Archives For September 2009

Power vs. Happiness

Jeff Olson —  September 27, 2009 — 1 Comment

scroogeI don’t rent many movies these days, but last week our local movie rental store gave me a free rental. My vote was for the film about the true story of the blind man who climbed to the Summit of Mt. Everest. But since the last movie I picked out was about football, it was only fair that we went with a romantic comedy…”The Ghosts of Girlfriend’s Past.”

The film (with a plot that cleverly follows Charles Dickens’ famous classic “The Christmas Carol”) is about a decadent, self-centered, womanizing bachelor whose has a “Bah, humbug” attitude when it comes to love and marriage. The night before his younger brother’s wedding, he is visited by ghosts representing his past, present, and future girlfriends. By time the three visitors are finished with him, he has a radical change of heart and opens himself up to love again.

Personally, I don’t recommend the movie—except for the last 10 minutes. In particular, the best man’s speech by the main character at the wedding reception redeemed the movie for me. Here’s what he said,

 “Someone once told me that the power in all relationships lies with whoever cares less. And he was right. But power isn’t happiness. And I think that maybe happiness comes from caring more about people—rather than less.”

 The power he’s referring to is the upper hand of self-protection. And yes…it may keep a broken heart from getting crushed again, but there is no joy in it. It only ends up incarcerating the soul in a prison of fear, emptiness, and selfishness.

Only the willingness to give and receive love is what makes us truly happy and free to be followers of Jesus (John 15:13).

Happiest Days of Your Life

Jeff Olson —  September 11, 2009 — 1 Comment

boat for sale-flickrJust the other day I over heard a man say that the happiest days of his life were the day he bought a boat and the day he sold the boat. As one who owns a small fishing boat, he makes a good point.

A friend and fellow boat owner jokingly says that that the word “boat” is the acronym for “break out another thousand.” It can certainly seem like that, especially with the price of gasoline these days. 

I’m grateful to the Lord for many happy days. The days that rank up at the top for me would certainly include days like the birth of my children or the opening day of deer season or hearing the news that a close friend is cancer free.

What would you say are the happiest days of your life?

First Day of School

Allison Stevens —  September 8, 2009 — 2 Comments

The first day of school always brings with it a mixture of emotion for us parents. Whether you’re walking your 5-year old in for her first day of kindergarten or dropping your son off for his first day of high school, we feel sadness, excitement, apprehension, and maybe even a bit of relief.

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Returning to Your Roots

Jeff Olson —  September 3, 2009 — 3 Comments

Salmon Swimming UpstreamEvery September, the salmon in Lake Michigan migrate up the rivers to their spawning grounds. It’s amazing to watch these determined creatures fight their way upstream. Mile after mile, they swim against strong river currents, negotiate log jams, jump over dams, and dodge fishing lures (like mine) until they finally arrive at the place they first came to life.

The annual journey of salmon not only makes for some awesome fishing, it illustrates the importance of returning to our roots. If salmon don’t return, they won’t reproduce and will eventually cease to exist. Returning to their roots is absolutely vital to their existence.

The same can be said of Christians. Sometimes it’s a struggle to return to our roots. When we fall short, it’s hard to remember that we are a new creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). But it’s so important to remember our spiritual foundation because the enemy of our hearts will use anything he can to make us believe something else about ourselves.

And it’s never in our favor.