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 Pastor's Blog 
Monday, October 10 2016

“If you want to succeed in marriage you need to be a little deaf sometimes.”

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (paraphrased)


Good morning to you, friends!  I’m aware that some of you are still experiencing after effects of Hurricane Matthew, or perhaps you have friends or family affected, so my prayers are with you.  May peace be with you soon.


This morning I reflect on this quote I heard last week from an interview Justice Ginsburg granted earlier in the year.  I was walking listening to a podcast when this quote nearly stopped me in my tracks.  Justice Ginsburg summarized a solution for much of the stress, anxiety and brokenness in our world.  All we need is a little deafness!


I modify Justice Ginsburg’s quote to include success in any area of relationships.  Whenever and wherever people gather for any reason we are often our own worst enemies.  To wit, very frequently I am privy to conversations that don’t deserve the word; they are more accurately arguments and heavy disagreements.  Participants make their points early then spend the rest of the time defending and debating.  The thought seems to be that the last one to speak “wins”.  Have you ever been caught in such a scene?  No fun, is it?


Our desires to “win” or “be right” cause us to behave in ways that create more casualties than confidants.  We say the harsh word, or mean word, or hurtful word, all in the passionate pursuit of “winning”.  Or these words are said to us.  What if we prioritized relationships over “right” and we over “wins”?  Selective deafness takes maturity, self-confidence, compassion, forgiveness and more… a quality package of a good stuff. 

Lest you think me to be a one-sided hypocrite, I confess.  I am so thankful my wife is a practitioner of selective deafness.  At my worst I am a terrible husband and father and our continuity is supremely due to her deafness to my badness.  At the worst of us all we drive people away instead of attracting them just as often as we are driven away.  We all need a little deafness.


If you’re looking for a simple way to improve your life try a little deafness today.  In the eyes of other persons you’ll win less and you’ll be right less but on the better side you will have less stress, anxiety, frustration and anger as well as more friends.  Thank you, Justice Ginsburg, for delivering this fine decision for us.  I hope we will all accede to your ruling!  I’ll try; will you?  I hope you will make it a priority, and have a great week!



Posted by: Pastor Thomas AT 09:05 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, October 04 2016

“What do you want to be… when you die?”

Dr. John Kinney


Good morning, friends!  You know I’m asking for grace today.  I was at a conference yesterday and the weekend was not a time for thinking, so this is a Tuesday message.  I hope it is still on time for you.  Let’s get to it!


Dr. Kinney was a speaker at the conference I attended yesterday and boy did he pack a wallop!  He was a powerful speaker and I left with many quotes, none more impactful than the one I share.  What do you want to be when you die?


My children are at an enviable age of being able to dream of what they want to be when they grow up.  We all had that age and I want to affirm to you that there is still time in your life to dream, become and achieve.  But for most of us a new time has arrived to consider how we will finish this race called life.  I’m not suggesting morbid thinking, but rather honest thinking about the end game.


A sad reality is that most of us spend most of our lives chasing things that truly don’t matter.  Bigger, better, faster, more… these are diseases we battle in life.  The things of most value to our lives are not things, have no way to value, and are accessible and available to everyone.  And yet in the pursuit of our diseases we devalue the better possibilities day after day, sometimes until all days are gone.  So what do you want to be when you die?


Do you want to be the person with the biggest house?  Or the most expensive car?  Or the best vacation home?  Or the most toys?  Or the biggest accounts?  Of all the funerals I’ve officiated these are the most uncomfortable and depressing.  Might I suggest being the most loving, or the most forgiving, or the most joyful, or the most peaceful, or the most helpful?  These funerals are frankly the saddest because the living realize the tremendous loss.  Persons who pursue this path not only die the best but live the best, too.  What do you want to be when you die?  I pray we all make wise decisions and decide to pursue the things with no discernable value.  Have a wonderful week, friends, and thanks again for the grace.


Matthew 19:16-22

Posted by: Pastor Thomas AT 09:11 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email

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