Teen Sick of Mom Barging into Room with Clean Laundry

Kids gone wild – it happened in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania. Voicing great displeasure at her blatant disregard for his privacy, area teenager Chad Fleming reported Wednesday that he is fed up with his mother always barging into his bedroom to put away freshly washed laundry.

“Jesus, Mom! Why can’t you just respect my personal space?” an angered Fleming told his mother, who entered his bedroom unannounced, carrying a basket full of clothes that she had spent the previous two hours separating by color, washing, and neatly folding.

Chad continued, “Is it so hard to knock? God, you never let me be.”

We won’t know how this story ends for some time. But it really doesn’t matter. Should Mrs. Fleming knock before entering her son’s room? Probably. But does she have the right to enter her son’s room – especially with his clean laundry – anytime she wants? Definitely.

It says a lot about where we are as a society that a teenager . . .

1. Can’t do his own laundry

2. Doesn’t first express gratitude to his mother for doing his laundry

3. Then complains to friends (who contacted the media about his mother’s “intrusion”)

When I was a boy, this would not have happened. That’s because I was expected to do my own laundry. At the risk of sounding really old, beginning at age eight, I had to walk across the street in my apartment complex to the laundry area, shove in a bunch of quarters, and do my laundry myself. And for the seven years we didn’t have a washing machine, I continued this practice – never feeling the persecution of the moment.

Had my mother entered my room unannounced, with an armful of laundry – clean and folded – snapping at her would have been the last thing I would have done. My dad would have made sure of that!

So here’s to moms everywhere. It’s your home and your kids’ laundry. If you want to be so kind as to do for them what they could have done for themselves, and personally take it into their room unannounced, prepare for the consequences. But the next time you feel the urge, you might want to consider letting little Chad learn the intricacies of a modern washing machine himself.

It will do him good. In life, he will eventually have to learn to deal with his own dirty laundry, anyway.

Thomas Edison

American inventor Thomas Edison was an amazing man. He held over 1,500 patents, including those for the phonograph, kinetoscope, dictaphone, radio, light bulb, autographic printer, and tattoo gun. He produced the first film version of Frankenstein. It was a 15-minute silent “movie.” We owe a lot to old Tom.

Where would we be today without the kinetoscope? And I don’t know about you, but our family couldn’t survive without our tattoo gun. Our church still relies on our autographic printer to run off Sunday’s worship guides. But Mr. Edison did something else of interest. He did it by simply dying.

Henry Ford was enamored with Edison, so when the great inventor died, Ford captured his last breath in a bottle. Why would he do that? Ford never said. That question will always be pondered along with the other great questions of history, such as who shot Kennedy, who shot J.R., and who watched Jersey Shore.

But one thing is clear. When Edison died, Ford was ready. What is not so clear is whether or not Edison was ready. How about you? Are you ready for that moment when you take your last breath?

Titanic

Robert Ballard was a man on a quest. He wanted to find the Titanic. And on September 1, 1985, he discovered the sunken ship in the North Atlantic, more than 350 miles off the coast of Newfoundland.

I got chills when I read his account for the first time. He sent down that bright probe light and saw that sight more than two miles below the surface of those icy waters. “My first direct view of Titanic lasted less than two minutes, but the stark sight of her immense black hull towering above the ocean floor will remain forever ingrained in my memory. My lifelong dream was to find this great ship and during the past 13 years the quest for her has dominated my life.”

What quest is dominating your life today? What do you dream about when you are laying in bed late at night? What would you do if you could do anything? What is the carrot that keeps you going?

God created us with passion. Ask him to give you a passion worth committing your life to.

Televised Watergate Hearings Begin – 44 Years Ago Today

It’s hard to believe it’s been 44 years. On this day in 1973, a U.S. Senate committee headed by Senator James “Sam” Erwin of North Carolina began televised hearings on the June 1972 break-in at the Watergate office complex in Washington, D.C. The Senate Select Committee on Presidential Campaign Activities was investigating the incident at which police had arrested five men for the unlawful entry to the Democratic National Committee headquarters, where they installed illegal wiretapping equipment.

Information obtained from the wiretaps would have been useful to those who wanted to assist President Richard Nixon in obtaining a second term in office. Erwin’s folksy approach, combined with his extensive knowledge of the law and the Constitution, made him an ideal choice to head the controversial investigation. The Senate hearings gripped the nation, especially when former White House counsel John Dean testified that Nixon himself had been aware of the crime and subsequent cover-up. Nixon resigned the presidency on August 3, 1974, rather than face impeachment and removal from office.

Here’s the lesson. No man is above the law. And when we break the law – man’s or God’s – there is always a price to pay. From Richard Nixon we know this: we choose our actions, but not the consequences.

The Greatest Gift

At the tender age of 20, Solomon was king of Israel. His kingdom was so respected that Pharaoh, the Egyptian monarch, formed an alliance with the new king by giving Solomon his daughter in marriage. Because Solomon understood that his youth and inexperience could topple the kingdom, he cried out to God for help, asking for divine approval and guidance. Solomon was so sincere that he offered 1,000 burnt offerings to God. Then the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream with an incredible offer. “Ask for anything you want.”

What would you have asked for?

As you probably know, Solomon asked for wisdom. Wisdom is the ability to discern and apply what you know. And the foundation for wisdom is Scripture. Samuel Chadwick said it best: “No man is uneducated who knows the Bible, and no one is wise who is ignorant of its teachings.”

Let me ask you again. If God came to you with the same offer – ask for anything you want – how would you respond?

Dark Clouds

There is a really odd verse in the Bible. You may have skipped over it a hundred times. It’s found in 1 Kings, a book you probably have never read with much intent.

“Then spoke Solomon, ‘The Lord spoke from a dark cloud'” (1 Kings 8:12).

I’m all about God speaking through the beauty of nature. I see God in sunrise, sunset, birds chipping, rivers flowing, and snow falling.

But dark clouds?

Here’s the message. When you and I are traversing easy ground, God is there, to be sure. But it is during the storms of life that we need him the most. And he is always there.

Are you going through a storm right now? Are the clouds gathering overhead? When your world gets darkest and the sun is not shining, take heart. The voice of God is about to speak.

Shoe

Jeff MacNelly used to write an old comic strip called Shoe. In one of the comic strips, Shoe is pitching in a baseball game. In a conference on the mound, his catcher said, “You’ve got to have faith in your curve ball.”

Shoe grumbled, “It’s easy for him to say. When it comes to believing in myself, I’m an agnostic.”

Unfortunately, that is the way a lot of people think about themselves.

I love the words of Charles Schwab. “When a man has put a limit on what he will do, he has put a limit on what he can do.”

Let me suggest you follow the advice of Jack Canfield. In his book, The Success Principles, he recommends the following four steps to transform limiting beliefs into empowering beliefs. First, identify a limiting belief that you want to change. Second, determine how the belief limits you. Third, decide how you want to be, act, or feel. Finally, create a turnaround statement that affirms or gives you permission to be, act, or feel this new way.

Leadership expert John Maxwell says it like this. “Practice a small discipline daily in a specific area of your life.”

Great advice! Don’t be an agnostic. Don’t be the Shoe.

A Special Friend

In 1919 a young man, recovering from injuries suffered in World War I, rented a small apartment in Chicago. He chose the location to be near the home of a man named Sherwood Anderson. An author, Anderson had written the popular novel Winesboro, Ohio, and he was known to be willing to share his wisdom with young writers.

The two men spent time together nearly every day. They shared meals, took long walks, and discussed writing late into the night. The young man wrote passages and asked Anderson to critique them, which the novelist did with brutal honesty. The young man didn’t defend himself or his writing because, as he said later, “I didn’t know how to write until I learned from Sherwood.”

Within two years, the young man set off to write on his own. In 1926 he published his first novel, The Sun Also Rises, which was met with critical acclaim. His name was Ernest Hemingway – one of the greatest American writers of his generation.

But the story doesn’t end there. Sherwood Anderson also mentored William Faulkner, Thomas Wolfe, William Saroyan, and John Steinbeck. Three of Anderson’s proteges earned Nobel Prizes; four won Pulitzer Prizes.

Why did Sherwood Anderson help aspiring new writers? Perhaps because he himself had been mentored by the famed authors, Theodore Dreiser and Carl Sandburg.

In like manner, the Old Testament prophet Elisha was mentored by Elijah. In the New Testament, Timothy was mentored by Paul. I suggest that each of us needs a Paul (mentor) and a Timothy (mentee) in our lives.

What about you?

Garry Kasparov’s Lost Chess Match

It happened 20 years ago today. The impossible took place. Garry Kasparov, widely recognized as the greatest chess player who ever lived, lost. The grandmaster resigned before official “checkmate” could take place. Even more amazing than his loss was the fact that Kasparov’s opponent had never won a single chess tournament in his life, nor was he world-ranked. He had never won a single trophy or beaten another chess champion.

Still, he beat Garry Kasparov on May 10, 1997.

Who was it? He went by the name of Deep Blue. And “he” was actually more of an “it.” Deep Blue was a supercomputer designed by IBM. It was able to calculate over 100 billion moves in three minutes.

Kasparov’s resignation to Deep Blue was his first ever. And for its victory, the computer was donated to the Smithsonian Institute. Kasparov retired from competitive chess in 2005, and is now a writer and political activist.

I can sort of relate. I used to play chess – a lot. In high school, I won the school championship and the Houston High School Chess Championship. I loved to play chess. But I didn’t win every match. Nobody does. The thing is, man is fallible. We make mistakes. We fall short.

But that’s okay. That’s where grace enters the picture. Where man falls short, God shows up.

Dead Dog

A man ran into the vet’s office carrying his dog, screaming for help. The vet rushed his dog to the examination table. He then examined the dog, and said, “I’m sorry, but your dog is dead.”

The dog’s owner demanded a second opinion, so the vet went to the back room and came out with a cat and put the cat down next to the dog. The cat sniffed the dog’s body, looked at the vet, and meowed. The vet turned and said, “I’m sorry, but the cat thinks your dog is dead, also.”

The man wanted a third opinion, so the vet went to the back again, and brought out a black Labrador retriever. The Lab sniffed the dog and barked twice. The vet said, “I’m sorry, but the Lab thinks your dog is dead, too.”

The man was finally resigned to the fate of his dog and asked for the bill. It was $650.

“You are charging me $650 to tell me my dog is dead?” screamed the man.

“Well,” the vet replied, “I would have charged you just $50 for my initial diagnosis. The additional $600 was for the cat scan and lab tests.”

I know, that’s a really bad joke! But here’s something serious. One day, you will also die. No cat scan or lab test will be able to save you. And then comes the judgment. Are you ready?