"For the Lord, your God is bringing you into a good land..." Deuteronomy 8:7
- It's more spiritually challenging to live in times of blessing and goodness than it is to live in the wilderness. In the wilderness, you know you need God. You know you're not in control. You know you need help, but when things are good, what happens? We have a tendency to forget God. Deuteronomy 8 is God's reminder to the Israelites - and to us - to REMEMBER what we've learned because He's bringing us "into a good land" - He wants us to be ready to live faithfully in times of BLESSING. I don't know about you, but sometimes in spite of all I know, I forget God, forget who I am, and become someone I hardly recognize. It happens to all of us, but it's especially true in times of ease or blessing. So, how can we avoid forgetting Him in those seasons? We have to remember His commands, and I don't know that we forget them so much as ignore them. We tune Him out. Maturity is remembering what God says and acting accordingly. We also need to remember our salvation history. Remember what God has done to redeem us. And we need to remember the lessons of the wilderness. God teaches us there - humbles us - shows us how much we need to depend on Him. He tells us to remember all that so we can live faithfully in times of plenty. He says, "when you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the Lord…" We avoid spiritual amnesia in the good times by practicing spiritual disciplines – praising God (worship), prayer, community, service. They remind us and keep us grounded. If not, we start thinking we've created all the goodness. Sure we did! Remember the things of God so you can do happiness well.
- MILKY MADNESS: The first Milky Madness, three-on-three, basketball tournament was a huge success on Saturday as more than 100 players took part in remembering the life of Davis "Milky" Harper. I could not have been more proud of JD Swanson for organizing and executing the entire thing, all to raise money for the ministries that his dear friend loved. Thanks to all those who volunteered, donated food or services (Justin Ramb, Lucy MacLeish, Stephanie Anderson, Tanner Fox to name a few), or came out to support.
- I LOVE LA: I was privileged to be part of a team from Orlando that traveled to LA (Orange County) last week to help them launch United to End Homelessness, their effort to help the chronically homeless in their community. With the Orange County United Way convening a Leadership Council from all over the region, they are off and running towards a very effective strategy for housing and case management. Sue Parks, Carla Vargas, Becks Heyhoe, and Michael Suydam were tremendous hosts and great leaders. This is how it should work - communities helping communities!
- OBSERVATIONS: When people take Spinning classes, it always seems that there is a competition for certain bikes. I don't spin, but at my gym, spinners will walk in and before changing into workout clothes, go and reserve a bike by putting all their stuff on it. What is that about? Second, is there like a "photo pose class" that all women take? It seems that most get photographed with one leg forward and hand on hip. Guys just stand there. Just wondering.
- OOPS: After all the Instapot hoopla, they had to recall 104,000 of them because they were a fire danger. (note: this is the Gem 65 MultiCooker, not ones with pressure cooker function)
- The spin that gets put on our current issues never ceases to amaze me. The Federalist came out with a story slamming the brave students from Stoneman Douglas HS who had spoken out because they had "professional help." Good grief. What's wrong with that? If you wanted to achieve something significant, wouldn't you ask for advice from professionals? And they were still the ones who showed up, spoke their minds, and shared their hearts. No matter where you are in the debate, you have to respect and admire that kind of courage.
- CAT LOVERS BEWARE: A study reported in the Orlando Sentinel last week showed that cats have the same neurotic, narcissistic, aggressive characteristics as their larger relatives like lions and tigers. It concluded that if your cat was bigger, it would try to kill you. This has naturally touched off a national debate with NPR reporting a counter-story denying those conclusions. Who knows, but why risk it?
- Is it me (absolutely NOT a finance expert) or does it seem like everyone is spending and living the same way they did just before the recession? See #1. Did we forget the lessons?
- WHAT I'M READING: Basketball: Great Writing about American's Game, Alexander Wolff; WHAT I'M LISTENING TO: To The Morning, Dan Fogelberg