It's just my junk

We all have junk in our heads. This is mine.

Archive for the month “September, 2014”

toothpaste tube with your words

toothpasteWe have two types of people in the world… those who squeeze the tube of toothpaste from the middle and those who do so from the end… I am not sure what toe of person you are but this blog post impacts both groups equally. It also has more to do with words than toothpaste…

We had students empty an entire tube of toothpaste onto a plate within a certain amount of seconds to win a prize.. the prize was a set up more than a win… Once the students emptied their tube onto the plate we challenged them to put in all back… After a messy couple of minutes the students determined it wasn’t possible with the tools given to replace the contents once we squeezed them out…

It was a simple illustration about words.. We say so many things during a day.. some uplifting and encouraging other times they hurt and discourage.. No matter what they are we can’t put them back into our mouths.
The same is often truer with our ability to text, Facebook (though you can edit if caught in time) instagram, tweeting etc… We will rattle off some comments or words not thinking how the words will be received or translated to the person reading them.
Don’t think this applies to you? Well check these real life examples out…
1. Someone is talking about others negatively around you.. you listen and begin to echo their words….
2. You post a blanket comment on twitter about someone you dislike.. but that person doesn’t read it, your friends do…
3. You text a picture of something you shouldn’t to a friend.. only to have it circulate the school or work place in 5 minutes flat…
4. You are posting song lyrics to your Facebook about drinking or other negative behaviors you don’t even participate in and your parents ask you about them or a future employer does…

I am sure this could be a much longer list but the point is we are a culture of people who really don’t stop to think about what we are saying and to whom we are saying it to. We need to make better use of our words..
Take a few minutes to think about these suggestions prior to posting, texting or speaking:
1 What is the driving emotion behind the comment?
2. Who will hear these words?
3. How will these words effect or impact others?
4. How can these words be misinterpreted by others?
5. What am I saying? will it come back to haunt me later?
6. Would the world be a better place if I just keep quiet?

Unfortunately, way to often we find ourselves regretting the words we said because of the damage it caused to those around us. I know we wish we could take them back, make everything back to normal but we can’t. We also must realize things will be different as a result of the words we said.
As I grow older, the idea of my words being fewer is something I long for.. I hope to say words that always help others and brighten the day and when I need to say words that are harder to hear, I hope to say them in a way I would like to receive them if I was in their shoes.
I hope we can all move to being more intentional about thinking through the things we say, post or tweet in the future.
Live with no regrets starts with saying without regret

Forced into it or invited into it?

Today, I received a phone message from a caring adult about her relative. They are new to the area and she wants her to get plugged into church. I think this is awesome but what surprised me was in the details of getting to know more about the girl.
The adult wanted her to:

1. get plugged into some wholesome people.  I thought.. we are all saved by grace.. and do we qualify for wholesome? Probably not!

2. get some church and youth group in since the girl was forced to go in the previous location.  I thought… wow, being forced to do something can produce good results but there has to be a different way of ministering, getting the student there outside of force.

3. getting them to be a member… I again had a thought… just because we are members of something, doesn’t mean we are on the team, committed fully to that cause or team or church or work place.

I blog this conversation today, not because I think negative of this person and her situation but because we all have the potential to fall into her shoes. I wanted to challenge us all to be more intentional with our faith journey, don’t allow someone to force you into faith but work it out in your own terms by actively pursuing it with the support of others.  Please don’t allow your church, youth group or etc attendance be an after thought due to a move or situation but an intentional pursuit to get plugged in. This might mean trying several church options for a few weeks, but land and get planted some place.
 Please don’t be the person in church or faith that says come join us, only to shun or outcast them when they do arrive.
My wife was out of town a couple weeks ago helping a friend and decided to attend the church across the street. She was received well into the service, was ministered to and challenged by the sermon, enjoyed the worship. The cool part came after the service. She went to the information booth for visitors and had a great conversation about the church, met the speaking pastor and received a shirt for coming. Yeah that was a big win… but it gets better. She received a nice thank you for coming card in the mail along with a gift card to UDF for some ice cream or whatever she wanted. This church isn’t expecting her to come back but wanted to say thank you for coming.
I reflect over my years of church life and think.. how many more people would be in church today if the church did a better job of getting them plugged in.
I intend to be more intentional on getting students plugged in

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