Protecting Your Investment

You awake?

That’s what the text read at 11:00 one night last week. My son-in-law, Curtis.

Yes, I replied, and soon the phone was vibrating.

What do your kids or in-laws or whoever call you about at 11:00 pm? This one got interesting very quickly.

“Hey man, I was sharing this with Cassie about this and she said I should call you.”

Cassie also said later I should blog about it. So there. You’re welcome.

“This” was an insight into something that dates all the way back to Eden. It’s been rocking my world ever since. The implications of this idea are poignant and tragic, yet dripping with possibilities. [click to continue…]

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I was talking to a friend recently. He’s at something of a crossroads. Ready to move forward, but stuck where he is. Wanting something different, but not sure how to define it. Caught somewhere between disappointment and desire, he hears the lament of the Grouse.

That’s a voice I’m all-too-familiar with. And I suspect you’d say the same thing. When I hear the Grouse speaking, the voice sounds exactly like mine. And when you hear its moody whine, it sounds like yours.

The Grouse often sounds logical. Sometimes fearful. Sometimes it takes on a protective, caring tone; at other times it mocks you. Sometimes it whispers, sometimes it sings. And sometimes it screams like a spoiled child.

Crazy thing is, nobody can hear the Grouse but you. But it’s as real as Minnesota snow in January.

The Grouse is an internal voice that stays quiet so long as we play it “safe,” and never attempt to change anything. But let a man dare to dream in the wake of big disappointments, and out comes the Grouse. Let a woman turn her wishful thinking into bold action, and the Grouse will start sounding the alarm.

The goal of the Grouse is to get you to do nothing. Stay comfortable. Don’t offend anybody. Avoid disappointment at all cost. Don’t embarrass yourself or make anybody else uncomfortable either.

Just. Don’t. Change. [click to continue…]

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(The 12 Pathways to Christmas, Part 11 – The Way of Connection)

(This is a reprint from a previous post and a chapter in my book The Twelve Pathways to Christmas. See below for how you can purchase the book and help support missions.)

“I have connecting gate information here!”

Amber Amari knew something about making connections.  And no place connected more people and destinations than Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.

“Dallas/Ft Worth? A33.  Richmond?  Gate B10.”

Amber had the printout for Delta Flight 2943, inbound from Newark, as she stood at Gate A5.  But she hardly had to refer to it.  She had a remarkable gift for remembering the complex array of gates, times, and final destinations of her assigned passenger manifests.

“Oklahoma City is B14…  You’re welcome, sir – Merry Christmas to you, too.”

Everyone else on 2943 was a connection-in-waiting.  But today Amber had a special assignment.  The last passenger to deplane – six-year-old Bradi Russo – would be her companion for the day.

“Charlotte?  B8.”

Amber was something of a specialist in making connections.  And nowhere did the 27-year-old Red Coat’s gifts shine more than in unique, delicate situations.

Bradi Russo was a unique situation.

And as the tentative little girl took the hand of the flight attendant and walked toward the gate, it was good to know, Amber Amari understood the concept of delicate. [click to continue…]

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The Twelve Pathways to Christmas, Chapter 7:  The Way of Warfare

(This is a reprint from a previous post and a chapter in my book The Twelve Pathways to Christmas. See below for how you can purchase the book and help support missions.)

December 23

The first thing Ryan Fisher felt when he awakened was an obnoxious cold wind, pelting his face with sleet.  The searing pain coursing down his legs and across his chest further aroused him.  Opening his eyes, he saw movement outside, but the angle of his SUV in the ditch made it difficult to tell what was happening.  One thing was sure – the distant siren and flashing lights were for him.

Another thing became certain pretty quickly.  Assuming he lived, Ryan Fisher would spend Christmas alone.  There’d be no plane to catch, and nobody boarding a plane back to Birmingham.  Not in this storm.

It was the end of the day from hell, punctuating the week from hell, capping off the year from hell.  And now, freezing and in shock, Ryan Fisher closed a mental door.  He was done. [click to continue…]

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Jealousy Sucks

…the life out of your days.

…the love out of your heart.

…the fun out of your dreams. [click to continue…]

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It’s been more than 40 years, but the scene hasn’t changed all that much.  Downhill run, dirt road, just north of the family farm.  Back in the day I was driving my Granddaddy’s pickup and my grandmother was in the passenger seat. I don’t remember the occasion, but most likely we had taken Lucy or Dot or some other domestic help back to their house, and we were headed back.

Just as I cruised down the dirt road, flexing my pride in the manly art of driving, the pickup slipped off the road into a shallow little ditch.

“Ditch” is too harsh a word.  More like a little soft trough where rain water would gently ease down the hill. Really wasn’t that big a deal.

“Oh, no, we’re stuck,” Grandmother said immediately.

Ridiculous!  It wasn’t deep, we were doing downhill, and all I had to do was give it a little gas, turn the wheel, and…

Well crud.  We were stuck. [click to continue…]

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It’s one thing to be in shape to be led to still waters and green pastures.

It’s another to be ready to charge the enemy’s camp through the valley of the shadow of death.

We don’t mature to make our lives easier or more comfortable.

We mature to become wiser.

Fight smarter.

Recognize danger before it attacks. [click to continue…]

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Edge of a Cliff

(Fumes, Form and Fashion, Part 4)

Phillip and Amanda are an item. Second marriage for him, first for her. Two kids together. Christians.  Raising the family. Paying the bills. Doing life.

And they’re both exhausted.  It’s more a case of life doing them.

Phillip, as mentioned here, is nearing 40 and finds himself yearning for a return to more structure and discipline that kept him in shape, both spiritually and physically.

Amanda, as mentioned here finds herself choking emotionally and desperate for some sort of life-energizing change.

They each have a sincere faith in God and are committed to each other.  They each are mentally, emotionally, and physically exhausted.

They need to hear the voice of God in a fresh way.

They both, but especially Phillip, need to go back to the basics.

They both, but especially Amanda, need a change in scenery, starting with that internal scenery we call vision.

And they both are on the cusp of something new and exciting.

And unbearably stupid. [click to continue…]

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Ram wearing spectacles.

Happy (Traditional) Tax Day!  So… Stick with me on this.

Last week, in news you probably missed, some engineering experts sounded a major alarm to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The subject: Self-driving cars.

The concern:  We’re not ready yet.

The evidence:  Unresolved technical issues, including some accidents.

The request:  Please, Dear Government Agency slow down your aggressive approach to issuing guidance for technology that is not ready for guidance yet.

That seems reasonable. Safe.  Wise for someone whose name has the word “Safety” in it.

That creates some tension for the agency, however. After all, they have a job to do – a service to the American people.  So Mark Rosekind, Director of the NHTSA, commented:

“Everybody asks, ‘When are they (self-driving cars) going to be ready?’ I keep saying they’re not coming; they are here now.”

Then he added this little revealing gem: [click to continue…]

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2016ASE

This is a 2016 silver dollar.

It’s official, struck by the United States Mint. [click to continue…]

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