Worst Year Ever?

Do you think there is something you can specifically do in the next week that will make your personal life, your family life and your business life all worse?

Do you think there is something you can specifically do in the next week that will make your personal life, your family life and your business life all better?

Do you believe that the choice is yours?

Do you believe that every choice has an end result?

Do you believe making the right choice is your responsibility?

If you answered these questions honestly you likely answered them affirmatively. Using that as my assumption, here is what you just said, Continue reading Worst Year Ever?

Between Heaven & Hollywood – A Review

img_20161024_031259244I was fortunate to be part of the Launch Team for Between Heaven & Hollywood by David A.R. White in exchange for my honest review and sharing it with others. My honest review is what follows.

You can still get the Dreamers Package download FREE if you order today and email a copy of your receipt to preorder@davidarwhite.com. You can see more details at book.davidarwhite.com. Continue reading Between Heaven & Hollywood – A Review

Time for choosing…again

On November 8th the United States of America will once again choose its next President. Some have made this decision more complex than it really needs to be. I cannot and will not try to tell anyone who to vote for. I wouldn’t expect you to listen or keep reading if I did. I can, however, share some of my thoughts on the election and try to simplify the choice we will be making on Election Day.

Since I published this post I have read and seen a few more articles from others that shared the same theme but expressed it much better or more detailed than I did so I have included links to those at the end of this post. Continue reading Time for choosing…again

One More Thunderstorm

IMG_20140613_114334Golden Retrievers are often frightened by thunder and other loud noises such as fireworks and gunshots they don’t understand. If you’ve ever owned such a dog you are probably aware of this.

We recently had to say goodbye to Dixie, the Golden Retriever that entered our lives as our 25th Wedding Anniversary gift to us almost 7 years ago. Continue reading One More Thunderstorm

Top 5 Posts from 2015 + All the Rest

Happy, Happy, HappyAs 2016 begins I wanted thank all who have stopped by and read, commented, and shared any of the words I have posted here on this blog in 2015 so here it is…

Thank You!

I do appreciate your time and input and hope to be able to post something that might interest you again in 2016. Looking back it is always good to see what interested most readers last year, what worked and what didn’t. Based on total number of views here are the top five most popular Peculiar Perspective posts of 2015. Continue reading Top 5 Posts from 2015 + All the Rest

9-15-01

I still get mad every year when I am reminded of 9-11-01 and what the coward Muslim terrorists did to America. I pray for all those families directly affected by this act of cowardice. If you were alive at that time and live in America you were affected too, maybe not directly by having a family member or friend or someone you know killed or hurt, but you were affected.

Often Reminded – Will NEVER FORGET

I am reminded of this event every time I go through a security line at the airport, which, at that time in my life I was doing rather often. I was working as a consultant, living in Tallahassee and flying to St. Louis every week. I would normally fly up on Monday morning and home on Friday afternoon. I had flown to St. Louis on Monday, 9-10-01, as normal. On that Tuesday just before I walked out the door of my apartment they were reporting a plane had hit the first tower. I heard about the plane hitting the second tower, the Pentagon and Flight 93 later at work. My purpose here is not to recount these events that occurred on 9-11-01. Never Forget_911That has been done and, hopefully, will be done in the future so we, and those who follow us, will Never Forget. I do hope this will be taught truthfully and not through the revisionist filter most history is taught today but know that is probably an unrealistic hope in today’s world.

Meanwhile, back at home

Sharin, as normal, was taking care of things on the home front, which included our four kids AND working as a substitute teacher at the time. On Tuesday, 9-11-01 she was substituting in a first grade class at North Florida Christian School. Three of our children were there but Sarah was at Chiles High School which became an issue when a state of emergency was declared in Florida by Governor Jeb Bush after the attacks. Parents were coming to pick up their children but she could not leave to go get Sarah because of her responsibilities at NFCS. She did ultimately get them all home.

Flights

As you probably know, all air traffic was grounded that Tuesday and did not resume until Friday. I had decided I was going to go home and flying was how I planned to get there and was able to get a Saturday flight scheduled. My thinking was flying was probably the safest way to travel as the likelihood of another terrorist attack via airlines was very slim. I remember we did have to wait for our flight crew on Saturday because some flight crews were just not showing up, some due to the previous days of canceled flights and some because they did not want to fly again yet. I believe the airlines were giving them that option at the time, understandably. There was plenty of room on the planes as I remember too.

Routine and not so routine

 

I did get home that Saturday and gave my family great big hugs. Sarah, Amy, Rachel and Thomas were 14, 11, 7 and 5 respectively at the time. We probably went to Sonny’s for supper that night as that was one of our favorite places to eat and, on Saturday night, kids ate free, so that was our normal routine.

It was also our normal routine when getting the kids to bed to have them say their prayers and pray with them and that is where this story gets good for me. While putting Thomas to bed we talked about what had happened that week and if I was scared by it. I told him I was more angry than scared but everyone also had a right to be scared because what just happened four days earlier was unprecedented and scary. I probably used smaller words at the time but he was pretty fluent in the language for a 5 year old. He had started having conversations and coffee, as he called it, with his PawPaw when he was three. He would often surprise and amaze us with some of the “big” words he would use and use them correctly in conversation.

Anyway, he said he had been thinking a lot lately and a lot this week especially about asking Jesus into his heart to be his savior. He knew what sin was and that he had sinned and he needed a savior and he wanted to get this settled. This was not unexpected since he had been in church since he was an infant. We talked a little more and then he prayed and asked Jesus to come into and live in his heart. This was an exciting time for us and I know the angels in heaven were rejoicing too. I told him from that moment on he did not have to worry about where he would spend eternity. He would be spending it with his sisters, parents, grandparents and all others who have made this decision to accept the gift of eternal life that Jesus offers. Our parents and grandparents are all there waiting for us now.

To God Be the Glory

Thomas was the last of our children to make this decision. He IS the youngest so that was really not unexpected either. Our primary goal as parents was to see our children come to know the Lord and then see them walking in the truth. This event fulfilled that first goal for us. That second goal is a daily work in progress for all of us. I am proud all our children are walking the walk usually much better than I do. I learn as much, probably more, from them as they do from me. We knew from that moment on, regardless of when any of us are called home to Heaven, we will all be reunited there one day and that is an amazing truth we all cherish. It was not an accomplishment we achieved but one He achieved and I still thank Him for that every day.

Thomas went forward that Sunday morning to make his profession of faith public. We met with Pastor Ray that afternoon and he was baptized that night. He did not want to wait but wanted to get it done and get it done that day.00400834297020110427134028999 (2)

9-11-01 – 9-15-01

So, when 9-11 comes around every year I do remember what happened on 9-11-01 and I get mad all over again and pray for all the families whose lives were changed forever that day; but then my thoughts turn to 9-15-01 when Thomas made a decision that would change his life forever and that makes me happy.

Until next time…

If you like what you read here or just want to see what comes out of my warped mind enter your email address in the sidebar on the left and subscribe. This is the only way to ensure you will be notified immediately whenever a new post is published.

Reality, Biblical Correctness and GQ

I ended my post called Don’t believe Phil…or me either published on January 9, 2014 with the recommendation,

“If you really want to understand what Phil Robertson believes get his book unPhiltered, which was published after this article and controversy.”

IMG_20150711_113402.242 (3)I recently finished reading unPhiltered by Phil Robertson myself and am glad I followed my own advice. I enjoyed it so much I decided to share a few details about the book as well as provide a postscript to the GQ article controversy that encouraged me and I hope will do the same for you. I made the picture of his book black and white because Phil still believes, as I do, right & wrong as well as good & evil still exists. The fact that popular culture does not subscribe to this belief has no bearing on that truth.

Love God, Love Other People

If you want an executive summary of unPhiltered here it is:

Love God. Love one another.

Everything Phil Robertson believes and says flows through this filter. It is an amazingly simple, yet profound, summary of what Jesus Christ tells us, as Christians, to do. Phil is not the source for this thought or philosophy. It is a very concise paraphrase of what Jesus said in Matthew 22:34-40.

34 But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. 35 And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. 36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”

The Way Phil Sees It

The subtitle of the book is “The Way I See It” and that is what you get; Phil’s opinion, wisdom and common sense formed in 28 years BJC and 40+ years AJC. This is not his life story. If you want that Happy, Happy, Happy is the book you need.

unPhiltered is presented in three sections, Personal Lifestyles, Hot Topics, and Faith. It is written in a conversational style as if you were sitting with Phil at his kitchen table listening to him describe the way he sees life and making a pretty good case for you to come around to his way of thinking if you are not already there. I found myself agreeing with his views and common sense and think many of you will too.

It is, as the title alludes to, unfiltered. Don’t be fooled by his appearance and slow talking Southern demeanor. Phil Robertson is a very wise man.

Personal Lifestyles

The topics of Spiritual Dieting, Money, Social Media, Family, and my favorite in this section Biblical Correctness are covered in this section.

He starts with a quote from the preface of the first edition of the American Dictionary of the English Language, published in 1828 by a man named Noah Webster.

“The moral principles and precepts contained in the Scriptures ought to form the basis of all our civil constitutions and laws. All the miseries and evils which men suffer from, vice, crime, ambition, injustice, oppression, slavery, and war, proceed from their despising or neglecting the precepts contained in the Bible.”

Phil believes this statement is true and does his best to live according to the precepts in the Bible. He captured my sentiments exactly when he said,

“The way things are going, it’s okay to have an opinion in America, as long as you don’t offend anyone and don’t quote the Bible.”

Biblical Correctness

Phil has decided to be biblically correct instead of politically correct and I think that is a wise decision. Here are a couple more highlights from this topic that give you a flavor for his perspective. These are even more true today than when this book was published.

“Biblical correctness has never changed. Conversely, political correctness is constantly changing and evolving. There has been a constant erosion of biblical correctness in our country. Political correctness is constantly morphing into a dark maze of nonsense. It keeps getting more and more nonsensical.”

“Today’s truth is based on what is socially acceptable, and biblical correctness has somehow become hate speech.”

Hot Topics

In section two Phil discusses Politics, Race, Entitlements, Government and Gun Control.

Gun Control

On the topic of gun control Phil points out murder is sin and has been so “2,700 years before guns were introduced. You can’t blame sin on the device one uses; you blame the person committing the sin.”

“Trust me, the murder rate in this country would drop dramatically if we started to love God and love one another. It is the solution to all of our country’s ailments, as well as the ailments of the entire world.”

There he goes again – love God and love one another. I told you that is THE central theme in how Phil sees the world.

Sin Control

“It was a love problem when the law was written – do not murder – not a weapons problem. It is a love problem now. We need sin control and self control.”

Faith

In this last section the topics are Intelligent Design Or Blind Chance, Good VS. Evil, Sin, Death and Good News.

In this last section the first chapter, Intelligent Design Or Blind Chance, Phil makes a solid case for why evolution does not make any sense and is not supported by the “evidence” evolutionists claim exists. He knows this subject very well and makes arguments you could use in discussing this subject with others too.

Sin

In the chapter on Sin he covers the GQ article interview and his description is not too far from the one I provided in my blog post Don’t believe Phil…or me either published a little over a year and a half ago. That was encouraging to me and proved the old adage even a blind hog can find an acorn every now and then.

He encourages you to read the source, the Bible, for yourself as I did.

“The gospel is the same, Jesus is the same, and the response is the same. I’m not saying anything that you can’t document, read, and verify on your own by simply picking up a Bible and reading it. I strongly suggest you do.”

GQ Article Controversy Postscript

In the aftermath of the GQ Article controversy and Phil’s suspension from Duck Dynasty you will learn how Phil felt about the whole situation and might be surprised. You will also be reminded God is always in control of every situation. He can and often does use the most unlikely situation for His glory. He did that again with this situation.

Phil gives two examples of people who learned about the GQ article controversy and, as a result, now have their eternal reservations confirmed in Heaven. Their lives were changed forever by what many only see as a controversy or even hate speech. You will have to get the book to learn the details. These are just two examples at the time he wrote the book of people who actually visited White’s Ferry Road Church in West Monroe, Louisiana, where Phil worships and teaches a Sunday School class. I am confident there are many more both before and since who have made similar decisions Phil is not aware of. God knows and the people whose lives have been changed forever know and that is all that really matters.

In light of this controversy and A&E’s response to it Phil’s perspective is probably not one Hollywood would share or promote but it is true.

“Who would have ever thought that Hollywood, through a reality TV show, would be financing the gospel being preached all over the United States and world?”

Good News

In closing here are a couple more thoughts from the book that most who condemn Phil for his beliefs ignore or refuse to understand. They are not unique to Phil Robertson but are shared by all who believe and live as Christians.

“I condemn no one, and you don’t have to judge anybody. Just go forth and tell people about Jesus. The power to save people is in the story. Just tell the story.”

“Just remember this–even if you hate me, I love you anyway. So does God.” 

Check it out for yourself

There is no way I could really do justice to this book here. I only scratched the surface. I hope I have shared enough to generate some interest and you will get your own copy and read it for yourself. Click here and order unPhiltered online or pick it up at your local book store. If you do I am confident you will be glad you did.

It might even make you Happy, Happy, Happy!

Until next time…

If you like what you read here or just want to see what comes out of my warped mind enter your email address in the sidebar on the left and subscribe. This is the only way to ensure you will be notified immediately whenever a new post is published.

 

George Bailey or Bill Gates?

Are you rich?

In one of the most beloved movies of all times “It’s A Wonderful Life” ***spoiler alert*** Harry Bailey, George’s brother, says George is the richest man in town because of the life he has lived and the friends he has.

Forbes Magazine says Bill Gates the richest man in the world.

These are obviously two very different definitions and examples of being rich. Which one do you align more closely with and which would you like to be if you had the chance to choose?

If you are honest you would probably say, like me, I could be George Bailey with Bill Gates’ money, but could you really?

Matt Ham explores exactly what it means to be rich in his new book, Redefine Rich. Redefine-Rich-front-667x1024He might just help you redefine what rich means for you. Through personal stories and experiences from his life, he reminds us of some important life principles.

How do you define rich? Does the world’s definition of riches leave you feeling empty?

Redefine Rich will help you ponder these questions and will either give you a new perspective or remind you of one you once had that has slipped away.

Books don’t always have to reveal something new in order to be entertaining and enlightening. Often they are just reminders of something we already knew or help validate what we already know. If you can identify with any of the experiences or stories the author describes it can be life altering for you. Redefine Rich can be just such a book for you.

Matt digs deeper than the surface question of “Are you rich?” to “Are you living richly?” which is a question you may have never considered.

There are many passages from the book I have highlighted in my Kindle Notes. Here are just a couple.

“This book isn’t about finances. This book isn’t about death. There are many books on both subjects. This book is about our choice. A choice to live richly.”

“Can we all live a life abounding in desirable qualities? Can we all live richly? If so, what would that look like?”

As the author says, this book isn’t for everyone but his ground rules are.

1. You can live a rich life.
2. It will not happen by accident.

The thing about books is, as the old saying goes, “You cannot judge a book by its cover.” Covers can be nice, pretty, disturbing or awful but you can only judge a book by what is inside the covers and you can only do that by opening it and reading it. I highly recommend you pick up a copy of Redefine Rich and open it and read it. I believe you will be richer for making that decision.

This could be considered another spoiler of sorts but if you have read this far probably not,

“A great, wonderful life has everything to do with being rich, and being rich has very little to do with money.”

You can also check out Matt’s blog here http://mattham.com/blog/

Until next time…

If you like what you read here or just want to see what comes out of my warped mind enter your email address in the sidebar on the left and subscribe. This is the only way to ensure you will be notified immediately whenever a new post is published.

 

Size 13 Footprint

I received a Father’s Day gift this year from my son, created with “encouragement” from my wife. I have received many Father’s Day gifts over the years and I am sure many fathers have received a gift similar to the one I am writing about today.

However, I suspect few have received one in the same size as the one I received. You see, my son is 18 and has a size 13 foot.

Fathers Day Card_20140615

This gift marks a milestone for us. You see, this is our youngest child who is now away in college leaving us at home without children in the house for the first time in 27 years. We are quasi-empty-nesters. I say quasi because we do still have two children in college so they will be back pretty regularly until they finish college but they are gone now more than they are here and that will likely be a permanent condition.

We are now living in the second half of Proverbs 22:6, which says, “Teach your children to choose the right path, and when they are older, they will stay on it.” TLB

For the most part, we are done with the first half of this verse. He is now older and free to make most day-to-day decisions on his own. We will now have to sit back and observe to see if we really did teach him to choose the right path.

I am as confident as one can be when looking into the future he will make wise decisions. Does that mean he will make wise decisions every time the first time? Of course not. That is how we learn the most and gain wisdom – from our mistakes and unwise decisions. As long as he keeps learning and not repeating the same mistakes then those experiences will just become learning opportunities. I do hope he can learn from our mistakes too so he doesn’t have to make the same ones we did.

Will we worry? Of course we will. If I answered that question any other way I would lose all credibility.

Will we pray? Absolutely! We will Pray without ceasing as we are exhorted to do in I Thessalonians 5:17. I think many parents really heed this exhortation when their children leave for college or move away. It is nothing new for us to pray for our children. The focus of the prayers just changes over time. I hope our praying will outweigh our worrying but I am sure the balance of those scales will move back and forth as we grow. We are still learning too.

Our prayer for all our children includes but also follows the more familiar Proverbs 3:5-6 which says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make straight your paths. 

Proverbs 3:7 says, “Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.”

This prayer will work in all situations for all of us.

Until next time…

If you like what you read here or just want to see what comes out of my warped mind enter your email address in the sidebar on the left and subscribe. This is the only way to ensure you will be notified immediately whenever a new post is published.

Time With Mom

Mom&Dad_1999 (2)I spent some time with my mother tonight.

If you don’t know me then you would say, “It’s Mother’s Day. Of course you did.”

However, my mother went home to be with the Lord 14 years ago yesterday. So now you are probably thinking, “How did you do that?” or “This guy is warped and needs help.” I wouldn’t argue with that thought myself. I am a little warped and can always use help.

Faith – Hope

My faith gives me a hope and assurance I will see all of my loved ones, who know the Lord as their personal Saviour, again, either when the Lord returns or when we die, whichever comes first. When you have someone close to you, such as a mother, father, or other family member or close friend die then that gives you a much more vivid view of and connection with Heaven. At least that is how it worked for me.

When I sing or hear songs about Heaven I have a real connection now because I “know” someone there. Of course I knew Jesus as my Saviour before she died and He lives there but this is a little different.

When I remember things I did with Momma that brings her back to me in a sense. It is just a memory but it is a good memory.

Good Memories

That is what happened tonight. To give you a little background here, when we were growing up on Sunday mornings in our house, while we were eating breakfast and getting ready to go to church, we always had the Gospel Music Hour (not sure if that is that is really the name of the show or not but that is not that important for my purpose here) on the TV. The two groups I remember as always or at least regularly being on that show were The Florida Boys and The Dixie Echoes.

Well, tonight we had the privilege to see The Dixie Echoes in our church and I was thinking about Momma. I know she would have loved it and it brought back good memories for me just thinking about how she would have loved it. It felt like she was here with me – in spirit anyway. It also reminded me of the time we did get to take her to a Gaither Homecoming concert in Tallahassee. Good memories.

Do It Today!

So, as you have probably already heard or seen on some commercial on TV or Facebook post, if your mother is still with you here on planet earth take time to go see her or call her today. If you didn’t get that done today, do it tomorrow and the day after that and the day after that…etc.

If she is no longer here on planet earth I hope you have some good memories of her to think about today and you share the hope that I do of seeing her again one day.

If you have questions about how you have this same hope I have please visit Peace With God or ask questions in the comments.

I do miss Momma and know I will see her again one day. Thanks to The Dixie Echoes I was able to spend a little time with her tonight. On that subject if you do get the chance to see The Dixie Echoes take it. You will not be disappointed.

Until next time…

If you like what you read here or just want to see what comes out of my warped mind enter your email address in the sidebar on the left and subscribe. This is the only way to ensure you will be notified immediately whenever a new post is published.

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