Saturday, September 29, 2012

Happy Day

Why is it a happy day? Because today is Sabbath, I am in the beautiful Smoky Mountains at Southern Union Medical Dental meetings, and as the words of the old spiritual reflect, "Oh happy day, when Jesus washed my sins away!"

My goal is to post on my blog once-a-month, and, I'm 'close' to meeting that goal. I have for the first time used my "mac" to load pictures from my I-phone, so I have more incentive to blog with pictures.
As it is quite obvious, I am a novice.

Last evening I watched a film available on line "Peter and the Last Supper" with Bruce Marchiano who has played the role of Jesus in several movies. This film is not a high budget production but despite the lack of stunning vistas and thousands of extras, it is a moving portrayal of the last few days in the life of the Apostle Peter. The movie depicts an interaction between Peter and his Roman soldier prison guards who he witnesses to. Several scenes moved me deeply and I think you may find it to be equally inspiring.

Now and then well-intentioned individuals ask me "how is the doctorate going?" The last one to ask was my mother who I called last week. I am approaching a critical point in my doctorate. With one class to complete before writing the dissertation I need to reflect on whether I join the ranks of those with an 'EBAD' (everything but a dissertation), or, press on for likely another two years in writing the project. I'm in the interesting point/juncture where others have been in considering whether the rewards/benefits of the project outweigh the enormous amount of time and stress that it will involve in completing it.  Time . . and I trust God . . . will determine the outcome!

Speaking of my doctorate, I am enrolled for a winter class that has required, as all the classes do, reading a number of books, one of which I have brought with me to the Smokies and began reading yesterday. The premise of this volume, entitled "Drive: the surprising truth about what motivates us," is that research over several decades has proven that most individuals give their best effort, work harder, and strive to excel and achieve, not because of external reward - "do this and you will get a bigger paycheck" - but because of intrinsic motivation. While the 'carrot and the stick' approach to leading and managing others has been the industry standard for 100 years, corporate America is slowly discovering that the very best output is possible only as individuals are unleashed to contribute in creative affirming environments that allow for self-expression and recognize the dignity and value of the individual.
Novel idea, isn't it?

I have a friend in Georgia Cumberland conference, a pastor, who is dying of cancer. I learned this through Steve Rose who shared the journey that Mike Adams has been on the past several years. Mike learned last week that no further treatments for his disease will benefit him. Mike is married to a lovely lady named Tammy; they have a son, Matthew, who has spina-bifida and is wheel-chair bound and so the future would seem to be bleak and dark for the family.  I called Mike a few days ago, and though I
have not been in touch with him regularly, knowing that he might benefit from prayer and encouragement, and not sure if he would even remember me, I dialed his number. ' Hi, mike," . .. "Steve Haley, good to hear from you!"  Apparently, my unique voice is an instand identifier for some.
Over the next ten minutes Mike did more to encourage me than I probably did to encourage him.  He expects to fall asleep in Jesus sometime in the next few months. Is he sad? I think so. Is he angry? There have been moments when yes he has. Isn't he worried for his family? There have been times when he has . .  but Wednesday morning, last week, and I believe this morning and each morning that will follow . . Mike is confident in Christ. He knows God will provide for his family and he looks forward to awaking in the resurrection to be whole and healthy and to greet his son who will be equally perfect. "Even so, come Lord Jesus!"

I called to be a blessing to Mike. I hope I was.  I know he was a blessing to me.

Here are a few pictures strictly for enjoyment purposes: the one below is a few days before "Emperor" Marvin retired.

My sons and my nephew at last weeks Titans game . . .

The lighthouse at Daytona Beach and below that,
views of the eigerhorn/north face in the
stunning swiss alps . .  now, one of
my favorite places on earth!

God grace you with answered prayer, peace and forgiveness, strength for today and hope for tomorrow.