It's just my junk

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

Archive for the tag “Thanksgiving”

Thanksgiving or Not?

Thanksgiving, holiday or not? Are you out of context when talking to others?

It is a national holiday, but I bring attention to national. I reside in several Youth Ministry Groups and dabble with comments on occasion. Someone posted the comment about what will you be doing for thanksgiving, or more specifically do you get holiday off or not?

I have several youth worker friends who do not reside in USA but is also cool to know. We live in a global connected world for sure. Some of the posts say… not getting a day off, not a holiday which puts us into a reality. A reality of proximity, how often do we (you) quickly jump to assume you know all the contexts of a conversation or situation?  If you are like me, you do it way too often, daily in fact.

I would like to grow in this area. I am planning on being more intentional in the pursuit of connecting, hearing and bringing value to the situation before I speak to the opinion of this. I am simply a work in progress which seems more practice than success.

I hope you will join me in this pursuit of listening more, reflecting more and then speaking to the opportunity, person or whatever it maybe. Maybe this is something we can begin doing now, to have a habit of doing so prior to New Years day resolutions take place.

Lord, first help me lean into your word without bias, or opinion but to be open to the Word you want me to hear and apply to my life in that moment. Second, help me seek you in all conversations to discern what you are having me learn and say. Third, that I might be open to a renewing of me each day. Finally, be with us all as we seek to grow in relationship with each other. Amen

Love in a coke bottle

“Love never gives up, never loses faith is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.”
“Love…. Bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things and endures all things.” 1 Corinthians 13:7

Love as mentioned above has no limits but what about our limits? Do we put limits on love? Limits to manipulate and gain something for ourselves? Limits to protect our hearts that have or may have been hurt or damaged?

Yes, we all have the ability to love without limits. The challenge is determining a couple things:

1. Do you have a healthy respect for myself?
2. Have I dealt with any past hurts or fears that might prohibit love without limits?
3. Have you risked love in a healthy way and found some success?
4. Do you find a longing to connect and be in love with someone, something?

The challenge isn’t finding love as much as it is discovering love that is pure, and a love that never gives up, never loses hope, always endures etc… That love only comes from God.

We are designed to be in relationship, that relationship is often connected with money, stuff, people or careers but God designed the relationship to be with Him.

A Youth Pastor friend of mine once told a story, illustration really, about people having a coke bottle shaped (we all know it isn’t a coke bottle but it worked for the example since he was holding one) container in our hearts. We will try our hardest to put things in it… for example.. sports, games, friends, drugs, alcohol, relationships. He went on further to say some of those things seem to fit for a season then we become discontent with them and then look to fill the bottle with something else and repeat… We never seem to fill that with something that lasts or holds long term.
Guess what? The reason isn’t because of the stuff we are putting into it are bad or unhealthy, it is due to the source. The source is supposed to be God.

The challenge isn’t fitting God into the bottle of our heart; it is allowing God to consume the space meant for him.

My friend went on to invite people to fill the coke shaped god bottle if you will with God. Some accepted, others waited and some didn’t respond at all which is ok.

We transition through Valentine’s Day this week and watching so many people stand in line at the local store buying flowers. I am not talking one or two but a line about 10 people long. We want to give our loved ones gifts that they can see, taste, feel but we should be giving the gift of God. A relationship with Him that fills the void and gives so much we change and share it with others. A gift that shares grace, patience and peace.

I encourage you all to spend a little time enjoying the gifts, flowers eventually die, the chocolate with run out, gift cards will be used, the watch or other material thing will break or wear out, but also invest in the eternal gift.. a relationship with Jesus.

Love… Really Love?

The Bible tells us to Love our Neighbors as we love ourselves? (Leviticus 19:19)

Let’s carry that one out a bit…

If we define love as giving of gifts…

1. everything you purchase for yourself you would purchase for others?
a. groceries… check
b. New clothes… check
c. New shoes… check
d. New Car or truck… check
e. Season tickets to sports or plays… check
f. that new house.. check

2. everything we do we do for others?
a. Vacation to an exotic land..  check
b. Sending a kid off to college.. check
c. Spring Break cruise… check
d. rental home by the ocean… check
e. Movie and dinner night out.. check
f. a trip to Starbucks or Chipotle.. check

I wonder if we would think differently about how we spend our money more than how we give to others.
I know a time when a prominent pastor in our area challenged his congregation to give one…  the idea was to give up one of your Christmas presents and donate one to a family or person in need.. to give up a present and give a donation to put  a well in some African country.. All great ideas but he followed up the whole idea with… this doesn’t mean you should be cheap but to really dig deep and bless someone else.

I wold have liked to ask him how many people dug deep for someone else compared to shorted it out to save funds.
I know it would create tension in my life as it did making the list above. If I really took the idea of loving others as I love myself to the next level, the biblical level, then I would be required to raise my giving game and then be much much poorer, well financial poor but my heart would be over flowing with love, gratefulness and gratitude to God for the blessing of giving to others.

I then wonder what our world would be like if we truly took to heart giving out of our wealth to those who are without it?
Please prayerfully wrestle with this with me. Maybe God is calling us to a higher standard of living and conduct in the coming days, weeks, months and years…

Good loving to you friends.

Thank you

Have you said thanks? The USA is celebrating Thanksgiving. A time when we eat a lot, watch football and tell everyone we know thank you
I sit wondering what makes this Thursday different than any other Thursday through out the year?
We’re encouraged to take a minute to say thank you. I want to challenge you to take every Thursday to say thank you. Here are some suggestions: your parents (living or deceased),family, brothers and sisters, kids, work, fellow employees, your boss, neighbors, warmth, happiness, the right to choose, for your staff (paid and volunteer), for simply youth ministry and other places that provide awesome material to use, for software that makes our jobs easier, and for Jesus.
Friends, please don’t wait till it is too late to share, show and be thankful. Life is way to short to wait.

Thank you for all you do in the trenches

Post Navigation