Saturday, March 14, 2009

Faith

I read an article in the newspaper earlier this week. It explained that people are less religious than they were 18 years ago. This article was based on the American Religious Identification Survey in 2008, which consisted of 54,000 interviews and has a +/-0.5% margin of error. It indicated that the Baptist population has decreased 3.5%, the Christian population has gone down 0.6%, and the number of Catholics has declined 1.1%. Remember though, there was a 0.5% margin of error so the change in Christian population could actually only be 0.1%. This survey also said that people with "no religion" has gone up 6.8%.

Surveys can be tilted toward how the surveyor wants it to appear but even if it is correct, the results surprised me. The church I go to started in 1995 with 40 people meeting in an elementary school. They have since then become owners of their own building and just last year the church grew from 1,200 to 2,200 by year end. That's just one church but those numbers make me think the Christian population is increasing.

There's a lot of scary stuff going on in the world; drug cartels have murdered several people down in Mexico, the economy is failing, terrorist attacks continue to take place around the world, last Sunday a pastor was shot while preaching in Illinois, and just this week a man in Alabama killed 10 people before killing himself. Wouldn't all of these things make someone more religious?

I've heard people ask "How can you believe in something that you can't see?" Well, you can't see the wind, but you can see the effects of the wind....right? You would certainly feel the effects of the wind if you rode in the back of my airplane on a gusty day. It's kind of the same with faith, just because you can't see Jesus, doesn't mean He's not working in your life. Even if you don't believe, it's not like Santa. He's there whether you like it or not.

So why am I a Christian? Well, for one thing I would like to meet my maker when I…....well, when I go to meet my maker. I also have a lot of friends and family that are headed upstairs when they kick the bucket and I’d kind of like to spend the rest of forever hanging out with them. I’ve also heard the food is to die for....literally. Plus, it’s got to beat the alternative, right? I don’t know what Hell will consist of, but I’d imagine it’s not going to be like any house party I’ve ever been to.

I guess I think back to a principle one of my first flight instructors taught me. It was called the “KISS” principle. It stands for “Keep It Simple Stupid.” That’s easy enough, Heaven=Good, Hell=Bad. I choose Heaven.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

I'm Seeing a Shrink

This is an animated version of how visits with my psychologist go.


Monday, March 02, 2009

Doing what you love and loving what you do.

It seems that a lot of people are loosing their jobs these days. It's really too bad, I've been laid off before so I know how it feels. Every day, I open the paper and read about the next big business that's forced to let people go. That always sounds funny to me, "We had to let John go." Well, where did he go? When is he going to be back? I guess it just sounds better then Donald Trump saying, "You're fired!"

From what I understand, even the Girl Scouts cookie sales are struggling. Really? You can't buy a $3 box of thin mints from the neighbor girl? That actually brings back some memories from middle school when I had to sell candy bars for a band fundraiser. I pounded the streets, going door to door trying to get people to buy an overpriced chocolate bar. Except, they didn't even get the candy right away, I had to come back later and deliver it. That would have been fine but at some point, I lost the list of people I sold to. When it came time to deliver the chocolate, I had to guess which houses I had sold to and then if I managed to be at a house that had indeed purchased a candy bar, I had to tell them that I didn't remember what they ordered. I'm sure there were a few people that got more than they ordered, and there are probably a few houses still waiting for me to deliver their candy bar. I'm pretty sure that's when I decided not to go into sales.

More seriously though, maybe you're one of the people who has lost a job. I feel bad for you, I really do. I know the struggles of finding a new job, the stress of how you're going to pay your bills, and feed your family. It's really hard. But, being the optimist I am, I think that while you look for a new job, you can spend all your extra time doing something you've always wanted to do. You could paint that room in your house that you've been putting off, learn to juggle, take up photography, write a book, or learn a new instrument.

I started flying when I was young and didn't have a job. I did it because I loved flying airplanes, not because I wanted to be an airline pilot. As it turns out, flying airplanes is a great way to make a living. Everyday, I get to go to "work" and do something that I love. Sure, some days it feels like work, but most of the time I'm having fun with great people in exotic cities.....well, cities anyway.

Paul Harvey, legendary news broadcaster, died on Saturday. This man woke up early every morning, to bring us his take on the news that he thought we should know, and the news he thought we would want to know. He fell in love with words, and it's his words that we will remember.

So, in your quest to get back on your feet, you never know when that hobby you start, that thing that you love to do, well, it might just turn into your next job. And if that's the case, you are truly blessed. After all, if you love what you do, you won't have to work a day in your life.

In the words of Paul Harvey......Good Day!