Saturday, July 29, 2006

Thursday, July 27, 2006


Wow! This is the first spare moment I have had this week to write. I'm at the church youth convention...a week of chaperoning over 100 teenagers.

Not enough sleep. Emotional sessions. Fun in the sun. I'm exhausted!

It seems like just yesterday I was on the receiving end of "LIGHTS OUT!" and now I'm the one getting the whining "oh, can't we just stay up a little longer, please?" Actually, the kids here are great. All I can say is that this week has been totally awesome.

Oh, and I got a tatoo.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Seeing Through God's Eyes

In the movie Shallow Hal, Hal is temporarily blessed (or perhaps cursed) with the ability to see a woman's inner character manifested as their physical appearance. He sees Rosemary as a lovely, sexy thin blonde when the rest of the world sees her as obese. And he sees a young, sexy nurse as an old hag.

Our Daily Bread from the other day talks about how God sees differently than us. He sees into our hearts, and warns against judging people by their appearance.

I spent almost every spare moment in the last couple of weeks looking for new clothes, preparing for a week-long meeting for work which ended yesterday. As I mentioned in my last post, it is important to look professional and dress appropriately for your job.

But no matter how you much you spend on clothes, or what your hair looks like or how much you weigh, the heart of you - your character, your values, your actions - is what really counts.

God sees you as you really are. And the people who truly love you do also.

Friday, July 14, 2006

The Devil(?) Wears Prada

Today we begin what may become a semi-regular feature here - Aunt Judie's Guide to the Movies. I'll leave the formal reviews to the professionals. Here, you'll just get my take on what a movie says about life. And unlike other reviewers, I am going to assume you have already seen the movie (so don't read any more if you don't want to know what happens).

The Devil Wears Prada had a lot of funny moments. But I was left wondering what the huge deal was...I have certainly had worse bosses than Miranda Priestly! Maybe it's because I've had almost 30 years of working in offices, and Andy in the movie was just starting out. But here's what I've learned.

Having a boss who tells you what they want is a good thing. Yes Miranda was bossy and seemed unreasonable at times, but for the most part she told Andy what she expected. You would be surprised at how many bosses don't.

Everyone is motivated by something different. Andy didn't "get" Emily because they had different goals and priorities. Andy treated her job as an unwelcome necessity and a temporary situation until what she really wanted to do came along. Emily, on the other hand, treated her job as one step in the long road of a career. She didn't have to be so mean, but that came from fear.

You need to dress properly for your job. Actually, in the business world you are supposed to dress even better than is required for your job. That tells your bosses you are serious about your work and have respect for the company. But you don't have to break the bank. Andy was lucky...she appeared to get her expensive duds for free. (Where do I get a job like that?)

All (legal) work is valuable. I guess the message the movie was trying to send at the end was that writing for a newspaper was a more honorable or valuable pursuit than working in the fashion industry. That is elitist baloney. Treat every job as honorable and worthy of your best effort. If I had to have brain surgery, I would be as grateful to the surgeon for doing his job right as I was to the guy who mops the floor.

Business is business. Did it make Miranda a witch that she knew her job was on the line and used her influence to keep it? No, it means she was savvy and knew the business. Was it unfair to Nigel? Yes, but life is unfair. Get over it. He could have left anyway to start his own business. There are a lot of things I don't like about the business world, but until I am in a position to change them, I have to play by its rules. Which, by the way, Andy didn't. She walked out without notice and threw what I assume was the company's cell phone into a fountain...very unprofessional (I hope they docked her pay).

Finally, I cannot believe that in this day and age anybody in their right mind would think that a woman is fat because she wears a size six! Maybe the Miranda character does, but why couldn't the movie had shown Andy being herself and staying a healthy size six? No, she had to end up a four as if that's more virtuous than a six.

And speaking of virtue, why did they have to have Andy living with her boyfriend? And why did she sleep with someone she barely knew when her relationship hit a rough patch? And the guy she slept with was a work colleague! A definite no-no!

I love the work of Meryl Streep and Stanley Tucci, and I basically liked the movie despite it's skewed view of the value and realities of working. For a more realistic view and tips on surviving and thriving in an office job, try reading this instead.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

A life well lived

by David Alan Redwanc

I know something that you may not
Little problems we have in life are
Meaningless in the ultimate order of
Events in life
Some gifts can be taken for granted
Most abilities go unappreciated and
Unnoticed until that ability has been
Stripped away
When the opportunity for new life
Has been granted the little miracles
Each day shine brightly and each
Breath received is like wondrous
I have a secret and I only wish you

David died last month just a few weeks shy of age 32. He wrote the poem above after his double-lung transplant in 1998. It appeared on the memorial cards given out at his funeral.

Cystic fibrosis did not stop him from playing every sport he liked when he was a kid. His health problems did not stop him from falling in love and marrying, moving to California to try his luck at an acting career, becoming a real estate agent and even a World Series of Poker champion. He had tremendous faith in God, and lived his life in an attitude of gratitude for everything he could do.

Well done, David. Rest in peace.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Would you say that to someone else?

Self-talk is the stuff we say to ourselves, which we do all the time. It's part of our thinking process, and sometimes it can be more damaging than anything anyone else could say to us.

I sometimes catch myself saying things like "I've been stupid with my money" or "I'm too fat for those pants" or, when I'm really feeling bad, "no man will ever love me again". But I would never dream of saying any such thing to someone I loved, or even liked!

A good friend recently reminded me of this verse:

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. (Ephesians 4:29, New International Version)

Remember, if you would not say it out loud to somebody else, don't say it to yourself!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Dependence Day

We call today Independence Day because a long time ago our young country declared its independence from Great Britain.

Pastor Greg Laurie talks about why we might want to also consider today Dependence Day.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Wondering about your life's work?

In the excitement of the wedding and things going on at work, I have not yet written on this year's crop of high school graduates in my family (two nephews and two nieces). I will, I promise.

For now, as you ponder college or work, and wonder if your career choice is meaningful in the big scheme of things, read this.

All work is honorable. And anything you do can be a ministry.