Archive for January, 2013

“I THOUGHT I WAS FOLLOWING ME!!!”

January 23, 2013

I was on my way to  town this morning and thought I was following ME!  This is not the car I was following, it’s one I found on the internet.  The one I saw was an old Chevrolet Monte Carlo with pink studs poking out the passenger side rear window.

I was on the way to where Pam works on Wednesday and here was this Monte Carlo loaded with lumber.  It brought back fond memories of our many adventures to buy lumber for a project I was working on at the time.  Pam is always ready for an  adventure.  Before the Lowes opened in our town, we would sometimes need to travel about an hour to find lumber.  We had lumber stores here but they didn’t allow me to select each piece.  So we would travel to the nearest Lowes to get the lumber I needed.

This was pre-Escalade time and I only had my Cadillac Sedan.  I could often load the lumber in the back seat or place it lengthwise from the dashboard to the back seat.  For longer lumber, it would be necessary to extend it outside the car on the passenger side.  Pam would often have to sit in the back seat and on cold days it would get cold and windy with the windows open.  But, that didn’t matter to us because we were on  another adventure.  A few times it began to rain on our homeward trip.  Those times it was not only cold and windy…it was a little wet also.

Pam was always willing to brave the elements in order for me to obtain lumber for a project for her or  Lyndsey.

This morning I experienced the humorous feelings that others must have felt when they either met or followed us in our lumber car.  So, I am thankful for this Monte Carlo w/studs and the laugh I had from the sight.  Maybe those who saw us were able to have a good laugh also.

We now have a Lowes about four miles from home and I can carry most of my lumber purchases inside the Escalade.  It’s kind of  sad that I am not able to give someone a good laugh now.

*****

The circumstances and events we experience each day bring back memories that bring joy to our hearts, even when those events were a hardship at the time.  When God delivered Israel from bondage in Egypt, they experienced many hardships on the  way to the Promised Land.  Each time when there seemed to be no way…God provided the way.  Each miracle Israel experienced, they built a memorial (stones, etc.) at the site of  the miracle.  These were Spiritual Markers that would cause them to remember and tell their children about the particular miracle of God at that particular location or event.  This would cause them to remember with great joy t what God had done for them.  Just as I remember about loading lumber in my car and experience joy, I can also remember the Spiritual Markers in my past that bring joy of how God lead me through the difficulties of  life.  It also gives me confidence to go forward and know that God is always present with me in whatever happens today and in the  future.  This is a reason to have joy in my heart today!

“NAVIGATION”

January 17, 2013

I have fished many times on Rayburn Lake in all kinds of weather conditions.  Fishing during the daylight hours usually presents no problems even in stormy weather.  Regardless of the  conditions, most decisions are reached because of my experiences on  the lake.  For instance, when the leaves on the trees turn “bottom side up,” this means the barometric  pressure is  falling and I need to be on  the alert for possible stormy weather.  Leaving the boat ramp early in the morning (darkness) to arrive at a favorite fishing spot on the lake also requires that I call on  my experience.  I know Rayburn quite well and the distance and time it takes to get to one of those locations.  Many times the darkness is complicated by dense  fog.  This takes much more than experience…it takes a lot of luck, But there are ways that aid our  navigation skills.  When I want to cross the lake to a particular spot in darkness, I always watch my “wake” to make sure I keep a straight path to my target…if there is any light at all.  This works very well in dense fog…if you can see your “wake.”  There have been times when my path was a little bent and  I got to my destination and thought I was lost.  I had reached my target, but had arrived at a different angle than I intended….I wasn’t lost, my orientation  was playing  tricks on me.

Years ago, my uncle came to visit me for a fishing  trip.  We arrived at the lake just at daybreak, but the fog was so dense it was like a moonless night.  I wanted to take him to a spot where I had sunk some treetops.  The fog was so bad it was hard to see the front of the boat, but I knew the compass degrees of my path as well as the approximate time of each leg before changing  course.  I had to make three turns and then using the depth finder, I stopped over the treetops.  I had watched my uncle as we traveled through the  fog.  I think it was fear  I saw on his face…either that or  great concern.  After we stopped, he asked if  I knew where we were and I showed him  the treetops on the depth finder.  He just shook his head and  started fishing.

*****

The Maxwell Leadership Bible:

THE LAW OF NAVIGATION (Proverbs 16:1-3)

Effective leaders practice the Law of  Navigation.  Proverbs 16 opens with these words:  The preparations of the heart belong to man, but the  answer  of the tongue is  from the Lord.  All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the spirits.  Commit your works to the Lord, and your thoughts will be established.”  (vv.1-3)

These verses teach us to:

   *  check the source of our wisdom

   *  check our motives

   *  check the outcome we are pursuing

Consider five key words to understanding how God helps leaders to navigate their way through life:

 1.  Process:  God’s plan usually unfolds over time.  What is He revealing progressively?

2.  Purpose:  God wants to accomplish His purposes.  Why were you created?

3.  Potential:  God will use your gifts and passion.  Does this goal fit who you are?

4.  Priorities:  God will ask you to adjust your time and energy.  What steps must you take?

“FISHING AT 4”

January 16, 2013

Sam Rayburn Reservoir Sunrise

This is a picture of sunrise at Sam Rayburn Lake.  Over the years I have seen many beautiful mornings like this, as well as the beauty of the sunsets on Rayburn.  When I lived in Port Arthur, I began fishing Rayburn as it was being flooded.

I have many good memories of this lake.  Pam and I moved to Jasper in 1978 and fished the lake many times.  After Lyndsey became a part of  our family, we share the lake  with  her.  I remember the first time we took her to the lake.  She was just a baby in diapers and  we  were so excited for her to begin enjoying the lake.  We  thought she would love the water, but that’s not the way it was initially.  We anchored the boat off one of the beaches and placed her in  the water.  She cried and  was afraid of the  water.  It was probably the waves that frightened her.  So, we sat her down where the waves would barely touch her  feet.  That was okay!  Gradually we moved her deeper and deeper.  Suddenly, she  loved the water and has since that day.

A few days ago, Lyndsey was visiting with a co-worker about a trip she took over the Christmas Holidays.  She told Lyndsey she had traveled to a lake in East Texas….an area Lyndsey probably didn’t know.  When Lyndsey found  out it was Rayburn Lake, she told the co-worker she grew up 15 minutes from Rayburn.  This prompted me to  remember about  the  early morning fishing trips when  I took Lyndsey along.

The title of this blog could mean fishing at 4 in the morning or  4 in the afternoon, but it’s about taking a 4-year old fishing at 4 in the morning.  Lyndsey always wanted to go fishing with  me and sometimes I would take her.  I would always inform her that if she was going, I would wake her a 4 AM by calling  her ONE TIME.  I would go to her room and say “JAR THE FLOOR” if you are going  with me.  She always woke immediately.  I was never sure whether she liked to be with me, liked to fish, or enjoyed the small cake donuts with powdered sugar we bought on the way.  Whatever the reason, she was a real trooper and  we always enjoyed ourselves and I was blessed.

Those are good memories I will cherish always!!!

*****

Lyndsey knew my voice because we spent time together.

As I look back on the road I have traveled in this life, I remember the valleys, the mountain tops, and the flat plains.  Another way of saying this is the hard times, the good times, and the days that just seemed insignificant.  It is easy to remember the Presence of  God in the hard times when He  lifted me up.  During the good times I probably figured it was due to my own  actions…but, I realize God was also present to give  me the  power to soar like an eagle.  During the insignificant (blah) times,  I know that  God was with  me and I just wasn’t looking for Him.

As the years have passed, I now realize God was by my side at all times.  I am  sure He  spoke to  me many times.  The problem was  I  didn’t recognize His voice…I had not spent enough time with Him to recognize His voice.  How many times have I missed His blessing when He said, “JAR THE FLOOR” if you are going with Me?

I don’t want to ever forget that God wants to share the valleys, the mountain tops, and the plains with me.  He wants a piece of every thing that we  experience in this  life.

“MANAGING CONFLICT”

January 15, 2013

The world is the stage for conflict today.

Nations are in conflict in all parts of the world.  They are in conflict over power struggles, religious beliefs, and customs just to name a few areas.  Homes and families are in conflict because the leaders of those homes fail to train their children the rights and wrongs necessary to live in today’s world.  Conflict is rampant in many businesses and/or work places due to the  lack of strong leadership.  Our children go to school each day unprepared to deal with the conflicts they face.  Our governments are in a state of confusion due to this same lack of leadership.  These are just some of the examples of the conflicts we face each day.

ME and I get in the way of both leadership and those being led and the result is conflict.  The result of this is confusion, lack of confidence, and depression.

*****

I read proverbs each morning to start my day.  It works out great for me because there are 31 Proverbs and I can read one each day.  Of course, I have to read more than one on the last day of February and the months that only have 30 days.  The following is a lesson from THE MAXWELL LEADERSHIP BIBLE:

“MASTER COMMUNICATION AND YOU MANAGE CONFLICT”

God rightly expects leaders to manage conflict within their organization.  But how can you best accomplish that?

A good place to start is Proverbs 15:1–yet while we often quote this verse, we seldom practice it.  Sometimes only the leaders are given liberty to express anger, and sooner or later this kind of unhealthy environment comes back to haunt them.  Leaders must create safe places for communication.  Master communication and you manage conflict.  Look at the first seven verses of Proverbs 15 and note its counsel about managing conflict.

1.  Remain calm and gentle when confronting conflict, and your example will become contagious (V.1).

2.  Speak wisely, making sure your information is truthful and accurate (v.2).

3.  Remember, God is the ultimate Judge and will execute justice (v.3).

4.  Use your words to foster healing; fix the problem, not the blame (v.4).

5.  Stay teachable; be open to correction and quick to apologize when wrong (v.5)

6.  Add value to everyone who contacts you, even when you disagree (v.6).

7.  Speak words that spread knowledge and understanding (v.7).