been her biggest fan. God is so good and God is so great and I my heart is overwhelmed today with thanks to Him for Taylor – who I love greatly.