A little more like Sam
Posted: Dec 28, 2010 in Uncategorized | No Comments |

Okay I confess……….I’m a junkie.  I’m not a drug addict or an alcoholic or anything like that.  But I am a junkie.  I am a Lord of the Rings junkie.  It’s okay, you can think I am a nerd and you would be completely justified in thinking so.  Before I was married, I lived in a house in downtown Fort Myers with a few of my friends.  We would come home from work every day and watch a few minutes from the Lord of The Rings trilogy.  Could there have been a more productive use of my time?  Absolutely.  Were we a bit obsessive in watching the same 3 movies over and over again?  Undeniable.  But if I am going to be stuck watching the same movies over and over again, it is tough to go wrong with Lord of the Rings.

For those of you who have not seen the movies, let me first start out by saying what in the world is the matter with you! Maybe that was a bit harsh but those movies are incredible nevertheless.  Lord of the Rings is a trilogy of books by JR Tolkien that were later made into movies.  The story is about a battle between good and evil as most good stories are.  The evil “character” in the book is Lord Sauron and he has made a very powerful ring that allows the bearer of it special powers.  If he is in possession of this wrong, the Earth is in trouble.  But the ring is lost until an unlikely character discovers it.  That character keeps the ring for several years in his possession before it is finally entrusted to his nephew named Frodo.  I know, Frodo is a terrible name.  Frodo’s job is to take the ring back to the place it was made and destroy it.  The problem is that the ring is very deceptive and all who have come in contact with the ring have been lured by its seductive power.

Frodo is joined in his quest to destroy the ring by his loyal friend Sam.  Sam is a common and loyal friend.  Sam and Frodo encounter endless problems as creatures from the entire world literally hunt them in constant pursuit of the ring.  The ring begins to wear on Frodo and he begins to succumb to its powers.  As the movie wears on, Frodo begins to treat Sam poorly.  He begins to blame him for things that are not his fault etc.

I know that this is probably not the best description of the movie.  You really need to watch it to do it justice.  Towards the end of the movie, Frodo and Sam are exhausted and they are on the precipice of destroying the ring once and for all.  Their strength is weak, their resolve is tested, and their faith is low.  As they are both laying on the rocks seemingly defeated, Sam looks at Frodo and tells him…….”I can’t carry the burden of the ring for you, but I can carry you.”  Sam then proceeds to lift Frodo onto his back and carry him to the place where the ring needed to be destroyed.  You will need to watch the movie to find out what happens next.

Once the ring is finally destroyed, Frodo gets all kinds of notoriety and credit. And while Frodo should be applauded for being the “bearer of the ring,” the real hero was Sam.  Sam was loyal.  He was committed to the overall mission not his own personal gain.  Sam understood what being a friend is truly all about.  When my life is over and I look back on all that I accomplished, I hope it can be said of me that I reminded them of Sam.  I know he is a made up character in a book.  But his story inspires me to be better.  He inspires me to love even when I may not be loved in return.  He inspires me to fight even when the odds seem strongly against me.  He inspires me to serve even though I may not be given credit for success.  He inspires me to have faith even in the most dismal of circumstances.

So as we launch into 2011, let’s endeavor to be a little bit more like Sam from Lord of the Rings.  I know it’s cheesy, but it’s true still the same.

With Expectancy!


Tis the season
Posted: Dec 13, 2010 in Uncategorized | No Comments |

Christmas is by far my most favorite time of the year.  I think one of the reasons I love it the most is the expectancy that comes with it.  Kids go to sleep every Christmas eve believing that their dreams are going to come true when they wake up the next morning.  If you grew up in a house like mine, you probably woke up at like 6 am ready to attack the presents under the tree.  Have you ever been so eager about something that you couldn’t sleep the night before?  Maybe you have an important meeting coming up or a vacation for the family or you have to catch an early flight.  You lay there in your bed trying to fall asleep but to no avail.  If you are like me, you fiddle with the alarm clock to make sure that it is set for the right time thus preventing you from being late to your destination.

There is something amazing about expectation.  I think of the feeling that I get before my favorite sports team is getting ready to play or getting ready to compete in a bowling competition.  The adrenaline starts to flow and you feel as if you are doing something you were created to do.  Ok, I know that was pretty dramatic.  For many people, this feeling comes to them at Christmas time.  My mother is one of those people.  She lives for Christmas.  She LOVES to shop and spend time with her kids and make people Christmas dreams come true.  Just as Christmas is her favorite day of the year, the day after Christmas is her least favorite because it means that she has to wait another year to celebrate her most favorite day.  Is Christmas exciting for you?  Maybe you used to be excited about Christmas but because of circumstances that have happened this past year, you find it difficult this time around.

To me, Christmas speaks of hope.  The hope of families coming together.  The hope of people with needs being able to provide for their families.  The hope that maybe next year, things will be a little bit different.  Jesus came to give us hope.  I love the old song that says, “My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus blood and righteousness.”  Maybe this past year has not gone as planned for you.  Maybe this Christmas, the excited feeling that you got is just not there anymore.  Maybe for you, Christmas can’t come and go soon enough.  My challenge to you today is to put your hope in Christ.  He is your provider.  He is your healer.  He is your rock, strength and place of refuge.  He is the lifter of your head and the one in whom you should place your trust.  I hope that you take the opportunity in the midst of the business of this Christmas season to recommit your life to the king of kings.  He is crazy about you!

With Expectancy!