What Millenials Can Learn From Boomers

Last week I wrote about what a middle age guy in his 50’s like myself could learn from Millennials, the new wave of generational twenty year olds.  Today I am going to take a stab at what those twenty-years olds could learn from 50-somethings like myself. The group of Millennials are more educated, more dedicated in their relationships, more cosmopolitan/urban, are more in tune with popular culture that their 50-something counter parts, but can learn from each other if both will take the time to do so. So, here we go….

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You’re Not As Bad As You Think

In 1983, I kind of had an experience where I had to ask myself, “What are you doing here?” When we are young, we pretty much think we are invincible and can take on the world. Where I grew up in Knoxville, TN., there is a big festival each year  held each April called The Dogwood Arts Festival.  It lasts for about two weeks and they have food, crafts, a huge national track meet at the University of Tennessee, top notch concerts, dogwood trail tours and an amateur tennis tournament. It just so happens that I was quite the tennis player back in my early days and played almost every day. I had never entered a tournament before, so I was really unsure which class to enter.  I definitely knew that I was not an “A” class player and I thought I could probably play with some “B” class players.  But, if I was going to have a chance to be the champion I needed to play with the weenies of the tennis world in the “C” class. At my first match I was pumped, I was going up against a guy who was probably 55 and didn’t look too athletic.  Plus, I was using a Bjorn Borg Donnay tennis racquet. Success was in my grip! Some of you see where this going, right?

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Play Ball! What We Can Learn From Baseball


A couple of weeks ago began another year of the great American past time of baseball. Players have finished training camp and have polished their skills in hopes of making it to the World Series in the fall.  Over the past few years major league baseball has taken one on the chin because of the steroid use controversy surrounding Alex Rodriguez, Manny Ramirez, Jason Giambi, Jose Conseco and Barry Bonds. Still, all across America little boys will be suiting up in Little League’s all across our land in hopes of making it to the majors. Baseball is still America’s sport and regardless of what has happened  in the past, the very large majority of players are those who love the game and are purists and want to do what is right.

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Biblical Five Step Plan To Getting Out Of Debt

If you are in debt and you are a Christian then like it or not you are trying to serve two masters. You can’t serve both God and Money. That’s why Paul called greed idolatry – because when you’re chasing after happiness through the things money can buy, then you’re depending on something else to provide for you. You’re worshipping an idol. According to cardhub.com, “Consumers ended 2014 with a $57.1 billion net gain in credit-card debt. That means the average American household owes $7,100 in credit card debt.”

And that idol has to be replaced with the good news that God will never leave us or forsake us. The lie that things will make you happy needs to be drowned out with the knowledge that only a life centered upon God and filled with the power His Spirit provides will truly be a fulfilled life.

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Thanksgiving and Toilet Paper

I am sure I got your attention with the title for this post. Smile.

Being part of a large family, holidays are interesting when you gather around forty people together to celebrate. Once such Thanksgiving in 1994 stands out, as that was the year our Dad passed away. As my Mom and siblings and their children gathered around a circle to pray and share what we were thankful for many of the usual answers were given. Those answers included thankful for health, family, God’s grace and forgiveness until it came to my brother-in-law Roy’s turn. In six quick words, Roy reminded us of the simple things of life that we many times take for granted. Those six words that Roy spoke were simply, “I am thankful for toilet paper.” Talking about changing what had become an emotional time as we reflected on the loss of our Dad, those words did it. I will never forget the lesson that Roy taught me; be thankful for everything no matter how small or how large.

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Are Christians Non-Intellectual?

I will have to confess that I stand guilty when it comes to the area of anti-intellectualism. It’s not that I am anti-intellectual, if that were the case I would not have pursued three different degrees. What I am saying is that I have not made a conscience effort to be anti-intellectual, but I have not actively pursued it as well. I believe that some of what we have been taught in our religious upbringing has been wrong. We have been taught that all we need to do is to accept Jesus, be baptized, attend church, remember some scripture, tithe, and serve every now and then and everything is going to be fine.

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How To Find Money You Don’t Have

Just last week preparing to teach church planters on the subject of prayer, I opened a journal I had used several years ago and out fell a ten dollar bill. I found money I didn’t know I had! Maybe you have had the same experience by finding money in a coat or a drawer. There are numerous places we can find money if we just looked. A number of years ago there was a book The Joy of Cooking. After that there was a book The Joy of Flying. And after that there was a book The Joy of Sex. Several years ago I picked this out of Inc. magazine an article called “The Joy of Debt.” It said, “Being in hock is all the rage. Are you missing something?” I thought, Who are they kidding? Nothing causes more problems, more worries, more upset, more financial difficulties than being under financial tension.

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What A Christian IS

Yesterday’s post on What A Christian Is NOT was one of the most popular posts I have written in some time. At the suggestion of one of my readers and friends, I want to follow up with this post on What A Christian IS. I want to make a disclaimer upfront, this post is not about how a Christian is supposed to act nor is it about the charitable things Christians are supposed to do. The definition of who is a Christian varies from religion to religion, group to group. I want to pinpoint in this post what a Christian looks like, acts like and lives like.

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Why I Hand Write Letters To My Wife

Some of you are waiting to the last minute to go out and buy that perfect card for your sweetheart on Valentine’s Day. Wait no longer for I have the perfect card for you, it’s called a hand written note. No, I am not talking about being cheap or really waiting to the last minute and not having time to go  out and pick up a card. I believe the perfect card for your sweetheart is a handwritten letter from you.

For the past several years I gave up on the Hallmarks, American Greetings (a great Cleveland company BTW), and other card makers because the content was not mine. I began to write letters to my wife Julie for major celebrations in our lives such as first date anniversary, Valentine’s Day, her birthday, and our anniversary. Ever so often, I will write a letter randomly just because I love her.  I have also done this with my daughters on special occasions as well.

Read below to find out why I really write letters to Julie.



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Our First Date Thirty-Three Years Ago: What I Learned

On February 10, 1981 Julie Smeenge and I went out on our first date that would eventually lead to our marriage on May 25 of the same year. Julie and I both graduated from high school in 1979, but from rival high schools in Knox County, TN. Julie and I did not actually meet until the fall of 1979 in a class at Roane State Community College and I would not have another class with her until a year or so later. Julie and I began to hang out with a group of other people who were taking classes together going out to lunch.IMG_0028

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