Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Claim to Fame

Three years ago when I was going through a week of Chaplaincy training, the gal sitting next to me revealed she was Derrick Rose's 5th grade teacher. Yes, "the Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls", who in 4 seasons has won:Rookie of the Year honors, League MVP honors, and has led the Bulls to the playoffs each of those 4 seasons so far. This was the teacher's claim to fame. I imagine it is every teacher's desire to see their students succeed in life and maybe become something prominent in society.

While I was vacationing in Southern California last month, I found it ironic that:

On one day Hollywood was giving out Academy Awards to movie stars for making movies.

And the next day in San Diego, 4 Naval ships that were deployed for 7 months out to sea were coming home. The scene was awe inspiring as wives,girlfriends,children, parents, and other family members waited ashore for their loved one's to arrive. If only there was an award given out to these brave men and women who serve our country.

While actors and actresses are getting rewarded for excelling at their job of making films, shouldn't soldiers,policemen,firemen and teachers receive the same accolades, if not more?

I guess everyone can and will have some claim to fame in their lifetime. And it doesn't necessarily have to make headline news.

Actors can boast about winning awards,teachers can boast about previous students who've succeeded but even the ordinary every day common person can have some worthy claim to fame.

Just off the top of my head I can claim: one of my photo's (pictured above) made it in a book of photography and one of my blog posts was read at a Memorial Service, without my knowledge of it. Boy, was I surprised!!

A son was to read a eulogy about his father and earlier in the day someone had passed along one of my blog posts that I wrote about his father. I never met the son and never got the chance to after the service, but I felt honored and came away extremely humbled.

The only claim to fame I am really seeking and one that you should do as well, is making it to heaven and hearing our Heavenly Father say,

"Well done, good and faithful servant!"

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

I Like This!

A few weeks ago a Clermont County,Ohio man found a business card from a man living in the tornado ravaged town of Henryville, Indiana.

On the devastating day where many tornadoes touched down throughout several states, this gentleman was watching the weather channel to monitor the action. He heard a meteorologist speak about a letter from someone living in Henryville and the letter being found an hour away in the town of Loveland.

Later in the day, the man decided to go for a walk near the creek behind his home, where he would then find an insurance card from a gentleman living in Henryville, Indiana. Upon hearing the news earlier in the day of the tornado demolishing the entire town of Henryville, he decided to call the number on the business card.

He asked the man if he was okay. The man replied,"My family and I are okay. But we lost everything!"

The Clermont County, Ohio man decided to react to the news in a positive way. He set up a Face Book page for donations for the family and got his church involved as well.
His response to his request for donations was overwhelming as donations flooded in from places as far away as Washington.

No matter what you are going through, God has your back, as long as you remain faithful to Him.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Hollywood Blvd.

What do Judge Judy, Godzilla, Britney Spears, and Charlie Sheen all have in common?

They each have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. And I am not talking about some obscure spot in an unpopulated area of the walkway,such as near a tattoo parlor, but right in the the most populated area of the famous Kodak Theater. Judge Judy,really? As if Hollywood couldn't stoop any lower than it already has with the likes of Charlie Sheen and Spears.

Hollywood has changed so much over the years: from the films it puts out (a lack in creativity as they insist on doing remakes),to the whole Hollywood scene and the actors and actresses choices of lifestyle.

I, for one, continue to watch old movies, and anyone who has NetFlix can attest to how many great classics there have been made over the years.

Have you ever found yourself getting all pumped and built up by advertisement on a certain adventure,movie, or product, and then come away disappointed? That's what happened to me when I saw Hollywood Blvd. and the Walk of Fame for the first time. At least now I can say I saw it; but to be honest with you, I was thoroughly disappointed.

Viewing the stars on the Walk of Fame was pretty cool, but the granite tiles surrounding them were all broken up and badly in need of repair. Possibly from all the skateboarders zooming by!

The main part of Hollywood Blvd consisted of:

1.Tattoo and body piercing parlors and souvenir shops

2.People dressed in costume hoping you'd want your picture taken with them; for a price of course.

3.Tour guides every ten feet, bombarding you with a shout and a hand in the face with a brochure for their "tour of the stars homes".

4.People handing out their music on CD,and again it was every ten feet you were bombarded. It took me awhile to figure it out, but they were hoping you,the tourist, would be a big time music producer. In other words, they were hoping to catch lightening in a bottle. If I were a big time music producer, why would I go on a vacation and tour the Hollywood Walk of Fame when I could be out on a yacht somewhere exotic?

Hollywood Blvd. was full of a lot of lost and crazy people. And for all the glitter and craziness that Hollywood represents, a white cross sitting on a hillside below the famous mountaintop Hollywood sign caught my eye. That was my favorite viewing of
Hollywood Blvd. I am glad the Cross will always be the center of my attention.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Caution: Side Effects to Praise

She's always smiling in the office.

She's always either singing,whistling, or humming a tune.

Whenever she enters a room, peace automatically enters with her.

I have never ever, in a little over ten years at my job,see one of my co-workers get: mad,disgruntled,discombobulated,nor sad. Yes, that is amazing! And how does she do it?

One simple answer: praise .

Whenever my co-worker stops in by my "morning" desk (yep, I have 2 desks, lucky me)
to see if I need help, she immediately starts humming or singing to whatever worship song I have being played on my computer. As a former worship leader she understands the importance of praise, and its affect on one's day.

You do not necessarily have to be a worship leader nor a former one either, to understand praise and it's affect on your day.

Praise is what God asks us to do. You can pick out any one of the 150 Psalms and you are bound to find the word praise .

Praise has some amazing side effects:


Don't you think that God wants His people that choose to follow Him to be happy?

But may the righteous be glad and rejoice before God;
may they be happy and joyful.
(Psalm 68:3)

2. Praise releases us from the ill-fated emotions we may be carrying

Do you really want to feel horrible and stuck in the mud everyday?

I will be glad and rejoice in Your mercy,
For You have considered my trouble;
You have known my soul in adversities,
And have not shut me up into the hand of the enemy;
You have set my feet in a wide place.
(Psalm 31:7,8)

3. Praise brings us peace in all circumstances

Yes, its hard to praise God when your going through a difficult time, but aren't we supposed to trust Him and actually show it?

But may all who seek You rejoice and be glad in You;
May those who long for your saving help always say, "The Lord is great!"

(Psalm 40:16)

4. Praise gives God glory

I will be glad and rejoice in You;
I will sing praises to Your Name, O Most High.
(Psalm 9:2)

5. Praise lifts up and encourages those around you

How can we set a good example and show others we trust in God if we ourselves are unhappy and discouraged.

I will praise You, O Lord, with my whole heart;
I will tell of all Your marvelous works.
((Psalm 9:1)

6. And finally, praise makes your day go so much better

Especially when you start the day the right way by choosing to declare:

This is the day the Lord has made;
I will rejoice and be glad in it.
(Psalm 118:24)

Now if you feel like you can't sing, but like to sing, ain't no better place to sing than in your car on your way to work. Just as breakfast being the most important meal of the day, so is starting your day in praise. You'll be amazed at how praise can affect your entire day, no matter what your going through.