Thursday, January 19, 2006

Moving to Texas

I realize my posting has been scant of late, but my wife and I have been very busy. I didn't want to write about our move to Texas until we told our family and other loved ones. But now I think it's safe to spill the beans. A couple of weeks ago my wife and I met with a real estate agent she knows, and we decided that now was a good time to put our home on the market. We plan to move some time in early to mid-summer, so please keep that in your prayers. For much of what would have been our free time we were cleaning and organizing and doing some minor repairs.

We are flying out to Kim's (my wife) sister and brother-in-law in Texas to visit and look at the available properties. We also will be meeting with a design team.

This year is also busy because we will be finalizing our adoption of Sarah Joy and flying to China to pick her up.

I will certainly fill you in with more details in the coming days and weeks.

Please keep this in your prayers. I apologize for not keeping up with the bloggers I usually visit quite regularly. For the next several months I might need to post and read other blogs less (I'll try for at least once per week), but once we get everything settled I hope to be blogging more regularly.

Be well and may the Lord bless you.


Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Resolved: Make resolutions happen

For those of you who have not yet become jaded by New Year's resolutions, just give it some time. The excitement of the calendar rolling over to January will one day become a knowing sigh that sounds something like, "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me." Twice? Ha!!! I can't count how many times I "vowed" to make the new year one that would lead people to write about how great of a person I was.

Oh, I was something special for a few days or even weeks. But once it no longer felt like a new year, the old Jeff started creeping back. Perhaps some of my resolutions stuck, but not necessarily because I kept thinking of them as resolutions. They simply became a part of me. Within a few weeks of New Year's Day, I probably couldn't remember what resolutions I made (maybe I need to resolve to be better organized so I can find my resolutions, eh?).

So why do resolutions so often go by the wayside, and how can we do better at making them stick? Here are some of my thoughts; please feel free to add yours:

First, I think we need to do away with the idea that somehow New Year's Day is the best day to resolve to do anything. If we see something about ourselves that needs changing, do something about it now. If I've waited until the new year, how resolved could I possibly be about addressing that issue in the first place?

We also need to always keep in mind M. Scott Peck's obvious but often forgotten truth: "Life is difficult." I don't know about you, but I tend to make resolutions when I feel excited about doing new things, but once the euphoria wears off and the challenges come, I'm ready to say "later." More often than not I will probably not feel like doing many of the things that have the potential to turn my life around, but I'll usually feel better afterward for having done them. In fact, even getting started makes me feel more motivated to do that thing than sitting there waiting for the motivation to hit me.

And perhaps we resolve to change too much too soon. I tend to create large lists of things I want to change about myself, and then I look at it and think, "It's too much." So I do nothing. Or I make half-hearted stabs. I think in the future I'll look at a handful of things that matter most in my life, and address them. At least I'll be a little better than I was by year's end. Hey, it beats setting lofty goals that I come nowhere near meeting.

Finally (at least for now), it might help me to visualize the potential outcomes based on doing/not doing what I resolve. What will I look and feel like in 20 years if I don't eat better and exercise more? How much joy will my wife experience if I write her more notes and cards?

I'll have to think through a handful of things I want to accomplish during 2006, and then pray for wisdom, courage, and strength to carry them out. May each of us be a little bit better come January 1, 2007. God bless you all.


The tragedy of miscommunication

If you know how to Google the news stories about the mining tragedy in West Virginia, and put them in chronological order, you'll see a cacophony of fact and opinion rolled into what's purported to be news. As most of us now know, 12 of 13 miners have died, with the one survivor in critical condition. Of course, I'm not a reporter, so I'm just going by the latest I've read on this.

Many of those who call themselves journalists have shamed (even further?) the profession by printing an unsubstantiated report of the miner's survival. However the miscommunication occurred, that it somehow "became" fact spread across internet sites and newspaper covers shows the poor quality of fact-checking seen in our mainstream media. Let's hope the weeklies at least get it right.

God help those families who were celebrating what they thought was the miraculous recovery of their loved ones, only to find out later they were terribly misinformed. I can't imagine the tremendous letdown they felt, going from the highest of highs to the lowest of lows. We may never know for sure who said what where and to whom. What matters is that a severe disservice was done to these families and to the honor of journalistic integrity and professionalism.

And may that one miner who is the true and verified miracle find speedy recovery.

The attached picture can be found at