Thursday, September 22, 2011

September 16

This September we're focusing on learning. Today I’ll share a tip I learned from my Hair Designer, Jerry Dial. I’d mentioned how my daughter urges me not to use just any hair products. This conversation came out of her frustration when I collect the hotel giveaways and give them to summer camps or save money by using them myself! Jerry heartily endorsed her point. “I tell people that all the time,” he said. “If they’d just listen! They come back to me and say my hair isn’t performing and I say, 'I told you not to use any shampoo and conditioner that isn’t for colored hair,' for example! But they don’t listen and then wonder why they’re not getting good results!” By now I’m a believer, as Jerry sighs in exasperation from decades of experience!

It got better, in terms of learning as I listened long enough for more valuable counsel. Jerry had left conditioner on my hair that day for 10 minutes! I mentioned that to the shampoo assistant at the sink who said, “Oh yeah, you can leave that on overnight if you really want to condition your hair. Won’t hurt a thing!”

As Jerry reminded me to leave it on 3-5 min in the shower, I’m thinking, hey who has time for 5 extra minutes in the shower! I’m not a teenager and I don’t have kids banging on the bathroom door for my attention anymore, but I do have places to go and things to do! 5 minutes without writing for a deadline or finishing a job around the house is a loong time for a Type A like me. I kind of hinted at this with Jerry.

And he recited as he has... probably 3,923 times in his professional life, “Leave conditioner on 3-5 minutes. Start with washing and conditioning your hair and enjoy the rest of the shower at your leisure.” Now admittedly, I don’t spend much time on appearances. Hey, give me a break. First off, I have four kids. Then, too, I hosted a radio show for 20 years! I have a radio face, as they say? Who notices?

Well…Now that I’m intentionally slowing down to smell the roses, I might also take better care of my hair. After all it is a woman’s glory, according to the Bible. I’m listening to my hairdresser, who’s my kids’ age! But you know what…I’ve ENJOYED those shower conditioning minutes ever since! It’s not about the cost of the product. That little seemingly mindless routine that’s good for my also good for ME! I learned by listening, even though I thought I knew plenty about hair care. Then I acted on it. Learn, listen and do. It works, even for slow learners in hairy situations, like myself!

This learning moment is brought to you by the letter L for Listen! “Let the wise Listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance”—it reads in Pro 1:5. As my Hair Designer put it, “People don’t listen and wonder why they’re not getting good results!” Apply that Biblically to the way we live our lives. Jas 1:22 urges, ‘… be doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deluding yourselves.”

We don’t listen and then wonder why we’re not getting good results! Jerry Dial keeps on giving accurate hair care advice. People can take it or leave it. God keeps on giving His life saving Word, here and now, and for eternity. We’re free to take it or leave it. Every Word of God is for our learning. Let’s listen as The Living God draws us to Himself, to sit at His feet and learn. He is so INTO us, He counts the hairs on our heads! My Hair Dresser doesn’t even do that, he just conditions them! God “conditions” my life when I let His Word sink in at least 3-5 minutes a day. And sometimes overnight. And always when I listen, I want to linger longer and I get good results.

So the next time you open your Bible or ponder God’s wisdom, let it soak in! His kind of “conditioner” is a great way to learn of His Unconditional love!

Have a refreshing weekend, delighting in the Lord!

September 23

We’re looking into LEARNING this month, and we’ve all heard there’s no such thing as a dumb question! One summer I learned something by simply asking, “Why me?” Nothing wrong with the question, just don’t expect the answer tomorrow or, maybe, ever! It involves seeing the forest for the trees. But how, when the “tree” blocks the view? My learning insights came on a tour of Germany. The first was up close and personal: a 23 hour “rain delay” in Charles DeGaulle airport. I can write a BOOK in 23 hours, if I know it’s coming! But whiling away the hours on airport “standby” is unnerving. Duty free shopping lost its appeal fast. My anxiety increased by the hour. I felt robbed. I was losing it, tired of no explanations. The “tree” loomed large!

I finally sat down to look at the situation. I could focus on WHY ME and a missed castle and grumble about the inaccessible Eiffel Tower that was within a cab ride. OR I could remember I had a choice. I could let this maddening incident ruin my trip, or stop whining and give it to God. I did That. “Here’s the mess, God. Please work it out and give me your peace, in J Name and for His sake.” My anger and frustration gradually subsided. I played checkers with a child who was whiling away his time with his parents who’d just come off the Concorde.

The hard bench that night was softened by the attitude adjustment which made me grateful for a place to lay my head. [Weeks later a Concorde jet crash made my layover seem insignificant.]

Soon I was to set one foot on each side of the Berlin Wall rubble. Our guide described the rainy night of October 3, 1989 when she and thousands asking “Why Me?” marched shouting, “We are the people. We are one nation.” And the walls came tumbling down. What a picture. She said the Church gave people hope that God was in charge of the big picture. He could see the forest for the trees.

Next stop, Leipzig, where J. S. Bach directed his “St. Matthew Passion” in 1727. Orphaned at age 10, forbidden by an older brother to copy music, he did so by moonlight, nearly ruining his eyesight. His brother destroyed the copy. He didn’t seem to ask “Why Me?” A self-evaluation summed up his life. “I worked hard.” Mozart said of Bach’s genius, “He is the father, and we are his children.” He composed “theology set to music,” yet died penniless and virtually unknown. His own sons thought his music so ordinary, they lost much of it. It was forgotten until 100 years later when Felix Mendelssohn, who rediscovered Bach, conducted the "St. Matthew Passion" once again. A terrible picture for awhile. As we celebrate the 260th anniversary of Bach’s death, imagine a world without Johann Sebastian Bach!

On to the Passion Play in Oberammergau, performed every 10 years since 1634 when the Plague threatened the town. A horrible picture. They vowed to perform a drama of the passion of Jesus Christ if God spared them further devastation. Ludwig Mudl, Theological Advisor to the Play, comments, “Neither mourning nor tragedy can extinguish the hope of those who believe!”

How are YOU facing your difficulties right now? Asking, “Why me?” Do you “Center” or “Reinvent yourself?” That can be helpful, but it doesn’t really touch the “Why Me?” question. My summer’s peek at “Why Me?” pointed me to the bigger picture. God sees the forest for the trees and He loves every single “tree.” The secret is to trust God for the BIG PICTURE when our personal picture overwhelms us. After all, the God of the Big Picture says I LOVE YOU in countless ways without ceasing. Puts a whole new perspective on Why Me, doesn’t it!

Have a great weekend delighting in the Lord!

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