Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Anti-Racist Education

Sometimes I'm a slow learner. I can't afford to be now. I've got so much to learn.

I want to thank my black friends for talking to me openly about this issue. I want to thank my daughter for posting a video by Nicole Walters that opened my eyes. I want to thank Chief for sending me videos that got through to my white mind. My friend Earnest opened up about his experiences through life as a black man in America. I'm sorry that I had not really asked him about it until now.

I have also had friends share with me a podcast that offers a different point of view, and one that I need to hear, even if I disagree.

It is not enough not to be a racist. I need to be anti-racist. I need to speak up. I need to notice injustice and do something about it.

I'm learning how the justice system and laws have worked to marginalize African Americans.

I have prayed and cried a lot this week.

I want to thank my black friends for being patient with me and loving me, even though I have no clue what they experience every single day.

I am so blessed with friends. They remind me that Jesus loves me, even when I'm ignorant, even when I am blind and deaf. It's Jesus in them that allows them to love me.

Monday, June 1, 2020

Riots and Power

Some say that power solves all problems. 

A heavy hand of brute force can bring the masses into submission. Just ask Stalin, Mao, or Pol Pot. Their power came from brute force. Millions were executed in pursuit of their totalitarian visions.

I want to contrast the American experience with that. In our Declaration of Independence, we acknowledge that life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are gifts from God. They are not rights bestowed by an all-powerful government. We cannot sustain American ideals at the point of a gun.

The unrest of today, although polluted with violence and looting, began in protest for justice. George Floyd became only the latest of black men to be murdered by law enforcement. This pattern must stop. Justice is the rallying point.

To point guns at American protestors is asking for trouble. The threat only escalates the tension and possibility for violence.

Please, let's not stop the fight for justice. Please, let us tone down the rhetoric. Let us vow to love and listen. Let us unite behind the truth that all men are created equal. 

Force is not the answer. Not the violence of riots. Not the fire power of the military. 

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Investment or Future Regrets?

The longer this pandemic goes, the more we miss doing normal things. We are waiting for the time to travel, shop, get haircuts, have reunions, and have funerals.

We want to eat out, go swimming, play sports, enjoy concerts.

The normal things of life bring comfort, hope, encouragement, balance, and joy. We miss these touchstones. In their absence, we must find other things to keep us sane.

We lean so much now on family, neighbors, phone calls, and faith. We are reading, walking, praying, resting.

Let's try to think of these months as a time of investment, not a season to be endured.

What are you investing in? In 12 months, you may find yourself thinking: "I wish I had spent that quarantine time doing ___________." Let's try to think of those things now, and really invest. This time is hard enough without creating future regrets.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Zooming by Me

I really miss meeting people in person. I have been Zooming up a storm lately, for all kinds of meetings. But I have to say that I get distracted so easily with that computer screen.

Oooh, I wonder if I have a new email.

Was that my phone vibrating?

Why not have a quick look at Facebook?

What's the stock market doing?

I'll have a look at the news headlines.

Wait...what were you saying? I was paying attention...mostly. I just missed one key thought. Or did I? I'm not sure. I think I can chime in with something appropriate. At least I can make you think I was paying attention.

I need to get a lot more disciplined with this virtual connecting stuff.

Let's get together when we can. When will that be?

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Saying Goodbye

Goodbye. God be with you.
Now, you are with God.
So many laughs, so many stories.
You were a magnet for children.
People knew you cared.
Your presence brought peace, assurance.
Rooms lit up every time you walked in.

Now heaven lights up.
It's your stories, your smile.
Now you can hug again, even if we can't.
You paint those word pictures, effortlessly.
You delight in the reunions.
You can finally ask Jesus all those questions.

You have left our hearts full.
But you have left a hole in our lives.
No one can fill your cowboy boots.
May we embrace life with your joy, exuberance, abandon, hope, and faith.
Most of all, may we shower the love of God on all we encounter.
You showed us how.

Monday, April 27, 2020

Designing Your Life

Tomorrow we start a Zoom group that could change your life. We will be working through Designing Your Life, by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans. These guys teach in the Stanford School of Design, where students learn about the design process. Students learn about design theory, and apply it to engineering, urban layout, automotive design, manufacturing systems, etc.

Evans and Burnett realized that design theory could also be applied to people's lives. So they introduced a course at Stanford called, "Designing Your Life." After years of teaching this course to full classrooms, the profs decided to write a book, so that everyone could access this life-changing process.

I read this book three years ago, but have not yet worked through it with others. And that is the key ingredient to design: enlisting input from others. You see, the design process is a team effort. No one person invented the iPhone. It took a team. And it still takes a team to tweak it and update it.

With our own lives, others can see our blind spots. They can help us think outside the box. They can put pieces together that we overlooked.

So, I invite you to jump into this study with us at noon on Tuesdays, via Zoom.

Shoot me an email, if you would like to get in on it.

Can't wait!

Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life ...

Sunday, April 26, 2020


What brings you hope? Hope comes from belief that something good may happen.
We can hope in circumstances: I hope it won't rain.
We can hope in people: I hope she remembers my birthday.

Hope in people is based on relationship and character.

Hope in circumstances is based on experience, history, and probability.

We need hope today. We can hope in the U.S. economy, our employer, our skills, the stock market, the medical community and all kinds of circumstances. That may be hope well placed.

But our hope in God is much different. We hope that God will show up, that he will redeem the losses we have endured, that he will walk with us through this trial, that he will bring resurrection from the death of COVID-19.

So may your hope be in him.