Focus.

Late last week, I was talking with someone about their inability to focus on what is important. My suggestion to them was to take a day to really think about those important things in life that need attention, namely family, home life, faith, and work. From his new-found focus, he could then address the other issues in his life while standing on a firm foundation.

And then this morning I realized that I should start listening to my own advice.

My life is lacking focus, both personal and professional. There are more times where I want to tackle issues using the least amount of energy and drive, essentially “mailing it in” when things get tough. When I get this way, I tend to bog myself down in the tiny issues and fail to see the big ones staring right at me daily. My personal and professional foundation is built on sand instead of solid ground.

So, if I am going to give others advice on re-focusing their lives, I must do the same.

Luther and Freedom.

Joseph Loconte, an associate professor of history at King’s College in New York, wrote an interesting piece about Martin Luther in the Wall Street Journal today (subscription required). Loconte writes:

Luther always elevated the individual believer, armed with the Bible, above any earthly authority. This was the heart of his defiance at the Diet of Worms: “My conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. Here I stand.” Neither prince nor pope could invade the sanctuary of his conscience. This, he proclaimed, is the “inestimable power and liberty” belonging to every Christian.

It would be hard to imagine a more radical break with centuries of church teaching and tradition. Luther’s intense study of the Bible—part of his anguished quest to be reconciled to God—made these great innovations possible. Convinced that the teachings of Christ had become twisted into an “unbearable bondage of human works and laws,” he preached a gospel of freedom. Salvation, he taught, was a gift from God available to everyone through faith in Jesus and his sacrificial death…

Luther offered more than a theory of individual empowerment. He delivered a spiritual bill of rights. Generations of reformers—from John Locke to Martin Luther King Jr.—would praise his achievement. Half a millennium later, his message of freedom has not lost its power.

As we enter the 500th Anniversary year of the Reformation, it is good to be reminded just how much Martin Luther helped changed the world by the simple pronouncement of freedom that one is saved by faith alone in Jesus Christ.

Police Chaplaincy – No Religious Training Required.

NOTE: This is NOT a political post.

The New York Post today published a story about a donor of New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio named Jona Rechnitz who admitted that he donated money to the mayor to gain political access.

Rechnitz and his buddies donated lots of money to many politicians to have an inside track to attain political favors. Honestly, not surprising since that is why big money people donate lots of money to politicians. They don’t give without expecting something in return.

One of the said receivers of Rechnitz’ financial heft was Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino who is seeking re-election this fall. According to the Post, “Rechnitz donated $15,000 to Astorino’s political war chest and once chipped in up to $8,000 to buy him a Rolex watch, he said.”

But it was the following that really caught my eye:

(Astorino) Helped Rechnitz and his pal Jeremy Reichberg become chaplains for the Westchester County Police Department, despite the fact that they were not clergymen, Rechnitz claimed.

Huh?

Politicians do weird things, at times, but giving a chaplaincy to people who weren’t clergy? It kind of defeats the purpose of having a chaplain, doesn’t it?