Thursday, February 17, 2011

My Own Anger

I learned a hard lesson as a young man in Texas. When I get angry enough to be out of control I lash out with abandon and create havoc in the world around me. This havoc would often come back to haunt me and cause me grief. I decided that my anger needed to be managed.

This was before the days of “Anger Management Seminars” so I was left to fend for myself in finding a solution to my fits of peak. My best example was my mother who had plenty to be angry about but always seemed calm. I sought her advice and she said to pray about it. Well that was her answer for everything as she is a lady of great faith. At that time prayer did not come easy for me because even though I could say the words I didn’t have a feeling for it and it was just words.

Then I experienced a spiritual awaking and found the power of a daily prayer life. I read in Daniel 6:10 that Daniel prayed three times as day to put himself in the presence of God. When you put yourself in the presence of God you are doing more than just saying words. Now I am having a conversation and it puts my anger at others in perspective. Prayer becomes my source for patience, gentleness, self control, and a sense of power.

Now havoc no long rules and I am at peace even during the storms around me caused by other peoples anger. 

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Trusting in Grace

When I retired in 2007 I entered the realm of relying on Social Security, the church pension fund, and investments for my personal income. {I also have the advantage of a darling wife who is six years younger and who still works full time.} Some thirty years ago a wise friend strongly suggested that we start an addition retirement fund in a Tax Deferred Annuity. We were sharing a single position so to be Co-Pastors we were half time each. We did not see how we could afford to have part of our meager salary sent to an annuity. He said that we could not afford not to do it. I do believe that God sent him to us at just the right time. When I retired my personal income went up.

While the market crash affected the growth of our annuity it did not change how much we are receiving. Still I was reminded by that scary market crash that life is always in flux and we could loose everything as many people did. If I did loose all my worldly possessions it would change how I live from day to day but it does not matter: I know in my heart and soul that I still have the love and grace of God on my side. 

Monday, February 14, 2011

Male OR Female ???

Understanding Gender Differences
A Spanish teacher was explaining to her class that in Spanish, unlike English, nouns are designated as either masculine or feminine.
 "House" for instance, is feminine: "la casa."
 "Pencil," however, is masculine: "el lapiz."

 A student asked, 
"What gender is 'computer'?"

 Instead of giving the answer, the teacher split the class into two groups, male and female, and asked them to decide for themselves whether "computer" should be a masculine or a feminine noun.

 Each group was asked to give four reasons for its recommendation.

 The men's group decided that "computer" should definitely be of the feminine gender 
("la computadora"), because:

 1. No one but their creator understands their internal logic;

 2. The native language they use to communicate with other computers is incomprehensible to everyone else;

 3. Even the smallest mistakes are stored in long term memory for possible later retrieval; and

 4. As soon as you make a commitment to one, you find yourself spending half your paycheck on accessories for it.

 The women's group, however, concluded that computers should be Masculine (
"el computador"), because:
 1. In order to do anything with them, you have to turn them on;

 2. They have a lot of data but still can't think for themselves;

 3. They are supposed to help you solve problems, but half the time they ARE the problem; and

 4. As soon as you commit to one, you realize that if you had waited a little longer, you could have gotten a better model.
 The women won.

Bible - Dollar & Whiskey

Bible – Silver Dollar – Whiskey

A preacher had a son who had just graduated from High School. He wanted to test his son’s character so while the boy was out the father went into his room and placed three objects on the boy’s dresser.

First was a bible thinking that if the boy picked up the bible first he would follow in his father’s footsteps.  The second object was a silver dollar thinking that if the boy picked up the money he would become a business man. The third item was a bottle of whiskey thinking if the boy picked that up he would become a drunken bum.

The father watched for his son to come home and when the boy was approaching the house the father slipped into the boy’s closet so that he could see what happened. His son walked into the room and saw the three objects on the dresser. He studied the carefully and picked up the bible. The father’s heart filled with joy. Then the boy picked up the dollar and put it in his pocket. Confusion was the boy going to be a televangelist?

The father’s heart stopped when he saw his son pick up the whiskey, and take a big swig from it. Oh no he is going to become a politician.  

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Wisdom and Courage

Watching the people of Egypt stand their ground and find their voice reminded me of  Martin Luther King and Gandhi who did the same thing and also overcame great odds to change their world. It take wisdom to know what to say and how to say it but that wisdom must also be coupled with courage to stand up and be counted in the face of the worst response.

Some were imprisoned, some beaten and some even died to make the change happen. Their victories were worth the cost because they had the courage of their convictions.