In Everything…

Give thanks.

Everything?  It’s so much easier to give thanks for the, well, easy things.  It’s easy to be thankful for a good job, great family, nice house and cars, clothing, friends- the list goes on seemingly indefinitely.  What about other things?

This year I am purposing to be thankful for…

  • President-elect Obama.  God may use him to do great things in this country.  I disagree with him on nearly everything but no one is out of God’s reach.
  • Economic recession.  It is easy to be thankful for blessings when they are many.  When things get tighter, people learn true heart-felt gratitude for every blessing.
  • Hard work.  I know I’m feeling better when I can do it!
  • Disagreement.  It is an opportunity to examine myself, ensure my own standards and convictions, and embrace how different God made each of us.
  • Persecution.  I have tried to learn to embrace the little bits of persecution I’ve endured in my life.  They’re so pathetic compared to real persecution but they do make me appreciate a country where we still do have religious freedom.  This may not always be true.  I need to appreciate it while it is.

There are so many things like this that I need to remember to be thankful for.  I need to be thankful in ALL THINGS… not just the ones that inspire immediate feelings of gratitude.  I am a child of the King.  A child of the King of kings.  I am blessed beyond measure.

Blessed be the name of the Lord.

The Plan~

We’ve all heard it.  The excitement, the fervor, the dedication to “the plan.”    Never fear… there are CDs, books, seminars, workshops, and retreats all centered around infusing “the plan” into our lives.

Sell the products, buy the motivational material, work it and share it with others.  Keep it in the foreground, don’t lose your focus, work the plan.

And… unfortunately… those who need the materials most are often those who can afford them the least but they buy them because it’s what you need to do to “work the plan.”  There are expensive seminars and glossy magazines that are there to show you the life you can have if you just ‘work the plan.’

Have you heard it?  I’m sure one word is flying through most minds right now.

Want to know what is breaking my heart?  It’s not a single word.  It’s not the “A” word that I thought of when the similarities slapped me upside the head yesterday.

I was sitting at my computer, thinking about this two word entity and it occurred to me how very similar the devotees of the “new plan” remind me of Amway and the things we learned when we were introduced to it fifteen years ago.  I started seeing the catalogs, the CDs, DVDs and retreats designed to further your *cough* plan and I got literally dizzy.  My head spun, my eyes blurred, and all I could think of was, “oh no.”

I don’t think everyone who likes the plan “works the plan” as the old Amway message encouraged, but I have seen enough that it saddens me to see a very visible segment of the church looking so similar to a company that as a less than stellar reputation for their MARKETING METHODS.

Let’s face it, most people who enter Amway find the products exceptional (Let’s face it LOC and SA8 (Bioquest) are excellent products).  I love these products.  However, I quit trying to buy and sell these products very quickly when I was pressured by the “upline” to spend more on Amway products simply because “you’re building your own business.”   Buy the CDs, DVDs, attend the seminars and “pep rallys”.  It’ll help you grow youru business.  It’s the PLAN.  Work the plan.

The same can be true of similar enterprises in Christian circles.  The products may be excellent but there should be no guilt if people find something similar elsewhere that better fits their budget.  What is more important… the “plan” or the One to whom the “plan” should be used to glorify?

Why can we see that there is more than only one way to “work this plan?”   Why must everyone become carbon copies of one another in order to have a “successful plan?”

Why must “the plan” take so much out of people if Jesus said that His “plan” was easy and light?  (Please forgive the very loose paraphrase.)

Your Life: As a theme song- name that tune

I’ve been trying to think of the “Theme song of my life” ever since I created this contest for my Fairbury Blog.

Without a doubt,  until about fifteen years ago, I definitely would have said Johnny Cash’s “I’ve Been Everywhere.”

However,  since I’ve lived in the same house for 20 years now, I’m thinking that perhaps it’s time for something different.

I thought of things that personify me.  I’m married to the best man ever.  I have nine GREAT kids.  I have two adorable bestekids.  I’ve had a fairly easy life.

Part of me thinks Roger Miller’s “It Takes All Kinds to Make a World” would be appropriate since I’m so weird but the line “I’m the kind of guy hard luck sure gives a whirl” doesn’t fit.

Every song I come up with seems to fit just one part of my life.

I finally chose 160 Acres.  In my opinion it personifies contentment and if there is one thing I am, it’s content with my life.  I am so very blessed.

I got a hundred and sixty acres in the valley
Got a hundred and sixty acres of the best
Got an old stove there that’ll cook three square
And a bunk where I can lay me down to rest.

Up at dawn to greet the sun
I’ve forgotten what a care or worry means
Head for home when day is done
With my pocket money jinglin’ in my jeans.
I’ve got a hundred and sixty acres full of sunshine
Got a hundred and sixty million stars above
Got an old paint hoss, I’m the guy who’s boss
On the hundred and sixty acres that I love!

Up at dawn to greet the sun
I’ve forgotten what a care or worry means
Head for home when day is done
With my pocket money jinglin’ in my jeans.

I’ve got a hundred and sixty acres full of sunshine
Got a hundred and sixty million stars above
Got an old paint hoss, I’m the guy who’s boss
On the hundred and sixty acres that I love!
Got an old paint hoss, I’m the guy who’s boss
On the hundred and sixty acres that I love!