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What’s Your Name?

Seriously. What is your name…to you? You were given a name that, at least, somebody liked or, at best, was significant to the family. We had trouble naming our twin boys. Why? Because we thought we were having a boy and a girl! Ultrasound images in the 80’s weren’t as precise as they are today…and one child kept hiding behind the other. Anyway, we had names chosen – Robert Straughn & Leah Marie – after me and my grandfather and Jonesy’s middle name. (We just liked “Leah.”) So, after the pronouncement “It’s another boy!” we just looked at each other. Back to the drawing board – for names.

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Here’s a Great Question

Here’s a great question: “Why not?”  If we want stuff to change, be different, or be better it’s a nice internal monologue starter. Notice that I didn’t say “internal dialogue” starter. That would hint to another topic. Anyway, here are a few “why nots.”

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Dadgum it! It’s here again!

Dadgum it! It’s here again!

Yep, it’s “resolutions” time. You know, the “comfort fibs” we tell ourselves about how we are gonna do better, be different, and accomplish much. I am faced with this annual reminder of minor successes in a sea of epic fails.

I’m not being negative. I’m being honest...with you. Seriously, every year I have determined to read daily “My Utmost for His Highest.” Let’s just say that…I’ve read every one of the devotionals…just not in one year. Oswald would be so disappointed in me. And what about reading the Bible through in a year?? I do great until I get to what I call “God’s little speed bump” otherwise known as Leviticus. (If I had been asked, I would have suggested that book be placed at the end. Just saying…)


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Commitment and the Tree Swing

“Committed”can mean…many things to many people.We tend to think immediately of a level of investment to a person, place, or thing. Ah, but that’s not the only option.In professional mental health circles…it can signify a life saving, altering, or intervening event. When I was a lowly employee of the “Middle Flint Behavioral Healthcare System” there were times I had to man the “hotline.” Of course, its name represented everything you needed to know about its purpose. When it rang it usually meant that an emergency was happening with someone somewhere in the state of Georgia. A few times it was in reference to an “EIC” – emergency involuntary commitment. If that was the case a counselor would have to make a determination about the immediate need and get the paperwork rolling for a person’s placement in a care facility. So, “commitment” wasn’t about having personal control of your level of “investment” but someone else committing YOU!

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Sometimes, the right question

Sometimes, the right questioncan be a wonderful tool. You can gain information and insight. Besides that, it’s a pretty decent ice breaker. Yep, a well placed question can tell you a lot about a person…or a church

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At our recent “Pastor & Wives” retreat...during one of our sessions I asked that all of us fill out a questionnaire. One particular question was the most fun. “What would you do with a sudden gift of $_____?” There were three amounts listed: $100, $10,000, $1,000,000. We were to respond to each as a standalone amount and tithing was a given. The instruction was to withstand the temptation to give a “Sunday School” answer you know, like “I’d give it all away to help achieve world peace!” Oh, wait. Was that a beauty pageant response? Anyway, you get the direction

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I Like Snow

I like snow. I’s winter I can’t stand.

That seems a bit ridiculous, doesn’t it? In the “Peanuts” comic strip Linus tells Charlie Brown that he loves mankind. “It’s people I can’t stand.” Same thing here. Snow is pretty as it falls and turns everything it latches on to “wonderland” gorgeous. There’s just one thing: it comes with cold weather – and sometimes (like the last few weeks) bitterly cold temps.


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Vested – Invested

I am impressed…with word-smiths. These are the people who can string words together and make you see in your mind a vivid picture. They may be writers, sports announcers, or speakers. They have in common a keen ability to use words to draw us into the experience they are having or have had. Perhaps, they use this gift to get us to imagine something different or to persuade us to another way of thinking.
Sometimes I watch TV shows…simply for the actors’ dialogue. West Wing was one of my favorites. Aaron Sorkin was amazingly skilled as its writer. While I didn’t agree with its political slant I would sometimes re-watch an episode for the way he crafted the


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