Sunday, January 21, 2007

Prep Time

I know that it's been awhile since my last post, so let me just tell you a little bit about the past couple of weeks. A short time ago, I received a call from a friend that worships at a church nearby. He asked me if I could come talk to their small group about fasting.

I really believe that we often mistake fasting as a type of sacrifice or somehting that we do as an offering to God. I don't believe that we see that in the Bible. Fasting, before it is anything else, is a physical rite of purification. The purification, whether physical or spiritual, is a way of preparing to meet with God. Fasting is not the encounter with God. Fasting is to prepare us for an encounter with God. I really enjoyed my time visiting with this small group and sharing my thoughts and ideas about fasting. I should add that if you're in the area and looking for an exciting church fellowship, check these guys out. is their website.

Tomorrow begins the Missouri State Evangelism Conference at Ridgecrest Baptist Church. I am looking forward to seeing many that I haven't seen since last year's conference.

I'll share more soon,

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Counting the Days

Maybe a better title for this post would be Making the Days Count.

If it's just a matter of counting days (until I'm eligible to retire) then it's five years to the day--Jan. 7, 2012. Yep, just a mere 1,826 days to go! However, counting down the days doesn't do anything other than mark the passing of time.

It doesn't help to prepare me for the day of retirement. It doesn't mean that I've made plans for life beyond air traffic control. It doesn't mean that the days have been productive or beneficial in any way. In fact, it is quite possible that one could easily waste away all 1,826 days. To make sure that that doesn't happen, I've made some decisions about how I want to treat the days up to (and beyond) retirement day.

Of course, the most obvious things have to do with financial planning, expanding magic and ministry to provide an additional occupation and income, and other things of that nature. But what I really want to focus on is living well for those 1,826 days. I want for my time at work to be well spent. More than just doing a good job of moving airplanes, I want to enjoy my time and my co-workers. I really want to avoid the petty things that can get in the way of productivity(and friendships). I would like to be a positive influence in the work place environment. It probably sounds a little bit idealistic, but I am going to give it a shot. I have to. In a week of 168 hours, I spend just under 25% of it at work. That's the greatest amount of time spent on any single activity in a week(except for maybe sleeping). I don't want you to think that work is the most important thing in my life (it's not), I've just addressed it first because of the huge amount of time it takes and because I started this post about days left until I retire from work.

I also would like to live better at home. I need to be a more attentive husband than I have been. I have managed to let too many things infringe on the time that I should be spending as a husband. At home, I need to guard that time more effectively. Less time on the computer, less time watching TV, less time reading (a little less anyways), less of a lot of things that are self-centered. I also need to cherish the time with Aaron. I can't believe that he is graduating this spring and will be somewhere in college at the end of summer. And I want to make sure that I don't let the time with Hannah get away from me. Hannah is a little more adventurous and it will be an adjustment to let her grow and yet try to guard her at the same time.

I guess you could say that I want to be more purposeful about my attitude and about relationships. I want to purposefully grow in my relationship with God and I want it to show in my attitude toward others; in my relationships with others. Truly, without making the effort to grow; without making the effort to love; without reaching out to others with encouragement and hope--I'm just counting days (and counting in vain). No one knows when life on earth will end. The very nature of life is to die. An accident, health issues (heart, stroke, cancer), or an act of violence can claim this fragile life at any moment. Whether life ends sooner than expected or many years after retirement, I hope that God, my family and friends, my co-workers will all be able to say that I've made the days count.

Live well,

"Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter. Fear God, and keep His commandments. For this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it is good, or whether evil. "
King Solomon, Ecclesiastes 12:13-14

Friday, January 05, 2007

New Year's News and Notes

It's Friday! For me, the work week has already ended as I just completed my Friday watch at 6:30 am. One week down, fifty-one more to go! How are all of those NY Resolutions going?

They say (and I still don't know who "they" are) that 86% of all NY resolutions are weight/health related. They also say that by the end of the month, 25% of us have abandoned them; 30% by mid February. I will say that I'm still working on the weight thing. I'm eating better (for the most part) and moving more. Some times I have a difficult time with the E word and alot of the time, I wouldn't go so far as to call what I do exercise. In any case, it's either drop some weight or spend the money for a new wardrobe.

As of today, I'm also still up-to-date on my Bible reading. (I know, "Big deal, Mr. Committed. It's only five days!") Still, keeping up is way better than catching up!

And I have a new magic effect that I like. In reality, it's not well suited to what I normally do and I'm not a big fan of packet card effects. But I could see it as an ice breaker or a transition effect from magic to mentalism. It's the "Resistance is Futile" that I mentioned in a previous post. I hope that I get an opportunity to show it off in the coming days. I really do want to purposefully work on adding some new effects this year. In Jim Steinmeyer's book, The Magic of Alan Wakeling, Wakeling talks about building a show that starts with a great opener and keeps getting better right up to he closing effect. The next year, he would move the closing effect to the opener and build from there! Wow!

I'm adding a Coming Events block to the right side of the page. If you're going to be in the area of an event, let me know. I'd enjoy meeting anybody that spends a few of their moments reading this stuff!

'Til next time,