Friday, May 22, 2015

Shout Out: 005

Shout-Outs are a new addition to my blog. They are to recognize people's accomplishments or to express my gratitude for their good and kind deeds. It's a way to celebrate the little things that may otherwise go unnoticed.


I will put about 5 entries for each post so keep checking back!

Closet Clean-Out

You would not believe how much disorderly junk can fit into a 5-shelf metal cabinet. Well, maybe you can. To think I was going to surprise my wife one day and clean it out myself for her...I saved myself at least fifteen hours of work. It took three of us more than three hours to take out, organize, consolidate and trash an obscene amount of classroom materials (see picture). It wouldn't have been nearly as easy if it weren't for the hard work and good sense (she knew to throw it away despite my wife's hesitation) of Autumn. I giant thanks to this wonderful child for her commitment to cleanup. *Everything you see in the forefront was in the cabinet. Notice there are still two shelves of junk that still needed to be removed at time this picture was taken.


Memorial Day

I cannot put into words, therefore I will not try, the magnitude of gratitude I have for the soldiers that fought so our country can be what it is today. Today we salute your courage and triumph in your victory. Thank you to all the men and women that have served. We appreciate your dedication. May we always remember.

This is something I saw on Facebook. I do not know who thought of it, but it most certainly was not me. I could never come up with something like this. I was written outside of a church on a message board. It read: The flag does not fly because the wind moves it. It flies with the last breath of each soldier that died protecting it.

Amen.

Happy Memorial Day!

5/25/15

The 11 Commandments


Admitting your sins to yourself can be - and usually is - tough. Sharing your sins to a friend or spouse is difficult. Rattling off your sins in front of an entire congregation...may evoke some sweaty palms and heart palpitations. But what I admired this weekend as one of the leaders of our church shared parts of her past with us is the amount of courage it took to share those sins. She stood up there and in a self-deprecating manner rattled off eleven sins. Small ones and big ones. She said she felt ashamed of herself, but then her own message to all of who were there reminded us -and reminded her - that we are loved and that we are forgiven. By holding onto or doubting those two things we do two things that threaten our growth as Christians. The first is that we give even more power to Satan. The second is that we cheapen the cross. We must let go of our transgressions and as D said this weekend, "become comfortable with facing our sins." Note that she didn't say become comfortable with our sins, but rather facing them and realize we are imperfectly perfect. I texted D afterwards and told her that I admire her courage and that it was, as usual, a great message. She thanked me, but had said she hoped it wasn't too scandalous. I replied, "Not scandalous. Powerful." Too many men or women of the pulpit exude arrogance and cast their so-called perfect life onto the congregation. I love the leaders of our church mostly because they do the opposite. They make you feel you are no different, no better and no worse than they are.

In case you doubt it, know this: Yes, you are a sinner, but you are loved...and you are forgiven.

Thank you, D!

5/24/15


Small Group, Big Hearts

Last night was the kickoff of our new small group with two other couples from church. (A third couple had to cancel at the last minute.) To mark our initial get-together, everybody brought food and my wife made some yummy ziti and we began our evening thanking the Lord for the opportunity to be able to gather in His name. For six months we have been talking about it and my wife and I were happy to finally host. I am looking forward to growing with these couples becoming closer friends, better spouses and parents all the while strengthening our Christian walk. We each shared how we met our spouses which naturally flowed into how we came to be at Christ Church. I am awed and overwhelmed with joy of how God lays out paths for us and how they lead to their never final, but forever-moving-forward destination. A heartfelt thank you to everyone there last night for asking us to host (which we loved doing) and for asking us to be part of your group. I am thankful to have this small group with big hearts for Jesus at my side as brothers and sisters in Christ.

5/22/15


Somebody up there sure loves irony...

I had that feeling...you know, the one I get before I know someone is going to hit a home run? I was tired of wearing polo shirts and just wanted to wear a T. The one I chose was my red Boosterthon shirt (school fundraising program).  It says, "This is my FUN shirt!". Cheesy, I know. I felt the irony tingle through my veins as the shirt fell onto my shoulders. I even had a moment where I thought about my car and it's problems and thinking, "Wouldn't it be funny..."

It turns out that having your call stall one car-length away from a traffic light at a very busy intersection is NOT funny. But yet there I was waving traffic over in my "This is my FUN shirt" shirt hoping that no one would crash into me or to each other. My car was stuck in park and it didn't have any power so my flashers weren't working either.

The day before I had gotten a new battery for my car hoping that it cure some of, if not all, the problems it was giving me. I guess you can't heal a severed limb with a Band-Aid. This morning, I realized that the battery light was still on. And it had company. The brake light AND the air bag light were lit up. Nearing the final stretch of my commute my radio starting spazzing out. I knew then that something was really wrong. "Please let me just get to my school," I prayed. Well, then there's that whole irony thing again. If it wasn't in that exact spot where I prayed, it was really close.

While I was thinking that it could be worse - having broken in the intersection would have been worse...Having broken down in the intersection while storming would have been even worse. Granted, getting to my school parking lot two miles away would have been preferable - I was reminded of the kindness in this world. Friends and colleagues stopped to make sure I was okay or needed anything. Strangers too!

One friend - from church - not only pulled around and parked in front of my car, he stayed throughout the entire ordeal which concluded by him taking me to work. Funny thing is, I didn't even no it was him at first. I was just knocking on car windows. He didn't hesitate for a moment to help.

I cannot begin to thank Brian for doing everything he did for me today. What a blessing! What a great brother in Christ! Other thank yous to those that stopped (even students) to offer help and to the police officers that were very cool about the whole situation. 

There was a moment of sweetness that made me feel good. I get a text from my daughter, "are you ok"

My response: I'm good, babe! Just car problems...a lot of people asked to help me...a lot of good people in the world.

There's mini-lessons of life in every situation.


Last minute thank you: The guy knocked of $60 because I was a teacher. Much appreciated.

5/5/15

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