“What I’m about to tell you is true. You need to change and become like little children. If you don’t, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Anyone who takes the humble position of this child is the most important in the kingdom of heaven. Anyone who welcomes a little child like this one in my name welcomes me” (Matthew 18:3-5, NIRV).
What started as an argument over greatness ended in one brief demonstration.
The greatest, Jesus said, was the one who humbled himself as a little child.
What’s the difference between that and typical adulthood? [click to continue…]
This is James Harrison.
He was the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2008.
He does pushups with a 300-pound man on his back. Lots of them.
I want him on my team.
Whichever one needs linebackers who can do pushups with a 300-pound man lying on his back.
James has a few tattoos. One says, “PEACE” and has a cross next to it. Others are very sentimental – one for his grandmother, his sons, his mom and dad. He also has one that says “Colossians 1:16.” Here is what Colossians 1:16 says, in case you’re wondering.
“For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.”
I am NOT a tattoo dude. Not my thing. But I want James Harrison on my team.
Which team? [click to continue…]
World changers… Meh.
We’ve turned that into a badly-worn cliché. It seems as though anybody with a Selfie Stick and a cause can be labeled a world changer.
And if your goal is to be famous – to get your 15 minutes of viral – let me just remind you that these days that cuts both ways. Thanks to the wonders of always-on video, social media and instant rushes to judgment, you can go from completely unknown to globally hated within hours. Just ask Walt Palmer or Justine Sacco.
But what if I were to tell you that it’s possible to have global impact – the long-term kind, way past your local address and far past your own lifetime – without being a celebrity or even well-known? What if it were possible to shake the earth with potential without ever holding a microphone or appearing in the media? What if I told you that even when you felt swatted away like a gnat by the elites, you could still make history?
This is for those who are looking for a hero without a stage, press conference, or package to sell. This is for those who may have resigned themselves to obscurity at best, or chronic rejection at worst. This is for the ordinary guy with average intelligence or the woman who has a cause (or calling), but no one to recognize their genius or talent.
I want to introduce you to the first “power couple” in the New Testament. But let me hasten to say that these two never conducted a massive missionary campaign, started a church, wrote a book of the Bible, or even said anything that was written down for future generations. They appear to be walking wallflowers. And yet the most famous Christian of his day said something about them that he never said of anyone else. [click to continue…]
(A Brief Conversation about symbols and change and heritage and hate and other awkward things…)
What’s wrong with it? It represents who I am.
It also represents some things you don’t want to be.
It’s my heritage!
Some would say it’s hatred. [click to continue…]
(My dad with Great-Grandchild #9, Archer Wiley)
I’ve been simmering on this for a while, and I figured since I’m away from home this Father’s Day, this would be a good day and a good way to honor my dad. My daughter Carrie did this for me last year and reposted it again here. I also wrote this about what I learned from my Mama last year.
Regardless of the many influences and teachers I’ve been blessed by over the years, none of them has taught or influenced me more than my dad. I have mentioned often that I was blessed to have a father who actually wanted to be a dad and influenced me to want to be one. With 8 grandkids of my own now, I would say that desire has definitely passed through to another generation.
There are many practical things my dad taught me over the years, including how to drive a nail, play dominos, put on a jacket without bunching up your sleeve, ride a bicycle, and bathe the 36 different body parts that need cleaning up every day.
But what interests me most are the ideas that still speak to me today as principles. These are transferrable to almost any endeavor. I could just as well title this, “Ten Things My Dad Would Teach to Pastors,” or “Ten Things My Dad Could Teach to School Teachers.”
So here, in no certain order, are ten lessons that still speak to me most every day. I’m sure there are many more than this, but these are for starters. See if they don’t speak to you on some level, while my daddy says, “Your welcome!” [click to continue…]
Thi lad I kne – a rathe larg, joll sor – onc joke, “I don’ hav a proble wit diet. I star on ever Monda!”
Th jok, o cours, hint a th proble.
Sor o lik th ki wh joine m scou troo afte bein a membe o tw other an wantin t star ove, workin o th ran o Tenderfoo.
H like startin. Bu no pressin o o finishin. [click to continue…]
Then there was that time I burned a hole in the back of my bathrobe.
Fortunately, I wasn’t wearing it at the time.
For reasons I can’t remember, but that made perfectly good sense back then, I was up in the middle of the night and trying to read. For some reason the light wasn’t quite right, so I threw my robe over the lampshade.
A few minutes later I was interrupted by the unmistakable fragrance of stupid. [click to continue…]
I don’t think I’d have to argue long to convince you we’re living in a dark world. Tune in your favorite news source and it seems that it’s a daily reminder that whatever was dark yesterday has only gotten darker today, and – get this – the only “fix” for it is to change the rules and make yesterday’s “dark” today’s “light.”
Pardon my cynicism, but pay attention to what everybody is calling “evil” today. All other things being equal, a decade from now people will openly declare it as “good” or “right” or necessary.
I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t be surprised that the world has its own answers to the messes it’s in. Even now, in the United States of Iowa, one Democrat and 72 Republicans are mixing it up with the locals, presenting themselves as the light of the world.
I think you know better. [click to continue…]
Chances are, you instinctively know how important and powerful a little encouragement can be. Now there’s scientific evidence worth paying attention to that’ll back that up.
This was reported yesterday in Fast Company. A recent study published in the Basic and Applied Social Psychology Journal suggests that the more detailed and specific an adviser expressed confidence in a student’s potential for success, the more likely that student would be to take action to pursue that success. [click to continue…]
You entered our world today, December 18, 2014, and may I just say, you didn’t disappoint! We fretted a little that we wouldn’t get here in time from Alabama, but like the gentleman you already are, you politely waited for us arrive, then for good measure took a few more hours for everybody to get their bearings. Then in the fullness of time, you let it be known that you were large (our largest grandbaby yet), loud (probably the loudest, too), and in charge!
Other babies have been born on this day, but only you can claim to have a sister who’s the Sasster. In a world of brothers and all-boy cousins, she’s the only girl, and I think she sorta likes it that way. I know she loves being your big sister. “He’s just adorable,” she said when she saw you for the first time. And no, I don’t know how a first grader knows the word “adorable,” but she can probably also spell it, parse it, and say it in German, Spanish and Swahili.
You’ll learn the ropes from your brothers Shepherd and Fischer soon enough. And yes, that frightens me just a bit. That’s all I’ve got to say about that.
[click to continue…]