We need more folks like her.….

I stumbled across this article and video and the boldness in speaking the truth impressed and impacted me. I think it has been lost on us that there is a great battle going on — for our countries, for our culture, for our families, for our children, and for our souls. It has become politically incorrect to speak out and to speak the truth. Which is why, in this scenario, it is all the more impressive.


Link to the article — http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/world/2014/February/German-Woman-Publicly-Rebuking-Islam-Goes-Viral-/

It has me thinking what can I do to be more like Heidi Mund in spreading the Gospel and speaking truth.

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

A great read.….

I recently read a great read on the current gay controversies that continue to pop up in our current culture. Whether it is gay marriage, Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson, or the Boy Scouts changing their stance of gays in their ranks, this issue is not going away. It also has several different intense facets and fanatics on both sides of the issue. So it is rare for a voice of reason to rise above the fray. I believe the message below does that in love and in truth.

I Love Homosexuals and I’m Frustrated – by David Servant

Link to online original post — click here for original post

As I’m writing this, the indefinite suspension of Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson by A&E over remarks he made that were offensive to homosexuals is making headlines. The incident has ignited a nationwide debate regarding homosexuality, and naturally, lots of people are taking sides and expressing their opinions.

With this article, I hope to make a small contribution to the understanding of folks on both sides of the issue, whom I will refer to, for simplicity’s sake, as homosexuals and their dissenters. (I realize, of course, that there is a variance of opinions on both sides, but I intend to stick with the fundamental differences.)

It is interesting (although often unrealized) that both sides are taking their positions on moral grounds. For that reason, both sides owe each other respect. I’m sorry to say that, in my observation, it appears that homosexuals seem more apt to take the higher ground in this regard. It is their dissenters who appear to me to be more apt to spew vitriolic remarks that only fuel the sense of hatred that homosexuals so often feel from their detractors.

It isn’t easy for homosexuals (or anyone, for that matter) to consider the moral arguments of people who demonstrate a moral inferiority in their conversation. For that reason, may I encourage dissenters to avoid being the person who points out the speck in the eyes of others while having a log sticking out of their own. Of course, there are plenty of homosexuals whose commentary is equally denigrating towards their dissenters, and they too, should ask themselves if they are speaking as they would want to be spoken to.
A&E’s Moral Decision

I’m afraid that many dissenters fail to understand that A&E’s decision to suspend an actor was a moral decision, and from their moral framework, they have only done what is right. The executives at A&E, like so many others, believe that homosexuality is biologically determined, not self determined. Thus to them it is a discrimination issue. Saying that homosexuality is morally wrong is to them like saying that being born with red hair is morally wrong.

Dissenters, how would you feel if people spoke of you in denigrating terms because of your hair color? Put yourself in the shoes of homosexuals who believe—right or wrong—that their inclination towards homosexuality is just as inherent as your inclination towards heterosexuality. How would you feel for being denigrated for your heterosexual inclination? (Incidentally, I can’t say that I’ve ever heard any homosexuals denigrate people for their heterosexuality.)

I’m saying this in hopes of helping dissenters gain a little more respect and compassion for homosexuals. Make no mistake about it…they feel like a discriminated minority in a sea of ignorant people, people who don’t even want to try to understand them.

Along these same lines, dissenters should discard common stereotypes about homosexuals. They are not heterosexual people who, in the midst of their already-deviant and vile lives, one day decided to engage in a homosexual relationship. More likely, they found themselves at some point in their lives possessing some attraction to members of the same sex, an attraction that they initially resisted but gradually succumbed to. They sincerely believe that they can’t change their homosexual tendency. And they are offended when people put them in the same category as those who desire to have sex with children or animals, as those things are morally repulsive to them. Similarly, many are offended when they are stereotyped as being recklessly promiscuous, pointing out that homosexual marriages demonstrate a desire for loving and committed relationships.

If you personally know any homosexuals, you know that they are more often than not kind, caring, intelligent, sincere, hard-working people. If you have been engaged in the culture of Christendom for any length of time, you may have even found yourself wondering why homosexuals at times appear to be more Christian than some professing Christians.

I would ask forgiveness, on behalf of all dissenters, from the homosexual community for how we’ve mistreated them, but I know that acting as a proxy in such cases is essentially meaningless. Offenders need to personally seek forgiveness from those they’ve offended. So please allow me to at this point to ask forgiveness for my own past offenses committed against homosexuals in this regard. I am truly sorry.
Questions From Which We Can’t Escape

Now, let me address those on the homosexual side in hopes of helping them understand those of us who so often sadly act like their enemies.

We are not convinced that your homosexuality is purely genetic. This is not to say that we question your sincere belief that your homosexuality is something that is your natural tendency. It is just to say that we wonder if there wasn’t some environmental contribution to the cause of your homosexuality. That being said, if there was some environmental contribution, and if that environmental contribution was beyond your control, we sympathize with you completely. Had we found ourselves in the same inescapable environment as you, we might also be homosexual. We also acknowledge that whether the cause was genetic, an inescapable environment, or a combination of both, it makes no difference to you, as those factors don’t change the fact that you have found yourself possessing homosexual attraction.

That being said, we are asking for your honesty. We ask that you don’t say that “science has proven that there is a gay gene” or, “scientific data shows that homosexuality is biological” when those “facts” simply are not true. And we also ask that you give us better answers to the questions we have about the genetic claims of some homosexuals.

For example, if homosexuality is genetic, why hasn’t it died out over the thousands of years of human history? How do homosexuals manage to pass on their gene pool to successive generations?

Why have homosexual populations increased and decreased in various geographical regions and at various times in history?

Why are there so many cases of identical twins (who carry identical chromosomes) in which one is homosexual and the other is not?

Why do some, who apparently possess a homosexual orientation, later possess a heterosexual orientation (such as Michael Glatze, the founding editor of Young Gay America magazine, and former lesbian activist Charlene Cothran, longtime publisher of Venus magazine, and singer-songwriter Dennis Jernigan)?

Why do certain familial, cultural, geographical and educational factors tend to result in higher incidences of homosexuality?

All of these questions make us wonder if genetics is really the reason for homosexuality. Might it also be, at least in part, environmental? (And again, regarding inescapable environments, it is acknowledged that they, like genetics, are beyond the control of the individual.)

But this leads to a larger question on our part. We also wonder if at least part of the reason for your homosexuality is your own choice, because many of us think we can actually identify with you to some degree. For example, most heterosexual men find that marriage doesn’t put a stop to their being sexually attracted to other women, an attraction that they know they must suppress as an act of love towards their wives, and if their religion deems adultery to be a sin, an attraction they must suppress as an act of love towards their God.

That is, we possess what we consider to be immoral sexual tendencies, but we resist them, and we don’t use our natural tendency to desire sex with multiple women as an excuse for having sex with multiple women. In fact, even if we yield to the temptation to have sex with someone to whom we are not married, or yield to lesser forms of the same sin, namely, pornography, we know it is wrong, and we normally don’t try to justify it on the basis of our natural tendency.

Thus, we question those who defend the moral legitimacy of homosexuality purely on the basis that one finds himself or herself possessing homosexual tendencies. We can all say, “I was born this way,” and by that, attempt to justify many things that are universally held to be morally wrong. Murderers could say, “I’ve found that I was born with a natural inclination to hate my enemies, and so who can blame me for killing them?” Pedophiles could say, “I find myself sexually attracted to children, so what right does anyone have to condemn me for molesting them?” Homophobes could say, “As far back as I remember, I’ve hated homosexuals. I must be genetically disposed to that trait, and so I’m not personally responsible.” Who would accept such justifications? No one.

We also question if personal choice has something to do with certain environments that are conducive to homosexuality. Again, if one is raised in an abusive home that is conducive to homosexuality, that is one thing. But if one decides to attend a college where homosexuality is promoted as acceptable or desirable, that is another thing. The fact is, homosexuality is more prominent among those who are more educated. (Women with college educations are eight times more likely than women with a high school education to identify themselves as lesbians.) Could that point to an environmental factor? It is undeniable that we are influenced by those to whom we give our ears.

All of this is to say, dissenters question the foundation of the moral argument of homosexuals and their advocates. Certainly, if homosexuality is genetic, like red hair, then they are absolutely correct in condemning those who find moral fault with homosexuals. However, if homosexuality is not purely genetic, and personal choice plays a part, then the foundation of the homosexual moral argument crumbles.
The Larger Issue

Homosexuals also need to understand that many dissenters, like myself, hold the Bible to be the moral measuring rod of all human activity, and for good reason. In the Bible, the world’s all-time best seller, we find four accounts of the life and teachings of Jesus, a person who claimed to be God’s Son and whose miracles gave credence to His claim. How many historical individuals do you know of whom it is recorded that multitudes of people witnessed many miraculous acts performed through them, such as raising the dead, walking on water, opening the eyes of the blind and multiplying food? We don’t believe that those accounts are fables, but that they are accurate historical records written by authors who were His contemporaries, and who in some cases were firsthand eyewitnesses.

Jesus predicted His untimely death and resurrection, and then pulled it off, an amazing feat. His disciples saw Him many times after His resurrection, and they saw Him ascend to heaven. They believed He was, as He claimed, the One appointed by God to ultimately judge every person after their death. Jesus’ friends and associates would not have forfeited their lives on His behalf, as so many did, had they not actually believed He was the Son of God and not actually seen Him alive on numerous occasions after He was crucified. People don’t sacrifice their lives to defend a hoax.

Jesus is obviously not someone who should be ignored.

The same Bible that tells us everything we know about Jesus also contains God’s thoughts about homosexuality, which He condemns as being morally wrong. Our Bibles contain passages in which God Himself is purportedly speaking, and He says things such as:

You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination (Lev. 18:22).

If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death. Their bloodguiltiness is upon them (Lev. 20:13).

These verses are contained in passages that also condemn various forms of incest, adultery and bestiality. It is Bible verses like these that undergird our suspicion that homosexuality involves individual choice, just like incest, adultery and bestiality, otherwise God would be unjust to condemn it.

In the New Testament, our Bibles contain passages like these two found in 1 Timothy and Romans:

Realizing the fact that law is not made for a righteous man, but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers and immoral men and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching (1 Timothy 1:9-10, emphasis added).

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God, or give thanks; but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.

Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, that their bodies might be dishonored among them. For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.

And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; and, although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them (Romans 1:18-32, emphasis added, context included).

Those passages of Scripture, and others like them, seem to be clear regarding homosexuality. When homosexuals and their advocates argue that such passages can be interpreted differently, so as not to condemn homosexuality, we wonder how that is possible.

Not only do both the Old and New Testaments condemn homosexuality, so does the Koran. Since all three Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) claim communication from God, it would be a formidable task to persuade their believing adherents, which represent 55% of the world’s population, to embrace homosexuality as being morally acceptable in His sight. (I do realize that not all professing Jews, Christians and Muslims believe that homosexuality is morally wrong. But those who adhere to their religion’s scriptures certainly do.)

Homosexuals and their advocates need to understand that, if they are going to change the predominant view among Christians that homosexuality is morally wrong, they will have to go far beyond arguments about genetics and epigenetics. They must destroy our trust in the entire Bible and our faith in Jesus. They will need to prove to us that what the Bible says about homosexuality actually does not reflect God’s view, which is tantamount to destroying our faith. And that is a formidable task. In fact, it is an impossible task.

Because of that, my advice to homosexuals is to learn to live with us. We can relate to you in more ways than just the fact that we also find ourselves possessing sexual impulses that deviate from what God has said is acceptable. We also sometimes feel like a discriminated-against minority who cannot be tolerated by those who preach tolerance, and judged by those who tell us we should not judge.
I’m Frustrated…

Finally, those of us who are trying to be sincere followers of Jesus are frustrated. Because of unChristian actions of some who profess to be Christians, we feel that we are mischaracterized as bigots and homosexual haters. Yet many of us, like Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty fame, see ourselves as equal or greater sinners and true lovers of homosexuals. However, we are now former captives to our sin, because we’ve been set free supernaturally by a God who loves us. In his now-infamous interview with GQ magazine, Phil Robertson paraphrased a passage in the sixth chapter of 1 Corinthians that reflects those exact sentiments:

Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and in the Spirit of our God (1 Corinthians 6:9-11).

Those of us who were once fornicators, adulterers, thieves or drunkards hardly have a right to “throw the first stone” or claim moral superiority over homosexuals, since we, too, can find ourselves in Paul’s list. Here’s the only difference now: we believed, admitted our sin, bowed our knee to the One before whom we must all one day give an account, repented, and God delivered us. And that is good news we’d like everyone to know. We’re like people who’ve escaped through a secret passage from a hellish prison, but our family members are still inside. Imagine our frustration when we send them a message that identifies the escape route, but they reply, “You are bigots!”

Apparently, among the souls in the church in Corinth were people who formerly were homosexuals, but who no longer were when Paul wrote to them. And those of us who believe he wasn’t lying are subsequently filled with hope that there is no hopeless case. Some of us (like myself) personally know people who were formerly homosexual but who are now heterosexual, and are even married and parents of beautiful children. Nothing is impossible to our God of love and mercy.

While homosexuals and their advocates have no choice but to claim that homosexual orientation is irreversible (since it is allegedly genetic or in some way biological), we have what we think is a better, more loving message for them: You don’t have to be homosexual any longer. And the message gets better than that: You can also be set free from anything else that holds you captive. And the message gets even better: You can inherit God’s kingdom and eternal life.

We hope and pray that you will understand that we can’t think of a more loving thing to do than to try to communicate that good news to you, even if it means being misunderstood or sometimes hated. And so we can’t keep quiet. Speaking up is worth the risk, because you are worth it. And our God commands that we take that risk, following His example. He died for the people who mocked and spit upon Him, and we marvel at that, knowing that we were at one time among the mockers.

Genuine followers of Christ love you and care about you. And so does God. But we believe that His kingdom and eternal life await only those who turn from sin and bow their knee to Him in genuine, obedient faith. We don’t believe that just claiming to be a Christian, or simply “accepting Jesus as your personal Savior” without repenting of one’s sins results in any salvation or transformation. Jesus is the King of kings and Lord of lords. One day He will rule the world. The only way to be ready for that day is to start obeying Him.

So that is my best attempt to bring some better understanding between homosexuals and their dissenters. I welcome respectful feedback from both sides (but hate mail goes right into the trash where it belongs). Thanks for reading — David

Again, that is the best read I have read on this controversial subject. It completely covers the challenge of presenting something in love but also disclosing the hard truth. Great job, David!

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

Rules for manly men.….

I saw the snippet below during my cardio workout this morning. It was a news highlight of a new book by Darrin Patrick — “The Dude’s Guide to Manhood”, with a forward by Duck Dynasty men.

While I haven’t read it, he hits on some pretty good observations.

  • It’s not a personality thing, but more of a character thing.
  • A real man can be tough and tender.
  • Be a family man.
  • Be a coachable man.
  • Be a connected man. Have true friends. A friend should act like a good surgeon — he cuts, but he cuts to heal.
  • Be a fighting man — fight for character. Fight the right fight.

Video link here — http://video.foxnews.com/v/3005167149001/rules-for-manly-men/

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

CHRISTMAS at the Gas Station…..

Merry Christmas!

The old man sat in his gas station on a cold Christmas Eve. He hadn’t been anywhere in years since his wife had passed away. It was just another day to him. He didn’t hate Christmas, just couldn’t find a reason to celebrate. He was sitting there looking at the snow that had been falling for the last hour and wondering what it was all about when the door opened and a homeless stranger stepped through.
Instead of throwing the man out, Old George as he was known by his customers, told the man to come and sit by the heater and warm up. “Thank you, but I don’t mean to intrude,” said the stranger. “I see you’re busy, I’ll just go.”

“Not without something hot in your belly.” George said. He turned and opened a wide mouth Thermos and handed it to the stranger. “It ain’t much, but it’s hot and tasty. Stew … Made it myself. When you’re done, there’s coffee and it’s fresh.”

Just at that moment he heard the “ding” of the driveway bell. “Excuse me, be right back,” George said. There in the driveway was an old ’53 Chevy. Steam was rolling out of the front… The driver was panicked. “Mister can you help me!” said the driver, with a deep Spanish accent. “My wife is with child and my car is broken.” George opened the hood. It was bad. The block looked cracked from the cold, the car was dead.

“You ain’t going in this thing,” George said as he turned away. “But Mister, please help …” The door of the office closed behind George as he went inside. He went to the office wall and got the keys to his old truck, and went back outside. He walked around the building, opened the garage, started the truck and drove it around to where the couple was waiting. “Here, take my truck,” he said. “She ain’t the best thing you ever looked at, but she runs real good.”

George helped put the woman in the truck and watched as it sped off into the night. He turned and walked back inside the office. “Glad I gave’em the truck, their tires were shot too. That ‘ol truck has brand new.” George thought he was talking to the stranger, but the man had gone. The Thermos was on the desk, empty, with a used coffee cup beside it. “Well, at least he got something in his belly,” George thought.

George went back outside to see if the old Chevy would start. It cranked slowly, but it started. He pulled it into the garage where the truck had been. He thought he would tinker with it for something to do. Christmas Eve meant no customers. He discovered the block hadn’t cracked; it was just the bottom hose on the radiator. “Well, shoot, I can fix this,” he said to himself. So he put a new one on.

“Those tires ain’t gonna get ‘em through the winter either.” He took the snow treads off of his wife’s old Lincoln. They were like new and he wasn’t going to drive the car anyway.

As he was working, he heard shots being fired. He ran outside and beside a police car an officer lay on the cold ground. Bleeding from the left shoulder, the officer moaned, “Please help me.”

George helped the officer inside as he remembered the training he had received in the Army as a medic. He knew the wound needed attention. “Pressure to stop the bleeding,” he thought. The uniform company had been there that morning and had left clean shop towels. He used those and duct tape to bind the wound. “Hey, they say duct tape can fix anythin’,” he said, trying to make the policeman feel at ease.

“Something for pain,” George thought. All he had was the pills he used for his back. “These ought to work.” He put some water in a cup and gave the policeman the pills. “You hang in there, I’m going to get you an ambulance.”

The phone was dead. “Maybe I can get one of your buddies on that there talk box out in your car.” He went out only to find that a bullet had gone into the dashboard destroying the two way radio.

He went back in to find the policeman sitting up. “Thanks,” said the officer. “You could have left me there. The guy that shot me is still in the area.” George sat down beside him, “I would never leave an injured man in the Army and I ain’t gonna leave you.” George pulled back the bandage to check for bleeding. “Looks worse than what it is. Bullet passed right through ‘ya. Good thing it missed the important stuff though. I think with time you’re gonna be right as rain.”
George got up and poured a cup of coffee. “How do you take it?” he asked. “None for me,” said the officer.. “Oh, yer gonna drink this. Best in the city. Too bad I ain’t got no donuts.” The officer laughed and winced at the same time.

The front door of the office flew open. In burst a young man with a gun. “Give me all your cash! Do it now!” the young man yelled. His hand was shaking and George could tell that he had never done anything like this before. “That’s the guy that shot me!” exclaimed the officer.

“Son, why are you doing this?” asked George, “You need to put the cannon away. Somebody else might get hurt.” The young man was confused. “Shut up old man, or I’ll shoot you, too. Now give me the cash!” The cop was reaching for his gun. “Put that thing away,” George said to the cop, “we got one too many in here now.”

He turned his attention to the young man. “Son, it’s Christmas Eve. If you need money, well then, here. It ain’t much but it’s all I got. Now put that pea shooter away.” George pulled $150 out of his pocket and handed it to the young man, reaching for the barrel of the gun at the same time.

The young man released his grip on the gun, fell to his knees and began to cry. “I’m not very good at this am I? All I wanted was to buy something for my wife and son,” he went on. “I’ve lost my job, my rent is due, and my car got repossessed last week.” George handed the gun to the cop.

“Son, we all get in a bit of squeeze now and then. The road gets hard sometimes, but we make it through the best we can.” He got the young man to his feet, and sat him down on a chair across from the cop. “Sometimes we do stupid things.” George handed the young man a cup of coffee. “Bein’ stupid is one of the things that makes us human. Comin’ in here with a gun ain’t the answer. Now sit there and get warm and we’ll sort this thing out.”

The young man had stopped crying. He looked over to the cop. “Sorry I shot you. It just went off. I’m sorry officer.” “Shut up and drink your coffee” the cop said.
George could hear the sounds of sirens outside. A police car and an ambulance skidded to a halt. Two cops came through the door, guns drawn. “Chuck! You ok?” one of the cops asked the wounded officer.

“Not bad for a guy who took a bullet. How did you find me?” “GPS locator in the car. Best thing since sliced bread. Who did this?” the other cop asked as he approached the young man. Chuck answered him, “I don’t know. The guy ran off into the dark. Just dropped his gun and ran.”

George and the young man both looked puzzled at each other. “That guy work here?” the wounded cop continued. “Yep,” George said, “just hired him this morning. Boy lost his job.”

The paramedics came in and loaded Chuck onto the stretcher. The young man leaned over the wounded cop and whispered, “Why?” Chuck just said, “Merry Christmas boy … and you too, George, and thanks for everything.”

“Well, looks like you got one doozy of a break there. That ought to solve some of your problems.” George went into the back room and came out with a box. He pulled out a ring box. “Here you go, something for the little woman. I don’t think Martha would mind. She said it would come in handy some day.”

The young man looked inside to see the biggest diamond ring he ever saw. “I can’t take this,” said the young man. “It means something to you.” “And now it means something to you,” replied George. “I got my memories. That’s all I need.”

George reached into the box again. An airplane, a car and a truck appeared next. They were toys that the oil company had left for him to sell. “Here’s something for that little man of yours.” The young man began to cry again as he handed back the $150 that the old man had handed him earlier. “And what are you supposed to buy Christmas dinner with? You keep that too,” George said. “Now git home to your family.”

The young man turned with tears streaming down his face. “I’ll be here in the morning for work, if that job offer is still good.” “Nope. I’m closed Christmas day,” George said. See ya the day after.”

George turned around to find that the stranger had returned. “Where’d you come from? I thought you left?” “I have been here. I have always been here,” said the stranger. “You say you don’t celebrate Christmas. Why?”
“Well, after my wife passed away, I just couldn’t see what all the bother was. Puttin’ up a tree and all seemed a waste of a good pine tree. Bakin’ cookies like I used to with Martha just wasn’t the same by myself and besides I was gettin’ a little chubby.” The stranger put his hand on George’s shoulder. “But you do celebrate the holiday, George. You gave me food and drink and warmed me when I was cold and hungry. The woman with child will bear a son and he will become a great doctor. The policeman you helped will go on to save 19 people from being killed by terrorists. The young man who tried to rob you will make you a rich man and not take any for himself. “That is the spirit of the season and you keep it as good as any man.”

George was taken aback by all this stranger had said. “And how do you know all this?” asked the old man. “Trust me, George. I have the inside track on this sort of thing. And when your days are done you will be with Martha again.”
The stranger moved toward the door. “If you will excuse me, George, I have to go now. I have to go home where there is a big celebration planned.”

George watched as the old leather jacket and the torn pants that the stranger was wearing turned into a white robe. A golden light began to fill the room.
“You see, George … it’s My birthday. Merry Christmas.”

George fell to his knees and replied, “Happy Birthday, Lord Jesus.”

This story is better than any greeting card.

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND GOD BLESS!

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

A year summary.….

This weekend amongst the various activities – worship, gatherings, service, volunteering, shopping, and relaxing – I ran across this very cool one year summary of a creative guy’s life. He recorded a second every day for a year and mashed it all together. Actually, it is beautifully stitched together with music. But it is interesting in so many ways. And can be viewed from so many different perspectives. Some of the images are highlights, some are more mundane. You can see themes woven together. Some things change, some don’t. Some things like the weather progress no matter what. The cool thing is that we could all do this and none of us would end up with the same 6 minutes and 5 seconds.

Well done, Matt!

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

A day of thanks…..

In this day of Thanksgiving (my favorite holiday), it is very important for us to pause and look around at our blessings. If you are reading this, right out of the gate I can count several blessing for you without even knowing your specific situation — the fact you can read, you have some type of electronic device, have internet access, your heart is beating and you can breath, and you have some type of autonomy in the fact you can spend some of your discretionary time perusing the internet. So suffice it to say that you are enjoying many things you can be thankful for — and I am sure there are many more you could identify without breaking a sweat.

On Facebook throughout November, I posted a “thanks” a day as a part of the 30 days of gratitude. Below are all the posts and only begin to scratch the surface at all I am grateful for. I could easily do this for a whole year instead of just a month.

Thankful day #1: I am thankful the creator of the universe loves me enough to send his son Jesus. Thank you God!

Thankful day #2: thankful for our 2nd amendment rights that give us the tools to uphold all the other amendments (and in honor of the 6 new concealed carry applicants who passed the class that was hosted here at our place).

Thankful day #3: so blessed we live in a country where we can openly and freely worship Jesus! — at Southeast Christian Church.

Thankful day #4: I am thankful for a good job with a good company that allows me to provide for my family. Prov 14:23

Thankful day #5: although I should have posted this Friday (Nov 1) on our anniversary, I will do so today. I am so thankful that God blessed me with the gift of a Proverbs 31 woman — one who loves and serves her family, who nurtures, who wipes the snotty noses and cooks the meals that nourish us, who shuttles here and there, who teaches, who clothes and quilts, and who prays and worships.

Thankful day #6: I thank God that I got a “two-fer”, a buy one-get one free in my marriage to my wife. With that wonderful union and commitment, I received a wonderful gift from God in the form of a beautiful little 4 year old girl. That little girl who I adopted stole my heart and has blossomed into a smart, talented woman of Jesus — beautiful on the inside and outside. R – I love you!

Thankful day #7: so thankful for my first born K! I saw the crown of your head before you were born and I did not leave your side for 8 hours (sorry wifey). You are my punkin and have had my heart ever since. You are such a talented, sweet, beautiful, and observant daughter of God. May He lead you to your niche in this world. I love you!

Thankful day #8: I thank God for my namesake and my only son. D, you are so special and I want the world for you. I know and pray you will grow into the gentle warrior God is calling you to be. I love you!

Thankful day #9: I am thankful for the places God has taken me to live — Texas, California, and Kentucky. Each one unique and the exact place I needed to be at that time.

Thankful day #10: I am thankful for a safe, happy, and encouraging childhood being raised by loving parents who are still together to this day.

Thankful day #11: Thankful for our veterans and military who serve and sacrifice to keep us safe from evil in the world, protect our freedoms, and guard the Constitution.

Thankful day #12: I am thankful for my physical health. While I am not 20 years old anymore, occasionally experience old injury pain, and could stand to lose a few pounds, I am disease free and healthy. I thank God for continued breaths and heartbeats.

Thankful day #13: I am so thankful for my parents. My Mom and Dad sacrificed to raise me and my sister (and many others transitioning though — exchange students, relatives, friends, etc). They instilled faith, values, morals, work ethic, and many other benefits into us that have paid dividends in our adult lives. They raised God-fearing, tax-paying, community-serving, disciple-making kids that this country needs more of. It is my plan to pass this on to my kids and do the same. Thanks Mom and Dad for all you did as parents. I love you!

Thankful day #14: I am thankful for “anchor points” in my life. These people are more than a mentor. They are important people who have poured into me, who spend time with me, who I can learn from, who love me for who I am yet push me to be more, and who provide perspective on all the important things in life (spiritual, relational, physical, emotional, financial). An anchor point is a more intimate relationship than a mere mentor – they are someone who “anchors” you…..and you can have multiple ones you can knit together to create your personal safety net.

Thankful day #15: I am thankful for prayer; that we can communicate with our Creator directly. That we can lift up our pains, reveal the secrets of our hearts, confess our sins, cry out in despair, and seek out God’s guidance. Christ tore the curtain and bridged the gap and he intercedes for us (Hebrews 4:13-15 and 6:19-20). Jesus, thank you for hearing my feeble prayers. I am weak but You are strong.

Thankful day #16: I am thankful for the nature that God has surrounded me with out here in the country. And to hunt on my own land is a special treat. Not only because of the food provided, but the journey — that included a beautiful owl that landed on the tree next to us, multiple geese squadrons flying by so close you could hear the air off their wings, a hawk setting off a cacophony of squirrel alerts, and coyote yips in the distance. God made it all and you must be out in it to truly enjoy it.

Thankful day #17: I am thankful for storms in life, physical and otherwise. They bring rain, the winds blow and test us, and they let us know there is something bigger than us. For the believer, storms also force us to trust in our Creator and stake our claim on the solid rock of Christ. Prayers for all of those affected today by violent weather storms in the midwest.

Thankful day #18: I am thankful for the 2nd Amendment. If you like or enjoy any of the other amendments or any of the Constitution for that matter, you cannot dismiss the 2nd Amendment which backs it all up. None if it means anything if it can be easily taken away — and the 2nd Amendment prevents that.

Thankful day #19: I am thankful for friends who are in my life now, as well as those from the past (and those in the future). If you are reading this on Facebook, YOU are one of those. Our lives might have intersected for a very short time or you might know my entire life story — either way God meant it to be for a reason. Thanks for who you are!

Thankful day #20: I am thankful for forgiveness, reconciliation, and second (and third and fourth…..) chances.

Thankful day #21: I am thankful for God’s handiwork that He so frequently shares with us in the form of sunrises, sunsets, rainbows, and other spectacular forms of creation. This picture is from this morning.

Thankful day #23: I am thankful no one noticed I missed day #22.

Thankful day #24: I am thankful for the skills, talents, and gifts God gave me…..and the parents, teachers, and mentors who taught me to leverage those skills for the better of my family and others around me.

Thankful day #25: I am thankful for my brothers and sisters in Christ. I place my hope and trust in the salvation of Jesus and knowing I have dear friends who have done the same is such a valuable resource in keeping me an encouraged, inspired, and accountable disciple.

Thankful day #26: I am thankful for the many blessings of enjoyment that God gives us (that He didn’t have to). Such wonderful things as a sunrise/sunset, a butterfly fluttering, powerful volcanoes, the sweet taste of strawberries, perfumed flowers, soft kitten fur, birdsongs, human hugs. There are SO many more that I can’t list them all. List your favorite blessings from God in the comment

Thankful day #27: I am thankful for memories that, as I get older, I can replay like a mental VCR. God’s blessings go back quite a ways. ;)

Thankful day #28: On my favorite holiday, I am so thankful for faith, family, friends, food, and football. Happy thanksgiving!!!

Thankful day #29: (added retro) I am thankful for holiday family traditions and that I can serve my wife to make this her favorite season (as a thank you for her serving me on Thanksgiving to make that my favorite day).

Thankful day #30: (added retro) I am thankful, again, for salvation and eternal life through Christ Jesus who God gave as a sacrifice for my sins because of His great love for me. He loves you the same and wants to have a personal relationship with you. Not a seat in a church, not a Sunday check-the-box, but a real, true, fulfilling relationship that will carry you home through anything to heaven.

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

“Peanuts” Lesson…..

I don’t know how true the statements below are but they supposedly summarize the philosophy of Charles Schultz, the creator of Charlie Brown and Snoopy. Truth aside, it is the lesson that resonates and should spur us to action.

The following is the philosophy of Charles Schulz, the creator of the ‘Peanuts’ comic strip.

You don’t have to actually answer the questions. Just ponder on them. Just read the e-mail straight through, and you’ll get the point.

  1. Name the five wealthiest people in the world.
  2. Name the last five Heisman trophy winners.
  3. Name the last five winners of the Miss America pageant.
  4. Name ten people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer Prize.
  5. Name the last half dozen Academy Award winners for best actor and actress.
  6. Name the last decade’s World Series winners.

How did you do?

The point is, none of us remember the headliners of yesterday.

These are no second-rate achievers.

They are the best in their fields.

But the applause dies.

Awards tarnish.

Achievements are forgotten.

Accolades and certificates are buried with their owners.

Here’s another quiz. See how you do on this one:

  1. List a few teachers who aided your journey through school.
  2. Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time.
  3. Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.
  4. Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated and special.
  5. Think of five people you enjoy spending time with.

Easier?

The lesson:

The people who make a difference in
your life are not the ones with the
most credentials, the
most money…or the most awards.

They simply are the ones who care the most.

Now get out there and make a difference. All you need to do is care.

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

Gettysburg Address anniversary…..

150 years ago on this day President Abraham Lincoln gave one of the most well known speeches. While most of us cannot quote the entire speech, Lincoln’s “Four score and seven years ago” resonate as much as other famous speeches such as Reagan’s “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall”, JFK’s “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country”, and Martin Luther King Jr’s “I have a dream”. Abe’s speech was truly a verbal piece of art. I implore you to re-read it below and let the words sink in knowing the huge impact these words had on the course of our American history.

It really is too bad that most in our government today ignore many of the virtues, beliefs, and foundations set forth by such great men as Lincoln and our forefathers.

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that this nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

That last line is chilling because I believe it does not exist any more.

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

This SEA-TAC Delta guy rocks…..

My week of work on the west coast has concluded. It was a great opportunity to be with my boss, my team and also take a side trip to visit my family. I was so happy I could bring K and drop her off with my sister so the cousins could hang out. Ultimately, I wish I could have just stayed as well, but someone has to be responsible and pay the bills.

In the photo above, I almost wished I was on that Hawaiian Airlines planes headed to an island, however, I sure miss my wife and other kids so that will have to wait for another day. The Olympic mountains sure looked pretty in the distance and after we took off we had a spectacular view of Mount Rainier peaking (and peeking) above the clouds. In the distance, we could also see Mt. St. Helens and another volcanic mountain a bit closer.

As the plane was pushed back from the terminal and began to taxi, there was one maintenance worker who happily and eagerly waved goodbye to the plane. His enthusiasm was wonderful to watch and he was an obvious standout to the rest of the folks down there who were mundanely going through the paces of a regular Saturday morning flight departure. Not wanting his energy to go to waste, I leaned across K who had the window seat and waved back to him. He smiled as we went by and pointedly waived to me. It was so cool to see someone go about their daily work with energy, enthusiasm, and joy in addition to wanting to spread happiness around. So this is a shoutout to that SEA-TAC Delta ground crew member who excels at his daily job. Dude, you ROCK and your extra mile effort is noticed and appreciated.

Imagine if everyone you came in contact with was joyful, energetic and enthusiastic. How different and joyful would your day be? Now go even further and imagine if YOU were one of those people. That SEA-TAC Delta guy sure inspired me to do that.

Go do it!

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net