May 31, 2012

I Broke My Tuuk

No, not my “tooth”, although I have chipped and broken my teeth many times; part of being me I guess. Over the years I have broken a tooth or two while playing sports, cutting down trees, working construction, and even, on several occasions, while eating caramels. Last year, I broke a tooth a day before I left for Guyana (it required a crown) and then chipped a tooth in Guyana and then needed a root canal on another tooth right after I came home. 

Sometimes I would go to the dentist to have a broken tooth repaired. Other times I took the more industrious road and used an ordinary metal file to file off the rough edges. I have even used a “Dremel” tool to save a trip to the dentist.

Usually I when I broke a tooth the original stress on the tooth had been caused during some other event and the tooth took one too many blows and finally, part of the tooth broke off.

I’ve also broken a “tooth” on my comb back in the olden days when I used to carry a comb in my pocket; I mean really olden days…like back in the seventies!

I broke my Tuuk. A “Tuuk” is the plastic portion on my Bauer skates that holds the metal blade to the boot. I discovered the hairline fracture while I was wiping down the ice shavings off my skates. I found it a bit strange because the skates were only eleven months old and because I hadn’t played hockey in the past three months.  The only skating that I had been doing for the past six weeks was my daily hour cardio skating prior to teaching first graders how to skate.

When I took my skates in to be sharpened, Jim and Dave, who have been taking care of my skates over the past twenty years or so, both saw the hairline fracture. Upon further observation, we discovered that the crack actually went all the way through to the other side of the Tuuk. 

We think that the Tuuk had been damaged during another event that had fractured it and in time slowly caused the damage to appear on the surface. Probably when I used my skates to block a shot from an opposing player or redirect a teammates’ pass during a hockey game three months ago...I like to use my feet defensively as much as I use my hockey stick to stop opposing players from scoring on my team’s net. It was only now, after six weeks of teaching at “Learn to Skate” program, that the fracture came to the surface where it could be seen.

After giving me a hard time for breaking the Tuuk, they concluded that the Tuuk needed to be replaced and went about removing the old and installing a new Tuuk. Afterwards, they sharpened my blades and once again, I was ready to go. 

I was grateful that the broken Tuuk was discovered this way rather than during a game at which time potentially the steel blade could become broken while fastened to the already broken Tuuk. I was especially grateful because the next time that I was use my skates would be when I was helping coach at an upcoming hockey camp in two weeks.

Unfortunately, we can’t always see the damage below the surface until it shows up long after the original fracture or injury. This is true for many areas and situations of life including teeth, Tuuks, buildings, and relationships. We hear of houses collapsing, and after an investigation it is discovered that a structural flaw had been there for years.

Autopsies done on people who have died of a heart attack sometimes reveal that there had been blockage for years or even that there had been little heart attacks prior to “the big one” that did the real damage. A seemingly happy couple gets a divorce and we are shocked to discover that the relationship had many prior events that had fractured it and slowly caused the damage to appear on the surface. 

A better method to discovering the problem is by preventative inspections. That is why we have regular inspections of bridge and buildings and even our cars. That is why we should have annual physicals and visits to the dentist. No, they are not just hunting for new work; they really do hope to catch potential areas BEFORE damage is done.

So what can we do? Deal with the things that we CAN deal with; like relationships as soon as offenses, misunderstandings, and faults take place that could cause fractures in the relationship. Deal with them, today, not tomorrow before the faults turn to larger damage. Deal when them DIRECTLY!

Jesus said; “Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother.” (Matthew 18:15 NKJV)

And further damage is prevented from showing up in the future!

May 24, 2012

“Wait, what was I doing?”

Did you ever set aside some time to do something and never got to what you had planned to do because of everything thing else that came up? 

That’s really a rhetorical question; we all have! We use our days off to that we can get caught up on chores around the house that we haven’t had time to get to. You set out to cut the lawn and we discover that the gas tank and the gas can are empty, so you head to the gas station to get some gasoline. But, you realize that your spouse has the car so you decide to walk.

While you are heading out of the house to the gas station, you get a phone call from an old friend whose life is falling apart, so you take time to listen and offer advice before heading off to get the gasoline.

Upon returning home from the gas station, you remember that the lawn mower blade needed sharpening from the last time you used it so you head to the hardware store. While heading out, your spouse (who is now home) suggests that you also pick up a new passage lockset to replace the knob that just broke off in her hand. 

Upon returning home from the hardware store, you remember that you also needed a spark plug and so you make a second trip. Upon returning, you get another phone call that you need to take; which reminds you of something that you need to look up on the computer regarding a project at work that is due tomorrow.

And so on, and so, until, finally, the rain starts pouring and you ask yourself the question; “Wait, what was I doing?” Another day gone by and the lawn still isn’t cut, you missed the whole point of why you took a day off work.

Have you ever stopped to really answer the question; “Wait, what was I doing?” especially pertaining to your quest to “find God”? What happened to your urgent search to find out if he was really there or not; if He was real or not?
Sad to say, but many people get through this life and miss the whole point of life simply because they forgot what they were doing; where they were going, what they were looking for. This is true for those who are Christians as well as those who are not.

If you find yourself today asking the question; “Wait, what was I doing?” perhaps I can remind you; especially in your quest to find God.

Did you know that the culmination of the New Testament is relationship with the Father? If you stop with just knowing Jesus, you’ve missed the whole point of why Jesus came, which was to bring us into relationship with the Father. Did you know that the whole reason Jesus came and died and rose again was to get us back into relationship with the Father?

Jesus came to take us to the Father; back into the relationship that was lost in the Garden of Eden when Adam sinned. Jesus is still waiting right now to take you to the only One who can truly satisfy all of your needs; He alone is the One true God.

Let Jesus take you to the Father, after all He is the ONLY way: “Jesus said; “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6)

That is what you were doing; you were looking for Him; all other things have simply blocked your original goal. There is no other friend like the Lord! No other brother, no other sister that loves you like Him! There is no other love like His love! No other sweeter, no other fountain but Him! Oh, how He loves you and me!

May 17, 2012


Recently, I watched part of the “Giro d'Italia 2012”. In the race that I watched, American Taylor Phinney crash his bike, having touched wheels and losing his balance. And then he hit a mechanical problem with 8km still to go; he couldn’t get his chain back on his bike.  Quickly his team mechanics came to his aid and made the necessary repairs. 

To me, it looked as though Taylor didn’t have a chance to win the race because he was still way out of the front of the pack. But because Taylor was on a team, he was quickly joined by team mates Danilo Wyss and Alessandro Ballan who managed to pace him back to the back of the bunch with 4km left to go. What were the results of the race? He kept his first place standing and the coveted pink jersey.  

On the following day, The New York Rangers were 6.6 seconds from losing Game 5 of their Eastern Conference Semifinal series against the Washington Capitals. However, as a team, they rallied and beat the Capitals in OT. Brad Richards scored in the final seconds of regulation to send the game to overtime. And then Marc Staal won it less than a minute and a half into the extra period to give the Rangers a come-from-behind 3-2 victory against the Caps.

This is the same New York Rangers who as a team won 2-1 in triple-overtime in Game 3 four days earlier. It was the NHL's longest game in nearly four years.  

You win as a team, you lose as a team; PERIOD! 

All of us are called to get up and keep running; the goal being to reach the finish line. Hobble if you have to, but continue you must to run your race, do your part. We are in this together! We are part of a team! In the Bible, the Apostle Paul calls the team; “A great a cloud of witnesses.” 

Keep running; we all have another lap to go! 

“Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we'd better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we're in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he's there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!” 

-(Hebrews 12:1-3 from
The Message Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000,
2001, 2002 by
Eugene H. Peterson)

May 10, 2012

“Tattooed by God”

Trends come and go in cycles and if you hang around long enough, you will see the trend repeat itself more than once in your life time. The funny thing to me with trends is how the generation that “starts” them does so thinking that they are new and never had been done before!

One of the trends that has me baffled is the trend of tattoos; the act or practice of marking the skin with indelible ink. For some reason in this age of “doing my own thing” and “being a unique individual”,  everyone seems to have to get a tattoo; and many of them look the same. Tattoos aren’t new; they’ve been around a long time…

Should a Christian get a tattoo or body piercing? Well, the Old Testament law commanded the Israelites, “You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor tattoo any marks on you: I am the Lord” (Leviticus 19:28).

The New Testament does not say anything about whether or not a Christian should or shouldn’t get a tattoo. But, the fact that there was a command against tattoos should raise some questions. And it is something that each of us should ponder, rather than assume that it is OK with God to do so.

The Bible says; “So then each of us shall give account of himself to God. Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother’s way.” (Romans 14:13-14).

We were bought at a price and therefore we should glorify God in our body and in our spirit, which are God’s. (1 Corinthians 6:20). Simply put; we belong to God and I believe that we should make sure we have His clear “permission” before we mark our bodies with tattoos or piercings. He is our Savior and our Lord.

Did you know that we are already “tattooed” by God? The Bible says thatHis Father’s name written on their foreheads” (Revelation 14:1b) “… And I will write on him My new name” (Revelation 3:12b)

Did you know that God has already “tattooed” your name on the palm of His hand? The Bible says;See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands…” (Isaiah 49:16a)

Did you catch that? We may forget about God, but God doesn’t forget us! He has His children “tattooed” on His hands perhaps to remind Himself of how much He loves you! He is yours, and you are His; He will never forget about you!

"Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved."

May 3, 2012

I am a transient

I parked my car at the airport to pick up a friend. Less than an hour later, I was back in my car driving my friend to his next destination. When I got home, I looked at the receipt that was given to me when I paid for the parking. The receipt had the word “transient” printed on it. “Transient”; I thought to myself; “Why would they print that word? Wasn’t that a bad word?”

I immediately thought of a hobo, a bum, or someone who was homeless just passing through. The word conjured up a negative image so I went to the dictionary to look up the word’s meaning.

Simply put, the word “transient” means (among other definitions): 

·         Not lasting, enduring, or permanent; transitory.

·         Lasting only a short time; existing briefly; temporary

·         Staying only a short time

·         A temporary guest, boarder, laborer, or the like.

A transient? I had a home, a place; I could prove it! I wasn’t a transient;  or was I? The Bible tells me that this place is not my home; that I am a transient, a sojourner, a stranger, an alien. The Bible also says that I am a "foreigner" and of “another nation”

Sounds like a transient to me.

Jesus said; In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” (John 14:2-3)

Peter exhorts us that this isn’t our home; we are transients: Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul” (1 Peter 2:11)

The Apostle Paul reminds us that our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Philippians 3:20)

And that we are looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13)

“These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth” (Hebrews 11:13)
 He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming quickly.” Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!” (Revelation 22:20)

This is not our home; we are transients!

New King James Version "Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved."