Thursday, November 29, 2007

Random thoughts from Thanksgiving 2007

Some things I learned, heard or just experienced over the last week...(in no particular order)
  • There are always new things to learn about everyone...just listen.
  • My cousin is a great musician.
  • My car gets about 4 miles a gallon less in the mountains than it does when it's not.
  • My new favorite "radio station" is XM salellite station called "The System" - all techno, no commercials. It's like one big mix.
  • One of my new favorite movies is "LOTR: Return of the King - Extended Edition" - it's so good it's like a different movie, but quite an investment in time at 4 hours and 10 minutes.
  • A 24 pound turkey takes more than 5 hours to cook.
  • Michigan roads are as bad as I remember them (maybe even worse).
  • Just because you live somewhere doesn't mean you know how to drive around there.
  • I no longer like Circuit City. Years ago I didn't like them and then warmed up to them. After a really bad experience on "Black Friday" with them I've lost my respect for them.
  • Some people will do anything to save a few bucks on a big screen TV.
  • How to make my own pickles that taste better than anything I can make at the store.
  • The world is not COMPLETELY wireless...yet.
  • Guilt stinks...
  • There are FIVE actors in the LOTR trilogy that have been in OTHER huge blockbusting trilogies...can you name them? This is really amazing considering that these 5 actors in the same trilogy represent a stake in 14 of the top 100 best selling movies of all time and 18 of the top 200... That says a lot about the LOTR trilogy.

OK, here they are - easy ones first:

  1. Hugo Weaving (Elrond) LOTR & The Matrix (Mr. Smith)
  2. Orlando Bloom (Legolas) LOTR & Pirates of the Carribean (Will Turner)
  3. Ian McKellan (Gandalf) LOTR & X-Men (Eric Lehnsherr / Magneto)
  4. John Rhys-Davies (Gimli and Treebeard) LOTR & Indiana Jones (Sallah) ** He didn't appear in "The Temple of Doom"
  5. Christopher Lee (Saruman) LOTR & Star Wars (Count Duki / Darth Tyranus) *** Star Wars II & III (I consider them 2 separate trilogies) - check LOTR:Return of the King EXTENDED version (to consider him in all 3)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

A Good Day...

When life is crazy - when nothing seems the same - a good day can be hard to find.

Yesterday was a good day, like when I was growing up in Michigan and it had been cold all winter. Weeks and weeks would go by and it was so cold that you didn't want to go outside - being outside was a means to an get where you were going. You didn't linger.

Inevitably, near the end of February or early March we would get a day that gave us a glimpse of the spring to come. Everyone was outside - no one stayed inside. In college kids skipped class... It was a good day, warm and sunny.

Yesterday was warm and sunny and, just like those shots of spring in winter, it put a spring in my step...

Thanks truly are awesome.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


"Let the light of your face shine upon us, O LORD" Psalm 4:6
"The LORD is my light and my salvation" Psalm 27:1
"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house." Matthew 5:14,15

Our God, Jehovah, is the light in a world of darkness.

There are so many times in God's word where the light and darkness are contrasted, where God or His son, Jesus is referred to as light - bright light. Paul "...saw a light from heaven, brighter than the sun..." (Acts 26:13) that blinded him when Jesus spoke to him on the road to Damascus.

God is light...and we are His reflectors.

In the bible we read of accounts where God showed himself and it was always brilliant. Other than those times when God came down and showed us a bit of Himself (just enough so that we could handle it) His light is reflected to the world through us. All of those that wear His son's name - Christians - reflect His light to a dark world.

I've known this all of my life. In fact it's one of the first things you are taught as a child about God. Don't believe me? Ask a child to sing a couple bible songs and after "Jesus Loves Me" and "Jesus Love the Little Children", you will probably hear "This Little Light of Mine". We are taught as children that it's our mission in life (OK, so the kids don't understand that it's a mission - but it is) to let our light shine "all around the neighborhood" (which is a child's understanding of the world). So, I get the light thing - I've understood it all of my life - or have I?

When you think about that song you envision a candle because if you also go through the motions you make a candle with your finger. That's a great illustration - for a child.

However, a candle radiates light from it's own source of power, and one candle is not really all that bright. My point here is not to poke holes at the idea of a light or a lantern....

It occurred to me yesterday that we are actually reflectors of God's light. If you take a mirror, a shiny piece of metal or any other object that reflects light and put it in a dark room what do you get? A dark room. However, just take a light source (like a flashlight or the sun) and point it at the reflector it can cast light around the room. If you have ever seen the movie "The Mummy", Evelyn Carnahan (the librarian looking for the mummy) showed how the Egyptians used mirrors to illuminate dark rooms. I don't have any idea if this is based on any reality, but it looked really cool in the movie.

The source of the light that we shine to the world is from God, it is His light and the only way the world will see it is through us. Here comes the part that hit me yesterday...

Every "reflector" is different. Every Christian that reflects God's light reflects it in a different way. There is no way to take God's perfect light and transfer it through us - imperfect - and it not look a bit different. It's just not possible. Every bit of God's light on this earth is reflected through imperfect people. There was only one exception and that was when God sent His perfect son, Jesus to walk among us and reflect His light - perfectly.

When I first thought about this I thought I must be missing something. Am I saying that God's light on earth is not perfect? No. His light is perfect, but He designed it to be shown (reflected from) through us - imperfect children of His. Does that really make sense?

Of course it does!

Different light catches different When God's light reflects off of one person it looks a little different than when it reflects off another - but it's still His light. The beauty of this - one more evidence of His perfect design - is that it brings more people to Him! Each child of His that walks this earth reflects His light in different ways because each person on this earth is different - individual reflections bring INDIVIDUALS to HIM.

More on this later....

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Growing Up...Reluctantly

My friends that really know me know that I'm not intending on acting my age...ever. My body may age, but I don't intend on allowing a one-to-one relationship between body age and spirit age.

You're only as old as you feel...

However, maturing is not the same as aging. I've known kids that are mature beyond their years and I've also known adults that are not mature. Maturity comes from experience and not all experience is fun.

We talk about being an adult and doing adult things... As we get older we get to experience things that we couldn't before - it's exciting...most of the time.

For me, it's easy to talk about the right thing to do. I can talk through all the possible scenarios, debate the best way to do things, talk about ethics, morals, attitudes and being Christ-like. What I'm learning now is that sometimes the hardest thing to do is the right thing.

Sometimes the right thing is simply being your best in a bad situation.

Making a decision to do something after thoughtful and prayerful consideration also means that you have to decide to be OK with that choice. If it's the right choice, made out of love and compassion then a grown up decides to free themselves of the decision once it's made and move on.

I guess "growing up" isn't quite what I thought it would be.
"...Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit." 2 Corinthians 3:7-18