These Are My Thoughts & Mine Alone

September 15, 2021

Leadership Notes


Could this mid-September weather get any stupider? One fun fact about life in these Great Lake states is that summer normally peaks from the middle of July to the middle of August and then begins its inexorable slide into a cooler, milder September. 2021 seems unusual. I know I'm going to get my descriptives wrong, since we've graduated from global warming to climate change to climate crisis, but whatever weird climate phase we're in, could this be a part of it? As you pay attention to the talking heads and weather experts, you know any weather anomaly usually gets chalked up to gwcccc. Who knows? Snow in October? I can only hope.


Did you know there's a school district in Colorado that says if educators don't enforce mask mandates for students, it's a class 1 misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in prison and $5,000 fine? Reasonable or an authoritarian overreach?


On my way into church Tuesday morning, there were six deer on the golf course. If I said I saw six deers, I would be roundly mocked. Yet if, in another situation, I said I saw six squirrel, I would be called a fool. Language rules are sometimes weird. I might start assuming everyone knows more than one is plural and stop wasting time adding an "s."


Apparently, there's some annual gala in the Big Apple that costs over $30,000 to attend. My understanding is it raises money for a worthy cause {the kind of arts that are out of reach, or even the desire to reach, for the average American}. I loved the picture of an up-and-coming political maverick who is admired and respected for her sound opposition to capitalism. She wore a cutting-edge gown that had "Tax the Rich" printed on it. At first glance I thought it was an ad for Chick-fil-A.


Is it just me or does anybody else think that Secretary of State Anthony Blinken's parents made a mistake when they named him Anthony? Should have named him Abraham…Abraham Blinken, or for short, Abe Blinken. You know I'm right.


At the Men's Breakfast, our saxophonist extraordinaire, Eric Korte, shared a few classic jokes from the late, great Buddy Hackett. These were all jokes Eric remembered Hackett telling on the old Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. I remember when late night comedy shows were funny.


Quick Question: "Has a nation ever taxed their way to prosperity?"


Not-As-Quick-Follow-Up: "Does the Bible have anything to say about

generational theft? How about one group of people taking an excessive amount of wealth from another and then spending it in a riotously irresponsibly way?"


It has never bothered me that rich people have a lot of money and many of them spend it frivolously. God calls me to tend to my garden, and I'm quite content with where He has placed me and what He's called me to do. Envy, jealousy, and greed are horrible motivators. I wonder if some who rant and rail against the wealthy are merely avaricious. No doubt the Bible says some things about that, too.


Do you remember when you were a kid and you saw your teacher at the grocery store, and the incongruity slapped you upside the head? "You mean Mrs. Kohler doesn't live at the school?" I don't think there's anything in the Bible addressing that. That's just weird childhood stuff.


I once heard someone in a leadership position declare that those of us who are vaccinated against Covid-19 are angry at those who have chosen not to be vaccinated. I don't know about you, but for me that is a far piece from my reality. I hold malice toward none. I believe the Bible has a lot to say about that!


Do we salute the medical professionals who have announced their refusal to treat the unvaccinated among us? Maybe next on the agenda will be building special gated communities where the unvaccinated can go live until this whole Covid-19 thing blows over.


So, one day I ran into Busch's to pick up a few things. I didn't think I needed a basket or a cart. As always, I picked up a few more items than I came in for, ran out of hands, so I put a couple of foodstuffs in the big pockets of my raincoat. Yep, I forgot they were there when I got to the check-out. Reaching to get my wallet, I realized I was inadvertently shoplifting. My stupidity knows no bounds. I caught it, the cashier and I had a good laugh, and my name didn't end up on the police blotter. Accidental or not, I'm certain the Bible condemns stealing!


I suppose now's as good a time as any to wrap things up. While my Office Manager tells me I can't take any questions, if you shoot me an email, I'll do my best to answer in a timely fashion. Meanwhile, upon further review, I understand how my thoughts can take me where they should not go. Lest cynicism or worry or fear overtake me, God's Word calls me back to the big picture.


I'm thinking now about two of my favorite Psalms…Psalm 8 and Psalm 46. I encourage you to read both in their entirety.


Psalm 8:3-5 helps with my worldview:


When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?

Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor.


Psalm 46:1-3 keeps my worldview focused on God:


God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling.


And now, your Moment of Spurgeon:


"When…the storms are raging there is plenty of fear, but there is no

danger…for we have an anchor of the soul both sure and steadfast…our

hope has such a grip of us that we know it…the more the wind rages the

more you feel that the anchor holds you."


Be of Good Cheer,


Richard

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