PUTTING JESUS BACK WHERE HE BELONGS

A friend sent this to me today and I thought others might enjoy it as much as I do. Out of the mouths of children…

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A father wanted to read a magazine but was being bothered by his little girl. She wanted to know what the United States looked like. Finally, he tore a sheet out of his new magazine on which was printed the map of the country.

Tearing it into small pieces, he gave it to her and said, “Go into the other room and see if you can put this together.”

After a few minutes, she returned and handed him the map, correctly fitted and taped together. The father was surprised and asked how she had finished so quickly.

“Oh,” she said, “On the other side of the paper is a picture of Jesus. When I got all of Jesus back where He belonged, then our country just came together.”

So, when we get Jesus back

where He Belongs—

Our country will come together!

(Author Unknown)

Tom Tatum – Author – 2018

Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/author/tomtatum

Twitter: @TomTatumAuthor

LinkedIn: TomTatum1

Facebook page: Tom Tatum novels

 

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SMALL AND BIG BUT CHALLENGES IN LIFE

Given a choice on the size of our BUT challenges in life, most people would likely choose small because small BUTs don’t usually pose too much of a problem for us. We notice them, but we just keep moving on with life as usual. Such BUTs seem to be more like an irritating pinprick rather than a life-changing event.

However, BIG BUT challenges are very different. Some can be so BIG that they cause us to make life-altering adjustments—they can even pull us down into a deep depression if we are not careful.

I am confident everyone realizes that I’m not referring to the size of derrières. Instead, I’m taking dead-aim at the simple-three-letter word used in the middle of sentences that begin by making you feel wonderful about yourself and then proceed to kick you with a mid-sentence BIG BUT.

It’s amazing how BIG BUT challenges can often crush our hopes and dreams in life if we’re not careful. Trying to rebound from such BIG BUT challenges can be a very difficult task for many of us. Life can be very cruel at times.

Here are two simple (not life threatening) examples illustrating how two individuals handled their BIG BUT challenge.

BIG BUT CHALLENGE #1

John tried out for his high school varsity baseball team when he was a freshman. Up to that point in his life, John had made every team he had ever tried to make. His confidence was running high this time for good reason, so he naturally thought making the varsity team would be no different.

The final-cut day of tryouts arrived. The coach approached John after practice ended and with a solemn expression said, “John, I know you have worked hard during practices and you have a lot of potential, BUT you did not make the varsity team this year. I hope you will work hard and try again next year.”

The first part of the coach’s sentence had John’s heart pounding in anticipation of having made the team. Thoughts of being a starting pitcher on the varsity team danced in his mind. Then, that all-powerful-ego-deflating BIG BUT came swooping down out of nowhere and kicked his dream in the dirt.

John struggled a long time trying to bounce back from the disappointment that followed the coach’s BUT-kick. Unfortunately, he eventually gave up on his dream and never played baseball again. John let his BIG BUT challenge defeat him. 

BIG BUT CHALLENGE #2

Bill Jones, was a cadet in the Reserve Officer Training Corp (ROTC) in college and dreamed of becoming a pilot when he graduated in 1971. His goal was to serve his country as a fighter pilot. Bill easily passed all of the required written course work and looked forward to the opportunity to earn his wings. He faced one last obstacle in his efforts to continue on the long path of making his dream a reality—pass the physical examination.

After Bill’s examination, the Detachment Commander summoned Bill to his office the following day. Without any hesitation or empathy, the Commander said, “Cadet Jones, you are an outstanding cadet with great credentials and have done well in all your course work, BUT I must inform you that your eyesight does not meet minimum acceptable standards to become a pilot in the United States Air Force. Your application to continue flight training has been denied.”

Bill couldn’t believe what he had just heard. He was in shock realizing his dream of soaring with eagles had been BUT kicked from the sky before he ever even had a chance to spread his wings and soar.

Fortunately, Bill had the mental toughness and character to recover from his BIG BUT challenge and continued his education. He became a successful aerospace engineer and went to work for the National Aeronautical and Space Administration. He was instrumental in designing systems that helped land astronauts on the moon. Though Bill couldn’t get off the ground, his efforts helped others soar to new heights.

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I could go on and on giving more examples of BIG BUTs because I have received many of them in my personal life. Most were extremely difficult to process. I reached a point in life where every time someone threw a new BIG BUT my way, I wanted to scream. I viewed the small word, BUT, as a giant killer of dreams!

My personal BIG BUTs in life taught me that I couldn’t let them defeat me the way they did John in his challenge above. I reached a time in life when I started believing I had only two practical options—attempt to do better the next time I tried or move on with my life and start pursuing different dreams. It’s just that simple!

Even though future BIG BUTs may hurt me to the core of my being, I now treat them as nothing more than aggravating detours in life. Either they show me a new path to my original dream or they open my eyes to other opportunities or new dreams that are also worth pursuing.

In summary, the best advice I can share about BIG BUT challenges in life is:

NEVER, EVER LET THE BIG BUTS IN LIFE DEFEAT YOU!

May your BUT challenges in life always be small!

Tom Tatum – Author – 2018

Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/author/tomtatum

Twitter: @TomTatumAuthor

LinkedIn: TomTatum1

Facebook page: Tom Tatum novels

Reflections of a Grandfather

Heartwarming reflections of a time in life…

aTimeinLife

BTandSam2Life is a series of experiences—some good, some bad. We celebrate the good ones and try to learn valuable lessons from the bad—both build our character—both mold us into what we become. I seem to be at a point in my life where more retrospective thoughts invade my mind—triggered by experiences taking place in current times.

As I watch my grandchildren growing up, I sometimes remember similar things I did when I was young. Although we are separated by five decades, I can still relate to many of their experiences. However, with the changes in society I have witnessed through the years, I can’t help but wonder what the future has in store for them. I pray they continue to include God in their lives and keep asking Him to help them live as He would have them do—as modern-day disciples who are willing to share His word with others—as good role models for those who will look up to…

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FAITH IS NOT AN ILLUSION

Let’s take a look at the concept called Faith.

You cannot see Faith, but you can find it.

You cannot touch Faith, but you can feel it.

You cannot hear Faith, but you can understand it.

You cannot taste Faith, but you become full with it.

You cannot smell Faith, but you know if you breathe it.

The concept we call Faith can seem strange at times. It defies our five senses and renders the mind incapable of reconciling something that appears, on the surface, to be intangible. Yet, Faith is the cornerstone of our relationship and belief in God.

Faith is not an illusion—it is real as stated in the following Bible verses:

1 Peter 1:8-9 | NIV |

Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

Hebrews 11:6 | NIV |

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

James 1:3 | NIV |

Because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.

May your Faith in God grow stronger each day!

Tom Tatum – Author – 2018

Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/author/tomtatum

Twitter: @TomTatumAuthor

LinkedIn: TomTatum1

Facebook page: Tom Tatum novels

EVERYONE’S LIFE STORY IS WORTH SHARING

No matter how famous or

unknown we might be,

everyone has a life story worth

sharing. Although yours and mine

may not be as unique or as

interesting as some others, we can

rest assured that our life stories

are equally as  important as all of

 the others because every life story

begins exactly the  same way.

“God created…”

 

Tom Tatum – Author – 2018

Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/author/tomtatum

Twitter: @TomTatumAuthor 

LinkedIn: TomTatum1

Facebook page: Tom Tatum novels

“FORE!” DOWN UNDER IN AUSTRALIAN OUTBACK

There was a time in life when I really enjoyed playing golf. I would play every chance I got. You can imagine how excited I was when I learned my next duty station in the Air Force was to be in Australia—Woomera, South Australia to be exact, and there was a golf course nearby. Yay!

My first chance to play golf in beautiful, and I do mean beautiful in many ways, Australia finally arrived. I was excited and ready to play, but had no idea what to expect. In hindsight, my lack of knowledge about the course was probably a good thing.

When I arrived at the course, I thought it strange that I was the only person on the premises. Sure, it was 125 degrees F that day, but that’s common in the outback of Australia. Even stranger was the sign in front of what appeared to be the golf shack. The sign had an arrow pointing in the direction of the 10th tee and read, “Enjoy your golf, Mate! BEWARE of the dingoes.” Hmmm! I was more interested in birdies, not wild dogs.

The photos below show the overall layout of the golf course and a closer view of a few holes near the golf shack.

As I walked to the tee box, the view resembled what I would expect a Martian landscape to look like. It had the appearance of a place forgotten by time. There was not one blade of grass visible anywhere. All I saw was dirt, dirt, and more dirt, with sporadic clumps of small-brown Spinifex bushes or something similar. I started to return to my car and leave, but decided I had to experience this strange patch of land down under.

Here’s a photo of the 10th tee and the others looked much the same. Sort of takes your breath away doesn’t it. Yeah, right!

Then there was the fairway, also barren of grass. It was like playing an entire round of golf from a giant sand trap.

The “browns” (aka greens) were the same as the fairways with one exception—the dirt had an “oily” substance applied to it. Look closely at the photos and you can see the flag stick marking the location of the hole. The other vertical rod is a tool with a pipe welded on the end at 90 degrees. The tool was for smoothing the surface of the dirt between the ball and the hole. You have to remove the footprints of kangaroos, dingoes,  humans, and tractors. It was certainly a challenging experience putting the ball.

 

We won’t talk about how many rounds of golf I played while stationed in Woomera. I’ll keep that a mystery for another day. Let’s just say I’m glad I had the opportunity to play a course like no other. I promise you that I have not seen another golf course as strange as the one located in Woomera, South Australia.

Okay, I bet you can’t wait to have a chance to play on this fabulous track of dirt in Woomera! If so, let me know when you are going and maybe I’ll join you—maybe!

FORE!!!

Tom Tatum – Author – 2018

Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/author/tomtatum

Twitter: @TomTatumAuthor  LinkedIn: TomTatum1

Facebook page: Tom Tatum novels

FELT THE PRESENCE OF GOD

There are some moments in life that are special—so special that you feel compelled to share them with others. Such is the case when I recently attended my grandson’s high school baseball game a few nights ago.

During the game, I happened to look behind the bleachers and witnessed this breathtaking view of the sky with ‘Ole Glory’ waving in the foreground.

God’s painted canvas was so majestic that I felt His presence all around me. I was blessed to have had this experience and hope you feel the same way as you look at the photo.

I stood at attention and saluted the moment—made me proud to have served this great country! The words of the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag danced in my mind.

“I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

May God’s blessings be upon all who read this post.

Tom Tatum – Author – 2018

Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/author/tomtatum

Twitter: @TomTatumAuthor

LinkedIn: TomTatum1

Facebook page: Tom Tatum novels