Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Embarrassing Moment : Lesson Learned

So one Wednesday morning I was on my way to work. I was running a little late and was going to arrive just in time for a 9 a.m. meeting…under normal circumstances.

However, I came upon a slow moving vehicle on the straightaway where I typically make up for my lateness. I was stuck behind this snow-capped driver for a while as cars came the other way, but then I floored it, and flew past her!

There’s two ways to pass people – the nice gentle way that seems to say “hello, I simply prefer to drive a little faster than you”! And, the other way that seems to say “get off the road and get out of my way”! My pass was the latter. (I’m ashamed to admit).

Did I mention that I work at a church? So as I pulled in the parking lot and got ready to get out of my car, wasn’t I surprised to see the same lovely car pulling in the parking lot behind me. I WAS MORTIFIED! How could I be such a jerk?! Wait, it gets worse…you see, I recognized this lovely Senior Saint as someone who once taught me in Sunday School as a child! She was arriving for an event that began at the same time as the meeting I was late for.

I literally squatted as I got out of the car and ran around a back entrance of the offices because I was so embarrassed. I’m confident that she didn’t put all the pieces together, so I think I’m safe! (Unless she reads my blog)!

As a matter of chat…

Any embarrassing moments? Did you learn from them? Are you like me – always in a hurry? Do you need to just “slow down” and be late once in a while?!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Perfect Age

This past week, I turned "the age that everyone wants to be forever...29"! I always find it interesting that 29 is the choice. I'm really looking forward to whatever year 29 holds that makes everyone want to stay there forever! Or maybe it's just that 30 is so bad?! That doesn't seem to make sense to me either, but I'm not there yet.

I remember being so excited to be 10 - double digets.
I remember being so excited to be 13 - a TEENAGER!
I remember being so excited to be 16 - driving!
I remember being so excited to be 18 - no curfew and voting privileges!
I remember being so excited to be 23 - from the age of 10, when one of my cousins got married (at age 23), I always assumed I would get married at 23. It actually happened!

I'm generally an optimist - looking for the good in every situation. I think there are lots of cool things about every stage of life.

As a matter of chat:

What's the perfect age? Why? Any "year" you wish you could do over? Any year you'd like to keep re-living forever? What age are you now? What's great about that age?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Can you say this? “I am wrong!” (Relational Awareness)

Life is all about relationships: a vertical relationship (or a choice to ignore it) between you and God – and horizontal relationships between people.

We are in a constant state of “relating”. So we need to be aware of “how” we are relating to people. Just like hitting a pothole with your finger up your nose (sorry, I’ll stop using that metaphor after today), we may not realize what we’re doing to others until we’ve done some serious damage.

It should be pretty simple to avoid these “potholes” in relationships. If you try to live according to God’s Word, the Bible, like I do, you know that loving God and loving people are priority one! So we should be really concerned about how we relate to others - rooted in love, compassion and empathy.

I find that most people who are burning bridges and doing relational damage have trouble saying one phrase: “I am wrong”!

As a matter of chat…

When is the last time you said to someone “I am wrong”? When was the last time you told God “I am wrong”? Do you have a good grasp on your relationships? Do you think people have the same perspective of your relationship with them as you do? If so, what makes you so sure? If not, what do you think you can do to improve your relational awareness?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Yay for Grass (Self-Awareness)

I started the process of cleaning up the flower beds last night in preparation for the spring mulching season. Don’t be deceived, I do NOT have a green thumb. I got a blister on my finger from about 30 minutes of work. Go ahead, mock me!

I was frustrated by some grass that was growing in the middle of some of our shrubs – you know, the shrubs that have sharp thorns all over them? It got me thinking about “something good” in the wrong place.

Then I started to think about people. I think there are a lot of frustrated people in the world – people who are plenty lovely and really great at some things – but who are miserable because they are simply in the wrong place.

For example: I have a great appreciation for flowers, trees and plants. I love sunshine and rain. Aesthetics are important to me, and I am in awe of God’s creation. But I would be miserable if I worked in a greenhouse. It doesn’t make me a bad person. It doesn’t mean I’m less valuable to God or my fellow man. I’m simply not created for that particular line of work.

Grass is good. But only when it grows where grass is supposed to grow. That little patch of grass got a painful dose of reality last night when it was ripped from its place. And the one who had to do the ripping didn’t enjoy it a whole lot either.

But that little patch of grass will thrive when it takes root in just the right place! Yay!

As a matter of chat…

If you’re grass, are you in the lawn? Or are you in the shrubs? How do you know?

Monday, April 18, 2011

Nose Pickers

Have you ever noticed how many people pick their noses while driving? I’m constantly watching the people I pass. And a lot of them are picking their noses. Sometimes I get really tempted to honk at them and to mockingly stick my finger up my nose, but that wouldn’t be too nice. Instead I just blog about them!

I’ve noticed that a lot of kids pick their noses too. You could be staring right at them or having a conversation with them – they don’t care. It just feels right, I guess.

No one had to teach them to do it, they just do it.

I was a nose picker.

There’s this guy I know – a former student – who is constantly touching his hair. I tried smack therapy (smack him every time I catch him) for a while, but it didn’t seem to work. He’s gone to college now, so that therapy has ended…but I think he still has his issue.

Some habits are harmless (though I’m sure if you hit a pothole with your finger up your nose it could cause some damage). Others are detrimental to our physical, mental, emotional or spiritual health. The sad thing is, we may have some of these habits and not even realize it until we get a bloody nose…or worse.

As a matter of chat…

Have you ever slowed down to consider what “bad habits” you might have? Are you self-aware? Have you gotten into routines or habits without even realizing it, that are destroying you in some way? Have you considered asking those close to you what they might see? Are you willing to listen?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Do the Little Things

Renee and I just received a note from the church planting team in Virginia Beach where we have taken some high school students for a few years to expose them to church-planting and ministries to people who are different than us.

In March, 2010, Renee and I met a girl named Alisa while we were out advertising the church plant in surrounding neighborhoods. Turns out, it was way more than just a friendly conversation…

The next day, Alisa came to the new church’s service. We were able to connect her to the Pastor and others from the small church plant. We were also able to buy her lunch and chat for another hour or so after that morning’s services.

God began to do a work in her life, and since then she has been attending on a regular basis. A few weeks ago, she surrendered her life to Jesus! This past Sunday, on the church’s one-year anniversary, Alisa was baptized as a public expression of her new faith in Christ!

What a blessing to get to hear the next chapter of the story! We never know when God is going to use the slightest of touches to impact all of eternity. I’m imagining Alisa leading her husband to Christ, and her children, and her grandchildren, etc.

As a matter of chat...

What was the last “little thing” you did for or said to someone? Can you imagine it ending with some sort of eternal change/impact? Are you listening for the Holy Spirit’s whispers in your life? How do you know if it’s Him? Are you obeying immediately? Are you praying that you won’t be too busy and distracted to hear him?