Be Great Today

Posted by Richard Harris | | Posted On Tuesday, September 13, 2011 at 5:38 PM

Jason Garrett is the first year coach of the Dallas Cowboys and thus is in the prayers of all here in Dallas; trust me he needs all the prayer he can get. Garrett is not only a coach but also played fourteen years for several different teams in the NFL as a backup quarterback.

Here in Dallas the sports world seems to OCD on the Cowboys. Anything a Cowboy coach or player says is always out there for all to here. They even air the head coach’s news conference on the radio. Normally when this comes on I go elsewhere for entertainment. Yesterday I stuck around; glad I did.

Garrett was asked how it felt to be a back up and always being close to being cut, that is fired in the sports world. He turned to one of his catch phrase quotes that caught my attention,

“….it’s all about being great today.” and then added, “It probably comes from my experience as a player. ‘Don’t worry about yesterday. Don’t worry about tomorrow. Be great today. Try your best today to put your best foot forward and be your best.”

This is a fantastic attitude not only for a football player but for each of us.
Here it is; too many of us are bogged down with the past allowing it to suck the energy and motivation to be our best right out of us. So we settle for second best because we think that is what we deserve. Nothing could be further from what God wants for us. Others spend a lot of time fretting over future events thus taking our eye off ‘the day.’

Let’s look at his quote from a biblical perspective; I think I see some intersection of the two:

1) Don’t worry about yesterday. Yesterday is done, what happened, happened, good or bad. There are no do over’s in life. We have to learn to move forward.
Philippians 3:13-14

2) Don’t sweat tomorrow. Tomorrow will take care of itself. Sure it is good to plan and even dream but do not let it consume your day.
Matthew 6:34

3) Today is where it is at. Today is what you can control. When you get up in the morning that is game time. Put your best foot forward. It has been said a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. Today is that step, you own today.
Philippians 3:12

4) Be great today! I love the fact he does not say be average today or get by today; no he says “be great today.” Don’t set out to just get to the end of your eight hour work day but set out to be great. Look for something extra special to do for God, be your God given best.

So what are you waiting for? Stop fretting over yesterday, tomorrow will come soon enough; be great today!

Matthew 6:34, “Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.”
-The Message by Eugene Peterson

Philippians 3: 14, “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Go for the prize!

Dear Lord, guide us to keep our focus on you, not to waste our days regretting the past or worrying about the future; but focused on being great for you today! We ask these things in the name of Christ, Amen.

Simple/truths 175 written by Richard Harris for more simple/truths go to
You can now follow me on twitter at RAH_OHHH. If you live in the Dallas area you can purchase Simple Truths Volume I for a suggested donation of 20 dollars to Our Hands, His Heart. For further purchase information reply back to If you do not live in the Dallas area you can purchase Simple Truths Volume I at

“Mashed Potatoes anyone?”

Posted by Richard Harris | | Posted On Monday, September 12, 2011 at 10:45 AM

Things are a bit hectic around the house these days. My wife and daughter are busy preparing for my daughters upcoming wedding. With all of this activity it leaves dad in charge of the younger gang and household a little more often than usual or is safe.

The older kids are no problem they can go on co-pilot with little trouble. Then there are the younger two, Caleb at 7 and Gracie at 5, they need a little more supervision, somewhat like dad. Kids I have had them for a while, I can deal with just about anything; dinner well that is another story all together.

My wife has never worked outside the home, thus spoiling her husband to the fact he has never really had to cook. Perhaps she had a memory lapse with this recently; I understand she has a lot on her mind. But her memory lapse left me, Caleb and Gracie to cook barbecue chicken and mashed potatoes.

She made it sound so easy; I thought surely we can get this done. First to be dealt with was the chicken, me and my trusty assistants went at it like Martha Stewart. We bushed on the sauce, the pepper, the spice and tucked it in the oven. As I put it in I thought ‘chicken done’ and we all smiled at each other with great satisfaction.

The mashed potatoes were instant and I mean how hard could that be. It was so easy I let my assistants head off to watch a little television, no need to trouble them on this one. They were more than glad to head out of the kitchen.

As I began I realized that Kim had not walked me through this so my only course of action was to read the instructions. Not a strong point of mine I might add. I filled a good size pot full of water, remembering how I had seen it done in the past. After I filled up the pot I went to the box, by the way what is an instant potato anyway? On the back were very clear instructions that even a 49 years old rookie could follow.

I read the instructions starting at the point just after how much water to put in; I thought I had that down. I went right by the letter of the law on the back of the box. I added some milk at the end and started pouring the little flakes into the pot thinking soon we would have some delicious father made mashed potatoes. Not so.

The more I poured in the more it looked like flake soup. I stirred as the directions instructed but soon noticed that there was way too much water in the pot. So I just poured in the whole box hoping to overcome the excess water. Much to my disappointment this did not work. My hopes of doing a bang up job were going up in ‘flakes’.

As Kim arrived I stood there next to my mashed potato soup and waited for some help. Without laughing too hard she went to the cupboard and pulled out some instant potato reinforcements and poured them in, while instructing me that perhaps I had put in too much water. When she finished we indeed had mashed potatoes; as a matter of fact we had enough for the whole block.

The whole instant potato disaster could have been averted with a few simple fixes; often that is how we are in life as well, we are close but not close enough.

Fixes to our Problems:

· Read and follow all the instructions. I started too far down the box thinking I knew the first part of the process, obviously I did not. We do the same with God, we think we have it all together but when we get to the end of the day we realize that we missed an easy first step in His directions that lead us to unnecessary trouble. Follow all His instructions, take nothing for granted!

· When I found the problem I just started throwing more flakes at the problem, I never went back to the instructions which would have clearly showed me the problem. When you find yourself in trouble don’t just start reacting, pause long enough to go back to the instructions (God and His word) and see where the problem started; take nothing for granted. Often we get ourselves in more trouble by making quick decisions without consulting God.

When you find yourself going down the wrong road pause and remember the instant potatoes; better to have none or to start over than to waste a lot of time and throw the entire box away.

Same with life, before you get too far out of Gods will it is better to stop and start over instead of throwing a whole life away. The great thing about God is that He even has instructions on how to start over!

Scripture: Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him; And He will make your paths straight.”

Prayer: Dear Lord, Help us to learn from you and to live out our days according to your Word. When thank you that when we fail you still love us and provide a way out of even our failure! We ask these things in the name of Christ, Amen.

Simple/truths 176 written by Richard Harris for more simple/truths go to You can now follow me on twitter at RAH_OHHH.

Learning from the More Experienced!

Posted by Richard Harris | | Posted On at 10:39 AM

I have been watching my kids play for some 26 years and if the Lord is willing it looks like I will be doing it for some time to come. Lately I have noticed something interesting at these moments.

I play different roles when I watch my children play, let me give you some examples. There are times I am an observer. Over the years I have learned to just keep an eye on them and let them run and romp without any words from me. At these moments I am letting them use their imaginations or find new friends. Dad is not all that needed.

There are other times that I am the referee. These are times that they are playing with siblings. I have to make sure that no one is getting an unfair advantage, especially when an older one seems to be roughing up a younger one. When a dispute arises I have to be mediator; giving out instruction or discipline however the case may warrant.

All of that may be interesting but it is not what I have observed lately, I knew the above point’s years ago. So what you might ask have I noticed, glad you asked.

When the kids go out to play in public and I am fulfilling my role as either observer or referee there is a group that sees things very different from what I do; senior adults.

They love to watch my kids do the most simple of things. When my children run and laugh; they laugh right along with them. Almost always I am sitting and watching making sure everyone goes by the rules or does not get hurt.

When my kid’s wave they are off the charts excited, when hugs are distributed those with more experience than me are first in line. What I see as routine, after all I watch my kids play all the time, they see as exciting, new and fun.

This week I had to say to God, “I get it!” Now I understand why my two younger children scream for joy and demand to get out of the car when we pull up to Papa or Grandma’s house.

It is because those older and wiser know that time is short. That there is no such thing as routine in life; they know that smiling and having a good time are times to be cherished, enjoyed and preserved in our memories.

Lesson learned: Life is short, if you are wishing for the kids to be another age, more independent or if you are just getting through the days. Be careful what you wish for, sooner or later your get it; they will be older, more independent or gone from sight. When you get your wish you may very well regret you did not enjoy life more and smile along at the simple things that bring a child joy.

Most of us are wound too tight, let us learn from the experienced; while watching kids, smile a little and laugh a lot! Children and their smiles are a precious gift from God.

Scripture: Ephesians 5:15-16, “Be very careful, then, how you live-not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity because the days are evil.”

Prayer: Dear Lord, guide us to relax and enjoy life, to live for the moment that you provide. Never cease to remind us that children are a gift and to treat them as such. You are a good God, great in blessings and we ask these things in the name of Christ, Amen.

Simple/truths 174 written by Richard Harris for more simple/truths go to You can now follow me on twitter at RAH_OHHH.

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