All posts by Keith Thompson

Hurried and worried

Do you ever find yourself hurried and worried in life?  Life throws a lot at us and if we don’t have a good foundation, life can sometimes overwhelm us. There is a passage of scripture that always comes to my mind when I get in a hurry or concerned about something. It is Matthew 11:28 NIV – ‘come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. The King James version uses the words ‘you that labor and are heavy laden.’

Here is the point of the scripture for me. Jesus said, ‘come to me.’ He didn’t say come to the church or come to a meeting or come for coffee. He said to ‘come to me.’ See, it is not the place Jesus wants you to come to. It’s him. The best I can tell, you can come to Jesus in any setting, even while you are in a hurry driving somewhere. It is a quiet prayer breathed even when you are hurried and or worried. I find saying a little prayer something like this helps me. “Lord, help me to settle my spirit and go before me and prepare my way.”  A little prayer like that breathed from your heart, can really change the moment you find yourself in.  

God looks at you like you just like you look at your children. We want to know the details our children are dealing with because that helps us know how to help them and guide them. Same thing with God. He wants to know what you are going through. I simply cannot imagine a life outside of a relationship with God because it would be so lonely, weary, meaningless and dark. Jesus wants us to come to him with the small things in life as well as the big things. I believe (just my opinion) that he takes greater pleasure in the smaller things than the bigger things. When you can trust him with the smaller things, it is easier to trust him with the bigger decisions.

The next time you find yourself frazzled, frustrated and out of sorts, try the little prayer mentioned above and you may just find it helps. KT

A dog named, Broker

My little Sheltie dog passed away this weekend. He was named Broker, because all the hotel brokers at our office gave him to us 12 years ago. He was my friend and my little buddy and would lay by my chair every evening. When he looked at me, it was as though he was looking into my soul and with every look, he told me he loved me. When we buried him, there were tears and a real feeling of loss because he was not right there beside me. Our other dog, Sofie (a yorkie) has been looking for him around the house all weekend and can’t find him. She feels like I do, there has been a loss in the family.

I told my wife this weekend, I would make a terrible farmer if I raised cows, pigs and chickens, because all my animals would die of old age. Ha. There would be no animals used for food and I would go see them all every day. I have never seen a gray cow, pig or chicken but all my animals would grow old and just slip away to wherever animals go.

I puzzled this question over the weekend. ‘Will there be dogs in heaven’? While I know very well there is no scripture that addresses this (I looked) I am not so sure. I have asked myself, why would God let us love a dog so much and have such a relationship if there was no hereafter for a Dog. Who knows, maybe Broker will be standing beside St Peter when I walk through the pearly gates. It comforts me to believe such a thing.

I don’t think it is just happenstance that the word, dog, spelled backwards, is God. I think there is a reason for this. I already miss my little buddy and he will have a place in my heart for as long as I live. KT

The luxury of time

The greatest luxury in life, is time.

I wrote a very similar blog some seven years ago, but I was reminded today of the power of the statement. I carry this little piece of paper with this quote on it clipped to the front page of my calendar book.  I look at every workday. My daughter gave it to me many years ago and it is special. The little piece of paper is getting faded and ragged, but I still see it every workday and it reminds of how blessed I am (we all are) that we have today and that tomorrow is never promised.

If you are young and healthy you may think the next car, or the next vacation is the definition of luxury. If are old enough to get past the superficial definition of luxury, you realize that time is simply the most sought-after luxury this world offers. If you have had a health scare or a bad diagnosis or lost hope in your life, you know that time is the greatest luxury this life has to offer. When you are looking at your grandchildren and you realize you have much less time in front of you than you do behind you, time becomes very important. Lastly, if you are on the one-yard line of life looking into eternity, trust me, you are not thinking about the next car or vacation or what your stock portfolio is worth. You are only thinking about time.

The other day I was driving up to our lake house to meet with a general contractor and it happened in a blink of an eye. I felt God nudge me to turn off the radio and be in that moment. I turned everything off and said, ok God, show me. I looked at the world around me without all the distractions and realized the beauty and the peace (and the value) of that moment. I said a quiet thank you to God for reminding me that the moments around us is where the beauty of life is.

It is like when your daughter or son comes to you for advice knowing full well, you would move mountains for them if needed or the total focus in your grand child’s eyes as they tell you about their day. When they say, I love you, everything else fades away and you just know this is a moment that will be seared into your memory. That my friends, is the essence of the most important and most powerful luxury this life has to offer.

So, take a moment today to look around you and to look at your loved ones and whisper a prayer of thanks to God for letting you be in that moment and to see that level of pure luxury. KT

Without the test, there is no testimony

We have all heard great and inspiring speeches from people that came from nothing and made it into something. We have also heard many people give a testimony about a very difficult period in their life and how they got through it. What I have never heard (maybe someone has) is an inspiring speech of a person that had everything given to them and never had to struggle and succeeded at everything they ever did. If there is a spokesperson like that, no one cares about what they say. People want to be inspired by the testimony of other people who went through a real test period in their life and were able to stand and give a testimony of how they got through it.

I could write for ten pages of stories like Ford, Chrysler, Microsoft, Lincoln, Churchill, Holiday Inns, MLK, Starbucks, Marriott etc. when faced with seemingly insurmountable odds, only to come through the struggle.

Why am I writing this? When we are in a dog fight of life or deep struggle, the very last thing we think about is how this struggle will help give us a great testimony when it is over. All you care about is getting through the struggle. Thank goodness when we think back on hard times in our life, we have the human ability to turn those struggle periods into a message that can help others. I have had plenty of life tests as I am sure you have as well, and it is the test periods that give voice to our testimony. Without the test, we really wouldn’t have the testimony. KT

Heads up

Maybe it is just me, but have you noticed a significant increase in people everywhere looking down at their phone? Airports, restaurants, grocery stores and many times even while driving. I was at the airport a couple weeks ago on a trip and almost everyone in the gate area was looking down at their phone. No interaction with their associates, family or even their own children.

Before the Blackberry (yes, I had one too) there was no reason to look at your phone unless it rang. People in restaurants actually talked with the people at their table. At the airports, people had their coffee and actually relaxed and watched the other people or read the newspaper. At a retail store, the teenagers actually looked around at the inventory and talked with their friends instead of looking at what the new insta or FB post is or what the Kardashians said.

I am ready (almost) to go back to the wall phone with the long squiggly cord and real newspapers at the front door. I am not ready to go back to the TV in the corner with three channels and all the commercials you must watch. Ha

Seriously, can’t we blend tech with actual life? Can’t we put down a cell phone and just be? Can’t we go a day without knowing who said what to who and what candidate just got their hand slapped? What I am about to say, I believe with all my heart. The person we will be in five years will be largely influenced by the books we read and the people we associate with. You might want to read that last sentence again.

I don’t want my future self in five years to be based on what some actor, actress, singer or politician said and what they wore to some event or what they ate at dinner. I am not unplugged yet, but I have the cord halfway out of the socket. KT