my search to understand the bigger picture

Monday, December 31, 2012

Do It Now by Berton Braley

"If with pleasure you are viewing
any work a man is doing,
If you like him or you love him, 
tell him now;
Don't withhold your approbation
till the parson makes oration
And he lies with snowy lilies on his brow;
No matter how you shout it
he won't really care about it;
He won't know how many teardrops you have shed;
If you think some praise is due him
now's the time to slip it to him,
For he cannot read his tombstone when he's dead.

More than fame and more than money
is the comment kind and sunny
And the hearty, warm approval of a friend.
For it gives to live a savor,
and it makes you stronger, braver,
And it gives you heart and spirit to the end;
If he earns your praise-bestow it,
if you like him let him know it,
Let the words of true encouragement be said;
Do not wait till life is over
and he's underneath the clover,
For he cannot read his tombstone when he's dead."

i cannot remember where i found this little piece, but i have fallen in love with it.  we live in a world that is aching for a word or act of encouragement.  never hold this back from people.  let's be people of encouragement.  let's be people of love.  

Friday, December 21, 2012

Precious Moments

today has been a day that zoey and I have looked forward to for some time now.  she doesn't school today, and hadley did have preschool, so it's just zoey and me for the morning.  we don't get much time like this anymore, just zoey and i.  honestly, i don't make the time for it.  but after today, i'm hoping that will change.  

first order of business was dropping hadley off at preschool.  i could tell she was a little jealous of zoey, but hadley and i get to hang out every friday afternoon until zoey is out of school, so i know she'll get over it.  after we dropped off hadley, zoey and i headed to panera.  i had a gift card from my birthday, so i treated us to hot chocolates and a chocolate chip cookie.

we had an amazing time of hanging out, talking, laughing, and spilling hot chocolate.  i'll let you decided who spilled...............

after panera we headed to church so i could get a few hours of work in.  a co-worker and i developed a new game a few weeks ago called cuppies, and zoey took to this right away.  she'a already a much better player than i am.  here's the set up.......

basically you wad up pieces of paper and try to "shoot" them into the coffee cups.  lots of fun.  zoey has been bugging me to play all morning.  so we take little breaks.  she also took up playing tag with my friend Scobar.  if you're in the market for some sweet gear, check out his website.  

oh, and we partook of a new film released recently by Kilian Jornet.  Actually, we only partook of the trailer.  I want to purchase it, but am going back and forth between the much cheaper download version or the hard copy.  to check out the trailer go here.  trust me, it's well worth the 2 minutes, even if you don't enjoy ultra running.  the scenery is amazing.

anyways, i suppose that's it for now.  i've loved every minute of my time with zoey this morning.  i need to make this more of a priority.  she's such an amazing kid.  Merry Christmas friends!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

I'm A SUCKER!!!!!!!!!!!

so, it occurred to me a few days ago, that i've been had.  this realization made me chuckle at first, as if to say "well done".  and then i began to get angry.  i quickly moved on from the anger, but the thought of this has stuck with me for a few days now, and this morning i figured i might as well try to help some of you out.  


recently a national establishment began running a deal.  collect 5 points to get a free drink. you collect those 5 points by spending a minimum of a dollar for each point.  you could spend more than $3 per point.  up to you.  now, here's the first part of where i got suckered. my plan was perfect.  i'd spend the cheapest amount possible and still walk away with a "free" drink.  

man, they got me.  so this realization hit me.  in order to collect on this "great" deal, i'd have to spend a minimum of $5 in order to collect a "free" drink with a value of around $3.  now, does that really sound "free" to you?  bottom line, i could have just spend the $3 to get the drink i wanted right away.  

the kicker is, i get these same free drinks from my place of employment every single day.  don't have to pay a dime for it.  so, i spent $5 unnecessarily to get a $3 drink free.  are you tracking with me?

this is similar to when one walks out of a store that had a huge sale going on.  "i saved so much money today!" is a comment not unfamiliar.  the reality is, said person just spent a ton of money on stuff.  they just maybe didn't spend as much as they would have on another day.  but the point is that money was still spent.  you didn't save money.  you spent it.

now, for the second part of said suckering.  when a place says they have something for "free", they don't.  it's a magic trick.  we, as americans, are suckers for "free".  anytime we see a "shortcut" we are all over it.  we don't want to work hard for anything anymore.  we don't want to earn it.  we feel we already deserve it.  

i really want to turn this into some deep, theological teaching, but i'm going to stop myself here.  this really is nothing more than a humorous story, a moment in time that i had to stop and just laugh at myself.  i do some crazy things sometimes, and then i make them seem to be more of a big deal than they really are.  

it really is fun to laugh at yourself.  give it a try sometimes.  go on.  do it right now.  laugh at yourself.  do something silly on purpose.  we've really got to get better at developing a sense of humor.  if you are struggling with laughing at yourself today, let me know, and i'll laugh at you myself.  i'll even laugh out loud.  :)

P.S.  i'm really looking forward to that "free" drink coming my way!  only one more point to collect................

Monday, December 10, 2012

What's My Excuse Again?

seriously, how many of us live in the land of excuses?  i know the temptation to have an excuse for every little thing that i can't/don't want to do.  it happens everywhere.  work.  running.  family.  marriage.  too many of live our lives dreaming of what could have been, instead of being extremely grateful for what is.

so, after watching this video, what's your excuse?  seriously?  i know, i know.  sometimes things like this just don't motivate me to actually change.  sure, this tugs on the emotional strings.  maybe a tear is shed.  but change?  that's not something normally seen by videos like this.

i challenge you to listen to this video.  don't just watch it.  in fact, turn away from your device and just listen to the message.  at one point he says, "I don't need hands to hold her heart"(speaking of his wife).  what a powerful statement right there.

do yourself a favor.  the next time you encounter a difficult situation, think about nick, and flash as wide a grin as you possibly can.  endeavor with everything in you to walk through life with a smile on your face.  don't let circumstances dictate your attitude.  rest in the assurance that Jesus loves you.  even if you don't understand the chaos around you, you can trust the one who's in control.

so, the question is, what situation will you chose to combat with a smile today?

Monday, December 3, 2012

God's Always Speaking. Am I Listening?

so i'm out running the other morning, around 5am.  actually, it was the day after my 36th birthday.  i had gotten some cash, and i began thinking on what exactly i wanted to do with it.  thoughts came quickly about the possibilities.  the impossible suddenly turns into possibilities when cash enters the picture.  it is indeed true that it burns a hole, at least in my pocket.

shoes, running products, races, books.  these are the things that make us happy, right?  if only i enter another race, then i'll be happy.  read the newest book, i'll be content.  those trail shoes that just came out, gotta have em.  there's no way i can be happy with my current pair.  

wow.  so i'm running, and happen to glance at the sky for some reason, and see a shooting star.  awesome!  i say a quick thanks to God, and almost miss it.  he's whispering something to me; something familiar.  something he's said before.

"Thad, don't you know?  Don't you know how much I love you?"  once again, this gentle reminder enters my very soul.  "Those things you're desiring right now, won't bring you happiness.  You know this."  busted.  dang, you caught me Jesus.  you're right.  what a relief to let go of those things, and begin to remember once again that only Jesus brings true happiness.  so what now Jesus?  "Just spend time with me.  Listen for my voice.  Hang out with me."

so simple.  and yet, do you know what's been the biggest battle the last day and a half?  getting some uninterrupted time with Jesus.  

yes my friends, god is still speaking.  the question is, am i listening?