Archive for the month “November, 2019”

Pop Pop Epistle #81 – About Questions

Dear Grandkids,

Most people will tell you that I like to ask questions. You may have even noticed this yourself. Questions are awesome for several reasons but the biggest reason that I ask them is to get to know people better. The better that I know people the better I can understand them and encourage them and pray for them and the stronger our relationship will be.

I have found that most people will respond to a good question. So for the past 15 years I have been collecting questions. I know that sounds funny. People collect coins or stamps, or baseball cards, or trains, etc. How many people do you know that collect questions? Probably not many.

Anyway, because I value great questions I wanted to share some of my favorites with you. You can even ask them of me sometime if you want to. But mostly I hope you will find them useful to help you build strong relationships with the people you are around every day.

  • How have you observed God at work in your life in the past week?
  • What are you doing these days to nourish your soul?
  • What’s stressing you out right now, that you could do with a break from?
  • What do you say when people ask for one “fun fact” about you?
  • What are three things that most people would not know about you?
  • Knowing what you know now, what would you tell your 15 year old self?
  • What do you wish you had more time to do?
  • What are three things that are on your “bucket list.”
  • What is a book that you would recommend that you have read in the last year and why?
  • Is there a Scripture verse that you find yourself often going back to and why is it so special to you?
  • If you could start your education and career over what would you do differently?
  • What are some of your favorite apps?
  • What TV shows do you enjoy watching?
  • What are your all time favorite movies?
  • Do you have a personal mission statement and if so what is it?
  • If you had a full year with pay (and a job to come back to) what would you spend your time doing?
  • Describe 2 “defining moments” in your life.
  • What made you smile today?
  • What was your high/low of this past week?
  • What habits would you say most need to be built into your life?
  • What is the biggest challenge that you have dealt with in the past year?
  • If you could have one “do over” in your life what would you do differently?
  • What is something that you would like to be an expert in and why?
  • What one place would you like to travel to if given the chance?
  • One thing that you hope that you will be remembered for when you die is…
  • Describe the biggest risk you have ever taken and how it turned out.
  • How would you describe the perfect day.
  • What would you say is your proudest accomplishment?
  • How would you like me to pray for you?
  • What are 3 things in your life that you are most grateful for?
  • Tell me about the best vacation you have ever had.
  • What is the hardest lesson you have learned and how did you learn it?
  • What are a few of your favorite quotes?

Don’t be surprised if I ask you some of these as you grow up. And don’t be surprised if you start asking questions if people begin saying to you, “You’re just like your Pop Pop.”

Never forget that are very loved!

Pop Pop

Pop Pop Epistle #80 -Thoughts To My 16 Year Old Self


Dear Grandkids,

Earlier this week I was interviewed in front of an audience of middle and high school students. I was asked the question, “Now that you are an older man what are three things that you might tell your 16 year old self if you had a chance to.” These could change in the years to come but this is what I told them…

Everybody’s life tells a story. Make your story an epic adventure! – I don’t want the story of my life to be a boring story. And I suspect that the same is true for you. Make up your mind now to pursue adventure. Don’t be afraid of uncertainty. Don’t steer away from risk. Don’t always take the easy road. Take your cue from Sir Bilbo Baggins who famously said one day, “I’m going on an adventure.” And he did. (Read J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit if you want to read his story.)The story of your life is being written one day at a time. If you choose to wholeheartedly follow Jesus I can promise you that your story will be anything but boring.

“Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:30-31). Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Live each day with this biblical principle in mind: Obedience brings blessing! – When I choose to obey what the Word of God says I find that I experience His blessing. This has been true in all areas of my life. The two areas where I have especially seen people struggle over the years has been in the areas of finances and relationships. When God’s Word has been treated with contempt then I have watched people pay unfortunate consequences. Nona and I have sought to live our lives according to the teachings of Scripture and we have felt His blessing upon our lives. This is not to say that life is always easy but even when life has been hard we still enjoy His blessing. Hopefully this will have bountiful repercussions for you…

“Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who greatly delights in his commandments! His offspring will be mighty in the land; the generation of the upright will be blessed.” (Psalm 112:1-2)

Live the rest of your life with the end of your life in mind! – When I die how would I want to be remembered? What would I want people to say about me? Keeping these kinds of questions in mind can be very helpful when it comes to making choices today. I think this is why Jesus and Paul were able to endure all the hardships that they went through. They kept the end of their lives in mind and wanted their lives to be pleasing in the sight of God rather than the sight of man.

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.” (2 Timothy 4:7-8)

You still have a few years before you are 16 years old. And I hope that I’m around to celebrate with you. And perhaps we can share a few adventures together along the way.

Never forget that you are very loved!

Pop Pop

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