Saturday, November 16, 2013

Initiative, Industry and Integrity

Hello Friends.

There has been a lot of adjustment lately.  First that whole time change thing and yesterday we had our first "real" snow fall.  So how have you doing fighting back against snow and falling back?  Spring forward; fall back.  These past couple of weeks our bio-rhythms have been batty, fighting back after “falling back” or maybe even “falling flat.”

You cannot wake up “bright-eyed and bushy-tailed” to birdsong when all the song birds have flown south and the only feathered friend you see on your morning walk is the occasional owl.
It's hard to argue with us dogs when the door opens for a gloomy, rain or snow soaked “morning” walk is rejected with horror and we beat a fast-track back to our snuggly doggy bed.  Or in my case back to my MOM's bed.
Cold, dark days make us want to hunker down and veg out.  The feeling that all there is ahead of us is a cold, dark future can bring on a kind of “root vegetable” behavior.
Getting up every morning, keeping motivated, giving all we have to our family, our church, our community, our friends is not easy under these dark conditions.

The concluding commands made to the Thessalonian community (2 Thessalonians 3:6-13) addressed the threat of “idleness” to the life of the faithful.  This “idleness” was not just a sitting-around-watching-TV all day- kind of inactivity.  It was the idleness that took on the activity of despair, disorder, and disobedience.  Those who thought their faith entitled them to a life of support and special treatment disobeyed the apostolic examples of daily toil and labor Paul and his companions had demonstrated personally.
To all these wrong-headed notions there was one simple apostolic answer: “Anyone unwilling to work should not eat.” Paul rejected the world of patronage and privilege.  Instead he advanced a new ethic of labor as love — love for Christ, love for each other, love for the unlovely, and love for the future.

Over a decade ago the media was transformed by a quirky British import that was renamed “American Idol.”  The quest to find the next big pop star became a national obsession and a billion dollar industry.
As other “reality” based programs have spun off “Idol’s” success, it has become more and more obvious that the true “American Idol” is a quest for the ultimate “American Idle.”  This is not the “idleness” of simple couch-potato sloth.  This is our American Idle quest for a life and lifestyle that has no purpose, no goal, no commitment to “doing what is right” or doing what is good, what is true, what is beautiful.

The American Idle obsession is easy to find and define.  We validate it endlessly.  It's the “work of being the busybody” instead of the “work” of doing any genuine “work.”  We glorify and glamorize the idleness of busybody work.

Need an example?  Our peeps are offered “Keeping Up With The Kardashians,” “Jersey Shore,” and “The Real Housewives of . . . . (L.A., D.C., N.Y.C.–-you pick) as the new social pathways to patronage and privilege, as the alternative to working for your bread and working because of Christ’s righteousness and love.

All the hottest electronic advances seem to share one common thing: a vowel. “I” as in i-pod, i-phone, i-pad, i-Tunes, I-messages.  The peeps can’t even do a “Wii” without two “ii’s.” “I” of course stands for “individual.  The electronic culture is all about maximizing the power of the individual.  Do your own thing, on your own time, for your own advantage. All those “i” creations are far too often expressions of Idleness.

What if instead of connecting individuality to the world’s social network of power and privilege,  we found some other “i-tunes” to play?  What if instead of Idleness we chose Individual Initiative?  What if instead of Inactivity we chose Individual Industry?  What if instead of Excess we chose Individual Integrity?

The reason why initiative is so important is that the distance from 0 to 1 is greater than the distance from 1 to any other number.  One of the hardest things in this world is to go from nothing to something.  It takes initiative.  And a key method of fighting back against fall back, is to exercise some initiative to move something from 0 to 1.

You know what?  People will make a mess of anything, of everything, and it takes major industry, with showers of God’s grace to climb out of old pits and to keep from falling into new pits.

A certain music critic, covering a performance of a Beethoven concerto, played by a master pianist, set down his highest praise in a one-sentence review, he said:  “Beethoven would have liked it.” Integrity is living in such a way that Jesus will like it.  Integrity is hearing Jesus say of us what his Father said of him: “Well done. Your life, your ministry, brings me great pleasure.”

This does not mean that a life of integrity will not have falls and failures. Fine Oriental rugs can be distinguished from machine-made rugs by their curious variations in patterns.  In Middle Eastern villages, where each Oriental rug is hand-woven under the direction of a master-weaver, it often happens that a weaver makes a mistake.  But when a mistake is made, instead of pulling the work out to correct the error, the master-weaver finds some way to incorporate the error into the pattern. Experts say that the exceptional beauty of complex design in the rugs often is due to the skill of mater-weavers in turning mistakes into works of art.
Everyone has the God-given potential to become a uniquely beautiful masterwork of God’s creative art.  The “work” of being “busybody,” the “work” of being an “American Idle,” is exhausting.  The work of initiative, industry and integrity, the “work” of being the beloved and laboring for “doing what is right,” is exhilarating.


  1. Beautiful pics and message! Have a blessed Sunday, furriends. XOXO

  2. Goose and Mom-
    Lovely message. Being surrounded by such beauty must bring a smile and a wag to so many moments. You 2 are a work of art!

    Wyatt and Stanzie

  3. As always Goose food for thought. BOL funny American Idle .... so darn true. Sorry we gave you that and no doubt you have Strictly come Prancing and all those other vacuous rubbish shows. Fame for fames sake is the mantra of this media generation....I wish they would use it for more good.
    Have a serene Sunday.
    Best wishes Molly

  4. We always love your Sunday messages Goose!

    You got a lot of snow there and isn't it so beautiful.

    Lily Belle & Muffin

  5. Amen to every word. the sentence living in such a way that Jesus will like it says it ALL. you have as always given me much food for thought. I like the American Idle thing. I have said many times to hubby while watching Idol, that they all want to be stars to get out of their every day jobs. one guy on The voice actually quit his IT job, a really good job to become a star. and when I see the teens, i always say if they win it will ruin them... all the photos today are really beautiful and special...

  6. haha you caught my mom redpawed, Brother. She is a Housewives fan, but fortunately she knows that's either life or live, that's just for entertainment. And she never would forget important things like feeding me or write my blog while watching that stuff. I'm glad we have no snow, but it is very cold and dark here too and even for me it is not easy to leave my comfy and warm bed cave. Have a very good sunday and stay warm :o)

  7. Beautifully written and illustrated!

    Critter Alley

  8. Wonderful, Goose. Love your wisdom (and your mom's)! Love the idle... and "falling flat." Next time we have jet lag, we're definitely going to call it falling flat. My mom and I are trying to refocus our spiritual journey. Your posts help a lot. Thank you.


  9. WE had some SNOW last week... today the weather blabbers are talking RAIN and Wind and Possibly TORNADOES.
    WE prefer the Long Hot SUNNY days of SUMMER.
    This was a super Sunday Post.

  10. Og Goose, we wish more peeps would live by those great words. Around here, them tv junk shows you named are part of our life. Mom and Dad have the idea, noting to do, involve us in games and play. As for that dark day and snow, we don't get very many, and then we spend them with Dad in the recliner on on the couch napping with Mom, we look forward to those days.

    The Mad Scots

  11. I think staying snuggled up in a warm bed sounds good......and it is definitely time to get your winter coat out for then you go out. Love that paw print in the snow !

  12. Amen, Brother Goose! You give me courage. Thanks for the boost.

  13. We sure do enjoy your Sunday messages Goose and this one was really good. It is so so true in many ways. Thanks Goose for this great post. Take care.

  14. Goose,
    What a super duper post, that made so much sense. As a dog, iPods bug me, because I just want to play!
    Wow, your snow fell thick and fast! But you do look tired, better get mack to Mum's bed!
    Pippa :)

  15. You gave our Lady a lot to think about. It is so easy to be idle etc in our culture. We are bombarded with messages that this is how to be successful, but you are right, it is not the way to live. Thanks Goose and happy Sunday. Lee and Phod

  16. Oh, that is a pawsome message Goose!! Ma often falls into the Idle category when there is housework to do...she would rather stay under the comforter and watch a good movie! butts, sooner or later it still has to get done. And, the longer you wait the more work there is! That's no funs! BOL
    So i'll try and gets Ma off her arse today and get to work!
    Ruby ♥

  17. Goose and Mom as always your pictures are full of a handsome Goose, beautiful scenery and inspiring words.
    Lots of hugs and Boy do I know what you mean with the time change!!!
    The first day of real time I woke my peeps up howling at the real 5:15am hungry...
    they were not happy.
    Hugs madi your bfff

  18. Beautiful message, Mr. Goose - and beautiful pictures! One question though - this snow thing that I see. Is it as wondrous as my brother and sister say it is?
    Yours sincerely,
    Margaret Thatcher

  19. While we've seen a few flakes, we have not YET gotten our first real snow fall of the season...... Sophie is anxiously awaiting!

  20. Did you write your mom's sermon again Goose? Where would she be without you? We will be in church tonight cuz your mom needs to see that I am not scardy-brave . . . I am Murphy brave!

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

  21. All I can say is......"You went hiking without me"
    Oh, and mY Vickie says.....beautiful words.....
    and sorry cause she looked at the clock a bit ago and realized We had missed your service. gone it......

  22. Yep the pop culture is everywhere and it is hard to escape it. :) (I do like my i-phone because I can carry my i-tunes where ever I venture.)

    Loved the pictures and the message.

  23. Goose the photos of you in the snow, the snowy scenery and you snuggling up in to the blankets to keep warm is beautiful and what a beautiful message too, your posts of deep thoughts make me smile, I am finding it hard to ajust to the changes of winter,m the cold, the dark nights, the lack of birds song but all is still very beautiful and all is Gods creation! Love and Licks from your furiend Frank xxxxxx

  24. We thought about you both yesterday when we were walking through the park enjoying the gifts from God.
    stella rose

  25. Beautiful one for the "book." It should be no surprise that one of my favorite lines was: "But when a mistake is made, instead of pulling the work out to correct the error, the master-weaver finds some way to incorporate the error into the pattern. Experts say that the exceptional beauty of complex design in the rugs often is due to the skill of mater-weavers in turning mistakes into works of art." You know seeing beautiful in a mistake and creating more beautiful because of it is pretty much our jam. Loved it!

  26. Trying to catch up on all your posts Goose... thanks for this. You always post one of these when it's exactly what I need to hear! xoxoxo

  27. Hi Y'all!

    Playin' catch up with your happenings, Goose. This was a great post and the photos are beautiful!

    Y'all come by now,
    Hawk aka BrownDog

  28. You should inquire into the competition comparison of the journal. you'll highlight it's incredible. Your journal exploration/tour can broaden your conversions. Update Berita Bola Berita Bola Sepak Bola Dunia