I’m blogging from my phone. Comcast says we have a working internet connection. Our experience is quite the opposite.
That being said, tonight’s post is going to be short.
This morning I read a huge promise from the Apostle Paul’s letter to the church at Corinth. It’s a promise/principle of generosity. Paul writes: The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully…You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God. (2 Corinthians 9:6, 11 ESV)
I want to live a life marked by radical generosity. God promises to supply and provide so that his people have resources to use to bless others. And the upside down counterintuitive Kingdom thought lies in the first part: when we’re super generous, we will reap bountifully. I want my life to bear fruit for the Kingdom.
Sometimes I’m tempted to think so, that surface-y stuff is enough to get through the day, that looking the part or knowing the right things to say or having the right gear will carry the moment. But deep down, I know that it’s about CHARACTER. There have been lots of books and blog posts written about the importance of character. Sermons have been spoken, lectures have been levied…when it comes down to it, I want to surround myself with people of character.
Character is trustworthy. Character is genuine, more concerned with my good than personal gain. Character isn’t afraid to tell me that I have broccoli in my teeth, or that I need to apologize when I get out of line. Character is willing to hurt my feelings for the hope of my future, for the greater good. Character does the right thing because it’s the right thing, regardless of what it costs. Character speaks the truth in love. Character…
And at the end of the day, I want to be a man of character. It matters for me, and it matters for my family.
Do you have amazing friends? I do. Just about everywhere I turn. God has placed these people around me strategically. He uses them to inspire me, to encourage me, to kick my backside when it needs kicked…You know some of them. Shoot, you may be one of them.
But have you met my friend Stephanie? I don’t see her nearly as much as I used to, but I’ve known her for about 14 years. She’s a worship leader from our town, but that’s really an understatement. I’ve told her more than once that I’d be willing to carry her gear in and out of churches just to be in the room when she leads people in worship. She’s a gifted musician, yes, but she knows Jesus intimately and has the ability to help people connect with him.
I ran across this story today. It’s her story of God’s faithfulness and her obedience. And it made my cry.
It’s unclear as to who is to blame. I am not seeking to distance myself from culpability–one of the foundational principles of Men’s Fraternity is that I want to accept responsibility for my actions. The bottom line is that the wonderful and moderately miraculous rice-warmer-sock creation died last night in a glorious stinky mess.
It might have been the non-cotton sock that I used. The website said to use cotton, but I figured that the sock was mostly cotton. The rice was supposed to be uncooked. Does Minute Rice qualify as uncooked? Of course, I’m not ruling out gremlins in the microwave. That thing is scary, man.
Whatever the reason, Kim had to pull the beast out of the microwave last night amidst a cloud of smoke. The rice had turned black, holes were forming in the sock, and it stunk the house up.
So it was a short-lived reprieve from the cold. At least it’s not the longest day of winter…
The upside in the whole situation is that as I’m typing this my lovely wife is snuggling just a little bit closer to me. I am the remedy for cold feet.
It’s also after midnight, so I’m guessing that unless something ridiculously disastrous befalls us tomorrow, it’s not the end of the world as we know it. So maybe I’ll see you this weekend at church, or at the Waffle Shop. I might eat there twice tomorrow to celebrate the non-end of the world.
You know the old saying, don’t you–when it comes to your ham & egg breakfast, the chicken is involved, while the pig is fully committed.
Levi & Lilly have been bustin’ their booties as part of the cast/crew bringing “Into the Woods” to life this week at State High. Levi will be playing the role of Jack; Lil is the Assistant Stage Manager. It’s a pretty good fit for both of them!
Levi has played this role before, but this time around he’s got a new look: orange hair! He went blond over the weekend, and tonight the family gathered around him as the next step in hair color was initiated.
To be honest, I don’t know if I could do it. I don’t mind donning a weird costume, trying a foreign accent, or learning a Russian dance for a role. But I don’t know if I would be so committed as to totally change the way I look. I’ve heard that actors like Tom Hanks and Matt Damon have gained and/or lost upwards of 50 pounds for a role.
Commitment level…In order for you to take your ___________ (family, business, ministry, church, etc) to the next level, you probably need to take a peek at your commitment level. That’s where I am right now. I’m asking myself if I’m working hard enough/smart enough. What would I gain if I dialed it in a little more, if I gave a little more…
Sports teams talk about being “all in.” In order to get where you want to go, you might have to raise your commitment level. Even if that means you go to school tomorrow with shocking orange hair!
This morning at Men’s Fraternity (I still don’t like 6:15am, but the goodness that is Men’s Frat totally makes up for the earliness) I got a timely reminder:
It’s not too late.
If your past is filled with mistakes, it’s ok to regret. But don’t let your past hold you prisoner. Deal with the pain, the guilt, the shame, the mistakes, the hurt, the sin. Whatever it takes, whatever it costs, whatever it means. Dig in. Roll up your sleeves, get out the broom (or shovel…or bulldozer) and clear away the junk.
It’s not too late.
Your life may not have turned out the way you thought it would. Divorce. Broken promises. Estranged relationships, or just strange relatives! Hurt caused; hurt received. Lies. Betrayal. Disappointment. Unmet expectations. Loss. Lonely. Your dad. Your kids. Her kids. The neighbors. Your boss. You wish you had a boss.
By now you’ve learned…Life isn’t fair. People will let you down. You’ll hurt those closest to you.
It’s not too late.
Forgive. Seek forgiveness. Pursue reconciliation. Make the changes that you need to make to move forward.
You might feel like you’re stuck in a mess that you’re not totally responsible for. Own your piece of the problem. Maybe take a little bit more than your share of responsibility. Find a good listener/wise person to talk to. Figure out an action plan to make some course corrections.
Put that all together and you’ve got repentance. A change of heart that leads to a change of direction.