Update on the day!

Hey, all. In case you were wondering, today was pretty fantastic. It was about 70 all day. The one downside is that we were supposed to be able to go to Busch Gardens to photograph a roller coaster that is going to have a ton of our products installed on it, but the contractor sort of changed his mind and told us we couldn’t go. =( I’m kind of bummed, actually. I really wanted to go.

But that’s okay.

We went to this GINORMOUS house on Manasota Key. It’s 25,000 square feet, has 8 fire places, a 20-car garage, five spiral staircases and an elevator. And it’s also full of our products, so we got a lot of good pictures.

The photographer I hired by way of Google seems to be a nice guy, and the salesman I’m hanging out with is also a very nice guy.

We’re chilling in a Panera at the moment becuase the hotel we’re staying in has an internet wifi connection that runs about as slowly as a snail. So we’re both catching up on email and I’m drinking  a huge cup of very strong coffee.

Tampa is kind of odd. Nice but odd.

And silly NOAA keeps saying that the weather on the way home is going to suck  big time, so we’ll see if I make it home when I’m supposed to. I purposely picked a flight that goes through Houston on the way home. The other option was Chicago, and I figured they’d be getting hammered too.

So, we’ll see what happens.

Thanks to everyone who prayed for me today. Please keep those prayers coming. I really really appreciate it!!!!

Who’s got your back?

Wow. This has got to be the worst internet connection I’ve had to work on in a long time. It’s taken half an hour to load my WordPress page. I finally gave up and am composing in Word and I will paste it when I’m done. Ridiculous!


Oh, well. I can’t complain about the view, though.


I’m sitting in a Holiday Inn in Tampa, FL getting ready for my first day of job site visiting. If all goes well today (and even if it doesn’t) and I feel like braving this stupid internet connection again, I will post an update tonight on how everything went.


In the mean time, this is today’s verse:


Psalm 86:5


 5 O Lord, you are so good, so ready to forgive,
      so full of unfailing love for all who ask for your help.


I am so thankful for that. I think I’ve mentioned in other posts about how thankful I am that we serve a God who forgives us. Not a tyrant in the sky intent on pummeling us or crushing us. God, who created us and loves us and wants the best for us.


But God even goes a step further beyond just forgiving us. He also wants to help us.


The thought of that takes my breath away. God, the creator of the universe, wants to help me with my problems. That’s incredible!


And all I need to do is ask.


So you’d better believe I’m asking for help today. This is all uncharted territory for me, and I will admit to some nerves and knocking knees. But I don’t have to worry because I know that God will help me. He’s so eager to help me. When we ask Him for help, He’s excited to help us.

He’s watching out for us and waiting for the moment when we get it through our thick heads that we can’t do it alone, and when we finally let go our our stupid, foolish pride, He’s right there. He’s got us covered and all we have to do when life gets to be too much is ask for His help. And He will.




Maybe He can help me get this posted.

A post on a Saturday? Surely not!

So I know I don’t usually do weekend devotionals, but I was at my computer this morning (in between packing and helping Mom and Dad look for the safe deposit box key that seems to have grown legs and walked away) and I just felt like I needed to write something.

It’s unusual to write without being freezing cold . . . and to see the sun coming up outside my office windows. I know this will all change by Monday as it’s supposed to be back to the normal 19’s for highs instead of the near-70 we had yesterday.

I checked the verse for today, and it’s a good one:

Mark 9:35

35 He sat down, called the twelve disciples over to him, and said, “Whoever wants to be first must take last place and be the servant of everyone else.”

He, of course, is Jesus.

I love the disciples so much. I think they all get a bad rap most of the time because people try to romanticize them, trying to make them sound either holier or dumber than they were. They were people, plain and simple. And people haven’t changed much from back then to right now — maybe we have electricity and iPads and MP3 players and Hulu.com but we’re all generally the same as those fishermen 2,000 years ago.

I love the disciples because I can relate to them and their reactions so often, and not just Peter, who most people feel kinship with. John, his youth and excitement. Matthew, his redemption. Thomas, his analytical, reasoning mind. Even Judas to a certain extent.

What Jesus was telling them was revolutionary and probably sounded ridiculous. I know it sounds ridiculous now.

If you want to get ahead in life, you need to stay behind. The first shall be last and the last shall be first. If you want to lead, follow. If you want to be greater than everyone else, make yourself less than everyone else.

Makes no sense. But then most of Jesus’ teachings don’t make sense if you look at them like the world would.

Humility is one of the most important lessons we need to learn.

You know what the first sin was, right? Pride. Even before Adam and Eve felt it (and, yes, that’s what it was), Lucifer felt it and God thumped him out of heaven, as my Pastor so eloquently says. Pride. The Original Sin, the sin that every other sin stems from. If you don’t agree with me, just think about it. Everything we do against God begins with us thinking we know better than He does; it’s pride. And it’s deadly.

But humility? Humility isn’t weakness, as many people in 21st Century America would have you believe. So is it knowing you can do a better job than someone else and grudgingly letting them do it for you? Of course, not. Humility is recognizing your strengths and your weaknesses and recognizing the strengths and weakesses of the people around you and trying to find a way to work together for a singular purpose. Humility is acknowledging the worth of the people around you.

Humility is finding a way to serve other people, even if they haven’t asked for help, whether it’s praying for them or making them meals when they’re sick.

And it’s also about keeping your mouth shut when you have the opportunity to tell someone about what you did for them. If you bust your butt serving someone and then feel the need to tell them all the work you did for them, that’s not humility; that’s wanting recognition for your hard work.

Many times service is done in secret and sometimes people will never know who did nice things for them. That’s humility. Doing something nice anonymously, not caring if you get the credit, not caring if anybody knows it was you who did it.

God knows.

And the reason the last shall be first and the first shall be last is because He said that’s the way it is. So if we can keep our hands on our humility and not let it go for anything, God will take care of the rest.

I’ve been staring at my computer for 15 minutes

Maybe I’m foggy today. Maybe I’m feeling too much and thinking too much and trying to understand too many things at once. But I feel somewhat like a dry well this morning, like if you reached in for a cool drink of water all anyone is going to get is a bucket of mud. I guess there’s just a lot going on.

The verse for today is a great one.

John 4:24

24 For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.”

 And it certainly is a good thing to remember. God is Spirit.

Knowing who (or what) someone is usually determines how we respond or act toward it. I mean, knowing someone is a king means you shouldn’t run up and try to hug them or chew with your mouth open in front of them. Stuff like that.

I think about all the idols people worshipped in the past (although people worship just as many idols today). They did all sorts of ridiculous things for gods made of rock and wood and metal. Horrific things. Ghastly things that make me feel sick and wonder how people could ever do anything like it for any reason whatsoever.

It’s amazing to me that all God asks from us is trust. If you really get down to it, that’s all He asks. Trust Him. Trust Him when He says He’ll bless you, protect you, never abandon you.

It’s odd. And it’s different than any religion in the world (maybe I should say any other religion in the world, but that would imply that God is attached to a religious system; He’s not).

So it makes sense that worshipping Him might be a little different too. So many people have so many ideas about what worship is. Some people think it only happens in church. Some people think that if you haven’t got your hands up in the air, it isn’t real. Some people think that there needs to be fainting and healing and shouting for it to be real.

I’m not an expert on this, but worship is an attitude. It’s more than something you say or do. It’s how you live. It’s what you think about. It’s the reason you do anything you do, say anything you say.

My incredible friend Lance Cummins once said that worship is telling God how much He means to us. It’s giving Him the glory and the credit for everything in our lives and thanking Him for everything we have and don’t have. It’s not just singing. It’s not just doing good deed. You can worship God when you’re standing still. You can worship God when you’re singing or when you’re dancing or when you’re playing an instrument. You can worship God at church, but you can also worship in your home, in your place of work, in your relationship with other people.

You can worship when you’re having a great day. And you can worship when the day is long and cold and dark and depressing and it feels like there’s no end to it. You can worship Him when you’re sad. When you feel discouraged. When you feel alone. When you make mistakes. (I’m so glad we can worship Him when we make mistakes; if we couldn’t, how could we ever worship Him? We make mistakes all the time.)

Worship is an attitude. Worship is a lifestyle. And it’s not getting all emotional and teary at the drop of a hat. It’s not jumping up and down and hooting and hollering and screaming and falling down. It’s not chaos.

Worship is the purposeful act of directing your thoughts toward God when you don’t feel like it. Worship is trusting that God forgives you even when you make an unforgiveable mistake. Worship is giving Him the credit for the work you think you have done all by yourself. Worship is living a life for Him and not hiding it.

Worship is so much more than anyone ever thinks it is. And what you worship will give you something in return. It will either give you peace or it will eventually take it away.

So to me it’s better to trust God, knowing that He is able to make the circumstances of our lives all work together for our good and His glory, than to trust in anything else, whether it’s my job or my finances or my family or my church or my pastor or my friends or my insurance company or the government. I won’t have my job forever. I won’t be secure in my finances forever. My family won’t be around forever and neither will my church or my pastor or my friends.

God is Spirit. Worship Him in Spirit and in truth. Worship Him with everything He made you to be. Trust Him. He really does know what He’s doing, and what’s wonderful about God is that He can see the entire picture of our lives, every little detail, and He knows exactly how everything is going to work out. And it’s going to be good.

So when do I get a free Coca-Cola?

So it’s a really long story, but legend has it that you will have “arrived” as a world traveler when someone gives you a free Coca-Cola.

I never thought I could ever possibly in a million years classify for this prestigous honor.

I might this year, though.

Arkansas last week.

Florida next week.

Kansas City next weekend.

Delaware in March (maybe)

Alaska in April (a definite total long shot but still could happen).

Texas in May (maybe).

Guatemala in July.

And then I know I’m going somewhere in September or October.

And I simply HAVE to fit a trip in to Boston to see the Cummins family.

So . . . . . I’m really hoping that a free Coca-Cola is in the near future for me.