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What would you tell the Class of 2018 (or any other class)?

I was watching Fox News Channel's "The Five" the other day and they had a segment in which each one of the contributors was asked what advice they would give the Class of 2018.  Each of them responded in their own unique ways with some form of advice (one was a quote from the Lego Batman Movie).  As a teacher and pastor, I am often confronted with opportunities to speak, so I began to think about what I would tell the Class of 2018.  After some time of contemplating this question, I found that I had way too many things to say just to leave them with one thing.
     It was early this morning that I finally found that one thing that I wish to let this year's seniors know.  In fact, this truth that I now feel compelled to share with the class of 2018 is so important that I believe it is something everyone should consider.  In a word, it is life-changing.  The sad part is that this truth is not original with me.  It came from another man who was writing to help set p…
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Things About Me You Need to Know

Secrets, everybody has them.  For most of us, we want to make sure those secrets remain secrets.  That is unless you are Tony Starke and you are just dying to tell everyone, "I am Iron Man."  For everyone else, we like a little mystery about who we are and what we do (or have done).  The other night my wife and I left a restaurant and were approached by a young man who was searching for something to eat.  The first words out of his mouth were "I just got out of prison and I am starving. . . "  We obliged him with some food, but I really wanted to tell him that he may want to change his approach line.  Telling someone that you just got out of prison may not be ideal before you ask them for help.  
     Social media has really enhanced the desire for privacy.  While thinking that Facebook and other apps may connect us with more people, it really offers us the chance to hide behind fake pictures, ideas, and life stories.  There are so many reasons people shade themselv…

I just want to be left alone!

It's Monday.  The weekend went by all too fast and now I have those, "It's back to the grind Blues."  Can you relate?  The alarm goes off and you just want to hit the snooze bar (over and over again).  You think about calling into work, hoping that your boss didn't see your social media pictures from the weekend that had you hanging out with friends at the beach or park.  Honestly, you just want to be left alone.  Maybe you are going through a crisis or a state of depression which just screams "everyone leave me alone."  
     We all, at one time or another, experience that desire to be alone--separated from the rest of the world.  Most of these situations find us in an unhealthy state of mind--tired, worn out, physically drained, mentally exhausted, and emotionally on edge.  We are fragile and vulnerable to making poor choices.  Choices like lashing out on social media without thinking through the ramifications.  Starting or ending meaningful relat…

Living the Good Life

The other morning I was hungry and decided to stop by Dunkin' Doughnuts for coffee and a toasted sesame bagel with cream cheese.  As I pulled in looked over to the drive thru and noticed the cars were stacked 4-5 deep and they didn't look like they were going anywhere.  So, I decided to go inside (I am not a huge drive thru fan).  Once inside I notice that all of the employees had long, sad faces . . .  the kind you get after working a double shift.  Even the manager looked like she didn't want to be there.  Not one person had a smile on their face.  It caused me to think about how the end of their day would look, since this was only 6:55 a.m.  



So often we forget that as Christ-followers we have every reason to smile.  Psalm 47 encourages us to get excited about the life that we have because God is AWESOME!  It calls us to clap our hands (and I'm not thinking that quite little golf clap) and shout for joy.  When was the last time you got up out of bed and gave a good c…

Power over the Everyday Blues

Mondays have a way a making me feel tired!  They can be one of the hardest days of the week because they begin the typical work week cycle.  The beginning of the long struggle of the week.  Somehow Saturday and Sunday flew by, and now you are looking at the workload for the week thinking, where did my weekend go.  The Monday morning blues can cause you to feel drained and just exhausted before the work day even begins.
Maybe this isn't just a Monday problem.  Maybe yours is a Tuesday or Wednesday or Thursday or . . . well you get the idea . . . problem.  Sometimes we just lack energy to go forward.  I think that is why Energizer batteries has really pushed that bunny as their advertising symbol.  Don't we all wish we could get some batteries to keep on going and going and going.  Products like the 5-hour energy drink market to the culture that people are run down and if you could just drink their product you would have all the energy to go strong.

What if we could have all the p…

Getting used to the Daily Grind

Back when my wife and I were first married, Dunkin' Doughnuts had an advertisement that showed one of their employees getting up in the early hours of the morning--every morning.  He would be half asleep, but he would repeat, "Time to make the doughnuts," every time.  It was very humorous and got my wife and I to repeat that slogan as we would wander out of bed to start our day.  It was those morning blahs of a daily grind that we were referring to when we said, "time to make the doughnuts."  But haven't you ever felt like you are stuck in a rut?  Maybe it's your job or your relationships or you church or your life that have you feeling like you are caught in routine.  Possibly it is something that really has you enslaved that you really don't want anyone knowing about.

     The Israelites had this problem.  They had grown accustomed to being slaves in Egypt.  Joseph had saved them and the known world from extinction by his prudent management of…

Focus

Not being able to see can be frustrating and definitely painful.  Have you ever stubbed your toe on something in the dark because you couldn't see?  That can be so painful!  Not seeing what is coming can also be dangerous.       When I was in high school, my dad and I got blind sided by another car on our way home from school.  I can remember the car rolling over and over as my head and arm broke out sections of glass.  We finally came to rest with the passenger side of the vehicle (my side) flat on the ground.  It was a few minutes later that rescuers rocked the car back to an upright position and an emergency crew cut me out of the wreck.  They placed me on a stretcher and into an ambulance where I was quickly taken to a hospital emergency room.  They patched me back up and told me that I would feel the impact of the accident more in the next couple of days.  They weren't lying about that.  Over the next couple of days the pain increased greatly.  This was something I have ne…