Friday, September 11, 2009

Think Life is Tough? Think Again!

Food for Thought: In our modern, fast paced, hundreds of TV channels, Internet connected, tweet you of ours, it can be easy to become overwhelmed and consumed by feeling of wanting to have more and to be more.

As a male, I find it very alluring to see myself as one of Vinny Chase's posse in the popular HBO show, Entourage. Having so much money that you can buy your friends new cars for their birthdays...running off to Paris in a Gulf stream at a drop of a hat (just 'cause there's nothing better to do)...or just hooking up with any beautiful young model you run into, just because we're so popular and naturally can have anyone we choose (disclaimer: this is just an example of things that occur regularly on the show and are not indicative of things I personally you don't need to worry about my walk...just FYI).

But for 99.9% of us, that's just not the real world, but at the same time we sometimes judge our lives by that fantasy standard of opulence presented on TV and in movies and forget the simple blessing that we (being citizens of the United States of America) have become accustomed to. Pastor and Author, David Foster, helps us to "get real" about our blessing within his book , A Renegade's Guide to God:

"Consider this...

-If you are healthy right now, you are more blessed than the millions who won't survive another week.

-If you have never had to experience the scars of war, the loneliness of prison, the agony of torture or the pangs of starvation...then you are ahead of the more than 20,000,000 people around the world.

-If last Sunday you attended the Church of your choosing without fear of harassment, arrest, torture, or are more blessed than almost 3,000,000,000 people who live on earth at this moment!

-If you have a refrigerator with food in it, clothes on your back, a roof over your head and a place to sleep are richer than 75% of people on this planet.

-If you have money in the bank, in your wallet or even spare change in a dish on your are among the top 8% of the world's wealthy!

-And if you can read this blog, you are more blessed than over 2,000,000,000 people in the world who cannot read anything at all!


My life seems pretty good in comparison. My problems don't seem all that large or unsolvable all of the sudden.

Sometimes it's hard for many of us to even use these kind of comparisons, 'cause we just don't even think they are relevant and after all...could never happen to us. But just ask a few of the 60,000 homeless people walking the streets of L.A. daily, (or the approximately 500,000 nationwide), if they ever thought it could/would happen to them!

I hope this gives you pause today (9/11) if only for a few minutes to remember those who are not as fortunate as yourselves. And remember (if you are Christian) that one of the most foundational tenets of our faith is to first and foremost help those who are in need...the widows, the orphans, the sick, the poor, the homeless and those in prison.

In this country, God has blessed us with so much more than most of us can ever acknowledge and the truth is, it really doesn't take much for him to take it all away fact, if you believe in pre-destiny, that may already be in the plan for you soon! So, as Pastor Foster would say, "Shout out loud, send up a flare, yell, run, sing, leap for joy," because this moment...we, among all the people in the world are under God's blessing!

So don't take your life for granted today, for our blessings are better than a million "maybes" tomorrow for most people in our matter how un-fufilling our lives may seem.

R.J. Luedke

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Do They Let Anyone in Here?

I was shocked, confused and bewildered as I entered Heaven's door,

not by the beauty of it all, by the lights or it decor.

But it was the folks in Heaven that made me sputter and gasp,

the thieves, the gays, the sinners, alcholics and trash.

There stood the kid from seventh grade who swiped my lunch money twice!

Next to him was my old neighbor who never said anythng nice.

Herb, who I always thought was rotting away in Hell,

was sitting pretty on Cloud Nine looking incredibly well.

I nudged Jesus...what's the deal? I'd like to hear your take.

How did all these sinners get up here? God must have made a mistake!

And why is everyone so quiet and somber? Give me a clue.

Hush child, He said, they are all in one thought they would see you!

Author Unknown
From the Book: A Renegade's Guide to God by David Foster