A digital commonplace for a Regular Guy called Charlie Pharis

Month: December 2004 (page 1 of 3)

What If You Had a Do-Over?

You know, a re-start, kind of a CTRL-ALT-DEL for your life, a mulligan, if you will. What would be different? What would be the same? Would you have gotten so caught up in the things that really don’t matter, while ignoring or neglecting the things that ultimately do? How would you decide which ones were which?

Fred Peatross shares his heart about what he would do if he could start over.

I know it’s not possible to really start over. And if I’m brutally honest, I imagine I’d do the same stupid stuff the second time around. I wouldn’t have learned from my mistakes and mishaps. But while we can’t go back to Square One, we can determine that beginning today, we will be different.

Kenneth Christian wrote in Your Own Worst Enemy: Breaking the Habit of Adult Underachievement

…there is seldom a real advantage to deferring change to some future time. It is never too late to begin. Does it make sense to spend the rest of your life in mediocrity because you waited to get started?

I saw this quote in Tom Peters’s blog – his Resolution #1 for NY2005…

Nobody can prevent you from choosing to be exceptional.

Nobody indeed. Well, nobody but…yeah, you know who…


Sometime today, based on the site stats for this humble attempt at a blog, the 2000th visitor will click on Just Charlie. Now, that’s 2000 since I started using the current site meter.

I know that’s nothing compared to folks like everyone’s favorite Canadian or everyone’s favorite Canadian’s favorite London-based New Zealander. But it’s still amazing to me that a couple of thousand times, people – whom I know, whom I don’t know, whom I’d like to know – have checked in to see what interests me at the moment. And in turn, I can check in with them and see what’s on their minds and hearts. And in the process, I grow and become more what God intended for me to be, learning all the way. Amazing!

At any rate, if you happen to be Number 2000, well who knows? You might get the big prize or something…

Thanks for stopping by. Thanks for sharing your hearts. Thanks for being gentle in your assessment. Thanks for the encouragement. Thanks for the “hmmmms” and “ahas”.

Tsunami Disaster in Asia…

Devastation. There’s just no other word to describe the effects of the massive earthquake and tsunamis in south Asia. We can help…

Southern Baptists are mobilizing to provide aid.

Our United Methodist friends are helping.

So is World Vision.

The Red Cross is active.

Franklin Graham’s organization

I’m sure there are other groups that are doing things for the people of Sri Lanka and Indonesia in the aftermath of perhaps the worst natural disaster in history. It’s important that we all find avenues of channeling our support. If you know of other good aid organizations, let us know.

Most importantly, we all need to pray for these people in this time.

No Storm Clouds, No Rain, No Lush Pastures…

I read Zechariah 10:1 this morning, and I was struck by the plea to God’s people to ask the Lord for rain in season.

The plea says that without God’s goodness, there are no storm clouds, and without storm clouds, there is no rain, and without rain, there are no lush green pastures. I thought about that sequence and then I thought about it in reverse order…

Lush green pastures = rain = storm clouds = God’s creative goodness

Most of the time, we want to avoid the storms of life at any cost. We don’t like clouds very much, silver linings or not. We want “blue skies, nothing but blue skies.” And we miss the great truth that a life lived with no threat of storms means a life lived with no lush growth. It means drought. It means a life robbed of, well…life.

One of my heroes once said that there are three kinds of people in the world: those who are in the middle of a storm, those who have just come through a storm, and those for whom the storm is on the way. I know that storms are not pleasant (witness the destruction caused by the Florida hurricanes last summer). I know that storms disrupt lives and destroy property. I know that storms are often frightening.

But I need to know that God is the Master of the storm, and that His clouds bring refreshing rain to my parched life.

God, help me learn from the storm clouds. Refresh me and your people with your rain in its season. Bring new and lush growth in our lives.

Follow-up on Scrooge…

OK, so the big day is almost over. Pretty uneventful, which in the big sceme of things ain’t so bad.

A couple of observations…

No matter how rotten a day, week, month, or even year it’s been, there’s nothing that Martha’s boiled shrimp and Kentucky Derby pie and Frances’s orange rolls and breakfast casserole won’t fix! Thanks, Moms!

What Does Your Browser Say About You?

Saw the “26-letter browsing personality” over at Will Samson’s blog:

Inspired by Tim Samoff’s post, I put together my 26-letter browser personality. Here’s how to do it. In the address bar of your web browser clear whatever is there and then type in the letter “a”. See what comes up. Then clear that and type in the letter “b”. Repeat for each letter

First of all, I didn’t get too many results with Firefox, since I have it set where it doesn’t save any History or cache or whatever. So I switched over to Internet Explorer, which I generally only use for Windows Updates. Here’s what I found…

A: ARIN WHOIS Database Search

B: Blogger

C: Just Charlie: My blog, such as it is�

D: Design Within Reach

E: My E: Drive (removable flash thingy�Christmas Eve service PowerPoint)

F: Free Republic

G: Gmail

H: Hanson Carter�s blog

I: Internet Explorer (brings up my Start Page)

J: No Js

K: Kennesaw State University (�The Boy and His School�)

L: Local News Sources (a Favorites folder)


N: North American Mission Board (SBC)

O: OSCAR (Transfer Information for Georgia Tech)

P: PaidContent.org

Q: Queso.com

R: RapidForum.com

S: Symantec Security Response (where you go to download your virus definition updates)

T: Turnaround Concepts (another Favorites folder)

U: Universalis

V: Vicki (my wife�s Favorites folder)

W: The Weather Channel (my Start page)

X: No Xs (not even in Texas�thanks George Strait!)

Y: No Ys

Z: No Zs

Veddy interestink…

If We Make It Through December…

Ol’ Merle was right on the money…

If we make it through December

Everything’s gonna be all right I know

It’s the coldest time of winter

And I shiver when I see the fallin’ snow

If we make it through December

I got plans of bein’ in a warmer town come summer time

Maybe even California

If we make it through December we’ll be fine

Somewhere along the way, Scrooge crept up on me again this year…two years in a row…not good! Not good at all! The usual beginning-with-Labor-Day Christmas music extravaganza actually kind of went the way of the bluebird about Thanksgiving or the day after, and it hasn’t been the same since.

It was as though Christmas sneaked up on me really fast. Didn’t budget my time or money enough to make it what it ought to be. Throw in a little triple-threat transformation effort (self, family, church) and there you go…

So somehow, I’m going through the motions. I know it’s all about peace, love, goodwill to men and all that stuff. I know the Kid in the Manger came for all of us so we can get to Dad. I appreciate all that…I really do! I know it’s all about family and fellowship and all that stuff. I appreciate all that…I do! But right about now, just after 11:00 on Christmas Eve 2004, I’ll be just as happy to see February 2005. Or April. Or whatever…

If we make it through December we’ll be fine