Archive for June, 2009

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Does Character Count?

June 23, 2009

Does Character Count?

 

In any person, character is everything!  A person does not have to be brilliant.  Howard Schultz self-admittedly isn’t the most brilliant entrepreneur but has done pretty well with his Starbucks business.  A person doesn’t have to be clever; you can hire clever.  The world is full of quick-witted people with ready advice on how to do a better job of managing your investments or implementing a new self improvement plan in any area of life.  You can bring in a personal fitness trainer, a publicity manager, or a team of experts to bolster areas of inadequacy.

 

But you can’t buy courage and decency; you can’t rent a strong moral sense.  A person must bring those things with him into any situation.  If he does, they will give meaning and animation to the great practical requirement of managing life.  A person must come to grasp the answer to the most basic of questions… “Why am I here?”  Shortly following the answer to that significant question comes question two, “What do I want to do?”  A person needs to have — in that much maligned word, but a good one nonetheless — a vision of the future he wishes to create. Vision is so significant!  It is a function of thinking, of the mind, of the brain.

 

But any vision is worth little if a person doesn’t have character — courage and heart — to see things through. 

 

Character seems to have been slowly bred out of Americans.  It has been suggested by sociologists that the aftermath of decades of pampering and a feel-good approach have all but eliminated personal responsibility and made character virtually a thing of the past.  The majority of people seem to believe more in policies and programs than they do in the character of their leader.

 

Many suggest we are only interested in the ability of our leaders to get the job done.  An airplane pilot gets us from point A to point B and his morals, values and character are not an issue. That philosophy might be alright if we did not need the blessing of God on this country.

 

George Washington, the creator of the Continental Army that won the Revolutionary War and our first president said, “It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible.  Let us raise the standard to which the wise and honest can repair; the rest is in the hands of God.”  

 

What do you think about character?  Is it important?  How significant is character to the future of our nation?

 

Pastor Michael Cook

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People are people….

June 11, 2009

Greetings from Carmen del Playa (just south of Cancun)

 

Hope all is well in Albuquerque.  Let me hear from you this week as we are away taking part in a wedding here in Mexico.

 

People are people any where you go.  As we flew in from Dallas last night, you could see major cultural differences between the people in Dallas and those in Mexico.  Language, environment, weather, government policies all were vastly different.  But people are people where ever you go.  At the heart of every person is the desire to be loved and accepted, the need to overcome sin, and the question of what lies beyond these few years here on this earth.

 

People are people where ever you go….

 

Pastor Michael Cook

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On a Roll……

June 5, 2009

On A Roll……

 

Momentum is such an underestimated characteristic in any endeavor.  People describe this occurrence, because it is so hard to capture and explain, in a multitude of ways.  “They are on a roll, they are picking up speed, or good things are happening, are just a few of the quips we might hear when someone that is trying to describe momentum.  Momentum can be on a swing for the better or for the worse.   Have you ever heard someone say, “Everything was going along well and then all of a sudden the momentum began to swing the other way and we lost?”

 

Our church is gaining momentum.  Things are on the upswing.  Things are going well.  You see it, feel it, hear about it, experience it and to be honest…enjoy it!  But man oh man, it is hard to manufacture momentum, to build momentum, and to maintain.  For our congregation, I think a number of factors have merged as we have experienced this swing in momentum.  One, we have sought it intentionally.  Our congregation has tried to do things with excellence and integrity.  Two, I think God has brought it.  I believe His blessing is a significant part of our momentum.  And finally, momentum is a by-product of surrounding yourself with positive people.  I will always believe that attitude is 99% of the battle in life.

 

On a roll….

 

Michael Cook

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Tragedy….

June 2, 2009

Tragedy

 

Those of you from the Albuquerque area probably recognize the name Corbin Hayes.  For those of you sharing our blog from a distance… a quick up-date.  Last Thursday, May 28th, Corbin and his siblings decided to take a swim in the Rio Grande River which meanders for miles through our city.  The snow melt and rain drenched river had swollen to large proportions and had many undertows.  Corbin was swept away in the current and remained missing until today. (Tuesday, June 2, 2009)

 

For five days search and rescue units searched for the lad.  My wife, Becky, knew the young man from her middle school campus as the tragedy took on a personal note in our home.  For five long days, the entire community watched with anticipation of his recovery.  Finally, today there was notification that his body was found a short distance from the very location that days ago swept him away.

 

Life can take some tragic, unexpected turns.  I was reminded of our Savior who was the great comforter to a group of sailors and men in the midst of a storm.  In fear of being swept away, they did not even recognize Jesus.  Peter walked successful for a short stint on the violent sea until his faith faltered.  But a storm that was overwhelming to mankind was conquerable for our Savior.

 

My heart goes out to the Corbin Family tonight.  I trust that our community will reach out to them with their prayers, love, and support. This sobering incident reminds me of an important lesson in a world that can sweep us away.

 

          “Those things over our heads are under His feet!”

 

Michael Cook