23 Jan

Larry King’s Biggest Interview

Larry King, the suspenders-sporting syndicated radio host who helped define American broadcasting for a half-century was 87 when he died on January 23, 2021.

It is estimated that King conducted 50,000 on-air interviews.

King once indicated that at one point in his career he fell victim to living large. “It was important to me to come across as a ‘big man,”’ he wrote in his autobiography, which meant “I made a lot of money and spread it around lavishly.”

He accumulated debts and was married eight times to seven women.  “I’m not good at marriage, but I’m a great boyfriend,” he once said.

At one point in his life he gambled, borrowed wildly and failed to pay his taxes.

He also became involved with a shady financier in a scheme to bankroll an investigation of President Kennedy’s assassination.

A three-packs-a-day cigarette habit led to a heart attack in 1987.

“Work, it’s the easiest thing I do,” King once said.

At the time of his death, his estimated net worth was $50 million.

One can’t help but wonder if he died a happy man. One thing is for sure, whatever he accumulated and accomplished, he didn’t take it with him.

Few people ever say they wish they had spent more time at the office. It would appear King’s greatest accomplishment was not at home or in his personal life but in the nine to five of everyday life.

It has been said that the key to a satisfying life is found having success and significance. How we define either or both will likely determine our legacy and our eternal fate.

It is not clear where Mr. King placed his faith. He is likely the one being interviewed by the King of Kings at this point. I hope it goes well for him. This will be his biggest interview of all and he isn’t even the host. May his ratings be at their highest.

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16 Jan

Hoped for

What if God is simply waiting for our private prayers to match our public outcries?

The most effective march is found on bended knee.

The key to winning on the battlefield is in the war room.

The future we hope for is found in our prayer closets.

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14 Jan

A heart condition

“I just don’t understand.” This seem to be a rather populate phrase of late. More and more many are discovering that they are less and less in the mainstream of thought, philosophy and culture.

Leaning on our own understanding can become a vicious cycle of thinking that never releases it prey.

If we have trouble understanding a perspective, situation or person, it may be because we tend to see but not notice or we tend to hear but not listen.

When participating in a discussion it is easy to place our thoughts on what we want to say next or to build a rebuttal for what we are hearing rather than genuinely seeking to figure out how in the world the opposing view could be held with such strong conviction.

During opposing encounters it is helpful to recognize that consensus and compromise may not be possible now or in the future. Lowering our standards is not the goal. Committing to truth is essential and must be expressed in love.

Seeking first to understand paves the way for dialogue and interaction that might not otherwise take place at all.

The more we truly notice and listen the more we can hope to gain understanding. We must also come to realize that never fully understanding is a real possibility.

As we focus on being interested in another person and less on being interesting to them, we demonstrate our ability to understand and know the reason for their perspective.

There is a reason we have two eyes, two ears and one mouth. We should notice and listen at least twice as much as we talk. It’s not only polite, it is appropriate.

Why is it that we don’t notice and listen as much as we should? The issue is not so much a matter of bad eyesight or poor hearing. The root cause is a matter of the heart. We have a heart condition.

Often, unknowingly, our hearts harden over time and we are less and less tender, compassionate and loving in our approach. We think we know better and it shows. A strong heart is to be desired but a hard heart will ultimately kill us.

When we develop a hard heart we make up our minds, close the book and place a seal on the matter never to reopen the case and consider if more insight or input might bring about a broader and more enlightened view.

Remaining open minded doesn’t mean we will or should change our mind but one thing is for certain, a hard heart will never learn new approaches, better methods or improved techniques if it is set in its ways.

A heart of stone lacks the ability to pump life into an otherwise capable and healthy body.

Let’s not let hard hearts prevent us from seeing and hearing clearly as we seek to understand and know the truth of a matter through eyes that notice and ears that listen.

(Inspired by Matthew 13:12-15)

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07 Jan

Learning to lose

When my boys were young they played competitive baseball and went on to play in college. As you might imagine, winning was always a desired outcome and most of the time they did.

When you are use to winning, losing doesn’t come easy. On those days when the “W” didn’t come, I often shared this quote, “Anyone can be a great winner but it takes somebody to be a great loser.”

During these times of national elections, the sports advice still holds. Learning to lose graciously takes class and statesmanship.

Losing is often an opportunity to reset, regroup and reorganize our perspective, approach and direction. It is counter intuitive but there are times when losing can often lead to being a champion.