Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Lately, I had been reflecting on how emotions that we experience are very like those that God has. Since He created us in His image than it is very likely that we experience in emotions what He has already experienced emotionally. I realized how my wife, love to give surprises, but we hate receiving surprises. Well, we love receiving good surprises - especially if we don't about them in advance. We hate being told that there is a surprise for us and having to wait for it to be revealed. I believe that we hate being in the receiving position for two reasons. One, fear. We tend to fear that the surprise in store for us is not all that great. Two, it means we are not in control.
After my wife expressed her disappointment about her friend knowing about the shower, I wondered if God likes to give us surprises. I believe He absolutely does, but His surprises are always excellent!
Sunday, May 20, 2012
My wife and I were watching Dances with Wolves the other day and we came upon a scene that completely shocked me. It is the scene where Two Socks (the wolf in the movie) dropped off a dead rabbit and John Dunbar's door. The action struck me as odd. My first thought was 'why would this animal do this? There is no benefit to the wolf.' Unlike animation movies which make animals act with human tendencies, this is not a movie that was not doing that. I made a comment to my wife about that and she said that she remembered that her pets would regularly drop off prizes for their masters. It was usually a dead rabbit or something like that. This really amazed me! Was the act of giving in an animal's DNA? Was it an animal's instinct to give? Did God put the act of giving into all of His creation as instinct?
Humans, on a very basic level, are actually animals, but animals with souls. Having a soul allows us to choose our actions rather than act solely on instinct, but is our desire to give actually an instinct? I wondered... If giving is an instinct, than what is the act of NOT giving. Humans are the only species that (without external re-programming) can go against their instinct. Is it actually an act of will to NOT give? Perhaps that is why giving comes so easily and why to not give is considered wrong. Is act of not sharing a thought planted by the devil rather than a instinct? Perhaps that is why being greedy is so evil.
It made me reflect on what areas of my life I am choosing not to give...
Monday, March 28, 2011
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Over the last couple of days some situations have occurred that have really tested my trust in friends and family. I have wrestled with it and don't know that I'm any closer to a resolution than I was a day before, but discussing this matter with the involved parties has really made me think about the emotions that stem from dilemmas like these and how to resolve them. Most of them are not good.
Taking a side step... we live in a 'Free' country, but as we see desicions being made for us left and right, it makes me wonder what freedom really is and is it perhaps over-ratted in America. People die for it, yet what is it? To often we seek freedom to mak our own choices, but do we really know what is best for us?
Back t the present... As I sought God in this matter, He reminded me of the discussion of Freedom that I often have at work. He show me what really binds us. It's not government, shakles or masters over us. It's fear, bitterness and hatred that binds us! How often do we go through a day dwelling on any one of those three? Freedom is faith, forgiveness and love.
God help me live in freedom each day of my life!
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Well, years later, I remember the experience, but sadly I no longer had the album. A thought hit me; I wonder if it could be on eBay. I did some research and discovered it was called 'West'. After a couple of months of searching, I found an empty English album (better than a Hebrew one as I’d have great difficulty reading it now) at a book site and a completed French and Dutch album on eBay. I got them both of them as presents from my family - lucky me! As I leafed through the album I kept thinking: 'I remember that picture', or 'I remember getting that card'. What also hit me was the thought that although the artwork was spectacular, there was still something missing. I mulled over it and I discovered that receiving a completed album was nowhere near as satisfying as collecting the individual cards yourself and trading for them and then being able to finally say ‘Whew, I’m finally done’! Don’t get me wrong, I love the album and it is great getting a childhood memory back, but it made me realize something; sometimes the destination is not always what it’s made out to be.
As I mulled over it I thought about my life now and my final destination. What if heaven, in its entire wonderful splendor, is not all it’s made out to be? What if our journey, here on Earth, is a part of the experience we have in Heaven? Again, don’t get me wrong, I can not wait to be in the presence of God – forever. It’s just that I now wonder if I would be as satisfied if I arrived in Heaven without experiencing life and having the opportunity to learn to love others, learn to communicate better with others, learn to overcome my fears and step off the edge and trust God to catch me. My suspicion is that I wouldn’t be. Of course one will never be able to compare the two (unless you die really young and God resurrects you life and you die again), so I don’t think one who has had less time to experience life than I have will arrive in Heaven and say, ‘bummer, I didn’t experience as much as Michael did. Not fair!’ I think both of us will be equally excited to be in the presence of God. I’m just realizing that I shouldn’t be so eager to arrive in Heaven, but rather be asking God, ‘What amazing journey and experiences do You have in store for me, here on Earth, before I arrive at my final destination? How can God use me to bless others to enhance both my experience and theirs?
I challenge you, do not be so eager to get to heaven, but rather enjoy every moment you have here on Earth, learn everything you can learn. At the same time, look forward to Jesus’ glorious return and to a day where we will be able to celebrate God in His presence.
Monday, December 15, 2008
If someone were to ask me what the biggest thing I've learned in the last four months is I'd have to say it's about using money wisely. Between going to a Dave Ramsey FPU class (which I strongly recommend for anyone who hasn't made a budget yet), listening to Dave Briggs (JR Briggs' dad) speak about finances at a weekend seminar at the The Well, and reading The Millionaire Next Door, I have learned tons! I've also been immensely encouraged by what I've learned.If I could summarize what I've learned it would be:
- Do a budget, with your spouse (if you have one), and STICK TO IT! Consider going to a Dave Ramsey FPU class. If you are married, do not attempt to do this course alone - it will not work! Bribe your spouse to go with you if you have to, but don't try to do it alone.
- Stop using credit cards!
- Be frugal. Real millionaires are very frugal people.
- Have a cash emergency fund of $1000.
- It's not what you make, but what you put away into savings or investments.
- Be a generous giver.
Monday, July 7, 2008
1) Not many people take these tests. Regretfully, this is not because of their difficulty level (if anything, these tests are usually easier than tests given in college), but rather it is due to a of knowledge. People just don't know that they can save thousands of dollars by listening to free on-line lectures (more on that, shortly), taking tests on them and converting them to credits.
2) It doesn't matter what BA you get if you go for an MA. You could get a BA in Phyis Ed and get an MA in Law and what people will look at is the MA in Law. Of courses, you may want to take courses that are relavent to what you want to get your masters in, but you could test out (get all your credits by taking exams) with a BA in Liberal Arts and then go for your masters in whatever.
3) You can find a ton of free lecture information at FreeUniv.
4) There is a great forum with some very helpful testers here.
5) According to those forums, the 3 best colleges to get you tests transferred into credits are:
6) Sorry, you'll have to go to school to get you masters! ;)
Thursday, June 26, 2008
A couple years ago, I was driving with my brother and he noticed my driving into a parking spot. He decided to ask me why I didn't back into the spot. I realized that I had no good reason. He proceeded to say that as much as I might hate driving backwards, I'll eventually have to do it. Why not back into the parking spot rather than back out and not know what's coming? It takes the same amount of time and most importantly, you can see who's coming when you're making the fast get-away! Since then, I have made an effort to back into a parking spot unless I can pull through a parking spot so that I can pull out without having to drive backwards.
Try it. It might just prevent an accident!
Monday, June 23, 2008
One thing you can do is pray. I mention this first because it is what I find myself doing the least of.
Besides praying I have found my drive time is very useful for listening to audio files. Most people think of books on CD when I mention this, but I rarely listen to an actual CDs anymore. Perhaps, like me, you don’t have a CD player in your car. To overcome that, I listen to mp3 files on my laptop. You can use a portable mp3 player or iPod as well. If you choose to go with your laptop, here are some thoughts to consider. Find a file player that uses the SPACE BAR key to pause the audio. Personally I use CyberLink PowerDVD which can be bought here for $39.95 if you select the download option. CyberLink automatically add a TOGOCD (a backup CD) for an additional $10.00 which can be removed from the card to bring the total back to 39.95. There are free mp3 players on the web, but I haven’t found one that uses the SPACE BAR to pause audio. Two other features that PowerDVD offers is that the PAGE UP key work to rewinds a few seconds and you can play the files at 1.5x or 2x the normal speed (I love hearing people sounding like chipmunks). Then, queue up your files BEFORE you start driving. Lastly, enjoy. If the sound isn't loud enough, get laptop USB speakers fot $10 - $20 to amplify the sound. Lately I’ve been listening to Joe Focht’s verse-by-verse series which can be downloaded here. I’ve also been listening to some college lectures. Of course there are many versions of the Bible on mp3 now. Since I find that I don’t have all the time I want to read the Word, I find listening to it read to me is just as edifying.
Another awesome find a colleague showed me was a list of portable FREE programs. I have looked over the list and it is an amazing suite of FREE programs that one can copy on a USB drive and carry around where ever you go. All you have to do is pop the USB drive into ANY machine and launch your programs (including a web browser) and have all your favorites, personal settings and files with you! All you need is an operaing system. If you choose to have the browser save your passwords, I STRONGLY encourage you to encrypt your data. E-mail me to find how.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
The Composite List:
|Mahalalel||The Blessed God|
|Jared||Shall come down|
|Methuselah||His death shall bring|
|Noah||Rest, or comfort|
That's rather remarkable:
Man (is) appointed mortal sorrow; (but) the Blessed God shall come down teaching (that) His death shall bring (the) despairing rest.
Here's the Gospel hidden within a genealogy in Genesis!
An unlikely coincidence, me thinks.
See Chuck Missler's full article here.
Sunday, June 15, 2008
Despite my 'progress', I was still frustrated about how long it would take me to get another 40 credits. Fortunately, my wife encouraged me to join her in going to a homeschooling conference. I truly was going to learn more about my daughter's homeschooling experience and to learn how I can help with that. After looking at the workshop schedule, I decided to go to listen to a speaker Woody Robertson who spoke about Dream, desire, & Decision. What I learned was something totally different! I learned that I didn't have to go to college to get my BA! woot! I learned that through a course sponsored by Collegeplus! I could get my BA in about 2 years. Upon further research and more lectures by Woody, I learned that I could take CLEP exams and DANTES to get credits for college and eventually transfer them to Thomas Edison State College in NJ. The research took me to this blog.
I will spend the next week studying for my Security+ exam (hopefully the last computer exam I ever take!) and then look into taking the CLEP exams. I am once again excited about my education journey towards my masters in Organizational Leadership.
Thoughts for the day:
I took time to begin reading Creating Community by Andy Stanley and Bill Willits. Take time to connect with a stranger today!.
Saturday, June 14, 2008
One of the most life changing experiences going on in my life is that my family will be changing churches. God is pulling my family to join JR Briggs in starting a new church in Lansdale. After much prayer and consideration, we feel that this is God thing and a very good thing as well. This change set forth before us was indeed a challenge. A life changing challenge one might say. JR laid out some expectations for people interested in teaming up with him in starting this new church called Renew. Many of the changes weren't new ideas to me, but rather things I knew I ought to be doing, but wasn't. After committing to help JR, I realized that I need to make some major changes in my lifestyle. The hardest change for me was to give up online gaming and significantly reduce PC gaming in general. I found I was wasting too much time worrying about little towns I had built online and not spending enough time with family and with other REAL people. I also felt a deep conviction to write a book, but would always dismiss the idea due to not being able to find the time to do that. Finally, I prayed about where I could find the time to write and was reminded about the time I spent gaming. Since, with God's help, I've abandoned those online cities I have found new wells of time. So here I am now, spending some of that time writing this blog.
My hopes of this blog is to help me get into the mode of writing and write down life golden nuggets that I learn along the way and share them with others. My prayer is that this blog will not only help me form my thoughts for an eventual book, but that this blog will also bless others reading it and strike up conversations and perhaps even convictions that would not come about otherwise.
What I share here is what is going on in my life; thoughts I am having, ideas that hit me and what make my world go around. It is not meant to condemn you or make you feel condemned in any way, but if God convicts you about something you read here, pray about it, let God speak to you, share your thoughts with someone and see miracles flow. May you experience God's immense love for you while reading this blog!
More new things to come...