Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Merry Christmas! Little Drummer Boy!

Out of all the Christmas songs out there, my favorite is Little Drummer Boy. Now, before you chuckle too much, I'm being serious. It seems childish at first, but the song just has a simple truth running through it that I think Christians really often miss or just need reminding of. And I love to here it, sing it, and just be reminded of what my place is relative to my Savior. The song could be applied to our lives year-around. As a reminder here are the lyrics:

Little Drummer Boy: Lyrics
Come they told me, pa rum pum pum pum
A new born King to see, pa rum pum pum pum
Our finest gifts we bring, pa rum pum pum pum
To lay before the King, pa rum pum pum pum,
rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum,

So to honor Him, pa rum pum pum pum,
When we come.

Little Baby, pa rum pum pum pum
I am a poor boy too, pa rum pum pum pum
I have no gift to bring, pa rum pum pum pum
That's fit to give the King, pa rum pum pum pum,
rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum,

Shall I play for you, pa rum pum pum pum,
On my drum?

Mary nodded, pa rum pum pum pum
The ox and lamb kept time, pa rum pum pum pum
I played my drum for Him, pa rum pum pum pum
I played my best for Him, pa rum pum pum pum,
rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum,

Then He smiled at me, pa rum pum pum pum
Me and my drum

It seems as if every time I listen to it, my mind wanders into the scene of what the song presents, my heart softens, and my spirit just revels in the truth that is laid before me.

The first part of this song is from the perspective of possibly the wise men or some other "well off" group of people. They have heard that the new King, the real King, is born. They know that they need to go and see him and in honor of Him bring some really great gift. Typically, we know the wise men brought items of great value, as I'm sure many others did as well. That was the custom. Now, there is nothing wrong with this thinking or their action, but that is what they are bringing before the King.

The second part of the song swings over to this little boy. He has also heard of the King's birth and is going to see the King, too. In his mind he knows the traditions of what people brought before kings. But, he is poor. He doesn't have any item of great value to offer to Him. But, with his heart right before God, keeps going, and brings the best of what he does have.... his drum! He has probably had his drum for a long time and is one of the only things he has. In his mind, maybe he thinks, his drum is nothing special. Maybe, he thinks it's just an ordinary part of his life. But, it is all he has.

On arrival, he just goes for it. No matter what anyone else thinks in the group of people, he plays. All the women probably are thinking, "Awe, that is so precious." The men there are probably thinking, "Get that little boy out of here, he's not that good. Don't you know who you are playing for?" In his mind maybe he is still thinking, "This is not a proper gift or i'm not a professional drummer. But it is all I have, so I need to play." rum pum pum pum.....

He plays and plays, Mary and Joseph are into it. The animals are into it. And most of all Jesus as a little boy smiles. The King approves of his gift. A simple gift.

I know the story of the boy isn't necessarily true, even though the story of Jesus' birth is. But, the picture is profound. God calls us to bring what we have, to give OUR best, to honor him. We don't have to BE the best, just bring OUR best. There is no place for thinking, "Hey, there is someone else here who can do it better, so I will not give mine". I know in my life, I can easily fall into that way of thinking. Jesus is not concerned with comparing our gifts to the others. He wants us to bring all we have before Him. It's the heart that matters here and not the gift itself.

God gives all gifts that we can use to glorify Him(1 Cor. 12-13).Furthermore, He gave them to us for a reason. He wants us to actually use them(1 Peter 4) Now, at first we won't be so good at what we do, but as we practice and put it into play in our lives, we get better. And God wants us to give the best.

The church often misses opportunities to let someone give their best because they are only looking for THE best for certain things. There is room enough for all to give all of their best, no matter at what level. Don't be squandered, use it. No one gift is more important than another. The gold by the wise men is no better than the drum by the boy and vise versa, as long as the gift is given in full to glorify God and not yourself.

So, this Christmas, this year. Don't forget that God has given you talents, gifts, and place on this earth to glorify Him. Use these things for that the best that you can and you will be living out what God wants from you. Is it always going to be easy, no. But, that is what he rum pum pum pum....

Merry Christmas!!!!

As a side note: I have heard many, many versions of this song. My favorite(s) come from a band called Jars of Clay. In my opinion, it is just the best. They are an incredibly talented band, using their gifts in wonderful ways to glorify God and they just make good music!

I'm just sayin'

Sunday, July 25, 2010

The stormiest friday I can remember!

The day was an ok day as it was, but the storm came on suddenly. We knew it was possible and prepared, but it still came on quick. Rains soaked everything, winds tore through, the sky was as dark as could be, no visibility through it, power flickered and we sat wondering what it would be like when it was over. Afterward, we gathered ourselves and surveyed the damage. Neighbors gathered together to pick up broken branches, clean up debris, put belongings back in place, and help restore the things that we could and remember the things we couldn't.
It was not a fun ride to say the least, but a ride given by God. It showed Him and His many attributes. But, the community rallies together as it should, keeps moving forward, trusting in Him, following His lead, and remembering His word. We trust in you God to help us pick up and move on.
We remember you Matt Edwards and your presence in our lives in so many ways. Thank you for showing us in an ever increasing way the sacrifice that Christ showed us. Your life was a reflection of Him. It does not go unnoticed. Thank you God for your work through Matt, His followship of You is a testament to You. Our community is better for it.
Edwards Family: We are thankful for you. I can hardly begin to understand how you feel, but only to just be there with you while you pick up and move forward. Our family is with you, praying, restoring, remembering. The storm is crazy, but God redeems through it.
It was only later that day that we had a bad thunderstorm. In retrospect of the day it was like rainshower and it's damage minimal. What a stormy friday!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

4th of July

It's interesting how much more PC our culture is getting. I've always been bugged by just saying happy holidays or have a good holiday. It started off with Christmas and people didn't want to offend so they said happy holidays to cover Christmas and New Years. That was annoying enough. Then the last couple of years I hear it for Thanksgiving. Even more annoying. Now, for the 4th of July. Seriously, are any of you that offended by celebrating our nations freedom. If you are you need to move to another country. I can't believe how many people have said have a happy holiday over the last couple of days. I'm just sayin'

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Where there is smoke....

"Where there is smoke there is fire"

I'm really beginning to absolutely hate this statement. I know why it's used. The problem is it's a prejudgement statement. And, we should not be in the business of prejudging people. Often it's used in commentary toward some legal case, politician, or political issue. But, really it is a poor choice for the user. It shows you do not want to think something through and just pass it off and pass judgement prematurely. A good example is when legal charges are brought against someone and they may already have a poor record. A person may see the charge and their past and determine their judgement based on their history or some other non-relevant thing. For instance, in Detroit, the former mayor (Kwame Kilpatrick)just recently got convicted for a couple of serious items. Now a few days ago, their have been some new charges for a number of other items. And really, all I have heard in response to those charges were "See, look at all the stuff he was doing." He has not been convicted yet, but the public is already condeming him. What a shame for our society. I don't care what a person's history is we need to see the results before we can pass judgement like that.

Now, many times, a person's history or other things help us to come to a conclusion when they are along with some facts. They may open up a road that leads to the correct conclusion or they may lead to a dead end. But, these things are not reasons within themselves. This is very common is race issues. One race may not like another one and will cite that as the reason they are a certain way and then pass judgement solely on that. This is a terrible thing. This does nothing but divide people.

This simple phrase is really divisive!

Don't forget there are other conclusions to "When you see smoke..."
Like: "Where there's smoke, there may be mirrors" and you may see something else entirely and not the truth. You may want to ask Criss Angel or David Copperfield about that.
The smoke may be a fog that covers the situation and when it is lifted, may not show fire at all but a reality that you may not want to be in. Like driving downt the wrong way on a road on a foggy day.

The only thing we know for sure, is "When there is smoke, there is smoke."

I'm just sayin'

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Summer Weather

I was looking at the weather for this coming week on the weather channel's website. For the next week the predictions are no rain, 70-80 degree days, 60-70 degree nights, and just flat out sunny. Now, I know as well as anybody that a meteorologist predictions can't be truly trusted beyond about 2 minutes, but they are a good gauge. The week probably won't truly be that way. I like it for the moment, though. It's like the dream summer week, not to hot, no rain, sunny. It just makes me smile for the moment. Hey, it could happen!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

The human element - God's Glory

So, now that some time has past and the angry winds have died down I wanted to share my thoughts Armando Galarraga's one hitter. There is so much to this it is crazy. The emotions span the spectrum. As I listen to commentary after commentary, one underlying thing just kept popping into my head, the human element. It is the human element that makes watching other humans play sports more interesting then watching robots do it. Now, I do not follow baseball that much, if at all. I used to when I was younger, but I don't get into much now. This situation intrigues me though. But, don't write me off just because I'm not a baseball follower. There is a ton to this one play that will be etched in our memory for history. I have seen the clips over and over to just see how things went down, though. This situation is one of those where there really isn't a right or wrong call. There is no moral issue and it is part of a game. And God's glory was shown by many if we just look and see.

Off the bat, I just want to say, I'm glad the call wasn't reversed after the fact and that all the people directly involved were respectful and full of integrity. So, the play happens and Ump, Jim Joyce makes a call. A call that defines history for sure. He stuck with it at the moment. That is good, it was definitely a close play. Now, we all have the luxury to see a thousand instant replays at every conceivable angle. Umps do not have that luxury. They have to make a split second call. Take this situation away and you will see first base umps make hundreds of close calls like these all the time. Even I know this. Most of the time people don't make as big of a deal about it. That is what this situation has to be treated as. He can't just be biased because a no hitter is on the line. And can you imagine what is going through Jim's head. He has to continue to BE a fair judge of plays despite how he may feel, what crowds may say, or what players and coaches may say. That is his job. In this situation he also has to force any bias that he may have out. There is a no- hitter on the line. He can't just make a call to let a no hitter happen if he believes the opposite call to be right. He can't be the opposite way either and just be anti-no-hitter no matter what. I don't believe he was either. He even said at the time he was fully convinced of his call. Of course after he got to see a thousand replays he agreed the call was wrong. But, he could not do anything about it. He doesn't have the power to reverse it and there are no rules on instant replays. That's all he can do. I think at that point everyone needed to grow up, understand, and not be hateful to him. He didn't act like a jerk. He was sorry, talked to Armando, and moved on. And he stood up and went and umped his next game and didn't give up.

Now, you don't have to like the call. But, that is the human element to it. If you don't like that, go watch robots play it. Now I have heard people call him a horrible ump for making the call, that he should be fired, his career should be over, and the like. This type of thinking is out of line. In reality, he has a history of being a very good umpire. Players, coaches, and other umps all throughout the league vastly agree that he is. To base his job off this one call is a huge mistake and is flat out ridiculous. If the call was just totally obvious or something like that. I could see some type of penalty to him or something like that, but still not even his job or entire reputation. But, this call was close. He is obviously a great ump, stuck to his call in the moment, and also was willing to admit when he was wrong. That day he stood up and honored Armando, his job, his sport, his boss, his career, and our God. How many of you will do that in your life? He should not be dishonored in any way, shape, or form, and should be held up, as Armando did to him.

Now, to Armando Gallaraga, his actions were just straight full of integrity. He did not get angry, kick dirt, curse, shun, or do anything the like. He kept on smiling and kept going. Now, I bet there was a load of disappointment in his head. He stood up as a leader, though, took the call and got back on the mound. He didn't start blaming others. He took it like a man should. What would you do in the situation? Better yet, What did you do in the situation? Many got angry, blamed others, pouted, and just became bitter. The next day the coach asked him to take the line-up sheet out to Jim, and he did so. Showing respect and honor to Jim Joyce, his coach, his team, his sport, his city, his state, his country, and to our God. He stood up and showed integrity. How much more do I need to say about this.

Lastly, to everyone's favorite, Bud Selig. I'm actually glad he didn't reverse that call. By holding to it he further honored Jim Joyce, his profession, and the game of baseball. What would it be like if a commissioner just started overturning calls because he felt like it or because he was under pressure to? That would just be ridiculous. I can hear all the voices now saying, "Look at the situation. It was a no hitter." and so on and so forth. I say, Where is the line? Is at only in situations like this bottom of the 9th, 2 outs, last call. How stupid would it be to make a rule like that based on one call that happens so rarely, or do we let calls get turned over for all kinds of unique situations. I say, way to go Bud. Now honestly he could have turned it over "For the good of baseball" and gave Gallaraga the no hitter, and not many people would have complained. Except, for all the other calls that made history. Would he be under pressure then to go back review all those and change them "For the good of baseball". He actually, wouldn't be WRONG either way, but I think not overturning it was the way that showed more integrity. In the end maybe it will make a case for adding some type of instant replay rules. That is up to them to do that. Personally, I'm not a big fan of it in any sport. I'm a big fan of the human element. But, honestly I don't really care that much. It would not be right or wrong to add that to the game. A lot of sports have it. But, this call needs to be left as it is.

So, no matter what you think about the situation, what is clear is that God's attributes were shown in some underlying and obvious ways. And, in many ways there are things we can take away from this for our lives.
The initial call could have went either way, Jim's and Armando's actions were steadfast and honorable, the look at the replay shows how close it was and what the reality of the play looked like. The reality of the game is realized and that there is a human element with close split second calls with human errors. The replay also shows the reactions of Jim and Armando to show us, again, what integrity looks like. Bud's decision could have gone either way. In the end, Jim's call, accompanied by their reactions, and subsequent calls actually made a spot in the history books for more than just a no hitter. It showed the kinds of people we would like to be playing our sports and entertaining us. It's a welcome relief, to a lot of the attitudes and actions of sports figures. That is something truly worth celebrating.

Monday, May 17, 2010


My wife is so wonderful. It's amazing to watch her in action. She is a great wife and mother. She is very encouraging, loving, caring, serving, godly, sexy, beautiful, and compassionate. Even through the mother's day time she took the time to reach beyond herself and talk about me. I'm very appreciative of her, and I know I don't say it or show it enough. "THANK YOU, BABE" "I LOVE YOU". She cares so much for our family and I love to watch as the Spirit of God flows through her as her heart reaches out to so many near to her.

I'm blessed to be married to her and do not envy the rest of the male population who cannot be, ever. I am truly dedicated to staying married to her. Our relationship is so much fun. We have ups and downs like everyone else. Even more downs than most may think, but we work through them, grow, and keep on moving along. And we have so many great ups. Every minute is well worth it. It's our love for God that pushes us to love each other. We choose to keep on loving each other no matter what. We do because God set that precedent in us first by loving us no matter what, as well.

On the inside of my wedding band I have "I love you still. 1 John 4:19." etched in. It reminds me that Jesus takes the time to keep loving, he keeps choosing to love me, therefore I need to do it as well. The result is grand. As we keep loving each other our relationship grows deeper, tighter, more in twined, more as one.

Funny side note:
Originally, my wedding band said "I love you 1 John 4:19". A few years ago, I lost my wedding band in the middle of a lake, while jet skiing with my friend, Dave Buckenberger. We were riding together doing crazy turns and stuff trying to throw each other off. After one of them, we both got thrown off and as I was reaching up to get back on and I noticed it was gone. I immediately knew that at some point over the last 30 minutes of craziness it came off and I'm sure it immediately sank to the bottom of the murky lake. Dave was so concerned that he immediately said, "Should we go down and look for it". Now, I appreciated tremendously his care for it, but responded with funny look and said, "It's gone dude, we are in the middle of this lake with who knows how much junk at the bottom, not knowing how deep it is, and we can't see the bottom at all." Therefore, I cut my loss at the moment and we went back to craziness. Good times!

I got an inexpensive ring as a spare later, until I could get a new better one. Jessica got me the exact same ring, again, with the new saying, for a gift. She is so thoughtful. It was great. Thanks again, Jessica.

Marriage is a wonderful thing that God created. If you want to know more, ask!