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Sunday, June 23, 2024
Chaplain's Corner : 2013 Archives

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Sticks and Stones

We have all heard the phrase about sticks and stones. As the phrase ends it declares that words will never hurt me. As adults we know how that is not always true. There are times when words are spoken with the desire to hurt. My challenge during this season now that the big shopping day is past is for us to use a different set of words.

There are many words that are in our vocabulary designed to uplift and encourage. Just the mention of some of these words can produce a smile. Some examples of encouraging words I thought of are: friend, kindness, joy, forgive, hope, love, peace and one of my favorite, grace. How many can you add to this list?

As Another Day Begins

For me it is easier to say thank you for something I am able to do for myself, than something I cannot do in my power or ability. An example might be a server refilling a drink, compared to a parent that gave you life. Maybe it is just me, but the quick thanks, is painless compared to a heartfelt thank you that requires thought and emotion. During this time of year thanks is always a theme. I challenge you to offer a thank you to someone that you could never repay.

In closing I know for many of you that even though the summer storms have ended, your life storms continue. I was reminded the other morning that the most beautiful sunrise always requires storm clouds. A cloud free morning is not able to reflect the beauty of sunlight. Life's storms add a beauty to your life that others will always notice.

Divide or Multiply?

It is a blessing to see how a business grows over the years. Each year new projects are conquered and new people have been added. For me it is exciting to watch the growth. If you think about it with each new employee there comes a new opportunity. We can meet them and move on, or reach out and get to know them. As we grow it is easy to divide ourselves by: department, location, job duties, and dozens of other ways to divide. Another option is to multiply the number of friends we have.

In many businesses one thing everyone seems to have in common is numbers. For some it is dollars, others address and phone numbers, or clients, or files stacked in our office. My challenge for each of you is to find someone new and get to know them.

It Is Time To . . . 

What do the following things have in common? People, work, driving, eating, sleeping, and possessions. The common factor is they all require an investment of time. A friend recently informed me that he had spent six hours cleaning the pool at his home. I asked if they were having a pool party as a result. His reply surprised me. He said “no, there has not been anyone in that pool in over four years.” This left me with a question. How do we know when our possessions start to control us?

Possessions are a good thing; I am not saying we need to sell everything we have. But when the things we own consume all of our time, it is time to simplify life. Twenty four hours per day is one thing we all have in common. Like money, time is a precious make sure to invest it wisely. 

I Am Blessed

When I am asked how I am doing, I often answer that ‘I am blessed’. Because that is considered an unusual response, people often respond to my reply with surprise. From the bottom of my heart I am truly blessed. Does that mean that life is perfect, and there are no problems, absolutely not?

We often carry items like watches, phones, jewelry, and cash that exceed the wealth that most people in the world will see in a lifetime.  We may have illness and pains, but we also have the resources to get them addressed. So as you look around at your possessions, and thank the Creator for each one. Then look again at all you have, and remember that what we take for granted, someone else is praying for.

Ink Remover Needed

According to one source in 2011 Americans spent 2.3 billion dollars having tattoos applied to their bodies. There was also 66 million spent attempting to have tattoos removed. From what I am told there is minor pain in having a tattoo applied. For others there are painful tattoos that no one can even see. As we go through life family, friends, and loved ones apply internal tattoos that can hurt from the time of application. These tattoos come from words and actions that never seem to be erased from our memory.

The pain can return even after that relationship is long past. The pain can return with a song on the radio, or smell of certain foods. When those hurts flare up, remember that the Creator of Heaven and earth loves you and wants you to find healing. I pray each of you has the best day possible.  

Time to Celebrate

Did you know that June is Turkey Lovers month? I would think that would be November, but who am I to decide these things. What things do you enjoy celebrating? There are holidays both traditional and unique, and we can pick and choose when and how to celebrate those occasions. This month I want to celebrate each and every employee.

You all work hard for the company, and I thank you for that. There is also a great deal of caring for each other. If one of you is going through difficult times, I have witnessed you reaching out. I thank you for that. When one of you leaves this earth for eternity, the whole team feels it, and pulls together. I thank you for that to. For me you are each a gift from God above and I thank Him for each of you.

Now That Is Fun!

How do you unwind and relax? For some people it is almost painful to sit and watch a movie without feeling guilty. They feel they should be doing something constructive. The act of spending precious time on something of enjoyment for them is almost a sin. Well just a reminder “He maketh me to lie down in green pastures.” If you do not find rest, I will get to visit you in a local hospital due to a stress related illness.

My challenge to you is, first find something you enjoy doing. Your second task is to unclutter your calendar. The third thing is now go and do it. 
Find, Unclutter, Now, FUN.

Are You Making Progress?

As the mom and dad entered their child’s room they saw their son lying on the floor. The obvious question was asked by his mother. “What happened”? “I fell out of bed”, the young boy replied. “Why did you fall out”, the father asked. “I guess I got to close to where I got in.” There is such a large amount of truth, in a simple reply. How often do we fail or walk away from something because we never left the point of commitment?

This can be true of a new job, or family problem, or many things in life. Until we get involved and in the middle of whatever it might be, it becomes easier to fall away. Even when we have been in the middle of something and it gets hard, do we head for the edge, as we prepare to run? I would ask the same about the faith portion of who you are. Are you still on the edge looking in? I have found there are many things in life that we must do for ourselves. No one can do them for us. So get on in the middle, it is safer and more comfortable than out on the edge.

Save the Biscuit

My grandmother was a lady that knew how to make good 'country' biscuits. My grandfather was a man that knew how to eat those biscuits. The funny thing was he never ate them as part of the meal. Grandpa always saved the biscuit for the end. Many of you know where I going. You see, Grandma also knew how to make great gravy. The biscuit was used to sop up the remains of the meal. This process is never done in a hurry, you must savor each bite.

Lives today are filled with stress, sorrow, and pain. If you want to find joy in today's rushed lifestyle you must look for it. One cause of a lot of my stress is that I have things on my 'to do' list that belong on God's list. They are things that I have no control over. So join me, and try to transfer some of your stress, sorrow, and pain to the Creator. Then you may have time to enjoy a biscuit with a friend.

Do You Recycle?

I was asked the other day by one of the young men at my church if I recycle. I proudly answered, yes. He then asked me how often I recycled. I replied that about once a month I take my recycles to the county station. A smile came to his face and he said you recycle all the time; you dispose of it once a month. I had been set up, and I knew it.

My question for you is do you worship the Creator of heaven and earth? If you do, how often are you able to worship. You see worship is a way of life. It is something we can do all of the time. A house of worship is not the only place you can have time with the Creator. My favorite time is just as the sun rises each day. Please, join me tomorrow morning.

The Belle of Louisville

The Belle of Louisville is a grand steamboat placed into service in 1914. To ride on her beautiful deck is like stepping back in time. I loved to stand and watch this massive paddle wheel push this boat up the Ohio River against the current. The only real job of the paddle wheel is to move the boat forward, it has no ability to steer the boat. The steering is done by a rudder at the rear of the boat.

For many of us our words are a lot like that old paddle wheel. We move along through a conversation without thinking about the power our words have. We have the forward motion with little use of rudder to control direction. This year I ask you to join me in guarding our words. I want to slow down and listen more than I talk. For me that will require prayer and possibly Divine intervention. 

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