Archive for September, 2010

Keep Pounding

September 30th, 2010

Last night the pounding continued for me.  It was bad enough that I wrote about my experience with homeless dude and my general lack of concern for my neighbor.  But then last night, the men’s group I have been hanging out with decides that the topic should be about love, and kindness and how we treat the poor.  (geesh, is someone trying to tell me something!!)

But seriously, it is important, even this week Barry O. said that is why he was attracted to Christ:

“It was because the precepts of Jesus Christ spoke to me in terms of the kind of life that I would want to lead. Being my brother’s and sister’s keeper. Treating others as they would treat me.” – Barack Obama

This whole idea of loving your neighbor is extremely important  One that is probably worth another post.  This morning I stumbled upon this quote

Do not think that love in order to be genuine has to be extraordinary. What we need is to love without getting tired. Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies. – Mother Teresa

She’s correct, it doesn’t have to be huge, or big, but it needs to be consistent and faithful – which ironically would be extraordinary!!!

Let’s do it up!

9-10So let’s not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don’t give up, or quit. Right now, therefore, every time we get the chance, let us work for the benefit of all, starting with the people closest to us in the community of faith. (Galatians 6:9, The Message)

Take Me As You Find Me

September 29th, 2010

This week has been a perplexing week for me.  I have found my mind preoccupied, but not focused.  I have been bugged by the constant battle between being what I want to be and observing what I let myself be.

Last night while on what turned out to be a great run I was listening to Hillsong’s Mighty to Save.  There is one particular lyric that seemed to call to my spirit.

So take me as You find me
All my fears and failures
Fill my life again
I give my life to follow
Everything I believe in
Now I surrender

Isn’t this were a lot of us find ourselves.  We want to surrender, we want to give our lives to follow what we believe, but yet we sit and look around and see the scars of failures and the waste of fears.  For instance….(start the dream sequence)

Earlier this week, I was driving home and stopped at a traffic light downtown.  Out of the corner of my eye I saw someone slowly crossing the road.  I was deep in thought and didn’t pay too much attention, until I noticed that standing right in front of my truck was a man, dressed in dirty clothes, standing on crutches staring at me.  Then he reached down and held up a piece of paper that had words written on it in magic marker.  The words said something like “Help me feed my Family”.  I sort of just sat there in disbelief, sort of dumbfounded.  I was thinking things like “what did they just say on Sporttalk(local afternoon radio sports show )?”, “What happens if the light turns green, do I just beep my horn or simply run this dude over?” and finally – “What should I do?”  I was so surprised by the boldness of this guy that I really didn’t know what to do.  There I was stuck at the like, this guy in front on me, staring, his eyes pleading, and I am kind of like ‘Are you looking at me?’  So in sort of a disgusted way, I shook my head.  He looked down disgusted and walked the rest of the way across the street.  What’s interesting is our disgust was the same.  He was disgusted with me; I was disgusted with, well ME.

The rest of the way home I thought about this guy.  I really don’t know what was up.  He could be the number one scam artist in Chattanooga – but probably not.  He was probably just a man in need.  And there I sat with what I think is MY money in MY pocket, driving MY truck going home to MY house to eat MY dinner.  ‘Get out of my way homeless dude, I have MY stuff to do.’  Mine, mine, mine.  But yet, I will sing with all my might,

“Now I surrender”.

Yesterday was evidently National Good Neighbor Day.  And surprisingly this one is actually backed up by a Senate Resolution.  I can’t believe I missed it.  But not to fear, one of your fellow ‘buffeters’ pointed it out to me.   So, I thought back to this guy. And I thought about how easy it has been to make it about me this week.  Not just with dude in the street, but with my boys, with my coworkers, and with my friends.  Interestingly Jesus tells us multiple times that the second greatest commandment in the whole wide world is “Love your neighbor as yourself”. (Leviticus 19:18, Matthew 19:18-20, Matthew 22:38-30, Mark 12:30-32, Luke 10:26-28, Romans 13:8-10, Galatians 5:13-15, James 2:7-9).  Paul in his Galatian letter said it summed up the ENTIRE law!

Argh…

“all my fears and failures…”

I am so glad that we live in the age of Grace ( can I hear an Amen – or just add it to the comments!)  I am so thankful that I don’t have to earn the love of Christ.  That the love of God is freely given.  That forgiveness is freely given and that it’s really not at all about me.

And that’s what is so perplexing.  I got it for free, but yet I find it so hard to share.  It’s not mine, I am just blessed to live in the light of his glory, and to have it light my way.

Anyway, today’s a new day, filled with new chances, new opportunities and new moments – and he does “take us as he finds us”.  It seems to me that everyday should be Good Neighbor Day.

As some of my coworkers say “Do the Needful”

“Shine Your light and let the whole world see”

distracted

September 28th, 2010

The passing of time this morning and the urgency of some other requests are not allowing me to right anything of any meat or substance this morning.  I may update it later. Sorry..

 26 I therefore so run, as not uncertainly; so fight I, as not beating the air:

 27 but I buffet my body, and bring it into bondage: lest by any means, after that I have preached to others, I myself should be rejected. (1 Corinthians 9:26-27, American Standard Version)

Changing Seasons

September 27th, 2010

Woot Woot, Fall is finally here.  Give it up for a few days when the temperature is not ninety bazillion degrees.  And what was that falling from the sky? -yes rain!  I actually put on a jacket this weekend, and had some hot tea this morning with breakfast, It’s finally Autumn.  Yes I am sure we will have Indian Summer, Dogwood Summer, Pumpkin Summer and all of those other warm fronts that we have before Winter, but wow, isn’t Autumn a welcome reprieve from the heat.

So here is something to get you going on a Monday morning.  Using some motivation you see in the transformation in the world around you, remember to transform yourself each day to the person who are striving to be.

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.  Romans 12:2 (ESV)

Working from Home

September 24th, 2010

I went round and round this morning in my normal indecisive way.  Work from home,drive to the office, work from home, drive to the office. It’s been paralyzing this morning.   Should I enjoy the pleasures and comfort and solitude of home, or should I dare to engage traffic, ( especially the day after I had a dream that I received three speeding tickets in one afternoon), and burn the gas to just sit at my desk , type on my keyboard and talk on my phone.  Oh the agony of the decision.

There was something this morning just urging me to go downtown.  It’s a thing called people. ( Now for someone with a previous Meyers Briggs score of INTJ people usually don’t cross my mind). However there was something today about people, and about being able to impact them.  Can you impact people remotely – sure-  and I will find other days to work in the solitude of my home office, enjoying the views that it affords.  But today, there is something that says, maybe just staying at home  just because may not be the best?

(I know right now several of you are thinking – Are you crazy!!!  Stay at home!)

But I started thinking about these verses today:

  1. Matthew 8:3
    Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” Immediately he was cured of his leprosy.
    Matthew 8:2-4 (in Context) Matthew 8 (Whole Chapter)
  2. Matthew 17:7
    But Jesus came and touched them. “Get up,” he said. “Don’t be afraid.”
    Matthew 17:6-8 (in Context) Matthew 17 (Whole Chapter)
  3. Matthew 20:34
    Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed him.
    Matthew 20:33-34 (in Context) Matthew 20 (Whole Chapter)
  4. Mark 1:41
    Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!”
    Mark 1:40-42 (in Context) Mark 1 (Whole Chapter)

It’s not that there’s a command there, and its not that I am going to go around touching people today and healing them.  But there is something about presence sometimes that is important.  There is something about personal interaction that’s good.

So, today, I will go off and see how I can impact people face to face, versus over the phone.  How will you “touch” those you come in contact with?

Maybe today holds something incredible? (or maybe I am really insane)