Saturday, May 31, 2008


How many of you know what unity really means? Without looking it up give it a definition in your mind. Stick with your first guess, or hunch. From Latin, the root is unitas, which means oneness.

The dictionary is succinct, usually and has this to say…

u·ni·ty / Pronunciation Key
the state of being one; oneness.

That pretty much sums it up. To be united or to have unity is to have oneness. With that said how many of the fractions that make up your life are unified? Do you have oneness in your family? How about at work? How about among your friends? What about when you drive?

In order to answer those questions we should first ask if the definition is clear as it relates to your life. Are you one with your family? Are you one with your spouse, or your kids, or your parents or even your siblings? If we were studying psychology we could even ponder whether or not you were one with yourself, but that might be a tad deep for this round.

I can tell you right now that I am not at one with my family. I can also tell you that I am finding it harder to be one with my friends. All in all, unity is elusive and the struggle is not in the definition but more the application. Somewhere inside those five letters is a much bigger word known as compromise (which is important to note is a settlement of issues and not a giving in as some would have you believe).

com·pro·mise / / Pronunciation Key
a settlement of differences by mutual concessions; an agreement reached by adjustment of conflicting or opposing claims, principles, etc., by reciprocal modification of demands.

When there is not unity but there are people who share it as a goal, compromise is the term (and the method) used to reach the goal. People must settle their issues, reach an agreement and then unity can be achieved. This process can be repeated at work, in the home or even at a family reunion. In some circles the terms “problem solving” or “conflict resolution” are used to convey the same thing. The first step is to define and label the problem or conflict, then take steps to reach a solution that ALL can agree on. Commonly there is one or more sides that must compromise.

To achieve unity we need to compromise. But in order to compromise we need to converse with each other. (I know, we have to talk to each other….eeewww.)

For some of us, speaking to other people is downright scary and yet without a conversation with another human being we cannot get to the heart of any matter. The minute we try without talking to each other is the minute that everything goes wrong. Assumptions are made and we go around putting words in peoples mouths.

The hard part about talking to each other however, is that usually it only involves people we know. We need to reach out to the strangers in our lives.

When we seek to converse and commune with others who are like we are, it only goes to embody the truth that we shun others who are not like us. Therefore an invisible wall is erected, a barrier of sorts that is clearly visible between people who are different from each other. If we seek out others with which we have common ground, conversation has a basis, or a starting place.

This is typically more difficult when two people have nothing in common. In order to talk to someone who is different from you, there has to be a human interest on the part of at least one of the two.

So here is the really important part. You have to show an interest in another human that you don’t know and then seek to talk to them. In the midst of any conversation there are going to be commonalities as well as differences, we are all different. The point is that without that conversation we go on with our lives trying to inject our views without any understanding of how they might affect others.

Unity is not really that hard of a concept to wrap your mind around. It is attainable but it is going to require some work. If we sit back and think for one second that someone else will do it so we don’t have to we are going to fail. Unity can start with you and me. We can seek to converse, find the differences and then work on a few compromises.

You and I are not perfect. Remember that about the rest of the world. We are all trying to get a little better as we go along but we still make mistakes. Understanding that is a real key.

Swallow the pride, let go of the great big ego and find someone to chat with.


My life is not mine, and yet it is mine to live for Him. Peace to you all.


Thursday, May 22, 2008

My rights and my freedoms

In pondering Memorial Day I would like to consider remembering one who sacrificed far greater than any soldier ever did. Our savior is the one who gives us our “freedom” from original sin and the gates of hell. Jesus also gives us the “right” to be called sons of God.

We are free from bondage. We have a right to tell others the good news.

We are free to live for Him. We have a right to be bold in His name.

We are free to love and encourage our brothers and sisters in Christ AS WELL AS those who are lost and do not know of His grace. We have a right to step out in faith and live a life that He gave us.

We are free to seek His face. We have a right to accept Him into our hearts and be changed forever.

Say a prayer on Monday, by all means please, pray. Pray for the safe return of our troops. Pray for their sanity, their peace of mind and their souls. Pray for all those who have served this country in years past and again, pray for their sanity, their peace of mind and their souls.

But most of all remember to thank Jesus for His wondrous gift of sacrifice on the cross. He died so that we could be set free. He gave up everything so that we could have a right to our inheritance of eternal life.

Jesus asks us to follow him. We are free to do so. We have a right to follow. Will you?

My life is not mine, and yet it is mine to live for Him. Peace to you all.


Thursday, May 8, 2008

Here we go....again??

Boy oh boy am I asking for trouble. The funny thing is I have yet to find too much, just a few sideways glances, and that can be dealt with, trust me I have my own glance…

For some time now I have tip toed around this issue of war. OK, so tip toeing is probably not applicable but I have certainly brought it up and out on this post. I would love to think of war as simply a format for getting ones way but there is so much more to it than that. Egoism is the chief fuel for this fire, spoken fact, completely reputable, there is no discussion, it is tried and true.

I am probably going to get a tad offensive this time around, so first of all forgive me. Second, be aware that I just don’t care anymore. And third, did I mention I don’t care?

For many centuries mankind has been carrying around his opinion. Women like to shop and then show their girlfriends what they bought. Guys like to walk around with their opinions in a bag and force them into the face of anyone and everyone regardless. Strange things happen though, other guys don’t agree with a particular opinion and guess what, we have ourselves a little fisticuffs. Of course this usually involves men with the combined IQ of a squash, so little is actually lost other than another fragile little ego.

What irks me more than anything is how a man will work to elevate himself in a given society, win over a majority of people in its’ populous and then proceed to drag out the old bag of opinions to show all of his friends. Meanwhile, imagine that somewhere there is someone who doesn’t agree with one of those fancy opinions in the bag. And guess what?! It happens again, two (or more) dimwits are at each other’s throats arguing about who is right.

The crazy thing is that this exact situation takes place in daycares all over the world on a daily basis. Every time little timmy wants a block that little jimmy has you know someone is gonna get the block and someone is gonna cry. The poor little thing.

War has always, and WILL always be about greed or ego or both. One way or another some birdbrain just has to have something that some other birdbrain has. Sooner or later it comes down to who can yell the loudest, or who has the best toy, or who has the hottest girlfriend or even who has the most; of whatever.

I have been arguing most of my points from a biblical perspective. For some time now I have sought the expertise of many an author, writer and pastor for help with specific scriptures that support what I now believe without a doubt. In an interesting twist I have also discovered that a fair argument can now be made from an economic angle, a social angle, a diplomatic perspective and of course an intellectual view. Mind you however that those who typically support war are void of intellect. If they had two cents to share it would probably be their last two.

War is not an answer. War cannot ever be an answer. It is financially crippling. It ruins the minds and mental states of hundreds of thousands of soldiers. It takes fathers, mothers, sons and daughters away forever. It has a reverberating effect on any medical system. It causes irreversible damage to those who witness it. NO ONE WINS. Please repeat that with me. NO ONE WINS.

I have given so much thought to this subject and find myself at odds. On one hand there are those who oppose democracy and will fight to the death in their opposition. For those people out there something must be done, a plan must be implemented to stop these individuals. Much has been said about how to fight the war on terror and much will continue to come out in the months ahead as we approach this election. Stopping the real terrorists is certainly an issue that requires much thought.

If peace is really the goal and we know there are a select group of peoples out there willing to stop at nothing to oppose that peace, we need to do what we can to stem that tide. However, killing them just doesn’t work for me and if that angers about 50 million people then oh well.

I would rather be “…blessed as a peacemaker” and “…persecuted for His name” than “…take an eye for an eye”. Pulling lines from scripture is all I have right now. There are just a few people in my sphere of friends and relatives that seem to get this. To suggest the impact is huge would be to insult the word huge. I am well aware of the peace marches of the 60’s and 70’s. I have read about the beatniks who opposed war and were branded as “liberals” in the worst possible light.

The difference here is most of the peace freaks that are related to this movement are commonly tree hugging greenies, and commonly have no relationship with Jesus. Their spirituality is founded in feeling good and not harming anyone anywhere at anytime, they are pacifists. I am not a pacifist, I am a Christ follower. I am attempting to live a life based on the red letter words of Jesus when He was upon this earth. Christ came to serve, not to be served. He came to teach us how to live a life worthy of praising our creator. He came to teach us how to pray. And He came to save us from the wicked ways that we were lost in prior to His arrival.

As Jesus said, “In a word, what I'm saying is, grow up. You're kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you." Matthew 5:48 – The Message

Grow up??!! I thought I already did that. Turns out I still have some growing up to do. Here we go again.

My life is not mine, and yet it is mine to live for Him. Peace to you all.


Tuesday, May 6, 2008

missing pieces

Explaining the holes takes some work, especially when I am trying to explain it to myself. There are these strange gaps in my life, as if I had the ability to erase parts of a tape, or possibly they were taped over by something more significant or more recent. Somehow I have taken part in so many little things that it is hard to look back and tie it all together.

There are certainly major accomplishments and events that can most likely never be forgotten, but there are all these less than epic moments that seem to get lost in the space between then and now. Recalling them is intense but mostly impossible. Surely there are important pieces that are never retrieved, never remembered.

For instance, there is a large chunk of my 20’s that is missing from my memory banks. Knowing the insane amount of alcohol that was consumed back then it is really no wonder why but it is really disheartening. I know that certain parts are less desirable that they be remembered but there are times I wish I could recall, at least in more vivid detail than the fog I have now.

I know a lot of people who share this. There are a lot of folks who have some serious holes. Mine are really not that unique, they are just mine. The hard part as I mentioned before is explaining them. My reasoning for an explanation is to draw them more clearly in my mind. It’s the details I want, not just the pretty pictures. There are raw emotions involved that need to be harnessed and then tapped for future use.

I feel like a mess, regardless of the outward appearance. My mind continues to sharpen itself daily and is an amazing tool. However my mind is also doing an incredible job of covering up for some other pieces of me.

Sooner rather than later the rubber hits the road, so to speak. In my case the rubber has planted itself firmly upon the road with no intention of ever leaving again. The place I come in is as the guy who gets to mark where the lines go, and so far I have been able to avoid the traffic. Metaphors are great by the way, everyone should use them.

I have very carefully worked myself into a place where no one can get to me unless I let them. I have put distance between, time included. Conversations have been limited. Relationships have been kept at much more than an arm’s length. No one gets in. The walls are up and they are getting higher and thicker by the day. And yet the inevitable has happened, my plan is being circumvented by something bigger then me. And it isn’t the first time.

The holes are probably going to always be there, but explanations will come a lot easier if I would just stop stonewalling. I suppose my biggest wish is that there was someone on the other side of this that was intuitive enough to decipher this and then talk to me about it, but I know there is no one at this point. There is too much fog.