Help Us Help Others

Help Us Help Others
Chaplaincy Clark County

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

A fly by of Pluto

Good morning,
I pray the day finds you well.

I woke up this morning thinking about the movie “Men in Black.” More specifically, I was contemplating the scene in the movie where Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones are sitting on a park bench. It is the morning after Will realizes that we are not alone in the universe, more importantly, we are not alone on earth; there are aliens living among us.

Will is just sitting there dazed and speechless. Tommy Lee says, “500 years ago, we knew the sun revolved around the earth. 400 years ago, we knew the earth was flat. 50 years ago, we knew we only had 8 planets. Yesterday, you knew we were alone in the universe. I wonder what we will know tomorrow?”

I always loved that line in the movie. I always wondered what I will learn and know.

I just got my National Geographic Magazine. Right on the cover is a picture of Pluto (The planet, not the dog). I remember a few years ago when Pluto’s designation had changed from planet to dwarf planet. When I watched the news on T.V. the whole scene from “Men in Black” came to mind, obviously I think about that scene often. I thought how the scene would change today, ““500 years ago, we knew the sun revolved around the earth. 400 years ago, we knew the earth was flat. 50 years ago, we knew we only had 8 planets. Yesterday, we knew there were 9 planets in our solar system. Yesterday, you knew we were alone in the universe. I wonder what we will know tomorrow?”

Every time I think about the movie, “Men in Black” and that particular scene, I cannot help but think about Christ, about God. A line in the movie would go something like this, “500 years ago we knew there was God. 400 years ago we knew there was God. 50 years ago we knew there was God. Tomorrow we will know there is God.”

While science is ever finding out knew things and discovering cool stuff, while our knowledge of the world around us may be ever changing. I take solace in the knowledge in the fact that God was the same yesterday as he is today and will be tomorrow.

My prayer is, that as we go through our lives, we continually find out knew things that God and Christ have to show us. Let us not be so focused on trying to see the big things in our world that we miss all the beautiful little things that Christ is doing in our lives.

It is true we are not alone in the universe. God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit are here with us.

Blessings,

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Born on the Fourth of July

Good morning,
I pray the day finds you well.

Born on the fourth of July.

I do not know to many people that can say that. As a matter of fact, I only know one person. This person is my wife's father, Jim. Yesterday, he turned 87-years-old. Obviously, yesterday was the fourth of July. Jim is an amazing man. He spent his life helping people. He raised great kids that all do their best to continue his legacy. The family is very close and very loving, another testament to Jim's life.

We had a scare a while back, we did not know if Jim would be around for this birthday, making this birthday especially special. We had a wonderful day filled with food, conversations, and laughter. The day ended with an amazing fireworks show that we could see right from the house.

Jim lives in Minnesota. Laurie and I flew in a few days ago. We will be flying out tonight. We normally do not make the trip for his birthday. We rationalize this by saying things like, "It is to far to go for such a short time." or "It costs to much." Then something happens and we make the trip.

As I sit here this morning, I cannot help but to think why we wait for a life event to make the effort to show someone how much they mean to us? As a pastor and chaplain I see this often. Usually in the form of a funeral or memorial. Throngs of people coming together to tell other people how much this person had meant to them and tell stories about them. I always ask myself, "Why do we wait until someone dies to tell other people how much they meant to us?"

I have been guilty of this too. We get so focused on the future that we really do not make the effort to do the truly important things in the present. In effect, we have been sleep walking through our present life as we kept our eyes focused on our future. We have put off things of the present so that we could do something down the road.

Laurie and I had a health scare a while back, it shook us awake. We still make plans for the future. We still keep an eye to the future, but we also take a good hard look at today. Somethings we just cannot do, we do not have the money or whatever to get it done right now so those are the things we plan for the future. Other things we can do today and instead of putting these things off for tomorrow we do them today.

One of the things that we can do today and it doesn't cost any money is to tell the people in your life how much they mean to you, how much you love them. We do not stop there, we do our best to show them how much they mean to us, how much we love them.

Born on the fourth of July.

Dad (Jim) had his birthday yesterday and we had the ability to fly to Minnesota and see him, so we did.

My prayer is that we all shake the sleep from our eyes and wake up. That we do not wait until a loved one is gone before we make the effort to say how much they mean to us, to say we love them. One thing that Christ taught us was to take the time, when the time arises. To not put off for tomorrow what you can do today. What would the world look like if we spent more time focused on showing our love for those in our lives and less time complaining about the things that we don't? Our YMCA has a saying, "Promote what you love, instead of complaining about the things you hate."

Jim, spent his life promoting the things he loved. His behavioral modeling has rubbed off. He is a great role model. this leads to my next question, "What role am I modeling?" my question to you is, "What role are you modeling?"

Something to ponder.

Blessings,