Friday, February 29, 2008

A Dream Day

Yes, this is a picture of my motorcycle, and yes, it is in the church sanctuary. This is a picture that was taken at the sock hop we had at the church on Valentine's Day.

But that's not the dream day I am talking's just the only picture I have right now of Brooke and I on the motorcycle. When we bought the bike in November, I pictured a day just like today. Around 10am we headed out. We rode the back roads through Kennedale and Mansfield, then did some highway riding down 287 South and then exited onto another winding back road which took us to Venus. From there we wandered on into Maypearl and then over to Milford and finally into downtown Waxahachie.

My dream day with my wife riding the motorcycle included finding some "hole in the wall" restaurant, and we found a BBQ place near the town square in Waxahachie that fit the bill. We got our food and took it out on the porch to eat. Good BBQ on a warm day, just my sweet heart and me. After finishing up the home made banana pudding, we got back on the bike and headed into Duncanville to visit my Mom for a few minutes, and then we headed home. In all, we traveled about 135 miles and were gone about 4 hours. It was the day I dreamed about when I first got the motorcycle, and I can't wait for more!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Thursday, February 14, 2008

It's Called "Sleeve Face"

Constants In Life

"There are three constants in life... change, choice and principles."
- Stephen Covey

Happy Valentine's Day...From Google Earth

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Learning From Moses

I'm still reading through Exodus...trying to get through all of the measurements of the tabernacle, etc. I can't tell you how much I have grown spiritually after reading verses such as Exodus 36:25, "Then for the second side of the tabernacle, on the north side, he made twenty boards..." (did you sense the slight use of sarcasm, or are you re-reading the verse looking for some deep, spiritual insight?).

As I read a few more chapters tonight, I noticed one phrase or idea being repeated over and over:
  • Exodus 35:10 - Let every skillful man among you come...
  • Exodus 35:25 - All the skilled women...
  • Exodus 35:36 - All the women whose heart stirred with a skill...
  • Exodus 35:35 - He has filled them with skill...
  • Exodus 36:1 - ...every skillful person in whom the Lord has put skill and understanding to know how to perform all the work...
  • Exodus 36:2 - ...every skillful person in whom the Lord had put a skill, everyone whose heart stirred him...
  • Exodus 36:4 - And all the skillful men...
  • Exodus 36:8 - All the skillful men
There's a lot of mention here about a LOT of SKILLFUL people. When the temple was built, architects were needed, those who could engrave, those who worked with stone, those who worked with metal, those who could sew and make material, wood workers, etc. And these were not just people who could get the job done...these verses tell us they were SKILLED people who had specific, extra-ordinary skills given by God. Given this fact, I find the following verse very interesting:

Exodus 38:22 - Now Bezalel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, made all that the Lord had commanded Moses.

This made me ask, "If God had all of those skilled people to work with, and if Moses was not skilled in all of these areas, why did God give the super-detailed plan for the building of the tabernacle to Moses? Couldn't God have told the architect, "Build a temple" and told the sewing ladies, "Make a beautiful curtain for the Holy Place" and to the metal workers, "Build elaborate utensils for use in the tabernacle"?

Had God told 100 skilled workers to build for Him, they no doubt would have created beautiful work..their absolute best for God. But there would have been 100 different pictures of what the tabernacle would look like. God didn't have 100 pictures in mind for His tabernacle...He had ONE picture in mind. So he clearly communicated that picture to His leader Moses, and Moses communicated the (detailed) vision to the skilled craftsmen.

I believe God was making a clear statement about leadership.

We can create something 'great for God' based on individual pictures we create in our own minds, or we can participate in something truly great by working with other skillful people to bring about the ONE picture God has revealed to His leader(s).

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Great Day for a Ride

It was a beautiful day today...too nice not to go for a motorcycle ride. I headed out to Maypearl, over to Milford, through Waxahachie back to Arlington. About 130 miles of pure relaxation.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Leadership Thoughts From Exodus 28:3

I was reading in Exodus tonight and came to chapter 28 where God gave Moses VERY specific instructions about the garments the priests were to wear. He told Moses how their clothes should be made, who should make them, how the "accessories" were to be created and worn...the whole nine yards. As I glanced over chapter 28, I almost opted to skim over what seemed "boring and irrelevant" to my Christian life in 2008. But I took the time to read anyway, and God showed me something really cool from the first half of just one little verse.

"You shall speak to all the skillful persons whom I have endowed with the spirit of wisdom (i.e. "artistic skill"), that they make Aaron's garments to consecrate him, that he may minister as priest to me." (Exodus 28:3, NASB)

I believe God showed me a few leadership principles from this verse, and so I'll share the short version with you. You are welcome to comment.

  1. God speaks, even to people with great God-given talent, through authority. God did not tell the garment makers how to make the priests' garments. God told Moses what He wanted, and then told Moses to whom he should delegate that task. If you read all the details, Moses may not have understood everything God was telling him about the making of the priests' garments. So when Moses passed this along to the people with great "artistic skill", they could run with it. They took the picture that God gave Moses, they ran with that using their God-given talent, and created something both beautiful and pleasing to God. Had Moses tried to do it himself, it would not have been God-pleasing. Had the garment makers brought their ideas to Moses first and said, "We think this is how the priests' garments should look", that would not have been pleasing to God, either.
  2. As a leaders, we should listen for God's specific instruction not only on WHAT He wants done, but also on WHO He wants to do it.
  3. As those under authority, we need to tread carefully offering "suggestions" in areas where we have not been delegated authority. God gives us ideas to go along with our skills and abilities, but He places those ideas, just like our skills and abilities, under godly authority.

Friday, February 01, 2008

History 101

For those who slept through World History 101...... here is a condensed version.

Humans originally existed as members of small bands of nomadic hunters/gatherers. They lived on deer in the mountains during the summer and would go to the coast and live on fish and lobster in the winter.

The two most important events in all of history were:
1. The invention of beer, and
2. The invention of the wheel. The wheel was invented to get man to the beer, and the beer to the man.

These facts formed the foundation of modern civilization and together were the catalyst for the splitting of humanity into two distinct subgroups:
1. Liberals
2. Conservatives.

Once beer was discovered, it required grain and that was the beginning of agriculture. Neither the glass bottle nor aluminum can were invented yet, so while our early humans were sitting around waiting for them to be invented, they just stayed close to the brewery. That's how villages were formed.

Some men spent their days tracking and killing animals to BBQ at night while they were drinking beer. This was the beginning of what is known as the Conservative movement.

Other men who were weaker and less skilled at hunting learned to live off the conservatives by showing up for the nightly BBQ's and doing the sewing, fetching, and hair dressing. This was the beginning of the Liberal movement..

Some of these liberal men eventually evolved into women. The rest became known as girlie-men.

Some noteworthy liberal achievements include the domestication of cats, the invention of group therapy and group hugs, the evolution of the Hollywood actor, and the concept of Democratic voting to decide how to divide all the meat and beer that conservatives provided.

Over the years, Conservatives came to be symbolized by the largest, most powerful land animal on earth, the elephant. Liberals are symbolized by the jackass.

Modern liberals like imported beer (with lime added), but most prefer white wine or imported bottled water. They eat raw fish but like their beef well done. Sushi, tofu, and French food are standard liberal fare. Another interesting evolutionary side note: most of liberal women have higher testosterone levels than their men. Most social workers, personal injury attorneys, journalists, dreamers in Hollywood and group therapists are liberals. Liberals invented the designated
hitter rule because it wasn't fair to make the pitcher also bat.

Conservatives drink domestic beer. They eat red m eat and still provide for their women. Conservatives are big-game hunters, rodeo cowboys, lumberjacks, construction workers, firemen, medical doctors, police officers, corporate executives, athletes, Marines, and generally anyone who works productively. Conservatives who own companies hire other conservatives who want to work for a living.

Liberals produce little or nothing. They like to govern the producers and decide what to do with the production. Liberals believe Europeans are more enlightened than Americans. That is why most of the liberals remained in Europe when conservatives were coming to America. They crept in after the Wild West was tamed and created a business of trying to get more for nothing.

Here ends today's lesson in world history....... It should be noted that a liberal may have a momentary urge to angrily respond to the above before forwarding it.

A conservative will simply laugh and be so convinced of the absolute truth of this history that it will be forwarded immediately to other true believers, and to more liberals...just to yank their chain.

(Thanks to my friend Mark for forwarding this to me. Rather than emailing it, I thought I'd post it here to pull some chains and to make some of my other friends laugh.)