Growing up in North Dakota, I took for granted living in a part of the world where we truly can experience all four seasons. I didn't realize how much I would miss the seasons and the changes associated with them until my wife and I lived five years in Kansas City. There we certainly had summer, but there was not a winter. And without winter you cannot have a spring. But what I truly missed was my favorite season: fall.
Karl Pillemer is a gerontologist at Cornell University. In 2011, he and his team interviewed 1,500 adults over the age of 65, asking them what haunts them the most about their life choices. He then wrote a book called "30 Lessons for Living: Tried and True Advice from the Wisest Americans." Here are the biggest regrets of those interviewed: • Not being careful enough when choosing a life partner.
"Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall. Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. All the king's horses and all the king's men, couldn't put Humpty back together again." What was Humpty Dumpty pursuing that led him to scale a dangerous wall? Was he in avid pursuit of popularity? Money and possessions? His dream position? Pleasure?
"Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall. Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. All the king's horses and all the king's men, couldn't put Humpty back together again." I have a burning question for Humpty: Why was an egg-shaped character like you sitting on a dangerous wall like that? I know that hindsight is 20/20, but I can't determine any scenario where this seems like a good idea!
The question isn't if we will have problems. The question is when will we and what will they be? Life is a journey full of twists and turns, leaving us with a decision to make: Who or where will we turn when problems come? What will we do? What direction will we take? One of my favorite pastors and authors, Erwin McManus, said "We have to stop pretending that faith makes life easier. Your faith doesn't make life easier, it makes you stronger."
I am super blessed to participate in a book club and leadership roundtable led by Dr. Faith Ngunjiri, the director of the Lorentzsen Center at Concordia College, and Dr. Paul Dovre, Concordia College president emeritus. I am thankful for these two gifted leaders and each member of the group. Each of them bring a wonderful insight, perspective and wisdom I learn from and grow forward with.
Last Sunday I wrote about my favorite local eats. I received many outstanding restaurant and menu suggestions, including mouth-watering pictures from Julie of fair delicacies! I am anxious to try your suggestions and will give you an update. Today, I will get back to a more typical topic.
Today I am taking a break from my typical topics of life and leadership as an idea hit me while eating recently at Cafe Aladdin in Fargo. While enjoying their beef and lamb gyro on pita bread with tzatziki sauce, the best gyro I've had, and watching the owner greet most customers by name, I wrote down my favorite "local" food items around Fargo-Moorhead. I enjoyed making the list so much I decided to share it with you!
Have you ever determined a direction, set a goal, got off to a good start, but later realize you veered off course? In the Old Testament book of Ezra we read about this happening to the Israelites. Two factors knocked the Israelites off course, and they are the same factors that can knock us off.
My greatest fears and life wounds are: the fear of rejection, abandonment, loneliness and failure. Growing up I felt "poor" so my entire life the spirit of money has whispered in my ear that money would protect me from my fears; money would insulate me from the pain of rejection, abandonment and loneliness, and as long as I had money I would never feel like a failure. Is that true? Of course not! Money makes promises it is unable to deliver with the goal of ruling our lives. This is exactly why Jesus said we cannot serve God and money.