Archive for July, 2006

Naked Mole Rat

Monday, July 31st, 2006

That's right I typed "naked." My family was watching TV together while resting through a Sunday afternoon. The channel was Animal Planet and we were watching The Most Extreme. Somewhere in the middle of the creature countdown is a naked mole rat. In unison my 3 kids shout, "Rufus!"  Kendra looks at me as I look at her. I'm not sure what to think especially when our 4 year old looks as though she knows exactly what she is talking about. Slowly the gears in my head grind into a gear and it dawns on me, Kim Possible, a cartoon that happens to have a naked mole rat as a pet sidekick. Just when you thought television wasn't good for anything… 

The decorations are glued down!

Wednesday, July 26th, 2006

Recently I was eating at a restaurant when my elbow hit a little "knick-knack" on the shelf. It didn't "give" like I thought it should so I looked a little closer. There around the base I noticed a thin seam of glue. I began to look around the restaurant and thought of the time it must have taken to glue down all of that stuff. Even the pictures were fastened to the wall.

I guess people don't respect other people's stuff. Or maybe we don't/can't trust anyone. I've been reading a bunch of marriage books and a central theme or subject in each book deals with trust. As I read books about church strategies trust of the leaders runs through each one. Even in biographies of great men and women the element of trust is a part of their character. The ability to be trusted is not much of a value today yet, it is possibly the biggest factor in determining the success of life – but, what is it? (You probably need to define success and trust but trust is the word here). Is it primarily a verb or noun? What part does it play in our character, relationships…?

Trust happens in relationships. It is built over a lifetime through shared experiences and continues to be built upon years later. The person speaks the truth, honors the truth and lives it. It determines how much we love and find love plus how happy/joy-filled we are. Think of people you trust. Generally, you enjoy being around them, you would do anything for them, they tell you the truth and you might tell them things that you wouldn't tell anyone else. So, how do we become people, people can trust? And is it worth it?

Tell the truth, be diligent and work hard, share your heart, live ______?

It has to be worth it, right? These things are so intangible and not microwaveable. You won't see results quickly but like a healthy diet and exercise program you have to start somewhere.

Least Common Denominator

Thursday, July 20th, 2006

I was out walking the dog the other night and it happened to be before trash pick up the next morning. I'm not quite sure why I had this thought but I wondered if there are any trash can snobs. As I looked around I noticed how many people had the same tan colored cans with hinged green lids. As I looked around I saw one stories, two stories; driveways full of Lexus's, Chevy's, Jeep's, and VW's; landscaped yards and weedy flower beds; expensive options added to the houses custom glass doors, elevation options, brick, stone… Yet, everyone had the same $10 trash can. People can add and buy all of the latest technology, the newest luxury models but a trash can is a trash can as far as I know.

There I was in the middle of the street being reminded that we all stand on level ground before God. No amount of add on's or take off's can change that. What a great God! What a reason to see our neighbors as God sees them and reach out with the gospel in Jesus's name.

Starting good habits

Thursday, July 13th, 2006

The other night going through our normal bedtime checklist I sent everyone to brush their teeth. Almost instantly they returned. I thought there was no way that their pearly whites had felt the friction or flouride. I felt their toothbrushes with my hand and was astonished to find that they were wet and then I noticed toothpaste all over the counter and sink. So being the loving parent I am I made them brush again and this time "for at least 30 seconds." They moaned and rolled their eyes but obliged their dad.

I got to thinking about "why" brushing their teeth is part of the daily routine. Two of the three still chew with 90-100% "baby" teeth so they are going to fall out in the next few years. Is brushing those teeth that won't be around for the next 60+ years important? Yes!

We are trying to start a life long habit that will protect and care for their "permanent" teeth. So the discipline is not worthless even though at the present it may not seem worthwhile. Life and circumstances change therefore creating habits and disciplines for living life are vitally important to a content life. All of those things like going to church, reading the Bible daily, praying, memorizing scripture will be seen for all they are worth when…a job is lost, a marriage falls apart, a parent dies, a miscarriage, financial ruin, a rebellious child etc. Where will one turn for hope at these moments? If there has been nothing to nourish the soul then we turn to blame, depression, medicines, anger, and denial to name a few. But when you read and study scripture for personal application, or pray at all times, or rehearse verses which transform the mind then when life becomes chaotic you see a plan. You see Peace, Strength. a Provider, a Comforter. That is not an empty, easy answer but life orienting hope.  

So we'll keep brushing those teeth, reading our Bible stories, praying and memorizing verses because of a day that might not be so fun. Now, I'm off to be a better example…

Merthiolate; Fire tiger; Electric Chicken; limetreuse

Thursday, July 6th, 2006

Those are names of fishing lure colors that I've fished with or have seen in stores. Merthiolate is a hurt-your-eyes bright red. Fire tiger has a green top, yellow middle, orange belly with black stripes. Electric chicken is bright pink on top then a greenish yellow body with gold glitter thrown in for sparkle. Limetreuse is bright green and chartreuse. I can't think of any kind of prey in any body of water that are represented by those colors. Do they work? Fire tiger is one of the best selling colors every year. And, you can find dozens of articles that mention these others as great fish catching colors.

Why do they work? I've never seen anything quite those colors swimming around the lakes or bays I fish. Evidently there is more to lure color than mere mimicry.  It is also about the mood of the fish. Often I'll read or hear something like, "let the fish tell you what they want." I realize I'm not a finned psychologist or a crazy, fishing mystic but if a fish spoke to me… However, those who study such things have discovered that fish strike based on their aggression, appetite, weather and lunar phase and any combination of other things.

It seems to me that mood is pretty important in real, human life, too. Generally it is up to us to choose our mood  and outlook on life. No, you don't have to be giddy and bubbly all of the time. Yet, it is often a matter of transforming the mind with God's truth. Fish are dependent on so many stimuli that affect their fishy disposition. Yet, for you and me, with a God perspective we can have hope, do all things through Christ who strengthens me, know peace, know that all things work together for the good of those who love Him, be set free, know there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, give thanks in all circumstances… I can be negative and complain, which I do plenty of, or I can see how God is at work, glorify Him and be joyful by transforming my mind with truth. That will probably leave a better taste in everyone's mouth except the fish's, they're stuck with motor oil, pumpkin seed with black pepper, june bug, bubblegum…