Friday, August 1, 2014

“I used to think knowing God was like going on a business trip with Him, but now I know He’s inviting me on an adventure instead.”

A thought by Bob Goff, (2012-05-01) from his book, Love Does: Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World (p. 128). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

That is the truth.  I love adventure.  My life has been an adventure.  

I have been in 49 States.  Someday I will make it to Alaska for my 50th State.  I have lived all over the United States: California, Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, New York, North Carolina and Florida. 

I love to look at a map and then visualize what it is like.  Every Saturday, Margaret and I go on an adventure.  We’ve done it almost every Saturday since I have been retired.  Wherever we have lived, we have seen more than most people who have lived there all there lives.

I also loved the adventure of being a church planter.  The adventure of going out and finding people who would come to a new church. I love the adventure of finding a new Starbucks and meeting new people.  

I love the adventure of being retired and the adventure of writing.  I love today the adventure of going out and buying a new car.  I love the adventure of being a Dodgers’ fan.  And that over these 60 some years has truly been an adventure.

I love the adventure of family. Of watching what God is doing through, Margaret, my wife, Brett, my son and his family and Stef, my daughter and her family.  I love watching my granddaughters grow up.  I'm even going to watch my oldest granddaughter, Ashlyn tonight on Girl Meets World.  It is on the Disney Channel. 

I could go on but that is enough about me.

What about you? 

Thursday, July 31, 2014

“The words people say to us not only have shelf life but have the ability to shape life.”

A thought by Bob Goff, (2012-05-01) from his book, Love Does: Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World (p. 88). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

For half of my life at home our family traveled all over the US and Canada and held in churches meetings for them from Wednesday through two Sundays.  Dad would preach every night and Sunday morning and we as a family would sing.  I started singing in front of people when I was five.  That’s what I did.  I sang. 

Well when I was a sophomore we moved to Owosso, Michigan where I went to Owosso High School.  And I tried out for the choir.  I was a tenor and every choir needed tenors and because of my experience in singing I was chosen for the top choir.  We had three different choirs in that school. 

Now even though I had been singing for at least 10 years dad thought it would be a good thing if I would take voice lessons.  So I started taking lessons from Mr. Gilbert who was the choir director for all of the choirs there at Owosso High.  He was unbelievable.  He was the most influential man in my life outside of my father.

I remember my first voice lesson.  Here I was an experienced singer.  I had sung all over the US and Canada.  I had been on radio and TV and we even had a record.  I wasn’t quite sure what I was doing there but I started singing the song I was to sing.  I sang the first page then he had me go back to the first line and then back to the first word and Mr. Gilbert started teaching me from the beginning how to sing. 

Now Mr. Gilbert believed in me but he never told me until one day at the end of the year.  I had gone to the regional Solo and Ensemble Festival.  I was one of busload from our school but I sang and did my best.  After a full day of competition all of the judges handed in their forms and we were all waiting for the results.  We were all walking out to the bus to go home and Mr. Gilbert came up to me and put his arm around me and told me that I had been voted the Outstanding Soloist of the Festival and with deep emotion he told me that he was very proud of me.  That was the first compliment he had ever given me but it has been with me all of my life. 

Words are so powerful and those words were a part of shaping me.  I know some of you have had someone say something that has shaped you in a positive way but others of you have words said to you that have shaped you in a negative way. You were verbally abused and that pain has stayed with you and shaped you even today.  Hurting people hurt people but whole people lift up people. 

So how are your words shaping those around you?

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

“We could all stand to make some room and let God suck some terrific stuff into the space we create.”

A thought by Bob Goff, (2014-01-07) from his book with Barna Group, Multi-Careering: Do Work That Matters at Every Stage of Your Journey (Frames) (p. 49). Zondervan. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

We have so much to do.  And we have no time to create space for God to fill it with terrific stuff for into our life.

Bob says, “It’s amazing how a little elbow room can give us clarity about our choices and fresh perspective on our priorities. We accumulate activities and obligations like we’re hoarders — because, actually, we are. We have stacks of things we keep doing just because they are familiar to us, not because they are meaningful for us.  It’s why so many of us (72%) feel stressed out and many of us admit to being overcommitted at work or even in our relationships.”

Even the good things we do because of a feeling of responsibility and duty rob us of the potential to really live out the life God has for us.

He continues, “So quit something. Try it. It will change your world. It will change your marriage. It will blow your mind. You may have things blocking your progress, blocking your family, even blocking your view of God. For goodness’ sake, don’t wait until Thursday (Bob quits something every Thursday). Don’t have a Bible study about it. Just quit, right now. It will give both you and God some room to move around in your life. Sometimes the best way to fix something is to quit it.”

There is so much we have the potential for so much that is so meaningful if we would just quit doing some of that other stuff.  Jesus said that He came so that we may have life and have it more abundantly.  He has so much out there for us.  Don’t let that other stuff block your view of what He has for you.

So what are you going to quit so you can have more room?

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

“The people who slowly became typical have the greatest problem wrapping their minds around a dynamic friendship with an invisible, alive God.”

A thought by Bob Goff, (2014-01-07) from his book with Barna Group, Multi-Careering: Do Work That Matters at Every Stage of Your Journey (p. 15). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

Do you really realize how unbelievable you are?  God says that you and I were wonderfully made.  Yes life has a way of bringing people into your life who feel that they are just typical and who will do all they can to bring you down to the level that they feel they are.  Oh they somehow try to come across that they are better than you but in themselves they think you are better.  That is why they have to pull you down.  But the truth is The Enemy is the one who is trying to get at God through us.  We just don’t need to accept his lies.

Bob says, “There’s nothing wrong with being typical, I guess, but there is nothing fundamentally right about it either. I’ve never read in Genesis that God created “typical” and called it good. Instead, I think men who were bored made up typical and called it, if not good, at least acceptable. People who follow Jesus, though, are no longer typical— God is constantly inviting them into a life that moves away from typical. Even if they have normal jobs, live in normal houses, and drive normal cars, they’re just not the same anymore.”

“The ones Jesus first picked to follow Him started out typical, to be sure. They were unschooled and ordinary. Fishermen, businesspeople, blind people, loose women, rip-offs, and vagrants… What Christ-followers lack in velocity, they make up for in intensity. They are people who have experienced an intensely intimate friendship with Jesus and move forward with an intensity to parallel that experience.”

You see the problem here is that if you slowly get to the point that you believe that you are typical then you will have a great problem in wrapping your mind around the dynamic friendship that you can have with an invisible, alive God.  And it is in that friendship where you will have a full and exciting and meaningful life.  Just grab on to the fact that God wants to be your friend and in turn wants to use you in a very untypical way.

So why not reach out to Him today?

Monday, July 28, 2014

“I think we were made to do many things. As our lives change, as we change, we will also change what we do.”

A thought by Bob Goff, (2014-01-07) from his book with Barna Group, Multi-Careering: Do Work That Matters at Every Stage of Your Journey (Frames) (p. 36). Zondervan. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

This is a good thought to stop and see if it is true for you.

Bob says, “Don’t be surprised if you need to quit a couple of jobs to find the right career — expect it. Some of us have careers that, at one time, served us and our ambitions. But over time those ambitions have changed and we’ve outgrown the career. When a career is no longer helping to shape who you’re becoming, but is instead tying you to who you used to be, there’s a fix. Quit.” 

Now does that make you a quitter?  No it means you are growing and learning and becoming. 

He continues, “I quit things all the time. To be precise, I quit something every Thursday. Each week I pick one thing in my life to send to the scrap heap and, on Thursday, out it goes. Sometimes what I quit is perfectly good stuff. I do this because the pattern in my life tends to always be full. I can’t squeak one more thing into my day. That’s not good for a guy like me who puts a high value on spontaneity. So every week when Thursday comes around again, I quit something. Maybe you should too.”

I quit one of my blogs a couple of months ago.  It was what I needed to do.  Now I didn’t quit writing, I just headed in another direction. There will be another day that I will again head in another direction.  Blogging will change and I will too.  

What is it that you have quit doing?  I have heard that some people won’t use computers.  That is very sad to me.  I’ve heard of some people who will only read the King James Version of the Bible. 

Now on November 9 Margaret and I will have been married for 40 years.  I won’t quit that but I have quit many different things in our marriage to make it better.  I use to never go into the kitchen.  One of the great things I do now is to go to Whole Foods everyday and pick up what I need and have it cooked and ready for Margaret when she comes in from work.  There many things that in our relationships we need to quit doing and some many things we need to start doing.

So what do you need to quit doing this week?

Friday, July 25, 2014

“It is the wisest among us who keep choosing to make a career out of raising our families, whether or not we have another job.”

A thought by Bob Goff, (2014-01-07) from his book with Barna Group, Multi-Careering: Do Work That Matters at Every Stage of Your Journey (Frames) (p. 35). Zondervan. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

There are so many thoughts that Bob shares that are so very meaningful.  I hope you click on the titles of his two book and buy them.  He is so refreshing.

Now this thought touched me at a certain spot in my life.  I had gotten to the place that I was away from home all day and a big part of my night.  My family wasn’t close to being important to me and I came so close to losing out on their lives.  One day I came to the point that I needed to make a change so I quit my staff position at a large church, moved to another town and eventually started delivering pizzas and falling in love again with my family and my God.  I had gotten my priorities all out of whack.  I eventually got back into fulltime ministry but with my family having a higher priority.  We have even moved from Florida to California to be close to them. Those granddaughters are so important to us.

Bob says, “If you choose a career and give it everything you’ve got, maybe you win and maybe you lose. But if you choose your family and backfill your career behind it, you win every time. Choose them over and over, and you know what? When you’re older, they’ll choose you back and you’ll never run out of things to talk about.”

He then says, “You know what most young people told us is their top area for improvement? Work. You know what aging boomers said is their top area for improvement? Family. So what if we focused more on our family when we’re young? Maybe it wouldn’t need so much improvement when we’re older.”

Such a good piece of advice.  Give yourself to what really matters.  Oh yes, we all must work.  God built us to work.  Bob says, “Figure out who you are, where you flourish, and what lifestyle you want. Then go choose a career or three that help you get there.” 

So what is first in your life and are you fulfilled in it?

Thursday, July 24, 2014

“I used to want to fix people, but now I just want to be with them.”

A thought by Bob Goff, (2012-05-01) from his book, Love Does: Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World (p. 1). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

Do you want to fix people?  Maybe you went into your marriage with an “I can fix them” instead of just loving them attitude.  No one want that, they just want to be loved for who they are.  What that seems to be is an “I’m better than you” way of looking at people.  And that too many times is easy for those of us who are Christians to look at those who aren’t.  That is not a good thing.

I love the story that Bob shares here in his book about his being accepted by his Young Life leader rather than giving him advice.  And that can really be tough to do.  I mean I know how to fix you but it isn’t what I know that makes the difference but it is what I do.  This is what love, acceptance and forgiveness is all about. 

The New Testament talks a lot about fellowship.  And I like what someone said, “Fellowship is two people in a ship or a small boat in a journey together"  We’re in it together. 

Bob says “Jesus is sometimes called Immanuel—“God with us.” I think that’s what God had in mind, for Jesus to be present, to just be with us. It’s also what He has in mind for us when it comes to other people. The world can make you think that love can be picked up at a garage sale or enveloped in a Hallmark card. But the kind of love that God created and demonstrated is a costly one because it involves sacrifice and presence. It’s a love that operates more like a sign language than being spoken outright.”

We have to sacrifice our ego that says “I know what to do” and to just be there with love acceptance and forgiveness. 

I checked in today on Foursquare to the Starbucks that I go to here in Pasadena for the 439th time.  I have a lot of very special friends there.  I’m not trying to fix them.  I‘m just wanting to be with them.  Just today the security guard at a bank real close with whom I sit with for at least a half an hour 6 days a week told me how much he appreciates the fact that he has been able to do that.  That I have made a difference in his life.  And I told him that he has done the same to me.  Just being there makes a difference.

So who are your trying to fix?  How are they handling it?  Maybe you need to stop working so hard and just be there.

So why not start doing that today?