When I Was Young – Coin Collecting

It All Started With Pennies

Penny Coin BookI do not remember the exact age, but at some point I was given a penny collecting coin book like in the picture. It might have been a popular gift back then, but I remember the fascination of spending time sorting through change recepticles looking for missing dates.

My memory is not real clear, but it seemed like the book started with 1909, and you would collect the pennies by year to include looking for the mint location coded by an alpha character. Most coins were minted (created) in one of several locations. Again, my memory is not real clear but if the coin was a “1909 D” then you knew it was minted in Denver.

I could take the time to research this, but those coin books are put away and church begins in just a little while!

My dilemma? What to do with the old 1909 coin when I found a newer and better 1909 coin?  Well, if you are a mini-hoarder like me, then you keep it also! You need a new way of storing it that is not another penny book, because you may get a lot of 1909’s eventually. So, you found little storage containers to put the coins in… Today I use baggies.

Back in the day of the late 50’s or early 60’s, it was not unusual to find coins with dates that are now over 100 years old. You were living closer to those dates and few thought about their age. It’s like with silver money, after about 1963 the coins were not made with silver but a collection of other materials. Back then, there was LOTS of silver money floating around because I lived in those years where they were made with silver only!

I’ve spoken about coins a lot over the years of blogging. My most recent find was a 1943 Wheat Lincoln penny that ended up in my pocket from who knows where. I still peruse all my daily coinage and look for specific years!

1920 PennyMy dry cleaner has one of those little baskets, “Need a Penny, Leave a Penny” where people scrounge for change when needed, or leave extra when they don’t want to walk out with their pockets jangling.

I have found several over the years, including this 1920. She does not mind if I look, but if it’s a winner then let’s share the wealth!

So, maybe you have never collected anything in your life. No key chains, or coffee cups from your travels? No pocket knives. No cigarette lighters that you found in yard sales and from neighbors unused sock drawers (Thanks, Kenny!).

Well, these coins have been with me since I was 5 or 6. They are not worth a lot of money, and I do not collect for value. I guess you could call it simply a hobby.

Along the way, my collecting took some diverse turns. I used to buy rolls of pennies, open each roll, replace wanted coins with unwanted coins, re-roll and deposit back in the bank account. Sometimes, a roll that came from someone’s piggy jar would be a find! Other times it was really a waste of time.

Or, the search for foreign money was spawned by finding a 1910 silver coin at a swimming pool when I was about 12. Family camp out to a state park west of Houston for a few days. I still pick that coin up every so often and wonder about its travels. To make it from Europe to Texas. What a story!

But it gave me something to enjoy. That’s what a hobby, or collection, is all about. Something to enjoy. With my hobby, I can say it’s something I’ve enjoyed for over 55 years. Hmmmm… Makes me sound old!

What about you?



My Morning – 05/23/15

May 23, 2015

New pony next door, and another neighbor telling his sheep, “It’s time to go outside and play! Now, git!!”  Roosters, Robin’s fighting (or something!), barn swallows swooping, insects being hunted, 54 degrees…. And barefooted while enjoying the deck!  Too fast to photo, but the barn swallow swoops under the deck about a foot over my head! Checking me out, I am sure!

2015-05-23 07.48.10

Clearing the Slate

Do we know how to start over?

Chalk BoardI can remember how often I wanted the job of cleaning the chalk board! Wipe it clean, and then with a damp cloth bring it back to it’s cleared state as if it were brand new being installed!

It seems like we all want a chance at start something over. We look at our present lives and they don’t match up to what we think we should be seeing, so we want to back up to an earlier state and re-boot.

Bracket LeftRecent articles note that we spend over 20 billion dollars a year on dieting products in a country that needs to lose weight… Me included. But we are spending over 56 billion dollars a year on our pets. That’s nearly 3 times as much on animals that bring joy, and not nearly enough on controlling our health that will help us live longer!

One of the ways that is popular in my neck of the woods for controlling our habits is hypnosis. They call it “positive changes”. From what I hear on the radio, there must be lines of people just waiting to attend their sessions so they can cease some bad habit – smoking, snacking, and who knows what else they talk about in those quiet moments!

Still, starting over is more than stopping the old. Don’t you think? If it was as easy as visiting an office, then I would think we would be spending more on health – at least for the time that all of us needed the assistance – than we would be spending on four legged creatures that need a new neck tie.

I’ve struggled with starting over many times. One little slip in the new habit, and it seems everything crumbles and before you know it you are back to your old habits. 

My thought this morning is not just starting over, but what point in the past do you want to start over from? There are many studies on determining what age people would like to return to, and then stay there forever. Consider a few of the nonsensical answers:

  • 8 – Being a child was so much better
  • 24 – That was a good age … old enough to know better but too young to care
  • 40 – Everything was right in my world when I was 40
  • 18 – Old enough to be an adult but still not too much responsibilities.

Seldom do you see older numbers! It seems we all look at the past with favored eyes and remember a time when all seemed right in the world – so that’s the age to return to.

This is my crucible. What age of innocence would I like to return to for the re-start to be enjoyable? I love and enjoy the age that I am! We’ve heard the saying that Grandkids are so much fun, why couldn’t we have started out with them first? Backing up is not always the answer, especially if we are going to recreate the same life with the same choices.

Clean SlateWhile it is true that if my slate was wiped clean, and a restart was in the cards, then there are some habits I would love to start off with that would make my present age more prepared. You know, eat and exercise better, laugh more, better parent-husband-child, save and invest better, start good habits young and let them keep you healthy and wealthy into older ages!

Maybe, just maybe, the concept of a clean slate is simply starting over fresh with the day ahead of us, and striving to make it the best day we can.

“I’ll wipe the slate clean for each of them. I’ll forget they ever sinned!” …” (Jeremiah 31:34 MSG)

If God can forget yesterday, can we? Can we start fresh today as if yesterday did not happen? I do not think we can ever go back to some idyllic point in the past with all the knowledge and habits of today. How many stories are written of “retooling, retraining, or simply rewriting” someones life so they can start over anew? Way too many people have thought about this.

What I can do is follow a process of making sure that my today’s produce a good product that will be enjoyed tomorrow. If there is something that is a left over from time gone by, work hard at fixing it so that the future is not sullied. If nothing can be done, then…

“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,The courage to change the things I can,And the wisdom to know the difference.”  Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971)


Intentionally Blank

This if often a dangerous place to be…

2014-11-24 09.17.40A blank mind can easily be filled with something, anything, and the ending result could be worse than some former state.

It’s a clean slate, populate it with what you choose – and this is often what we think about a child having an empty mind and is filled up with what their environment exists of.

Label the learning. Paint the picture.

Have you ever taken on new responsibilities, or a new job, and one of the first things suggested to you is to forget all you ever thought you knew about some subject – they were going to teach you what you “should” know.

Clear the slate. Populate it with “their” way of doing things.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could start life off with a clean slate every so often? All of our bad habits, wrong choices, and perhaps even a better prepared understanding of future options!

I love the way David pens his thoughts in his didactic, or instructive, psalms.

“A David psalm. Count yourself lucky, how happy you must be– you get a fresh start, your slate’s wiped clean. Count yourself lucky– GOD holds nothing against you and you’re holding nothing back from him.” (Psalms 32:1-2 MSG)

You get a fresh start! Your slate’s wiped clean! Hallelujah!!

I would like to write the next few days about what’s important to fill your mind with… Could we not have a fresh start that begins today? Sure!

If you have some thoughts about a fresh start that you would like to have, why don’t you let me know. Maybe it’s something to add to the stew pot!

The Daily Read

There was a time…. Remember when…?

NewspaperWhen traveling I appreciate the daily newspaper that many hotels provide. Probably it is the USA Today, a fine daily that references the entire USA – little in the way of the local scene.

As I have written before my only purchased subscription is our weekly paper, The Nisqually Valley News. A week back I picked up a Sunday edition of The Olympian and found the same thing to be true as I reported several times. Newspapers are simply a dying breed of communication!

There was a time in life when the daily newspaper was so important.

In a bygone era it reported the happenings of the recent past, and promoted current and future events. Newspapers were inhaled, savored and the news was shared with everyone in the family. Newspapers were saved, or at least stories and pictures if nothing more. I remember that you could wrap frozen stuff in newspaper, put it on ice, and supposedly it would stay frozen longer. All the more reason to have plenty of newspaper around. I learned from someone (my mind draws a blank) that the best way to clean glass (auto or home) was with Windex and Newspaper… Something about the style of paper and the ink. Of course, the bottom of the bird cage always welcomes the paper. I always want to make sure it’s arranged properly so that the the bird can read the latest news.

When living in the Houston area some 30 years ago, we were blessed with two mainstream newspapers. I subscribed to both. One came in the morning and the other came in the afternoon. As early as 4:30, the paper would be on the driveway – being that I’m a very early morning person, this has set the stage for my paper desire. The Houston Post and the Houston Chronicle. Personally, the Post was my favorite. Not being a huge followers of sports, this section was good for auto and outdoor advertisements – always a favorite place to turn to, and it had good sections covering hunting and fishing.  Another reason for both papers were the comics – there were some in each that I really enjoyed following.

Eventually the evening paper became a morning paper, and I chose the Post over the Chronicle. Then the Post went belly-up and the Chronicle became the only mainstream newspaper in Houston, combining the resources of both into a final result.

When living in Anchorage, Alaska, we too enjoyed two mainstream newspapers – The Anchorage Times and The Anchorage Daily News. When we first moved there I subscribed to both to determine which one I would keep. My kids were pictured in the papers several times while playing at the Valley of the Moon park, or walking the downtown streets in a parade.

I determined that having two newspapers in one city generally meant each had a niche, maybe one would be considered liberal and the other would be conservative – or – one would focus on statewide events and the other focused on local events. My memory is faint concerning the differences between the papers in Anchorage and Houston, but the thing that really drew me to one over the other – the aesthetics and style of the paper, and which one was easier to read.

If a paper is like the Wall Street Journal, then I am unlikely to choose it. If it comes across like a textbook then I reject it – it comes across like work and school.

Even as I complete an advanced degree I have determined this is my personal view of textbooks also – give me one that is pleasing to the eye and makes me want to move my eyes down and through the pages.

Today, I live in Washington State, near the tri-city area of Lacey (where I pastor), Olympia (state capital/capitol – I always get these two words confused) and Tumwater. The daily paper here is called The Olympian. For our first 7 years I have tried to keep The Olympian in business by giving it my support. Repeatedly, the paper gains a new carrier and the paper starts showing up later and later. If it’s not here by 6am, then I don’t have time to read it. When it comes by 7-7:30, then many times I’m gone from the house and it’s a beacon to thieves that no one is at home. I’ve communicated several times with the Editor and really there is nothing they can do to speed up delivery in the rural area.

So, I quit the paper and have struggled to replace this Daily News habit with something else.

My other paper choice is like the one I grew up with in Channelview, The Sentinel – owned and operated by the Benson Printing Company. When in High School, I worked for the paper – cleaning the offices, emptying trash, becoming good friends with the manager – Jim Stokes, and the mother/son team that represented the owners.

The printing press room was fascinating – large, noisy, smelling of ink and paper, and an enjoyable place to be as the presses were running. The room where they laid out each page of the paper was fun – mostly women worked here who were good at typing, writing, cutting and pasting. Then the other interesting room was where they took the pages from the layout room, made images of them on metal plates to send to the printing press. It was always dark because of the developing process of making the images.

I even wrote some articles for the paper about the Channelview Falcons – seeing that I was a photographer at school and was going to many of the games.

So, my only local paper is The Nisqually Valley News. Like The Sentinel, it is a weekly paper, and even comes out on the same day – Wednesday. Being that I’m a little rural from the city it is published in, Yelm, I get it mailed to me and it arrives on Friday – so I read it every Saturday morning. For about 25.00 I get a 2 year subscription of all the local news and events that are important to the local residents. It covers an area larger than Channelview – Bucoda, Tenino, Rainier, Yelm, McKenna and Roy. It recaps last weeks events and tells me what’s happening in the next two weeks.

I read it cover to cover in about 30-45 minutes.

This constitutes my Daily News, a habit that was two newspapers, twice a day – down to a single paper in the morning, and now once a week – this is such a different habit than I started in my teenage years.

So many things have changed. I have Breaking News from a Seattle news conglomerate to tell me when something important happens in the region. The Olympian and The News Tribune (Tacoma, WA) sends me daily digest emails with their important features, and with a click I can go straight to their web report of the story. Of course, they now want you to have an electronic subscription that is less than the print subscription.

All the national and world news sites are reporting on the web and with my phone, laptop or desktop, I can find out what’s happening. There is a lot of news missing from my prior habit – the personal stories, pictures and school events.

So, I am saddened by the disappearance of the habit of my youth. Seldom do I have ink stained fingers from pouring over the paper. When I do pick up a Sunday paper (so I can get the circulars), it is a disappointing experience because of the smaller size they have become.

When I travel I enjoy the hotel giving me a USA Today or a local paper while I drink my morning coffee.

My cousin sent me an email recently that showed a lot of pictures of historical places and sites in and around the Houston area. Some I recognized and immediately reminisced about, others had already moved off the scene and I remember nothing about them.

I wonder… Will someday someone send around a similar email (or whatever will replace email) around and one of the holographic images will be of a newspaper and the next generation will say, “O, yeah, I seem to remember my gramps reading one of those!”

What Does Your Story Say About You?

Over the past few years I have transitioned…

Amazon Book ListNo longer am I browsing the brick and mortar book stores, hungry for something to read. These days I have my list of authors that I am busy converting to digital tomes. With my electronic devices I can carry hundreds, no, thousands, of books with me wherever I go!

This has helped in my recent past as a student. As I travel, digital books pack much better than big text books!

Still, I was thinking about all the millions of books over the years that have shared millions and zillions of stories. Some make it to the popularity list and it seems like everyone wants to read it. Think about the Potter books, and then movies, that made adults and youth alike want to dress the part and then take part in the story of a fictional young wizard type of person!

When I was in 4th grade, Mrs Winters made a habit of reading “The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe” to us every Friday afternoon before we went home. I can tell you I enjoyed the story, but not enough to invest my pennies in the book… I was into Hardy Boys and Tom Swift at this time and could imagine being any of the characters in these stories!

While perusing some material I found reference to a writer that was busy writing the “Story of his life” that would be made into a movie, Donald Miller by name. The producer of the movie says, “The story of your life is boring!”  Thinking it through, the author sums it up: “Life is staggering – and we’re all just used to it!”

Think about it… Life is boring, and staggering at the same time.

When you consider how each person is a creation and extension of DNA from countless generations, and with each step you take in life you are only able to progress because some sacrifice in the past made it possible. We never made it to the moon without those investigators into flight, or those science students that gazed at the stars, or those teachers that challenged minds to think bigger.

If one person in the present was tasked with telling your story, then it is true that there is so much boring activity. But when looked at over time, then that boring becomes the backdrop for mighty big steps and changes in life.

“Newton took a long time to flesh out his theory on gravity. Some “eureka”moments cover decades of time!” ~me

In the midst of the success stories are hundreds of thousands of failure stories. We often pay them no mind, but look to those who have made the strides from nothing, to something. We all know the story of Thomas Edison, repeatedly making attempts at creating something new. Failure was found more often than “eureka”… and it covered much of his adult life.

“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”~Thomas Edison

Give up… This is the solution of many. They take the easy path that leads them no where specific, with no expected arrival date, and with no guiding light to get them from point “A” to point “B”…

An internal war between tribes, back in the days of the 12 Tribes of Israel, pitted two leaders against each other. On one side was Israel and the rebellious ones. On the other side was Judah, the “praisers” of God. Israel had 800,000 fighters. Judah had only 400,000. Rebellion against praisers. In a short chapter we find the story line, but the thought for today is the telling of the story of the ruler over Judah – Abijah…

“The rest of the acts of Abijah, his ways and his sayings, are written in the story of the prophet Iddo.” (2 Chronicles 13:22 ESV)

His story of success is said to be told in other works. Someone took the time to record and relate his life. This makes me want to go and get the next book in the story line and follow through!

I love a good story. Much of my desire for story comes from the search for adventure and wonderment.- stories that give me insight into a time period or a location, stories that give answers for questions that I have.

I’ve concluded that writers like Louis L’Amour have found a format for story and can tell the same format over and over, only the names and places and circumstances are changed, and people will buy their stories for years and rave over the books.

Yet, to satisfy my own needs of knowledge and exploration of the world around me, I look for stories and authors than can bring the world alive. Give me something that I can live in for the moment of the story and learn about this world we live in. There are several author’s that help me be in the moment.

  • Michener Book CoversJames Michener penned saga’s involved with people, places and things that seemingly covers the entire globe. He covers generations of time in 1000 pages. For example, he wrote a book on Hawaii. The first 150 pages were nothing more than the description on how these islands were formed. In another book he writes about an archeological dig in Israel, and for about 1200 pages he writes a story of each level of excavation, giving me insight as to how that time period might have lived. Still, in another book he explains the spawning cycle of the Pacific salmon in such a way that Scientist have concluded he’s nailed it!
  • Bruce Feilor, who wrote a number of books about his heritage as Jew and his travels through the Middle East to discover and document his roots. There is even a PBS special on this that I bought on Amazon and I enjoyed watching him make the trek of a lifetime, interviewing locals and discovering the land.  After reading nearly 3000 pages of his writings I can appreciate the hardship of the Jewish nation from the perspective of a Jew trying to understand why all “this” has happened to his people.

At the end of our lives, we are going to sit before God and He’s going to open the book that sums up our lives. Perhaps embedded within the pages of His book will be every single moment of our lives. Will there be recorded all the drama and excitement of our lives alongside all the boring and uninteresting moments? Perhaps. But the most important thing will be our summation. Will we hear the words: “Well done thou good and faithful servant…” Or perhaps those dreaded words will say: “Depart from me, I never knew you…”

What will be the summation of your staggering life?

I believe some of us are struggling with the story of our lives and how to make it more meaningful. We are caught up with the drama of day to day stuff and we’re missing the staggering beauty and hope of our existence. We fail to see that our choices are telling stories about us that write our very existence on the pages of someone’s book. At the end of our life, someone will stand over us and read a few of our pages. That will matter so little, we are gone and will not hear the words of others!

What will matter more is what God says…

Let me share a contrast of two different stories in scripture.

First Story:

The great leader, Moses, is non longer around. The challenge to the new successor, Joshua, is to lead the nation of Israel forward. Listen to what God tells Joshua at the beginning of the book that bears his name (emphasis are mine).

  • Joshua 1:1-9 Now after the death of Moses the servant of the LORD it came to pass, that the LORD spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ minister, saying, Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel. Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses. From the wilderness and this Lebanon even unto the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and unto the great sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your coast. There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them. Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest. This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.

Thus begins the story of Israel crossing the Jordan River and entering into the land of promise. It is not always a perfect story; there are many failures along the way. But at the end of his life, Joshua can encourage the people one more time and give them clear focus upon the continuing story of their lives.

  • Joshua 24:15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.

Everyone was given a choice of how to choose the pathway of their story. With one voice, the people make a choice!

  • Joshua 24:16-18 And the people answered and said, God forbid that we should forsake the LORD, to serve other gods; For the LORD our God, he it is that brought us up and our fathers out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage, and which did those great signs in our sight, and preserved us in all the way wherein we went, and among all the people through whom we passed: And the LORD drave out from before us all the people, even the Amorites which dwelt in the land: therefore will we also serve the LORD; for he is our God.

Joshua then instructs them that they must amends their ways, and turn completely to God. He even writes a covenant describing their wish to turn to God, places a stone under an oak by the Sanctuary of the Lord, and reminds them of their commitment.

Second Story:

The youngest son comes to his father at the appropriate time of life and demands his inheritance. The father gives him what is due and the young man flees from his father’s house to live in a far off place. Perhaps years stretch by and the young man finds himself having spent all that he had on “riotous living.”  The good years turn into bad years. The perceived good choices of choosing his own way and living his own life show his lack of planning and care and he ends up living in the arena of pigs. (Luke 15:11-32)

His life is really no different than Abraham’s nephew – Lot.

  • Lot “Pitched His Tent” as far as Sodom … Genesis 13:12
  • Lot “dwelt in” Sodom … Genesis 14:12
  • Lot was “sitting in” Sodom … Genesis 19:1

But something was different in this young man’s life – something caused him to come to himself!

I’m not sure how you take accounting of your rotten life and decide that what you had before must be better, but that’s exactly what this young man did. He wished to return to his father’s house and live as a hired servant, and not in the privilege of son-ship. He begins the journey home.

We find his father looking continually for him.

This is perhaps the difference for many of us today. Our story board gets rotten with life, and even still the Father is always looking for us to return to Him. How many of us are standing in place of the Father and looking for our own to return to the fold?

In neither story do we get the ending completely written for us.

In the first story, we have to keep reading and deciphering all the generations of living to see where the people are for the remainder of the Book.

In the second story, we only know that the Father has rejoiced in his lost son’s return and is willing to have a great celebration and restore him to his place as a son.

How do you choose to live your life?

You can write a story that is full of pain and suffering and there’s no hope or solution for your situation. Or you can write a story of a child of the Most High God living in Grace.

You can live like a pig, or you can live like a King!

The pig is happy, dirty, smelly, dependent upon someone to feed, and is doomed to be slaughtered someday with no hope of ever living in the palace.

The Fathers’ house has rooms of plenty, and even during the lean years there is a protection around you that the pig never gets to enjoy.

Jesus teaches a parable about a Sower. (Matt 13, Mark 4, Luke 8) The seed represents the Word of God. Mathew leaves an impression that the receiver of the seed is a single person. (Matt 13:19) Within any one of our lives we can find segments of each of these soils condition.

  • Way Side – The trampled pathways of our lives separating us from other areas. Hardened path ways that cannot have any understanding of the Word because we have trampled it down and trodden over it and not sought after making it productive ground.
  • Stony Places – The hardened places that have no depth of soil – we hear the Word, we rejoice with it, but we have no depth of soil so no root can survive.
  • Thorns – Our lives are full and prickly with the deceitfulness of riches. The Word has no chance because our focus is not upon the Word, but rather it’s upon life.
  • Good Ground – It Produces FRUIT…

To live in the pigpen causes us to forfeit living in the Father’s House. God has provided for us in the “here and now.”

Look at what our Father has given us (provisions).

  • A place where God can be found … Ex 33:21
  • A place where there is no lack … Jud 18:10
  • A place where there is no oppression … 2 Sam 7:10
  • A place of refuge … Prov 14:26
  • A place of future hope & residence … Jn 14:2-3
  • A Place of Dwelling

Psalms 27:5 For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion; In the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me; He shall set me high upon a rock.

  • For Hard Times … 2 Corinthians 4:8
  • For Weary Times … Matthew 11:28
  • For Scary Times … Psalms 56:3
  • A Place of Trust

Psalms 57:1 Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me! For my soul trusts in You; And in the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge, Until these calamities have passed by.

Trust God to protect us. Trust God to provide for us. Trust God to prepare us for the world.

  • A Place of Triumph

Psalms 32:7 You are my hiding place; You shall preserve me from trouble; You shall surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah

God gives a song of deliverance. God gives a song of praise. God gives a song of confidence.

The “Place” God has provided for us in the here and now is His Word. We find the place when we lean on, trust in, and rest with the truths in the Bible.

What is the story of your life? One final thought about this for you to consider…

Gal 6:7 – Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap

Whats Under the Hood?

Too often, a car guys first question…

Under The HoodProudly, often, an owner will speak in terms that only another car enthusiast can comprehend as s/he rattles off something like a language only understood truly by gear heads!

You seldom hear it with new cars in today’s world, but when you talk to someone who has restored a classic hot rod, then the language gets wild! From the engine, through the drive train, suspension… just get them talking and it’s hard to make them stop!

Way too many are clueless…!!

Chatting with someone the other day, they began describing the Core Principles of their life the same way a car guy describes their priceless joy.

CompassThis got me to thinking about what each of us have as a guiding light, or principle, that keeps our life on track. Again, too many are clueless. They have no internal track light that plans each step. They are without a compass that works in the darkest moments of life. If they close their eyes they become instant failures. If life throws them a curve, well, lets just imagine how any of us handle curve balls…

How do you handle the curves and falls of life? By having a core principle that sees you through the terrible moments.

Where do these principles come from?

Often they are things we grow up with but have never put into cohesive thought until we need them. Something happens and we simply respond. When we analyze our reaction, then we see that we came to our action because it is something we have seen done before, probably by a loved one.

A friend was sharing the other day that in his younger years he was somewhat a hand full. You know, typical teenager rebellion. Alone in his room he hears a voice on the other twin bed. His father. Praying for him. A changing point for sure. Can you imagine this example then following him into his own parenthood as he raises children? He becomes a father. Praying for his kids. Much like his dad.

This becomes a principle that he espouses to his church today, “We will not be what we are supposed to be unless we are a praying church.” Just like the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray, he leads his church in example of praying that comes from multiple generations.

“Now Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.” (Luke 11:1 ESV)

See what I mean? Something from childhood guides the next generation. Its like the granddaughter cutting off the end of a ham before cooking it. “Mom, why do you cut off the end of the ham?” I don’t know, we have always done it this way! A few phone calls down the generational tree and you find out that the grandmother did it this way because her pan was not big enough for the ham!

We pick the principles that are impactful, and we live them without even thinking about how to word them to others. They become our core. Our guiding light. Our compass.

“Pity the fool” (in Mr T’s voice), “…that has no core principle!”

Here’s one thought for you to consider. Core principles are building blocks for other principles that we need when we struggle with something new. They become our bedrock for making better choices. They guide our steps for higher dimensions.

This is the critical thing to know about Core Principles. They help us make choices that lead to success.

Without these principles we make foolish mistakes.

One Sunday we were behind a car stopped at a stop sign. They were refusing to move. Horns. Anger. Many cars in line. I got out and went to the drivers window and there was a blond lady slumped over the steering wheel, drooling out the corner of her mouth. When I tapped on the window, she opened her bright blue and with weary and blurred eyes she simply stared at me. I motioned for her to roll down the window and she did. “Are you okay? You’re just sitting here.” Yes. Then she floored the car and roared through the stop sign. Missing a car. And sliding off into the ditch. I run to her car and motion her to stop pressing the gas pedal. She just keeps on driving, going no where, and not even wondering how I can stand beside her moving vehicle. Finally she stops. Other drivers run up and help her out of the ditch and she just keeps on driving down the road. Stoned.

One of my core principles has always been to never take anything that makes me lose control of my surroundings. Why do people drink? To get drunk. Just think about the word used to describe it – ALCOHOL. We cleanse with and they burn things with it. Why ingest it? Why drugs? They are probably running from something. IDK….

So, what’s under the hood? What are your core principles?