Archive for April, 2010

Mailbox and Grace

April 30th, 2010

I know everyone was looking forward to some encouraging words from Jason this morning but I am afraid you have to settle for me this morning. Jason is in beautiful Pigeon Forge today with the BBS middle school band and I know he is having a blast! I shall do my best to provide some daily thoughts for you today.

On Monday I had the pleasure of working 7-4 so my wife could make visit to the dentist. I met her at the office and brought all the kiddos home. As I made the turn to come down the street something out of the ordinary caught my eyes. It couldn’t be, oh but it was, my mailbox…in the middle of my front yard. That isn’t where it should be, it should be by the street, I thought to myself. Well I parked the car and went and got my mail and mailbox in. Someone had hit the mailbox and driven away, I was angry! I went in, posted a facebook status (yes I am that nerdy), and then looked up the sherriff’s office number. Yes I wanted justice, I wanted revenge!

Well about the time I was getting ready to call to report this injustice a knock on the front door came. A father with his son came to take responsiblity and took my broken mailbox to fix it. A father came to help his son who had made a mistake fix his problem.

Wednesday night we talked about grace at church. Grace the thing that I have but do not deserve. God freely gives it to me (and you) and neither of us deserves it. God has every right to get justice, revenge, to give us what we deserve but that isn’t the way he works. He gives grace and love, He wants to help us fix our problem.

I am thankful that my Father is there to help me and provide grace and not like me wanting justice and revenge. Today let’s be thankful for the grace and love our Father has given us!

Romans 5
12Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned— 13for before the law was given, sin was in the world. But sin is not taken into account when there is no law. 14Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who was a pattern of the one to come.
15But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many! 16Again, the gift of God is not like the result of the one man’s sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification. 17For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.

Salt and Light

April 29th, 2010

Yesterday I was blessed to be able to spend 5 hours driving back home from Columbia, SC alone – just me and my truck!  It would stand to reason then that I would have conjured up some great revelation or antidote after all that great thinking time.  Well, that’s just it. I am really stuck this week on the whole idea of being salt – of being all in.  My thoughts actually moved a little bit to Luke 14:33 – the cost of being all in, but I am not really sure that I am ready to write anything about that!

So, today, I continue to think about being salt and being light.  I wish I could write today and say – here is what this means, here is the practical application of this lesson, of this encouragement.  However, the best I can come up with is to impact for good those who are directly in your path.   Don’t hide it, don’t put it under a basket, but shine and do good to each person you come in contact with.  Remember earlier in the week, I mentioned my sister-in-law and the job she does with the chorus.  Here is a practical application of someone doing all they can to make those around her better.  I am sure that on some days her students may not agree with this, but she gives everything she can to bring out the best is those students.  That’s one way to be salty.

So I apologize if today seems a little redundant, however, I think it’s worth repeating – remember “Are you really listening, really listening”.  So, study your life today and look for ideas and ways you can be salt and light!  If you don’t mind share it in the comment section on the blog.

Matthew 5:13-16
13“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.14“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 15Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.New International Version (NIV)

“Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You’ve lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage.14-16“Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.The Message (MSG)

Salt Life

April 28th, 2010

I Love the beach.  I am so looking forward to my time there again this summer ( hopefully, not covering in tar and oil from that sunken rig). Anyway, as a lot of you do, I really enjoy my time at the ocean on the beach  – the sand, the smell, the warmth, the sun, the salt. The Salt. As much as it’s a little trendy, I like these Salt Life stickers people have on their vehicles.

I like them because they are a reminder to me – a reminder of the ocean and a reminder of a message for life.  This week I have continually been thinking about Luke 14 and the message there about living the Salt Life.

 34“Salt is excellent. But if the salt goes flat, it’s useless, good for nothing.   “Are you listening to this? Really listening?”  The Message

Flat salt is good for nothing.  Some other translations say its not even good for the manure pile!  

 34“Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? 35It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile; it is thrown out.
      “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”  New International Version (NIV)

I don’t think I want to have a life that is not even good enough for the manure pile!  

 I am trying to be salty.  I am trying to live the salt life and to impact people – by expressing love and concern for them.  By being the spice that makes things better.  This is so important that the Christ even asks “Hey – do you hear this? – BE SALTY” . 

So today slap that Salt Life tag on your vehicle, on your surfboard, on your keyboard, on your whiteboard, or in the board room.  Dream of the ocean and lazy days in the surf, but also, impact others by being the salt of life.

Smile and Wave

April 27th, 2010

Today,  I have an interesting engagement.  At times it sort of makes me feel like the penguins in the movie Madagascar “Smile and Wave Boys, just Smile and Wave”.  

But really it’s more than that – even though I am working within some pretty Dilbertesque parameters.   Its really more about helping people.  Without going into too many details about the whole thing, let’s just say it could be very easy for me to take a hands off approach, just smile and wave, keep everyone happy and move on.   But I don’t think thats the difference that we are asked to make in peoples lives.  I have been thinking alot ( like all year so far) about living to make those around me better.   It’s been a little silent mantra of mine so far this year at work.  Today is one of those opportunities when it is what the entire day is really about – making those around me better.

Isn’t that really the way we are called to live every day? (Remember the old children’s bible program acronym for JOY – Jesus Others You)  It seems to me that taking that approach everyday is  pretty good.  Check this quote out:

 
“To do something, however small, to make others happier and better, is the highest ambition, the most elevating hope, which can inspire a human being” John Lubbock quotes (English Biologist and Politician, 1834-1913)

And then there’s this little bit of encouragement from Philippians:

 1If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. 3Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. 4Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Philippians 2:1-4 (New International Version)

So today, go out and make those around you better.  Find ways to encourage those you come in contact with, and look out for their interests, not your own.

Magic of Music

April 26th, 2010

Tonight my youngest Andrew starts guitar lessons.  He has wanted to learn to play the guitar for years, and tonight he will get the chance.  Yesterday he was attempting to tune his guitar in anticipation of the evening’s activities.  Since the rest of the family was otherwise occupied, he was calling on my services to help him tune it up.  There’s one small problem there – I am the one that has the least amount of musicality in the family.  Lets just say that on Karaoke night at family functions, well the volume is turned up on the track, and in Rock Band competitions, I do not get the microphone.

And its funny that it’s that way, because I find myself so driven to sing praise, and so inspired by lyrics and so interesting in having music around me.  I find that the power of music to keep me moving in the right direction is really amazing.

And so, last night, there I was again at a school concert!  This time, the BBS Chorus, with which my sister-in-law, Lori,  does an outstanding job in teaching and leading each year. (But that’s a lesson for another day – one of giving your all to bring the best out of others).  Anyway, they finished last night with In Christ Alone.

No guilt in life, no fear in death,
This is the power of Christ in me;
From life’s first cry to final breath.
Jesus commands my destiny.
No power of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand;

Till He returns or calls me home,
Here in the power of Christ I’ll stand.

Its such a well written song, and was presented in a very special way last night.  As you can tell the music sticks with me, and it strengthens me.  I hope that if you know this song it will become an ear worm for you today and provide you with a little motivation to tackle a Monday with passion and power!  In Christ we are free, and we have a freedom that is absolutely amazing to comprehend.  We are free, we are safe.

Sing it today, and if you see Andrew, give him a little extra encouragement – maybe one day he will impact people with his music!

11 Rejoice in the LORD and be glad, you righteous;
sing, all you who are upright in heart! Psalm 32:11 (New International Version)

1 Sing joyfully to the LORD, you righteous;
it is fitting for the upright to praise him. Psalm 33:1 (New International Version)