Monday, April 25, 2011

Getting Punched in the Face

Sometimes I just want to punch someone in the face. Not literally, but I like to bring my fist as close as I can to their cheek and then stop. Do you know why I like to do this? Because I love peoples reactions. In a normal, everyday setting, most people do not have to worry about getting punched in the face. That's why everyones reactions are always so priceless. I do this a lot specially to my youth kids. We will be at church playing a game and I will turn to one of them and pretend I'm going to upper cut them in the stomach. They usually flinch using their arms and legs to shield themselves and then laugh at me because I'm such a goober. Pretend fighting like this is a lot of fun :D Please don't think I'm a weirdo.

So why do I tell you this?
Sometimes we do things just to see peoples reactions. In fact we do that all the time don't we? We trick people all in good fun. We start arguments or say things to get under peoples skin (I have someone in my life in particular who can just really get under my skin and they know it so they do). Sometimes its positive when we do things like plan surprises to get shocked reactions or profess our love to get stunned reactions. Every thing we do is a constant chain of cause and effect relationship. We act one way and it causes someone else to react a different way. A chain reaction!

And yet other times we react one way and everyone else reacts in that same way. Like at youth wednesday night when everyone was getting loud, socializing before the game. I clapped my hands in an uncomplicated pattern like teachers do in Elementary school and everyone started coping my pattern of clapping. I could hardly believe it. Here were 20 teenagers talking and laughing with their friends and as soon as I started clapping they all joined in like an intense family unit of clappers!

So what are we doing in our lives to get reactions out of people? Are they positive or negative? If we live a life that leads and loves, chances are people will react differently around us then they do everyone else. Ever notice how a friend will stop cussing whenever certain people come around or even when you come around because you don't cuss? Or how people immediately become threatened and put their guard up whenever a mean face is in the room. I think we have more power to persuade then what we realize. So what kind of reactions are you causing?

Just something to think about.
That is all.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Unforgiving Trees

So Today I had to work out in the yard pulling weeds from our ugly rock garden in the back. The rock garden is an evil abyss of unforgiving pain. I was stabbed by the thorn in the picture (yes that is my hand in a glove and the evil thing which has caused me to lose feeling in my palm). I should've wore my suit of armor whenever I was asked to trudge through the forbidden forest. But I underestimated the power of the dark side.

Let me tell you a story about how my trees in my yard turned into unforgiving forces of evil. In the year 2002, Kansas City was struck by an ice storm of epic proportions. Half of the city was covered in darkness and people were struggling to survive off of canned meats. My backyard could've been likened to Narnia in the times of the White Witch. I could almost see animal slaves running about the streets preparing the way for her highness. The Trees of the rock garden before the ice storm were gorgeous. They sprouted beautiful purple flowers making onlookers feel like they were getting a glimpse into the gardens of Naboo. But once the ice storm struck, my trees were never the same.

My trees used their branches to form and ice canopy much like a tent, shielding the rocky bottom and helpless animals seeking refugee from the elements. I broke a hole into the side of the icy fortress of branches and stood in the middle of the garden. All 5 trees combined created a world of their own. It was the most beautiful sight I can honestly say I have ever seen. Standing in the midst of their haunting elegance, surrounded by an icy cave, I understood how an eskimo can make a home in an igloo. Glossy, clear and brilliant.
After the ice had melted and spring began it's ever anticipated return, the trees that once bloomed purple buds now sprouted a new type of leaf and eventually formed thorns. The thorns developed a type of poison that makes the skin burn and swell keeping my family as far away as possible. Every year, one of us braves the rock garden to pull weeds and make it look presentable. But anyone looking inward can see that these trees are threatening and could start thrashing their branches at any second like a whomping willow.

Today at church Pastor Shawn talked about forgiveness and just how serious it is. Sometimes in life we get hurt so badly that as we start to heal we develop thorns. It's a sort of defense mechanism that shields our body, heart, and mind from further attack. But the downside is, our new defenses make it hard to let anyone in and even harder to forgive. Sometimes we are hurt so badly we can't help but develop a few thorns or even at times become an entirely different tree.

The Best thing about God is that He forgives us no matter what. All we have to do is ask. He doesn't develop thorns whenever we hurt Him and He is the same yesterday, today and forever. So if we need help forgiving, we should ask God to help us get rid of our thorns. God is more powerful then we give Him credit for. I think we forget that we have the best defense in the universe which is why we tend to make our own defenses. Forgive with a heart like Gods. Shed your thorns. God wants to give you a heart of forgiveness and only you can let him.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Diligence! Diligence! Here's a Quotes Quiz for ya

Here's a quiz for you. See if you can tell me who said what quotes:
-"Diligence! Diligence!"
-"Do or do not, there is no try"
-"I'm Pressing on, pressing on"
-"Never give up, Never surrender!"
-"We must try not to sink beneath our anguish, but battle on."
-"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us. There are other forces at work in this world, besides the will of evil."

Before I tell you who said these quotes I want to point out what they all have in common. Each quote is talking about perseverance. What does that mean you ask? It means to keep on keeping on when the going gets tough. Because when the going gets tough, the tough get going (Yes I'm full of all sorts of amazing quotes today!).

When I was on my run today, my shinsplints were screaming at me and my side was aching like a polar bear in the desert, but running is like life. Sometimes it hurts so badly to do what you know is right and preserve. But if you do, the accomplishment you feel at the end of that third mile is out of this world! And your so happy that you made it you could start dancing in the middle of the street (in fact that's what I did).
God has some inspirational quotes of his own.

I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:14

Galatians 6:9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

So don't feel defeated in this life for doing good. For lack of better phrasing God is the light at the end of the tunnel. Good will always triumph over evil. Your circumstances may seem challenging (or even painful) but we have a big God! Like a really really big God! Go to Him and He will help you be diligent and press toward the mark.

So here's the answers
-Mermaid man and Barnacle Boy
-Relient K
-Tim Allen in Galaxy Quest

Monday, April 4, 2011

Do you want a taco?

Sometimes I literally feel like a taco. Now stay with me on this because I will explain why that is so.

Today I was driving home from doing an observation at an Elementary school and I spotted across the street the glorious 8O% beef establishment from heaven known as TBell.

My stomach told me it was ready for a chalupa so naturally I cut 5 people off and crossed 8 lanes of traffic so that I could reach my destination in a timely manner (exaggeration).

After receiving my indulgence I returned to my normal route on the hwy and began to munch on happiness. It was only then that I realized what a bad idea it is to Taco and Drive.
Needless to say the tomatoes, cheese, 8O% beef and other began falling out of the ridiculously crunchy shell and all over my car/seat/self.

I yelled "Cruse you TBELL!" and began to brew up a fresh pot of angst toward my favorite fast food kingdom. That's when I realized that it wasn't TBell's fault that I was now wearing my chalupa as a sundress, it was my fault.

You see, I took a precious gift from TBell and I ate it wrong resulting in a catastrophic event.
How many times do we take what God has given us, use it incorrectly, and create a mess?
God gives us our talents and our livelihood and sometimes we don't use them the way He intended.

If God gave us the gifts of music and we aren't playing for Him, what good does our talent do? Everyone has an ear for sloppy music (taco music). But that was just one example.
So next time your thinking about all God has done for you, imagine this. What does my gift/life from God look like? Is it being used in a way that it was supposed to or is it in pieces all over JoAnna's car?