Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Go

A simple command. Given to the insignificant. The smallest person, in the smallest family, from the smallest tribe. And yet he would be the liberator. He would lead to set his people free.

God Himself had chosen Gideon. "Oh mighty man of valor," He called him. And yet, while God of the universe saw value in Gideon, Gideon himself did not. All God wanted was for Gideon to obey the command. Go.

But, all Gideon did was catalog his excuses. And complain. He listed, one by one, the reasons he ought to be a failure.

God did not change His mind. God did not revoke the call. He still wanted Gideon to go.

What about you? Where do you need to go? What do you need to do? What is God telling you to do that you can't because you are too weak, poor, dumb, odd, bad, or whatever? Perhaps there is something hidden in your life that He has not seen. Perhaps there is some failure he has not taken into account?

Well is there? Either He is God, or He is not. Either He knows all, or He does not. If you believe that He is God and knows all, then you have to believe He has considered all you bring to the table. After having taken you and your history in, He still says, "Go."

Still not sure? What did He tell Gideon?

"Go in this strength of yours..."

Interesting! He didn't say, "Go in God's strength." No. He said, "Go in your strength." Why would God say that? Aren't we supposed to rely on His strength?

Well, yes. But He is telling us, "Go with what you have." Don't wait to get stronger. Don't wait for the perfect moment. Don't wait until you "feel" God's strength. No. He's calling you. Just go with what you have now.

"Do I not send you?" Hey, if God is sending you, He'll back you up. Go in this strength of yours.

Today, no matter what you face, go in this strength of yours. When He calls, He will handle the rest.

Judges 6.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Quote for the Week

The hand of the aggressor is stayed by strength – and strength alone.


Dwight D. Eisenhower

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day

Thanks for those who are praying for me! I am almost back to normal. For some reason, I like to complicate things as much as I can (it's the lawyer in me), so I have picked up a few complications along the way. I should be back in the saddle again soon, though.

In the meantime, I asked my wife to get me this GMC SUV for Father's Day. She rolled her eyes.
Video

Hey! I would use blanks! Promise!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Time for a Break

As I looked over my schedule for the next two weeks, I saw that I had packed it pretty full of important things to do. With meetings, rigid deadlines, and work multiplying by the second, I had not built in any wiggle room.

Soooo...how can I toss this whole mess out the window?

Oooh, oooh, I know! Pick me, pick me!

Appendecitis!

So here I am, laid out on the couch, post-surgery. I am on oxycodone, my speech slurred like a drunk on New Year's. Occassionally, my two daughters turn into four, and I can't tell which one's talking to me. Or what they're saying. My doctor has threatened severe bodily harm and injury if I leave the house during the next two weeks. Right now, that doesn't seem like a problem, because whenever I even think about moving off the couch, the pain shooting up my side takes care of those plans.

Whether I want it or not, I'm getting a break.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Saturday, June 6, 2009

D-Day

After preparing for the invasion of northwest Europe, with nothing but the action remaining, General Eisenhower had to come to terms with the possibility that the invasion would fail. So, he penned a short speech taking blame for the failure of D-Day and Operation Overlord.

Our landings in the Cherbourg-Havre area have failed to gain a satisfactory foothold and I have withdrawn the troops. My decision to attack at this time and place was based on the best information available. The troops, the air and the Navy did all that bravery and devotion to duty could do. If any blame or fault attaches to the attempt, it is mine alone.

General Dwight D. Eisenhower.

There are leaders who live for the glory. There are those who seek, above all, to receive the credit for success. And where there is success, there are many admirers. There are many that want to walk in their shoes and learn from their wisdom. Those leaders are more than happy to share how their own, individual labor has been responsible for the success.

And yet, in the face of failure, their contribution is more difficult to pin down. Failures and shortcomings are, instead, the result of incompetent underlings, faulty information, or simply someone else. For them, problem solving begins and ends with placing blame. Or more precisely, placing blame elsewhere.

In this instance, General Eisenhower resolved to take the blame, even before there was blame to pass around. Perhaps he was concerned about his career. Maybe he was worried about ruining his legacy. Or maybe not. I really don't know. What I do know is that whatever battle was raging in his mind, he stood by his troops. He chose to publicly protect their honor--at the risk of sacrificing his own. He refused to blame those who followed his orders to the best of their ability.

Today, the 65th anniversary of D-Day, is a great time to reflect on that and to remember the thousands who lost their lives that day.

Though it would never be spoken, it is one of my favorite speeches. It would not be needed, but at the time it was written, Gen. Eisenhower did not know that.

That is leadership.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Response Time

I recently found this article, courtesy of Sailor Curt.

I am exceedingly glad that the officer will recover. I am encouraged to read how the residents of the community came together to help the police. I believe the residents of Chesapeake, Virginia should be proud of their police department.

And yet, there is something that caught my attention in the story. The incident began with a kidnapping.

"The incident in the usually quiet neighborhood was over in about 45 seconds, Hunter said.

Four or five witnesses immediately called police on cell phones, he said. An off-duty Norfolk officer in an unmarked car arrived within two minutes."

Police do an awesome, and at times thankless, job. But, as has been said before, they cannot be everywhere at once.

Here:

1. The critical incident was over in 45 seconds and the attacker and victim were gone.
2. Police were not called until the incident was over (and the attacker and victim were gone).
3. An off-duty officer who happened to hear the dispatch over the radio arrived 2 minutes after the police were called. Uniformed, on-duty officers arrived some unspecified time later.
4. Which still puts them on scene about three minutes after the incident was over (assuming it took the callers 15 seconds to:
A. Recover from the shock.
B. Take out a cell phone
C. Render it usable (flip open, unlock, etc...)
D. Dial 911.
E. Be connected.
F. Give the call-taker sufficient information to relay to the dispatcher.

The police did an awesome job in this case. I am not being critical of them at all. They arrived fast, and reacted fast.

And yet, I cannot responsibly place the entire burden of my personal and family protection on the shoulders of the police. Such expectation is not fair to them, and besides, I just may not have that much time.