Thursday, February 28, 2008

A Rough Road Ahead....

Well, it's been a rough week for the Peterson's! Both my daughters are recovering from weekend ear infections, and my wife still hasn't recovered from her sinus infection/flu combo! As for guessed's now my turn! Although I haven't seen a doctor yet, my symptoms are almost identical to my wife's so I'm guessing I'll be in rough shape for another week, which is not ideal since I'm heading out of town this weekend for the State Bowling Championship in Council Bluffs, IA.

And although sympathy for my family is nice, it's definitely not my main point of this post. Instead, I wanted to give my "excuse" upfront for the possible lack of posting in the coming week (it's not a definite! Who knows, maybe I'll recover faster than my wife). But, just in case, there you have it: my excuse.

Here's to wishing you a healthy week. Some nasty stuff is definitely making the rounds in central Iowa, so take your vitamins, continue your workouts, drink your juice, and get plenty of rest!! Now, if I only would have followed my own advice!!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Laugh On Friends! Laugh On!

You've heard the old cliche that "laughter is the best medicine." Well, I totally agree! Laughter keeps us sane. Laughter keeps us young. Laughter keeps us healthy.

I've really taken to this concept over the years. I love to bring light humor to everything I do. Yes, it's fun to be the center of attention and to have people appreciating your jokes, but more importantly for me, it's about brightening the days of those around me. It's about bringing smiles to others' faces. It's about lifting those who may have otherwise had a terrible day. See, we live in a society where we take ourselves and others too seriously. We forget to have fun! We forget to laugh! We forget that we were given this life to enjoy! And, it just gets worse as we "grow up!" Bloglilly has a great post on "how many times did you laugh today." In this post, it's stated that children laugh up to 3,000 times per day. However, as we get older, that number goes down considerably. By the age of 40, the average adult laughs just 14 times per day.

Wow! What a difference! Seeing those statistics are astonishing! What happens between then and now? Why can't we, as adults, laugh more? Are we too busy? Are we too "old"? Is laughing childish (I think from the statistics above, it definitely is)? Whatever our excuse is, we have to throw it out the window! I can guarantee that if you bring more laughter and humor to your life, you will see increased happiness, increased energy, and increased productivity. Here's my challenge for you (and me) today: Make a conscious effort to laugh at least 30 times today (that's more than double the average), and see what happens! Tell a joke! Watch a funny video! Get a babysitter and take your significant other to a comedy club (heck go by yourself for that matter)! And don't forget to enjoy yourself! Here's something to get you started:

note: you tube video courtesy of:

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Thursday, February 14, 2008

Selfless Forgiveness or Selfish Forgiveness?

I’ve been doing more thinking on forgiveness. In fact, what really got me thinking were the wonderful comments on my previous post “Unconditional Forgiveness: Is it Realistic?”

I’ve been thinking about our motives behind forgiveness? That is, is our forgiveness selfless, as is the case with God’s unconditional forgiveness of our sins? Or, is our forgiveness centered on selfish reasons?

It would be great to be in a position of giving out unconditional, selfless forgiveness, but I have to believe that many of us hand out “selfish” forgiveness. What do I mean? Well, I think that we make the decision to forgive others (or ourselves), because it helps us lift that anger/resentment/hurting off our shoulders. “We” feel better when we forgive others. “We” feel the stress leave when we forgive others. We’re not really taking into account what our forgiveness does for the other party. Our motives are somewhat selfish in this case aren’t they? And, doesn’t this contrast with “selfless” forgiveness. You know, how God forgives us because he loves us and wants us to be at peace. Isn’t He really thinking about the other party here?

Maybe selfish forgiveness is okay. Maybe there is absolutely nothing wrong with the motives behind the handing out of forgiveness. Maybe I have dug down too deep on this, and it really isn’t even an issue. What do you all think? Do we need to think about why we forgive others? Is selfless forgiveness even realistic, or was it meant only for the One that can truly achieve it?

note: picture courtesy of

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Monday, February 11, 2008

Unconditional Forgiveness: Is it Realistic?

I've been thinking about forgiveness! Mainly, is it best to forgive everything? Or, are there some things worth holding on to? Is forgiveness "situational?" Or, should forgiveness be unconditional? Is unconditional forgiveness even realistic?

I try not to hold grudges. Now I may hold onto something for a few days, but I usually try to get it dealt with before it becomes a huge burden on myself and others. Maybe it was someone that wronged me. Maybe it was me that wronged someone else. Maybe it's a major life situation. Maybe it's a minor misunderstanding. Whatever the case, I feel forgiveness is best, and I usually try to deal with the issue/person/situation fairly immediately (are the words "fairly immediately" a bit of an oxymoron? Maybe, but I think you understand my point anyway).

When I'm really bothered by something, I tend to look to God. Why? Well, because his forgiveness is unconditional. He's always forgiving. It doesn't matter what your sin was, you are always forgiven. Think about that for a minute! Isn't that amazing?! I mean, how often can we say that we've truly forgiven everything and everyone for the wrongs committed on us?

I found a blog by Raymond Salas, that speaks about this very issue of forgiveness. His post, The Power of Forgiveness, drives home a lot of good points. I suggest you take a look at it. I really enjoy his new outlook on forgiveness:

“To forgive does not mean that you condone, agree with, or give your approval to anyone or anything. Rather, it is a powerful acknowledgment to yourself that ‘I am willing to let this go. I am willing to move forward in my life.’”

Is it time we realize the power of Raymond's words? Do we need to learn to forgive more? What are your thoughts on forgiveness? Can you truly forgive everything? What situations or interactions would be hardest to forgive?

Friday, February 01, 2008

The Fruit of Leadership

Galatians 5:22-23 : 22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law

Aren't these two great verses to live by? In fact, can't we translate it another way to say "But the fruit of 'Leadership' is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control."? Think about it a moment.......Don't leaders need to possess these traits, and then instil them into their followers? Shouldn't leaders bring love and joy to their work; and peace and goodness to their lives? Shouldn't leaders be patient, leading with kindness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control? I sure think so!! But, I'm only one opinion! I'd like your thoughts!

Where do you excel? What are your strengths? Where do you need some work? What are your weaknesses? For me, I think joy, kindness, goodness, and faithfulness are all strengths of mine. But, I can tell you I sure need to work on my patience and self control! What about you? What seeds do you need to sow? What fruit do you need to bear?

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