Apr 28, 2011


On Thursday, April 28, 2011, millions of workplaces, employees, parents and children will celebrate “Take Our Daughters And Sons To Work® Day”.  

First begun in 1993 by the Foundation for Women as "Take Our Daughters to Work Day", the annual program has (since 2003) also included sons on the special day traditionally held on the fourth Thursday in April. Part of the purpose is to teach kids about the work-a-day world of their parents — and to get them dreaming about their own future careers. 

I’m guessing that when the children accompany their parents to the workplace, things are NOT “business-as-usual”. My guess is that tempers, language, conversations, subject matters that are discussed, as well as gossip, and generally how employees treat each other are much different on this special day. After all, we want to act differently because there are children present. 

So my question to you is this; “What if we had a ‘Take Your God to Work Day’?” Would there be a difference at your place of work? Would anybody notice that you brought your god to work with you? 

Or is your belief system so totally disconnected with how you live your life that nobody in your place of business would even notice if you brought your god to work? And, if your god; your belief system, doesn’t really make any difference as to how you conduct your life at work, then why are you saying that you are following this god? What is the point if there is no visible influence in your life?  

Following Jesus Christ; whom I believe to be the True God (that’s capital “G”), should affect every area of a Christian’s life. People around you should notice a difference; everyday, not just on “Take Your God to Work Day”.  

The Apostle Paul wrote to the church in Rome what I believe to be the way that ALL Christians should act at work (as well as throughout the rest of their day). Paul wrote: 

“Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. 10 Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; 11 not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; 12 rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; 13 distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality. 14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. 16 Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion. 17 Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. 18 If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. 19 Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 Therefore “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:9-21)

Your work place should be better because EVERY DAY you take God with you to work. He wants to use you. All He is asking is that you surrender to Him and His purpose for your life. He is the Creator.

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

Apr 24, 2011

The Risen Christ, Our Hope

“Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. 14 And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty. 15 Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up—if in fact the dead do not rise. 16 For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. 17 And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! 18 Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable." (1 Corinthians 15:12-19)

"But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. 23 But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming. 24 Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. 25 For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. 26 The last enemy that will be destroyed is death.” (1 Corinthians 15:20-26)

"He is not here, but is Risen." Luke 24:6

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

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Apr 21, 2011

The Exchange

“But we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags; We all fade as a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, Have taken us away.” - Isaiah 64:6 

“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” - Romans 3:23

“For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.” – Romans 5:6-9

“For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” - 2 Corinthians 5:21

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. 18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” - John 3:16-18 

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

Apr 13, 2011

The Man and the Bird

I had a bird inside my house the other day. I went down into the basement to get a pair of pants in the laundry room and discovered the bird flying around looking for a way out. My guess is that it had fallen down the chimney and came out an open flue that fed into the basement. 

The timing was not good; I was in a hurry, because after I changed my clothing, I was going to meet a friend for coffee. But the bird needed to get out before Cathy came home from work. I suppose that I could’ve just left a note for her to remove the bird, but figured that it would be best for me to take care of it myself.

I thought that removing the bird would be pretty simple; I had chased birds out of areas where they weren’t supposed to be before. However, the more I tried to quicken the process, the more the bird flew from room to room in the basement, crashing into the windows. I slowed down, gently speaking to the bird, hoping that somewhere along the way it had picked up some English so that it would understand what I was saying. 

I decided to chase the bird to the stairway leading to the main floor of the house; which I was able to do in time (five minutes or so). I was also hoping that the bird knew enough to stop on the main floor instead of flying to the second or third floors of our house.

When I followed the bird to the main floor, I noticed that it was once again continuing its process of flying frantically into the windows, looking for a way of escape; stopping only occasionally to rest on the lentil of a door or window. Added to this wonderful excitement was the trail of items knocked off shelves and leaves knocked off of the houseplants.

Once again, I spoke to the bird hoping that somewhere along the way it had picked up some English so that it would understand what I was saying, so that I could get the bird outside and then I could meet my friend for coffee. And the more I tried to quicken the process, the more the bird flew from room to room, crashing into the windows; stopping only to catch its breath and shake the cobwebs from its head caused from crashing into the windows. (Picture the squirrel running around the Griswold family's house in the movie; “Christmas Vacation”).

After five minutes of chasing the bird from room to room around the main floor of our house, I decided to chase the bird to the enclosed front porch (opening the doors that lead outside) that was next to the stairway leading to the second floor; which I was able to do in time, hoping (once again) that the bird knew enough to stop on the main floor instead of flying to the second or third floors of our house. Did you get all that? 

I spent the next five minutes or so chasing the bird around the enclosed porch, hoping that it would stop running itself into the porch windows. I had assumed at this point that the bird didn’t understand English, so I started whistling in an effort to communicate my desire to help the bird and to calm it down. It hadn’t occurred to me that perhaps my whistling was in fact communicating a challenge to the bird to fight with me. 

Eventually, I thought of placing a small basket in a corner and sure enough, the bird flew into the basket and I was able to capture it by throwing a towel over the top. I picked up the basket, took it outside, and watched the bird fly away to the nearest tree. The mission was finally successful. Estimated time to get the bird freed from the basement to the outside was approximately 15 minutes.

I spent the next few minutes going room by room through the basement, main floor, and the front porch; closing doors and cleaning up the trail of debris left by the bird in its effort to escape. I was now running twenty minutes late in my attempt to leave our house to meet my friend for coffee.

I never wanted to hurt the bird in any way, only to help it escape from where it really didn’t want to be. I had tried desperately to communicate my concern and love for this bird, but to no avail. Twice, after the bird crashed into windows and walls, I was able to pick it up in a towel for a short bit until it escaped. It was only when the bird had exhausted itself in its attempt to escape that it was calm enough for me to offer assistance.

I wonder how much we are like that bird, trying on our own successfully to escape our entrapments; not able to hear and understand God’s voice; especially His love for us. I wonder how many times do we need to bang our heads into what we think is the way out, until we sit, calm, confused, and finally able to be approached in an effort to help us get free.

Perhaps it is times like these when we need to simply stop, and cry out for help from the only One who can really help us get free; instead of trying on our own.

Isaiah 41: 10 “Don't panic. I'm with you. There's no need to fear for I'm your God. I'll give you strength. I'll help you. I'll hold you steady, keep a firm grip on you.”  from The Message Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

Struggling with what to do next? Go to: http://www.riverofhopeministries.org/getright.php

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Apr 6, 2011

Lose The Beard

As I’ve written in the past, one of my joys in life (besides being a dad) is being a grandpa, because grandparenting is the chance for us to get it right; to reset the bar, to do it over again. Grandparents are parents who have learned to slow down and enjoy life at a slower pace. Grandchildren give us an excuse to once again be outside when it is raining and to walk through mud puddles instead of being concerned about getting wet. Grandpas get to show this new world to their grandchildren for the first time. Grandpas get to drop everything to spend time with their grandchildren instead of having to be in such a hurry. Grandpas get to buy ice cream cones for their grandchildren and not be concerned about “spoiling their dinner”.

My first grandchild, Fallon Anne Dougherty, was born Tuesday, November 16, 2010. And since the day she was born, every time I have been with her I have tried to connect with her; after all, I am her grandpa. And, every time that I would look at her or pick her up, Fallon would cry; VERY HARD and LOUD. This has caused me some hurt and sadness as I have longed to be a grandpa to this little girl. It has also been a little hard on my daughter, as she, too, wants her daughter to connect with grandpa.

One day, I realized something (isn’t memory great!). When Fallon’s mom (Elizabeth) was little, I had a beard and it seemed that whoever would pick up my daughter Elizabeth, as long as he had a beard, she would be happy. If he didn’t have a beard, she would cry. In fact, she would go to a complete stranger and be happy; as long as he had a beard. 

I had discovered the possible reason why Fallon would cry every time that I picked her up. During the five months that I play hockey, half of my games are outdoors, so I grow a beard; kind of a tradition among hockey players now that “mullets” are no longer in fashion. I keep it trimmed pretty short, but it is thick enough to keep my face warm when the temperatures are thirty below (without the wind chill factor). I should probably tell you that Fallon’s dad, Chris, does NOT have a beard. Did I just hear a light bulb go on in your head?

Fallon wasn’t rejecting me, she was trying to push away any man who was different than her dad; and her world view of dads is that they don’t have beards. Men with beards: BAD; men with no beards: GOOD; pretty simple. 

I shared this with Elizabeth, who said; “Then why not shave off the beard?” Elizabeth knew why I kept a beard for five months of the year; Fallon did not. And if I wanted to connect with my granddaughter, I needed to “empty” myself of who I was to become what she needed; a man without a beard.

There was a family gathering one week before my last hockey game was to be played. I thought about shaving my beard to a goatee; sort of a compromise, thinking that Fallon wouldn’t notice that I saved some of the beard. But, I decided that although I could justify my need to “cling” to my beard one more week, it wasn’t worth it if I wanted to connect to my granddaughter. So, I shaved it off. 

When Fallon came over, she was in her car seat and crying up a storm; she really doesn’t like her car seat. I reminded myself that for the past four months no matter how happy or sad Fallon was, she ALWAYS cried harder whenever I picked her up, but I decided to see if my non-beard face would make a difference; so I picked her up anyway. 

Joy of joy; it worked! Fallon not only stopped crying, but she seemed very content to be with me. Through the evening, whenever I held her, she seemed to be content; she even on a couple of occasions “cooed” to me in an effort to talk “baby-talk” with her grandpa. My willingness to lay down my “right” to have a beard was a success; I hadn’t lost a beard, I had gained a granddaughter.

The Apostle Paul exhorts us all with the example of his life: “to the weak I became a weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. 23 Now this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I may be partaker of it with you.” ( 1 Corinthians 9:20-23)

And then I thought about Jesus. I will let the Apostle Paul tell in his own words as writes how Jesus was willing to let go of His rights and empty Himself to connect with us:  “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. 9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:5-11)

What am I trying to communicate to you in this rant? Why hold on to things that make it hard for others to see Christ? Let them go; “lose the beard” for the sake of the Gospel of Jesus Christ; because what we really, really need is Jesus.

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