Do you need to change before you go?

May 15, 2015

“A bad attitude is like a flat tire; you can’t go anywhere until you change it.”  (Guideposts)

Many times when we are going out, whether for diner or something else, we may feel the need to change clothes. Perhaps we get a little more informal, if we’ve been working in a suit all day, or maybe a little more formal, if we’ve been in jeans all day and we’re going to a nicer place or event.

bad attitudeSometimes it’s our attitudes that need changing. A tough day at work can result in you bringing home a grumpy or down disposition and perhaps being too abrupt with our family members. Sometimes a bad day that can result in incidents of road rage before you even get home. A recent incident involving road rage actually resulted in one of the participants being killed and the other party being convicted of murder. Those were both attitudes that needed to be changed before they got on the road.

Sometimes we wake up with a bad attitude – called getting out on the wrong side of the bed by many. Perhaps we are facing a day with something scheduled or expected during it that we dread – having to let someone go or maybe a break-up with someone; or perhaps we fear being let go that day. Whatever the cause, we really need to try to change our bad attitude before we proceed. There are things that we can’t change in life, but we can approach them with the outlook that we will get through whatever it is and that we will make the best out of it.

So, before you set out to whatever is ahead of you next, check your outfit and your attitude and see if either needs changing. You would just embarrass yourself if you showed up at a swanky event in your jeans and it can be just as embarrassing to realize later that you were acting like an ass at an event or with a family member, or whomever, becausemirror you had the wrong attitude on. You can actually see both in a mirror if you look. The clothes issue is perhaps more obvious; however, that scowl that you may see looking back at you is not appropriate attire either. No one wants to see you show up at the party in a Speedo or with a scowl on your face – both are embarrassing.

I have found that, if I stand there for a minute of two just looking in the mirror, I will eventually ask myself, “What’s that scowl all about? What are you mad at and why?” Then I might make a funny face at myself to break the mood. That usually works and helps me re-adjust my attitude.  I may get one of Red Nose Daythose red clown noses that will be used on Red Nose Day and keep it by the mirror for future attitude adjustments. I have a feeling that sticking on a red nose and standing there looking at yourself with it on will break just about any bad mood. Get one and try it.

One thing that most people are unaware of is how they look in their normal, relaxed state. It’s not that you really are scowling at the world, but rather that most people’s faces just naturally droop into what looks like a scowl. So, you may have to be more conscious about trying to smile and look friendly to those whom you encounter. People may initially wonder what you’re smiling about, but that’s better than them trying to avoid you because you look so unhappy. People will actually ask, “What’s got you looking so happy?” If you answer, “The thought of meeting (or talking to) you”; you will be off to a great start with them and have a great attitude at the same time.

Have a great weekend and start it off right by checking your attitude and making adjustments as needed. And, if youbad attitude cartoon
should happen to see someone who obviously has a bad attitude, see if there’s anything that you can do to help them change, too. Perhaps just being around you will be enough, like Kevin Spear showed in this cartoon. It’s better to glow than to glower.


The search for truth…

May 14, 2015

From the Jack’s Winning Words blog – “Most people really don’t want the truth.  They just want constant reassurance that what they believe is the truth.”  (Collective Evolution)  Jack went on to write – Plato (428 BCE), seek-truthfamous philosopher and teacher, was also a funny guy.  He’s the one who said, “I’m trying to think.  Don’t confuse me with the facts.”  He was joking, of course.  In life, we are continually asked to test the sources for our beliefs.  Don’t be afraid to examine the “facts” during your search for truth.    😉  Jack

That saying goes well with another that I also picked off Jack’s blog – “If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that at least once in your life you doubt.”  (Rene Descartes)

The dictionary defines truth as:

– the quality or state of being true.

“he had to accept the truth of her accusation”

– that which is true or in accordance with fact or reality.

noun: the truth

“tell me the truth”

-a fact or belief that is accepted as true.

plural noun: truths

“the emergence of scientific truths”

So it looks like the opening statement was the true after all – it’s all about what people want to believe. Some peoplesearching believe that all of what they saw and heard during the moon landing in 1969 is the truth, but others believe that it was all a giant hoax and that the men never left the earth. Both groups embrace their views as “the truth.” It’s interesting, too, that all of the definitions rely on using the word true to define the truth; and some of the definitions for true also point back to beliefs.

In our everyday lives I think most people believe much of what they hear from others and accept it as the truth; however, all of us have probably known people that we just didn’t believe. Maybe they earned that distrust by repeatedly lying about things or maybe they just came across as being a bit shady, so we took everything that they said with a grain of salt. Whichever is the initial case, most people search for the truth. They are not content with just not knowing or not being sure. Maybe they are not searching for the truth so much as for that confirmation of their beliefs that we started with.

doubtBut what of Descartes’ advice? Was he advising that we doubt or beliefs in the search for truth? Yes and no. I think he was saying that one cannot go through life never questioning or doubting things that we might have been told are truths. If truth is based upon belief, then there are many truths in life than cannot be tested or proven; they just must be believed. Certainly religions have always relied on the continued acceptance and belief in things that cannot be proven.

The doubts that have cause schisms within religions seldom had to do with doubts about the basic beliefs, but rather about the dogma imposed over the top of those beliefs by men in power within the church. None of Martin Luther’s 95 theses called the faith that was the basis of the Catholic Church into question; rather he questioned the authority claimed by the Pope and the practices of the church of that day concerning the forgiveness of sins – the selling of indulgences

So the key to Descartes thought is to properly direct that doubt and not to let it degrade into cynicism. Use doubts to doubt your doubtsdiscard old ideas and beliefs that cannot stand inspection and to reinforce those that prove to be true after a closer look. Doubt not your faith, but perhaps those people and institutions that have codified and legislated the practice of that faith into dogma to meet their own needs.

Do you seek the truth in life or just go through life believing everything that you’ve been told is true? How do you act upon your doubts? Do you just let them gnaw away in the back of your mind or do you take some action to prove or disprove those feelings of doubt? Are your religious beliefs based upon a faith strong enough to be classified as a truth in your life? If so, do you share that truth with others through your words and deeds? Do they see that truth in you? If you live your faith then another saying will apply – “you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”


Be a rainbow today…

May 13, 2015

“Try to be the rainbow in someone’s cloud.”  (Maya Angelou) When I saw that recently on the Jack’s Winning Words blog, I knew that I had to write something about it.

Everybody has cloudy days, sad days, days of anxiety or fear, days of remorse or sorrow, perhaps just boring day; days caringwhen we could use a rainbow to cheer us up. We all also have the ability to be the person (the rainbow) who goes a little out of their ways to cheer up someone else who is having a bad day.

Some people have an almost automatic reflex to help other whom they see are in need; however, for many of us (I count myself in that number) that is not an immediate reaction. We hesitate, reluctant to “get involved.”  Maybe we mumble a few words of encouragement to them as we scurry past or perhaps we give them a quick hug, or utter a brief “I’m so sorry” and then hurry on with our day. We were polite. We were politically correct. We did our part; but we weren’t a rainbow in that person’s cloudy day.

Being a rainbow means actually taking the time to listen to the person having that cloudy day and paying attention. It girls huggingmeans asking that second question and maybe more, in order to better understand the issue that is causing the problem. It means holding on to that hug for a little longer or just reaching out and touching them in a way that says “I care.” It may mean opening up and sharing something from your life – a similar situation or one of equal seriousness to you and relating how you were able to deal with it. It may mean calling upon the Faith that you’ve spent your whole life developing and sharing it with this person. Hopefully, that Faith is the pot of gold at the end of your rainbow.

men huggingBeing a rainbow in someone’s life is yet another area where women seem to have the advantage over men. Women will run towards someone in emotional pain; while men might turn away and try not to get involved. Hugs (at least meaningful ones) don’t come easily for most men, especially if it’s for another man. Yet a fist bump or back slap doesn’t convey the same feelings. And most men hate to relate stories about times when they were down or needed help. They think that shows weakness. The essence of being a rainbow for somebody is being able to reach out from your soul and touch their soul. The rainbow doesn’t come from over there on the horizon, it comes from inside; it comes from the soul.

Pablo Neruda put it well when he wrote in The Book of Questions – “Donde termina el arco iris, en tu alma o en el horizonte?  – Where does the rainbow end, in your soul or on the horizon?”rainbow in between

Perhaps he would agree that if the rainbow actually starts in your soul and reaches out to touch the soul another; and, that is a beautiful thing. So, don’t add to the gloom of the day. Resolve to be the rainbow in someone’s life today. I suspect that just going about your day with an attitude that says “How can I help someone today?” will make your day better too.

Have a great and brightly colored day! I hope that we meet today, so that I can see how beautiful you can be.


It takes a strong man to urge compromise in the face of gridlock

May 12, 2015

I usually tune out most car ads, unless they are really catchy. The recent Cadillac ad caught my attention, but not in a good way. The current Cadillac ad uses the tag line, “It’s a weak man who urges compromise.” I think I understand what they were going for there – they’re talking really about not compromising on the car features or design; but, it doesn’t necessarily come across that way.

As it sounds on TV, the ad is actually offensive to anyone who sees compromise as the best way to get out of the current arguinggridlock that has governments and state and national levels effectively stalled. It is the weakness of being unable to compromise that has caused the great divide between the parties at all levels. It takes strength and conviction to do the right things sometimes. Those are character traits that are obviously lacking in our Michigan State government and which have been lacking at the Federal level for years.

In life there are seldom situations where some level of compromise is not required by some or all of the parties involved. As soon as the number of people involved reaches two or more there will be differences of interpretation or opinion on almost any topic. Some people like to hide behind words like “truth” or “facts” to defend their interpretation of things; but facts and truths are perceptions of reality and each person has their own perception of the world around them. What you present as a “fact” or as being undeniably “true”, I mightthe truth perceive as being a distortion of what I see in the same event. Just ask the various groups involved in the recent spate of police shootings what the facts are and the truth about those events. See what different realities there are in their answers.

So, if there are different perceptions of reality driving the decisions that are being made all of the time, how does anything get done?  Through compromise by all parties involved. I can’t see things the way that you do and you don’t know where I’m coming from; but perhaps if I give a little and you give a little we can reach a middle ground and get things done. If both of us refuse to take that step towards each other’s perceptions of things, gridlock occurs. That’s where both Lansing and Washington are at right now – a refusal by the politicians to move towards the middle in order to find enough common ground to get anything done.

At both the state and national levels the root problem is the same. For the most part, the people who are there are professional politicians and professional politicians are more concerned about getting reelected than about getting things done. Getting reelected means spending big money. The businessmen behind the scenes, who control the money, control the politicians by doling out the money; and, for the most part, doing nothing is what they would prefer. On occasion they may have their politicians go fight a war somewhere, if their business interests are at risk; but, the rest of the time gridlock works in their best interest by keeping the government from interfering too much in their business world. Let the common people grumble; just keep the politicians fat, dumb and happily running for reelection and all will be fine.

I recall the days when there was a spirit of compromise in Washington – the days when there were moderates in both parties who could reach across the aisle and forge solutions out of compromise. Those were the days before the litmus handshake2tests that all candidates must now pass to convince those in their party’s so-called “base” that they are conservative enough or liberal enough to deserve some of the support and money that will allow them to be elected (reelected).  There is no longer a place for a moderate Republican or for a conservative Democrat, so there is no longer a place for compromise. It’s sad, really; but eventually the pendulum will swing back towards the middle. That may not happen in my lifetime; but hopefully it will happen before the current political gridlock permanently and irrecoverably damages America. Wouldn’t it be sad to join the other nations that once had great power and respect around the world, only to be done in by their own inability to change with the times? It takes a strong nation to urge compromise sometimes. I hope that we still have that strength.


What we have here is a failure to change….

May 11, 2015

Failure is not fatal, but failure to change might be. – John Wooden

There seems to be quite a bit of failure to recognize changes in our society lately, especially in Washington and various state legislative bodies, as they deny and try to legislate against the changes taking place. Perhaps these are really attempts to hold back change, which is also doomed to failure.

afraidChange is very scary to many and confusing to others. Things aren’t as they always have been and that is frightening. Anxieties are fueled not by facts; but, rather, by fears of the unknown. After all, THEY are not like US; and that can’t be good, can it? Their values don’t match OUR values, so they must be wrong, because we know that we are right; RIGHT?

It’s all very vexing, this change stuff. So, the thought process might be verbalized like this – “Maybe there’s a way to hold back change. Maybe if I make change illegal here it will go away. At least that’s my theory. Maybe I can pass laws that make people behave the way the WE behave; or at least I can make it illegal not to behave the way that WE behave. If that doesn’t work I’ll make sure that at least THEY don’t get the same rights and privileges that people who behave like WE do get. That’s OK because we’re in the right; RIGHT? After all WE have GOD on our side; Right? Here, let me show you passages in MY Bible that say that WE are right and THEY are wrong. Shame on THEM; Right? I feel better, now.”

The good news is that these hypocrites are now in the minority. Even though they currently hold economic and political power;  in the long run, there is no way that they can gerrymander the political maps enough to hold on to that power for much longer. The economic power issue will take longer, but they too will change. They have failed to change and theydinosaur are failing. They are in the process of fighting a rear guard action to hold off change for as long as they can; but it is a losing battle. Change is inevitable and unrelenting and patient enough to outlast these holdouts. They will join the dinosaurs as relics of our past.

Rather than spend time searching for Biblical passages that seem to justify their position, maybe they can find a way to embrace the overall messages about love for neighbor and inclusion in God’s kingdom that was the real intent in those same Bibles. Finding a way to embrace change and to value differences would seem to be a much better use of everyone’s time.

As for those who continue to resist change, rail against it and pass laws to stop it; we should continue to try to help them to get over their fears and see the benefits for all of a more diverse and inclusive society. We need not be angry at them (that is a waste of our energy) nor pity them (that is an empty emotion); but rather keep reaching out them with love and helping handsunderstanding. They are afraid of the change and we need to help them get over that fear. Not making that effort and leaving them behind would constitute a failure on our part. Remember to love thy neighbor as yourself, even if he is currently ranting against you. You must continue to reach out to the hands that have been slapping your hands and help them see that they need not be afraid of change.

Have great day and a great week ahead.


Be a friend to a fault…

May 9, 2015

“If you are looking for a friend who is faultless, you will be friendless.” (Rumi)

I’ve written recently about taking proactive steps in the lives of others who need your help. That’s what real friends do.man thinking
They don’t sit back and say,”Tut, tut, look how he/she is screwing up their life.” Real friends jump in and ask how they can help or maybe insist that their friend get help. Perhaps it is a good test of whether the relationship that you have with the other person should be classified as a friendship. Maybe they are just acquaintances.

We get very few opportunities in life to form strong friendships. Hopefully your relationship with your life partner is based upon a strong friendship and not just matters of physical attraction, because eventually that could turn into a fault that you will find in them. I think women tend to have a greater ability to form bonds of friendship with other women and perhaps overlook the faults that might be there. Men sometimes are on athletic teams or in military situations where strong bonds of friendship can grow (especially when the men are far from home soldiersand under daily combat stress) . Sometimes those bonds of friendship will outlast the team or the military unit that brought them together, but it seems to be harder in the general work-a-day world to find enough in common to encourage friendships; maybe that’s because so much of the work world is competitive in nature rather than cooperative. Men may have lots of “buddies” but few real friends that they can count on.

It is all too easy to find fault in others; and, because of those faults to avoid getting involved with them. Sometimes those in whom we see faults are already our friends and perhaps their perceived faults really bother us. In some cases the “faults” that we see are just cases where they have a different opinion about something than we do – social policies, religion, politics, etc. Perhaps they are more tolerant of something or someone that we cannot stomach. Maybe they have other friends that you cannot tolerate. Maybe the problem is you. Those are not faultsthinking woman of your friend; those are faults that you bring to the friendship.

So, rather than spending time finding faults in your friends; expend that same amount of energy celebrating that you have a friend. So what if he/she is a little late every now and then (maybe even all the time), at least they are there and the world did not end because they were a little late. Does it really matter that they lean towards the left and you are a solid right-winger? Has the bitter divide in politics really gotten so wide and so strong that it can break up friendships? Is it really that annoying that they dress differently or wear their hair differently or perhaps wear a little too much perfume or body wash? Maybe you can help them with some of those things in subtle ways, as a friend; but certainly don’t let things like that ruin your friendship. Maybe you can have an on-going and friendly dialogue about your differences; all the while strengthening your friendship.

Some people like to befriend people who a lot like themselves; others tend to try to have friends that are the opposite of themselves (in hopes, I guess, of some of that’s friends traits rubbing off on them). Whichever is your penchant, don’t girls huggingthen get annoyed with the faults that you may find in that friend – they just came along for the ride. Focus on the things that you like about your friend, not the things that annoy you. Try to understand your differences, not just be annoyed by them. Then, when you’re alone, spend some time exploring why you get annoyed by those supposed faults. You have just discovered one of your own faults, so maybe you can change that trait in yourself and stop annoying your friends. Perhaps you can ask your friend how they’ve been able to put up with you.  It’s a good thing that they weren’t looking for a faultless friend.


When you’re done being sore, it’s time to soar…

May 8, 2015

“Just when the caterpillar thought her life was over, she began to fly.”  (Dr. Happy)-  from my favorite source of daily inspiration, Jack’s Winning Words.

Life certainly throws enough at all of us to leave us sore sometimes, down and thinking that we’re out. We tend to cocoonwithdraw into our own protective cocoons sometimes. Hopefully we’re not holed up in there for long and come out as that butterfly to soar anew. I’ve written enough here about dealing with pain, sorrow and anger that I needn’t repeat the advice from all of those posts. Here are links to a few of latest ones  –

https://normsmilfordblog.com/2015/05/04/repairing-a-ding-to-the-soul/

https://normsmilfordblog.com/2015/05/02/move-on-to-the-next-chapter/

https://normsmilfordblog.com/2015/04/22/the-stronger-you-get-the-easier-it-seems/

I think the idea of the butterfly emerging from the cocoon and flying away is a great visualization of what can happen in life, once you unburden yourself. That was sort of the underlying story in this recent post about finding new roads  –

https://normsmilfordblog.com/2015/05/06/find-new-roads-use-gps/

I get to see this happen more often than many people because, in my real estate business life, I deal with so many people who are undergoing stressful times in their lives – a divorce, a death in the family and illness forcing them into some form of care or other circumstances that usually involve having to do something with their home. I often suggest that they read a few of the posts, but never push it on them. I try to play the role of being the calm person (sometimes the only one) in the midst of the stormy situation.

It’s interesting that so many of these little sayings about resiliency and persevering through tough situations use the female gender as the protagonist. I suspect that it is because the authors know that men will always try the more macho girls huggingapproach of toughing things out before giving up and curling up in despair into a fetal position (seeking to return to the protective cocoon of the womb I guess).The other thing that I written about before is the tendency of men to approach life’s problems alone, whereas women will more often seek help, usually from other women. While the butterfly emerging from the caterpillar cocoon analogy would seem to indicate a lonely stay in the cocoon, women seem to have a way of inviting others in so that their cocoon becomes more like a coffee klatch – a much healthier and efficient way to handle crises.

Some who go into the cocoon wrap it around them so tightly that it shuts out everyone and everything in their lives – they descend into the darkness of depression and some never make it back. There is no comfort or sense of safety in that cocoon for these people. There is help available, but many do not seek it. These single mompeople need help to get to the road to recovery and to being able to emerge and take flight. That is where you might come in. Every now and then you have to get outside of your own comfort zone and take the risk of trying to intervene in the life of someone that you truly believe needs help to break out of despair or in dealing with overwhelming anxieties.

Providing help to someone can often be as simple as just being there to listen to their problems. You don’t need to try to play the role of the amateur therapist, just play the role of the good friend.  Help them see that it’s OK not to know what to do, but that it’s not Ok to let that take them down into depression.  Suggest that they see a professional or their pastor or someone else who can get them the help that they need. Tell them that you’ll stick with them. Volunteer to drive them there if needed. That kind of help goes a long way and you’ll be surprised how good it makes you feel later.

butterfly1So go rap on a few cocoons that you may know of and yell, “Are you OK in there? Can I help?” There’s a butterfly in there somewhere that may need just a little help to get out and take flight. You may not be Dr. Happy, but you can sure be a “good friend.”


Find New Roads – use GPS

May 6, 2015

Yesterday I wrote a post based upon a play on the Chevrolet ad tag line “more than you expect for less than you imagine”. It turns out that Chevrolet’s newest primary tag line “Find New Roads” is also a good line to play off of for life advice. I haven’t a clue what it’s supposed to mean in the commercials, but here’s what I think it an mean for life.

Life tends to lead us down many dead-in roads or detour us off into the boonies some times. I shouldn’t say that life does that to us; because, we do it to ourselves.  We explore different paths in life, some good and some that leave us in a ditch somewhere, wondering how we got there. Sometimes we just wander along, unsure of our destination or how to get there. Many times we may find ourselves lost in unfamiliar surroundings.

car-gpsIn my car I have a wonderful Global Positioning System (GPS) with a nice big display to show me where I am and to provide instructions as I go about when and where to turn. I don’t always follow the instructions, especially if I think I know a better way to get somewhere. Sometime the GPS seems to get really annoyed with me when I don’t follow its instructions. My wife gets a kick out of me talking back to the GPS voice telling “her” that I’m not going to make the turn that she just suggested. My GPS spends lots of time recalculating the route.

Many people use AAA Travel Services when planning a trip on new roads. I always get a TripTik® whenever we’re traveling; not just for the map, but for the handy information guides that they give you too. It helps to see what interesting things there might be to do as we travel along.

Life is like a road trip. When we’re young, with a keen sense of adventure and a feeling of invulnerability, we take many of in the ditchlife’s dares to wander down dark roads. Some never make it back, ending up lying in the ditch at the end of those bad roads. Most turn back in time to try other roads in life. As we get older, and hopefully wiser, we tend to take safer roads; but we may still be heading in the wrong direction. The voices telling us to turn back from bad roads tend to be friends and family, but we don’t always take that advice.

Since life is usually a long trip, it’s good to make use of trip planning help; to have a TripTik for life. Fortunately we all have GPS available – God’s Planning Service. We do need to ask for His help; but, when we do ask, we find new roads for the trip. We can more clearly see the roads to avoid and our route is constantly recalculated to keep us headed in the right direction. Our eyes are opened to all of the opportunities that surround us as we journey. And, if you’re the type who prefers to use a map as your guide, there was one created centuries ago that still clearly marks the right pathes – the Bible.

prayingSo, as you start out each day, pause to get a GPS update. You may wish to use this little prayer – “God, I’m not sure where you’re taking me today; but I know that if I stick to your plan I’ll never get lost; so let’s go.” Maybe He will lead you to a stop along the way where you can be of service to someone else or maybe one of your fellow travelers will render a service for you. Take it all in and enjoy the trip; confident that you will not get lost as long as you are using your GPS.

Have a safe and wonderful journey through life and don’t ignore God’s directions – He knows where you’re going and He won’t let you get lost.


Get more than you can imagine…

May 5, 2015

“Get more than you expect for less than you imagine” That’s the tag line from a recent car commercial. The advertising guys always come up with catchy lines like that; although the current “Find new roads” tag line rings a bit hollow in Michigan, where we’d be happy just to find roads that don’t have potholes.

When I saw that opening line it immediately keyed a thought of how, with a slight twist, it might be applied to one’s faith. I would rephrase it as, “Get more than you can imagine for less than you expect.”

Putting your faith into those words is an acknowledgement of the limitations of our imaginations where God is concerned and an affirmation of the concept of Grace. It is saying that God can and will provide everything that we need in return for the simple and free act of believing in Him – the act of baring your soul, opening your heart and accepting His give of Grace into your life. It does not require that you perform great works or acts of piety. It only requires the humble and grateful acceptance of God into your life. Once you have reached out to God to say, “Not my will, but thy will be done in my life”, you will get more than you can imagine for less than you expect.

It is interesting that, from Biblical times into the present, those who seem to have the most in life have the hardest time making this leap of Faith. In the Biblical story in which Jesus told the rich man who inquired about what he must do to get into heaven that he should sell everything that he had and give it to the poor that man just wandered off muttering to himself. Yet, we often see images of dirt poor people celebrating their Faith in churches around the world, lost in song or prayer. They are not celebrating the material things that they may have, because in many cases there would be nothing to celebrate. Rather these are people who have embraced their Faith and found the truth of the statement, you will get more than you can imagine for less than you expect.

I’m not saying that everyone has to give everything away and be poor to receive God’s Grace. That’s not what God is asking us to do. What he is asking us to do is to rid ourselves of the protective mantle of our own egos; that arrogant attitude that stubbornly thinks we can solve all problems by ourselves and that we don’t need His help or that of anyone else. The concept of “free will” allows for that arrogant ego and perhaps that is where the Devil lives in some of us, clouding our view of God. That is the demon that we must cast out in order to re-approach God; and, if you do you will get more than you can imagine for less than you expect.

For most of us I suspect that the issue is not an arrogant ego that pushes God away; but, rather a complacency that is comfortable with a somewhat distant relationship with God. We know he’s out there somewhere. We go to church most of the time and listen to the Scriptures and the sermon. We pray at every meal and maybe some other times. We give what we can to the church and to other worthy causes. We have a Faith of sorts; it just isn’t close to the surface and doesn’t manifest itself in our lives. For this type of Christian, it usually takes a crisis; something that forces the issue of having to call on God for help; only then do we realize that you get more than you can imagine for less than you expect.

So, what can God do for you today? The answer is whatever you need, but you have to ask. If you embrace Him, he will embrace you and you will get more than you can imagine for less than you expect.

Have a great day!


Repairing a ding to the Soul

May 4, 2015

Over the weekend my Soul was damaged. No, not my soul, but my Kia Soul. It was one of those things that happens. You’re driving along, minding your own business when something falls off a truck ahead of you and bounces right into yourKia damage car – Bang! I thought it had just hit underneath the car when it happened, but a later inspection proved me wrong. The big piece of metal that hit me took out my passenger side fog light and cracked the plastic bumper on that side.  Bummer.

So I had to get on the phone over the weekend and put in an insurance claim to get my Soul repaired. It might be a little inconvenient for a day or so; but, I sure that my Soul will be as good as new when the repair shop is finished with it. They will have restored my Soul.

Does that sound familiar? Maybe it’s because you might have grown up reciting the 23rd Psalm in church. The fourth line reads, “He restoreth my soul.”

Life is full of little (and sometimes big) dings to the soul, things that come at you unexpectedly. Some may be just tiny scratches, perhaps an unkind word or a snub; while others cause more damage, like a death or a divorce or a break-up.  Sometimes you don’t have time to pull over to the shoulder and look to see what damage has occurred, but you will look later, in the quiet of your bedroom or elsewhere. You will examine your soul for the damage.

When those things happen in life that can damage the soul, it is important to assess them and then take the necessary action to get your soul fixed (restored). Fortunately you also have full insurance coverage for your life – it’s called your faith. praying handsCall on it and get your soul in for repairs.

If you are a DIY type, you can get out the repair manual (it’s called the Bible) and seek the instructions there to restore your soul. Maybe it will take prayer, maybe doing some service for others, maybe talking it out with you spiritual leader; whatever it takes, don’t put it off. Driving through life with a damaged soul can be dangerous for you and others around you.

So, I’ll probably get my Soul in this week for repairs. While it’s there I’ll have them fix that little ding to the windshield that a rock caused a few weeks back. I’ve been meaning to get to that anyway. As for my soul; I get a weekly check-up (well, OK, almost every week) at church and a daily dose of preventive prayer; and I know who to call upon in case I get a big boo-boo on my soul.

How about you? Have you taken a few hits to the soul that need fixing. Don’t you think your life would be much better if your soul were restored? I have a Great Mechanic that I can recommend.

Have a great week ahead.