Archive for the ‘inspiration’ Category

Today as I was walking through a store, I spotted a monkey which then reminded me of this.

I came across this Polish Proverb a few weeks ago.  This reminded me of a boss that I had when I was a 20 something.  He used to talk about the monkeys on his back.  The office staff even bought a stuffed monkey to put on his shelf behind his desk chair.

I wished I could have shared this Polish Proverb with him.  He would have enjoyed it.

As I was searching for the Polish Proverb, I also found this.


My boss would have loved this.  As I continued to reminisce about the boss that I had as a 20 something, I was reminded of all the great lessons that he passed on to me.  I hope that I can pass even one lesson on to the 20 somethings that I currently serve with.

Lessons from Pat included


extravagant generosity that he demonstrated and

that only very few people were aware of

how to handle difficult people on the phone

(It was a financial aid office at a university.)

how to handle constant changes in government regs regarding financial aid

laughter in the workplace in the craziness of financial aid

generous to his staff

love for God always

love for others regardless how they treated him – unbelievable love and mercy

Thank you, Mr. Pat Duncan!

The above picture is from his quartet days – long before I knew him.

This is a picture from the yearbook in 1980.  Yes, this pictures bring back a lot of memories.  In 1980 I was a student at this institution of higher learning.  I began working for Pat in 1984.

I wish that I could call you on the phone, Pat, and thank you for taking on me as a 20 something.

Below are the lyrics to a song that Pat sang and lived!

He’s Been Faithful to Me!

In my moments of fear

Through every pain, every tear

there’s a God who’s been been faithful to me!

When my strength was all gone,

when my heart had no song,

still in love He’s proved faithful to me.

Every word He’s promised is true.

What I thought impossible,

I’ve seen my God do.


He’s been faithful, faithful to me.

Looking back His love and mercy I see.

Oh, though in my heart I have questioned,

even failed to believe,

He’s been faithful, faithful to me.


When my heart looked away,

the many times I could not pray.

Still my God, He was faithful to me.

The days I spent so selfishly,

reaching out for what pleased me,

even then God was faithful to me.

Every time I come back to him,

He is waiting with open arms,

And I see once again.


He’s been faithful, faithful to me.

Looking back His love and mercy I see

Oh, though in my heart I have questioned

Even failed to believe

He’s been faithful, faithful to me.


In my heart I have questioned,

even failed to believe,

Yet he’s been faithful, faithful

In my heart, I have questioned, I’ve even failed to believe

Yet you’ve been faithful, faithful to me!

Thank you, Pat, for a life well lived and for sharing it with a 20 something who remembers those many lessons!


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I have read the book, and

I saw Rob Bell at the Murat in Indianapolis sharing Drops Like Stars.

Book Description from Zondervan

This book is an exploration of the complex relationship between suffering and creativity, driven by the belief that there is art in the agony.

We plot. We plan. We assume things are going to go a certain way. And when they don’t, we find ourselves in a new place—a place we haven’t been before, a place we never would have imagined on our own.

It is the difficult and the unexpected, and maybe even the tragic, that opens us up and frees us to see things in new ways.

Many of the most significant moments in our lives come not because it all went right but because it all fell apart.

Suffering does that. It hurts, but it also creates.

This book is an exploration of the complex relationship between suffering and creativity, driven by the belief that there is art in the agony.


This is a great description from the publisher.  It just doesn’t cover the heart and soul of the message.  The theme is pain and suffering, and I laughed until I cried.  It was heart wrenching, thought provoking, encouraging, inspiring, and funny.  It’s an experience you need to, well, experience. So…

Read the book.  Hear Rob Bell on tour.  Purchase the DVD when it comes out (began filming DVD in Indy tonight).  His best tour yet.

Yes, the book is like the tour.  I read the book first, loved the tour, and plan to purchase the DVD.  It’s that good.  It’s that timely.  It’s that meaningful.

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Arms open and outstretched to


receiving mercy, forgiveness, kindness, and love is easier than

arms open and outstretched to


mercy, forgiveness, kindness, and love

Kindness is loving people more than they deserve.

Joseph Joubert

May your day be filled with receiving and giving.

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They show up every year faithfully.  Who?  The bell ringers and the red Salvation Army kettle.  Since 1891, the Salvation Army bell ringers and their red kettles appear the first week of December.  Does anyone notice?  Or do we just go through the motions of giving or ignoring those bell ringers?

One year Jason, a 3 year-old boy saw the red buckets and the bell ringers and said to his mother, “Mom, why are those people ringing those bells?”

His mom said to him, “Well, Jason, they are ringing those bells to say that some people are poor, and they don’t have warm homes, beds, warm clothes or food to eat.  The ringing bells are saying ‘help others, give some money to help others.'”

Jason said, “We need to give money to help the poor people.”

During the Christmas season that year, every time Jason saw a red kettle, he would remind his mother, “We need to put money in to help the poor people.”

Every year and every red kettle needed money, and as Jason grew up, he never missed an opportunity to put some money in the kettle.  Jason always took great delight in putting money in those red kettles.  He was always happy in giving.  The amount of money didn’t matter.  Giving a gift was the thing to do.

That little boy is my 20 year-old son Jason, and every year I pass those red kettles and….

you guessed it, give some money to the Salvation Army for the people who don’t have food, clothes, shelter…

I learned to give something every time I passed a red bucket from my son with the generous heart.  The joy is in giving.  Give to those red buckets.  It matters.

What has your child taught you?

For more information on the Salvation Army bell ringers, click here.

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The Lord your God is with you,

he is mighty to save.

He will take great delight in you,

he will quiet you with his love,

he will rejoice over you with singing.

Zephaniah 3:17

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You Inspire Me

On the Today show, Monday, November 9, Glamour announced their Women of the Year.  Maya Angelou was one of the women selected.  Matt Lauer asked, “Who inspires you?”

Maya Angelou says,

You.  Every human being has the possibility, probability, and privilege to inspire someone else-everybody.  You’re a teacher.

Watch Maya Angelou here on the Today Show for the entire interview.

You just never know who you might inspire.  For instance did you know that there is a connection between John Wesley and Guinness (yes, the brewing company).  You will be surprised and it’s fascinating.  Just read it here.

At Jonathan Acuff’s blog, Stuff Christians Like, he is raising money to build a kindergarten building in Vietnam.  They need $30,000.  They have raised $24,000 in 15 hours and by morning probably the entire $30,000.  Update:  They raised the entire $30,000 in 18 hours with many $5 gifts.  You can read all about this project at the website  here.  His daughter inspired him.

Who knows who you might inspire to change the world?

So inspire someone today….

you just never know what might happen.

Or let someone inspire you today…

you just might change the world

or at the very least your corner of the world.

God.  Listen.  Move.

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Michael Hyatt, president of Thomas Nelson Publishers, writes about the best question to ask when something negative happens.

The Question

What does this experience make possible?

Read his entire blog here.

During this past year, I have gone through a “bad thing” and began to list all the things that this “bad thing” made possible.  It was amazing.  Opportunities and choices that I wouldn’t have been able to make if the “bad thing” had not occurred, now become possible.  It’s not easy when the “bad things” happen, but the question does help and produces new perspective.

Possible things for me have included

…new opportunities for creativity such as this blog,

…organizing files (paper and computer),

…new stuff like Twitter and Facebook,

…purchasing a Mac computer and learning to use it (still learning),

…speaking opportunities,

…assisting a pastor friend with a book writing project,

…reading the Bible in 90 days (still working on that one – on day #54),

…finding new recipes to prepare (yummy!),

…spending fall break with my sons in Virginia

…the list goes on,

and I’m sure that there is more to come.

Thought for the Day – It’s not easy to be thankful for the “bad thing”, but the “bad thing” can move into some “good things”.  Unfortunately, this takes time and perhaps new perspective.  In the meantime, just keep choosing good stuff, new stuff, fun stuff, crazy stuff, never thought of that before stuff…

and looking (sometimes waiting) for new open doors.

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