Politics & Religion

It’s often said that the two things not to bring up at a large family event are politics & religion. The same goes for Facebook and social media lately as I’ve seen multiple “fights” break out as a result of politically related discussions.

I get it, these issues, for many people, are very personal. They are often cornerstones of belief that they have been past down from generation to generation. They can also be very complicated subjects with lots of “facts” on all sides of the issue. As a result, some people feel that these issues should remain “private” and should not be discussed.

If that’s someones view and they choose not to engage in discussion on the matter, that’s certainly their prerogative, but for me, it’s something much different.

Faith first, is the foundation of who I am. My belief in God, Jesus, and the Bible guides my decisions in life. I don’t always hold true to it as a I should and I often stumble in the walk, but it is the place I go back to for direction. It’s changed my life, it’s changed who I am, for the better — not perfect, far from it, but better and I want to share that with others.

Politics is a little different. It’s like a sport to me. While the ideals are very important to me, they are not the same as faith. I enjoy the intellectual challenges that come with policy debates, history, and charting a course for the future. I’m happy to have these discussions with people of all sides of the aisle. That’s why my brother in-law and I recently started a blog called Sometimes left, always right (arrogant, I know). We both enjoy the debate, the spectacle, and the process of it all. Don’t get me wrong, I believe what I believe strongly (as does he) and I think these things are important — BUT I’m not going to let it wreck my day.

Come November, either Obama or Romney will be elected President and the wailing from the opposite side will commence. Let’s step back, take a deep breath and realize that while these things are import and they can ultimately affect our lives, we only have so much control over them.

It is all worth discussion, it’s worth researching, and worth debating — but it’s not worth getting all upset about.

Steve Jobs Death & Greater Purpose

Steve Jobs died today.

A visionary, a legend, an inventor, a father, and a husband.

It is a sad day for Apple and Apple fans, of which I am one. 

There are few people who have inspired others to think differently about technology and business than Steve Jobs. He shaped, and reshaped, industries and inspired others to do the same.

He leaves this earth at the young age of just 56.

Steve had the gift of being a talented artist and a precise engineer all at the same time. Not to mention he could give a keynote like no other.

What strikes me the most about his passing is not the magnitude of his accomplishments, his incredible genius, or the company he has left behind. What strikes me the most is that 100% of us will also die. Regardless of how great or how worthless we are, or think we are.

What his life, and death, inspire me to seek something greater than profits or earthly achievements. Billions of dollars and millions of fans cannot add years to your life, so live it well. As Steve once said: “Your time on this earth is limited, don’t live someone else’s life, live by your vision.”

One thing we all have in common, is that one day, we will die. It might no be pleasant to think about, but it’s reality. So, what’s next?

Are we just dust? Or is there something more?

I believe this life is nothing more than a pin point on the timeline of eternity. Moments like these put things into perspective. Moments like these remind me to put more focus on the eternity and less focus on this life.

“Here’s to the crazy ones, the ones who see things differently.”

Lost in Reality

Wake up, brush teeth, get a shower, get dressed, make breakfast, pray, eat, work/school, sports, tv, more work, sleep — repeat. “Round and round we go, where we stop, no body knows.”

It’s so easy to get caught up in the cycle of every day life. So much stuff to do, so that we can buy more stuff, and do more stuff.

Every now and then, something really sticks with me. This past Sunday, our pastor said “there is one thing for certain, 100% of us will die one day, no one is getting out of here alive.” It’s an obvious statement but maybe not something we think about enough.

It is so easy to spend so much time worrying about things that have no real value but in the moment can seem monumental.

One of my favorite passages in the Bible is this:

25 "Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? 28And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33But seek firstthe kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. 34 "Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

– Matthew 6:25-34

We are on this earth for a limited time, the blink of an eye in the span of eternity, but why? Is it simply to accumulate stuff, worry about how we can get more stuff and not lose the stuff we have? Or could it be to glorify God and bring him praise?

Some say there is no God, but no one argues that we won’t make it out of this place alive. Do we just turn to dust or is the heaven (and hell) of the Bible real? I believe it is and need to be reminded regularly not to get too caught up in this life (both joys and sorrows).

Life is busy and it’s easy to get lost in reality. Maybe we all need to take a deep breath, step back, and ask God to show us a little more of his perfect plan.

…in mysterious ways.

This past weekend, after a LONG walk down the beach, my wife and I sat watching the ocean as the sun slowly faded away. With all the beauty of nature, we got to talking about God.

The sun was almost completely gone and it was getting very dark. I wondered out loud, “if God wants us to know him so bad, why does he not just revel himself to us as he did to Abraham.” Why does he not just speak or open up the sky and say, “here I am, trust in me.”

Just moments after I had asked this question, I noticed what look like a large orange cloud rising in the distance. We couldn’t quite tell what it was. As it continued to rise, it took shape and we realized it was the moon. It was full and orange, reaching up over the calm ocean. Spectacular is an understatement.

Orange MoonWe sat and watch as the moon rose into the sky. Maybe it was just the moon rising and it was all a big coincidence. Or maybe it was God saying “Here I am, trust in me.”

I rarely believe in coincidence and I do believe that God speaks to us today. It may not be in words as he did to Abraham, but he speaks none the less.

His creation, which happened to be the ocean and the moon that night, have always been the strongest sign to me that there must be a grand Creator.

Indeed, the Lord moves in mysterious ways.