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Showing posts from December, 2012

'til Debt Do Us Part

For the last month, unless you dwell under a rock, you've undoubtedly been hearing all about the ‘Fiscal Cliff’ we face as a nation and what terrible fate awaits for all mankind if our elected officials don’t come to the rescue and pass some sort of law to save us from going over the edge.  But, both sides of the political aisle have ‘dug in’ and the battle over our nation’s moneybags looks to be bloody.

But, no matter which side of this debate you’re on, we expect congress to act in a fiscally responsible way.  But, why should we expect our government to act differently than we do? We tell our elected officials we want fiscal responsibility. We tell them to balance the budget, reduce the deficit, and to use zero based budgeting.

This is like the pot calling the kettle black. Fiscal responsibility must begin at home first. As Americans, we spend on average $1.33 per $1.00 earned. Why are we in debt? Because we have allowed ourselves to accept debt as the ‘norm.’  We have become s…

What Child is This?

Many families participate in great Christmas traditions this time of year. We have a couple ourselves.One is a carryover from my wife’s upbringing.

Growing up in her home, whenever the phone rang between Christmas Eve and Day, they would answer it, “Christmas Eve gift!” The purpose was to be the first to say it to another family member that was calling.  It was fun tradition before caller ID and cell phones. But as traditions go, this one isn't practiced very often now because everyone knows who’s calling before the phone is answered.  The fun was explaining “Christmas Eve gift” to an unsuspecting person on the other end of the line. 
Our own tradition as a family is to go to a local Christmas tree farm every year, ride the hay wagon out into the orchard, and pick out our tree together, which required cutting it down ourselves. While this sounds like a Norman Rockwell painting, it’s not. But that is a story for another day.
During this time of year, Christmas carols are played and s…

I... Must... Perform

Many years ago a man conned his way into the orchestra of the emperor of China although he could not play a note. Whenever the group practiced or performed, he would hold his flute against his lips, pretending to play but not making a sound. He received a modest salary and enjoyed a comfortable living Then one day the emperor requested a solo from each musician. The flutist got nervous. There wasn't enough time to learn the instrument. He pretended to be sick, but the royal physician wasn't fooled. On the day of his performance, the impostor took poison and killed himself. The explanation of his suicide led to a phrase that found its way into the English language: “He refused to face the music." When you're living a lie, eventually "your sins will find you out."

An increasingly common lie that way too many of us believe is that “we are what we do” – the ‘performance’ lie.  

When we buy into the notion of the performance lie, our identity comes from what we …

Are You an Asset or Liability to Christmas?

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I hate Christmas. 
There, I said it. Why do I hate Christmas, you ask in horror? Well, here are a few of my reasons:  Stores that begin their big Christmas sales in September. Seriously? Can’t we enjoy Halloween candy and Thanksgiving before we bring out the fat man?Black Friday. Need I say more?Snow. It brings out the worst in already bad drivers, and it is really, really cold.Tacky Christmas decorations. If your house looks like this: Your neighbors HATE you. Seriously, this has gone too far.
Frosty the Snowman. I like my snow inert and on the ground. Christmas music.  How many times on average in one day can you listen to tired carols done hip hop or in a country remix bleating over the PA system in every store and shopping mall on earth?Fruit cake. If a cockroach or rat won't eat it I won't eat it. Besides, the taste and texture leaves so much to be desired that no amount of eggnog will wash away the lingering aftertaste.Well meaning Facebook postings like this one:  “It’s …

I'm Not Good Enough

We've all heard a lie or told a lie.  Some of the more common lies we are familiar with are:

The check is in the mail.I'll start my diet tomorrow.We service what we sell.Give me your number and the doctor will call you right back.This offer limited to the first 100 people who call in.Your luggage isn't lost, it's only misplaced.Leave your resume and we'll keep it on file.This hurts me more than it hurts you.I just need five minutes of your time.
But, a very common and destructive lie that Satan has plagued so many Christians with is “I’m simply not good enough.” If we were to be honest with ourselves, many of us have battled Satan’s lie or are even still harassed by it.

Moses is one of my heroes of the bible.  In Exodus 4, God Himself called on Moses to deliver His people from bondage. Moses felt the same way many of us feel when facing that kind of a moment: he felt ‘not good enough.’

Moses replied to the Lord in verse 10, “Oh, Lord, I’ve never been eloquent, neit…