Archives For My Life

Sjogren Tree

Sjogren Tree

I love it when the Sjogren Christmas tree can be set up in a matter of an hour or so out of a box.

100% of the credit for the assembly goes to Janie – I’m just a tree “Consultant.”

Our condo here in LA is quite a bit smaller than anything we’ve had in a while but fits us and a tree just fine.

Focus on the future

October 7, 2011 — Leave a comment
Did you know that Apple stock purchased in 1997 has gone up 9000% to today’s market? I came close to investing heavily in Apple at around that time. I felt led of the Spirit to do so but made a fatal mistake – I consulted an expert who knew all about investments. The famous words spoken by a Christian money manager were, “What’s an Apple?” A couple of years later I felt a similar leading but made the same mistake of consulting this expert. I explained that the iPod had just been on the cover of Time magazine. His response was, “What’s an iPod?” (I was on my second one.)
Lessons learned:
  1. It’s probably not good to confine decisions to Christian professionals (strike probably; insert your own stronger word as you see fit)
  2. There’s no point in punishing ourselves for missed opportunities. Nothing will change as a result. List your learnings and move on.
  3. God’s leading always trumps the experts – ALWAYS, no matter what your age, experience and field of endeavor.
  4. There are always going to be more opportunities in the Kingdom of God. God not only owns all the gold and all the silver, because he is the Creator of opportunities. For those who are relatively free from fear doors will open passages we can walk through. I’d much rather have future opportunity than merely the present accumulation of goods. Goods come and go (mostly go). Opportunity is going to open amazing doors and prove that God is who he says he is.

Like most people, I’m an introvert by nature. The ironic truth is, I struggle with the notion of doing an outreach every time it comes to going out to serve others. The consistent thought that goes through my mind is, “Isn’t there a book I need to read?” Or, “Don’t I need to study something right now?” Even though I have been doing outreach for 30 years I still go through this routine each time an outreach is scheduled. If that is the way I’m wired I suspect there is something in you that that resists reaching out. The bottom line is this – sometimes it’s best to not be ourselves.

Fascinate: Some Things I Learned When I Died
Welcome to Steve’s new book in process. You are reading this new tome as it is being written. These are summaries of what will later appear in print and ebook format.
This is some of Steve’s most personal, heartfelt work yet.
We’d love to hear your thoughts. Please use the comment box below to connect.
#15: There Are Reasons For Hope
In going through a death one’s hope tank is emptied. Afterwards there is reason for hope again. God is faithful to touch us afresh. He sparks us with a new reality including the following truths:

God is present still.

God will go before me. I don’t walk forward without his presence. He has walked out this path already. I only need to step into his footprints.

God will pour out his presence upon me as I walk in the Spirit.

The story is not over yet. It’s one thing to be down, but you aren’t out. Great things are afoot. We can lose heart in the short haul, but greater things are on the way. That is always true in your life. The best is yet to come for you. Death is past. Good things lie ahead.

Fascinate: Some Things I Learned When I Died
Welcome to Steve’s new book in process. You are reading this new tome as it is being written. These are summaries of what will later appear in print and ebook format.
This is some of Steve’s most personal, heartfelt work yet.
We’d love to hear your thoughts. Please use the comment box below to connect.

#9: You Will Need To Monitor Your Regrets
A death will usher in a flood of second thoughts, regrets and negative inward ponderings. Such thoughts come easily to us in the aftermath of devastation.
Could I have done something differently…
Was it my fault that this happened…
Did I say something wrong…
If only thus and such had happened all of this pain could have been avoided…
To make matters worse, if you have a couple of friends like Job’s, you might get some false positive feedback from them that these inner irrational thoughts are spot on! Amazingly such people have an ability to sometimes accurately mimic our negative inner thoughts. Such ponderings are enough to drive a fairly sane person over the edge.

It is inevitable that voices like these will rear their ugly heads after you’ve gone through a horrific experience. We are wired for this sort of inner dialog. We all, to some degree, ponder matters that are unhealthy. It’s part of our fallen nature to dig into what might have been. A smidge (a tiny smidge at that) of these sorts of questions can be helpful, but only early on in the learning curve. Beyond that such things border on self-flagellation. We need to monitor how much we pay attention to such inner noise.

What ought a person do with such inner thoughts? How ought one to go forward?

Truth: There has been no conspiracy against you. Yes, people say and do dumb things toward you. But they are generally too busy thinking about themselves to be occupied with thoughts about how to mess with you.
Truth: You didn’t cause 100% of the trauma you’ve been through all by yourself. Still you need to own 100% of it now. On the balance you need to move on. Life is too short to ponder deeply all that has happened to you. Let go. Move on.
Truth: Bad things happen to good people all the time. Deal with it!
Truth: Forward progress won’t happen in your life until you let go of your anger, your resentment toward those who have done you wrong. You can move on in an intelligent manner by letting go of negative feelings you harbor toward those who have done you wrong. As long as you hold onto negative feelings those inner irrational questions will repeat in your head. It’s worth any price you pay to rid yourself of downward inner feedback.

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