Archive for August 2010

Trail Name: Life Rating: Strenuous!

August 14, 2010

These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”– John 16:33

Eileen and I were on vacation last week. I hope you missed your “Thursday Thoughts”, but we’re back now.

One of the things we did while away was to go hiking on some trails along the Blue Ridge Parkway. One of the trails was to Crabtree Falls.

The listed distance was 2 miles and it was posted as “Strenuous.” As we headed out, I realized something was really, really wrong. It was downhill! It was fairly steep downhill, how could this be “strenuous”?

Early on the trail we met a little girl, who appeared to be about 6 years old, sitting while her dad talked to another man. The little girl looked at us and said, “It’s tough, but it’s worth it!”

Well, we made it to the falls, which were beautiful, by the way, and sat as the cool mist wafted over us. Then it was time to move on – time to head back to the old parking lot. Now, the trail was uphill– steep uphill.

While it was difficult, it was no surprise. We were warned from the start, thus we were prepared for the challenge.

The verse quoted above is also a “warning.” Jesus tells us there will be difficult times, “tribulations.” In other words, life’s journey will sometimes be uphill and the way rocky and steep.

But, that’s not all He says. Don’t miss the great news included there – He says, “don’t worry about, it – I’ve already conquered the steep parts,” or “It’s tough, but it’s worth it!”

“Jungle Warfare: A Basic Field Guide for Christians in Sales” by Christopher A. Cunningham

August 11, 2010

I guess this would be a “specialty market” or niche book. As the name implies, it is meant specifically for those who are in sales. However, the principals the author brings out regarding daily life in the market place or public life are applicable to us all. I am rather reluctant to recommend it for everyone though, because, no doubt, there would be those who would miss the application.

Mr. Cunningham takes (literally) the pages of a World War II infantry training manual and applies the advice to the modern sales professional. Each day there is a section of the field manual, followed by Bible readings and a “Battle Plan” (the modern application). This is supplemented with a prayer and sections for personal thoughts (journaling) and prayer requests.

Each of the twenty-two daily devotionals is fairly short and should easily fit into the busiest of schedules.

This book would make a nice gift for any sales professional.      

I post these reviews as a member of Thomas Nelson’s Book Review Blogger Program. I receive a free copy of the book, but am not required to give a positive review.  Check it out at http://www.booksneeze.com

The Best Fruit

August 1, 2010

Honor the Lord with your possessions, And with the firstfruits of all your increase.”

–           Ecclesiastes 3:14

One of life’s little pleasures is getting to the fruit bin at the grocery store right after it has been restocked. On the other hand, it is not much fun to have to pick through a few wrinkled pieces after the rest of the world has handled it moving a spongy apple out of the way to get to the crisp ones.

There isn’t much joy in trying to decide which bananas to take home when the all have more black than yellow on them. Then, there are always the grapes which are so old and shriveled, you know if you wait 30 more minutes, you’ll be able to buy them as raisins.

And, again, as if the condition of the fruit itself wasn’t bad enough, you know everyone else has picked these up, handled them and then moved them to the side. YUCK!

We deserve better, right? We are paying good money for these things and we want the best, right?

Let’s us consider for a moment the verse above. A lot of folks think this verse is just about money, but what is your “increase?” Are not all of our blessings in life added to us? Our jobs, our time, even our families?

Why then do we spend ourselves with so much effort in every direction and then bring whatever is left over (if anything) to God?

How many folks are just “too tired” or “too busy” to take time to honor God on a daily basis, much less go to church? Or, even for those who do, don’t have the physical or emotional energy to engage in fellowship and worship because they are drained from all other activities?

Maybe God feels like we do at the “picked over” produce bin.