When you was a kid, did you ever play hot potato? I remember playing the game. Kids would get in a big circle and throw a potato around to one another to the sound of music mimicking tossing a real potato that was hot. The object of the game would be to not get stuck with the potato in hand when the music stopped. Each time the music would stop and whoever was holding the potato would be disqualified from the game. Then the music would start over and go through the same process again until it was down to one person. They would be declared the winner. It is funny what we can learn from a child’s game. Every day as adults we get up and start juggling our day. We have got to balance our careers, families, school, volunteer work, obligations,church, aging parents. The list goes on and on. We go so wrapped up in life that we focus entirely on that hot potato. We get so busy and competitive to beat the next person in line that we often lose sight of the main objective of the game. The child’s game should be played to socialize and spend time with friends. It should be fun. Everyday as we juggle life and focus on work (that hot potato) we slowly lose sight of the real things in life. Sure we have to work to pay the bills. We have to have shelter. We have got to have food, meds and basic things of life. As a human being we strive for more and more possession. It is only normal. We want our children to have it better than we did. So many times though we push to much in our schedules only to see that we actually neglect what our children need. They need mama and daddy. They need to be loved. They need to be hugged. The world is so educated now that people are smarter than they have ever been, but has it paid off? Women used to be able to stay at home and raise their children. Now let me say that if a woman has a career and is happy then I am all for it. I am in no way a sexist, but if she is having to work just to make ends meet and the children have got to attend day care are they really benefitting? Could we drop a few things out of our schedule to be there for them. Dads could you take off early from work just because. Just because. No reason. Just to spend sometime with the family. Do we really need that new car? That big house? What about that time share? The country club membership? Let’s all stop and pay attention before we get burned by that hot potato.
I wake up to the alarm sounding off at several decimals higher than it needs to be. Wipe the sleep from my eyes and head for the shower. What will the day ahead bring. Not just for me but the world as well. What news will break? Who will get shot, abused, stabbed or robbed? What good thing will happen today? Who will be born into the world? Who will create the next big break through? Who will develop the cure for some terrible disease? The truth is that the day has not been written yet. It is there for the taking. Don’t get me wrong, I know somethings can not be helped but it is yet to be set in stone. We should wake up everyday excited about the opportunity ahead. If things are going like you want them too then be excited for another fabulous day. If things are not going as you want them to then be happy you have one more day to fix it. Make it right. If your health is good then be happy your so blessed. Someone out there is confined to their bed. If your health is bad, be thankful to be alive, see one more sunrise. Be proud that God has give you one more day to love, be loved, and just live. Sure your day may bring stress on top of stress. You may think it is horrible, but at night when you come home to your family remember someone didn’t get to see their family again. You say my job is terrible. Be thankful you have a job. Someone is out of work and hungry. No matter the circumstance I guarantee you someone has it worse. If you wake up in a country that is not in a war zone plagued with starvation then you are blessed past a lot of the world. The food we eat, water we drink, roof over our heads are all blessing that we take for granted. If we get to hug our children and send them to school for an education. All these things we do everyday and not think twice about it. Often complaining about it. To much work, to hot, to cold. We have grown as a society of chronic complainers. Let’s quit complaining and take back our lives. The attitude you have for the day is 80% of how your day will be. Have a good attitude and you can overcome anything. Have a bad attitude and anything will get you down. Your attitude affects everyone around you. Be happy and they will be happy. Be sad and they will be sad. Tonight take time to thank the Lord for your blessings. Hug your spouse, children, family if you have them. Take back the day ahead.
Have you ever looked at a woods in the horizon or from a hill? You can pick out two, three, maybe four standing tall above all the rest. These trees, no doubt are old and strong. After looking at these trees one day I had a thought of how these big strong trees is exactly how we should live day by day. Like the big oak trees in the woods that stands strong above the rest, we should stand strong in what we believe and how we live. Through the generations things have been handed down from parents to children. Just the way their parents shown and taught them. From religion to politics to the way we dress has been passed down. As one generation leaves out another is born to take the family name forward. The winds of the world and the evil that presents it’s self from time to time is no different than the strong storms that the big oak trees have stood. I have witnessed forest after a strong storm and seen trees that were twisted,uprooted and broken up all over the woods in total destruction but there stands that giant oak tree in all her beauty standing strong. You see it is just like the human race. You have got to be anchored in something to stand for. Something to believe in. You have got to have a purpose. The people of the world that go with this for a while and then something else for a while never get established in anything. Just like the storm beaten trees of the forest they are twisted and bent to believe as someone else or maybe as what is popular if you will have it. The person who stands strong even if it isn’t the popular way will be standing after the storms of life roll through. When time comes that these big trees are cut or die out if another tree isn’t planted and established quickly then the underbrush will over take the land. The briars and vines will grow so thick that the possibility of another big tree growing is gone. The landscape is changed forever. Just as our ancestors have pass away if we don’t stand strong to our upbringings and teachings then our family name is altered forever. I know as the world modernizes some things have to change but most likely what was good enough morally for our grandparents should be good enough for us. Love your neighbor, be kind, be slow to take offense but quick to forgive. In modern times these are principles that are not popular it seems.You get one name in life. Don’t be bent and persuaded to bend and twist to evil. Be like that giant oak tree and stand strong for what is right!
In the long hard journey of life there is a time for everything. No matter if you are a child or one hundred years old. There is a time to sow and a time to reap. A time to be born and a time to die. A time to work and a time to rest. A time to be happy and a time to be sad. As a child you are born completely helpless. Unable to survive on your own. Soon you start to learn and adapt. Before long babies grow to toddlers and begin to crawl and talk. They must wait for the right time for nature to occur. A child cannot walk or run before they crawl. Just as a tree cannot bare fruit before it blooms. Sometimes we want to grow to fast, do to much, get to big before it is time. No matter if it is the child trying to crawl or the medical intern wanting to be a surgeon, it takes time. There is steps in life that you cannot skip or jump over. We often start careers at the very bottom and envy to be on top. It does not work this way. You have got to live, learn and grow. If there is something in the process you dont like then change it when you get there for someone else. Don’t forget where you come from or where you intend to go. Keep your dreams close at hand and pray daily. Be kind in the process as others have had to make the journey you are making right now. If you get knocked down just remember there is a time to get back up. Be diligent and truthful in your dealings. Give when you can for there will be a time to gather. Treat others as you want to be treated. Be happy for it may help someone that is sad. When life’s journey draws to a close people will remember you by the fruit you bore, not by how much money was in the bank, but by the good ( or bad ) deeds you have done. As you go through life and face trials, tribulations, sad times, and hardships just remember there is a time for everything. It will soon be time for things to brighten up and get better no matter the circumstance. There really is a time for everything!
In the time we live in it is often considered old fashioned to have one partner or companion. It is often that a man and women fall in love, just to find that a few years down the road the lust fades with each passing day. The person you fell in love with is not the person you are married to now so many people think. Men and women often let their self go, get to consumed in their career, let the financial stress of life get to them, and let the constant strain of raising a family burden them. These are all marriage killers. A marriage is something that requires constant work. I have found that anything in life takes work. Marriage is no different. Just as you have to maintain your car so do you have to maintain your marriage. You wouldn’t consider driving your car for twenty years without changing your oil. You have got to work to keep your marriage strong just the same. No matter how busy you are, always have time for your spouse. Tell them you love them outside the bedroom. Send them flowers just to let them know they are special. Spend time together, even if it is just for a slow walk down the street. If you are feeling far apart, chances are they are too. Work at it. Everyone will argue and personally I think it is healthy to disagree every once in a while as long as it don’t get out of control. If you never disagree just a little then it is a warning sign that one partner is to controlling. Compromise. You should go into a marriage with the attitude that it is 60/40 not 50/50. You should give 60 and expect to get 40 back. If both partners do this then you have a lot better chance of spending many years together. I got married very young to my spouse and people said we were to young. It would not last. They don’t know what they are getting in to. Sure things haven’t always been perfect by any stretch of the imagination but at the end of the day we talk and work things out. I recently told my teenage son when he was having dating troubles that if you love someone you have got to treat them like a prince or princess. My wife is the most precious thing in my life. The older I get the more I love her and the more I value her companionship. Sure there has been times through the years that money was tight but we always found a way to spice things up just a little. A Friday night dinner, meeting for lunch, flowers unexpected, a small gift, quiet walk. These are all things that I cherish with my significant other. If things are getting bad then to talk to each other. If you once loved each other enough to get married then you can find that love again. I couldn’t imagine life without my wife and would give my life for her in a second. So many men that I work with talk bad about there wife and how bad it is. I tell them if it is that bad then fix it. Don’t just give them up for someone else. Often grass isn’t really greener on the other side. Once you burn that bridge there is no repairing it. I know there is situations where it can’t be helped and divorce has got to happen. If you are in that spot just remember there is someone out there that is your soul mate, but it will also require maintenance. If you follow these steps and pay close attention then you will get to experience the blessing of a good marriage.
Just as the flower pushes through the soil in the spring and begins to grow, every man, women, boy and girl in the vast world was born sometime in history. As that baby, the first air you breathe sets in a chain of events that in its self is a miracle. No matter what your religious beliefs as soon as you are born you are destined to die. What you do with the time between birth and death is up to you. Life is like a hour glass. When it begins the sand starts pouring through and as a child it seems like eternity before all that sand could get through that glass. Soon the innocence of that child leaves and we venture through adolescence. We think we are on top of the world. No worries, no pain. Not thinking even once about that hour glass in the background. We take risk and do dumb things without ever thinking of the end. Before we know it we meet the companion of our dreams and set out with nothing more than the clothes on our backs into the hostile world on the horizon. No longer are we protected by Mama and Daddy. We are on our own, still not thinking about that hour glass. We have our children and the hard times come, looking for God to guide us out. The work it takes to pay the bills requires long hours, often times leaving our children behind at child care. Often times we are so tired on days off we ignore the children and their wants to rest our tired bodies. A few years pass and we manage to get that big promotion at work that we have worked so hard for. We tell our family at home but they are not excited for they are preparing for college and their lives ahead. With them driving down the road toward their own life we stop and look over our shoulder at that hour glass that we had forgotten about and think, my gosh a lot of sand has poured through. Grandkids come along and you love to play with them but wish you could see your children more. They are so busy and tired from their own careers they don’t have time to come around. You finally reach retirement and can afford that big rv to travel the world. The whole time though that hour glass is sitting on your shoulder. You can here the sand pouring through. Man, how different it is than when you were young. Now looking out the window of the rest home you think of your great- grandchildren and their hour glass that just begun. Yours no longer matters. It is their but life has passed you by and you no longer have to worry of the disappearing sand. The hope is there that those new additions to the family will stop, enjoy life along the journey, and do the good things that matter,for life is like a hour glass.
When I was in the third grade my teacher told her class that we could be anything that we wanted to be. As a child I pondered this and was already smart enough to know that was not the case for me and my classmates. We were from small rural America in a school that held 150 kids K-8th. Our parents either worked the family farm or drove 25 miles to town for work. We road on the bus to school and back home. We eat home cooked meals, played in the yard barefoot, shot hoops in the barn loft and all the other things country boys and girls done. We were happy but content we would never go anywhere past our means. How crazy was this teacher that said we could one day be president. Looking back on it, in that time and day she was crazy. We could not be president or make a big name for our self in rural America. If we made the local paper, that went to about a thousand people we were big time. You don’t make president like that. Today though is a different day and time. Today you can tweet, blog, Facebook, email, text , Snapchat or whatever else they have come up with in the last 72 hours. There is roughly 3,750,000,000 people on the internet in the world. The time it takes for you to shower in the morning you can send out your opinion on anything and reach millions in seconds. Beats the heck out of the 1000 people the local paper reached when we were kids. So yes March 8, 2018 I believe as my teacher did that you can be anything you want to be. Maybe a future president is out in your yard running after their sibling right now. You can truly be anything you want to be.