Wednesday, October 27, 2010

No Mask Needed

As a kid, I could not get over the idea that on one night each year we could go house to house and get all the free candy we could bag and then come home and eat it. All we had to do is wear a really cheap and cheesy costume that made us look just a little like a Cowboy or Superman or Popeye or Snow White or Cinderella. This was just too good to be true. These costumes included a plastic mask with a couple holes in it and the cheapest rubber band on the back to hold it in place. The rubber band always broke and you could never breathe out of those holes.

Trick or Treat was the magic phrase and the goodies would come our way - what a great deal! I cannot believe that my parents suspended all the rules on this night - wandering the streets in the dark, wearing weird clothes, and eating enough candy to cause anyone to become a diabetic over night! What were my parents thinking! Even crazier is that I did the same thing with my daughter and now with my Grand kids!

Wearing a mask is fine for Trick or Treating but wearing masks in our daily life can be disastrous. I am constantly amazed at the people I meet who are hiding behind a mask, trying to be someone they are not. Why do we do it? Some hide because they are afraid that if you knew who they really are you would not accept them or love them. Some wear masks to try to bully or intimidate others in to doing what they want.

Being real is basic to being healthy and content. Living in some kind of fantasy world about who we are is dangerous. How can we build real relationships if we cannot be real with the people we love and care about?

No masks are needed. Your creator knows what is under that mask - you can hide nothing.

"God so loved _________ "(put your name in the blank) not because of how you look or some human accomplishment - God's love sees through all the masks to the real me.

Just thinking, Steve

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Voting Stories

It is voting time again. The mid-term elections are upon us. I do encourage people to get out and vote - what a great responsibility to prayerfully prepare and vote.

When I was a kid the local politicians, like the local Sheriff who was up for reelection and had been Sheriff for years, would send his Deputies out to pick up people to come vote. And yes, they used their patrol cars to give them "free" rides. Seems a little fishy to me but it was the way it was done. The Sheriff seemed to always win by a landslide.

Texas politics has always been pretty colorful. Some people running for office were known to have had people vote for them who had been dead and buried for years. Someone apparently went to the cemetery and got the names off the gravestones and cast their vote for them!

For years many states had a "poll tax" - you literally had to pay to vote. So politicians would send their supporters out with money to pass out to all those who might be a little short on cash come election day. Who says you cannot buy votes.

I heard a country and western singer talking about getting in trouble with the law and ending up going to jail. He was convicted of a felony and so he was no longer allowed to vote or carry a gun. He said he did miss being able to vote but being a country and western singer and not having a gun was downright dangerous in the crowd he hung out with. He said he did get one good hit song out of going to jail, which eased the pain a good bit, especially whenever the royalty checks would come in every year.

One couple I knew were opposites when it came to politics but they would always vote just to negate the others vote. There are all kinds of motivations for voting - sometimes all it takes is knowing that your spouse will vote for the other person!

Early voting is great! Getting it done early usually means a shorter line. Some of the most enthusiastic voters are early voters - they are so excited you would think it's the Grand Opening of a new Wal-Mart! My parents would always vote on the first morning of early voting - they could not wait!

We are blessed - in some countries people who vote for the wrong candidate loose a hand or finger or worse!

Enjoy the blessing - see you at the polls!

Just thinking, Steve

Saturday, October 16, 2010

New Seasons of Life

Fall is here and I am thinking of all the things I love about it. Football, pumpkins, trick or treat, changing leaves, cooler weather, and so much more. Of course, I love all the seasons. When Winter arrives I glory in the cold days and the chill in the air but I also love those first warm days of Spring and the spring flowers that are so spectacular. And of course, Summer is so great with days at the river and on the beach and time with family - wonderful!

The need for seasons in our life is so clear. We need the change - something new, different, a new way, a new challenge, a new journey, a new place and time. Seasons in life are often resisted by human beings. I see people who live in denial that they have entered a new season in life. They are not in their 20's anymore but they kick and scream about the natural change of becoming older. Why not welcome it and enjoy the new experiences it will bring. Some couples dread the day that their kids will grow up and leave home - the "empty nest" leaves them with an empty heart! But this is simply a new season in life - embrace it, enjoy it - see what you can learn from it!

I read recently that more people are living into their 100's with each passing decade. Life can be long and full - what will you do with the seasons that come? You can moan and groan and complain about each passing season of life or find the amazing newness of these God shaped new experiences - you have a choice.

I, for one, will embrace each one and live it to the max!

"There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under heaven" Ecclesiastes 3:1

Just thinking, Steve