Sunday, August 23, 2015

New school year, new opportunities

My neighbor sent his only child away to college. So, too, did my brother-in-law, my wife's cousin, and a good friend. Many of my best (and thus oldest) friends are now empty nesters! So what does that mean? TIME MARCHES ON! 
A new school year begins, hopefully many neurons will form permanent connections in young brains and actual learning will occur. I recognize that learning is not foremost in the minds of so many eighteen year olds. However, that isn't entirely their fault. But I was once told that you are only living if you learn at least one new thing each day.
So, then, learning is not limited to the students. I get excited at the open pallete that presents itself this time of year. Who yet knows what life will be shaped by a word, an idea, a conversation? All learning asks is that "I" be active rather than passive.

Are you excited to learn a new "neuron connection" today?

Sunday, January 4, 2015

New Year, New

What is a year? 365 days of new opportunity. So what makes the New Year special? It is a time when new opportunities can be seen together as a grand new Opportunity, when a series of individual events, goals, actions, or plans can be seen as one future joined together with an interconnectedness seldom realized.

Looking forward is of great value. Looking forward propels us toward something different and distinct from what our past offered. But with such tremendous quantity of potential, describing this future can be incredibly difficult, if not impossible. 

But I find that the greatest difficulty lies not in describing this potentiality of productivity, rather it lies in taking our eyes off past failings and daring to dream in those same arenas where disappointment and heartache once ran rampant. The New Year challenges us to lift our head toward heaven and look for a future that still might yet be. Each day then provides the occasion for us, for you and for I, to accept the challenge of trusting God's provision and walking, i.e. living a life focused on the future rather on the past. 

Yet the key to that future rests in our day by day decisions to move forward rather than, as my son described today, living in "freeze frame."

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Faith and Learning 2014

Spoke at Faith and Learning today so I thought I'd pass on my outline on Excellence for posterity sake.

Excellence is . . .
An Attitude
Excellence Begins within yourself and comes from your interior attitude
A Behavior
The best description of excellence I recall is this “doing the little things well."
Contagious in Community
Excellence comes more easily when those around you are also pursuing excellence.
Shared vision and shared goals provide encouragement to one another
Hang out with people who make you a better person
Prov 27:12 A prudent man sees evil and hides himself,
The  naive proceed and pay the penalty.
Prov 27:17 Iron sharpens iron,
So one man sharpens another.
Prov 27:19 As in water face reflects face,
So the heart of man reflects man.
Difficult and Demanding
Others can provide external motivation by demanding and accepting nothing less than excellence
Excellence requires constant diligence and self-evaluation or assessment

Mediocrity on the other hand
Is Easy and requires no Effort
Is satisfied with Failure and Faults
Goes along with the Group

Throw in a couple of videos from Ted TalksMichael Jordan, and Tune Up Tip of the Week and a quote from Vince Lombardi and you've got the gist of it!

"Perfection is not attainable, but, if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

Monday, July 28, 2014

Beware of Reading the Old Testament

Check out my blog on the Old Testament at the Apprentice Institute.  I know I've been on sabbatical for nearly a year from posting, but perhaps this fall the Survey of the Bible course I teach will inspire me to new writings.