Archive for January, 2012

End of Month One

January 31st, 2012

It’s the end of the first month of the year.  Just 30 days ago many of you made resolutions to change yourself this year.  How is it going?

I picked Stretch as my word for the year, and that has helped me focus on change. Personally, my muscle flexibility has increased tremendously, I’ve cleaned up the basement a little bit ( not as much as I had planned), I’ve lost a few pounds, ( not as much as I had planned), I’ve gone the whole month without a carbonated beverage and we’ve eaten at home most of the month according to the plan.  (Applause, Applause!)

It’s been a pretty good month for transformation in our home.  Now, there are several other transformations that are faltering – organizing the office, keeping focused on exercise, letting the spirit lead, and always being peace in the storm.  But they are moving along little by little.

How about you? If you change has been gentle or overwhelming, don’t quit.  The first month is over, and it’s done – take stock, and move on.  Keep changing a little bit each and everyday.

Oh and keep that one word that you picked for the year right out of you each day.

 16Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day.2 Corinthians 4:16 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

An Small Bit of Encouragement

January 30th, 2012

I am a little late of this one, but it’s still pretty powerful. Many of you football fans watched two Sundays ago when the 49er’s lost to the Giants.  The points that beat them all occurred immediately after two major punt catching snafus by a young 49er named Kyle Williams.  I remember thinking last Sunday night, how incredibly disappointed that player had to be.

Well, most of the 49er nation was as well, and many took to the old faithful death threat against the player who made the mistake.  So sad.

But Friday, I received an email about a 7 year old 49er fan, and his reaction to the fumble that effective cost the 49er’s a trip to the Super Bowl.  You can read more about it here ( and you should read it, as it has more background information that is, well pretty amazing. and a picture of the letter!). Essentially after some consultation with his father, he wrote this letter to Mr Williams.

Dear Mr. Williams:

We just watched the Playoff game. I feel really bad for you but I wanted to tell you that you had a great season. you sould be very proud, so I wanted to say thank you.

I am your #1 FAN!

Owen Shure
Los Angeles, CA

p.s. your awsome

I love it. I love seeing grace through the eyes of a 7 year old.

And then this was attached to the email I received  from a twenty-something friend of mine

Who am I? Who am I to cut someone off? Who am I to tell someone, ‘way to mess that one up…” Who am I to deny someone their redemption? Sometimes it takes the tiny tender heart of a child to make us see when we’re not being true to what we preach. Everybody messes up. Everybody makes mistakes. Those guys on that field are no different from you and me. I’ve seen the best of them make the dumbest mistakes. Everyone deserves a second chance. Everyone deserves a redemption song. I hope he gets his.

Hm, the power of grace. It’s so fun to watch others receive it. But are you willing to give it out today?

31-32 Make a clean break with all cutting, backbiting, profane talk. Be gentle with one another, sensitive. Forgive one another as quickly and thoroughly as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:32 The Message (MSG)

Equal Creations

January 27th, 2012

Oh wow, my morning schedule had been completely thrown to the wind this morning and that reduces the amount of time and inspiration that I have this morning. And that stinks, because Friday’s usually provide the best posts!

Even listening to the bluegrass classic “Little White Church” didn’t seem to kick up any great metaphors or thoughts this morning. 

So here is one little thought for today, one that I have been pondering.  So many times we let the environment we are in shape our thinking.  I wonder what would happen to that environment if he shape it with our thinking.  So, I am trying to ignore the ugliness of the corporate culture, and am trying to apply the great learnings about life outside of this mess to it. Or put another way, I am trying to step above the junk and politics of the workplace and just relate to people as what they are – creations of our father in heaven.

Hm.. maybe that is an interesting thought for Friday.

8 If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,”[a] you are doing right.  James 2:8

 

9 With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. 11 Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? 12 My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.  James 3:9-12

Worthy of the Effort

January 26th, 2012

Last night the Mountaineer basketball team lost a game that they should have won.  What’s worse is they lost it really because of a lack of effort or concern.  It’s long been established that the coaches at West Virginia continue to tell the players that they play for the entire state – a state that holds the reputation of being a blue collar, hard working, coal mining state.

After the game last night, their coach Bob Huggins reportedly said that the effort the team displayed was very disrespectful to West Virginians.

“I’m sure there are a lot of days they don’t want to go down in that mine, but they do.”

Hmm. That’s pretty interesting.  He was essentially saying “They go work, they do incredible hard dirty work so that you can play basketball.  How are you going to respond to that?”

I guess we could even think about it that this way: Those miners are going to work today, to harvest coal, that will be turned in electricity, that you will consume – what are you going to do with that power?  Will it be worthy of their trip?

Even more so, we can think about some one else who did the work for us, so that we didn’t have to do a thing. The book of Romans address this in several verses spread over a few chapters.

5:6 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.

5:8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

5:11 More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

6:1 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?

6:8 Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him

6:12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions.

 

In light of that work, what effort are you giving today to  live?

 

 

Annual Review

January 25th, 2012

Yesterday I had half of my performance review for the year.  I say half because in the middle my manager had to leave briskly to attend a leadership excellence meeting.  Something about that is ironic.  The message however, in the part that did happen was good!  Yeah!!!!

So anyway, that got me thinking.  What if the Christ had an annual performance review with us.  I wonder what he would say?  For some reason I think it might go something like this:

“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” John 8:11

What else do you think he might say?