All posts by jtannian

Stop and Smell the Roses

smell-roses-freedigitalphotos-stuart-miles Stuart Miles

When I was a young adult my mom would tell me, “Stop and smell the roses.” A cute saying but for a young man with goals, I didn’t stop to truly listen – to smell that rose of wisdom she had just shared… foolish me.

Today, ( I do literally mean today – in 90 minutes I’ll be there ) our pastor has organized a solitude retreat. Why?  Because, he is an awesome pastor and knows that we don’t stop and smell the roses. Jesus is a rose. I need to slow down and walk with Him and chat with Him, if I really hope to follow Him. My nature is to be running off on some side trail into the woods looking for the next big elusive thing. Jesus is waiting patiently on the path, for me to come to my senses and rejoin Him on the way.

Continue reading Stop and Smell the Roses

Is Greed Good?

Greed-is-GoodSome conservatives who believe in unrestrained capitalism might have difficulty with this question.

In the 1980 movie Wall Street, Michael Douglas as Gordon Gekko gave a speech – a very interesting speech where he said,

I am not a destroyer of companies, I am a liberator of them! … The point is, ladies and gentlemen, that greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right, greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed in all
of its forms. Greed for life, money, love, knowledge, has marked the upward surge of mankind, and greed mark my words (will save
this company).Continue reading Is Greed Good?

Heaven the ultimate!


Please forgive me. I am a Christian. I love Jesus and follow him. However, I am a logical man and have grown up in modern America where the intelligentsia of our culture embrace naturalistic explanations and views the supernatural as myth. These smart folk have intimidated my faith at times.

Heaven is the ultimate gift Jesus gives us. It has inexplicable value. It is our real home, where love is deep and runs pure. Heaven contains beauty beyond description and joy more full than one has ever experienced. The ones we love most and fear separation from will be there before us or shortly after. But I haven’t fully experienced heaven yet, so I have let those who don’t see or know the author of creation rob me of one of the most precious aspects of that treasure in the field – heaven. Jesus, I do believe but help my unbelief. Continue reading Heaven the ultimate!

Five Perspectives on Perspectives

A few years ago, I took a course that was offered at my church. It cost some money and required a commitment. This might turn some people off but truthfully – Doesn’t most worthwhile things in life require both?  I have no regrets, and a lot of appreciation. The course was fantastic and the Lord used the course to help grow me.

Here are five real quotes from five people taking Perspectives only after five weeks. Continue reading Five Perspectives on Perspectives

Caught in the Current of Excess

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Curtesy of – by Maggie Smith

If you’re in a flowing river, you’ll likely get swept along with the current, even when you’re trying to stay put. 

 Seeing the obvious excesses can be difficult when you’re in the middle of it all. If we’ve fallen victim to these extremes, we might find ourselves defending them. Let’s look at two, which impact our finances. Continue reading Caught in the Current of Excess

Are you Giving good Gifts to your Children?

If your son asked for an egg, would you give him a scorpion? I don’t think so. Jesus didn’t think so either. He knew parents in general want to give good gifts to their kids.

However, do parents and or grandparents in our day and age sometimes get it wrong? We don’t want to just give a good gift, we want to give the BEST gift and do it NOW. It is so easy to do, even if the money isn’t available, Mr Plastic Payday in your pocket can help you get it now. Continue reading Are you Giving good Gifts to your Children?

The One Rule on Fashion

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The one rule on fashion is don’t make rules.
Sometimes it seems like it would just be easier to have a handy list of answers to questions like these:

  • How much can I spend on a dress?
  • Is wearing a $200 watch more about fashion or function?
  • How short a skirt can I wear?
  • Should I wear a suit to church?

Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for rule making and rule following – yet – that’s exactly what we want sometimes. What’s the problem with rules?

Continue reading The One Rule on Fashion

Get out of Them Thorns

You’ve received a treasure beyond comprehension. It has somehow fallen into your lap. However, its’ value in this world is questionable.  The true value is only fully recognized in another kingdom.

How might an enemy steel this treasure from you?

  • Plan A: Get you to ignore it before you realize its’ value.
  • Plan B: Get you to question its’ value through criticism.
  • Plan C: Get you to abandon it by valuing other stuff more.

Continue reading Get out of Them Thorns

Can You Learn From Others?


Are you able to learn from others?  Even when you disagree with them?

I often formulate my opinion by building a framework of truth in my mind.  When I encounter an opinion that differs from mine, I of course, immediately know the other viewpoint is wrong.  By definition they’re wrong. How could they be right if they disagree with me?  Later, I wonder why my growth has stagnated.

Continue reading Can You Learn From Others?