About Michael Obermire

Michael Obermire has been an executive in the manufacturing industry for over 30 years; he has been appointed to numerous boards and commissions in academia and government. He is a Christian Educator, and frequent guest lecturer on leadership and Christian lifestyle at conferences and universities.

With the release of WARRIORS, Obermire has established himself as a unique and innovative Christian writer; creating characters that are genuine and capable, revealing through their stories the magnificent influence of God in every aspect of our life. He lives in northern California with his wife, Lea, their children, and grandchild.

What about Saturday?

saturdayOn Good Friday our Lord was crucified, just as He and the Scriptures foretold.  We call it Good Friday, because had Jesus not been sacrificed we could not be saved, so it was a good day for us, but being wrongfully accused and killed by jealous men does not usually make for a “good day.”  Then on the third day, Easter, Jesus rose from the dead, concurring, Satan, death and sin forever, just as He promised He would do.

The Easter weekend is arguably the most important period in a Christian’s life, because it is the culmination of promises made by God to his people throughout history.  It is the victory of good over evil, forever.  Yet for all of its importance, only Friday and Sunday are celebrated or written about in the Bible.  Saturday is left out of the story completely.  Is this because Saturday was not important; nothing big happened so why write about it? No, I believe Saturday is as important to understanding the mercy and salvation available from God as the death or resurrection.  Saturday teaches us patience; to wait for God’s timing and not ours.

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Milestones

milestonesWhat was the last major milestone experience in your life and when did it happen?  A milestone is a significant event that happens to you, or a loved one, which forever changes your view on life, and can even reset your personal priorities. It can be good or bad, inevitable or sudden, but a milestone creates a permanent change in you.

Marrying Lea thirty-four years ago was my most significant milestone event, and it was inevitable.  God put us together and we never looked back.  Because of the first milestone I was able to have three more; the births of my children.  These four events didn’t just change me and my view of life; they made me, because I would have lived an incomplete existence if not for them.  There are other milestones of course: I quit smoking at age 21, one of the best decisions I have ever made. When I was 50, I returned to school to obtain an MBA, which has become a path altering event. Of course, when I stopped hiding from God, and let him find me in my early twenties, I crossed a milestone that has had eternal consequences for me and my family.

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Until the Ink is Dry

pen paperImagine the beginning of your life as a book without any words; blank pages beautifully bound in precious leather but absent any substance. Your life and mine is an unwritten story anxious to tell its tale. Now imagine a pen next to the book. The ink in the pen will create the lyrics of your life: love, joy pain, excitement, intrigue, and many thousands more.  Each page represents one day; God chooses the number of pages, only He knows the first day and the last. We create the experiences that fill the pages, deciding for ourselves the volume of life that each day will hold. So then, it is a partnership between ourself and God that creates the quality and fullness of the life we live, and that partnership is more evenly weighed than you may think.  

Jay, my brother-in-law, died this month.  It has been a time of emotional trauma as we navigate through unknown and unwanted waters.  Yet we somehow have made it past (sometimes reluctantly and always bruised) each hour of every day.  And we will survive the days to come, battered and tired beyond our human ability to comprehend, but survive we must, and we will.  

During this period, while writing an obituary for Jay and listening to the many entertainingly emotional stories arising from the pulpit and barstool, it is abundantly obvious to me that Jay’s book contained too few pages. His novel should have been Tolstoyick in nature, with pages of fine print numbered in the hundreds of thousands.  Still I believe the time of the last page was set by God for a reason I cannot comprehend, so I reluctantly choose not to question His contribution to the partnership.  This however, I know to be true; on the last day there was not a single drop of ink left in Jay’s pen.  He had filled each line on every page with life.  Richly laughing and loving through each chapter; every paragraph shouting for friends and family, Jay boldly placed all others in line before himself.

The adversity named diabetes struck him in the seventh chapter like the iceberg to the Titanic.  This time though, there was no shipwreck as Jay cast the berg aside like a melting snow-cone on a hot summer day.  Hard working and equally hard in play, Jay scribbled and printed in his book with an energy that was obvious and envied.  If the direction for his next adventure were unclear, Jay kept writing, knowing that every page would eventually be turned.  Near his end the pages turned slower, but that only gave Jay more time to spend filling the lines with laughter and hope.  His contribution to the partnership with God was at the highest level possible, making his book a timeless best seller.  Now, their partnership has become a sole proprietorship; the two merging into one, living on in endless fun and games.

~~~~~~~

What does your book like?  How many pages are blank, or only contain a few words?  How often do our pages speak of work and responsibility, of belongings and not of family or friends?  The ink is ours alone to use, so why do we let so many other people and “things” dictate what we write?  How many paragraphs begin and end with God? 

 Is it time to for all of us to seize our pen and write our own story!

The death of Jay has made me test my priorities and my values.  I have not used all of my vacation time for any year of the last ten, but I have more miles on Southwest and points at Hilton than most people you will meet.  Over 400 friends and family members attended the two memorial services held in Jay’s honor, and although he had only been retired for three years, no one spoke what he had accomplished at work; we spoke of friendship, commitment, and love.  

I am not questioning the need for a career; I question its priority in our book.  I don’t question the need for serious thought; I encourage the need for laughter.  I’m also not advocating only engaging in BIG adventures (vacations, travel), but also the important little things; such as attending kids sporting events, family game nights and regular dates with your spouse.  I’m suggesting less of the doldrums and more excitement; I am proposing a reassessment of priorities to whom, and away from what, from sometime to now!

I am changing my vocabulary to phrases that say; yes, I’ll try that, or sure let’s go, and I’m coming home now.  I don’t know the number of pages left in my book, but I think there is a lot of ink left in the pen.  I intend to use every drop, just like Jay.  

The Fox and the Rainbow Trout

red-fox2The typical Red Fox living in an ordinary forest is a little creature, about the size of a small dog, having white and red, or dark brown fur, and a fluffy tail that is equal in length to their body.  The most significant feature by far is their tail, which can grow to be very long and full of thick beautiful fur, standing out like the feathers of a peacock in bloom.  Mr. Fox lived in a common forest, but he was not the typical fox, for his tail was grander than all others, full of red and white fur and longer that any animal in the forest had ever seen.  He preened his tail daily, so everyone would notice how beautiful it was as he trotted through the forest, waving his tail high in the sky.

There is a stream that winds its way through the forest where Mr. Fox lives, home to many fish and frogs.  One of the fish is an 18 inch long Rainbow Trout.  This species of trout is known for the amazing array of colors on its scales; bright streaks of red, yellow and orange surrounded with black dots from head to tail.  Mr. Rainbow, as he likes to be called, is a beautiful and majestic creature; if you meet him just ask and he will tell you so.

One sunny day Mr. Fox was walking, no more like prancing, through the forest with his tail held high, when he decided to go to the wide spot in the stream, where the water is deep and moves slower.  On a calm day and when the sun is in the right place in the sky, you can see your reflection in the water as good as with any mirror in the finest home.  Mr. Fox frequented that place.  Mr. Rainbow liked that place in the river too, for there he could jump high out of the water, and the other animals in the forest could gaze upon his beauty.

So, as you would expect to happen, both Mr. Fox and Mr. Rainbow arrived at the wide, clear spot in the river at the same time.  Just as Mr. Fox was admiring his brilliant, brightly colored tail, Mr. Rainbow jumped high in the air, rippling the water as he splashed and blurring the beautiful image of his tail.

“Excuse me my dear fish, but your wild splashing is disturbing the calmness of the water.  Do you mind stopping!” asked Mr. Fox in his most deliberate voice.

“My name, whoever you are, is Mr. Rainbow, named as I am sure even you can see for the beauty of my scales.  Surely you can miss a few moments of gazing at yourself to look at real magnificence.  Just look at my beautiful rainbow when I jump into the air.”  Mr. Rainbow was feeling very full of himself today as jumped again, higher than ever.

“Well, well.  How can you even compare a few fishy scales to my splendid fur?  The water must be affecting your vision.  My tail is the envy of all the animals in the forest!”  Mr. Fox was not to be out done.  He would show this fish a thing or two. 

“Then you must not know many animals in the forest!” shouted Mr. Rainbow. (It really wasn’t very loud, but fish don’t have vocal chords so it was the best that he could muster).   Then Mr. Rainbow dove deep, and launched himself far into the afternoon sky, knowing that his splash would shake the water for quite some time.  As it turned out, Mr. Rainbow didn’t know everything that day.  At the peak of his leap, when his scales shined like brightly colored lights on a starless night, a shadow crossed over Mr. Rainbow a moment before the Eagle struck.  The trout was watching the changing expression on the fox and reacted with bitter surprise when the talons hit, grabbing Mr. Rainbow in a crushing vice as he was carried high into the sky.  The water in the river was abnormally calm as Mr. Fox watched the cycle of life, featuring Mr. Rainbow and Mr. Eagle; play out in dramatic reality just a few feet from the shore.  Fear, mixed with a sudden certainty of his vulnerability drenched the fox like a Midwest thunderstorm – so he ran. He ran as fast as he had ever run; jumping over fallen trees and boulders three times his size.  The frightened fox created holes through the brush and thorns where none existed.  Mr. Fox ran until he was home in his earthen den; sweaty, bleeding and dirty. His matted tail waited impatiently as Mr. Fox sat motionless, thinking of today’s events, and the fate of Mr. Rainbow.

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Beware of becoming preoccupied with showing yourself to others as amazing, or extraordinary, because if you are, they will know without you telling them; and besides, it is God who knows you the best, and He already thinks that you are exceptionally, wonderfully, one-of-a-kind, perfect! 

 

Proverbs 16:18

    Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.

Psalm 10:4

    In his pride the wicked man does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God.

Four Strategies to Survive Holiday and Work Stress

definition_of_stressWe are over half way through the holiday season.  Thanksgiving and Christmas have passed; but football playoffs, the Superbowl, and New Year’s Eve and Day are waiting to pounce on us like Mardi Gras on an unsuspecting tourist.  The stress of having to watch all the bowl games, NFL playoffs, go to the many celebrations, and eat and drink beyond sanity is too much to bear for some.  Adding salt to a wound, many of our employers expect us to function at work as if nothing else was happening outside the grey walls of industrial servitude.  What are we to do?  Give up; stay inside and watch reruns? Buy a gross of antacids and hope for the best? No! Giving up is not in our DNA and hope is not a plan (unless you are in the Federal Government).  I have tested four strategies which will help you to survive the holiday season and escape to the doldrums of January physically unscathed and mentally neutral. 

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A Legacy Worth Remembering

fountain-pen-on-paperHave you noticed that the single most important driving force in some people’s life is to leave a legacy of “amazing” accomplishments for future generations to acknowledge or debate?  The need for recognition of a life well lived is not detrimental, it is, given the human need for acceptance and love, highly understandable.  However, if the preoccupation with shaping the future opinion of people whom you have never met overwhelms the responsibility of caring for those whom you should love today, then a review of your priorities is in order.

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Moving Day

moving-boxes-300x276Last week we helped move our daughter, her husband and their six month old daughter into a new apartment.  The entire move was accomplished in a single day with the help of a rental truck, dozens of boxes, and willing friends and family.  I’m not certain why it is so, but moving-in always seems easier than moving -out.   The new apartment was empty and clean; each appliance was new and shiny, the walls gleamed with fresh paint, and every bathroom tile was buffed to perfection.  By contrast, the old residence appeared cluttered and in need of a thorough cleaning, as is the state of most apartments on move-out day.  Yet at some stage in their mutual existence, the new and old apartments both were filled with furnishings the owner believed they needed, and later, just prior to a new occupancy, the rooms were emptied and cleaned.  Space must be made in the old before the new can be moved in.

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Trust

In_GOD_We_TrustAs a normal course of life, we are asked to routinely trust a diverse array of situational commands delivered by people we have never met, or machines we never wanted to.  Yet we accept these often life changing commands as routine because we trust the source.  More precisely, we choose to trust the source.

  •     “In an emergency, the bags will drop from the ceiling above your head.  Simply pull on the chord to start the flow of air.  The bag may not inflate, but (TRUST ME) air will be flowing.”  We are asked in an airplane emergency to trust that lifesaving air is actually in an empty bag.  I’ve never heard anyone ask, “I don’t trust you – prove it.
  •     You are driving your car towards a busy intersection, and the green light is shining in your direction.  Other cars are approaching in a perpendicular path, but they SHOULD have a red light.  You TRUST that the other cars will stop. We TRUST that the light is working properly and the other drivers see the light, know the law, and will obey it.  We bet our lives on that scenario every day.
  •       One more from the airlines.  “In case of an unplanned water landing, use your seat cushion as a water floatation device.”  My seat cushion is barely the size of my seat, and only two inches thick.  I believe it will float in the Pacific Ocean, but I am to TRUST that the cushion will float with me holding on to it.  Really?  Yet here I sit in aisle 4 during a flight back home, TRUSTING that the aircraft, crew, and the Laws of Physics that we will land safely.

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Two Trails

Frenchman_Mountain_trail_6Billy, Eddie and John were like most 14 year old boys: endlessly hungry and dirty in the same moment, exhibiting the attention span equivalent to a sub-atomic particle and in possession of the inquisitive nature of the scientist who discovered it.  They were ‘good boys’, a description often assigned by their mothers in the small Nebraska community where they lived.  When they were bad, they would say so as well.  Today, the three sat in Eddie’s garage throwing a tennis ball Billy had found in his sister’s gym bag.  Billy had a knack for finding things in obvious places. In this game, they threw the ball to one another as quickly as they could, but each had to catch the ball one handed.  Making the other guy’s hand hurt when he caught the tennis ball was always the ultimate goal of the game, but they only kept score by the number of times you missed a ball that should have been caught.  Arguments over whether a ball was catchable were often and loud, a secondary benefit of playing this particular game.  

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Other Places; Other Times

img_9008-old-leather-book-with-brass-clasps-q90-1409x877Gorda entered the Room of Past Knowledge from the south side of the complex, where the morning sun shone the brightest of the day. It was hot, passing 140 degrees as he turned the key to the massive iron and wooden door.  He moved through the threshold of gold, iron and cheesewood, meant to keep evil spirits from entering this room, into a much cooler, very ancient place.  Gorda wasn’t sure if evil spirits existed, or if their reported existence was a way for the old chemist to keep the townspeople afraid and behaved. He did know that evil was real; he had fought against it for decades, so he allowed the use of rare Cheesewood for a door frame. Besides, evil, in spirit or not, could not be allowed into this room. 

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