Standing Out or Outstanding?

outstandingI love my friends and family. I have an amazing group of people surrounding and supporting me.

They think I’m outstanding. I guess that’s what I love most about them. They believe in me.

lonely-273629_1280Sometimes, we don’t really appreciate the ones that God has placed in our lives. They might be the ones who are encouraging us to try harder–don’t quit–don’t give up. Keep on going, even when things look really bad. Even when you want them to stop encouraging you, because you really don’t want to keep going.

You want to quit. You want to forget you ever tried. But that’s not really an option I can take. No matter how much I might want to. The degree of OCD in me won’t let me quit. If I’ve misplaced something in my house, I WILL NOT QUIT until I find it. I will move everything in my house–clean out every closet and drawer–until I find what I’m looking for. I’m pretty much the same with other things in life.

I can’t let it go–which  can be a positive trait–or not.

You can stand out in any arena.

What does it take to make it? Here’s my list–

  1. Work hard.
  2. Study hard.
  3. Stay focused.
  4. Be friendly.
  5. Be kind.
  6. Help others.
  7. Pray hard.

startup-593324_1280These are not necessarily in the right order. I’m still working on them. Number 7 has become very important in my life. I know it helps me stay focused. And probably helps me with all the other ones.

“Work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive his approval. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth.”–2 Timothy 2:15 NLT

If you do the things described in this scripture, you’ll stand out. Most people will appreciate your efforts.

However… in Ecclesiastes 12:12, we read: “But, my child, let me give you some further advice: Be careful, for writing books is endless, and much study wears you out.”

I had to laugh at that one, especially since it seems to be aimed at writers. 🙂

And then in Acts 26:24 — “Suddenly, Festus shouted, ‘Paul, you are insane. Too much study has made you crazy!'”

He definitely stands out! I think perhaps Paul was talking the civic leader’s ears right off his head. From my research, I believe Paul could’ve done that.

So the end of the matter is this:

If you choose to go for outstanding in life, yours will most likely NOT be an easy life. However, the rewards are great, though you may not receive them until after you’re gone. But if you’re passing knowledge along to those coming after, either through writing, teaching, or spreading the Gospel of Christ, the reward is ongoing.

sisters-781098_1280And don’t forget the ones who are encouraging you in your daily life. Listen. Learn. And as you have opportunity, thank them. Give them a hug, let them know you were listening. Sometimes the encourage-r needs encouraging.

May you stand out in life. May your path be blessed and your life outstanding.

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Daddy Was a Musical Instrument

No kid in my family, or the generation before mine, took music lessons. But we had the music in us. I know, because if Daddy was with us, there would be music wherever we went.

He didn’t need to haul around a guitar, a banjo, or even a pair of bongo drums. He was the musical instrument. Yes, you read that right.

Mom grew up on the West Coast. Dad was born and raised in West Tennessee, so we traveled back and forth across country many times. He always had the radio on. He’d listen to it all–hillbilly, cowboy country, rock-n-roll, or preachin’. But during those times when radio was not available, he made his own music.

He was not singing. There were no words to his music. Literally.

music-624421_1280Daddy played the nose trumpet, the mouth harp, the pec drums, the ab drums–you get the picture? He also played the harmonica, but not as often. And once, when I was ten, I saw him strum an electric guitar.

Oh, this man was talented. He had rhythm. He was right on key, and his nose trumpet was to be envied. His audience adored him. We laughed till we cried and sometimes had to beg for a potty break along the way.

Mom was a little less enthralled by his grand abilities. When she wouldn’t laugh at his concerts, he’d make his pecs dance. Guaranteed giggles, especially from the peanut gallery.

Tom was a navy boy
Tommy Thomason, US Navy

Where did he develop these wondrous talents? We’re not really sure, but he definitely honed them in the Navy. I guess they had a lot of down time on board ship and  had to learn to entertain themselves. And he was guaranteed a captive audience.

It’s not really something he passed on to the next generation. I don’t think either of my brothers inherited this talent. But in my mind and heart, I can still hear Daddy playing his music. The memory always makes me smile. And I really believe that was the purpose of his one-man concert.

“All the days of the afflicted are evil, but he who is of a merry heart has a continual feast.” Proverbs 15:15 NKJV

Scripture from <https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Proverbs+15%3A15&version=NKJV>