Today, I turn 36 years old. By this time three years earlier in his life, Jesus already had himself a team of twelve, confronted the current zealots of the day, healed the sick, raised the dead, turned water into wine, fed many from little, walked on water, endured a brutal beating, died on the cross, rose from the dead, saved the world, and ignited a 2000+ year legacy. And he did it all in 3 years.
Whew! Need a minute; feeling a little inadequate right now.
Now that I think about it, should I really be feeling inadequate? It’s easy enough for Jesus, being God’s true son and all but I’m merely an adopted son. How can one really, possibly even come close to living the WWJD mantra? I mean, hasn’t Jesus already done what it is He would do? Why are we still asking the question (WWJD) when we already have the Answer? Did He really call us to act like Him or to act for Him; to do His work or to do His will? Honestly, if we could do what Jesus did, would we even need Jesus?
Follow me here: His work was to die for all, right? Then our work is not His work because it has already been done. So then what is our work? Our work is His will. His will is to die for all to see (not visually with human eyes of course, but with the eyes of the heart; to understand; to believe). That’s where we come in. Our work (or His will) is to reflect His love so that others see it (Matthew 5:16). He’s the Message, we’re the messenger. Maybe the question isn’t completely off the mark, maybe it simply needs rephrased. Instead of “What would Jesus do?”, perhaps it should read, “What would Jesus desire?” It’s His will that He desires of us.
How does that look from a practical standpoint? Try this on for size:
You come across a beggar blind from birth, do you,
A) Do as Jesus would: spit in the dirt, rub mud on the man’s eyes thereby healing his blindness (John 9:1-11)?
B) Do Jesus’ will: get him hooked up with a local ministry, share the Gospel with him, pray with him, or even just lead him to a restaurant whereby you buy him a meal ?
C) Do your will: look the other direction?
Some of you may remember the 80’s jingle for Clairol Hair Care: ۰♫ I’m gonna wash that gray right outta’ my hair ♪۰ Heck, I remember it even though I’m quickly approaching the 36 year mark (real quick–it’s tomorrow). That may not seem all that old to some of you but the gray hairs that appear in my facial and chest hair is a continual foreshadow of things to come (and my wife takes every opportunity to remind me).
Not to sound cheesy but that could have been a commercial for Christ. While the signs of aging are eminent in my body, my soul is as new as eternity is long. Christ came to make me new; to wash out the gray hair, unwrinkle the skin, give me eagle-like vision, and renew the heart of a worn and tattered soul.
Starting to feel old? Take comfort in knowing that your heart is brand spankin’ new if you are in Christ. Go out today and conquer the world––while physically you may be inching toward the grave, spiritually you have just been delivered!
Posted in Birthday, Change, Christianity, Jesus Christ, Life, Salvation, Sin, Truth
Tagged Birthday, Life, Random Thoughts, Salvation
Playing outside at my grandparents house one weekend as a kid, my brother and I discovered a pile of dirt over a little embankment that lead down to the garden. The knoll was the perfect launching pad for us to jump right into the cushiony pile of dirt. I’m not sure how long we played in the dirt but by the time we were finished, we had dirt in our ears (and every other orifice not covered by clothing). When my mom and grandparents came outside to see what we were up to, they made us aware of the painful reality that what we thought was dirt was actually manure for fertilizing the garden. I haven’t jumped in any unidentified piles since.
Manure happens! Don’t sit there and waller’* in it. Stand up, clean yourself off, and move on. You can let your past either haunt you or help you; one way or the other, it will determine your future. These situations are not meant to shake you as much as they are meant to shape you but the choice is yours. Nobody likes manure but it happens. Get over it and leave it behind (no pun intended)!
*waller’: southern for wallow, meaning to roll about in the mud; to indulge in something uncontrollably.
I am not southern but I am in the south and “when in Rome, you do as the Romans do!”
Posted in Character, Crisis, encouragement, Fun, Life, Poop, Random Thoughts, Success
Tagged encouragement, Fun, Life, Random Thoughts, Success
I don’t have traditional cable (too cheap, I mean, fiscally prudent) but I was lucky enough to catch a few MythBusters episodes while on break at work. If you haven’t seen it, it’s where science meets entertainment. The hosts take urban legends (for example, is it possible for a human to catch a bullet with his teeth?) and either confirm or debunk the myth basically by destroying stuff. [GRUNT Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor-style]
I think reality can be a better measure of outcomes than reality TV. Take the following old adage for example:
“Money makes the world go around.”
Is it Myth or Fact?
No laboratory or studio needed here. The testing grounds for this myth is real life. It routinely has a way of wrecking things on its own (or at least the entities in life like greedy corporations and corrupt governments do). There hasn’t been many times in history when the dollar has taken a beating like it has the last several months.
- Layoffs up 55% (200,000 in January alone)
- Unemployment up 2.7% to 7.6% (4.1 million more jobs lost in ‘08 than ‘07)
- Burglary, larceny and motor vehicle theft up
- Real estate value down 15.3%
- Dow is Down 37% (4700 points) since one year ago
- Consumer spending down 8.9% Q4 2008 (worst since 1947)
- Federal government over $10 trillion dollars in the hole
- Fed $787 billion more down (pending the “stimulus” package)
There is no money left out there! Has the earth’s rotation slowed? Has the days gotten any longer? Has the world stopped?
Bottom Line (no pun intended):
Money does NOT make the world go around.
Posted in America, Crisis, Economy, Finance, Global Recession, Money, Random Thoughts, Science, TV
Tagged America, Economy, Random Thoughts, Science
Tina recently shared an interesting insight with me that came out of shopping for a birthday card for her mother. After reading several cards to find just the right one, she identified attributes that she too would like to possess as a mother. In other words, she was so moved by the many endearing words used to describe mothers in greeting card messages that she aspires to be a mother like that herself, the kind of mother typified in a greeting card. Tina wants it to be a challenge when Megan goes to buy her a card, an experience where every card is such a reflection of her own mother, that it requires careful contemplation in choosing the right one, the one that most closely depicts the exhaustive elements of her mother’s beauty.
What a great ambition. This has inspired me to do the same––to be a Hallmark Dad and a Hallmark Husband. Not to fit some stereotypical greeting card non-sense for the sake of conformity, but to epitomize that which is admirable and upright; to be the type of person that could be the inspiration for a greeting card message instead of the deviation from one; to be the rule rather than the exception; to be a benchmark by which all other fathers and husbands are measured.
How about you? Are you worthy of carrying the Hallmark seal on your back (think old ‘90s marketing campaign of flipping the card over to check for Hallmark branding)?
Posted in Character, encouragement, Excellence, Family, Fathers, Life, Making a Difference, Marriage, Mothers, Random Thoughts
Tagged Integrity, Life, Marriage, Random Thoughts
Genesis 2:6-7 . . . but streams came up from the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground––the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.
(The Hebrew for man, adam, may be related to the Hebrew for ground, adamah)
The Lord made the first man from wet ground, mud. Is it any wonder that science says that the human body is anywhere from 60-90% water (depending on the source) and that once our earthly vessels die, they can be put into the ground to decompose back into whence they came?
“What can be seen on earth points to neither the total absence nor the obvious presence of divinity, but to the presence of a hidden God. Everything bears this mark.” — Blaise Pascal (1623-1620), mathematician and theologian
Genesis 3:19b “. . . for dust you are and to dust you will return.” God said to Adam
It was kind of ironic––on Tuesday, the local Christian radio station here in Charlotte mentioned that the last two years had been one of the safest stretches of time for commercial airline travel in the US and then, of course, two days later, Charlotte-bound flight 1549 plunges into the Hudson River. Astoundingly, everyone survived and there were no serious injuries.
Can you imagine though?
3:24:00 You’re 1 of 155 passengers sitting in a plane on the tarmac waiting for a routine flight to take off.
3:24:54 On the intercom, “This is the pilot, prepare for takeoff.”
3:27:01 At 3,000 feet in the air, you hear an explosion on one side of the plane and feel a jolt followed by another with the plane beginning to go down.
3:28:05 On the intercom, “This is the pilot, prepare for impact.”
3:30:30 Your flight impacts the Hudson River.
Life can change drastically in 6 minutes. Friday, the same radio station interviewed Mark, a listener that was on that flight. He said that he had determined that “this was it” and that he was ready to die. The DJ asked him what was going through his mind. “Regrets,” was Mark’s response. Would that be your response? Sure, Mark has been given a second chance to turn those regrets into results but most of us wouldn’t be so lucky.
If you knew that you were going to die in 6 minutes, what would be your regrets?
. . . . . . . . . . . . .
What will you be doing 6 minutes from now? Loving on your spouse. . . playing with your kids. . . pursuing your dream. . . calling a friend or family member that you haven’t talked to in a while. . . living a life worthy of your calling. . . eliminating your regrets.
Don’t go back to idle, casual, regrettable living. Live a life with intensity, intentionality, and fulfillment. Live a life where your regrets are laid to rest long before you. THIS is your second chance. Start now––who knows what might become of you in 6 minutes?
Posted in Death, Dreams, Family, Friends, Life, Love, Random Thoughts, Regrets, Success
Tagged Dreams, Life, Random Thoughts, Regrets, Success