Tuesday, April 13, 2010

On Lemonade Stands

The concept of lemonade stands fascinates me.  Every time I pass one, I notice the children, who often have been sitting for hours, sometimes day after day, waiting for a car to stop.  When they spot a potential customer, the children jump and shout, begging for a sale.  And every child thinks his lemonade stand will make him rich.

Fast forward to adulthood, where real business is involved.  The opportunity for success is so much greater.  The market is infinitely larger.  Customers can (and should) be sought out, rather than waiting for them to appear.  They don't need to drive down a certain street.  They don't even need to be in the same town, state, or nation.  Advertising is no longer limited to a homemade poster or drawings on a chalkboard.  And goods available for sale move far beyond the current supply in the kitchen pantry.

Yet few adults think their position will be the one that makes a difference.  They don't think it will make them rich.  They become indifferent to the number of sales taking place.  They take little, if any, advantage of the resources available to them.  They don't strive for something better.  They accept their toil in complete complacency (or, in some cases, quit altogether) and abandon their potential.  What causes such a distinct disconnect between childhood and adulthood?  What causes such a sharp separation in the drive of an individual, in their motivation and persistence?  Why are dreams so quickly abandoned in adulthood without putting forth any effort?  The greatness a child can see in a 25 cent paper cup of lemonade an adult fails to see in a multi-national corporation generating billions of dollars in revenue.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Beyond Words

Until two weeks ago, the landscape of Chicago appeared a hazy black and white. For all appearances, we were surrounded by the dead and dying, no life visible to the eye.

And now suddenly, life emerges, going from shades of gray to colors so brilliant they are beyond what I can conceive to be real. The trees ARE alive, flowers pushing up out of the very dirt, and bushes bursting into fireworks of color. The branches of every tree raise their arms in worship of their Creator, clapping their hands, swaying not by the wind but in the majesty of God.

This is the work of transformation, not a change in perspective as in seeing dead trees differently, but the visible change of life within.

May God's power and transformation be that obvious in us, beyond words, beyond any explanation except that it is the work of God. The fruit of redemption is restoration. And it shows.

This is the way the world was meant to be. We all recognize it and wait breathlessly for the coming of spring, the passage from death to life itself. Not someday, but now.

Out of the perfection of beauty,
God shines forth.
Psalm 50.2

Friday, April 9, 2010

All The Answers?

The worldview of naturalism claims that science has all the answers. I read this week, actually on the same day, about two new discoveries by scientists. Really! If scientists have all the answers, then why are they constantly surprised by amazing new things that they did not know about? That doesn't make sense.

Both articles talk about scientists discovering these "new" things, as if they had something to do with their existence and as if these things just suddenly appeared. Newsflash: this lizard and periodic element have been around since the creation of the world. Man just didn't know about them yet. Give credit where credit is due. One of the ways that God reveals Himself is through nature. He is still Creator of the Universe. And always will be.

What will science "discover" next? As for all the answers, I know Whom I am banking on.

Let heaven and earth praise Him,
the seas and everything that moves therein.
Psalm 69.34



A Chicken in Every Pot

This posting begins a new category which I have named "famous last words."

In 1928, Herbert Hoover was elected President of the United States. In his acceptance speech, he stated: "We in America today are nearer to the final triumph over poverty than ever before in the history of this land. We shall soon with the help of God be in sight of the day when poverty will be banished from this land."

His campaign slogan was: "A chicken in every pot and a car in every garage."

Less than a year later marked the beginning of The Great Depression.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

What's in YOUR inbox?

Lately I have been deluged, by things necessary, by things daily, by things that have no business being there, by things urgent and those that scream for IMMEDIATE attention. Many times my inbox is comprised of things that I should have paid attention to or deleted without reading or put in spam alert.

There is a lot of good stuff out there, really good stuff, but when I last looked, there are still only 24 hours a day and I don't stay on the computer long enough to even get my feet wet, let alone wade my way through.

I find myself deleting my way through advertisements -- really, is that necessary to send DAILY alerts to buy something at Harry and David or Costco? Easy to fast forward through them.

But all in all, my inbox is out of control. I discover good stuff, really good stuff, in the form of blogs and daily devotionals piling up like snow on our driveway, flake by flake. Pretty soon, I come back after a few days of internet sabbath, and there are 256 unread emails in my inbox. And of course, there are still waiting in line (please just take a number and be patient) all those that I have saved up to read in the proverbial "later." I find myself surfing through "new mail" for "personal" emails, like wading through the post office mail for a REAL letter, always welcome and refreshing.

So,keep the REAL mail coming, friends, just give me some advice how you handle the valuables in YOUR inbox.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Best Recipe

It is well-known in my family that my mom was not a cook. She cooked, but her repertoire consisted of "Nana beans" (canned green beans that were heated up so long that they fell apart), chicken pie (that was constructed of chunky chicken soup and canned refrigerator biscuits), and of course, the annual burnt rolls at Thanksgiving -- literally EVERY year. I recognize that she did the best she could. Music was her passion and her focus, and meals? Well, Kraft macaroni and cheese in the blue box was always a good option.

So when I found an old wooden recipe box of hers from the 1940s, the girls and I discovered the following recipe.


Take two (2) medium sized elephants and two rabbits. Dice the elephants into small pieces and place in large pots. Cover with enough water to make a thick gravy. Cook for three (3) weeks at 400 degrees over a kerosene fire. Add water as needed. This should serve about 3500 people. Only if you run short, add the two rabbits. Do this only if necessary, as most people do not like hare in their stew.


Monday, April 5, 2010

Because of Easter

Because of Easter,
there is something more
the Monday after
than leftover jelly beans
and recipes for extra ham in the fridge.
Because of Easter,
everything changes,
not that things will be different someday,
but life is different now.
God is real.

He is risen. He is risen indeed.

And that makes all the difference.