Thursday, September 16, 2010

Sneakers At Work Day is September 17, Rosemary Flaaten Joins Us



Hey gang!

Learned about a day that I never knew about and wanted to share it with you. Friday is National Sneakers At Work Day. Well, I will let Rosemary Flaaten, author of A Woman and Her Workplace, talk a little about her obsession with sneakers. Enjoy a fun holiday with lighter shoes in the workplace.

Stilettos and Integrity? How about Sneakers?
By Rosemary Flaaten


By the fifth block I was done. Although my four-inch stilettos made my legs look long and lanky, they also made my previously innocuous little toe scream with pulsating pain. Walking to and from my business luncheon in fancy high heels had been my biggest mistake of the day. Where were my sneakers when I really needed them?

The craze started over 20 years ago when women, following the lead of the Silver Screen, started donning their sneakers in place of stilettos. The wise woman prized comfort over fashion, elevating her “right” to wear sneakers from her front door to her desk without anyone giving a second glance. It didn’t matter how matronly she looked or how disjointed her business appearance, functionality was given prominence.

So why have my sneakers been collecting dust in my front closet while my stilettos need new heels?

As I pondered this question, I realized that my choice between stilettos or sneakers is indicative of a greater question regarding my integrity at my workplace. Sneakers are stable, no nonsense, functional and take-me-as-I-am footwear. Stilettos are representative of my desire to fit the business mold and improve my appearance. In essence, I hope to portray a version of myself that looks better than reality. Likewise, how often are the choices I make around telling the truth or shading the truth based on my desire to fit in, to make myself look better or to prop up my lagging competency?

It has become socially acceptable to fudge the truth (even just ever so slightly) in order to increase our likeability. Robert Feldman, in his book The Liar in Your Life, quoted a study indicating that the average person lies three times every ten minutes in a conversation. The intention of these lies is not to manipulate. Rather, people lie so that they come across more interesting, likable and desirable. Sounds a little like stilettos.

Our propensity to shade or embellish the truth has strong ramifications in our workplace. When the boss calls to see if we’ve done the big project and we respond “Yep, just about” when we know that we’re only about 25% finished, we may find ourselves in a situation where we must continue to shade the truth in order to save our skin. One lie is seldom enough. When (not if) our untruthfulness is discovered, we will have a much more difficult task rebuilding the eroded trust.

If deception is telling and living a life of lies, then living honest is conveying truth no matter the consequences. Living honestly means we live authentically; but integrity takes this a step further. Unlike children who lie to get themselves out of sticky situations, integrity calls out greatness and gives evidence of maturity. In the workplace, we start with honesty, add authenticity, and then our character culminates with integrity.

In defense of all stiletto-loving working women, please don’t interpret my use of this metaphor to suggest that stilettos are wrong and sneakers are better. Rather, on this “sneakers at work" day, may it be a reminder that being a person of integrity will always be better than trying to make yourself look better. In the long run, sneakers will take you further than stilettos. Not just my feet will attest to that truth!

You can read more of Rosemary at http://www.rosemaryflaaten.com/

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

You Can't Take God Away



Hey gang!

Tonight, one of my close friends here in town came to me on the internet. He gave me the good news and the bad news. The good news was that he was asked to represent his Christian organization on his college campus at the college student government meetings. I thought, “Man, that is awesome! You can really reach people for Christ this way.”

Then he gave me the bad news, the student government wants to do a couple of events that don’t sit well with him and the organization. He wants to speak out and say why they don’t agree, but there is fear. The organization is already being harassed by the college gay and lesbian group with threats of trying to take them off campus.

I won’t talk about two of the three events. Let’s just say that they aren’t things that Christians will want to be a part of. My attack plan is simple. If you can’t beat them and they are going to have the event whether you say yes or no, give them an alternative. I don’t mean student government. I mean the people here. They can run their event and you can offer a post-party or a booth near the event to evangelize. You are not running against the events, you are offering people truth and a choice.

The third item I will mention. The gay and lesbian group suggested a day of silence. They are tired of being harassed while walking around and I do understand that. But I think their targets are wrong. I would care to bet it isn’t Christians harassing them. It is ignorant people that are harassing them. They are ignorant as to why gays and lesbians would even choose their lifestyle. Truthfully, ignorant people don’t want to know. They want you to know you are different. Ignorant people give the same language to Christians, too.

But the day of silence is a great idea. I wish every campus across the United States tried this out. Why? Glad you asked. Here’s the thing, in my silence YOU CAN’T TAKE GOD AWAY!

Sure, I can’t walk around and talk with you about Christ today. You don’t want to hear the Word of God for one reason. The Word of God NEVER returns void. He promises us that. If you hear the Word, you now walk under the conviction of the Word. It just might put groups out of people.

OK, I understand. So, yes, I love a day of silence. Here are the rules. I will shut up provided you let me be a Christian in every other way. I promise not to put up signs. I won’t need them. Are you worried about all the noise in the student union? There won’t be any. I can still pray. I can still read my Bible. Most importantly, I can still be a Christian by example of following your rule of keeping my mouth shut. You may not hear me. But God will. And so will others who are watching. Some of those other groups will look and go, “You know, those Christians respected our rights and we respected theirs. There may be a middle ground. There may also be evidence that things need to change.”

Above is a video of Audio Adrenaline’s You Can’t Take God Away. I hope that it inspires Christians that want to be the example rather than speak the example that they can still make a difference in silence. Here are the words to this powerful song.


Lyrics | Audio Adrenaline lyrics - Can't Take God Away lyrics

Just remember my friends, YOU CAN’T TAKE GOD FROM ME!

I love you guys!
Frank

Saturday, September 11, 2010

We Will Not Forget...But Neither Will They

Hey gang!

Today is September 11th and I don’t need to tell you what happened nine years ago. Every year I get asked where I was. I can tell you easily. I had just finished the night shift at SunTrust’s call center and drove home. My friend Alvin was visiting because Night of Joy was the previous weekend. He was still asleep when I got home and I told my grandmother that I was going to sleep for a few hours.

Before I fell asleep, I decided to watch some TV. The local area had a tire plant that had recently caught fire and when I saw the smoke, I thought it was just more pictures of the scene at the plant. I had no idea that the smoke they were showing was from the World Trade Center. I flipped off the TV and slept for about two hours.

Alvin woke me to tell me what had happened. For the next three hours, we were glued to the TV. I couldn’t watch any more. We knew that Disney and Sea World were closing or had already closed so we figured to drive around and see what we could do. We stopped at a mall out near Disney and they decided to close at 3pm. Not much time for shopping.

That night, I still had to go to work. We were surprised that work was still going on, but I think all of us needed it to know that the world was still going on. Most of the night, we were able to talk because other than people checking balances occasionally, it was pretty quiet.

I remember in the days after that we decided to visit the Holy Land Experience. While other theme parks were closed or having limited hours, the Holy Land was on schedule and it was busy. One of the positive things that came out of the experience was that some of the population had a hunger to understand God more than ever.

I also remember the number of flags and flag decals and all the pro-USA stuff that was on cars, houses and businesses. There was such a unity of pride for our country. It is the likes of which I have not seen before or since. One bumper sticker said it all, “Don’t Mess With the U.S.”

Before long, we saw Congress pass a bill to proclaim the day Patriot Day. America began to use the day to take pride in country and another time to honor the veterans that protect and serve to give us the freedom that we have.

As citizens here in the United States, the slogan of the day has become We Will Not Forget. I think that has positive and negative connotations though. The positive remembrances are easy. We remember the 3,000+ people that gave their lives that day. Almost everyone I know either lost a family member or a friend, or it seems that way. These people are remembered for the differences they made in the lives of those that were left behind. They are loved.

The negative connotations are also easy, even though most of us really don’t want to talk about them. First, the United States now understands that we are no longer secure in that terrorism won’t happen to us. It was a wake-up call. A bitter, nasty reminder that the world does not all love us.

September 11th also reminds us that whether we want to believe it or not, racism still exists. While we united as a country, every person that is Muslim in America or looks like one is looked at differently. There is that look of “Can I really trust them?” out the corner of peoples’ eyes. While it might be somewhat good to be skeptical, it isn’t good to go full tilt and say things like, “Can’t trust a Muslim, period.”

The one thing I’ll say here that has come out of the last few days with this pastor and his congregation wanting to burn Korans (or Qu’ Rans), is that every group of people has a few nut jobs that the rest of the group wish would just go away. As badly as I wish these people in Florida would go back under the rock they came from, many Muslims wish that the terrorist acts never happened. I think both sides of the equation realize that what this small number of overzealous crazies try to do make everyone look bad.

But this celebration of what is now Patriot Day and our slogan of We Will Not Forget leaves me with one question that should make us all uncomfortable. Before I ask it, let me say here first that I know that most Muslims do NOT think this way and I am speaking of these extremists that love the acts of terrorism that was done here and everywhere else in the world.

The question is this: Knowing that we commemorate today, do you think that there are some that treat today like a holiday in the other way? That the extremists treat today as some High Holy Day of victory over the evil USA and/or Christianity? Are there parties going on somewhere in Afghanistan, Iraq, or even right here in the U. S. of A. celebrating that America and/or Christianity had their hat handed to them today?

I know that’s a scary thought. We Will Not Forget, however, I don’t think they will either.

I love you guys!
Frank

Friday, September 10, 2010

Be Inspired To Make a Difference By Max Lucado's Outlive Your Life


Hey gang!

Have you ever asked yourself the question, “Can God really use me?” The answer is yes, yes, all the more, YES! Outlive Your Life: You Were Made to Make a Difference is the latest book by world renowned author Max Lucado.

Throughout the book, he continues to demonstrate that God uses common people today just like he used common people in the day of the book of Acts. Every chapter begins with a story about someone from recent history or from his own life and connects that person to a story from the Bible. The illustrations are magnificent and the connections are seamless.

If you are looking for encouragement in seeking God’s vision for you, Outlive Your Life is definitely for you. One of the best illustrations that you’re never too young to pursue living for God is nine year-old Caleb. He is described as a boy that “plays basketball, avoids girls, and wants the kids of El Salvador to have clean drinking water.”

God can and will use you. Lucado shows you that a ragtag bunch of guys that Jesus handpicked were just like us. They ended up changing the world for Christ. After reading this book, you will feel energized to do the same.

I love you guys!
Frank

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Pittsburgh Cocaine Seven review-Baseball Didn't Learn the First Time



Hey gang!

This is a book review weekend. Tonight, you’ll get to see what I thought of The Pittsburgh Cocaine Seven and tomorrow, we’ll be talking about Max Lucado’s Outlive Your Life.

The Pittsburgh Cocaine Seven is not a Christian book per se, but I do think you’ll receive some good value. Baseball fans of the era I grew up in (the late 70’s-early 80’s) will find the book dynamic.

The book begins in my favorite year to be a Pittsburgh Pirate fan, 1979. The Pirates were “The Fam-A-Lee” and won the World Series overcoming an insurmountable 3-1 deficit to the Baltimore Orioles. The story begins talking about something new in the city of Pittsburgh that year, my all time favorite bird, The Pirate Parrot. Kevin Koch (pronounced Coke) was hired for the gig and lasted five seasons donning the outfit. The pronunciation gives you a clue as to where this story is heading.

The book delves into the lives of seven men including Koch that ended up arrested and imprisoned years later for turning several Pirates and many other baseball names on to cocaine. But the story is more than that. It also looks at the lives of several baseball players that took the drug and ended the story with immunity instead of going to jail.

We hear the story of Rod Scurry. A kid drafted to play in Pittsburgh that loved the game and left for summer ball two days after graduation. He signed and wanted to get started. We get to see how he made it to Pittsburgh, began cocaine use, how it affected him and in the end, his eventual death in 1992. It saddened me to see how much love he had for the game and with cocaine, that love didn’t matter anymore. The high mattered, the party mattered and his life fell apart.

That’s the sad part of this whole story is the promise of good to great players and how cocaine flushed those dreams and aspirations. Lonnie Smith, who goes down in history as the only player to ever play for three different World Series champions in the same decade, admitted in the Curtis Strong trial of 1985 that the game didn’t matter much at all. It was just something that had to be done until the next party.

The story also shared the lives of the men that had to put the puzzle together of the FBI and the US Attorney’s office. They share how they caught up to different players in this saga and how they got the players to turn over information on the seven men.

There is also the colorful Curtis Strong trial in September. This also introduced us to the lawyer that put baseball on trial during this time. The lawyer’s name was Adam Renfroe and as a teen by then, I remembered his flashy clothes as he stood on the city building’s steps and even remarked at the time that he looked like a pimp. However, this lawyer in pimp’s clothing broke down several players and showed that drug use in baseball was widespread in the 70’s and 80’s. Ironically, years later, he would be busted for doing cocaine and then admitted that he had been using for 16 years.

The toughest part of reading this book was seeing one of my boyhood idols be the centerpiece of this book, two time National League MVP Dave Parker. For years I could not remember the exact date, but it was July 20, 1980 that charted a course of history. It was Willie Stargell Day and I still have the coins from the game. During one of the doubleheader games, guys about 20 rows below me began throwing batteries at Parker. I remember being 11 years old at the time in total confusion as to why someone would do that. The reasoning behind the throwing was Parker’s million dollar a year salary. It also began the ball rolling on Parker heading toward the exit door.

However, throughout the book, author Aaron Skirboll doesn’t just show Parker as a user, but almost like a middleman to the team. He helped hook Pirates John Milner, Scurry, Dale Berra and guys on other teams like current Reds manager Dusty Baker. That disappointed me. What did make me feel better was that Parker got clean in 1983 around the time his daughter was born. He didn’t want her to see life like that.

I ran into Parker a few years back at Spring Training thanks to my friend Bill Morton. We talked briefly, but I didn’t get to share with him that I was there that day in 1980 and even though his career didn’t work out like he wanted it to, that I still admired him as a player and more as a man for having the guts to walk away from the drug.

There was a section that talks about current Met announcer and 1979 National League Co-MVP Keith Hernandez. Hernandez had denied repeatedly that he did cocaine and then admitted it in court at the Strong trial. The story tells that Hernandez went back to New York and was given a hero’s welcome of standing ovations. The judge of the trial discussed how disappointed he was with fans that they would give a criminal such praise. However, I understand fans. If you remember during the Steroid scandal that San Francisco Giants fans continued to celebrate as Barry Bonds marched toward history. It is very much the same thing. One, Hernandez was never convicted of anything. Two, fans of baseball are much like owners of baseball. We don’t mind drug use, convictions or anything else bad happening to other teams’ guys, but we will stand behind our guys. I look at how heartbreaking the whole Mark McGwire thing became and even though I am not an A’s or Cardinals fan, I stood behind him because of what he did for the game of baseball. You will remember that the next year, not only was Hernandez ELECTED to the All Star Game, but he also helped the Mets bring home their first championship since 1969. Of course, Hernandez is a hero.

The best part of the book for me was the aftermath section. Skirboll gave us a where are they now placing of all the people involved. He also focused on Major League Baseball’s mistake not to press the drug issue in 1986. Even though he didn’t talk about the Steroid Era, he showed you why it happened. It happened because MLB and the Players’ Union could not get together. The biggest reason was greed. Twenty years later, that greed blew up in their faces.

I’ll close with a thought that many people will disagree with me on. A lot of critics say that the drug era of baseball will go down as Bud Selig’s problem. However, I strongly disagree with that. Seeing how hard it was for then Commissioner Peter Ueberroth to even try to turn the tide, Bud Selig should go down as the Commissioner that was able to change baseball and begin to straighten it up. Mr. Selig met the issue head on, yes in part thanks to Congress, but with that help was able to get the Players’ Union to begin working toward making this whole drug problem in baseball go right.

The Pittsburgh Cocaine Seven is a must read for any baseball fan that wants to examine how drugs affected this great game of ours. If you are a Pirate fan in the “Fam-A-Lee” generation, you definitely want to read this to see how it all came unraveled. I came out of the book a bigger fan of the game understanding its pitfalls. I also came out of this book a bigger fan of Lonnie Smith. Smith made a great comment that he knew he was never a Hall of Famer, but that he would have been so much better without the drugs. He also said that of most of the players, he was one of the few who tried to cooperate with baseball. He went to rehab, he spoke publicly about the time on drugs and yet baseball tried to not do him right. You’ll have to read the back of the book more to understand.

The Pittsburgh Cocaine Seven gets five stars because I was in this book from page 1. I hated putting it down until I finished it. History repeated itself with drugs, thankfully the game is getting cleaner than the first time.

I love you guys!
Frank

Thursday, September 2, 2010

You Changed My Life: The Long Lasting After Effects

Hey gang!

Last night, after I finished my review of Max Lucado’s You Changed My Life, I began thinking. I know, you are thinking, “Frank, that’s dangerous! Stop yourself!” A changed life often has a ripple effect.
In the early 1990’s, DC Comics did a very poor comic book series across their entire universe called Armageddon. In the series, Matthew Ryder became Waverider, a man who had built a time machine in the future and returned to the past to try to stop his terrible present from being true. His present was that a super hero became a ruler named Monarch (inventive, right?) and he wiped out all the other heroes to rule as he pleased. He ended up ruling the Earth into the ground.

Waverider kept touching heroes and seeing if they could indeed become Monarch. It was a neat little ability he had to be able to read the person’s future by this manner. However, each time he did so, it changed the future. After a whole summer of crossovers and making me buy several comics that I would never normally purchase, the Monarch was revealed and beaten.

However, DC felt that they had not had enough fun with Waverider and continued to use him. Two years later, they ended up using him to help the heroes find who else was taking them to a time called Zero Hour. Overall, in this edition, another hero was playing God and wanted to make a planet that would be better. In the end, they tore up one of the greatest heroes in history in Hal Jordan, the greatest of the Green Lanterns. Yes, that includes Guy Gardner.

Again, as timelines were crossed the ripple effect took place and changed both present and future. Last time, I told you about Mrs. Booth, my senior English teacher and how her presence changed my life. With 23-24 years passed since that year under her care, I thought how different things could have been if she had not been my teacher.

We’ll begin with the obvious. There would have been no college for me. At least, not in the sense that I went to Fairmont State and became an elementary teaching graduate four and a half years later. I did have other aspirations and I occasionally wonder what would have happened if I had taken those turns.

I could have gone into radio. I long had a desire to announce sporting events and with my background in many of the sports statistically, I had the knowledge to go that direction. Those that know me also know that I have a clef pallet that I was born with. Fortunately, I did not have a hairlip to go with it. Unfortunately, the small hole in the roof of my mouth left me with a little vibration that sounds like a weird laugh if I don’t close my mouth quick enough after speaking. It’s really annoying when I am nervous. People throughout my life have made fun of it and it could have been a deterrent from radio stations giving me a chance.

The other thought that I almost pursued was signing up for Devry University and their computer tech program. I am average in brains (which may be a reach in some people’s minds) and it would have been very hard to learn, but it could have been a good career for me. I would’ve seen Chicago much more than I ever have living three hours from it now.

Without college, I never would have met Eddie Gennoy. Eddie and I became friends in English classes that I took at the college and he persuaded me to begin writing for The Columns, FSC’s newspaper. After a semester of writing fluff comedy and entertainment pieces, he helped hand me the Sports Editor position. I took off almost immediately and wrote plenty between 1992-94 because of that friendship.

With no Mrs. Booth, I also would never have bothered to find my father again. At 16, I was very angry at my dad for leaving my mom behind and leaving me to desperately seek male role models as I grew up. After meeting him in 1991 on my first trip to Alaska, he even told me that I probably was better off being raised by my mom. Without those meetings, however; I would never have understood medical histories that I have or spiritual tendencies that have miraculously passed through generations, including the good and the bad.

Without making that effort, dad wouldn’t have agreed to help pay my way through college. He realized that without him, it just wasn’t going to happen. While people have criticized my dad, including myself at times, this was the one great thing that I give him credit for. I have all the knowledge that I have because he helped mom make that opportunity possible. To me, that might be his greatest legacy.

I also would not have ever known if he received God or not. If you look back at my article on Father’s Day, I learned that news at his visitation and funeral. Because of that trip to Alaska to meet him, it intensified my wanting to know my siblings. I have two sisters and a brother today because seeing pictures of them gave me the hunger to know them.

Finally, without Mrs. Booth pressing me on toward college, she indirectly put me face to face with the man I give credit for helping walk the final years toward Christ, my friend Alvin Smith. Alvin and I knew each other in high school through other friends, but in college, our friendship cemented. We hung out and probably should own stock in the Hardee’s Corporation for as many sandwiches and fries that we ate there. It was that final year from 1993-94 that Alvin and I became like brothers. Two of the other partners of the rectangular table, Kevin and Chris, moved on to Pittsburgh. It was then that Alvin began using his faith to take me to concerts and eventually to making a decision for Christ in 1994. You can read about that on any December 27 posting. You’ll have to read the story to understand why. The funny part of the post story is that Alvin came to salvation after I did. I didn’t know that until years afterward.

So Frank, why did you use almost 1,100 words to talk about this? Here’s why. You never know who or when you will make the difference and change someone’s life. I am not a great author like Max Lucado, but I can tell you many stories of people who have changed me. I often thank God that I am not the same man as I was in 1986, 1994, or sometimes even yesterday afternoon at dinner time. God continues to grow me through the people he sends my way. He does it for you too.

If you’ve been lucky enough to have someone change your life for the good, thank Him. If you haven’t, pray for someone to pass your way that resembles the life Jesus Christ lived and shared with us through God’s Holy Word in the Bible. Don’t ask for someone to come by and give you the winning lottery numbers. Money doesn’t always bring happiness and also carries the temptation of putting a root inside of you to carry you to evil destruction. Ask for someone to reach into your heart and make you better, not bitter. Someone that will change you in a way that will make you smile and help that smile to last every time you think of them.

I love you guys,
Frank

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Lucado's You Changed My Life Review & A Story of 1 Who Changed Mine


Hey gang!

Kay Booth was my senior English teacher. As a beautiful, young woman in her early thirties at the time, I remember some of the guys in my senior class that were swearing that Van Halen’s “Hot for Teacher” was made for her.

There was a mind behind that beautiful exterior. As I finished my junior year barely passing English, eyes went up in the administration almost immediately wondering why I ever would consider taking college English. I wasn’t the only one. My best friend, Kevin, got an opportunity early in his senior year to explain why both of us were in her class: “You know, she just cares about me.”

It’s easy to say that she was a teacher who cared, but for me, it was so much more than that. After failing to survive the competition of teacher pets and attitude of Journalism I my sophomore year, I began to doubt that I could write at all, much less well. Being in her class brought back confidence in my writing ability. We began talking about going to college and I wasn’t sure if I’d have the money, even with financial aid. My mom was working a job as a laundry person for the hospital, a job she’d had for 17 years at that point.

Mrs. Booth met my mom at a teacher-parent meeting and asked mom where dad was. He’d been living in Alaska since 1972. When they divorced, the state wasn’t recognizing judge decrees from other states. However, that had changed by 1986 and Mrs. Booth encouraged my mom to go to the Department of Human Services, not only to find my dad, but to get him to help get me through college.

Thanks to that encouragement, mom did go to the office of a case worker. She found my dad in North Pole, Alaska. The social worker didn’t just get the $100 per month that he owed until I was 18, which would have amounted to about six months. She got the courts to have dad pay back amounts. My dad did not argue about it. He paid until the day I graduated college. Without knowing him or the money, I would never have made it through school.

I will always remember my graduation day at Bridgeport High. After the ceremony, she came by and shared encouragement and gave me a good luck hug. Without her help, this nerdy kid would never be sitting here tonight writing about someone who changed his life to open my comments on Max Lucado’s book You Changed My Life.

As I kept reading through the book, Max’s stories of love, kindness, commitment, compassion, hope, courage, wisdom and friendship, I kept thinking of her and several others who were able to touch my life and change it so that I could be here today.

That’s what this gift book is for. This book shares these type stories for the person in your life who has helped change you. All of these stories are classics from other Lucado offerings and warm your heart. I laughed as I thought about four or five are stories that I have previously seen or heard in emails and pastors’ sermons.

My personal favorite from the book is a story that I shared with my daughter Megan tonight. She is five and in kindergarten. The story is called A Friend Indeed. It is the story of a kindergarten class and a little girl that had a spirit to hum. Even though it was sweet, she got in trouble and had her pin moved from one color to another. The little girl cried and cried until her friend hummed until his pin joined hers, showing us that friends stick with us, even in trouble, even at an early age.

If you are looking for a gift book for a special person in your life, this is an excellent source of stories and encouragement.

I love you guys!
Frank

Matt, That Bottled Stuff Is Good...Sure Wish Africa Could Taste It As Well

Hey gang!

Yeah, I am guilty of it too. I actually love stuff called Aquafina, Dasani,Nestle Pure Life, and when I lived in Florida, my personal favorite, ZephyrHills. It is bottled water and it tells us how crazy we are about how good our water tastes here in America.

That's right, America would rather buy bottled water even though most cities have decent enough water that we should be able to drink it from our own taps. Sounds crazy to us. Sounds even crazier to any country that doesn't have clean water to drink.

This month, my blogging friend Matt Appling over at The Church of No People (http://thechurchofnopeople.com) and 29 other bloggers are raising donations for Africa to help build real wells with real, fresh water. Most of the details are at the link I put above or go on over to Matt's page today and he has some great details for you.

You can help. You can make a difference. But while I am here, let's talk about another type of water that I want you to have. Turn with me to the book of John chapter 4. Starting in verse 4, Jesus heads into Samaria and stops near a well owned by a man named Joseph. Jesus was tired and thirsty and asks a Samaritan woman to draw him a drink. The woman was surprised to find Jesus asking her for the drink since Jesus was a Jew and the two races did not associate.

She asks Jesus in verse 9, "How can you ask me for a drink?" Jesus doesn't get mad. He responds to her in verse 10. "If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water."

She is confused, seeing that he has nothing to draw water in verse 11. Jesus explains in verse 13. "Everyone who drinks of this well (Joesph's)will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life."

Now that is the kind of water she's interested in. Water that springs up in whoever drinks it? That means no more trips to this well. Those were some long walks. She asks Jesus to give it to her so that she didn't have to come back for more.

He responded for her to go get her husband. Wait a minute. She didn't have a husband. In fact, she was living with a man after five other husbands. How did Jesus know that? That's right, ma'am. Jesus knows.

After an explanation that this gift of water isn't just for Jews, but for the Samaritans as well (and everyone else, too), she left her water jar next to the well and ran back to town and told everyone to come see this man, the Jesus that gives us living water.

If you haven't received this living water, look over to the right of the page and there is a section that tells you how to become a believer right where you are. Whether it's in your home, your favorite Wi-Fi spot, or your favorite coffeehouse, you can accept this free gift of living water that gives life eternal.

If you've already taken care of that, please consider giving to the water for Africa. Go visit the websites listed above and I'll type out the link just in case the one above doesn't work.

http://www.mycharitywater.org/p/campaign?campaign_id=5930

Just think, giving up one bottle of water a day could change a nation of people and give them water that will fill them until Christ's return.

I love you guys!
Frank

PS: With today being September 1, remember that Proverbs For the Revival is beginning a new month of going through the book. Read Chapter 1 and the devotion for today at

http://proverbsatonemanrevival.blogspot.com

Thanks for visiting there!