Wednesday, December 26, 2007

"Estimate Me"

Last night I was up late watching a re-run of "The Office". Like so many shows, I think I have gotten hooked on this funny show by watching the re-runs. Anyway, in this episode last night Michael (Steve Carell) is having a conversation with his boss, Jan. She is complimenting him on a job well done, and says: "Michael, I may have underestimated you." Michael then replies: "Well next time............estimate me". :)

Have you ever felt that way? My guess is that we ALL have. Not a great feeling, huh? But instead of going there, having a pity party as to how we aren't appreciated enough, think about the times YOU were the one who underestimated someone. The times you were pessimistic when you should have been optimistic about somebody. Think back on the people who DID believe in you, and what a difference they made in your life. You have that same opportunity, probably daily. You can impact someone, maybe for a lifetime, by "estimating" them.........showing them you have confidence in them. I think this is crucial in parenting. Don't you?

Thanks crazy Steve for making me laugh..........and making me think.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Holiday Lights

For those of you in town, I hope you have had a chance to come by the campus and see the wonderful Christmas lights! For those who are not far away, I hope you can come see it. Our campus is beautiful year around, but Christmas time is special around here. The Heritage lobby has decorated trees and a LOT of ornaments and greenery.
The front lawn has festive lights hanging from almost every tree. It is absolutely gorgeous. I sure appreciate everybody who makes this possible, from the administration to the maintenance crews. Thank you SO much for making our campus so lovely!

As far as my favorite Christmas song, I think I am going to have to go with "O Holy Night". But, I love them all.

I hope everyone has a great Christmas and Holiday season. We are ALL so blessed, aren't we? Blessed in every way........but especially spiritually. "God with us" became a reality a little over 2,000 years ago. The world has never been the same since that Holy night.

As the song asks, "How Great is our God?"

Merry Christmas to you and your families!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Christmas Music

There are a lot of things about this time of the year that I love, and one of the things I love MOST is Christmas music. No, I don't really like hearing it the day after Halloween.......but from Thanksgiving to Christmas, I can't get enough of it.
When we were living in Africa, it was really hard being away from family during the Holidays, and the Christmas songs made that absence of loved ones much easier to handle. We knew our family members across the waves were listening to the same songs! The first place I heard Christmas songs this year was in a shopping center in Nairobi. That's something I will never forget, and it sped up my longing to get home for the Holidays.

But I do have a question, and the people who could probably answer this question don't waste their time reading this blog. If God views music that worships Him or His son with instruments as sinful, why is it ok for us to listen to and sing songs accompanied by musical instruments that are about the birth of Christ? Aren't many of the songs we sing this time of year "worship" songs? I sure think so. What kind of hoops do you have to jump thru to explain that? I may be missing something, and please point it out to me if I am.

So, what is your favorite Christmas song? I'll tell you mine later.
Meantime, play those Christmas CD's!!!!!!

Friday, December 07, 2007

Shane Claiborne in Searcy

Yep, that's right! Little ole Searcy, Arkansas. He is speaking at the Riverview High School gym tomorrow evening around 7:00, and then again Sunday morning at "The Underground" at around 9:00. Kudos to Dirk Smith and Phil McKinney for making this happen.

Some may wonder why he's not speaking on campus, or any of the local churches. Shane is perceived by some as being a radical.

He is. As I recall, THE ONE Shane follows was perceived that way also.

Is there any other kind of discipleship?

Monday, December 03, 2007

Kenya and Tanzania

I am still processing my 18 day trip to East Africa, and I probably will be for several weeks or months. First off, let me say it was a blessing.......a HUGE blessing, in lots of ways. You can't spend that much time with Monte Cox, Steve Smith, the Rackleys, Janice Bingham, and those wonderful Harding students and NOT be blessed! The students blew me away, with their loving spirits and willingness to do anything that needed to be done without complaining. They impacted the lives of EVERYBODY they came into contact with, I promise you that. Harding could not have been represented any better by any one person or group. Those kids will always be my family, and I love each and every one of them.

Two things jump out as I reflect on the trip: A) The unbelievable BEAUTY of East Africa, both the landscapes and animals. Both are breath-taking, and I hope to post some pictures that Steve took on some later posts. He only took 500 pics! :) The wildlife is every thing you have ever seen or heard, and I wish we would have had more time to take it all in. The Serengeti and Nogorongoro Crater are the two places in Tanzania where we saw all the animals. I guess the most incredible thing we witnessed was a baboon chasing a leopard. You'd think it would be the other way around, but we sat there and watched the whole event unfold. This was no baby leopard either. The tea plantations amongst the rolling green hills of Kenya are something you don't hear enough about. Marrianne school is located right in the middle of this area. We only saw the Rift Valley at night with the full moon shining down on it, so I want to see it in the day-light some time. Again, East Africa is beautiful.........from the people, to the animals, to the landscape.

B) The POVERTY. Until you go to a third world country (especially in Africa), you don't realize how rich we are, and how poor most of the world is. It's very humbling. This is the part that is going to have me laying awake at night looking at the ceiling. The poorest people in our neighborhoods in America would be rich in Africa. Running water and electricity are a LUXURY that VERY few people in Kenya or Tanzania have. And even if you do have running water, it's contaminated. So, the everyday things you and I take for granted, East Africans can only dream about. Remember that when you turn on your light switch tonight, or take a hot shower or bath. Both are a luxury. I haven't even touched on malaria, education, transportation, or many other aspects of the rampant poverty. It's very depressing to discuss it for any length of time. But I think you get the picture. Life is hard in third world countries.....extremely hard. Be thankful each day for the blessings we have.

I will close by saying that even with all the poverty, most of the people I met were happy and positive! Of course, most of the people I met were Christians. They know that this life is NOT what it's all about, and we could learn a thing or two from them in that regard. They for sure are not tempted to lay up treasures on Earth! They were a blessing to me, and I hated leaving them when it came time to leave. They love their brothers and sisters here in the States, and pray for you daily. Do you have a prayer for them?