Karen

More Blind Guides

November 7, 2016 in Karen's Soapbox

Remember the little fable about the blind men who come upon an elephant?  Some stories speak of three men trying to determine what an elephant is like.  Some speak of six describing an elephant from each point of view; perhaps an elephant is like a rope, or a basket, or a pipe, so the story goes.  As one author put it,

And so these men of Indostan

Disputed loud and long,

Each in his own opinion

Exceeding stiff and strong,

Though each was partly in the right

And all were in the wrong!
It didn’t matter who described the elephant, each was sure they were right because they could only “see” from their point of view.  Each needed the whole picture to actually know the truth, but since all of them were blind, none of them sought to find a guide who could actually see things clearly.  This whole story reminds me of the unfortunate state of our current election process.  In my naive and blind innocence, I once saw politicians as people who may not agree on everything, but who were willing to respect each other’s opinions. They might even admit they were blind in some ways, but give each other room to seek a greater truth.  That simple view of the political arena was certainly lost as we watched blind guides try to tell us what an elephant is.  Even the elephant had to laugh at hearing so many strange descriptions.
Max Lucado helped me a bit this morning though when he posted a comment that reminded me that it isn’t the blind guides who make a difference in the long run.  It’s the One who holds the truth and sees everything clearly. It’s the one who is the only voice of authority in any land around the world.  When we let God be our guide, we don’t have to confuse ourselves with those who only see the part of the picture that serves their own ends.  We don’t have to question what an elephant is or what it looks like.  We simply have to open our eyes and when we touch the hand of the One who created all of us, the scales fall away.  We get the picture and we can describe things as they really are.  If you’re feeling a bit uncertain about who will guide this country, then simply look upimage016.  Seek your Creator who will be in control and watch over all of us, regardless of what part of the elephant we choose to describe.  There is after all, only one authority over Heaven and Earth.
Let peace fill your heart and mind today. Let God hold you in the palm of His hand.
Karen

Politics and Dating

March 4, 2016 in Karen's Soapbox

I struggle with politics.  What I mean is that I believe in the whole idea of free speech, and I appreciate the gift of living in a country that allows us to each vote and speak our minds.  I love that about the life we have here in America.  We appreciate our freedom of speech, don’t we?  Most recently, when I read that Max Lucado had spoken out for decency and faith, I saw that many sent him horrible messages. They were angry and acted like Lucado didn’t have a right to share his thoughts.  Why?  Because he’s a pastor!  Does my line of work determine whether I have the right to speak up?  If I share what comes from my own heart, isn’t that the right we protect in our constitution?   The way I understand it, we all have the right to speak, at least that’s the way I read that freedom of speech thing.

Political campaigns remind me of the old show on TV called The Dating Game.  The way the show was set up, one person, let’s say a female, was to choose a date from three males that she could not see behind a screen. She would ask pertinent questions to each contender.  After rounds  of questions, she would choose the one guy she wanted for a date. When the guy finally came around the screen and she saw him face to face, you could tell sometimes that he was nothing like she expected.  It feels to me like that’s what happens in politics.  We  have a scorecard, listen to lots of opinions, and try to choose who to date for the next four years.  The problem is that we can be fooled because we listen for what we want to hear, rather than listening to what is being said.  We let our emotions and our imaginations have more sway with our choice, than truth or reality can put together.  The Dating Game and any other show, like those we call “Reality” TV, don’t give us truth.  They simply give us entertainment.

I have to side with Dave Ramsey a bit today and suggest that no one person can fix what is going on in America or the world.  We each are part of the fixing.  If we take responsibility for our choices, we can make a difference.  I’m saying this more about personal choice than political choice.  We have to choose to be advocates for the greater good.  We choose because we have a real sense of what it means to live in God’s grace and mercy and love.  We choose because we are willing and able to become part of the solution.  A great politician can make you believe nearly anything.  A great businessman can cause you to think the world revolves on a dime.  But the only great person in the mix of your choices is YOU.  You have to rise to greatness.  You have to stand for what you believe.  I applaud Max Lucado and Dave Ramsey and others who speak from their own hearts as voices of reason and wisdom.  I applaud each one who makes it a goal to listen with a heart for wisdom and truth.  Whatever we do, we have to have faith in our choices, a sense of knowing that comes to us in prayer.  As the old saying goes, we have to stand for something or we’ll fall for anything.  Let’s be wise in our choices or we may be in for a long, unhappy date.

Karen

If I Have More Friends than Ever, Why Do I Still Feel Alone?

January 12, 2016 in Karen's Soapbox

Thanks to Facebook, LinkedIn and a variety of other social networks, most of us are connected to a lot of people.  We have friends, or at least that’s what is implied by the 827 people who wanted to connect with us.  Sometimes we do reconnect with old friends, old acquaintances, people we went to high school or college with and think, “Oh, we’re still friends.”  Well, in some measure you are. But how many of those online “friends” actually are part of your core relationship base?  How many of those people share a real friendship with you? Maybe that requires more definition of what friendship really is.

Many people suffer from loneliness. They may have 4000 Facebook friends or live in a big city or belong to a good team of some sort, but left to themselves, left to consider who they might call when they were in trouble, they are hard pressed to come up with answers.  They might not be totally aware of who their real friends are.  I think networks like Facebook are a good thing if they remind us of people we care about and we have a chance to peek into their lives with the things they post.  I try to imagine though what it would mean if I had a “Facebook” friendship with God.  What if all I did was stop by to see a picture of His kids, or catch up on a great quote He wanted to highlight in Scripture? What if all I really knew of God was what we texted back and forth from time to time, wishing each other well?

If God and I only had a Facebook friendship,  I’m tempted to say that in a pinch, I still would not know that God was the one I could turn to when trouble landed on my doorstep.  Why? Probably because we would not have developed our relationship face to face.  We would not have had endless conversations on the phone or in prayer or driving in the car. We would not know each other well enough to know where to begin to give comfort or advice. Turning to God in my life means that we have a relationship.  We have a friendship that is real and solid and if the power went out across the globe, I would still not be alone;He would still be my friend.  If someone pulls the plug on Facebook, I’m not sure how many of us would find our “friends” again.

My intention is not to disparage Facebook and having friends there.  I  appreciate Facebook and I think there are many good things about being able to connect with people you know.  What I question is where do we connect with each other as true friends, where we find the support we need when we feel alone or overwhelmed or uncertain?  Your friends, your real friends love to be in your presence, to see your smiling face and listen to your heart.  They love to hug you and share the meaningful aspects of life with you.  They pray for you and stand up for you and hold you close.  Those are the friends that make your life worthwhile, that keep you smiling and remind you of your great value and incredible worth.

Maybe your friendship with God serves as an example.  I know for sure that He cares more about you than anything else.  He wants to be your friend face to face, heart to heart, soul to soul.

Blessings to my beautiful friends on Facebook and to those who hold a place in my heart forever.  I’d love to see any of you, any time, face to face. And maybe, what I’m also hoping is that our friendship network would evolve passed a random glimpse of each other in the hallway of life.   You’re welcome to stop by with a word of encouragement or a good chocolate chip cookie just because you want us to be together.  I want friendship to mean that we never feel all alone.

image016

Karen

The Hose and the Neighborhood

February 20, 2015 in Karen's Soapbox

Once upon a time, there was a middle-aged couple who moved into a new neighborhood.  It was a pleasant area and they quickly made themselves at home.  They kept everything neat and tidy and followed all the rules, or at least those that had been made available to them as renters in the community.  When they moved into the house, they innocently placed a hose on the faucet that was clearly intended for a hose on the side of the house.  They wound it nicely, always making sure it was exactly as a hose should be when it was stored.  Over time, since it was winter and they didn’t need the hose, they forgot about it until one day they discovered that the innocent hose had been removed from its designated spot and tossed up against their front door.  No one noted the event, but the reprimand was clear.  A bit later, the couple learned that a complaint had been filed against them, and even a photo taken of the disagreeable hose that had hung so neatly on the side of the house.  The couple was somewhat dismayed.  Had they overlooked a rule that they were given sometime along the way?  Since the couple felt as though they had been “hosed” they determined that this was not a neighborhood they would choose to live in and started making plans to find a new home.  Somehow the neighborhood had lost its charm.

The above story seems almost silly and yet it is exactly what happened recently to me and my husband in our new rental home.  We were amazed to get a call from the management company telling us a complaint had been filed.  We were more amazed that no one had thought to kindly tap on the front door and let us know about the “no hose in sight” policy, or that we hadn’t been given some kind of warning so we could take care of the issue ourselves.  I share this small incident with you for only one reason.  What does it mean to be a neighbor?  Clearly someone felt righteous in tossing our hose on the front step and filing a complaint.  How often do we feel right about actions that are probably entirely wrong? What does it say about our integrity that we cannot even come from behind the shadows and let someone know we truly have a complaint?  I bring this to the attention of all of us, because at some time or other, we may have done this too. We may have misjudged someone in an instant, or made assumptions that were incorrect or spread a little gossip without even checking to see if it was true.  How often have we been unable to see the forest for the trees?

Jesus said in Matthew that it was important for us to take the log out of our own eye before we tried to remove a splinter out of someone else’s eye.  What is it about us, about any of us, that causes us to quickly focus on someone else’s small offenses and stay blind to our own?  Oh, I’m sure our neighbor, whoever it is that sought to remove the splinter from our eyes, felt a moral obligation to do so.  I’m sure they were saving the street from the small, wound-up hose on a side faucet of the building. After all, there can be few things that are more important in any community. Sure makes me miss Mr. Rogers.

turning up the lightpsd

Karen

Getting More than a Garden Variety Partner

May 28, 2013 in Karen's Soapbox

 

I don’t usually post my articles, but I thought I’d share this one today for all of us who are still single and searching for the best partner possible.  Enjoy!

 

Adam and Eve were made for each other—literally!  They didn’t have to go to a juice bar or hope to get lucky at the Work-OutGarden.  Eve didn’t have to strut her stuff in the latest fashion, or get a tattoo on her left shoulder blade to get a little attention.  She didn’t have to have a Ph.D. in horticulture or be at whiz at 1001 Ways to Cook Zucchini.  She didn’t have to prove her brilliance or do a thing to impress Adam.  He was impressed the moment he laid eyes on her. 

 

That must have been a great thing!  She didn’t have to wonder if he was really Mr. Right or whether he had depth or a spiritual side.  She didn’t have to worry that he’d ever even look at another woman.  Apart from grooming the garden, she had no competition for his love at all.  She could just tickle his ribs and be happy!

 Well, Adam and Eve were the first and the last couple to find the dating and mating game so easy.  Singles today face everything from AIDS to aging and varieties of baggage that need to go to the dumpster.  Though it would be nice to pick a guy straight from the garden, many are the rootless variety or they have clay feet.  Some are just plain seedy.  Weeds start to look good.

You wonder if there really is any merit to recycling.

 So what does a spiritual, sophisticated, intelligent woman do these days to find a worthy companion?  Women with a faith perspective often have the difficulty of praying about a partner, but then not waiting for real guidance.  You imagine the next guy that comes along must be the one you prayed for.  Most of the time, he’s not. He just happened to be walking out of Wal*Mart when you ran into him with your cart.   So how do you choose with a little more hope and possibility?

 Taking another look at Adam and Eve, I tend to believe that when God puts two people together, He doesn’t leave much question in their minds about whether He meant for it to happen. From the first meeting, He plants a mutual interest in their hearts and gets something growing.  He gently mixes the sunshine with the rain.  He sends a little shiver of intent right through their stems.

 If you find yourself jumping through too many hoops to figure out if the guy you’re dating is the right one, chances are he’s not.  Mr. Right is clearly all wrong if everything connected with him makes your life more difficult.  Why would God give you a perfect mate and then set you up in an obstacle course to get through the relationship?  Mr. Right will be working as hard to keep you as you are to keep him. 

 When God worked with Jacob and Rachel on their relationship, He did keep them apart for an additional seven years, and Jacob did marry Leah first as was appropriate in those days, but He never allowed Jacob’s heart to be turned from Rachel.  She was the love of Jacob’s life from day one. It was Rachel’s father who put up the red flags.  Jacob just kept taking the flags down till he got to the finish line.

 Granted, most relationships wave a few red flags and they have to be dealt with.  One flag can be good for getting the race for your affections started, but if you keep finding a flag at every turn, chances are you’ll hit a wall eventually.  Sometimes a red flag, just means that you should pay attention to an issue, work it out, and then let the flag disappear.  Having more flags than the United Nations though, might mean you’re not ever going to find harmony.

 Sometimes spiritually oriented women have difficulty believing they deserve a good partner.  They think the guy that likes them (even if they don’t particularly feel the same way back) is probably acceptable.  After all, they should just be happy with someone who is nice, or okay, or stable.  They can’t expect too much. 

 Well, I’d like to know how many of us would pick a new dress or a car, or a pair of earrings with that kind of attitude.  Some of us pick a guy more easily than we do a new hairstyle.  If we pick the right one, we feel gorgeous. If we pick the wrong one, we just weren’t attractive anyway.  We make the assumption that God never meant for us to be beautiful.  Even worse, we make the assumption that we don’t deserve to be loved.

The truth is, God means for you to be beautiful because you already are!  He also means for you to be happy, fulfilled and totally bonkers for the guy in your life.  In fact, if you’re willing to wait for His choice, you’ll get just that.

 Waiting is the hard part.  Sometimes it’s too hard to wait and women find themselves marrying for all the wrong reasons.  They marry for security, or to overcome loneliness, or for help raising children, or simply because they give up looking for the person they really want.  Then, when the marriage fails, they look to God and ask why, when God didn’t pick this person for them to begin with.  What went wrong was that they didn’t wait for God’s choice, they beat Him to the finish line and carried off the wrong prize. 

 Now with self esteem dragging them even lower to the ground and hope nearly gone, they don’t even know how to start the search again. There are no easy answers.  There are endless questions.  Want some  helpful hints?

  • Stop playing the blame game.  Don’t decide because you weren’t raised right, your dad had big ears, your mother didn’t speak five languages and your dog was not a pure bred that you don’t deserve the right person. 
  • Don’t think God isn’t interested in your love life.  He started the whole thing and He is really big on the whole notion of love.  If you’re not clear on that, I refer you to His Word which you can count on.
  • You need to be ready for your partner when he shows up.  That means you’re not encumbered with old baggage, you’re not still kicking yourself about the past and you’re not expecting an Elvis impersonator.  You’re expecting a real, lovable, honorable guy and that’s the one you’ll truly recognize.
  • You also need to put all your cards on the table, express all your concerns, and then leave them in God’s hand.  Let Him hoe out the weeds and restore your garden to good shape.  He’ll help you cultivate something that will really grow!
  • Finally, you need to do something else while you’re waiting.  You can be more effective if you channel the energy that attempts to pull you down and apart, into helping others.  Build a house for Habitat for Humanity, baby sit your grandchildren, or get a cat. Do something for yourself that makes you feel good and benefits others at the same time.  Maybe your partner is out there doing the same thing and that’s how you’ll meet.
  • And one more thing, become a lover.  Become a lover of yourself,and of humanity, and of God.  Remember that everything Adam and Eve started in the garden is pretty good stuff to look for today. So watch out for the snakes, fold up the red flags, plant some new seeds and trust your heart because the right partner is out there and he’s looking for you too.  It could happen today!

 

 

# # #

 

 

Karen

The Mythology of My Theology

March 6, 2012 in Karen's Soapbox

If I shove  the two words “My Theology” a bit closer together and let go of an E, I realize that I’m left with mythology.  As a faith based person, it’s interesting to me how varied any of our views are about what we believe.  Personally, I’ve always thought it didn’t matter exactly how we choose to practice our faith as long as our faith is grounded in Christ.  That belief alone keeps us connected to the guidance of the Holy Spirit and God’s will for our lives.  At least, that’s what my theology says.

I bring up the idea of the myths of  our faith because I realize that we all carry around opinions, life experience, hearsay, and whatever else we throw into the pot of our faith content.  Now, this seems fine until we run across the places that are more difficult.  For example, in a conversation with a very dear Christian friend of mine who suffers the pain of Fibromyalgia, I was astounded to hear her describe some people of faith who believe that she has the “Devil’s” disease, and that people who get that do so because they did something wrong.  Whew!  I guess there’s not one of us who doesn’t have Fibromyalgia then.

Of course, this brings to mind the story of Jesus and those who wanted to stone the woman caught in adultery.  Jesus said, “Anyone here who has never sinned can throw the first stone at her.”  No stones were thrown that day, and yet, how often do we find an opportunity to throw stones at each other even cloaked in our beliefs?

Fortunately, God sees our motives from the heart and sees us covered with the grace of a resurrected Jesus, so even when we walk around among the stones being lofted over our heads all day long, He alone knows who we are and what it is we hope to be for Him.  Perhaps it’s my mythology that wants us to be kinder to each other, more supportive and less inclined to hurl verbal slingshots, but somehow it seems that those of us who profess Christ, might want to really strive to honor Him by the ways we acknowledge and love each other without labeling each other or offering judgments.

My theology as I understand it, isn’t stony at all…it’s woolly…’cause I’m just the sheep of an awesome Shepherd, who forgives me every time I go astray.  That’s what I believe anyway and I’m pretty sure there’s no “mythstake” in that.

Karen

Poke the Believers

August 8, 2011 in Karen's Soapbox

This week I had the chance to read Seth Godin’s new book called Poke the Box.  In less than one hundred pages, Godin reminds us about why our strategies so often fail when we do everything from the vantage point of same old, same old.  We have a way of doing business as usual and still hoping for a different result.   Of course, the book is designed to get people to stop looking at what worked in the past, stop thinking that safe is the better route and start sharing new thoughts and new direction, before all we’re left with is “sorry.” In fact, it’s a book about starting something, anything, to try to change things.   He says, “Your position in the world is defined by what you instigate, how you provoke, and what you learn from the events you cause.  In a world filled with change, that’s what matters–your ability to create and learn from change.”  Therefore, life “demands that you stop waiting for the road map and start drawing one instead.”  More often than not, we’re content to use someone else’s road map, even when it comes to our own lives.

As a risk taker and a passionate dreamer, I resonate with this thought.  I always believe that it’s the people who start things, even if they fail, who end up making a difference.  These are the people who stand for what they believe, who make society slightly uncomfortable, who end up changing the world.  As I read this book, I couldn’t help thinking about us, those of us who call ourselves believers.  How much do we sit on the status quo letting those who have gone before us pave the way?  How much do we think that the big names in Christianity today, the Billy Grahams and the Max Lucados and others are doing the work and so we don’t have to?  What kind of a poke is it going to take for us to see that we too need to start something, even a small something if we’re going to stand up for the faith that we profess to have?

I don’t know about you, but I felt a little poke from God as I read this book.  I felt like there’s another story here.  Seth Godin is great at talking to the market, but if he was going to address the Christian market, he might indeed want to give us a poke.  He might want to suggest that we have a little hand in destiny.  Interpret this for yourself, you know where you might need a little poke more than I do.  Maybe you need to do more writing, or more speaking, or more volunteering.  Maybe you just need to be sure that you’re not assuming everyone else will take care of things.  Let’s poke each other into being all we were meant to be.  Let’s praise each other for efforts that fail.  Let’s give each other room to grow and think and believe with our whole hearts.  We’re God’s arms and legs and voices on this earth.  We’re all He has to make the world a better place.

Consider yourself poked!  With love, of course!

Karen

Speaking Up, Growing Strong!

August 7, 2011 in Karen's Soapbox

A few weeks ago, I had the honor of speaking and teaching at the BlueRidge Mountain Christian Writers Conference in Ridgecrest, North Carolina.  It was a beautiful experience and all of us learned and shared and laughed.  August 10th to the 13th, I’ll be teaching at another conference, The Greater Philadelphia Christian Writers Conference.  It will be another fabulous  opportunity to spend time with people who are finding their voices, raising their standards and learning that they have a lot to offer the world.  The Philly conference also features some inspiring speakers who will focus our attention on the critical needs of our neighbors around the globe and how we can add to the voices of change.  It will be cause for all of us to grow.

Personally, I struggle with reading the daily paper because what goes on in the world is just too hard for me to take, just too heartbreaking.  I know that burying my head in the sand won’t change things, but the overwhelming influx of bad news doesn’t work for me either.  I’m doing my best to keep my light on and I hope you are too.  We have to speak up where and when we can and we have to trust that God is still in control.  That is where our strength and our assurance rests.  Nothing else can create a sense of peace for us.

I recently read an article by Martha Beck, (a regular contributor to Oprah magazine) who was discussing a similar topic.  She pointed out that one of our most powerful life strategies is to stubbornly hold on to the bright spots.  Sure, we can grow dim with every news report, suffer the angst and fear of others as we read one sad news item after the next.  We can worry about the world at large and find it so overwhelming that we can hardly see a reason to leave the house.  We can.  But none of that thinking serves us.  None of that thinking adds one positive bit of fuel to the fires of change.

We are light.  We have the gifts of joy and peace and the ability to bring some sense of balance to the world around us.  We can speak up when things are wrong, and we can stubbornly hold on to the things that are going right.  There’s no need to feel guilty because you have a smile on your face or because you feel good about the work you’re doing or the way your life is going.  Those things are meant to take you to your knees in gratitude to the One who provides for you and who is incredibly pleased to see you happy.  It wasn’t His plan for everything on earth to become a trap door to the human race, but it is His plan for us to know that we’re not here alone and that we are loved.  Nothing this planet can do will change that.

We’re each ambassadors of good will, of God’s grace, of His sunshine and it’s always a better day when we share that spirit with those around us.  If you want to speak up today, let go of those negative things and speak up about what is good. Speak up about all the amazing things God has done for you.  Speak up that you have an incredible family, a beautiful home and a healthy body.  You deserve those things and they serve you well.  Stay strong.  Soak in the goodness around you.  It’s there all the time.

If we stand together in love and goodness, we simply get stronger.

 

Karen

Celebrate With All You’ve Got!

July 6, 2011 in Karen's Soapbox

I love celebrations!  Whether it’s celebrating as a country like we just did on the 4th of July, pulling out the grill, donning some red, white, and blue and being awed at fireworks, or whether it’s the celebration of a birthday, it’s great to have a reason to party.  I love the anticipation, the delight in getting ready for the big event, adding a touch of personal creativity to make it even more fun, and simply being part of the joy.  Celebrations bring people together in good ways.

One of the best parts of a birthday is realizing that  time has given you even more reasons to celebrate your life.  As I celebrated another light being added to my cake on the 4th of July, I realized how much there is to be excited about.  In fact, if I could put candles on my cake for all the exciting prospects yet in front of me, or all the ones I’ve encountered, I couldn’t make a big enough cake.  Sure, I can think about things like, “I’m too old to be a ballerina, or I’ll never be a Rockette, but I can still dance.  I still have a chance at things that could top the charts.  I could still win a Pulitzer or be the World’s Best Cheesecake baker.  I could still encourage my friends to greatness and inspire my children to believe even more in how precious they are.  I still have reasons to celebrate life’s possibility. As Abraham Lincoln, who probably would have loved 4th of July celebrations, once said, “Die when I may, I want it said by those who knew me best that I always plucked a thistle and planted a flower where I thought a flower would grow.”

Tomorrow, I’m doing a spot on life lessons radio.  Here’s the link if you want to tune in around noon EST.

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/lifelessonsnetwork/2011/07/07/karen-moores-life-lessons.

Apparently, I get a half hour to talk a bit about my work and about what I’ve learned along the way.  I’m excited about doing it, hoping I’ll get it right, but my intent is to simply celebrate the opportunity.  I’m anticipating it with joy, imagining the chance it gives to shine a light on people I love and on the precious lessons I’ve learned.  My biggest hope will be to give credit where it’s really due, credit to the people who housed me and raised me and loved me into a place where I could go out into the world and learn where to pull up thistles and plant flowers.  It gives me a chance to remember how every event, the big ones and the small ones, have served me by giving me insight into the person I really want to be, the one I hope God will celebrate when he sees me coming sometime down the road.

So, tune in if you get a chance, or stop by the link when you can.   I’d love to celebrate more of this incredible journey  with you.  One lesson I’ve learned is that we’re not in this to be a party of one, we’re meant to be a celebration, a stadium full of cheering people, rejoicing in all that God has given us.  Perhaps that’s one more reason why it’s so good to have a church family, a place to come together where everyone understands the goal.  Whether it’s Sunday morning or Monday afternoon, remember you’re worthy of celebration, and your biggest achievement yet is still up ahead.   I can hear the crowd gathering already, waiting for you to appear.  It’s spectacular!

Celebrate today with all you’ve got!

Karen

On Meeting George Bush…

November 21, 2010 in Karen's Soapbox, Uncategorized

No matter how I feel about politicians,  I was excited to meet President Bush during his recent book tour here in Florida.  It was an honor for me to meet a President of the United States. It was my own little moment of history making.

It made my heart happy to hear him say things that reflected his great love for his parents, his wife, and his country.  I laughed when  he said he didn’t miss being the President, even with some of its perks.  He told some personal stories, shared some heartfelt observations and was generous to the crowd.

Those of us who had purchased copies of his book in advance, were invited to shake his hand in a receiving line.  I wasn’t sure what you actually say to a former President when you get the chance, so I simply borrowed a line from his book and said, “God is good…to me, and I’m delighted to meet you.”  He took both of my hands then, and smiled and said, “God is good all the time!”  Then we chatted briefly about the wonderful story that inspired those lines from his book and I moved on.  It was a sweet moment.

My sister came up behind me in the line and she simply told the President that he was “gorgeous.”  Of course, that made him smile and he told her she wasn’t half bad herself and gave her a kiss on the cheek.  Safe to say, it’s a moment she’ll remember forever.  I loved the whole incident though because it was so incredibly fun and Bush accepted it that way.  Yes, indeed a charming man.

I’m reading Decision Points now with a different perspective.  I’m reading the story of someone who has had experience that I’ll never have, but who in one brief moment in time touched my life.  I’m hoping to learn more about what motivates someone not only to become a politician, which I confess is right up there with tax collectors for me, but what motivates any of us to do what we do.

Sometimes we seek opportunity, sometimes it simply knocks on our door and we answer.  Sometimes we create it.  I imagine George Bush did all of that in his journey to the Presidency.  I imagine you and I do the same thing.  We embrace our destiny and create our future every time we trust the steps we’re taking and our life path.  We are molded and shaped by God, by friends and by family.  We’re only as good as our next decision.

I don’t know about you, but I can’t claim that I’m proud of every decision I’ve ever made.  I’m sure our former President might feel the same way, but the truth is, we do the best with what information we have at the time.  I do that.  You do that.  It’s how we discover the best course to take.

Maybe it would be a good exercise for any of us to look at our decision points.  Maybe we would see that the responsibility of our choices rests in one place whether we like it or not, whether we had good reason or not, whether we were right or wrong.  Responsibility rests squarely on our shoulders.  When we own the good, the great, the bad, the ugly of ourselves we can go on because the decision will always be to do better next time.

My hope for any of us is that as we get to the place where we have new decisions to make, that we trust in God and can truly say,  “God is good…all the time!”

President Bush, thanks for opening my eyes to these thoughts.  God bless you, and God bless the work He gives each of us to do!