SOPA = internet gun control…..

As with most government legislation, SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) will not stop online piracy but instead restrict the liberties of law abiding individuals.

Think of it as “gun control for the internet”. Gun control has been proven to be ineffective — SOPA would be no different.

So in protest of this asinine legislative attempt to control and subvert, I am blocking out my text (other sites are going black) in an effort to show what could potentially be impacted by this nanny state rule.

Take action here!

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

Call to inaction…..

I have blogged recently about the mild weather we have been having here in Kentucky. Last night it was quite windy and this morning I woke up to a warmish 58F morning but it was still very dark and windy outside. On my way in to work as I drove along my normal two lane country road route, I suddenly saw a very large tree that had blown down in the night — and it was blocking my lane. Luckily for me, it was not blocking the entire road, just my lane. And with no other vehicles coming from the other direction, I was able to slow down, safely cross over, navigate around the blockage, and continue on. However, with it still being early morning and pitch dark, I could not in good conscience leave that obstacle unmarked for another car to hit. God was nudging me and telling me that turning around and marking the hazard was the right thing to do.

So I found the next driveway and pulled in. I popped the trunk, got out of my car and looked to see what safety gear I had. Luckily, I had a couple of flares and gloves which I grabbed and put on the front seat. I turned around to go back, intent to mark the hazard for other drivers, at least until the sun came up.

As I came upon the familiar scene, a local sheriff had also come across the blocked lane and stopped his truck on the shoulder with his bright blue lights flashing. He was out simultaneously waving his flashlight at traffic and heaving his body against the downed tree and branches to try to make a safer pathway. I stopped with my rolled down window and asked if he needed help and if he wanted to use my flares. He politely declined saying that he was going to stay and mark the location until local road crews showed up.

With the situation safely in talented hands, I returned back to my normal work bound direction and finished my commute with no further anomalies. But my “call to inaction” got me thinking….. I was definitely called to turn around and make a dangerous situation better — only to have it already taken care of. And I can tell you that is not the only time that has happened. There have been many unblogged times where I have been called for my roadside ministry to turn around and help someone only to find out that they either already had help (or it was on the way) or were already gone with their problem solved by the time it took for me to find the next exit, turn around, and go back to help them.

On some of those times, I wondered why I was prompted by God to turn around when He knew that this situation was being taken care of. One answer that came to me was that He was testing my obedience. Just like in the Old Testament when He tested Abraham by asking Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac. Abraham was obedient and began to go through the action but ended up not having to do so. It is similar — in action, but not depth — when I obediently turn to serve someone. And don’t get me wrong — my turning around to help a fellow motorist is not as deep or sacrificial as God’s call to Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac. And also don’t get me wrong — I am probably just as disobedient by not turning around when I am called as to the number of times that I am obedient when I do serve someone else. This blog post is not meant to highlight my actions or inactions, but more to identify times where God tests us and our only need is to be obedient. Sometimes we don’t need to do anything more than that.

I encourage you to listen to God and be obedient in areas where you are called to service. Sometimes the only thing you need to do is say “yes” and answer His call. Even if you were intending to serve, God might already have it taken care of.

Please share and comment if you have experiences when God has “called you to inaction”.

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

Killing the golden goose…..

The video link below was shared with me by my Dad. Because the numbers we are dealing with right now in regards to the national debt are so big — in the TRILLIONS — and our minds cannot conceive and comprehend numbers so large, the video tries to put a picture on it that we can wrap our minds around.

Click here for the video.

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

Doing quote…..

I caught some kind of stomach bug last night — I will leave all the unpleasant details out. But I was up quite a bit last night and caught several naps today. I am hoping it is waning and tomorrow will be normal, which would be good because I am off work and would like to be productive.

I am aiming to finish my third book on my 2012 reading list tonight — The Servant – A simple story about the true essence of leadership. I came across a quote that paralleled Thursday’s post on action.

“What we think or what we believe is, in the end, of little consequence. The only thing on consequence is what we do.” — John Ruskin

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

Disciple Tebow…..

I just finished an article that really impresses me. I am going to link to it but also reprint it below (with the proper credits) in the hopes that more people read it and get the message. And while it definitely is about Tim Tebow, it MORE IMPORTANTLY is about what it means to be a disciple of Jesus and love and serve others.

How cool would it be if we all followed those actions.

Original article link here.

I Believe In Tim Tebow
By Rick Reilly

ESPN.com

I’ve come to believe in Tim Tebow, but not for what he does on a football field, which is still three parts Dr. Jekyll and two parts Mr. Hyde.

No, I’ve come to believe in Tim Tebow for what he does off a football field, which is represent the best parts of us, the parts I want to be and so rarely am.

Who among us is this selfless?

Every week, Tebow picks out someone who is suffering, or who is dying, or who is injured. He flies these people and their families to the Broncos game, rents them a car, puts them up in a nice hotel, buys them dinner (usually at a Dave & Buster’s), gets them and their families pregame passes, visits with them just before kickoff (!), gets them 30-yard-line tickets down low, visits with them after the game (sometimes for an hour), has them walk him to his car, and sends them off with a basket of gifts.

Home or road, win or lose, hero or goat.

Remember last week, when the world was pulling its hair out in the hour after Tebow had stunned the Pittsburgh Steelers with an 80-yard OT touchdown pass to Demaryius Thomas in the playoffs? And Twitter was exploding with 9,420 tweets about Tebow per second? When an ESPN poll was naming him the most popular athlete in America?

Tebow was spending that hour talking to 16-year-old Bailey Knaub about her 73 surgeries so far and what TV shows she likes.

“Here he’d just played the game of his life,” recalls Bailey’s mother, Kathy, of Loveland, Colo., “and the first thing he does after his press conference is come find Bailey and ask, ‘Did you get anything to eat?’ He acted like what he’d just done wasn’t anything, like it was all about Bailey.”

More than that, Tebow kept corralling people into the room for Bailey to meet. Hey, Demaryius, come in here a minute. Hey, Mr. Elway. Hey, Coach Fox.

Even though sometimes-fatal Wegener’s granulomatosis has left Bailey with only one lung, the attention took her breath away.

“It was the best day of my life,” she emailed. “It was a bright star among very gloomy and difficult days. Tim Tebow gave me the greatest gift I could ever imagine. He gave me the strength for the future. I know now that I can face any obstacle placed in front of me. Tim taught me to never give up because at the end of the day, today might seem bleak but it can’t rain forever and tomorrow is a new day, with new promises.”

I read that email to Tebow, and he was honestly floored.

“Why me? Why should I inspire her?” he said. “I just don’t feel, I don’t know, adequate. Really, hearing her story inspires me.”

It’s not just NFL defenses that get Tebowed. It’s high school girls who don’t know whether they’ll ever go to a prom. It’s adults who can hardly stand. It’s kids who will die soon.

For the game at Buffalo, it was Charlottesville, Va., blue-chip high school QB Jacob Rainey, who lost his leg after a freak tackle in a scrimmage. Tebow threw three interceptions in that Buffalo game and the Broncos were crushed 40-14.

“He walked in and took a big sigh and said, ‘Well, that didn’t go as planned,’” Rainey remembers. “Where I’m from, people wonder how sincere and genuine he is. But I think he’s the most genuine person I’ve ever met.”

There’s not an ounce of artifice or phoniness or Hollywood in this kid Tebow, and I’ve looked everywhere for it.

Take 9-year-old Zac Taylor, a child who lives in constant pain. Immediately after Tebow shocked the Chicago Bears with a 13-10 comeback win, Tebow spent an hour with Zac and his family. At one point, Zac, who has 10 doctors, asked Tebow whether he has a secret prayer for hospital visits. Tebow whispered it in his ear. And because Tebow still needed to be checked out by the Broncos’ team doctor, he took Zac in with him, but only after they had whispered it together.

And it’s not always kids. Tom Driscoll, a 55-year-old who is dying of brain cancer at a hospice in Denver, was Tebow’s guest for the Cincinnati game. “The doctors took some of my brain,” Driscoll says, “so my short-term memory is kind of shot. But that day I’ll never forget. Tim is such a good man.”

This whole thing makes no football sense, of course. Most NFL players hardly talk to teammates before a game, much less visit with the sick and dying.

Isn’t that a huge distraction?

“Just the opposite,” Tebow says. “It’s by far the best thing I do to get myself ready. Here you are, about to play a game that the world says is the most important thing in the world. Win and they praise you. Lose and they crush you. And here I have a chance to talk to the coolest, most courageous people. It puts it all into perspective. The game doesn’t really matter. I mean, I’ll give 100 percent of my heart to win it, but in the end, the thing I most want to do is not win championships or make a lot of money, it’s to invest in people’s lives, to make a difference.”

So that’s it. I’ve given up giving up on him. I’m a 100 percent believer. Not in his arm. Not in his skills. I believe in his heart, his there-will-definitely-be-a-pony-under-the-tree optimism, the way his love pours into people, right up to their eyeballs, until they believe they can master the hopeless comeback, too.

Remember the QB who lost his leg, Jacob Rainey? He got his prosthetic leg a few weeks ago, and he wants to play high school football next season. Yes, tackle football. He’d be the first to do that on an above-the-knee amputation.

Hmmm. Wonder where he got that crazy idea?

“Tim told me to keep fighting, no matter what,” Rainey says. “I am.”

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

Winter’s finally here…..

I blogged a week ago about the non-winter we are enjoying. Unfortunately, it was not to last. A system blew in yesterday that brought an inch of snow (which is no big deal) and 15F degree temps (which IS a big deal). Add on top of that 30-50mph winds and if you were outside you were miserable. The cold, frigid wind cuts right through you.

Supposedly this will only last a few days. Monday is supposed to get up to 50F. Because I am off work, I sure hope so.

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

2012 action…..

Well, 2012 is already over 3 1/2% complete. And if you have not done so, I would encourage you to be setting goals for yourself. And these goals should be in several areas of your life — because, after all, God made us multifaceted beings, not simple singularly focused creatures. The image below is most commonly associated with Zig Ziglar. It is the wheel of life and ideally should have goals in each area for us to flourish. If we neglect a “spoke” in the wheel, a flat tire results and we “thump, thump, thump” through life.

I have shared with you one of my 2012 goals – my 2012 reading list. I am almost at the end of my third book and am making good progress. Another goal I have for this year is reading completely through the Bible. I am on day #18 of an Old Testament/New Testament reading plan from YouVersion. I have not missed a day and it has been very enlightening, educational and uplifting. By the way, YouVersion is a great tool if you have a smart phone or tablet. I cannot tell you how it has opened up my Bible reading whether it is planned or just on the fly referencing.

Goals by nature are active and require action. No goal has ever been accomplished by thinking or knowing. Goals can only be accomplished by doing. While this might be restating the obvious, how many of us have been merely dreamers or thinkers? I know I have definitely been guilty of that in the past.

Well, this year is different (I’m sure you’ve heard that before). Already I am 1 month ahead on my reading list goal. I am on track with my Bible in a year reading plan. After stumbling with my cardio, I have strung together 10 workouts for the last 2 weeks. And our family’s implementation of Financial Peace Jr. for the kids is way more successful than I had imagined. (That alone is fodder for its own blog post.) What is different is that by writing down my goals, it allowed me to not only think and form them, but to visualize them, break them down, and create individual events of action. It is those individual events of action that have gotten me off my butt, reduced the distractions, and focused my time and energy to what I should be doing at that moment. It might be a chore, it might be a devotion, it might be a work project, it might be time with the family, or it might be a conversation with my wife — but all those things get my focused attention and action.

Two additional goals I am moving along are related to an iPhone app idea I had early last year and an idea with a local charity. Both ideas have just sat in my brain for too long and I was finally disgusted with myself to get them on my 2012 goal list so I could move them forward with action. Well, Wednesday I submitted my second proposal for the iPhone app. And Friday I am taking the charity President to lunch so I can pitch my idea. We’ll see how both those efforts pan out. I also have additional direction maps to act upon should the results not be optimal. What I am intent on is having forward progress on those items and focusing on “DO” rather than thinking, planning or knowing.

For me, 2012 will definitely be a year of action. Actually, it already is.

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

Not a fan…..

I am so very blessed to be spiritually shepherded by Kyle Idleman, minister at Southeast Christian Church. In fact, it was his Scripturally based preaching along with authentic worship that hooked my family to grow beyond our lukewarm church (that whole process is a blog post all it’s own — some day).

Anyway, Kyle created the Not A Fan series to separate the wheat from the chaff; the follower from the fan. It is a message that cuts deep and cuts sharp. It is not for the feint of heart. But it is the truth.

For a short period of time, you can watch the Not A Fan movie for free here — http://www.notafan.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=83 . It is an incredibly impactful hour and 10 minutes. On my Facebook page, I shared it with the comment that it was a spiritual gut punch — one that I really needed.

I highly encourage you to take the time, challenge yourself and grow your relationship with the Christ that bought your salvation with his death.

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

Make a change…..

I heard a very impactful quote on a podcast driving in to work today.

“You are only one or two key behaviors away from being able to transform your life.”

Now that you know that, what are you going to change for 2012?

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net