The Bus Stop is a series of true stories about my life, people I've worked with and events I've experienced. Of course the names have been changed. I hope these stories will brighten your day with a few laughs as well as give you encouragement. Hopefully you can avoid making some of the mistakes I've made and if you have already made them, then you can identify with me.

Monday, November 24, 2008


There are many of us who are able to maintain a balance of our emotions as long as things are going our way. However, when that balance is interrupted by bad news, unexpected attack or if we just don’t get our way is when our true character is revealed. A good friend of mine told me the other day she went out to eat with someone. Something was not right with person’s order and she went off on the waitress and the manager to the point of completely embarrassing and even humiliating her.

A few weeks ago I heard a lady give a great definition of integrity. She said, “Integrity is when our values control our emotions.” Think about that for a moment. Do our values and convictions mean enough to us to control our emotions when life doesn’t go our way? What are your values? I have seen people who have just received horrific news, but were still able to maintain control over their emotions. I’ve also seen those who have received unpleasant news and went ballistic. It’s really difficult dealing with people who live in emotional inconsistency. When they are feeling good they treat you well and when they are feeling bad they’re grouchy, snippy and difficult to be around. This person may be you. I want you to know that just because you are having a bad day does not give you the right to stomp on others. Grow up!

So what’s the difference between one who has integrity and one who hasn’t? Maturity. There are several factors that contribute to the lack of development in our growth. Naturally our background and those who modeled adulthood had an influence. Mistreatment and abuse definitely affect us. Eventually, we have to come to a point of accepting responsibility for ourselves and quit blaming others.

Many years ago a good name was revered as a must. Part of the reason for this is because towns were small and if you were to cheat someone or take part in a corrupt business deal, it would spread quickly and you could lose your livelihood fast. The other reason, people knew the value of a “Good Name.” A good name is more desirable than great riches. Proverbs 22:1 In present day it seems like for the most part this is a thing of the past. The value system now is based on, “Can I get away with it?”

Another definition of integrity is to choose to do the right thing even when no one is watching. Many of the physical problems, depression, sleep disorders, eating disorders and many other struggles we endure today are based on not having a clear conscience. We attempt to justify, minimize or flat out lie to ourselves hoping to feel better, but it just doesn’t work.

The name “Mensch” is a German and a Yiddish word. The Yiddish definition means, “A person of good character and integrity.” Even though I’ve failed to live up to this name many times throughout my life, I do desire and work towards living up to my name. More importantly I also carry the name “Christian.” This name means more to me because I represent Christ. My desire is to love others the way God loves me and carry His name with honor and integrity.

Monday, November 17, 2008

What's Important to You

This question is really broad and will have multiple answers. What I have learned is important to me greatly depends on the situation at the time. If you are traveling somewhere and you drank a 44oz. drink…in about an hour or so I know what’s going to be the most important thing to you. If you have gone three days without eating, I know what’s going to be important to you. If you are driving somewhere and you notice your gas tank is about empty and it is 50 miles to the next gas station, I know what’s really important to you.

It’s kind of sad that we have to be in a crisis situation before we realize what’s important to us. A husband and wife can be in an extreme intense argument concerning who’s supposed to take out the trash and get a phone call that their child was just hit by a car. Immediately the argument ceases and their thoughts are instantly drawn to the greater importance.

The quickest way to determine what is important to us is to have a crisis in our life. This quickly helps us to determine what really matters. On September 11, 2001 our country was attacked by terrorist. For a brief time everything in our country stopped to evaluate what was truly important to us. For the first time in over a century our home soil had been attacked. The skies were silent for about 3 days and since I worked at the airport during this time I definitely felt the eeriness of the quiet skies. For a brief time the churches were filled during this time of horror, but once comfort was found again many resumed their former lives and vacated the churches.

Adversity will always be a part of our lives and there’s nothing we can do to stop it. What we do have control over is how we deal with it and respond. We all have our personal adversities of loss, illness, fears and other problems. Except for 9/11, my generation has never felt the severity of national plight. We as Americans have become prideful and believe we are beyond the grasp of famine and destruction just as many other major empires in history thought before they fell.

The beauty of adversity is that it brings people together. I’ve always liked to watch disaster movies because it put everyone on the same playing field and brought them together. The CEO, doctor, mechanic, housewife and homeless guy were just people trying to survive together. I know we can’t sit around worrying about what might happen, but it may be prudent to stop occasionally and ponder the many things we should be grateful for and take nothing for granted.

There are many people at this very moment being diagnosed with cancer, getting a phone call that a loved one just died, discovering their child has a drug problem or just lost their job of 25 years. This may be you or someone you know. If this is you then allow others to comfort you and if this is someone you know, then comfort them. The Holy Spirit is referred to as, “The Comforter.” But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of Truth, which proceeds from the Father, He shall testify of Me. John 15:26 Allow God and His Holy Spirit to comfort you and use you to comfort others. Without Him, there is no hope!

Sometimes what I do to evaluate what is really important is I ask, in 200 years from now is this really going to matter? Take a moment a think about what is really important to you.

Monday, November 10, 2008

To Tell the Truth

Some of you may remember the old game show, “To Tell the Truth” that aired many years ago. It comes back every now and then under different names, but still the same show. The show consisted of the host and four celebrity contestants. Then they would bring out three people which one had an unusual occupation. One of the three people would be telling the truth while the other two tried to convince the contestants they were telling the truth.

If you were in a game show and had a chance of winning prizes or cash I could see that people would really want to know the truth. However, in real life I do not believe this is so. In fact, many times we don’t want to hear the truth. We want to hear what we want to hear. We’ve already made up our minds concerning what we plan to do or want to do and the only reason we seek counsel is to find someone to agree with our decision. I think it’s funny that we usually go to the person we know that will tell us what we want to hear.

Many years ago Karen and I went to a seminar in Dallas. There were over 10,000 attendees at the seminar. I remember the speaker asking a series of questions to the crowd and asking for a show of hands. On every question the group would be split about 50/50 on every answer. Have you noticed that last several presidential elections there has been a similar split as well. It doesn’t seem to matter how large the group is because I’ve seen the same thing in classroom situations as well. So why the 50/50 split? Does this mean that half the group is right and the other half is wrong? Not necessarily. There’s a good chance that both groups are right or both groups are wrong.

The reasons for the varying beliefs can be due to several things such as…background, personality, experiences, present state of mind, feelings or based on something they saw in a movie. Our basic nature is stingy and greedy except in one area. We are always willing to give free advice. I want to urge you to be careful in seeking advice or counsel. I even tell people to not take my word for it because I could be wrong and just because 9 out of 10 people say something is true doesn’t necessarily mean it’s true.

In the movie Star Wars I don’t know how many times I heard, “Luke, trust your feelings.” This may be ok for a movie, but in real life this could be the most disastrous thing we could do. Our emotions and feelings are like the tide of the ocean constantly going in and out. We can’t trust something that unpredictable or unstable. Some say, “Follow your heart and it will never mislead you.” Wrong! The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? Jeremiah 17:9

The other difficulty we have is to let our morality dictate our philosophy. Simply saying is that whatever sin difficulty we have in our life we will have a tendency to change our beliefs, convictions or the Bible to fit in line with our state of living. This might work for awhile, but it will eventually catch up with us.

I hear frequently that there are many roads that lead to heaven. Some may agree there is one God, but he may go by different names. Some argue to say Jesus is the Savior of this world is arrogance because Christians exclude other religions and of course it’s not politically correct. The sad thing is that there are some people who call themselves Christians who have bought into this ideology.

When we are seeking truth we will never find it in people, horoscopes or on the back of a cereal box. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6

This is why God gave us His Word, the Bible. He knew that mankind’s thinking had been distorted by sin therefore our truth would always be tainted and varied. The Bible is not a book of rules and regulations, but a source for us to find direction and truth. The question is…Can we handle the truth?