Friday, April 20, 2012

Keep on Course

3 John 1:4 (NIV)
I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.

I’m helping my dad with a tile project at his house.  It’s tedious work but a fun project and we’re almost halfway through.  One of the things I’ve learned about tile projects is that how you begin is really important.  If the first few tiles you apply are crooked the project will tend to get worse as you go.  So many things in life are like this; take high school algebra for instance, if you don’t get it right the first few weeks of class you’ll probably have trouble for the rest of the semester.    
In some ways the Christian life is like this too; how you start out tends to affect much of what follows, so we should be careful how we walk.  Like a story that gets stretched with each telling, sometimes initial errors can grow and become bigger ones with time, kind of like when you tell a lie and then tell subsequent bigger lies to cover your first lie. 
Scripture tells us that we’re like sheep and tend to wander off but the good news is that God is forgiving and helps us get back on track when we get off course.  Reflect on your walk today, have you gotten off the path?  Consider where it was that you began to go off course and ask God to help you realign.  If you need help call a friend or pastor who can support you in your efforts.  And remember, no challenges we ever face are too big for our God.
Proverbs 23:19(NIV)
 Listen, my son, and be wise,
and set your heart on the right path

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Hip-Hop Dude

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

Driving in the car with my kids we regularly pass several businesses that have employees standing by the side of the road in an effort to lure new customers.  There are the young guys waving at passing cars in front of a place where they change oil.  There’s a lady dressed as the Statue of Liberty who advertises a tax preparation business, she never looks happy to be at the roadside.  There’s one young man that we pass by weekly that usually lights up our day.  He’s holding a guitar shaped pizza advertisement.  We have affectionately named him ‘The Hip-Hop Dude.’  He has headphones on and is usually showing off his latest dance moves.  Ocassionally we honk the horn and wave just to encourage him.  Once he realizes that someone is watching it’s like he goes into hyper mode and really cuts loose.  Sometimes I want to go in and buy a pizza just to say thanks for the entertainment.
Recently as we were enjoying the show at his busy intersection my daughter asked, “Dad, do you think his boss makes him dance like that?”  I said that while his moves might add to his job security I didn’t think the specifics were in the actual job description.  I explained that this guy was just living out his passion and giving it everything he's got.
Scripture tells us that whatever we do we should put our whole heart into it.  Maybe you don’t have the world’s best dance moves but you can still put your whole heart into your work and be enthusiastic about it remembering that it is ultimately God that we serve.
Ephesians 6:7(NIV)
Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people,

Friday, April 6, 2012

Heavy Lifting

2 Corinthians 12:10 (NIV)
That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

I have a friend who works for a major fitness equipment company.  He installs and maintains treadmills, Elliptical machines and various other kinds of universal weightlifting and exercise equipment.
Occasionally he gets a job that’s just too large for one guy.  He might be called on to install dozens of pieces of equipment for a university or he might need to deliver a five hundred pound treadmill to a second floor location.  This is when he calls on friends like me for some help.
I always like the opportunity to get out of the office and do something more physical for a change.  This might sound crazy but I actually find it enjoyable even though the work usually involves lugging around heavy equipment and boxes of weights and assembling large pieces of equipment.
I always get a chuckle too because almost every time I have worked for him I hear the same question from his customers; “So do you actually use this equipment or is it enough of a workout just to move and install it?”
The whole point of this exercise equipment is to make you leaner stronger and healthier.  It reminds me that in the Christian life we’re told that our strength actually comes from the Lord.  It’s His strength on which we depend, not our own.  In the Christian life He’s really the one who does all of the heavy lifting.
Matthew 11:30 (NIV)
For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”