Thursday, May 12, 2022

On Indecision


From Ulysses S. Grant by Brooks D. Simpson.

"That winter James Rusling, a colonel in the quartermaster's department, caught his first look at the hero of Chattanooga [Grant] and was disappointed. Here was no shiny general with brass buttons, sash and sword, but a rather common-looking man, just like 'a country storekeeper or a western farmer.' The general was 'evidently intent on everything but show.' But when it came to giving orders, Grant came alive, his 'clear and penetrating eye' and set jaw suggesting that he could 'dare great things, and hold on mightily, and toil terribly' in pursuit of his objective. He might be a man of few words, but 'he knew exactly what he wanted, and why and when he wanted it.' Nearly every night the general could be found using the telegraph to keep tabs on his command (and the enemy), as he pondered the next move.

"Once, the colonel approached Grant with a requisition order authorizing large expenditures. Briefly reviewing the report, the general gave his approval, catching the colonel by surprise. Might the general want to ponder the matter a little longer? Was he sure he was right? Grant looked up. 'No, I am not,' he responded; 'but in war, anything is better than indecision. We must decide. If I am wrong, we shall soon find it out and can do the other thing. But not to decide wastes both time and money, and may ruin everything.'"

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Truth is...There really are only three options: Lead, Follow, or Get Out of the Way.

Thursday, May 5, 2022

What Are You Leaning On?


When we moved to our current house in May of 1995, we had to tidy up the back yard a little bit. There was a stray railroad tie that we weren't sure what to do with, so we leaned it up against a maple tree "for now".

Now, these many years later, we couldn't put that railroad tie anywhere else, even if we wanted to. The tree trunk has grown around the end that was resting on it and has even lifted the railroad tie off the ground as the tree stretches toward the sky.

Truth is...A person could draw more than one lesson from this little parable, and you are invited to do so. For me, it shows the importance of what I choose to lean on in life for stability and balance...because eventually, I will not only be leaning on it, I will be part of it. Praise God that when I lean on Jesus, he accepts me as his own and brings me closer to the Father.

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Ever Wonder Why You Were Born?


Right off the bat, let's get a clear understanding of what I'm talking about. I don't mean how were you conceived or the reasoning behind your parents' desire for a family. I do mean, what significance does your life have, lived with your choices and motivations and passions. What is the grand-scale purpose of your existence on Planet Earth?

Consider the following chart.

If you really love something and the world really needs it, that constitutes a personal mission for you.

If the world needs something and you get paid for doing it or supplying it, that is a vocation.

If you are great at something and are getting paid for it, that is your profession.

If you really love something and you are great at it, that can be considered your passion.

But when all of that comes together into one thing; when your vocation, profession, passion, and mission find a single point of focus...that can be considered your purpose.

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Truth is...a purpose-driven life is so much more than a book title. To live in harmony with how God has wired you up will bring satisfaction to you and practically everyone you come in contact with. It is a union greatly to be desired.

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Everybody Stars in Their Own Story


The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows, by John Koenig, is a "dictionary of made-up words for emotions that we all feel but don't have the words to express." I'm currently borrowing it from my youngest daughter, but I may need to buy a copy for myself.

It's the kind of book that you can't just sit down and read through. Each page...or even just a part of a page...needs to be sat with for a bit and allowed to simmer.

My interest in this book was solidified because of one word that appears in the introductory section.

sonder: the realization that each random passerby is the main character of their own story, in which you are just an extra in the background.

When I read that, my jaw dropped and my eyes grew wide.

It really shouldn't have been such a revelatory moment. I mean, for a long time I have certainly felt like I was starring in a movie about me. Why shouldn't everyone else feel the same way about themselves?

Then my daughter directed me to the following video created by Koenig, and I knew I needed to read this book.

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Even though the word didn't exist at the time, I first experienced sonder during my first mission trip to Panama.

Our small group had parked our van on one end of a slab of asphalt that served as the neighborhood basketball court. We hung a sheet on the broad side of the van to use as a movie screen to show The Jesus Film. In preparation for the movie, and to help gather a crowd, our Panamanian hosts led a time of worship.

Then it hit me. Even though I had grown up in a church that emphasized mission work and I knew in my head that God's love applied to every people and every language group, I still had a feeling that God was paying particular attention to wherever I was and whatever I was doing. But standing there listening to worship songs that I couldn't understand a single word of, I realized that Yahweh was right there, enjoying every note.

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Truth is...He's got the whole world in his hands.

Thursday, April 14, 2022

The New Testament in 50 Minutes


Previously on Truth Is... we traveled through thousands of years of Middle Eastern history, thanks to Jeff Walling, getting an overview of the main point of the collection of writings that has come to be known as the Bible; specifically, the Old Testament.

This week, let's do the same with Walling's quick flyover of the New Testament.

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Truth is... It's not too hard to understand. It's not a bunch of made-up googily moogily. It is the grand scheme of time unfolding so the world will know that God loves forever.

Thursday, April 7, 2022

The Old Testament in 50 Minutes


It's one thing to pick a couple Bible verses and use them to support your opinion or argue against someone else's or decorate your home, but it's something else to have a comprehensive understanding of what God's main point is throughout the whole Bible.

I found a little something that might help.

I have been grateful for and benefitted from the abilities of Jeff Walling since way back in the days when I was a youth pastor. I

If you take the time to watch the video below, I think you'll understand why.

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Truth is...even this is only part of the story. Come back next week for the exciting conclusion! (Or perhaps, an exciting beginning?)

Thursday, March 31, 2022

Life Means So Much


As a follow-up to last week's post about how brief life is, let's allow Chris Rice to encourage us with his song, "Life Means So Much."

Every day is a journal page
Every man holds a quill and ink
And there's plenty of room for writing in
All we do and believe and think
So will you compose a curse
Or will today bring the blessings
Fill the page with rhyming verse
Or some random sketchings

Teach us to count the days
Teach us to make the days count
Lead us in better ways
Somehow our souls forgot
Life means so much
Life means so much
Life means so much

Every day is a bank account
And time is our currency
So no one's rich, nobody's poor
We get 24 hours each
So how are you gonna spend
Will you invest or squander
Try to get ahead
Or help someone who's under

Has anybody lived who knew the value of a life
And don't you think giving His all would prove
The worth of yours and mine

Teach us to count the days
Teach us to make the days count
Lead us in better ways
That somehow our souls forgot
Life means so much

Every day is a gift you've been given
Make the most of the time every minute you're living
©2000 Clumsy Fly Music

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Truth is...what we do with the admittedly-small amount of time we are given matters. How we treat people makes a difference...for them and for us and for all eternity. "Teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom." (Psalm 90:12)