Archive for December, 2013

You Can’t Say That About Me

Thursday, December 19th, 2013

Tuesday night I was honored to take part in the celebration of life service for my grandnephew, Zach, who died in his sleep of a seizure only five days short of his sixteenth birthday. The nightly news delivers all too regularly stories of what is wrong with young folks. Zach’s service, as painful as it was, showcased what is right about them. The chapel at Long Hollow Baptist Church was packed with Zach’s friends from Station Camp High School. Many of them took the platform to share their feelings about Zach. They spoke with incredible grace, poise and maturity about their fallen friend. One after one, they talked about the impact Zach had made on their lives and how he would be forever missed. It was quite incredible to see and feel.

Even in the deepest chasm of pain a family could possibly fall, those young friends brought light, hope and gratitude. As they shared their stories, it occurred to me that what each of them was telling us through their “Zach Stories” was quite opposite from what culture tries to tell us.  The sum total of a person’s life is not in years lived, money made, territory conquered or points scored. No not at all! It is about choices made and the impact we had on others. To me the most poignant takeaway from the evening, was when a young lady, whom had known Zach for several years, said that in all her time around Zach that she had never heard him speak badly about anybody, ever. You can’t say that about me. What about you?  Please pray for Zach’s family and friends.

Cutting Corners

Thursday, December 12th, 2013

Yesterday  I followed a distinguished looking, middle age gentleman from the parking lot of the Y into the lobby. Three feet before the sidewalk made a 90 degree turn toward the entrance, the man cut the corner by stepping through the grass and then back onto the sidewalk to continue his journey. His short cut saved him a couple of steps and contributed to a path that was already worn in the grass. Apparently having very little on my mind at the time, I wondered why he had done that. Since he was carrying a gym bag I assumed he was going to the Y to work out. Why save a few steps if he had the energy to do cardio?

Why does the rest of humanity sometimes cut corners also? You do it too don’t you? That is how paths get started and not only in the grass, but also in our lives. Thinking back on some of the corner cutting I’ve done, I can’t recall it ever resulting in anything positive. But I sure remember times that corner cutting came back to bit me in the rear end. Any way you slice it, cutting corners is nothing but slacking off. It is giving less than 100%.

“Let everyone be sure that he is doing his very best, for then he will have the personal satisfaction of work well done…” (Galatians 6:4 LB). Geepers! I just had a horrible thought! What if Jesus had been a corner cutter?

 

High “F”

Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

Over breakfast a friend and I were talking about a certain individual whom I am somewhat ambivalent.  Suddenly my friend said he “despised” the person.  He said it with such vigor and anger that I was shocked, surprised and a bit taken aback. I equate “despise” to the word hate. I cannot think of anyone whom I feel that way about. However, shortly before my self righteousness took over my being, God brought to mind someone I did despise for many years of my life. Any way we try to spin it “despise” is always the antithesis of the Jesus’ command to love.

Perhaps this has happened to you: You mention to some friends that you have forgiven and are now praying for somebody who hurt you and someone in the conversation says, “I’m sorry but I can’t bring myself to do that”. That is code for I refuse to forgive or pray for them regardless of what God wants me to do.

It is only when we finally cut off the remaining tentacles of our self will and replace them with a complete commitment to the Christ of Christmas will we finally be on the long and winding road to Jesus truly becoming the Lord of our lives. Anything short of that gets us a grade of “F”. Oh, perhaps it is a high “F” but it is still failing.

Something to think about