Saturday, July 30, 2005

When Gold Falls From the Sky

I once heard a supposedly true story about a man who was casually walking down the streets of a large city when something hit him on the shoulder and knocked him down. Although his shoulder was very painful and probably broken, he looked around for his assailant. Seeing nobody close to him, he looked beside him on the sidewalk and there lay a shoebox, securely wrapped in duct tape.

Someone nearby called an ambulance and the man was taken to the hospital to be checked over; but before he left, he grabbed the weighty shoebox and tucked it under his good arm as evidence. While in the emergency room, he opened the shoebox and found three gold bars each wrapped in a cloth. The police were called, examined the box, and assumed that it had either fallen out of an airplane or out of a nearby high rise. They figured that the gold had been stolen jewellery which had been melted down for profit.

After doing some thorough investigation and finding no claimant for the three gold bars, six months after the accident, the victim was awarded the gold as his legal “finders keepers” possession!

Most of us would be willing to suffer a sore shoulder if we were to end up with a few pounds of gold bars but the results can be similar when we are hit with weighty trials of life. The end product can often be more valuable than gold!

This principle needs to be embedded in our children right from the time they are toddlers. For example, when my two year-old grandson was playing outside he fell and scraped up his knee. His first response after the accident was to look at his mom to get a reading on how worried he should be. If mom were to react with a scream and a call to 911, it would teach Maxwell that he should react emotionally when bad things happen.

But my daughter didn’t react emotionally; she remained calm and caring. That did at least two things: She set a tone for how traumatic the injury was to be perceived and would give her son the space and energy he needed to deal positively with his sore leg. Second, after Kelly had attended to the wound, she used the crisis as a teaching point for her toddler. Thus, rather than the accident being a crisis, it became a stepping stone.

Re-enforcing the principle throughout a child’s or teen-ager’s life will help them learn to respond to crises as opportunities for growth and maturing. Later on, whether it is a serious accident, illness, financial set back or broken relationship, we learn that there are often gold bars wrapped up in the cardboard box that knocked us off our feet!

It's never to late to learn how to deal with setbacks in our lives. In fact, a friend of mine calls them sitbacks. When troubles come, she sits back and reflects on what is happening to her and tries to figure our what she can learn from the experience. Next time trouble finds you, why don't you try that? Think about what you can learn from your crisis and maybe even how you can help someone else. May you find at least a gold nugget or two, if not an entire gold bar.

Have a great weekend!


Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Figuring Out Life

If you were to talk to a bunch of kids these days you'd see that they think they have life pretty well figured out. Here are some examples of the great truths about life that children have learned:
  • No matter how hard you try, you can’t baptize cats.
  • When your mom is mad at your dad, don’t let her brush your hair.
  • If your sister hits you, don’t hit her back. They always catch the second person.
  • You can’t trust dogs to watch your food.
  • Reading what people write on desks can teach you a lot.
  • Don’t sneeze when someone is cutting your hair.
  • Puppies still have bad breath even after eating a breath mint.
  • Never hold a vacuum and a cat at the same time.
  • You can’t hide a piece of broccoli in a glass of milk.
  • Don’t wear polka-dot underwear under white shorts no matter how cute the underwear is.

As true as these sage pieces of advice about life may be, Solomon had some better stuff which he had learned, and he wrote about it in his first book. Proverbs was written about three thousand years ago and still holds just as true today. One of the twelve foundational truths that the wise king wrote about was righteousness, which is simply right living or walking the right path.

The fact remains today that the only way to end up at the right destination is to choose the right path.Try as we may to shift the blame on other people, we are each ultimately responsible for the life path which we choose to walk. But thank God that he offers his help to each of us as we make those choices. Our shepherd, who has already seen our futures, is always there to direct our paths and help us make the right decisions at those difficult crossroads.

A good friend of mine works on the ships which sail up and down our B.C. coast and he taught me a very important lesson about God’s willingness to guide us on the right path. Because our coastline is so unpredictable and dangerous, our shipping authorities do not allow any ships to enter our B.C. ports without an officially trained and licensed pilot aboard. When a ship from Europe, Asia or Australia arrives within a few miles of our B.C. coast, the captain has to call ahead to Vancouver and have the authorities send out a pilot. When the pilot gets to the ship, the captain gives him full authority over his crew and ship. He understands that the pilot knows the hidden reefs and rocks and how to manoeuvre between them. The pilot also guides the ship as it leaves our coastal ports.

We are the captains of our own ships and choose each day where we will sail, but wisdom teaches us to give the ultimate authority over our lives to the pilot who knows the right path. Solomon tells us that the pilot is the Lord – in all your ways, put him first and he will direct your paths.

Happy sailing,


Sunday, July 24, 2005


Hello and welcome to my blog.

My name is Dr. Barry James Buzza. I’m a husband, father, papa, pastor, author, and all round nice guy. Just ask anyone.

I consider myself blessed to pastor a
large church filled with caring and giving people, who are extremely talented. It is through the support of this congregation that I am able to pursue more than just being a pastor. I travel to Asia to speak at conferences that encourage and exhort local pastors and I write books about my experiences that help others learn about their destiny in life.

Hopefully, my blog will be an extension of my work. If you have any questions, feel free to email me or post a comment. Unless I am out of town or busy, I’ll respond in a timely manner. (Well, timely for me since I stay clear of computers as much as possible. If you don’t want to wait for a response, you can always purchase one of my
books. Did I mention I used to be in sales?)

And speaking of being busy . . .

When the young people from our church were heading out on a missions trip, I got up early to help drive some of our team to the airport. They were going to Costa Rica to construct buildings, teach children, care for the sick and give gifts of food and clothes. It was 3:30 a.m. and we were riding down the almost empty highway, when we came upon a car that was stalled by the side of the dark road. In the seconds that passed between our seeing the man in distress and our opportunity to stop and help, we passed among ourselves several comments:

“We should really stop and help the guy!”

“Maybe he needs a telephone to call for a tow truck or a ride somewhere!”

“No, we’re running late already – we haven’t got time to stop. We don’t want to miss our plane!”

Thankfully, as I pulled slowly by him to check him out, I saw him on the telephone; he smiled at us and waved us on, so we didn’t have to risk being late for our plane. But as we drove on, we quipped, “Oh yeah, here we are Christians on a mission for God to help the poor in Costa Rica, but we’re too busy doing stuff for God to help someone right under our noses who may have needed us.”

“Maybe it was a test from God,” said someone. “If it was, we might just have flunked it!”

The problem we were having that morning was one that I’m trying to overcome – no white spaces in my time. A few weeks ago, I used the illustration that the white spaces in a book or magazine with no printing or pictures crowding them, actually make what is written easier to see and read.

In our lives, white spaces in our emotional or physical energy, in our finances or in our daily schedules give us energy, money and time to enjoy the serendipitous opportunities of life and take the time to go about discovering our life's destiny. I learned years ago not to plug my calendar so full in a day that I can’t stop and visit for two or three minutes with a child who’s toddling beside his mommy at the church, talk with a lady who phones in distress and needs an encouraging word or pray with a guy who walks in off the street for a cup of coffee. If I’m too busy for the “smelling the roses” moments, I’m too busy period! I’ve had to get past the idea that my time is more important than anybody else’s!

The other day, I was visiting some friends and noticed a plaque that was pinned to their family bulletin board, so I asked them about it.

The wife said to me, “Well, we moved into this smaller home to try and cut down our financial pressures and reorganize our lives so that we have more time as a family to breath. I found that cardboard plaque in our junk drawer. The poem begins, ‘Lord slow me down…,’ but I haven’t had time to read the rest of it yet!”

I laughed with her because I understood.

I’m glad you took time out of your hectic schedule to stop and read my blog today. I hope you’ll save a little white space in your week to drop by again soon.