Wednesday, February 17, 2016

“The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don’t play together, the club won’t be worth a dime.” – Babe Ruth

It is Wednesday already and this one comes on the 17th day of February, 2016. I accidentally found out how to get your records double checked at the doctor's office yesterday. When the assistant asks why you are there when they have the computer records staring them in the face, well, you have to try and recall the minute details and specifics of what was said at the last visit. In my case that was several weeks ago. Maybe they are attempting to qualify contestants for a medical reality show. Well, at any rate, I gave her my best guesses as to what the Dr. had said and why she, the Dr., had scheduled me to come back in. I didn't get it exactly right. That sent up a big red flag. Soon, here comes the assistant back into the inquisition room since my recollection was at odds with the official record so she decided to try and figure out why. We did get it straight. I think. It was sort of important since they were using some kind of cold acid stuff on my face. I'm not sure I get to come back next week to face new opponents. They didn't say. The wife was right there with me so I did my best to stay on my best behavior. Everybody talks about soccer like it is the biggest sissy sport in the world. We watch some from time to time, especially the world cup, the Olympics, or the Premier League over in Europe. I know. There's American soccer too. Some like to remind how soccer is the sport where everyone on each team gets a participation trophy. My wife often comments they must not be watching the same matches we watch. I read the other day about a semi-pro match in Argentina. One of the refs red carded a fellow and sent him off the field. The red carded player returned with a revolver, ran out on the field, and proceeded to shoot and kill the 48 year old official that called a foul on him. I suppose it doesn't get much more serious than that.

I know that most of you know that my grandfather used to say he was concerned when I was talking about whether I would ever come up for air. That was even when I was a kid. That didn't mean I had much substance to share back then or even now as far as that is concerned. Coming up with material for my daily visits can be really tough. I didn't say finding something to say something about was that difficult but sharing something that carries a modest amount of interest, humor, or perhaps even an application, well, that does make it a challenge. I've been complimented on a good sermon when I was actually mostly just sharing some thoughts. Not looking down on anyone. Not beating folks over the head. Just sharing my heart. I know they were only joking. I appreciate my wife giving me hints from time to time about what she thinks about the stuff I am sharing. "I think it was good but it sure was long." "Someone probably liked it but you know me, I don't care that much about politics." She also tells me when I miss a word, misspell one, or leave it all dangling. That dangling deal with me is almost an occupational hazard. I greatly appreciate her input. I really do. It helps. And, I do need all the help I can get. You noticed. Good.

I heard a distressing, if not depressing, statistic this past week. It was talking about the underlying challenges within the economic hardships that have been going on for the past ten years. One particular group stands out. Middle aged white men. The suicide rate within this group has escalated by 40% over this time period. The professionals are attempting to dissect this unprecedented situation but their early analysis indicates that stress including the economic hard times has been a major contributing factor. Hopelessness. Out of work. Unable to pay their bills. That news blurb jumped out at me because it reminds us all of how desperately people need the Lord and the love and support of a God loving fellowship of believers. It also makes us aware that while we may be getting along okay there are countless millions who are struggling. That is not just a statistic to those left behind. Families have been forever changed and they have suffered heartaches beyond measure. I'm praying that God will make a way for those who feel trapped by these difficult circumstances. Let us not forget any and all who are in need of God's help especially knowing that He uses people, like you, and like me, to minister to others. Amen. .....More later.

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