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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Cornerstone Church Service 06-24-12

From the service this past Sunday.... Continuing the series, Stories Jesus Told. This week's installment is The Cost of Discipleship.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Best Singer in the World

Self-image sets the boundaries of individual accomplishment. —Maxwell Maltz

The way we think about ourselves determines how we behave and who we become. If Eileen believes she is good at baseball, she will swing the bat more confidently and catch fly balls more easily. And her extra effort will generally pay off. At math, Steve thinks he's a whiz and it makes him proud. He studies so he'll continue to be a whiz.

The image we have of ourselves is like the blueprint the contractor follows when building a house. When we see ourselves sad or angry, our behavior and personality will match it. When we see ourselves withdrawn and afraid, we seem to avoid activities that involve others. How wonderful that we can change our behavior and thus ourselves by changing the picture we carry in our minds.

Yeeeeaaahhhh.... Well.... I may have to not totally agree on some of that. I grew up thinking I was a really good singer. Never practiced... Didn't need to. Never improved as a result. Thing is, though, all the practice in the world wouldn't have helped. I'm a terrible singer (except in the shower).

I get what the message is trying to convey, however. Kinda difficult becoming that stable, honest, family man an alcoholic may endeavor to be when his head is stuck in a bottle.

Just watching Longmire on the idiot's lantern then headed to bed. Cupcake made an awesome dump cake earlier... nothing much new. Except for my brilliant shower rendition of Hey Jude I treated my neighbors to after work.

Friday, June 22, 2012

The Bright Day That Follows

We can never assume that, because things are not going the way we want, they are not following a better plan. God is a better manager than we can hope to be. If things aren't shaping up the way we like, let's wait with curiosity to see that better things are in store for us. Let's look for lights in the darkness and follow them to the bright day that always will follow. We will remember our lessons of misfortune with gratitude.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Creative Forces

Being alive is being creative. You need do nothing but affirm your aliveness. —Gay Bonner

What does it mean to be alive? Does it mean merely breathing, eating, and moving around, or is there more to it? Being alive can mean different things to different people. To some, it's sewing a baby quilt for a new life about to be born. To others, it's singing, or walking, or running. Still others find it in the exhilaration of skiing, or the tropical splendor they find when scuba diving.

Each of us has our own favorite activity that lets us feel our creativity and vitality, that lets us feel a part of the larger world. Two gifts these activities leave us with are joy and energy. Joy is one of the most creative forces we can call on, and energy gives us the power to do it well.

I so love the message from Today's Gift! It resonates so loudly for me because I consider myself a creative person and find great joy in those pursuits. Whether I'm sketching, doing photography, outdoor activities, or cooking (among other things)... I find myself centered and serene.

Self-worth and healthy pride flow from doing something that you do well and truly enjoy. As far I'm concerned, walking around the French Quarter with a camera or painting a basement with your dad is some of the best therapy you can get. And it's free.


Burial mound outside Helen, GA

Friday, June 15, 2012

The Other Shoe

Bad moments, like good ones, tend to be grouped together. —Edna O'Brien

Once in a while, we have days when we think the whole world is against us. A parent has reprimanded us, a brother broke our new game, or the teacher at school disciplined the whole class. We sometimes let our thoughts center on a cluster of bad moments and forget the good moments of the day.

We shouldn't forget about the two ducks we fed part of our sandwich to, the friend who made us laugh, or the gym teacher who praised the whole class. Deciding to think about these good moments can allow our spirits to rise and make the bad moments fade away.

After all, if life were all good moments, we would take them for granted. Let us accept the bad ones gratefully, then, as opportunities to appreciate the good.

It's pretty hard to have a day full of good feelings come crashing down because of one bad thing. It could be from a piece of bad news, an unexpected change in the schedule, or just that rude person you had to deal with at work.

Some of us too easily fixate on the negative because it seems to have the most impact on us. It sticks with us longer. Things are going well so we wait for the other shoe to drop.

Fixation on the negative is the destroyer of serenity. For so long that low was the norm, and we weren't sure how to function when things were going well. Some of us even resort to sabotage in a sick attempt to prevent disappointment.

Kinda went off in a slightly different direction there... It's where my thoughts took me tho.


Thursday, June 14, 2012

A Little Help and Guidance

It is not your circumstances that need altering so much as yourself. After you have changed, conditions will naturally change. Spare no effort to become all that God would have you become. Follow every good leading of your conscience. Take each day with no backward look. Face the day's problems with God, and seek God's help and guidance as to what you should do in every situation that may arise. Never look back. Never leave until tomorrow the thing that you are guided to do today.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Hello Again...

Whoa! Has it really been that long since my last post?! I have no excuses. Sure, we had a wonderful, whirlwind vacation. It took a few days to settle back in. The Greek economy is in crisis....

In reality, I've had plenty of opportunities to catch up on the blog. Unfortunately, I allowed my old acquaintance, Procrastination, to have a say in the scheduling.

Once again, the vacation was awesome. I got to spend some time bonding with the ones I love, made some new friends, and got to catch up with some old ones. I got to make a couple of those mountain meetings I love so much. I even got to share my favorite meeting in the world with Cupcake (it was open).

One of the things I miss from being back home is attending the Cornerstone Church services. I suppose YouTube is the next best thing.... Here's this week's sermon.

And here's the thought from Today's Gift...

Let the gentle bush dig its root deep and spread upward to split one boulder. —Carl Sandburg

There is a fable about the sun and wind having a contest to see who can get the old man to take his coat off first. The wind blows fiercely, but the old man just pulls his coat tighter around him. Finally, the wind gives up and the sun comes out. The sun shines a steady warm light down on the old man, who soon takes his coat off.

More and better things are accomplished in this world by kindness and gentleness than by force. When we find ourselves most frustrated, it is often because we are trying to force certain things to happen. Our own patient and steady desire to grow, fed by the love and kindness of others, will not be stopped by anything or anyone. Our own gentleness is a powerful force in our lives. It is like the gentle bush that grows through granite.

Time for bed and then another long day at work. Hope you have a great night and a blessed day tomorrow!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Cornerstone Church Sermon 06-03-12: Stories Jesus Told

I'm so excited about this new series from Cornerstone. It centers around the biblical parables that Jesus told and how they apply to us today. Spiritually and in everyday life. Doubly excited that Cupcake and I were actually there to see it live for a change!

Still on vacation and having an absolute blast. It's not often that we get to see my family so I'm making sure to make the most out of every second.