Lake Reflections

relfections on a lake, Dr, Gary, Davis, Clueless, Christianity, Christians, Peace, On Golden Pond, Reflection

Image credit- Picture Images, Gary Davis, photographer

The 1979 play On Golden Pond, written by Ernest Thompson, was a call for us to consider the rifts that develop within families and between generations. Henry Fonda, Jane Fonda, and Katherine Hepburn portray a family whose love for one another has been long lost. Together at the lake it is testy, at best; at other times, combative. Slightly hopeful.

Lakes can be places of renewal or, as in On Golden Pond, seething tension. It’s all up to the people gathered.

Lakes have always brought out my pensive side. My musings run from how to kill those jet-skiers disturbing my peace to the journey of life, brought on by a family of loons sounding their call. I like to think a lot at a lake:  I like to write a lot at a lake, as I am doing now. Lakes draw my soul to the surface and direct my words to wander through the pages of my life.

Some of the pages record surprising “Ah-Ha!” moments; other pages, forlorn endings. In recent days I’ve written new pages within the books and articles I enjoy creating so much; other pages record new chapters of my own journey. It takes time to realize that all chapters do end, only to lay the groundwork for ensuing chapters.

Taking breaks from writing, I enjoy sailing. Sailing on a lake is invigorating! The wind pushes the boat along as it also moves the heart to soar. But today we missed the wind, sitting dead-calm on the surface. Maybe tomorrow. [Although sitting dead-calm, waiting for the wind to move, brings sailors together, uniting them in comradery, birthing new ideas.] Personally, I prefer cutting through the waves at a 60  list. More chance for error—but oh, the exhilaration!

Evenings carry the laughter around a fire-pit, where friend’s burn hamburger and chicken alike; not to mention charred buns and overcooked S’mores as the moon replaces the sun.

Finally, the exhilaration of the day gives way to closing thoughts and the body’s exhaustion. Just a bit more, writing, more pondering…, at least until the mind ceases to function.

It’s good to have friends with lakehouses who offer them to others for rest, refreshment, and rejuvenation. Find one. Then, maybe you’ll find your soul again.  Like I do— every year.

And thank you, dear friends, for lakehouses and so much more.

  Gary

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The time machine

Dr, Gary, Davis, Clueless, Christianity, NEEDinc, time machine, H G wells, future, journey

Where would you go? This poster poses a whimsical question. It was released to advertise the 2002 movie version of H.G. Wells classic work The Time Machine (1895); oddly, directed by one Simon Wells. So, really, if you could travel through time, where would you go? In my 30s I had to make that decision. It was fascinating.

In my personal travels through time I can tell you that I have never seen such beautiful creatures as the ones pictured on this poster, or in the movie. That being said, I have seen the Big Bang. It was slower and bigger than most scientific postulations have it. I have seen the dividing of the land masses of Pangea as they separated from our oceans. I was present in the Garden of Eden; beautiful place, sad experience. And yes, it did all start with two people. What a surprise!

And I have seen the future. Aspects of it are incredible: other parts, not so much. For security reasons I cannot reveal too much of what I saw in my travels, but I can tell you some things.

For one “wars and rumors of wars” continue throughout the future. I found this to be disheartening. Nukes are never used again, except in small detonations; but the atrocities people inflict on one another increase in brutality and scope. Technology dominates and connects everyone. It truly is amazing. [I finally get my global computer implant!] And we actually come together under one global government; not without great compromise on all sides. America’s moral decline into an amoral pluralism is the final tipping point that couples with a compromised, secular Islam and a despairingly anemic Christianity. All becomes one. Some still hold true to their faiths:  but few.

But the question at the top of the poster still foists upon us a challenge—

Where would you go?

Some diehard Christians would go to see the birth or resurrection of Jesus. Muslims would travel back to witness Mohammed receiving the Q’ran. Asians might journey back to witness the building of The Great Wall of China (they would be gone a long time). Geologists might want to see the formation of the earth’s core and the initial drifts of earth’s tectonic plates. Astronomers would want to view the formation of our universe. (What is “dark matter” anyway?) Historians, well, they would travel everywhere and anywhere. I might want to visit with members of my ancestral-tree. From what little I do know they were a crafty bunch.

All of us would want to go somewhere. We’d want to correct the ills of the present in the ancient past. Do you think that our presence would help things? Or would we screw up? We would want to prepare for the future. Could we? “There is a time for every season under the sun… .”

Things that make you go “Hummmm?”

  Gary

 

Viral Infection

 

Dr, Gary, Davis, Clueless, Christian, Christianity, Viral, Infection, Runny, Nose‘Tis the season for summer colds; viri, if you please. In the last couple of weeks I have had two of them— one in my sinuses, the other on my laptop. Actually, ONE in my body, and 555 on my laptop. I was at the point of despair. I could not be productive because of “malware, viruses, Trojans (probably a few Spartans too), and worms,” and I could not breathe or think clearly because of the, er, mucus. It was disgusting, to say the least. Now, all is well!

Why is it that such small widdle infections shut down our bodies and render our electronic selves null and void?!? It’s just not fair! I want to live a vibrant, productive life; not one run down from some microbe impossible to see even under an electron microscope (die, you sucker!), let alone by some hacker’s idea of fun. (May the computer-gods have mercy on their foul deeds.)

But isn’t that just the way it goes sometimes? We make these great plans for our day, our life, then we wake up one morning with a runny nose; or our computer gives us so many pop-ups and redirects that we just want to chuck it against a wall!?! Does infuriating ring a bell?

It has always astonished me that the evolution theorists don’t seem to be talking to the chaos theoristsLeft to develop on their own, things do NOT improve:  they get worse, like a teenagers room. Left untreated my virus would run its course and run me down. Selah. Left unchecked, my computer virus would render my faithful widdle waptop useless. Selah.

Things are not getting better.

Certainly, we have great advances in medical technology, protecting the environment, improving the quality of life, even in constructing faster and more versatile computers. But, overall, would you say our world is a better place? My runny nose and CNN seem to indicate otherwise.

Don’t get me wrong, these modern technologies and discoveries make my life easier and more productive every day, except for the recent 555 invasion. But we seem to have regressed to a phase of human development where individual power, national and/or religious rights, and the struggle for world dominance has supplanted civil, humanitarian respect for our fellow inhabitants of this planet.

Some people cry out “Why can’t we all just get along?!? Good question. The answer isn’t so pleasant.  Want it? At its core? Here’s my version—

We have turned our backs to the principles God set down at Creation

and decided we knew how to run things better than He does.

Thus, virus infections in both man and machine.

Just brilliant!

  Gary

Four-Buck Bourbon

Dr, Gary, Davis, Clueless, Christian, Christianity, Bourbon, Cheap, Value First, a disclaimer— I am not a Bourbon drinker, let alone a connoisseur. But when a friend of mine told me he had bought a $4 bourbon, I assumed he meant a glass of the stuff. He did not. He meant the whole bottle. For four bucks! That’s $4.00! Four ounces of STP Gas Treatment costs about the same— by comparison. Octane Boost is $7.50.

But this was an entire bottle of Bourbon for $4.00. My interest was piqued! So I turned to the Internet to discover what could possibly be that cheap. After perusing a few sites it seemed that the unanimous conclusion was a certain brand that will go unnamed because I do not want to go to jail. A number of bourbon drinkers described it as “tasting mostly like dirt.” Blended, no less. I decided sampling it was out of the question.

Thus, philosophically did I ponder— What is the purpose of Four-Buck Bourbon? I came up with these possible options—

1.      To get totally plastered! Cheaply.

2.      A gift for that special relative.

3.      A Car-Starter on a cold winter’s morn.

4.      Cheap octane-booster.

5.      A De-greaser.

6.      Weed-Killer.

7.      Flavoring in even worse coffee.

8.      Cough medicine.

9.      A Molotov Cocktail.

10.  Self-initiated suicide. (No reports on success rate).

More realistically, I pondered— Why would anyone buy Four-Buck Bourbon? Other than a few of the ideas above, I could only deduce two—

1.      To get plastered…, again.

2.      You could not afford STP Octane Boost.

These same philosophical questions arise when many of us choose what we really value. We tend to settle for group-think; what the majority believes. “I’ll have what he’s having.” We settle for the cheap instead of doing the hard work of considering the issues, the morality, the implications, the ramifications and effects on other people.

Actions DO have consequences. Make sure your actions are worth something. Don’t settle for the Four-Buck Bourbon level of contribution to the needs of our world. And if you DO drink Four-Buck Bourbon, my apologies; and my prayers.

 

For what it’s worth,

  Gary

Building Blocks

Dr, Gary, Davis, Christian, Clueless, Christianity, Building, Blocks, Build up, Most of us know the things that wear us down, that tear us down. Chronic car problems, an over-demanding boss, tension at home, “teenagers.” But what about the things that build us up? Being content one evening will not strengthen you for long:  turning in for the night with a sense of accomplishment, night after night, will do more for you than almost anything else imaginable.

So allow me to offer a list of some of the things that have, and still do, build me up-

1.      Accomplishment.

2.      Healthy relationships.

3.      Restoring broken relationships.

4.      One good, yea verily, great, friendship.

5.      Being loved.

6.      Loving someone.

7.      Sharing your pain with someone else.

8.      Crying.

9.      Resolving issues.

10.  Giving to others.

11.  Self-care.

12.  Admitting, and facing, your guilt and failures.

13.  Identifying and defining tightly that which fulfills your passion.

14.  A sense of purpose

15.  Time alone.

16.  Forming an open, transparent relationship with the God who made you.

17.  Times in deeper realities through prayer and imagination.

18.  Difficult situations.

19.  Difficult people.

20.  Working hard.

There are probably many more things that build me up, but one in particular I MUST mention or go unwisely amiss of any advice I might offer. Spending time, both quality & quantity, with my wife Starr Lynn Davis.

For what it’s worth,

  Gary

My Preference – my Presc-ciousss!

Dr, Gary, Davis, Clueless, Christianity, NEEDinc, preferences, selfish, selfishness, precious, How much do personal preferences cause perennial problems between people?!? OK, the alliteration is iffy; but the issue it illuminates is a serious one. At times it seems that too many of us place our personal proclivities and preferences above the good of-the-many. It’s what I want that matters; not what you want. My desires come first.

Really?!?

Some of us just cannot seem to get along with anyone. Why? Because we refuse to cut any slack to anyone to who does not meet our standards of excellence; who will not see things any other way but their own; who refuse to admit that their personal preference is is only one way. They will not admit they could be wrong or that someone else might be right.

Really!?!

How dare we make our personal preferences the standard by which we judge everything else?!? So if you disagree with me, forgetaboutit. I need have nothing more to do with you.

Really?!?

NO ONE individual has all the strengths needed to master a craft, to complete a complex task, or to bring a dream or plan to fruition. We ALL need one another to make society, or family, or church, or business, work.

So can we lay aside our preferences and begin to build something together?!? Too many of us hoard our abilities and preferences like J.R.R Tolkien’s Gollum with his Presc-ciousss; his Ring-of-Power, which, in the end was the power that possessed him and destroyed him.

Far too often, our preferences take over our very core-values and destroy us. We believe that our way is the only right way, and we break friendships and commitments with those who feel otherwise. Some things, to be sure, are worth fighting for; but hanging onto our particular preferences is not one of them. True strength, true power, is the natural byproduct of people with different strengths, and preferences, coming together to build something greater.

Are up for that? Or would you rather hang on for dear life to your personal preferences…, your presc-ciousss?

 

Jus’ sayin’,

  Gary

Ripples

Dr, gary, Davis, Clueless, Christian, Christianity, effects, affected, relationshipsRemember sitting on a summer beach letting the water roll in— letting it wash over you in its salty brine? Did your eyes follow the surf as its ripples returned to the sea in currents and eddies? Never the same twice, but always the same ripples…, returning to the sea.

I often ponder the similarities between those ocean ripples and the effects I might have on another person. How do the ripples of my life choices affect the currents, the ebb and flow of the lives I touch? Hopefully, the way I live and relate with others builds them in their lives; hopefully, their lives start to reflect some of the same ripples that have trickled through my life.

For I am the result of countless friends, mentors, critiques, counselors, and even enemies. I have not been one to swim under the ripples that pushed toward me; rather, I have learned to flow with them, for a while, until I learn whatever lesson is carried by that ripple.

That being said, it must also be added that sometimes those ripples had to build to the level of a tsunami for me to ride along with it. We all fight the tides of life that threaten us, that want to push us off our course, and I was no exception. Now…, not so much. This has probably come from being churned up in the surf far too many times.

Whatever stage of life wherein you find yourself, whatever dire or laudable circumstance, you are making ripples for everyone you know. What kinds of ripples are you leaving in your wake? Do they buoy up a person, or just about drown them? Does your family enjoy and respect you, or fear your return from work? Do your employees see you as a hard task-master or someone who empowers them to greater performance and joyful sacrifice? As you meet passersby do you smile at them, or appear stern and even threatening?

You need to know the kinds of effects you have on the people that surround you. Is it building and uplifting, giving them the thrill of a surfer riding the waves? Or are your ripples more like the pounding surf in a hurricane, bringing destruction wherever its waves land?

The kinds of ripples you leave in your wake are your legacy to your family, your grandchildren, your community, and to this planet. Leave good ones! For what it’s worth,

  Gary

insufficient evidence

Dr, Gary, Davis, Needinc, Clueless, Christianity, Christian, beliefs, evidence, values, known, Let’s start by considering the opposite of insufficient evidence—namely, sufficient evidence. The question put to us is simple, “Would there be sufficient evidence to convict you of what you say you believe?” or, “What repercussions do your values have for the way you live?”

Certainly, Navy Seals can boast ample evidence that their actions bespeak of a deep belief in “God & country.”  (Their motto is Ready to lead…, ready to follow. Never quit.) People of deep religious faith generally could be convicted for their faith; there should be sufficient evidence. (If there is not…, well.) There is probably a Gallup survey that asks “To what extent do you follow through on your commitments?”

Yet in our Western, postChristian, pluralistic world there seems to be more of an inclination toward tentative commitments and cautious relationships. The fear of being known has regained unusual ground in a culture longing for safety. There has also been a rise in the fear of being wrong, or making the wrong choice or decision. Therefore, many of us never fully commit to anything. We have prenuptial agreements, escape clauses, termination parachutes, etc. We are a people who do not like to be pinned down or labeled; Christian, Republican, Conservative/Liberal, even male/female.

Part of the reason for our hesitation-to-commit is our fear of being hurt. It is our fear of being rejected from “the group,” or our insecurity stemming from our own historical observations that commitments are simply inconsequential. So why make them? We have fed this innate fear that, if we make a mistake we need to cover ourselves; we need to provide an escape route that will free us from the whole mess, the marriage, the contract, the bond. We fear being hurt so much that we don’t fully give ourselves to anything, or anyone, anymore. We always need to protect ourselves— a way OUT.

Therefore, we can never be pinned down on what we hold dear, what we value, or what we believe:  it’s just safer for us that way. Or is it?

Without sufficient evidence to hold us to any belief system or set of values we may have escaped the wrath of some other group. We may have avoided another deep heartache. But we have also demolished our own core. We have morphed its solidity for mush, its certainty for wishy-washy equivocation, which is about as inspiring as tan wallpaper.

If our leaders, and ourselves, do not hold positional beliefs and values strong and clear enough to convict us then who have we become? Insufficient evidenceis the descriptor of weaker men who do not want to be held accountable for their actions.

Let’s stand up and be counted—  even if it costs us our lives.

‘Nough said,

  Gary

Speak your mind

Dr, Gary, Davis, Gandhi, speak up, truth, brave, courage, opinion, Clueless, Christianity, NEEDinc, Quasi anima tua?  Speak your mind! So few of us do. Those who know who they are do— cautiously, graciously. Those who are ignorant and uncouth do; usually with little thought to the effect their candor might have on others. Those who parade their arrogance about also speak their mind— what there is of it. Some, to be sure, have something to say and should speak their mind. I believe you are such a person.

But Truth, though difficult to hear or comprehend at times, especially in regard to science or religion, is oft composed of the most blatant, kindest words. To package it any other way would be to dilute it, to treat it as of little significance, or simply to dismiss it as inconsequential.

We at www.needinc.org and www.workingoutyourcrap.com, are purveyors of truth…, and Truth. We want to face the difficult issues of our time with bravery and humility, wisdom and wit, steadfastness and skepticism, openness and curiosity. WE are not afraid of what we might find: we look forward to the challenges to our beliefs and opinions. We hope you hold a few solid opinions and well thought-through beliefs as well. Listening to learn, to understand is always preferable to aiming nukes at each other, starting religious wars, or stereotypically scorning one another.

So please, PLEASE, post some comments on our WEBsites so more people can disagree with us. We don’t want to merely write BLOGS and Posts just to add to the verbosity of the WEB. Rather, we want to engage different minds, divergent opinions, and find people who are willing to make the effort to tell us how much they disagree with us. OR, it would be nice if some of you even liked us, actually agreed with us— and then commented on our sites. PLEASE!

I’m not usually a groveler; and I never suck-up to anyone to get recognition. NEVER! But I would kill to get your feedback! Not you, of course; because then how would you ever write any feedback for us. Oh, never mind! This is getting confusing.

Just SPEAK YOUR MIND! ON OUR WEBSITE! Or I’m coming to get you!

There now, don’t you feel better?  I do. J

With humility,

  Gary

Bring it!

Dr, Gary, Davis, attitude, failure, stubborn, Clueless, Christianity, NEEDinc, Really?  You want some a dis?  You want a piece of me?!? Bring it! Ah, the joys of the competitive brag! Nothing like it to spar some grand fisticuffs or a friendly challenge (or, not so friendly).

            Bring it! is also an expression used in business between definitely not-so-friendly rivals. People believe this kind of attitude will up the scales of productivity and competitive edge. Probably. Maybe. Or not.

            The point is that, for some of us, Bringing It is a way of live, an attitude of life. We like a good challenge. We rise to the occasion when someone says “We just can’t do that. It won’t work.” There is something built into our DNA that responds “Thank you.” And then we get about the business of making things work.

            But some of us have this attitude of— But what if I’m wrong? What if they’re right about me? What if I fail? Really?!? You’ll never know unless you try. As I said in my blog titled MY FAILURESIt’s taken most of my life, but I’ve finally perfected failure to an art-form. And I have learned from my failures. One of the greatest lessons I have learned is that FAILURE is simply an indication that I have not yet figured out what I am designed to DO best. So…, go for it…, again.

            The challenges we face in life span the diversity of graduating kindergarten to getting your first real job, from getting married to changing your first, ever, diaper, from discovering your passion to founding your first company. But these tests all have the same things in common— courage, risk, fear, determination, know how (except for the diaper thing) and commitment. Whether you believe in yourself or not, you will come to a point in life where you will make decisions that change everything. You will.

            If you shy away from these momentous moments you will admit defeat and settle for whatever comes your way. Do you really want to do that?

            Sometimes we all find ourselves in what is known as survival mode, survival mentality. Just get through this— the wedding, child-birth, the termination, a loss of income, the fear of being unknown. But to remain there is life-sucking suicide. You will still breathe the air and take up space; but that is about all. You will take what comes your way and remain there until you die. WOW! What a way to live!

            Might I instead suggest you look failure in the face, kick your courage into top gear, rise above your fear, and with a defiant voice cry out loud —

Bring it!

  Gary