Archive for August, 2007

Finding money in your pocket

Wednesday, August 29th, 2007

The other day I was reminded of that great feeling of finding money in your pocket as I watched my son's face erupt with joy as he pulled a $5 bill out of his pocket. He had considered that money lost as several nights back he was searching his wallet, hiding places and all of the nooks and crannies. Out of sight, out of mind and then, FOUND. What a great feeling! (recently I think all I've found is some lint, old receipts and a mint).

I loved seeing that smile and began to think about capturing that moment more everyday. Wouldn't it be great to experience true joy over lost things, found things, scheduled things and spontaneous things! What would it take? A new perspective? More thought? Coincidence?

Make it a plan this week to find that kind of joy each day.

Weeds in my yard

Thursday, August 23rd, 2007

Okay, random thought but I've been thinking about the weeds in my yard since I pull several of the green, leafy sprouts that seem to pop up everyday. With all of this rain it's been a great season for them. Looking for a better strategy I started thinking about their sources and how I can prevent more and more weeds from popping up today, tomorrow, months even years from now.

My best idea is a united attack in every yard in my neighborhood. Why? Because I realize I'm getting plants from sources I've never seen. Some seeds are spread by the wind and others by birds so it seems futile without a cooperative effort.  So, how do I get everyone to join me? Can you imagine me walking door to door to ask people to join me in my fight against dandelions? 

In the midst of my "dilemma" I'm reminded of the church and its mission. For the kingdom to advance we must work together toward a common goal. Instead of attempting to convince our neighbors "weeds" are bad we have a  bigger mission. There is a lot of talk about knowing our mission and many know it but few go beyond knowing it. I came across this verse in Hebrews, "the message they heard was of no value to them…" How do you value your mission? Does it require daily action? Does it occupy your thoughts in various settings and circumstances?

A church that knows and values its mission is a powerful thing. Individually our lives take on purpose and then together we change the world faster than you can weed your neighbor's flowerbed.

Federal cases and sports

Thursday, August 16th, 2007

I posted a topic about our culture and sports a few weeks ago and it has struck me again in light of several recent stories. Why is it that the most recent federal cases that have made the news, did so because they are sports related or involve high profile athletes? There have been several steroid cases, the dog fighting and Michael Vick allegations and an NBA official involved in gambling and the mob. One factor could the editorial choice of news directors of the networks and stations. Yet, even that leads us to the "why" someone thinks sports are more newsworthy than the right to free speech.

I'm not against sports, I really enjoy basketball, volleyball, baseball, football… I'm amazed at the athletes' abilities, the cooperative teamwork involved in winning and the high level of competition. But there seems to be a need for some balance in individual fan's lives so that sports aren't the only thing people care deeply about. People go all out decorating their garages with NASCAR paraphernalia, pay thousands for big screen TVs, display their painted bodies in freezing weather and camp on billboards for tickets to the big game.

What if we would go "all out" for something that matters beyond a game or event? What if we sacrificed our time or money to meet a need or just "thought" of friends and family before we consulted our team's schedule?

Last post it was about "what are our kids learning from us?" Now, I'm thinking something similar but the question is "what do we value in life?"

moments with eternal perspective

Monday, August 6th, 2007

I had several intensely surreal moments this past week that showed me a glimpse of how big God is and how incredibly complex His plans are, yet simply available to us to reflect his glory and align our lives with such a future.

One moment was sitting with an Iraqi immigrant as a news story from his country came on the television. I'm not sure what the content of the story was because of the Arabic being spoken but the footage being shown was of US tanks rolling through his country. I wasn't sure what to expect next: anger, sadness, apathy…but a simple "I love America" was verbally spoken.

Another moment happened as a couple of friends and I were painting a room for a family overseas. I kept seeing the little children poking their heads around the corner. I don't think they were amazed at the quality of our work or our progress but I believe their curiosity was focused on the 3 Americans who were painting their house. We didn't know them and they didn't really know us but our prayer was that their thoughts of "who" Christians are will be different from the stereotypical assumptions.   

Those types of moments shape our lives. They are heavy moments with a brief glimpse into the possible future finding their divine way into our present. My hope is that my life is changed with such moments. Ultimately, we all  have to be ready for similar opportunities to dispel the casual assumptions of those who think they know the outcome: moments with our friends, neighbors, children, spouses…moments full of eternity.