Dare to be Excellent at Everything You Do

You would think that with all the technology available to us, all the systems that allow for cheap entry into different spaces, that excellence would be on the rise.  But oddly enough, it seems the opposite is true.  How many times have you gone to a restaurant that claims to be excellent at least according the to the prices they charge,  and yet the food and service is barely mediocre?  Mediocrity reigns in corporate board rooms, in church leadership, and in families.  And we all suffer because of it.

I want to dare you to be excellent by giving you a workable definition.  I think we’ve mistaken excellence for something unattainable, more like perfection than what might reside within the reach of the average man or woman.

You can define excellence this way, and it’s achievable to anyone who wants it.  Here it is.  Excellence is doing the best I can with what I have where I am in the time allotted. When I realized that, everything began to change.

Twenty years ago my family and I moved to Nashville to start a church directed toward people who didn’t want to go to church.  No money, no support, a rented, run-down school building: not much about what we looked like or sounded like when we started was excellent.

As we began to persevere and grow, I realized that there were a lot of things that people would put up with if they knew and were convinced that we were doing the best we could do with what we had, where we were, in the time allotted.  That definition makes excellence available to anyone who wants it badly enough.

At the end of the day, you won’t be remembered for how much you earned, or how much you bought, or how many people attended your church.  You’ll be remembered by the quality of your life and the service you offered.  Let it be excellence and nothing less.

The March of the Morally Moronic

One of the challenges that guys like me have in the current world is to communicate the importance of ethics and morality without sounding prudish, self-righteous, or condemning.

We live in a time I can best describe as the March of the Morally Moronic.  Now I know that sounds like a put-down, but it really isn’t.  It seems there are enough people heading this direction that you can call it a march.  It is always about morality.  Every choice is a moral choice based on an ethical foundation or the lack thereof.  And it is indeed moronic.

Maybe that’s the problem you’ll have with this little rant.  Why do we want to call anything moronic?  Well, moronic is a word used to describe behavior that is not based on intelligence, reality, the information, scientific investigation, or observation.

The reason it’s so difficult in a society of shifting and drifting values to teach morality without coming off sounding like a cartoon, is that the big moral decisions have consequences that are not immediate.

If you, for example veer out of your lane which is a moral choice, and hit someone else, the damage, the price, the mayhem is immediate.

But if you have sex with a person you’re not married to, the feeling is, “Who does it harm?” And we’ve satisfied an urge that we both have.  Again, morality, particularly the big rock of morality, the big issues have consequences but don’t show up until much, much, much later.

The standard of ethics has been revealed to us in the Scripture, at least that’s my conviction.  If that’s not yours, I can understand why this discussion is not as convincing as I hoped it would be.  But if you do start with that foundation, that the ethics of our lives have been revealed, the rightness of the way life is and should be lived has been given to us by God, then the application of those ethics is what we call our morals.  And the Scriptures tell us very clearly about how our moral behavior not only says something about our relationship with God and our willingness or defiance to submit to His wisdom, but it also says a lot about what we’re capable or able to do if indeed we do obey God’s ethical teachings and our moral behavior, or disobey.

Here’s a quick example.  To smoke a cigarette is a moral decision based on a certain set of ethics.  You may like them or you may not.  You may agree with them or you may not.  But it is a moral choice.  But what we’re told about smoking cigarettes is if you smoke a cigarette it will kill you.  So a person smokes a cigarette and nothing happens; a pack of cigarettes and nothing happens; a pack a day for a week and nothing happens; a pack a day for a year and nothing happens; a pack a day over two or three or four years and something begins to happen.  Much longer, and all of a sudden the consequences of your moral choice back years and years ago now come due. And the price is heavy.  The same thing is true with our moral behavior when it comes to sex or relationships, money, honesty and a thousand other small choices.

The question I have is this: Are you in the march of the morally moronic; those who just simply stick their finger up into the air and follow the crowd?  Or are you willing to stand, sometimes alone, viewed as odd or maybe even prudish, and say, “The ethics given to me by God will define the values and the morality that I practice every day.” The consequence, or the pay-off of my choice may not be immediate or obvious, but it is indeed, nonetheless sure.

Graeme McDowell: New U.S. Open Winner and an Overnight Success

It was good to see a “no-name” win the U.S. Open.  That’s probably a little bit harsh but let’s face it.  Who had heard of Graeme McDowell before yesterday – professional golfer from Northern Ireland who played his college golf at University of Alabama, Birmingham?

He went up against the likes of Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, and the elite of the golf world and he prevailed.  At Pebble Beach on a nasty day, when it was hard to watch what the wind was doing to their game, Graeme McDowell prevailed.

And after he sank the last putt, winning the tournament, his father ran out onto the green and embraced his son; a fitting end to a great game on Father’s Day.

Here’s what stuck out to me. Was Graeme McDowell and overnight success? We sometimes think that these kinds of things just happen: right place, right time, lucky, everyone plays bad, you play good, and we dismiss it.  But let’s stop and think about it.

McDowell said something that stuck in my mind.  He said, “I’ve been on the putting green since I was ten years old.”  I remember reading in Malcolm Gladwell’s  best-selling book, “Outliers” the importance of 10,000 hours.  To really be great at anything, you have to invest 10,000 hours in learning and growing and allowing that thing to become a part of you.

Living in Nash-Vegas, I see way too many people who go for their quick success.  They leave their home in Oklahoma, or Ohio, or Texas, or West Virginia, and they move to Nashville hoping to be discovered.  Having lived here awhile, here’s what I’ve learned: there are no overnight successes in golf, music, or any other thing. The people who prevail and become champions do so over time, not overnight.

So remember this.  A kid from Northern Ireland who played his college golf in Birmingham, Alabama can win the U.S. Open. But he’s going to have to give years and years and years of his life to do so.  And so will you.  If you’re discouraged today because you’ve been at it and you’ve seen little fruit in your business, your church, or even your marriage, remember: even Graeme McDowell, U.S. Open Champion had to start on the greens when he was ten.  How old is he today? A lot older than ten.

I’m Proud to be a Part of a City of Servants; and Here’s How You Can Help

I’ve listed below, some connection-points for those of you who want to get involved.  Many of us have been working this week in Bellevue, River Plantation, Pennington Bend, and other hard-hit areas to help people recover.

We’ve had so many people ask us, “What can we do?” Here are some links to some places where you can get connected and get involved.


Community Foundation Establishes Flood Relief Fund

Volunteer With Hands On Nashville



StorPlace Self Storage is offering flood victims one month’s free rental at any of their 10 Middle TN locations.  To find a location near you, visit their website at www.StorPlaceSelfStorage.com.

Middle Tennessee Red Cross Chapters

Why I Love My Sweet, Soggy Tennessee

By now the whole world knows that Nashville and surrounding areas have experienced what the Weather Service called a “once in a thousand years” event.

It’s like an inland hurricane where, in less than a 48-hour period, between 15 and 20 inches of rain have been dumped on our area.  And when you dump that much rain anywhere, flooding is bound to happen.

On the one hand, it’s really sad and heartbreaking to see people’s homes flooded, and businesses of the downtown area marred by such a climactic weather event.  But on the other hand, this reminds me one more time why I love my sweet, soggy Tennessee.

Everywhere, I am inspired by people who are taking the initiative to help. The phone lines have been buzzing, emails, texts, Twitters; and people are getting connected to people who need help.  First-responders are doing their usual, amazing job.  We’ve seen them do this before, and they are a sight to behold.  We thank them: all the firefighters, emergency personnel, all the first-responders who, without regard for personal well-being, throw themselves in the breach.

I’m also talking about the ordinary neighbor, the guy next door, the buddy who sits next to you at church; people who do what needs to be done when it needs to be done, without having to be asked.  I’ve been inspired to see people put their boats into these new rivers and risk their lives to go rescue their neighbors, their friends, their elderly relatives.  And this is just the beginning.

One of the reasons I love Tennessee is because Tennesseans help each other, watch each others’ backs.  We don’t wait for a government program, we don’t try to point the finger at who’s to blame.  I haven’t even heard too much finger-pointing at God, or why would He let this happen.  Just good people rolling up their sleeves and helping each other.  And that’s the way it’s supposed to be.

This is a sad day in our city, but we’ll get over it.  Not only will we get over it, we’ll turn it into something beautiful, something better than it is today.  When you’re going through tragedy, be reminded that if you face it alone, you’re screwed.  But if you have people around you to help lift the load, a bad day and a terrible adversity can be turned into an advantage.

How to Get to the Nursing Home Ahead of the Crowd

I am a firm believer; an avid advocate.  You might say I’m obnoxious about this truth: getting older is a privilege; getting old is a choice.

Maybe it’s the stage of life I’m in.  But I seem to be hearing more and more people in their thirties, forties, and fifties talking way too much about retirement, or saying way too often that the life of their dreams has passed them by because they are “too old.”

Have you found that in life, you’re either too young, too old, or too tired?  It’s almost as though people are planning to live the last years of their life in a nursing home, but they want to schedule a visit and make an appointment as soon as they possibly can.  Not me.

I am going to live until I’m dead.  I’m going to live all the way.  I’m going to work, try, plan, aspire.  I’m going to have a mission.  I’m going to have a big vision.  And I’m going to have goals that support it in every area of my life: relationally, spiritually, physically, and financially. You should too.

As Paula and I launch more and more into helping married people grow great, we’re discovering that people married 10, 15, 20, even 30 years feel that the dysfunction and the pain of their past has doomed them to a marriage that’s below average, or even terminal.

Let me just say this to you. It is never too late to aspire to amazing. It is never too late to have the marriage of your dreams.  It is never too late to have the career that you’ve always wanted.  Age has absolutely nothing to do with it.  As a matter of fact, age works to your advantage because the older you are, the more experienced you are, the wiser you are and the more of the things you know you do not want.  You have to focus on the things that really now matter.

Hey, cancel your subscription to AARP and all of those insurance programs that give you money for your house and whatever else it is these people are hawking these days to people in their advancing years. I’m talking about 35-plus.  Haha.  Stay alive.  Stay young.  Stay hopeful.  Have fun.  Be foolish.  Dance, skip, run, dare to be a child all the way.  Dare to contribute.  Dare to make something amazing of your life in the second half!

Is It Pride or Principle?

Why is it that good people let pride stand in the way of getting the help they need?

I think oftentimes we confuse pride with principle.  We somehow think there is a principle we can’t violate like not asking for help: not reaching out and confessing that we’re hurting, or that our relationships are suffering, or that we are just shy of all-out terror and panic.

I’ve seen way too many good people refuse help, and continue to let pride blind them to what everyone else can obviously see; that they’re hurting themselves and destroying not only themselves and their future, but others that love them.

Dare we name-drop the famous athletes who have allowed pride and arrogance to stand in the way of the help that they so desperately needed?  How much is wasted?

As we countdown to our “Making Marriage Fun Again” live event here in Nashville, I am excited to see the people who are coming to get help; if nothing else, help to grow.  You don’t have to have a terrible marriage to go to a Marriage Live Event. You can just want to have the absolute best, most amazing marriage possible because that’s what you deserve and that’s what you’re willing to fight for.

Don’t confuse pride and principle. The principle is, we all need help.  And to get the help we need, we have to swallow our pride, humble ourselves, and reach out.  Sometimes it’s registering for a marriage conference, paying the money, and showing up.  Other times, it’s simply revealing to our spouse, to our parents, even to our children that we’re hurting and we need help.

The only crime is to lay down and die needlessly because you wouldn’t take the help you so desperately needed when it was available or offered.

You Can’t Hide From Who You Are

Today on the David and Paula Show we are going to be talking about the power of being who you are.  Often times we pose and present a picture-perfect image to those around us to get them to do business with us, like us, even to marry us.

And while everything is going well, the charade continues.  But the problem is this: under pressure, you always go home to who you really are.

Often, to remedy bad behavior, we simply try harder.  Like Tiger Woods at The Masters, we promise that we are going to be better, that we’re not going to be like we were.  Tiger promised there would be no more emotional outbursts.  He lied.  He promised no more cursing.  He lied.  He promised no more of the old sulking again.  He lied.

Tiger lies just like the rest of us when we try to be something we’re not.

How do you change?  How do you truly become the kind of person that exudes joy, adventure, and risk? Kind of like the other guy in the headlines of The Masters, Phil Mickelson; the guy who won, the guy who seemingly can have a great golf career, be the head of his home through tragedy, and do all the small things that make life worth living.

Tune into The David and Paula Show at 10:00 AM Central this morning and hear the answer to the question, “How do we become the person we’ve always wanted to be?

Throwing Money at Haiti Won’t Solve the Problem

All of us are overwhelmed and stunned at the images we see on TV about the devastation in Haiti.  It is a nation into which billions and billions of aid have been poured and yet the money doesn’t seem to have made the kind of dent we would expect.

So what is our response when we see tragedies like this?  Either earthquakes, tsunamis, war – we send money.  And we should.  Money is a powerful tool. It can be used to buy medicine, water and food.  It can stave off starvation and disease.  It can rebuild infrastructure.  It can lift people out of a cycle of poverty.  But that is never, ever enough.

Here is a novel idea for those of us who will never go to Haiti, who aren’t missionaries, who live in the real world of commerce, of Wall Street, of profit and loss. The very best way for us to engage the suffering there in Haiti is to engage the suffering here, all around us.

Maybe instead of texting our ten dollars to the Red Cross , which is a good thing and should be done, or sending money to Samaritan’s Purse, or even a great ministry like Convoy of Hope, we should, in addition, look around at what’s gone wrong in the families and communities in which we live.  Maybe we should be peacemakers right here.

I have a peace plan that goes along the same lines of what Jesus promised when he said that those who followed and loved him would be peacemakers.  It takes the word “peace” and uses it as an acrostic for action.  Here is my peace plan:

P – Practice being good news.  This is what we need; hope, real hope, tangible, sustainable hope; the hope that is based on the foundation of what God has committed Himself to do in a world of sorrow and pain.  There is always hope for those who turn form their ways and embrace the love and grace of God.  Let’s be the people who know what it’s like to be loved.

E – Extinguish prejudice wherever we find it. As many of you know, Pat Robertson made a declaration that the earthquake is a judgment of God.  Whether it is or isn’t, this statement as it stands, is a great example of prejudice; the prejudice that comes from someone or some source that has an overinflated estimation of their own understanding of God’s ways. So instead of deciding who’s to blame and who deserves God’s judgment and God’s grace, let’s strike out prejudice wherever we find it.  God loves people as they are, not as they ought to be.

A – Advance the good. What is your career?  Does your career advance the good, or just give you a paycheck?

C- Compassion that leads to action. What are the actionable steps you can take where you are that would relieve the pain and suffering, to help be a force of redemption, restoration, and reconciliation?

E – Embrace the suffering. This is what Jesus did, and this is what we should do.

So Goes Marriage, So Goes America

I read a statistic the other day that shocked me.  That is, in 1930 over 84% of all Americans were married.  But today, the number of married people has dropped to below 50%.

This is shocking.  I am amazed that no one is taking up the banner and waving the flag, because the crisis of marriage in America is the greatest predictor of our future.  Here is the truth: as marriage goes, so goes any society – including our own.

Marriage is important.  It’s key and core.  The Scriptures open with a marriage and close with a marriage.  And everything in between is teaching us to live in families.  And the family is created first of all, when a man and a woman come together in the covenant of marriage.

We must raise the value of our marriages. Men must understand that there is no success without succeeding first at home.  Men in America must understand that their highest goal as a husband is to help their wives and children reach their greatest potential.  My greatest success is not in the marketplace, but in my home.  And out of that success extends everything else I have to offer the world.

If you’re thinking about ending your marriage, don’t. It can be fixed.  There is always hope.  But you give up that hope the day you decide to opt for divorce rather than fight for the most precious thing you’ll ever have, and that is your marriage relationship.  Do everything you can to keep it together because divorce is not only the quickest way to destroy your life, it’s also the number one creator of poverty in our country.

You Don’t Have An Addiction Problem

Is it just me, or does it seem that everything today is now an addiction?  We have names for diseases that I’m not all that convinced are diseases.

We live in a therapeutic society that gives us excuses for being the way we are, rather than understanding that the choices we make and the actions we take determine the life that we live.  It’s not an addiction; it’s a choice.

We also use the word “mistake” lightly.  When a professional basketball player took guns into a locker room and confronted his fellow teammates; that wasn’t a mistake, that was a choice. A mistake is going down the wrong road on your way to the restaurant.  A mistake is putting the wrong kind of oil into your engine.  A choice is when you do something that’s illegal, immoral, or unethical and then you face the consequences.

This distinction was never more important than it is right now in America, in our marriages.  Marriages are breaking up over “addictions.”  If a man commits adultery against his wife, he doesn’t have a moral problem, or an ethical problem, he has an “addiction.”

Whatever reason Tiger Woods was driven to do what he did, I’m not at all convinced that it’s as easily fixed as saying, “he has an addiction.”

One of the reasons I think we opt for the “addiction” label is we don’t want to be judgmental.  Who among us has the right to cast the first stone?  But trust me, that’s not the issue.  The issue is this; if we can continue to excuse our behavior, our society is going to continue to fall apart.  Our marriages are going to continue to dissolve.  The number of children without fathers is going to continue to grow.  And without a stable family, without stable marriages, without a home with a mom and a dad in it, children are not going to grow up, to go to college, to enter professions, to earn money, to pay taxes, or support the structure of our society and our standard of living.

Before you go off to a retreat center and spend money you don’t have, and get treated for an “addiction” you don’t have, stop to think.  Maybe it’s time to just make better decisions. Stay off the internet with the porn, don’t drink to excess, show up for work, be a nice person:  simple choices that could save your life.

Shame on Us for Celebrating the Fall of a Hero

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the Tiger Woods issue.  I want to learn something from this just because it seems to happen all too often.  Our heroes fall and somehow we celebrate it.  But something inside of us is glad that there is this all too human side of Tiger Woods.  We like the condemnation and the tabloid exposure of the darker side of a man America has come to admire and celebrate.

Here is what I am feeling today: shame on us.  Shame on us for specializing in tearing people down or, at least, somehow being interested in the public disintegration of a husband, wife, and children, and so many others who surround this issue.  Here is my conclusion.  There is nothing inspiring about a man’s sins and imperfections being on display.

What we need in America are not more cautionary tales; exposures of how public people have gotten it wrong in their private life.  What we need is more exposure of those who are struggling to get it right on both sides of the equation.  There are so many who are getting it right.  They’re the ones who are inspiring me; the ones who against all odds, win in the public and private arena.  There are so many more of those than the Tiger Woods story.

I need to be inspired.  I fight each day against the gravitational pull toward the cynic’s chair.  I refuse to sit there.  I was created by a God who knew how flawed I would be, and yet loves me anyway; a God who forgives, redeems, and restores; a God who can pick a hero up and set him back on the right path.

Maybe Tiger will never be put back on the pedestal.  Maybe he should never have been up there in the first place.  I’m going to find my inspiration in those who are getting it right, not in cutting down and shaming those who are getting it wrong.  Again, there is nothing inspiring about celebrating, fixating, or condemning the imperfection of another person.

I’m Sick and Tired. I’m Not Going to Take it Anymore

sadness_by_rockthenationsIs it me, or are people hurting more than ever before?  I’m not just talking about the economy and the changes going on in society.  These are simply symptoms of a greater problem.  People are hurting and in deep pain. And it seems as though we’re content to ignore it.

Almost never a day goes by that I don’t have a heartbreaking conversation with some smart, good, intelligent person who’s carrying around a collection of disappointments that’s robbing them of the very life that Jesus created them for.

I don’t know about you, but I am sick and tired.  I’m not going to take it anymore.  So here’s what I’m going to do and I challenge you to do the same thing.

  1. I’m going to look people in the eye when I meet them. I’m going to lean forward, extend my hand and engage them.  I’m going to let them know they are a valuable, important human being; not just another in a long line of faces I’ll forget as soon as they leave my presence.
  2. I’m going to smile.  Yeah, I am.  I’m going to smile.  I’m not going to carry around a sour face that points to a deep wound that I haven’t dealt with.  I’m forgiven.  Period.  I’m free.  I’m loved as I am and not as I ought to be.  And I’m ok with that.  So I am not carrying around any deep wounds, or anger, or bitterness for someone who’s done me wrong.  I’ve been betrayed, lied about, done dirty, just like you have.  But join the human race.  I’m just over it.  Life is too short to waste it nursing a grudge.
  3. I’m going to ask important questions; not just the silly ones we ask each other – “How are you doing? What’s going on?  How are the kids?  What’s the weather?” – but “How are you doing? What’s going on in your life today? What are you excited about?  What gets you up in the morning? What fills you with joy and creates energy? Are you on the road to your life’s calling?” Something better than the tripe that we trade and call deep conversation.
  4. I’m going to take action. When someone bares a pain to me and I can do something about it, I’m going to do something then and there.  Schedule it, call it, use my connections, and get them help.
  5. I’m going to affirm people. I’m going to tell them what I think of them.  I’m going to describe them in terms of how they are and could be.  I’m not going to chide, be upset, mad, and maudlin. I’m going to say what needs to be said when it needs to be said.
  6. I’m going to inspire other people by loving them where they are.
  7. I’m going to write handwritten notes, send them out, and let people have something tangible that reflects my affection and belief in them.
  8. I’m going to make phone calls. I’m going to stop saying, “I hate talking on the phone” and talk on the phone.  I’m going to call people who haven’t called me and I’m going to be the first one to act.
  9. I’m going to point people to Christ; not with sermons or a warning, but with my life and my words.  I’m going to extend acceptance, love, and grace to people, period, no matter what they do or how embarrassing they may become.
  10. I am going to practice W.W.O.N.D.A. with God’s help.  That’s’ win-win-or-no-deal-always.

Bottom line, I’m just sick and tired of seeing people hurt when it’s unnecessary.  I’m sick and tired of religiosity getting in the way of grace.  I’m sick and tired of people being bound up by the shame and guilt and bitterness of the past.  I’m going to do everything I can to lead people out of that dark place into the sunlight of God’s love, His forgiveness, and the joy that every day offers. What are you going to do?

7 Benefits of These Good Old Bad Times

loose-changeWell it’s official.  We’re going through bad times.  When you hear CNN, Fox News, and other major networks use words like “crisis, never seen it this bad before, no one knows what to do, the bail-out isn’t working,” it’s official.  These are bad times.

But remember.  There is always an upside of every down time.  Here are seven I’ve been pondering.  Maybe you can think of more.

1.    These good old bad times give us a chance for group humility. Let’s face it.  We Americans pride ourselves on our ingenuity, our know-how, and our can-do spirit.  We’re educated and we’re proud of it.  All of our education and organization has led us to this place where we’ve lost trillions of dollars worth of value in markets across the board in a short period of time.  Let’s face it.  It’s time for repentance and acknowledging that we’re not as smart as we thought we were.  This could be a good thing because it helps us appreciate the things that we overlook when we’re going too fast and making too much money.  Humility is a thing God values and places a high priority on.  He says that He raises up the humble and brings down the proud.

2.    These good old bad times explode the illusion of command and control.  It’s an illusion if you think you are in control of the world and that you can command things to right themselves.  It’s the old illusion of power.  Power is a good thing, but it’s a limited thing.

3.    These good old bad times break us of the belief that more money solves all things. The 700 billion dollar bail-out was supposed to be a cure-all and the markets were bound to turn around and bounce back immediately.  That hasn’t happened.  Money doesn’t solve all things.  The Scriptures teach us that it’s illusive, that it promises one thing and delivers another.  Those who love money and depend on it are always disappointed.  Surely we know this by now, but will we remember it?

4.    These good old bad times provide us a great moment to start over smarter. Maybe you’ve lost your job, your company, your house, or maybe everything.  And it’s a terrible thing, but it’s not the end of all things.  Remember the Scriptures warn us that we come into this world with nothing and we’ll go out with nothing.  So starting over smarter is not the end of the world.  As a matter of fact, it gives you a chance to free yourself up of a lot of baggage that you gather over the years in building a business, a career, or just about any other thing.  Starting over smarter, leaner, and with a simpler approach can be a blessing.

5.    These good old bad times call us back to the basics. We have two epic struggles going on: greed and fear at war with faith and hope.  There are those who believe the economy runs on greed and when it won’t run on greed, it runs on fear.  And yet there are those of us who believe that God created the world to respond to two more epic important and redemptive forces: faith and hope.  Faith in our God, not in our institutions, or the value of the dollar; and hope that God isn’t done with us; that He is still here working, bringing about His purposes, building His Kingdom which has as its themes, redemption, restoration, reconciliation, and renewal.  These are our marching orders.  These are the basics of a life well-lived.  Each and every day, faith and hope always win.

6.    These good old bad times give us a chance to recognize that we need each other. There aren’t enough assets, money, insurance, or securities to make us islands all to ourselves. It’s during bad times and down times, it’s at the time of loss that the tribe of the Christian faith is at its best.  Christianity has always faltered in prosperity and always blossomed in tragedy.  This is our opportunity as Christians, instead of forcing our way through political mandate, winning the day by standing up as a voice of sanity, love, grace, hope, and redemption.  Will we seize it?

7.    These good old bad times give us a chance to read what we’ve written on our money, “In God We Trust.” At the end of the day, that’s what this is all about – trust.  Can you trust your institutions? No.  Can you trust your government?  No.  Can you trust your investments?  No.  Can you trust your 401k, that it will be there when you need it?  No.  Can you trust your health?  No.  Can you trust the ebb and flow of financial markets?  No.  But can you trust God, the creator and sustainer of all things?  And to that we say a resounding, “Yes.”