Will You Miss Me When I’m Gone?

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To some this may sound like a trick question, to others it is serious thought. I tend to fall in to the second camp. I really wonder how much would I be missed if I were no longer around. I often wonder what kind of legacy will be left behind by me. I wonder will there be enough people at my funeral to even carry my casket. I wonder a lot of different things about what the lives of those I love will be like if I were to pass away.

Now, I have been writing everyday minus one for the last 62 days, I wonder if you all would miss me if I were gone. I am curious if I have left a small mark on your world, that has left and indelible mark on you in some way? Everyone wants to be remembered for doing something good.

It may be selfish, but I want to be remembered for making difference in the world through my words. Not because they are my words, but because every time I write I try to offer hope and encouragement through the power of Jesus Christ. There is no way I have been able to do all the things in this life I have done without His guidance and help.

So it is not a legacy of me I want to leave behind but a spreading of the good news of Jesus. I want people to say of me, what they said of the disciples, “That He has been with Jesus.” And as it is being said God would be glorified and in the end I would be like John the Baptist. “He must increase, and I must decrease.”

If I haven’t left that kind of impact then what has my life been for? What is it all about? So I guess in reality while I want to be a little selfish and know if people would miss me if I were gone the biggest question is did I represent Christ well while I was here? If I were to stop writing tomorrow, would the work I have created be a good discipleship tool, or just more junk clogging up the net?

Question: Do you think I have made a difference for the Kingdom of God? How can I do more?

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3 Steps to Reignite Passion in Your Life.

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It’s is not an easy question to consider is it? But I would appreciate it if you took a moment to really think about the question. So…what is your answer? If it was no congratulations you are a lucky person. I on the other hand would have to answer this question on most days with a resounding yes. I do lack passion in my life. At least a burning desire to do certain things (except for writing). I love to write.

If you find yourself lacking, what are some things you could do to change? How about change your scenery. Changing what you have around you could release feelings and emotions you had not felt in a very long time. Go to a place you have never been before, or it could be a place you love but haven’t been to in a while. Where is a place you can go for a change?

Try something new. I know personally I love writing and glass engraving. They are both very cathartic for me. Each allows me to express my inner artist to one degree or another. Writing allows me to show more of the inner me and what is going on in my head. While glass engraving allows me to show off what I can do with my hands. I say try something new because before I was given a Dremel for my birthday last summer I would have never known glass engraving would be so much fun. What is something new you can try, one thing you have thought of just never attempted?

Meet more people. It sounds kinda funny but by meeting new people you open up new doors to the first two suggestions. You may end up going somewhere you haven’t been or doing something you’d never consider. I am slowly getting to know some of the baristas names at the local Starbucks and they have become a little more familiar/friendly with me. You never know if you’re single you could find your soulmate there I know one friend who did.

It is easy to fall into ruts or funks or whatever you want to call it. When we feel almost life less and wonder what in the world is going on. Being a student and a parent I can usually tell you what my life is going to consist of especially when I am without money. It is a lot of staying home doing homework of some sort. This becomes boring very quickly. My wife struggles with the same thing.

Question: What do you suggest to help bring passion back to your life?

How Can You Be An Everyday Hero?

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This head line seems to just about sum up all to be said. But, sometimes all we need is a hero, someone to step in and save us from our lives. There are a lot of times we don’t care where this so called hero comes from. I got the idea from watching a movie, specifically DareDevil.

This hero can come in many forms. It could be your local cashier at Wal-mart, or your barista at Starbucks. You never know you could become someones hero. By the smallest act of kindness can make a huge difference. I have witnessed it many times in my own life how something as simple as a phone call can turn someone’s day/week around. It seems inconsequential to us but to that person it means the world.

Being a hero doesn’t always have to be some extreme event like those portrayed on TV and in the movies. You don’t have to rescue someone from a car wreck or a burning building. Take a co-worker out for coffee and get to know them a little bit better. Call up a friend you haven’t seen in a while and go to lunch.

One of the best things you can do is volunteer. Especially with organizations like the Cub Scouts and feed in to the lives of young children. Help to mold them into model citizens. Or another way you can serve is by getting involved with a local food pantry or a similar type institution. By doing these random acts of kindness and giving back to the lives of others you are being an everyday hero.

Christ told his disciples if they saw one hungry to feed them, or naked to clothe them and if they did it for the least of them the did it for him. In another place it speaks of doing well for a stranger and you may have entertained an angel. So you never quite know who you are doing the good work for. So always be vigilant and let your good work become God’s work.

I long to hear the stories you will have of all the good you have been doing. By God’s grace I lead a few Bible studies, and a cub scout den.

My question to you is how can you be an everyday hero now?

Are We Supposed to Learn Something From Everything

church-402213_640I only ask the question because today I had to sit for almost three hours in a boring courtroom on a very hard bench. I couldn’t slouch or stretch without the bailiff having an attitude. For those of you who have been reading this blog for a while you know how bad my health is (I have fibromyalgia). So having to sit there was excruciating.

What made things worse was the fact I had only gotten four hours of sleep the night before. It was a rough night, only have to wake up early to go to a Bible Study. The study was a good time of fellowship around the Word of God in Daniel 5.

But back to my original question are we supposed to learn something from everything? If so I wonder what it is I’m supposed to learn from sitting in a place being so stiff and in pain. I guess you could say I am supposed to learn patience and endurance as my wife was saying.

It was definitely a test. I took a book with me to read, but was at first too tired to read, and then was in too much pain to focus on the book. I don’t know if your courts are like ours, but you are not allowed to have your phone or anything else electronic it looked like.

I can say today has been an eye opener for me in one regard. The same way I write for myself and it resonates with you all. So does a simple phone call placed to a brother in Christ to check on him. I know I appreciate it when one of the brothers reaches out to me, so I took it upon myself to give some guys the same care.

You may be asking what have I really learned today? Well, I’ll tell ya. I’ve learned courtroom benches hurt, and I am not the most patient of people. Most importantly I learned the importance of a well place act of kindness. You never know the impact it is going to have on someone. One of the brothers I contacted said the simple gesture of me calling him “Made my day.”

I don’t know about you, but being able to make someones day just warms my heart a little more. So yes we can learn something from everything, but we can not learn everything from one thing.

Question: What is something you have learned in the recent past?

What type of leadership do you appreciate ?

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It is official. I have started my first ever internship (but that is not what we are calling it). I got to lead a Bible study on 1 John. I will be leading this study in several different forms over the next couple of months. This is an exciting time for me. I have longed to lead in my home church for a while now. This is my chance to either make it or fall flat on my face.

I plan on doing somethings a little differently than they have been done in the past, with this group. We usually meet on Wednesday nights and just do the study, there has been very little of doing life with one another. I intend on keeping in touch with these men through multiple forms of contact.

This is what I mean by leading from the front lines. If I want these guys to have solid relationships with each other they need to see their leader (which is me, for a short while) stepping up and giving a damn about their lives outside of Wednesday nights. If you go back to ancient Israel to the shepherding which took place there the shepherd was in the front, leading his flock. HIs flock knew his voice and would respond.

There are many advantages to leading from the front, you can see what lies ahead. You can view the terrain and plan accordingly, you are proactive instead of reactive. This is the type of leadership I have always admired. I hope to set an example these men will be willing to follow.

I also know leading from the front means I am going to be the one who catches the flack when things go awry. Trust me during these 16 weeks something is bound to go awry, Lord willing it won’t but if it does I am preparing myself for it.

Don’t get me wrong I am not out to criticize my current leaders styles. They have developed what works for them and it is fine. I want to become more involved and invested, than I have been. In the end I think it will develop more respect for me (who wouldn’t want that). It will also strengthen bonds being made amongst Christian brothers.

Christ is the ultimate example of leading from the front.

He could have sent any number of angels or other agents to earth, but he knew none of them could pay the price which had to be paid. He came down out of heaven, from his place of authority and put on flesh in order to restore a right relationship between us and him. He said no greater love have a man than this that he would lay his life down for his friends.

That is a courageous act of leadership. To die for those you love. He died for us while we were separated from him by sin. There is no other person who would do that. My little act of keeping in touch will pale in comparison, it is the best I can offer right now.

Question: How can you step up and lead from the front?

Leaving Something Good For A Lot Better

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Today has been a bit of a challenge. I’m having to say good-bye to a man whom has become a friend and mentor to me. He and his family are packed up and getting ready to move to Haiti. They have been preparing for this for at least 8-9 months now. I keep secretly waiting for him to say “GOTCHA” we aren’t really moving. However, today symbolizes a transition in many lives. It is a transition in the life of the church in which he was the pastor, the life of his family from living on U.S. soil, and our friendship will be different. I won’t be able to just get in touch with him whenever.

 

Why is so hard to let someone go? It is because of the bond that has been built. When there is a real bond it hurts to see it change. But this change is for the better. While he had a good thing going here, it is better for his faith and his family to do what God is calling them to. It doesn’t mean it is going to be an easy transition.

 

My friend is Dr. Chis Surber, and he is leaving behind what is comfortable to follow God where he has called him. In his farewell sermon today (1-4-15) he spoke about answering the call of God, from the book of Jonah. It was very enlightening. I will miss my friend and his wisdom.

 

The ministry he has started is Supply & Mutliply. He is going to be helping the ecumenical church down there, while training pastors and lay leaders. In eight months my wife (Lory) and I will be going down to help Chris and his wife (Christina) to do their work.

 

Chris has gotten so in-tuned with the Holy Spirit, he knows this is the right move for his family. I hope to get to a point where I am hearing and trusting God with such fervor and assurance.

 

When I think of transitions I tend to think about when Jesus went to call the disciples. He called them while they were in the middle of their work day (at least a few of them). James and John were on the water with their father fishing and answered the call of Jesus to follow him. It was a drastic change. These men left behind what they knew to follow a man it is assumed they knew little or nothing about.

 

While theses men had a thriving fishing business they were going to do something better and change the world. What If they had chosen to ignore the call of God? Who knows what the world may look like to day. We would probably be missing five books of the Bible because John would have never written them.

 

I hope to have the faith to do something one day people will  be able to admire. Not out of ego, but out of service. Whether that is faithfully pastoring the same church for a lifetime. Building a great writing career that inspires people to look for Jesus in the mundane. I will make a difference one day. Maybe today is that day.

 

Have I ever made an impact on you?
Would you mind sharing in the comments or using the contact page to let me know. 
 
What is something good you can leave alone to do something better?
For me, I am going to stop watching TV so much and read more. 

Do You Ever Feel Like You Don’t Belong?

 Yeah me too. That is one reason I am writing this post. I have come to realize  I may never be one of the “cool” kids and it’s okay. What sucks however is feeling like that just about everywhere, including the church. Not to say people aren’t nice and polite at my local church where we are members. But, my family just feels like we don’t fit in. We try and consider other people, it just doesn’t seem to make a difference.
My wife and I particularly feel that way because of our living situation. We are both students right now, neither of us working. As a family we live with my mom. My health is a major factor (if your new to the blog I have fibromyalgia). It limits the things I am capable of doing. I’ll leave it for another post. With my oldest son having special needs (Aspergers), he is not well received by his peers. The only one who seems to fit in is our six year old.
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I don’t know if it’s just our perception or what, but we often feel like outsiders. We have few friends, and even fewer we talk to on a regular basis. Don’t misunderstand we want to be sociable people.
We want to be pictures of God’s grace. So we have stuck it out for several years at our current church.
My wife was a Sunday school teacher who started to feel taken for granted and burnt out. She had been teaching since we started there and she was doing it alone while all the other classes had help. I’m not saying  we serve to be given credit because I know any praise we get here is our reward. While the good things we do and get no praise for we get praise in heaven. But some small words of gratitude can go a long way.
Who doesn’t want to feel like they matter, especially to those in their home church. It is a place where we’re  supposed to feel like an extended family. We often struggle with finding our place apart from service, which can be part of our problem. We are being like Martha, so busy serving we are missing the Messiah in the other room.
Looking through the gospels you see Jesus with the outcast, the downtrodden, people that everyone else wouldn’t give another thought about. I guess that is one reason why I am drown to him. Because he loves me while I struggle to feel the same love from His church.
I hope your experience is different. And you have a place where it feels like coming home every time you walk through the doors. I am at place where I am no longer sure how I feel come Sunday morning.
Can you relate to every feeling out of place?

Friends…How Many Do You Really Need?

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Aside from my wife I have a few people I would really call my friend. Which I guess some people would say that I am lucky to have that many. I often wonder how the Lord Jesus felt in the world because no one could fully relate to him and all of the things he was going through. I know we need each other because Proverbs 27:17 tells me that we do. It says, “As iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.”
What does that really look like? It requires contact! You cannot have that sharpening without it. The one thing you can take from this is that it says one man, not necessarily a group of men. So you do not have to have a lot of people in your life to be sharpened. Just that one good friend. You know the one who will tell you what you need to hear, even if it’s not what you want to hear. Iron cannot be sharpened without some friction. Just like us we cannot grow without a challenge.
With a friend you can get more things accomplished. Ecclesiastes 4:9 says, “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil.” I’m pretty sure you have heard the old adage, “in order to have friends you must first be a friend.” What does that look like?
I think you need to be someone a person can depend on, someone who keeps their word. Proverbs 18:24 says, “A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. What I have been trying to say is summed up in this verse. We don’t need to have a lot of friends. We need one or two good friends, but most of all we need Jesus.
When we have Jesus we have the best friend we could possibly ask for. We still need human friends also just not a whole plethora of them to be happy. Jesus has shown his love for us that he gave his life for us (John 15:13), not only that he did it while we were separated from him by sin (Romans 5:8).
I encourage you to run to Jesus with open arms and tell him how grateful you are for his friendship. If you don’t have a relationship with him I’d be more than happy to discuss how you can. It is the most important decision you’ll ever make.
Do you have friends you can count on? Are you a person people want to call friend?