Archive | June, 2012

Move It!

On this day in 1974 the world of comedy lost one of its special friends. Frank Sutton died of a heart attack. He did not grow up wanting to be a comic. But if you were alive during the 1960’s watching “The Gomer Pyle Show”, you could not help but chuckle every time that his by-the-book character, Marine Sgt. Vince Carter, got into a “discussion” with goofy and simple-minded Gomer.

Frank truly fit his part! An interesting twist of his life is that he served with the Army in World War II. He tried to join the Marines but could not pass the physical. I guess you can say that he got back at the Jarheads years later.

As much as Sgt. Carter wanted to change Gomer into an outstanding Marine, he could not. It was not for lack of trying! When you are faced with the “characters” in your life that need to get in step with you, try seeing it from a humorous point of view – God’s. He probably has been thinking about trying to change you more than you know!

#1 Really??

Sometimes being first in something is not really all it is cracked up to be! You may get the recognition but that may be about it. That was the case in 1951 on this day. CBS-TV carried a four hour long commercial program that was seen in color for the first time. It was broadcast in New York City, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Boston.

The only problem with it was that the public did not have any color televisions yet. Even CBS only had three dozen sets themselves. But it was a first just the same! Thank goodness that there are a few more color sets around these days.

When you hear of someone doing so good and being first, pay closer to attention to how they arrived there. It may not be worth getting excited or stirred up about. This may remind you there are times that “the first shall be last and the last shall be first.” Try to refocus your vision and get you in tune with what God wants from you. Being #1 is not always the best place to be in the Kingdom.

Power over your fears!

Fear makes us do strange things. Many times we react without thinking things through. Even nations do that. For example, look at what happen to the Russians when they began the Berlin Blockade today back in 1948. Someone said that this was one of the first modern tools to use mass starvation for political coercion. Stalin was fearful that if there was a strong Germany it would conquer the Motherland after two failed attempts. However, he overlooked the creative minds of the West in Britain and the United States.

Within a week “Operation Vittles” was making airlifts of food and coal to the millions of Berliners living in the western corridor. It didn’t take long for Russia to realize that they made a world-wide political blunder. Their actions galvanized the West, not only Germany, to be weary of what Moscow was doing.

Be careful where you put your invisible blockades toward others based on your fears. They don’t do you any good in the short or long-term. Maybe we need to revisit the words Paul shared with Timothy about fear – “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love, and of self-discipline. (II Timothy 1:7 NIV)

Up for any airlifts today? People are counting on you to bring the Bread of Life and Living Water to them!

God’s Recycling Program

America really took a big step in recycling on this day back in 1983! The Space Shuttle retrieved for the first time a satellite in space. It was not just your typical trip out to the curb with the recycle bin! I wonder if they had the logo of the green recycle arrows on the side of the spaceship during the mission!

For years the United States sent satellites up in space without too much forethought that the crafts might be growing old and outdated or taking up too much space. Outer space was quickly becoming the new high-tech trash dump. Send it up and never have to worry about it again. However, the country did and is still doing it.

In a different sort of way be thankful to God that when we pray our confessions of sin to Him, he doesn’t hurdle them somewhere to one day later to retrieve and use them against us. You and I are so blessed that he places our sins as far away as the East is from the West. No recycling needed. Thank goodness!

Five and Dime Yourself in a New Location

He had a bright new idea over a hundred years ago. Instead of having merchandise behind the counter for the customer to see, why not have it displayed in the open with a price tag on it. You eliminate the haggling and label the item at a discount price. Today that is common place, but back in the 1870’s it was a strange concept. But this idea almost didn’t take off.

F. W. Woolworth, the famous five and dime magnet of discount stores, opened his first store in New York this day in 1879. Within in a year, he had to close it down. He did not give up. Feeling that the idea was good just the location for the store was not, he tried again two years later in Pennsylvania. And as they say the rest is history!

Jesus told his disciples a similar concept. If the message is not received, dust yourself off and go to the next village and share the Good News. If things are not working for you today, don’t be sad. All it may take is a new location – a fresh start. What you may have is good. It just needs to be seen in a new way on a new day. Keep going!

Develop a Good Game Plan Today

Soccer has been the attention lately in most of world. But Americans still love their version of football. One of the best football coaches that ever lived began his life today in 1913. It is none other than the great Vince Lombardi. You can’t say the Green Bay Packers without mentioning him.

He not only won games in his life, but he also influenced young men for ages to come. Some of his quotes are below.
“Coaches who can outline plays on a black board are a dime a dozen. The ones who win get inside their player and motivate”
“People who work together will win, whether it be against complex football defenses, or the problems of modern society.”

Maybe he got some good advice from another well known coach of Nazareth. He seemed to be more concerned about what was inside the person than what they knew on the outside. Christ also knew that His kingdom rested on not just him. He spent time with people especially his disciples. Maybe today would be a good time to channel your energy in looking inside a person and getting them to win together with you. That’s a good game plan for success!

Don’t Let Your Dominos Get You Down

It took hours upon hours to get the job done and in a matter of minutes it was gone. That may have been what was going on in Michael Cairney’s mind in 1979 on this day as he broke the record in toppling a row of 169,713 dominoes. This task took skill, stamina and a great deal of patience.

The amazing thing about people like Michael is that many of them get right back to putting more rows of dominoes together for the next time. They don’t settle for the record. They just seem to keep on going. They have an inner desire to be good at something and then strive for more.

Church leaders are like that. However, there are times we tend to rest after the record “whatever” – attendance, budget, building, etc. is reached. If you find yourself today in those doldrums like Elijah was after the showdown at Mount Carmel with the Baal gods, remember that there are still other goals to be had. You may not get there today. But you won’t ever make it if you don’t get back up and start!

What to do with a Doodler!

Where would the world be today without Mickey Mouse and all his friends? There would be a whole lot less smiles going around! And it was all because of a man named Walt Disney.

Today in 1917 he graduated from high school in Benton, Missouri. Even before this special date in his life, Walt was busy doodling in art anywhere and anytime. I bet there were teachers in school who pulled their hair out many days to see him drawing something instead of doing school work. Yet aren’t we grateful that these leaders in education did not stifle his creativity and genus.

You may be at your wits end with a church member. Remember that the Lord can still use them somewhere not in Walt’s kingdom but in His Kingdom’s work. Lead them to discover their potential. Your church and even the world may one day be appreciative for what you did with your “spiritual” brush strokes!

Common Ground Makes Good Music

They say that music crosses over many boundaries. The tunes may be the same but the words may change from one language or culture to the other venues. Somehow the magic of music draws us together like nothing else.

This was evident on this day back in 1969. Two music rebels came together to perform a special on the Grand Ole Opry Show in Nashville, Tennessee. The first musician was none other than Johnny Cash. His life and country music was anything but normal at that time. Bob Dylan of folk, rock, and other genres of music was accompanying Cash that night. What an odd couple. But I bet they gave a performance that was unique and appreciated by the audience.

Today find some common ground with other people around you. They may not think like you or look like you. Thank goodness the Lord has made us all unique. Find a way to make beautiful music together in word or deed of some kind.

Step Up to the Plate and SWING!

America’s pastime of baseball is in the air. Some of you have already attended a major or minor league game. The smell of hot dogs, popcorn and peanuts is a sure sign you are at the ballpark. The nation has taken to this game for over 125 years. There is just something about watching this game on a summer day.

Back in 1888 on this day the San Francisco Examiner joined in the fun by publishing the now famous poem, Casey at the Bat. At first it didn’t get any real publicity. But it didn’t take long! Today we may not remember the whole poem, but we do know that there is no joy in Mudville because Might Casey has struck out!

When you are called on today to “step up to the plate” and do your work, don’t be like Casey. He let two perfect pitches go by before he swung at the ball. That shortened his chances to do anything by the time the third ball was hurled by him.
Don’t let opportunities whiz by you. Chances are they won’t be coming back. Make the most of what comes your way.