Friday, August 31, 2007

No Labor For Me This Weekend!

You’ve probably already figured it out by now, but it’s Labor Day Weekend! Three days off, and every clothing store is having a sale – what could be better!

I’ve got a pretty big weekend planned – a football game tonight at the high school where my husband teaches, seeing my friend Corey Crowder in concert on Saturday, Home Group on Sunday, sleeping in on Monday morning instead of dragging myself to work, and finally, to cap it all off, the Clemson vs. Florida State game on Monday night! I’m so excited!

However, it dawned on me that I’m not quite sure why I’m celebrating. A quick trip to the Department of Labor website taught me that the General Secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners, Peter McGuire, suggested the holiday in the late 1880’s as a way to honor those “who from rude nature have delved and carved all the grandeur we behold.” (Nice quote!)

So while I’m riding in my car, sitting under the stadium lights, enjoying amplified music, and watching ESPN on my flatscreen TV, I’ll think of all the production workers who turned technology into reality so I could have such a fun weekend. Thanks to all the Laborers of the world!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Being Constructive

Awhile back I was watching Larry King Live on CNN, and he was interviewing Duane Chapman, otherwise known as Dog the Bounty Hunter. The Dog and his family profess to be born-again Christians, and they have set themselves apart from others in their profession with their benevolent, “Christ-like” behavior toward their fugitives.

If you’ve ever seen their show, you know that the leather-clad, heavily tattooed, foul-mouthed Chapmans aren’t exactly poster-children for the Religious Right. Larry King was taking questions from viewers on this issue, and one asked if their prevalent use of four-letter words is really the best witness for Christ. The question obviously made Dog uncomfortable, and he said they were “working on it.” I watched a new episode earlier this week, and I didn’t see a bit of evidence to suggest that taming his tongue is anywhere near the top of Dog’s priorities.

One of the best parts of being a Christian is that God knows you are going to have parts of your life that aren’t exactly squeaky clean, but He loves and accepts you anyway. As the Apostle Paul said in I Corinthians 10:23, everything is permissible, just not necessarily constructive. God meets you where you are and changes you bit by bit – you don’t have to be perfect before you can have a relationship with Him. And that’s a good thing, since none of us are ever going to be perfect.

I wish that Dog had just manned up and said he wasn’t quite ready to give up the potty mouth yet. I wish he had owned up to the truth instead of skirting the issue by saying he was “working on it.”

If you know there’s an area of your life that’s not “constructive,” really examine how you feel about it. If you find you’re not ready to let it go, just be honest with yourself. Then, be honest with God and with other people. It may feel embarrassing or shameful, but you can’t expect to hold onto something you know is wrong and feel good while you do it.

If you are truly seeking God, you’ll be able to leave your unconstructive behavior behind when the time is right. Just don’t make it worse by being a liar or a hypocrite about it now.

Thursday, August 16, 2007


I'm a “get to the point” kind of person.

I try not to use a paragraph when a sentence will do, and I’ve never bought into the idea that the ability to pontificate on a given subject indicates intelligence. I often find myself wishing that people to whom I’m listening would stop beating around the bush and just say what they need to say.

This week I ran across a quote from Sophocles: “Much wisdom often goes with brevity of speech.” It brought to mind the political campaigning that’s already begun, and I had to laugh because if Sophocles is right, I’m not sure we have many wise candidates.

Anyway, Sophocles isn’t the only famous thinker who found less to be more where words are concerned. In Ecclesiastes 6:11, King Solomon said, “The more words, the less the meaning, and how does that profit anyone?” I get so frustrated when I have listened to someone talk for half an hour, and still have no idea what he or she actually said. Or worse, when the point is made in the first 5 minutes, but I have to keep sitting there as the person rambles on, rephrasing the message and adding trivial details. (Again, politics come to mind.)

Don’t get me wrong – if truly important or interesting information is being conveyed, I want every single detail. And I will talk for hours if the conversation is helping to build a relationship, encouraging someone, or developing knowledge or insight into my or someone else’s relationship with God. But otherwise, I’d just prefer to keep quiet.

Both Sophocles and King Solomon are renowned as two of the wisest men who ever lived. You know how I think they got that way? By taking their own advice and spending less time talking and more time listening and reflecting. They probably didn't talk much, but when they did, you can bet they really had something to say.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

New Post at Purple Women and Friends

For those of you who are interested, I've got a new post up at Purple Women and Friends entitled "Fair is Fair."

Hopefully I'll have something new here soon too. I'm pretty busy at work, and we had a death in the family, so my schedule has been pretty packed.

Check back soon!