“Bah Humbug!”

This weekend, Steph and I went to see the play, “A Christmas Carol.” The classic story of Ebenezer Scrooge and his life. The play was incredible. The actor playing the part of Scrooge really got into the role and you felt like you were back in his time listening to his heart felt apologies and efforts to make good of his life. Scrooge, actually got to look at his life, past present and future, from the outside, not through his own eyes.

We also watched the Christmas movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life.” George Bailey got to see what his life would be like if he were not in it. What result the lives of others would have if he had not been there to make a difference.

It got me to thinking….. what would it be like to look at our own lives that way? What would we think of the lives that we are living and the choices that we have made? How do the choices that we make in life affect other people, even those people that we have never met?

What would it be like to look through the eyes of others and live their lives that we have seen from the outside?

Imagine being the pilot over Hiroshima. You have just dropped the first nuclear weapon in the history of mankind and in a few seconds, have killed thousands of men, women and children for the sake of peace.

Imagine being Lisa Beamer. Your husband Todd has just told you that terrorists have taken control of his plane and that he and others were going to take it back. The last words you hear from him are the family cry “Lets Roll”…

Imagine being George Bush. You have the security and welfare of an entire nation to take care of while every night on television you see people with signs and chanting against you.

Imagine being Joseph. You have just found out that your wife to be, a virgin, is with child and you know it is not yours. A crime punishable by death in that day, but very common in our own. Imagine the day the child arrives and it is the son of God and you are his earthly father.

What would the world be like if I were not in it…if I had never been born?

That is a tough question. Sure I could say the obvious, “my wife would have married someone else,” but would someone else have rescued Maggie from the kennel? My brother would still have gotten married and had 2 kids but would he have had the memories that we share as brothers? Would he have learned to cheat in Rummy? My mom and dad would never had to have dealt with me and my divorce, my diabetic problems, me getting hit by a car one year and going through a windshield the next, but would they have seen another child graduate high school?

Without me, would they have ever met Steph and her family?
Without me, would White’s Mountain, Champion Sports Events, and ATRservice have web sites?

Some of these things are HUGE while others are simple and materialistic, but we dont have the luxury of seeing our lives from the outside looking in. We only know what goes on in our immediate surroundings. I know not everyone is going to like me, and there are those people that I could do without in my own life. Life isnt easy but it is all a part of God’s plan.

Because of sin in the world, we are not perfect. We are not going to make everyone happy all the time and everyone isn’t going to make us happy all the time. It is an imperfect world full of imperfect people.

What we can do is strive to be more Christ like in our every day lives. That would be the best impact we could have on this world. It is the best choice we could make to make the biggest impact on others around us. Something small, just like this simple little blog of mine, could affect many others that I will never meet or know how I have impacted their lives.

I may not ever see the impact that I have made, but…

one day…

when I am standing there walking in the Gates…

I’ll know.

Dear God,

Thank you for this time of year. Thank you for the “Reason for the Season.” The season where You sent Christ, for us. Thank you for knowing that we can make an impact on others. That You sent us all here for a reason. Help us to see that the choices that we make and the help we can give to others all year long, not just at Christmas, can impact a world. Help us to make the right choices and to seek You first in all of them.

Merry Christmas


“Today on Tool Time…..”

I am a fixer by nature. I see something broken, and I try to fix it. It gives me a lot of satisfaction to know that I was able to take something that couldnt be used anymore, and make it useable again. Lately, I’ve been able to do this for my father in law with his computers. He had 2 crash on him within a few weeks and I was able to get them both back up and running with just a little effort.
Steph gives me a lot more credit than I am due. She calls me her personal McGuiver because so far, I’ve been able to either repair, modify, upgrade or restore almost everything around our house that needed it. We are planning on building a privacy fence for our dog Maggie, and we are planning on doing it ourselves to save money since it doesnt appear to be too difficult of a task. I have other projects that I have done around the house, like my office, wiring the basement, making our DVR record 2 shows at once, etc., (I kind of impressed myself that I was able to do that).
She builds me up, encourages me, helps me to see the forrest when all that I see are trees. She shares her life with me and puts me second in her life, only to God. The two men I admire the most in this world are my dad and hers and she puts me above both of them. That’s some pretty big shoes to fill.

Today, I did something that I cannot fix. I put someone else above her. I told someone else about God taking care of me, before I told her. I shared it with someone else, before I shared it with her. She shares every aspect of her life with me first, and I didnt do the same for her.

I messed up and hurt someone who means the world to me.

It got me to thinking almost immediately “How can I fix this?” Truth is, I can’t. I can’t fix this immediately. It will take time for this mess up to be fixed. It will take time for me to show her that I put her first in everything that I do. It will take time and there will be consequences. The consequences are I feel awful about it and it will probably make this day even worse since it already started out with me getting in an accident. It has totally taken over my focus this morning that I hurt someone that I love.
How about every time we mess up and do something we know is wrong in God’s eyes? I dont immediately think the same thing. I just go on. Sure I know God has already forgiven me even before I ask, but do we really try to fix it? Do we really try to stop doing what we know is wrong in God’s eyes?
We are all human and imperfect by nature. We fail. We fail again and again and again. God will forgive us for every sin in our lives, if we just ask. That is all we have to do, to “fix it” with Him. He is perfect, loving, kind and totally forgiving. More so than we are.

Dear God,
Once again, You have watched over me and kept me out of harms way. Today could have been a lot worse. I could have hit the car in front of me or have been struck a lot harder than I was. Thank you so much for watching over me and keeping me safe. Help me to see when I put others before you. Help me see when I am doing wrong in your eyes and to remember You are first.

Steph, I am so incredibly sorry. I am sorry that I didnt tell you first about what happened. No excuses, no sarcasm, just sincerity. You are second in my life, only to God above. I wont try to kid me or you and say it wont happen again, because I am so not perfect. I just hope you can forgive me.


“Here’s a quarter…”

It’s so easy to praise God when times are good. Often, God takes care of us so well, that we forget to give Him the credit for it. We become too comfortable. Life becomes too easy. We get up, we go to work, a couple of days during the week we go to church, we pray occasionally, we say the blessing….times are good.

Where do we acknowledge God in that “good time?”

I’m as guilty as anyone. I become comfortable and too laid back and guess what, I forget where the comfortable life comes from.

But as soon as adversity comes, “Oh God, help me.”

Last week, our bank accounts were wiped out. Our house payment was due, our car payments were due, and we had about $4 in our checking account. It goes without saying that I was stressed. I get stressed when we have money in the account and bills are paid, but now we had basically nothing and we found it on a Sunday morning so there was nothing we could do until the bank opened the next morning.

I never let it show how stressed I actually was.

I did the best thing that I could have done at that moment. I got off by myself and got busy. I wired a cable outlet and a telephone outlet in the basement, cleaned up the basement and basically kept away from everything to let me calm down and get my focus back. Steph realized what I needed without me having to say a word and she was great. She let me stay busy downstairs to get my head right and never said a word.

My focus returned.

I just realized that hey, there isn’t anything that we can do, there is no sense in stressing over this and that regardless, God will do as He said He would, He will take care of us.

The next morning, we went to the bank and reported the error. We had to cut up our ATM cards and open new accounts. That doesn’t sound like a bad thing except……we had no way to access our money. It was ok for the first few days but as our cash ran out, it became more and more difficult.

Steph made great meals at dinner with enough extra so that I could take it in my lunch. That was awesome. She is such a great wife and takes good care of me. Most mornings, I grabbed a quick bite on the way out the door for breakfast so all was good.

The week went on and the cash began to run out. I used all the change that I could, and even cleaned out the change in my truck. I was down to the cash in my wallet and the cash that Steph had until we could cash another check or until the money was returned to us.
One morning, I went out and forgot to eat breakfast. Not a good thing for someone like me who is diabetic and loves breakfast. I had one dollar in my wallet and a biscuit from McDonalds is $1, that is one dollar plus tax. I knew that the day before I had moved all of the change out of my truck. I had EXACTLY one dollar, nothing to cover tax with and I was getting hungry. I was about to give up, but I just knew God was going to take care of this situation.

I moved the drink can that I had put in the cup holder that morning and there it was, a shiny silver quarter. Twenty five cents. More than enough to take care of the tax and I could get some breakfast.

I called my mom and through tears, I told her how God gave me more than enough to cover breakfast. I KNOW there wasn’t any change in there from the day before. I know this for a fact, but yet, when I needed it, it was there. God came through, like He always does when we turn our problems over to Him and let Him handle it.

I know it doesn’t sound like a huge deal, but it was to me.

That one little blessing kept me going throughout the week. I knew that God would take care of the money, I just knew it. As the week went on, I started to think that I might have to fight Regions for it, but I still knew God would be there to take care of us and would get us the money back. When everyone encouraged me to be strong, and to call and chew everyone out, I didn’t. I stayed strong in my faith that God would handle it. For the first time, I gave it up to Him, and didn’t take it back. I was getting ready to fight for it, if that’s what He wanted me to do, but I didn’t have to.

This morning, the money was back in our account.

God did EXACTLY what He said He would do. He took care of the problem. He took care of me and Steph.

Dear God,
Thank you so much. You kept Your promise, You took care of us. You took the burden off of us. You fought for us. Yes we let this problem stress us, but we still knew You would be there for us and would take care of us. Help us to remember this time so that the next storm we face……

And I’ll praise you in this storm

and I will lift my hands for You are who You are

no matter where I am

and every tear I’ve cried

You hold in your hand

You never left my side

and though my heart is torn

I will praise You in this storm – Casting Crowns – Praise you in the Storm


“Don’t change that channel…”

Remote controls, that one tiny little device somewhere in your living room, near the tv, or under the couch, in the cushions of the chair, are the modern day “septors” of our world. They’re great. Not only do you have in the palm of your hand, the ability to change between hundreds of channels, but you can control any aspect of your tv from volume, brightness, tint, color, stereo. Some remotes also allow you to control your VCR, your Tivo, your DVD player, stereo, lights, etc. You have the absolute control of your electronic devices within the palm of your hand.
Most people like myself at one time or another had individual remotes. One for the tv, one for the VCR, one for the DVD player, and another for the stereo. These came in all shapes and sizes and the one remote that you always needed was never to be found until you didn’t need it any longer. A funny gift that I received one time was two hands that would hold up to 3 or 4 remotes in each hand. It was great. They never got lost.
I love tv. I love watching movies, sports, DVD’s etc. It is truly a weakness that I have but there isn’t anything better than sitting on the couch with Steph my wife next to me, and Maggie our dog on the floor near us, watching either a show on TV or a movie. Its together time that we enjoy.
One thing is for sure, regardless of what we are watching, the remote control is always near. Either she has it and is in control, or I have it and I am in control. This way, if we are watching something we have recorded, we can go past the commercials or skip boring parts of the movie. We can go back and see our favorite parts again or change what we are watching all together.
We are in control.
Yesterday, a buddy of mine was talking with me about control. Not control of his television but control of his life. How he wants God to be in control of everything.
It got me to thinking….

Why can everyone not let God have complete and total control of their lives?
What events in our lives do we let impact us daily?

Then it hit me. I can’t answer these questions for everyone. I can only answer them for myself.
The real question is, who is REALLY in control of my life?

As bad as it sounded, I realized that God isn’t in control. I let too many things of this world affect my witness and my walk with Christ. I let too many things of this world, take the remote control of my life, and change the channels as it wants to. Sure, I can always say I want to read my bible more and grow stronger in Christ, but am I willing to turn off the TV and make it happen? That’s when I started answering my own questions:
We are not in control of our lives, the world is. We may say we give God the control, but do we REALLY? Everything impacts us daily. How the impact affects us is up to us.
So now the question is why. Why do we not let God have the complete and total control?

The cost.

If you could get closer to God by not watching TV on Sunday nights, would you? Sure, that’s easy.
If you could get closer to God by giving up chocolate, peanut butter, and home cooked breakfast would you? Well that’s getting a little tougher but I guess I could.
What about your computer, the internet, your car, or watching your favorite team? Getting tougher all the time, but yes, if I had to.
What about your job, your family, your wife? What if the only way to get closer to God was to give up your children?…………………………………………………………………………………………..
Could you really say, without blinking, that if God told you, to give up your wife and kids, and follow Him, that you would?…………………………………………………………………….
Its easy to say that God would never ask you to do that.

He has before….

He asked Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac. He told Abraham to make an alter and to put Isaac upon it and offer him up to God. Abraham did exactly as God instructed and just before he took his son’s life, God stopped him. He then gave him blessings beyond his imagination because Abraham followed God. He made Abraham the father of many descendants including a carpenter’s son born in Bethlehem on Christmas that goes by the name of Jesus.

So again, why do we not let God have total control when we know He would bless us if we let Him control our lives?

We live for now. We live for cable tv, for movies on demand, for working late to make that extra dollar, for nights out on the town, for doing unto others before they can do to us. We don’t go out of our way to help our neighbor, we look for ways to avoid them in case they needed something. We don’t spend time with family, we let arguments and disagreements come between us and stop talking to them all together. We don’t encourage our build up our coworkers, we cut them down and stab them in the back when they aren’t looking in order for us to get ahead. We aren’t happy with what we have, we want something bigger and better than what our neighbor has.

We have lost sight of where everything comes from. We have forgotten who is in control. We have forgotten that this world, and everything in it, is just temporary. Its just a stopping point on our way to a full life with Christ. Nothing here matters. God has given us everything that we need in our lives. He has not given us any adversity that we cannot overcome, if we let Him have the remote.

I just hope He has His finger on the volume button of my remote, instead of the power button….

Dear God,
Please take control of my life again. Make me usable for You. Let me see when I let things of the world come in and take over control of my daily life. Help me to see that I am not working for now, I am serving for later.