Running Circles Around the Old Man

Posted by Richard Harris | | Posted On Wednesday, July 18, 2012 at 12:16 PM

The other night I ran with every one of my four younger children. I ran with Matt my 15 year old for about six steps before he took off and left the old man in the dust. I ran with John for about a mile before he headed off to find Matt; guess he needed a challenge. Then six year old Gracie was feeling left out so we ran around the circle together before she took it to the house; outside is not her favorite.

Then there is Caleb, who has a healthy desire to be like his older brothers. Since neither one of us can keep up with them; we chose to run the circle several times together. This was interesting, fun and educational. Caleb took off sprinting in front of me. But he did not just run, he skipped, he jumped and most of all he smiled. For this guy running was not a chore to stay healthy or a sport to see how fast he could go. It was just fun to run with his dad and be outside.

Caleb had me laughing as he jumped, twisted and hoped around the circle. I was a bit fearful he might fall but there was no way I was going to tell him to stop all that extra activity and just run. A good father knows when to let it go.
Sure enough though it did happen, as Caleb was doing a circle in front of me he hit the side of a yard, lost his footing and fell to the concrete sidewalk. He fell hard and I was concerned he might have hurt himself. I picked him up, carefully checked for scraps and made sure he had survived the fall physically.

But it was the mental I was more worried about. How would this stumble affect him? Would he want to run with me again? Would he smile, jump and enjoy himself like he had? Would he stop running all together?

As I awaited his next move, Caleb fought back a few tears, checked the red scrape on his knee and……got back to running, jumping, laughing and smiling. I was most pleased with his decision and attitude after a fall.

We all fall, we all trip up; our response is what defines who we will be. Let us learn some things about God from our friend Caleb’s response.

We all fail/fall at some time or another that is a fact. Don’t let that fact keep you from enjoying the journey. Too many people keep waiting for the fall and do not enjoy the majority of life filled with joyful moments. Enjoy the moments God gives you.
Fall’s hurt. No doubt hitting the concrete was painful; there were bumps and scrapes from Caleb’s tumble. Pain is a part of life, not a fun part but a part none the less. Don’t hide your pain give it to God. (1 Peter 5:7)

Let the Father pick you up. Caleb did not fight me watching over him, checking him out. As a matter of fact he gladly allowed me to make sure he was okay. Many people fight God’s inspection of our hurts, thus slowing the process of healing. As a matter of fact, if we attempt to move on without allowing the Lord to assist us, we add to our hurts instead of allowing God to heal them. Take time to heal before moving on. (It’s hard to jump and twist if your limping)

Don’t let your short term pain affect your long term outlook. Many a person has packed it in because of a failure, heartache or misstep. Those who call it quits often turn bitter and lose the joy of life. They spend the rest of their days disengaged in fear of being hurt. That is exactly what the enemy wants and exactly what God would not want. Brush yourself off, deal honestly with the pain and get going…..

As you do look back; that person you see smiling will be the Heavenly Father, He will be most pleased with your decision.

Scripture: Philippians 3:12-14, “I'm not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don't get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I've got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I'm off and running and I'm not turning back.”
The Message by Eugene Peterson

Prayer: Lord, Help us to have the freedom to enjoy life with the knowledge that you are in it with us; joy or pain. We ask these things in the name of Christ, Amen.

Simple/truths 179 written by Richard Harris for more simple/truths go to You can now follow me on twitter at RAH_OHHH.

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Posted by Richard Harris | | Posted On Friday, March 30, 2012 at 3:50 PM

I know why they change the time twice a year, but I do not know whose idea it was. This I do know; whoever it was did not have kids or enjoy sleep in any fashion. For 27 years I have had children and for much of those years there was a preschooler involved. Trust me when I say these preschool folks do not understand or care about the time change; their body just keeps on ticking on the old clock.

The weeks immediately following the time change are spent with people up at all kinds of odd hours while adults try to work out a strategy to get things back to normal. Fortunately us parents do finally get everyone straightened out, ourselves included. Normally this occurs about a month before the next time change. Change good or bad in our life is a constant, figuring out how to deal with it is the great trick of life.

Fortunately we have a God who has our back. He knows what is in front of us and is working, often behind the scenes, to prepare us for upcoming change. Funny in life it seems as though the minute you get things figured out life throws another challenge at you. We do best not to resist it, but learn to trust God on the journey that He has us on. The only thing more constant in life than change is the God who shows us the way.

Proverbs 4:18, “The path of the righteous is like the morning sun, shining ever brighter till the full light of day.”

Nuggets of simple-truths written by Richard A. Harris #7

Hallmark v. The World

Posted by Richard Harris | | Posted On at 3:36 PM

I must admit that I often make fun of the Hallmark channel. I tell my wife I could write a Hallmark movie in thirty minutes. It does not take long to figure out what couple is going to end up together and how it is going to happen. Most the movies are predictable and downright corny much of the time.

The world does not flock to the Hallmark channel; it’s a shame. What could possibly be wrong with entertainment that leaves you feeling good inside. The world argues those corny movies are not real life. If the other movies in turn reflect the real world then what does that say about our culture.

Think of this nugget not as a recommendation of the Hallmark channel but an encouragement to consider what we put in our mind. Let’s compare Hallmark verses the world to make our point:

Hallmark movies are about redemption, unconditional love, forgiveness, and long term commitment.

The world’s movies are about casual sex, vulgar language, revenge, greed and short term commitment.

What we put in our mind eventually seeps out in our life, be careful.

When it comes to Hallmark verses the world, give me Hallmark every time.

Romans 12:1-2a, “So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—you’re sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out.” The Message by Eugene Peterson

Nuggets of simple-truths written by Richard A. Harris

Rush to Forgiveness

Posted by Richard Harris | | Posted On at 3:28 PM

This devotional is neither a defense nor attack of Rush Limbaugh. I have not listened to him in years, making my knowledge base limited. All I know about Rush at this moment is that he said some things he obviously shouldn’t have a couple of weeks ago. I figure this puts him in the same category as 100 percent of the people in America at one time or another in their life. Problem is millions of people listen to Rush.

After making his mistake he asked for forgiveness. Knowing just a little of his personality my guess is this was not easy. Some might say he did it because of the public uproar or the fact that he was losing sponsors, thus he was losing money. His motivation for asking for forgiveness is anyone’s guess. Perhaps he really was sorry.

The person he asked for forgiveness from said she did not accept it because it was not sincere. My question is how do you judge the sincerity of an apology, any apology not just Rush’s. Here are some quick thoughts on forgiveness:

1) Always seek forgiveness when you have wronged someone. *side note: the less you say the more likely you are to not have to ask for forgiveness for misspoken words.

2) Be very willing to accept an apology because only God knows the heart.

3) When deciding if you will forgive someone, keep a good memory about what it feels like to need forgiveness and how good it is to receive it.

Matthew 6:14-15, “In prayer there is a connection between what God does and what you do. You can’t get forgiveness from God, for instance, without also forgiving others. If you refuse to do your part, you cut yourself off from God’s part.” The Message by Eugene Peterson

Nuggets of simple-truths written by Richard A. Harris

Milk Crates

Posted by Richard Harris | | Posted On at 3:22 PM

My family takes a mobile library to children in a mobile home park. A key ingredient in this ministry is plastic milk crates. The library books go in the milk crates thus making them critical. Unfortunately recently we ran out of milk crates as well as two of our resources in obtaining them.

I work at three grocery stores and none were in the mood to give me the milk crates sitting around the store. At one store they were stacked 10 feet high, but they would not release them to me. So God did and here is how it happened. As I was walking off of one dock I heard a familiar voice, it was the voice of a former church member. We got to talking and guess what he delivers to the stores? You got it, milk.

Obviously I did not waste any time asking him for some crates and he did not waste anytime filling my car up with them. He said if you need more just ask; I smiled. God worked it out.

Perhaps you have a need, a big need! Have you asked God about it? Be on guard if you have because you never know how he might meet that need. If God cares about milk crates for a small library, I assure you He cares about your needs as well.

Philippians 4:19, ‘And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.’

Nuggets of simple-truths by Richard Harris

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