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with Common Sense 4 Uncommon People

May, 2015


Christ’s Family Kitchen ~ John C. Calkins

Posted: May 30th, 2015 | Category: Christ Follower | Comments

Christ's Family Kitchen

Here we are, many of us, in the midst of this race for success. Are you in this race too? Have you been preparing for it? Running flat out? What does success mean to you or for you? Do you want and hope to one day, emerge from the marathon pack, establish some comfortable degree of leading separation from those who haven’t prepared quite as hard as you have? Who probably don’t have your natural set of talents? Is it the competition itself which keeps your heart beating in high speed, calorie burning rhythms? Or … are you beginning to wonder if you’ve even entered the right race? Or if there is any race at all between you and yours, which means anything of lasting value? Success means different things to each of us. “Who here qualifies for the job of overseeing the kitchen? A person the Master can depend on to feed the workers on time each day. Someone the Master can drop in on unannounced and always find him doing his job. A God-blessed man or woman, I tell you. It won’t be long before the Master will put this person in charge of the whole operation.” (Matthew 24:45-47 MSG). We can never hope to own this life kitchen alone, because it’s always been and shall always be a family kitchen, a legacy heirloom establishment. I suspect that Lucifer figured out this little metaphor eons ago and decided it would be better for him to open up his own place, just down the road a bit. One that he could manage, in his mind better. The competition for hungry patrons has been cutthroat and merciless from Lucifer’s Place since the beginning, but simply word-of-mouth reliance from the new family kitchen, since 33 AD.

Is it to be; a good patron’s view; of healthy food, a pristinely safe setting, uplifting atmosphere or from a worker’s perspective of this kitchen with, guaranteed employment for life, health insurance and an incredible retirement plan? While also serving to meet an ever increasing, valuable, worldwide need for a very particular menu of home styled eat-in or take-out? Lucifer’s Place, on the other hand offers its new and racing patrons the most; trendy and fashionable, popular look, with a no-cover policy, a free happy hour, flashy entertainment, unlimited gambling, other popular favors and eventual indigestion. Once happy hour ends at Lucifer’s, the cleanup and healthcare is impossible and never ending. The unanticipated tab is huge. Employment records show an incredibly high and consistent turnover who get no retirement what-so-ever from Lucifer. I chased success for many years, always at the front of the pack, winning many heats and trials but never bringing home the gold. I had been armed with many natural (and mis-spent) talents, more degrees than a thermometer, a powerful appetite and a willingness to work unthinkable hours with no vacation, for decades on end. What I wasn’t willing to do was to be selfish, callous, immoral or break every rule of character to become totally successful in that well publicized, super competitive establishment I’d chosen. After that realization, I chose another Master with a family business, who wanted me for who I was and offered me an equity position right up front. Think about what you really want and what price you’re willing to pay to get it. Think about what you’ll do with that kind of success when or if you get it and then consider how long it might last for you or you for it? Think about what happens to you even if you do win that specific race, while losing nearly every other, since that’s the price of that kind of success. Overseeing the kitchen or the dining room, the books; catering, staff, entrees, deserts, salad bar, marketing, selections, purchasing, remodeling, cleanup or valet parking can be very rewarding, if you work with equity for the right Master. Not every family kitchen or business fits this description, but Christ’s Family Kitchen does. It’s the One with the hand carved and blood stained Welcome sign, world famous for feeding anyone who enters, 24/7 with loving, caring service. Change is one decision away.


Skipping Stones? ~ John C. Calkins

Posted: May 29th, 2015 | Category: belief, Truth, Understanding | Comments

Most of us are pretty good at skipping stones across the surface of some otherwise glassy waters, but fewer of us each year can or even want to consider what’s lurking just below the surface of those very same waters. Those that do wonder, too often do it just to secure some leveraged advantage over others. Most of us prefer to leave well enough alone. We just accept or reject what someone else says, based upon some level of trust… read more

Change The World ~ John C. Calkins

Posted: May 27th, 2015 | Category: Hope | Comments

I’m not totally sure why everybody is so apathetically OK with the current sick state of humanity. Nor can I accept that the destruction of our planet at this time is just another inevitability. A world with less morality, more dishonesty and fading consciences can’t simply replace integrity, responsibility and faith without some serious, agonizing pain. Technology in the hands of humanity is not going to solve our problems, in heroic Hollywood style. The accepted inevitability of our futures is… read more

Love And Sadness ~ John C. Calkins

Posted: May 26th, 2015 | Category: Conflict, Disappointment, Faith, Inspirational | Comments

Are love and eventual sadness inseparable? “Wise son, glad father; stupid son, sad mother.” (Proverbs 10:1 MSG). Or is sadness a stand alone emotion which we can and will marry with our other feelings? “A cheerful heart brings a smile to your face; a sad heart makes it hard to get through the day.” (Proverbs 15:13 MSG). Love certainly is an emotional connection quite unlike any other we are likely to experience, but it needn’t result in sadness if we… read more

Contemporary Heresy ~ John C. Calkins

Posted: May 23rd, 2015 | Category: Christ Follower, Common Sense, Inspirational | Comments

It’s entirely idiotic to believe or conclude that someone can’t win without cheating. Long term success requires polished skills, wisdom and a boatload of extra effort. A little touch of God wouldn’t hurt either. Cheating only records an occasional “win” and very often (but not often enough) such wins are overturned by actual evidence, even in this life. How is this consistent with God’s ways? Cheating illustrates a significant lack of character, but wrongly accusing someone else of cheating (becoming… read more

The Word, Will and Works ~ John C. Calkins

Posted: May 17th, 2015 | Category: belief, Christ Follower, Hope, Inspirational | Comments

(Isaiah 57:15 MSG): “A Message from the high and towering God, who lives in Eternity, whose name is Holy: “I live in the high and holy places, but also with the low-spirited, the spirit-crushed, And what I do is put new spirit in them, get them up and on their feet again.” The Word, Will and Works of God are not just some dive into the depths of history, they are also the future, as it can be more broadly… read more

Human Behaviors ~ John C. Calkins

Posted: May 15th, 2015 | Category: Christ Follower, Hope, Love, miracles | Comments

Instead of always trying to psychoanalyze the phenomena known collectively as Human Behavior, sometimes we should consider just sitting back and accepting that it is, just what it is. That’s an – always accurate – approach. Just as sumo wrestlers can’t simply drop their diapers off at the Japanese laundry, slip into some colorful silks and become triple crown, caliber jockeys, we aren’t going to change easily either. Sure with discipline, time, motivation, diet, desire and training, change is possible,… read more

The Right Time ~ John C. Calkins

Posted: May 13th, 2015 | Category: Christ Follower, Faith, Hope, Inspirational, Promises | Comments (2)

For the longest time, I interpreted the parable of the laborers in the field with far too narrow of a focus. “Those hired at five o’clock came up and were each given a dollar. When those who were hired first saw that, they assumed they would get far more. But they got the same, each of them one dollar. Taking the dollar, they groused angrily to the manager, ‘These last workers put in only one easy hour, and you just… read more

God Strengthens ~ John C. Calkins

Posted: May 11th, 2015 | Category: Faith, Hope, Inspirational | Comments

If God chooses to stand in my shoes today, I do not believe that He will allow me to say anything which angers you. He would not want me to frustrate, agitate or condemn you. He would not want me to weaken, confuse or try to teach you that which you have no desire to learn. Because God doesn’t think that way. God does not see you or me or anyone else as we all see each other. He sees… read more

Blind Eye Defiance ~ John C. Calkins

Posted: May 7th, 2015 | Category: belief, Christ Follower, Christianity, Common Sense | Comments

Not paying attention to something doesn’t seem to carry the same social stigma which has historically been attributed to our outright defiance of that very same something. In the end for us, having a forgiving Savior has seemingly been played as our trump card over our own interim ambivalence toward any personal need or desire for salvation. That won’t work for those who’d like it to. The Good News isn’t intended to be read and understood in that way. It’s… read more