July 24, 2012

The Dark Knight Rises

READY The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy” John 10:10 NIV

AIM… I was mortified when I heard the news about the massacre in Colorado over the weekend.  Innocent people who were excited to see the new Batman movie were met with a twist in the plot of their own fates.  Sadly, Satan, the real dark knight, arose in the form of a shooter and lives were lost, bodies were injured and souls were emotionally shaken all over the world.  Yes, friends, Satan is constantly on the prowl looking for ways to ruin our lives; to prevent us from following God’s path of success and love. We all have free will to choose our lot in life, however, look at the ways we are constantly diverted, misdirected and just plain halted from successful progress.  It’s not karma; it’s the dark forces working against us.  Scary, but true.

As we recover from the shock of such a devastating event, we must remember this scripture from Genesis 50:20: “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” That’s a lot to digest so soon after such a tragic event, but there will be justice served on earth and eternity.  Perhaps this incident will spark a movement to provide better security measures in public locations.  In the meantime, we must not live in fear and trust that our Maker is the one who is ultimately in control as our shield and safe haven.

FIRE!   Take a moment this week to pray for the victims and their families of the Colorado shooting.  Never underestimate the power of prayer, whether it be individual or as a collective group.  It is one of our strongest weapons and most powerful means to affect the world around us in a positive way.

Be Excellent!

July 12, 2012

Break A Leg

READY Life is not a dress rehearsal.”  ~ Rose Tremain

AIM… Day after day, we are living on a stage where people are watching our performances.  Those performances are controlled by our emotions, past experiences and level of maturity, and, yes, our level of maturity can change from day to day. But most of us take life for granted. We assume we’ll get up tomorrow and do the same thing all over again, just on a different day.  However, what if we only had a few days left to live?  Would we act differently?  Would we do things we wish we could do?  Why does the realization of death change our outlook and approach to life?  If each one of us embraced every day as if it might be our final performance, I guarantee that most of us would choose to act differently. We would give our very best for every person we encountered, and we would make sure to give credit to those who have made a difference in our lives.  Perhaps we simply need to wake up each morning with a different attitude about life. We need to approach each day as if it were an encore performance requested by God. Maybe then we’d love bigger, take more chances, make time to be together, smile more often, appreciate what we’ve been given and perform to the best of our abilities because we really enjoy being alive.  The world is your stage; so what are you waiting for?

FIRE!   Since life is not a dress rehearsal, break a leg!  I challenge you to give it all you’ve got and do your very best every single day.  Enjoy every opportunity and life so enthusiastically that everyone would agree that you deserve God’s encore requests.

Be Excellent!

July 4, 2012

Freedom Isn't Always Free

READY… We have enjoyed so much freedom for so long that we are perhaps in danger of forgetting how much blood it cost to establish the Bill of Rights.”  ~Felix Frankfurter

AIM… In celebration and respect of Independence Day for the United States of America, I’ve been thinking about how we, as Americans, pay homage to our freedom.  Yep, you guessed it…barbeque and fireworks!  Nothing says thank you for our freedom like baked beans, grilled burgers and the vibrant sight of sparklers at dusk.  Now you know I’m being a little sarcastic here.  However, I had you thinking for a moment, didn’t I?  I would venture to guess the majority of us never served in the military so we cannot possibly appreciate giving up our personal freedoms to serve and fight for everyone else’s.  There’s no way we could ever really know what it’s like to stand guard on a sandy desert in 100+ degree heat or to wade through murky jungle swamps or to help millions of victims from a terrorist attack.  No, for most of us, those scenarios are simply scenes from action movies and television dramas made for us ordinary folks who love and enjoy our freedom to live life the way we want to live.  And so, to each and every one of our American heroes who have served in any way to protect and retain the freedoms we love and take for granted, I salute you.  Thank you seems so insignificant in comparison to your ultimate sacrifice.  However, for now, at least some of us are able to recognize and acknowledge your extreme loyalty and fierce commitment to a cause much larger than yourself.  So this Fourth of July, raise those hot dogs, watermelon slices and ice cold beers in a toast to the men and women who have fought to keep our country free so we can celebrate year after year with a day off work to picnic with friends and family and to be grateful for the other 364 days when we can do most anything we want with our lives.  God Bless the USA and all the fighting men and women who serve our country! 

FIRE!   Happy 4th of July!  If you know someone who is serving in the US military, please take a moment to send him or her an email, Facebook message or a card acknowledging the extreme gratitude you have for your freedom.  Chances are he isn’t enjoying a lip-smacking BBQ rib; he is probably suited up, awaiting orders from the commanding officer.

Be Excellent!