The Old Man in the Baseball cap

Don’t those old folks who drive around town 2o miles under the speed limit really irritate  you. I have blown my horn at them. I have driven around them and given them the “You don’t own the road look.” It’s sometimes an old guy by himself. My wife and I noticed he always seems to be wearing a baseball cap. Often it’s some old lady who probably is on her way to Walmart for no good reason. Whether it’s a man or woman driving,  they have both hands on the wheel and eyes cemented on the road ahead. Sometimes its a couple. Does it really take two of them to drive? I have summarized these types as the “old man in the baseball cap.”

Recently, while trying to deal with my stress filled day, some jerk blew his horn at me. It was all I could not to shoot him “the bird.” Later some guy pulled along side of me and berated me for several seconds before speeding down the road. I imagined following him, pulling him out of his car and giving him the spanking his mother failed to do. That three hundred pound weight lifter is lucky I’m the patient man that I am.

It was about that time that I looked in the rearview mirror and saw the man in the baseball cap and it was me. Where did the time go? I have to drive carefully and pay attention to what I’m doing to do the stuff I need to do. I love it when my wife is with me. She reminds me when I miss a turn or start to go the longest way possible to our destination.  I pray it’s a long time before one of us is driving alone and snarling traffic on the way to Walmart, just to have something to do.

I’m now the old man in the baseball cap and yes, you young smarty pants, I do own the road. Just like I did when I was your age. And just so you know it, I am on the road because I have something important to do. I am trying to change the world. I’m not going to stop my feeble efforts to change my world either. It may  take me a little longer to do, but I’ve got a lot more time than you might think. I know someone who still is crazy enough to believe I can do greater things than He did. He did some pretty awesome stuff. It doesn’t matter that you don’t seem to believe it. I do and I’ve got some grandkids and great grandkids who deserve a world less jerk populated.

You jerk.

Just Shut Up

If you can’t seem to hear from God, maybe you should just shut up.

I know that sounds a bit rude, but you know you’ve been told nicely that you need to be quiet to hear from God and you just haven’t listened. It’s incredibly important, so, I believe, a little rudeness is completely justified. Don’t judge me. Just shut up.

You can’t hear from God with  your mouth open. Whatever you are saying isn’t as important as what God is trying to tell  you. It’s the problem I have with fasting. Fasting becomes the topic of conversation.  Folks talk about how hard it is, or how easy it is or how much they are getting out of it or how they have manipulated the “rules” to make it not really fasting at all. Fast and just shut up.

Think about it this way. By your constant mouth movement, you are not just making too much noise for you to hear from God. You are causing the same problem for those around you. We feel obliged to at least pretend to be listening so it stops us from hearing from God as well. Bless us by your silence and just shut up.

I include this advice for times of prayer. Why do we equate, “Let’s Pray” with “Let’s start talking”? Prayer requires very little if any talking. He already knows everything. Do you think you are providing God with inside info when you start prayer by talking? A circle of people just listening to God is a lot more impressive than a circle of people trying to impress each other with how well they talk to God. Just shut up.

There is an exception to not talking while praying. Sometimes we just need to articulate what the problem is. This is not so God can understand what the problem is, but so we can. The thing is that kind of talking we can do in our heads. It doesn’t have to be out loud. So just shut up.

Oh and Donald and Hillary…just shut up.

I think I’ve said way too much so I’ll just shut up.

 

Sue Didn’t Call

31 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8

There is no truth in Satan. It’s his nature. As Christians, we formerly had that nature, now we have the nature of Christ and all the truth that comes with it. But elements of untruth just seem to hang around and Satan clings to them to make, and keep, us useless. He drags untruth into every day life. Like this:

If your friend Sue usually calls every day and on Tuesday doesn’t call, the truth is just a call was not made. That’s the only truth. It doesn’t mean Sue no longer loves you or that she has died in an accident. It doesn’t mean that she’s angry about something you said to her. It doesn’t mean she is no longer your friend. It doesn’t mean she is telling everyone what an awful person you are and that you are now friendless. It doesn’t mean, you never should have been her  friend. It doesn’t mean, that you are the kind of person who can’t really have friends because you are so worthless. The only truth is Sue didn’t call.

Satan is really having fun now. Once you’re convinced that there is now a friendship crisis; the counterattack and planning session begins. Should you call Sue? Should you text her? Maybe you should work through your mutual friend Mary. You should probably call Mary and tell her how Sue has betrayed your friendship. Maybe Mary and you can have Sue murdered.

You think murder might be a bit too much. Sue is having an affair. That’s why she hasn’t called. Well,  she will never be happy with this other person. Who is this other person? At church she was talking with Joe. For heaven’s sake, Joe’s only been a widower for a year. You would think Sue would have better taste. Of course, after all these years you now know what kind of person Sue is. Just the type that would have an affair. You are not even that sad that they (Sue and Joe) are both going to burn in hell.

When Sue calls and says the battery died on her phone and she hopes you weren’t worried. You lie and say “of course not.” You know you either have try to explain to Sue why you are insane or more likely fall into a pit of despair knowing what a worthless friend you are and how you don’t deserve to have a friend like Sue. You plan how you should end the friendship.

Let’s review the truth, Sue didn’t call.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Old Man in the Baseball Cap

Don’t those old folks who drive around town at 2o miles under the speed limit and seem to be driving in slow motion really irritate  you. I have blown my horn at them. I have driven around them and given them the “You don’t own the road look.” It’s sometimes an old guy by himself. My wife and I noticed he always seems to be wearing a baseball cap. Often it seems to be some old woman who probably is on her way to Wal-Mart for no good reason Whether it’s a man or woman driving,  they have both hands on the wheel and eyes cemented on the road ahead. Sometimes its a couple. Does it really take two of them to drive? I have summarized these types as the “old man in the baseball cap.”

Yesterday while trying to deal with my stress filled day, some jerk blew his horn at me. It was all I could not to shoot him “the bird.” Later some guy pulled along side of me and berated me for several seconds before speeding down the road. I imagined following him, pulling him out of his car and giving him the spanking his mother failed to do. That three hundred pound weight lifter is lucky I’m the patient man who I am.

It was about that time that I looked in the rearview mirror and saw the man in the baseball cap and it was me. I have a backseat full of hats which I occasionally wear. Where did the time go? I have to drive carefully and pay attention to what I’m doing to do the stuff I need to do. I love it when my wife is with me. She reminds me when I miss a turn or start to go the longest way possible to our destination. Maybe I should mention I love driving with her. Surely, she already knows that.  I pray it’s a long time before one of us is driving alone and snarling traffic.

I’m now the old man in the baseball cap and yes, you young smart ass, I do own the road. Just like I did when I was your age. And just so you know it, I’m not going to stop my feeble efforts to change my world either. It may  take me a little longer to do, but I’ve got a lot more time than you might think. I have a buddy who still is crazy enough to believe I can do greater things than He did. It doesn’t matter that you don’t seem to believe it. I do and I’ve got some grandkids who deserve a world less jerk populated.

You big jerk. When’s the last time you had an accident? I’ll compare driving records any time.

Agree with this, or better yet disagree? I love to speak to small groups about the things I post. I can talk to your entire church or small group, your breakfast or supper club (do we still have those?)  . No charge of course, except the one I get out of doing it. However, if food is involved I will stay later. Email me, I dare you.

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NIck's been an attorney for 34 years, served as a pastor and blogs almost daily.

Nick’s been an attorney for 34 years, served as a pastor and blogs almost daily. nicksigur.com

Sue Didn’t Call

 

Sue hasn’t call and there will be hell to pay.

There is no truth in Satan. It’s his nature. As Christians, we formerly had that nature, now we have the nature of Christ and all the truth that comes with it. But elements of untruth just seem to hang around and Satan clings to them to make, and keep, us useless. He drags untruth into every day life.

If your friend Sue usually calls every day and on Tuesday doesn’t call, the truth is a call was not made. That’s the only truth. It doesn’t mean Sue no longer loves you or that she has died in an accident. It doesn’t mean that she’s angry about something you said to her. It doesn’t mean she is no longer your friend. It doesn’t mean she is telling everyone what an awful person you are and that you are now friendless. It doesn’t mean that she never was your friend. It doesn’t mean, that you are the kind of person who doesn’t have friends because you are so worthless. The only truth is Sue didn’t call.

All over a phone call that never happened. Once you’re convinced that there is now a friendship crisis; the counterattack and planning session begins. Should you call Sue? Should you text her? Maybe you should work through your mutual friend Mary. You should probably call Mary and tell her how Sue has betrayed your friendship. Maybe Mary and you can have Sue murdered.

Maybe  you won’t kill her, like she deserves. After all, Sue must be having an affair. That’s why she hasn’t called. Well,  she will never be happy. Who this other person in her life? At church she was talking with Joe. Gotta be him.  Good grief, Joe’s only been a widower for a year. You would think Sue would have better taste. Of course, after all these years you now know what kind of person Sue is. Just the type that would have an affair. You are not even that sad that they (Sue and Joe) are both going to burn in hell.

When Sue calls and says the battery died on her phone and asks if you’ve had a nice day, you lie. You know you have to make amends. You either try to explain to Sue why you are insane or you fall into a pit of despair knowing what a worthless friend you are and how you don’t deserve to have a friend like Sue. You plan how you should end the friendship.

 Let’s go out there and cling to the truth. 31 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8

Let’s review the truth, Sue didn’t call. When Jesus said the truth would set us free, He meant theological truths and the little truths. If I could just filter out all that isn’t truth. If I could dump out the lies that Satan didn’t have to tell because I just made them up myself.

Agree with this, or better yet disagree? I love to speak to small groups about the things I post. I can talk to your entire church or small group, your breakfast or supper club (do we still have those?). No charge of course, except the one I get out of doing it. However, if there’s food, I will stay later. Email me, I dare you.

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NIck's been an attorney for 34 years, served as a pastor and blogs almost daily.

Nick’s been an attorney for 34 years, served as a pastor and blogs almost daily. nicksigur.com

I Was Scared

I’m only slightly ashamed that I was scared this morning. I was having breakfast with friends at Mel’s Diner when the thunderstorm many of us will never forget hit town. No one with me (and some were even older than I) had ever seen the sky that dark during the day. We watched hail through the security camera go on for some time. We couldn’t stop commenting on the ferocity of the wind. Being all men, we sort of laughed it off, but kept checking the weather radar on our smart phones and talked about nothing else. Finally someone suggested we adjourn to the men’s room. It took a few seconds before I realized he was serious. I don’t know if you have ever been to the men’s room at Mel’s downtown, but safety isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. For a few minutes this morning I was scared. I wasn’t the only one, but that doesn’t change the fact that I was.

It kind of feels good to admit that. Maybe we would all be better off if we could admit that sometimes we are scared. Maybe it’s the weather. Maybe it’s an impending medical procedure. Maybe it’s the thought of being jobless or just being old.

There’s nothing wrong with being scared and admit it. Courage is not never being scared. Courage is doing what needs to be done even when you are really scared. Jesus once sweat drops of blood. Don’t tell me He wasn’t scared. He did what needed to  be done anyway.

Don’t ever be scared to be scared. It means you are alive. Just don’t let it change your direction or make you not do what needs to be done. .

 

 

 

He Can Shoulder Your Burdens

“Now I will take the load from your shoulders; I will free your hands from their heavy tasks. Psalm 81:6

I suffered with my shoulders, particularly my left, for many months. When I would deal with a drive through window I could barely lift my arm to take the coffee, burger or health food. Okay, so no health food. I eventually couldn’t handle it any longer and went to the doctor. The doc is a friend so I trust his opinion very much. After two scary (to me) MRI procedures, my friend  recommended surgery on both shoulders. One at a time, of course. I had torn rotator cuffs in both shoulders.  After some prayer I decided to put off the surgery.

I would like to say being a man of great faith I rejected surgery in favor of faith healing. That would not be true. Something from my last surgery messed me up bad. I am not a friend of pain. I have a lot going on. Oh, and I guess God could heal it. I turned it over to God, sort of, and hoped for the best.

I applied the medication for pain my friend prescribed a couple of times. I continued taking over the counter stuff for a while and then just stopped. It was a while before I noticed that the shoulders didn’t hurt any more. One day it may be time for surgery, but apparently, now is not the time.

I believe God took the load from my shoulders. I just wish I had believed He would before He did. Got something you are shouldering and the burden is getting too much for you? Turn it over to God. Maybe you can do so with more confidence and faith than I did. Nevertheless, apparently all we need is a mustard seed worth. That’s all I had. It turns out that’s enough.

 

 

Memories

nick and rose engaged repaired

My wife and I had a great time in bed the other night. Now that I have your attention. We were looking at old pictures. This one is from early 1970. We were engaged at the time and married in May of that year.  I highly recommend looking at old pics with a loved one. It was a wonderful exercise.

Thanksgiving Booster.  Sometimes we need to remember all that we have to be thankful for. Looking at forty plus years of pictures really let’s you know how much you have to be thankful for. It really has been a wonderful life.

Priority shifter.  Looking at the pictures we didn’t focus on cars we owned or houses we lived in or clothes we “loved.” We looked at people and not just any people, but “our” people, each other, children, grands and great grands.  We were reminded of friends and loved ones lost. Looking at old pics really can shift your priorities that might have ever so briefly gotten out of line.

Faithfulness.  In the years of pictures, I  saw evidence of the faithfulness of God and  of my spouse. We have been through a lot. We often felt God was missing. Looking back He wasn’t. He was there. Rose and I have been there for each other. Faithfulness gives you a warm fuzzy about the past. More importantly, it gives you hope and courage for the future.

Reality check. Comparing old pics and what is in mirror is a real reality check. It’s funny how we often picture ourselves as we were years ago. We ain’t the same. God ages us, hopefully mellows and matures us. He separates us from our material concepts of beauty and youth. We remember He loves us consistently and we love each other more than when we were “hot.” There is something really cool about that.

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NIck's been an attorney for 34 years, served as a pastor and blogs almost daily.

Nick’s been an attorney for 34 years, served as a pastor and blogs almost daily. nicksigur.com