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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A Word for Wednesday: Offended


I hear it over and over again... "I just tell it like it is. If somebody gets offended by it then thats their problem." 

I have to wonder if thats the best thing. You see, I'm pretty sensitive. I have to make an effort not to get offended or have my feelings hurt. The worst party is that the place I do this most often is at church. Its more common for me to have my guard up there than other places. 

I have to wonder if not caring about others feelings is really the best plan. After all, if we offend each other, what about those who are just checking things out and not real sure about this idea of Christianity. What about those who were offended so deeply that they wrote Christianity off. Will they ever be reachable if we continue to offend them. 

I know I need to work on this. One of my common phrases is, "No offense, but..." I once heard it said that by using this phrase you are offending someone. Its so easy to say words that hurt and impossible to put them back in our mouths.

I'm not saying that we should not speak the truth. Rather I'm saying that we must speak the truth in love.

The passage that got me thinking about this several weeks ago is: 

The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray. Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.  Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.
1 Peter 4:7-11
(Emphasis mine)

Here's to loving one another so that  we can grow with each other.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Farmville, Preschool, and Friendship



I like playing games on Facebook. Maybe you don't, they're not the point of this blog post. I just wanted to share some perspective on why preschool matters. 

To succeed at games on Facebook you must either have friends that also play the same game or be willing to sink real money into games that don't really matter. I'm not willing to use my money for that. I am willing however to click as many requests for random things as I can each day. Why? Because things are more fun when you are getting what you need. 

Back to preschool... remember when we learned about sharing? Sharing is caring and all of that jazz. Well, its this same concept. In order to be successful at friendship we have to give and take equally. So awhile ago, I was chaperoning a retreat and while there met a life coach. He and I were talking about things and ended up on the topic of friendship. He said that if you have one good friend you are doing well in life and if you have two, then you should count yourself successful. He also talked about how refreshing it is when you are part of a friendship that is reciprocated - you don't do all the work, but it is shared evenly. 

Go hug a friend today! They are one of life's greatest treasures.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Merry Mary Monday: Happy Fall Y'all

Have you had as much fun playing in the leaves as Mary?



This is what happens when Mama isn't put paying attention.
 
Why yes, it was a mess. And yes, leaves do, apparently, make a tasty snack.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Get Motivated: Don't Get Defeated

On Monday I was given the opportunity to attend the Get Motivated Seminar here in Nashville. I've been blogging what I took away from it. If you missed it, you can check it out here & here.

Another area that the speakers kept highlighting was not to get defeated. Lou Holtz told about his first season at South Carolina. I was living in Columbia when Lou Holtz came to town. I remember thinking how absurd it was that Williams Brice Stadium would be completely sold out for every Gamecocks game when they lost every time. Mr. Holtz showed up and they continued there losing streak for another season. He said that he felt a bit like giving up, but he kept working with his team. The next year they made it to a Bowl! The year after, they were back in a bowl. He didn't let his spirit become defeated, but kept working with determination and made it to a bowl game. 

Bill Cosby told about how he messed up his first big comedy act so bad, he almost didn't perform his second show that night. When his introduction changed from, "Ladies and Gentlemen, the fastest rising comedian in America, Bill Cosby." To "Ladies and Gentlemen, Bill Cosby." He started bantering with the MC. This got him going and he soared in his next show.

The moral of these stories is to not let life get you down. Get up, shake it off and keep going. I'm not always the best at this, but the reminder is great!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A Word for Wednesday: The Intersection of Grace and Kindness



This is part of my takeaway from the Get Motivated seminar I attended on Monday. If you missed the first post it can be found here. I don't know for sure, but it seemed as though many of the speakers on Monday believed in God. Many stated that they did. One of the themes I picked up on led me to the intersection of grace and kindness. 

Colin Powell told a story about parking attendants in a garage. The cars had to be stacked - three cars would be parked in a row and the cars in the 1 and 2 positions couldn't leave til the card in the 3 position did so. When asked how it was determined who got each position the attendants explained that if someone rolled their window down smiled and talked to the attendants then they usually got the coveted position of number 3. 

James Smith told a story about how they took water to their garbage man and talked to him. Mr. Smith had more garbage than allowed on the route. He helped to load the extra bags in the truck. The garbage collector told him that no one else on the route had ever helped to load the truck or brought him water. He gets great service from this garbage collector.

I think this is such an important lesson to learn and one that I have been working on lately. As a Christian, my example of Christ is only as good as I am. This means that if I treat someone without respect or dignity then my example shows that Christ is this way. I know that I need to be working hard at this. It makes such a difference to those who see my life if I go out of my way to be nice or kind to someone who doesn't fit the normal in my life. 

"Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity" Colossians 3:12 -14

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Get Motivated Seminar: READ

I was able to attend the Get Motivated seminar here in Nashville yesterday. It was a fun day filled with well-known and interesting speakers. One of the things I kept writing down was to read more. (Also watch less t.v.)

Mayor Rudy Giuliani said that he is always reading at least two books. One to challenge and one for his own enjoyment. I love to read, but I most often find myself reading only fiction for my own pleasure rather than to help myself grow. This is something I can definitely improve.

Others said it too. Krish Dhanam suggested reading one book a week. Mary Buffett spoke strongly of reading. She said that she writes books to help provide others with the same mentoring that she received. (She was mentored by her father-in-law, Warren Buffett.)

My mom fostered in me my love for reading so I thought I would share this other thought from Mayor Rudy Giuliani. He said, "We should get kids to tell us what they are interested in and then give them books to read on that topic. Then after we've gotten them to love reading get them reading more books."

I will share more of the things I learned throughout the week. Keep checking in!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Merry Mary Monday: Lazy Dog Edition

So its no big secret that Mary likes to lay around. In fact, that is her number one priority each day. The other day she was sleeping on the couch.


Then later she was still laying on the couch. It was Saturday and I had hurt my back on Friday so I pretty much laid on the couch all day too. But that evening she was so tuckered out this happened. 




As soon as I got the picture, her tongue went back in because she was clearly embarrassed that she had been caught. We laughed.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sunday's Song: 10.16.11


I was on a journey a couple of weeks ago. It was a very sad and hard journey. I was headed to the funeral of a childhood friend. He was younger than me and much to young to be gone. As I was driving that night, alone, I began flipping through the radio and happened upon this song. It helped me so much that night. I hope that it can help you today.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A Word for Wednesday: Joy

I was working the other day on a very physical, involved, yet mindless task. Something had me thinking about Joy. Not happiness, that fleating and hard-to-catch excitement, but joy, that soul-deep, hard to define, harder to identify cheerfulness even in mundane situations gladness.

Anyway, there used to be an old Sunday School statment that JOY is Jesus, Others, You. A definition of priorities. So there I was the other day thinking about Joy when it hit me that to put Jesus first requires that you put Others before yourself. It could never be Jesus, You, Others. I had been thinking a lot about priorities and this very simple thought wrapped up my weeks of thinking with a pretty bow and all!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Merry Mary Monday: 10.11.11


Sometimes Mary puts herself in a cave. I think she likes to think of herself as being as scary as a bear! Or maybe she just likes to hibernate.

Friday, October 7, 2011

I'm a Dork

Yes, its true. I'm a dork. Its not like I didn't know already, but I got a good reminder of it yesterday.

We've been having events everyday this week and I was working at the one yesterday afternoon. Well, I needed to run an errand and was walking up the hill to our co-sponsor's office. There were some girls from that office walking down to the event. And some guys from that office walking along behind me. One of the girls waved and said hello. I thought I might know her but wasn't sure (I don't) so I waved back and gave a very friendly hello.

She was waving at the guys. It was like being in high school and you think the popular girl is saying hello to you, but really its the quarterback from the football team.... exactly like that actually.

Plus, I'm pretty sure I heard them all laughing at me after I passed. I just kept walking - laughing at my own dorkiness.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Merry Mary Monday - 10.3.11




Mary decided it was time for a photo shoot the other night. The bed was made when she got on it, but she had to push the covers back first! Here is her "Blue Steel"

Saturday, October 1, 2011

A Tribute

When we were kids he could make you laugh, hard. Very hard. He was genuinely funny and caring too. He didn't make jokes at anyone's expense.

Now, he's gone. Still just a kid. A whole life left to live and now he is gone. I've wracked my brain with a way to give a fitting tribute to someone who will always be in my memories. There isn't a youth group event or trip that won't have him in it. Because he was there, my friend.

It doesn't make sense to me and I doubt it ever will. How can it?

He was kind, cheerful, patient and funny. He was genuine and young. He was full of life. And now he is gone. 

He will live on in our memories. Where there is no pain and the heartache hasn't yet come. We will always have love.