Monthly Archives: November 2008

Reflections from the LAX Airport

We all like to be chased. At some point in our lives, we all want the phone to ring. We want to be asked to a party or to be included an activity with the in crowd. Most women desire to be pursued by their Romeo, and men look for a glance from  their Juliet. Little kids like to be chased by a parent or older sibling. There is something deep within us that longs for someone to care enough to chase after us.

While waiting for my flight the other day, I noticed this human tendency. I watched a little boy play catch-me-if-you-can with his father. The boy would hide behind a sign and run underneath the monitor display. All I could see was the father’s feet as he changed direction. Each time he moved, the boy would run the other way. But the boy never got far without looking back to see if he was being chased. It was a game, and the objective was to be chased. They seemed to play this game for several minutes. And every time the father started the chase again, the boy would laugh and smile with excitement.

I learned a lot about myself while watching this scene play out at LAX airport. Just like this little boy, I desire to be chased. From friends to family to most importantly God, I value the times when someone thinks enough about me to initiate contact. This reality can be hard to grasp with God because it can be easy to miss how God runs after us in everyday experiences of life. The chase is easier to notice when we see it with our eyes. It is not that God needs us or gives chase to fulfill something that is lacking in Himself. No, He does it because He loves us and longs to engage with us. God knows enough to give us some space so that we look back. Just as that little boy demonstrated, looking back is critical for us to realize the joy of the chase.

I couldn’t help but wonder how long this game would last between this man and child. Would it end in a year or so? Would this same passion and desire for the chase be there as the boy reaches his teenage years? Why is it that the chase is so easy when we are children? But we grow up and become disillusioned. We lose our innocence and playfulness. Why does a father begin to think he can no longer connect with his son? Why does a teenager start believing that his dad can never relate to his experiences?

I think we all could learn something from this little boy. The chase is life.

Ready. Set. Go!

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True Confession – I Love Sarah Palin

I know this means that I will be looked down upon by all the “smart” people who have attended or teach at a major university. I know this means that I will may lose some IQ points or will be labeled as “ignorant.” But I just think Palin seems like a classy lady who knows how to get things done. I like that she never had “handlers” before she ran with McCain. Palin seems to know who she is and doesn’t apologize for it. I like women with some spunk.

For the record, I was never homeschooled. I went to both private and public schools. I am not a member of the NRA although I do own a gun. I drive a Prius. I work with the forest products industry. I once worked for a Democrat in the Missouri legislature, and I can’t stand country music or NASCAR. My record seems like one big contradiction.

I actually like NPR and think Michael Moore seems like a decent guy even though he spins the truth in his “documentaries.” I fully recognize climate change although I am not sure that global warming is the crisis that Al Gore would have you believe.

I agree with Barack Obama that the rich should pay more taxes, and they do. I support comprehensive immigration reform, similar to what President Bush suggested and was roasted by conservatives for supporting.

Palin seems like the real deal to me. I hope that I can vote for her again. Her recent interview with Matt Lauer showed that she could answer tough questions even while cooking. Wow! What a woman. 

I just don’t get why so many people criticize her as stupid or non-qualified for high office. Sure, she doesn’t have the experience to be president. Honestly, I don’t know that anybody does until they have had the job. Former President Clinton said as much in an interview this past summer. See Clinton’s comments. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xdvaxQIC1s4

Kudos to Matt Lauer for showing Palin respect and not acting condescending in his attitude toward her. I’ll watch the second half tomorrow.

Change Is Happening Faster And Faster These Days

I just saw this video in class about the pace of change today. It is scary. I remember back when I first sent e-mail using Telnet. I remember when I first was a Web browser or used Yahoo in 1996.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ihbL8ewkP-o

Here is an interesting take on the future by the Discovery Channel.

http://dsc.discovery.com/tv/next-world/top-10/2009.html

We can’t even imagine what the world will look like in the next 30 years.

A Week After

A week ago, the American people voted and made history. Whether or not you agree with the outcome, it will certainly be interesting to see how the first black president responds to a very challenging set of circumstances that face him.

Here are my quick thoughts on the Obama presidency and our current economic situation.

  • If I had bumper sticker to suggest how I feel about the election, it would say, “I voted for McCain, but I am praying for Obama.”
  • There is no magic bullet for our economy. It took 20-30 years of bad policy to get us here. There is no one person or even party at fault. The only hope for a somewhat speedy recovery is ingenuity and the courage to do the best thing no matter what the public believes is the right decision.
  • The media is likely to give Obama a free pass for a while, which may help bolster consumer confidence as reporters look for positive things to report. Note: this doesn’t mean our economic situation is improving even if the media says good things.
  • The government will likely keep chasing good money after bad. Bailouts for everyone… except small businesses, non-union shops and reject retailers (Circuit City).
  • Obama ran as a new kind of candidate. He presented himself as the first postmodern candidate who would try to work across party lines and develop common sense solutions. That means he will have to be careful trying to push through too aggressive of an agenda. He can only do this if he convinces the American people his reforms are not “socialism” wrapped in an American flag. 
  • Obama promised to be a different kind of president. But it appears he has selected a Washington insider, a beltway shark, to run the White House in Rahm Emanuel. And those aren’t my words. They were writteny by a major D.C. reporter. Also, it is rumored that Obama will pick many former D.C. heavyweights to fill other top posts. How is appointing a bunch of Washington insiders anything new in government? 
  • Guns sales have gone through the roof. I guess many people don’t think that Obama will really be favorable to gun owners. Does that mean that Ray Schoenke was wrong about Obama in his radio ads? Or do gun owners just spook easy?
  • Obama may have to back off on some of his tax hike plans. Rich people are the only ones buying anything right now.
  • Good news – I just paid $1.99 for gas. Wow! I never thought I would be able to say that.
  • It looks like inflation is staying in check except for the cost of college tuition. Endowments took a major hit with the recent Wall Street losses.
  • In his first 100 days in office, I think Obama will throw some bones to some of his favor backers – that includes abortion rights groups, stem cell researchers, unions and environmental groups. I expect for Obama to reinstitute the ban on offshore drilling. He will make it easier to get federal funding for abortions, and press through reforms intended to help unions form in smaller companies. 
  • Housing sales should pickup some as more new people enter the market due to depressed prices. This will primarily be first-time home buyers.
  • It won’t be a great holiday season for retailers. A number of big names could take a wallop at the register. A few might even go out of business.
  • Smart investors will look offshore for opportunities to seek decent returns. Some good stock deals will be available in American companies if you are willing to wait years for a rebound. Overall, economic contagion will impact all economies around the globe even China and the other Asian powerhouses.
  • Obama’s election will likely improve U.S. relations with many countries around the globe. It may also cause a few rogue nations to test the resolve of the new president.

It’s The End of the World As We Know It And I Feel Fine

As I watched the election returns, my heart sank because what I had expected for months actually came true. My choice for president has just lost. It looks like the Democrats will pick up huge gains in both the House and Senate. Senator McCain was never my first choice. But he is a decent public servant. His steadfastness shown through as he just delivered a very eloquent and gracious concession speech. It was actually one of the best speeches of the campaign.

While I feel a bit sad, I know that my security rests not in my country, our leaders or even our economy. I trust in God and His sovereign power. Even if our nation crumbles under the weight of its own debt and blunders, Jesus will supply all my need according to His divine power. And whatever I don’t have, the Lord must think I don’t need.

This doesn’t mean that I have high hopes for an Obama presidency or the future of our nation. I believe the American Century has come to an end. I expect greater government control, higher taxes and more stringent requirements will limit individual liberties and lead to further degradation of our economy. The die was cast long before this election. The failure of both major parties has sunk us with debt, wars, failed government programs and a sense of entitlement that has robbed us of hunger to succeed.

America has serious problems facing us. And none of the major party candidates really have the courage to truly solve them. That is why McCain was the better of two inadequate options. I long for the days of great leaders, such as Teddy Roosevelt, Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan. May we see the likes of these great leaders soon. I hope that Obama proves me wrong and rises to the challenge. Obama just said, “America… we as a people will get there.” I hope we do, and I hope that “there” is a place we want to be.

In some ways an Obama presidency, has broken an evil glass ceiling, and it could help heal some racial tensions in this country. It will forever eliminate the thought that race can be an impediment to success. But at the same time, this election was about a lot more than just race. Obama is the first real postmodern candidate, and it will be interesting to see how the world reacts to his leadership style. It will either be a welcome change or an open invitation for aggression. Only time will tell the outcome. 

Despite all my gloomy predictions, I know that my life is securely in the hands of the One who is truly faithful and able to more than I can imagine. And I am not talking about any man. I am talking about Jesus, the incarnate God who holds all things together by His words. All that I am belongs to Him.

The darkest part of the storm is truly before the onset of the dawn. I believe we will one day reclaim a greater country. But we, the Church, must first go through a great trial. And our testing in this country has just begun. As the U.S. economy continues to falter and global problems mount, the USA will be tested. And the American Church must be ready to lead the way.

Well Church… are you ready? I know that I am because my trust is secure in Christ alone.