My grandma lived in a very small, old house. The basement was a dirt floor with plywood, and some concrete walls. My grandma did not keep anything in the basement and rarely went down there. There was a trap door, padlocked shut, on the porch that led to the basement.
To successfully swing a baseball bat, tennis racket or golf club you must develop the right grip. If your grip is wrong you will have a difficult time hitting the ball the way you want to. In fact, the most basic practice in those sports is to develop the right grip. I believe the same is true in life.
We are living in highly disruptive and difficult times. For most of us, everyday life is very different than five months ago. We hoped things would be more “normal” or “predictable” by now, but it appears we have a long way to go. There are more questions than answers and more conflict than unity.
There are two basic emotions everyone struggles with: anger and fear. Often the person who struggles with anger struggles much less with fear. And the one who struggles with fear often struggles much less with anger. The good news, whether your current struggle is with anger or fear, is that God, through the power and presence of the Holy Spirit, can help us overcome anger and fear. Will we still get angry or have fear? Yes, but neither our anger nor fear will linger or consume us.
Here are some random thoughts on this 2020 Fourth of July weekend.
For the last 22 years I enjoyed my time leading a consultant engineering department and a local church. I enjoyed those opportunities to be in the “fray” of connecting with and leading employees, customers, staff, boards, teams and members. Currently I am enjoying a season where I am an observer and a guide, serving as a lifeline when the senior leader needs an outside connection, perspective, and a partner in collaboration. It is hard to be a player and a coach at the same time, so I have decided to be a coach for this season.
There is a beautiful statement that has brought me great strength and hope recently. It is found in the Old Testament of the Bible in 2 Chronicles chapter 20. King Jehoshaphat had three “ites” who were teaming up to wage war against him: the Moabites, the Ammonites and the Meunites. All of us have potentially dangerous and unnerving “ites” we are facing.
I am writing this column before heading to bed on my final night as a resident of Fargo-Moorhead. Twenty years ago, we moved here carrying an overwhelming burden to share the love of Jesus Christ with all people, inviting them to find life in Christ and become part of a church family. At times we carried the burden in unhealthy ways. It was never a job or hobby; it was our life’s calling and our Savior’s calling for us.
FARGO — Forgiveness does not change the past. Forgiveness enlarges the future. Resentment chains us to the past. Forgiveness brings us freedom for our future. Resentment is like drinking poison and hoping the other person suffers. Forgiveness is like drinking refreshing water, restoring us for the next season. In this life you will be hurt. You will either live with resentment or forgiveness. Every day you and I live with, work with, and rub shoulders with blemished people. And through the course of human relationships, we will face hurt, whether intentional or unintentional.
She was nice looking, perhaps the most popular music sensation of the 1970s, an incredibly talented drummer and vocalist including two top 10 Billboard 100 hits. On stage she was glamorous and loved by the crowd. Thousands of people cheered her on as she performed classic song after song. She guest starred on TV shows, was on the front of magazine covers, and toured the world. Yet, Karen Carpenter died at the age of 32 due to complications associated with the disease of anorexia. She starved herself to death.