What You Believe

“You can say what you think, but you will live what you believe”Mark Hall

I flew Southwest Airlines home from Chicago tonight. If you’re familiar with Southwest they have what is called an “open seating” policy. In other words, it’s first come-first serve when you board the plane. Luckily I had a low number so I found a prime aisle seat and was nestled in for the flight home. That’s when it happened. The voice over the loud speaker said (to the almost full plane):

“Ladies and Gentleman, for anyone with an open seat between them (me among others) we have a young mother and her infant child that need 2 seats together. Would anyone be willing to accommodate them?”

Being an evening flight full of weary travelers, you can imagine that not one hand went up. That would include mine. As I sat there looking into the eyes of this mother, the words of Rob Bell and my post earlier this week began to creep into my mind and soul. Louder and louder until I couldn’t ignore it any longer “Live what you say…Live what you believe”! Yet I sat there frozen in my comfort. Waiting on someone else to do what everyone on the plane should have been willing to.

Needless to say, after what felt like an eternity, I offered my seat and we were able to accommodate the young mother and her child. Please don’t misunderstand this post, I am NOT looking for glory. I’m not asking for applause. I’m actually confessing to a weakness. Why the thought process? Why the pause? If I would live what I believe the reality is I wouldn’t even have a post to write. Which is the way it should have been. It should have been a non-story and just another event in an otherwise uneventful day.

Heaven help me.

*Originally Posted August 2008

I’m Troubled

Friends….I’m troubled.

I am troubled by what our country has become and is becoming. Now before you assume I am talking about our current President, read on. While decisions are being made and cynicism reigns, this is not what troubles me the most. While town halls escalate and tea parties dominate, this is not what troubles me the most. I am not the sharpest tool in the shed when it comes to politics. I can’t claim to understand what all of the shouting and organizing ultimately will do to make a difference. So what troubles me most is that the things and places where I know that we, as Christians, can make a difference go untouched.

People are hurting

People are hungry (physically and mentally)

People are broken

While the wave and volume of the arguments between the right and left grow higher and higher, “the least of these” grow quieter and quieter. In our efforts to be right, what troubles me is that we are missing our opportunity to be Jesus. I am sorry if that offends or if you disagree, but this is what I believe God is saying to me. As God often does, He speaks in many different ways through many different forms but the message is often the same when He wants our attention. For me, personally, I believe He is saying that what this world needs is the LOVE of Jesus. What this world, this country, this state and this city need are people who will be what Christ called us to be. As Phillip Yancey once said:

“No one ever converted to Christianity because they lost the argument”

I had the opportunity yesterday to view “Lord Save Us From Your Followers” and friends, it broke me. I sat numb for several minutes as the credits rolled. It was like I had an opportunity to step outside of my world and see what was going on from a new perspective. I didn’t like what I saw. I didn’t like what we I have become. It not only left me numb, it inspired me. I energized me. It awakened me.

I have two things to leave you with today. Number one, we MUST get this film in Columbus (we are making great progress by the way). It needs to be seen by those on the right, the left and in between. If we are going to change our world, our state and our city, this is the place to start. I cannot say it enough. Trust me on this. If you are not in Columbus, look at their web site and find a showing near you. You will be glad you made the journey to get there.

Lastly, I ask you to watch this clip from Bono. The audio was taken from his speech at the 2006 National Prayer Breakfast (full transcript here). Parts of his speech are featured in the “Lord Save Us From Your Followers” film. After hearing him speak and seeing the other parts of the “Lord Save Us” film, I couldn’t help but wonder if Christianity couldn’t use a little more Bono and a little less “Religious Right”. Sorry if that offends, but when I find or hear things that bother me I have to ask if they bother me because they are so right or so wrong. I don’t claim to be right, or have the answers. However when you align what Bono is saying with the teachings of Jesus from the Bible (the Truth) you cannot argue with his call to action.

I'm Troubled

Friends….I’m troubled.

I am troubled by what our country has become and is becoming. Now before you assume I am talking about our current President, read on. While decisions are being made and cynicism reigns, this is not what troubles me the most. While town halls escalate and tea parties dominate, this is not what troubles me the most. I am not the sharpest tool in the shed when it comes to politics. I can’t claim to understand what all of the shouting and organizing ultimately will do to make a difference. So what troubles me most is that the things and places where I know that we, as Christians, can make a difference go untouched.

People are hurting

People are hungry (physically and mentally)

People are broken

While the wave and volume of the arguments between the right and left grow higher and higher, “the least of these” grow quieter and quieter. In our efforts to be right, what troubles me is that we are missing our opportunity to be Jesus. I am sorry if that offends or if you disagree, but this is what I believe God is saying to me. As God often does, He speaks in many different ways through many different forms but the message is often the same when He wants our attention. For me, personally, I believe He is saying that what this world needs is the LOVE of Jesus. What this world, this country, this state and this city need are people who will be what Christ called us to be. As Phillip Yancey once said:

“No one ever converted to Christianity because they lost the argument”

I had the opportunity yesterday to view “Lord Save Us From Your Followers” and friends, it broke me. I sat numb for several minutes as the credits rolled. It was like I had an opportunity to step outside of my world and see what was going on from a new perspective. I didn’t like what I saw. I didn’t like what we I have become. It not only left me numb, it inspired me. I energized me. It awakened me.

I have two things to leave you with today. Number one, we MUST get this film in Columbus (we are making great progress by the way). It needs to be seen by those on the right, the left and in between. If we are going to change our world, our state and our city, this is the place to start. I cannot say it enough. Trust me on this. If you are not in Columbus, look at their web site and find a showing near you. You will be glad you made the journey to get there.

Lastly, I ask you to watch this clip from Bono. The audio was taken from his speech at the 2006 National Prayer Breakfast (full transcript here). Parts of his speech are featured in the “Lord Save Us From Your Followers” film. After hearing him speak and seeing the other parts of the “Lord Save Us” film, I couldn’t help but wonder if Christianity couldn’t use a little more Bono and a little less “Religious Right”. Sorry if that offends, but when I find or hear things that bother me I have to ask if they bother me because they are so right or so wrong. I don’t claim to be right, or have the answers. However when you align what Bono is saying with the teachings of Jesus from the Bible (the Truth) you cannot argue with his call to action.

Three Athletes, One God

3athletes

I mentioned it before, but “the boy” asks an interesting question rather frequently as we watch sporting events. The question is simple, but often I cannot give a clear answer. His question is this…

Hey Dad, is (insert athlete’s name here) a Christian?

Athletes he has asked about in the past are Lebron James, Tyler Hansbrough and Ryan Howard. I found out yesterday that Albert Pujols is a man of great faith. “The Boy” and I watched the home run contest together the other night. I had stepped out of the room, but when I returned he told me about an interview they did with Josh Hamilton while I was gone. They had asked him about his incredible home run display last year and he gave all of the credit, glory and honor to Jesus. “The boy” told me about it and later I heard him telling my wife.

Lastly this morning, I received an email from our good friend Lynne with an article in the Columbus Dispatch about a blue chip prospect in the Cleveland Indians farm system named Matt Laporta. He is the next big thing in Cleveland and currently plays for our local AAA Columbus Clippers. The article outlines his faith. Great, great stuff. I printed the Pujols and Laporta articles (see links below) and shared them with “the boy” this morning. Later, I plan to take him to the “I Am Second” web site so he can hear the testimony of Josh Hamilton first hand.

Dads, like it or not, our kids are going to follow athletes and pick their heroes (just like we did). Choose wisely.

Albert Pujols article -(HERE)

Matt Laporta article -(HERE)

Josh Hamilton testimony – (HERE)

A Reason To Celebrate!

The service for our friend Stefan Tarapchak yesterday was wonderful. The choir and Allen Lowe did an incredible job of singing songs of praise and hope. I was so proud of Sandi as she delivered a memorial speech to Stef. While it was, at times difficult, this morning I rejoice. As a matter of fact, I can’t get away from how excited I am this morning. I keep thinking that Stef would have wanted it this way. What would he have wanted???

SEVERAL people accepted Christ as their personal Savior at the end of service yesterday.

I rejoice that Stef’s personal hope was that “just one” would be saved. His journey will forever change the eternity of countless people. Scripture tells us that when one gets saved, there is literally rejoicing in Heaven. So to that I say….let’s party down here on Earth!

Thank you Stef.

You fought the fight.

You won the race.

You spoke louder than before.

Lives are forever changed!

What are YOU waiting for?

wait

I swear this song is haunting me. Then again, it might not be the song, it might be the waiting that is actually haunting me. The song is just incredibly appropriate. I first heard it well over a year and a half ago and have somewhat forgotten about it until recently. The song is “While I’m Waiting” by one of my personal favorites, John Waller. It was also featured in the film “Fireproof” at a very appropriate part of the movie.

All of that to say that I almost titled this post “Charlotte Update”. As to not set the world and grapevine into motion, I decided to go with a different title. Our home is not for sale and as of this moment, we have no plans to even visit North Carolina anytime soon. God really shook up our basket a few months ago and yet Heather and I continue to wait. We both know that God was and is up to something in our lives. It was so crystal clear at the time of the call. It was almost audible. In the same breathe I would say that we are confident that not moving was the right thing to do. So we wait.

I know so many people that are also “waiting”. Jobs, homes for sale, ministries, relationships, futures, health, wealth, debt, fears and expectations. My prayer list is full of people that are “waiting”. If you know me at all, you know that my weakness is…well…waiting. I am blessed with no attention span and no patience. So the Lord making me wait is a prime example of refining in my life. He went right to the place that I am the weakest and we are pretty well camped out there. So we wait.

I think the point of this entire post is that while we are all “waiting” there is work to do. For so long I sat on the sidelines and “waited” for God to make that move. I waited for the sign, the time, the crystal clear moment. That may or may not come but we can, as John Waller says, worship, serve and run the race while we’re waiting. If you’re like me and “waiting” on God to bring clairty to something in your life, take a few minutes and listen to this song by John Waller. If nothing else, know that we are waiting together.

The Remedy

What a week it has been. I have always had a rule to leave politics out of my blog. I’m not going to change any of that now. Yet I sit here today with such a mixed bag of emotions. Reading articles and comments on blogs, facebook and twitter has been quite an experience. I go from inspired to disappointed. I go from angered to completely perplexed. All of these emotions have nothing to do with the election. They are all based on the posts and responses leading up to and following the election from Christian brothers and sisters.

I have tried to approach each commentary with an understanding and allowing that each has the freedom to say or do what they feel appropriate. But today I believe what saddened me the most is that we have allowed an election process to drive walls and bitterness between believers. At a time when those of faith should unite for a cause much greater than who is in the White House, we are fighting amongst ourselves. At a time when the nation needs to see the love of Jesus we cannot allow circumstances to take us from what we are here to do. Are we advancing his kingdom or setting it back?

The reality is that this world is hurting. It was in that state before last night and it will be in that state when the new President takes the office. The hurts are real. People are hungry, homeless, poor, broken and need the hope of Jesus Christ more than ever before. Are we expressing that message or doing it damage? Are we doing our part to usher in His kingdom?

The most important thing that I have tried to remember in this entire process is that there is only One man, and one Remedy for all that we seek. It is not John McCain. It is not Barack Obama. It is Jesus Christ. If the celebration in Chicago last night was anything, imagine the day when every knee will bow and every tongue will confess. Imagine the acceptance speech when the one that suffered for all of the sin in the world takes his rightful place on the throne!

Now that is change we can believe in. That is the hope we seek. That is the day I long for.

Remedy” by David Crowder Band

I’m A Jerk

I usually keep my Friday posts pretty fun but this one captured me today. I was surfing YouTube for something totally different and got caught up watching clips of “The Jerk”. While this movie was wildly funny, this clip left me feeling pretty guilty. At the beginning I was laughing. At the end I was sole searching. Funny how you can find inspiration in the most unlikely of places.

As to not take anything away from the clip, I’ll just frame it for you. When I think of the disciples, they are usually brought into the story by “leaving all they had” or “leaving their nets and followed him”. There was no hesitation. There was no carry-on bag for the trip. They left it all. Jesus himself said “where your treasure is, there your heart will be also“.

What hit me about this clip was how in the beginning he was willing to give it all up. But as he walked away, his “stuff” got more appealing. I had to laugh and wonder if this isn’t what I look like to God sometimes. “Lord, I don’t need this stuff…well, except that…that’s all I need to follow you”. This was a gut check for me. It was a reminder that following Jesus requires giving up everything, even the little things. I realized today that when God watches my “obedience” to give up my “stuff” to follow him….I probably look like a jerk.

I'm A Jerk

I usually keep my Friday posts pretty fun but this one captured me today. I was surfing YouTube for something totally different and got caught up watching clips of “The Jerk”. While this movie was wildly funny, this clip left me feeling pretty guilty. At the beginning I was laughing. At the end I was sole searching. Funny how you can find inspiration in the most unlikely of places.

As to not take anything away from the clip, I’ll just frame it for you. When I think of the disciples, they are usually brought into the story by “leaving all they had” or “leaving their nets and followed him”. There was no hesitation. There was no carry-on bag for the trip. They left it all. Jesus himself said “where your treasure is, there your heart will be also“.

What hit me about this clip was how in the beginning he was willing to give it all up. But as he walked away, his “stuff” got more appealing. I had to laugh and wonder if this isn’t what I look like to God sometimes. “Lord, I don’t need this stuff…well, except that…that’s all I need to follow you”. This was a gut check for me. It was a reminder that following Jesus requires giving up everything, even the little things. I realized today that when God watches my “obedience” to give up my “stuff” to follow him….I probably look like a jerk.

What's Your Isaac?

Somewhere along the road of this “journey to nowhere” (Charlotte), my good friend and mentor Denny said something I have not forgotten. When we were discussing what all of this could be about, he said;

“Aaron you have to be willing to lay down your Isaac. Maybe God is asking you to give Him your Isaac. You need to determine what that is and be willing to give it to Him.”

What Denny was referring to was Genesis 22:1-15 where Abraham showed God he was obedient by laying his son on an altar. At the last moment, God provided a ram as the sacrifice and Isaac’s life was spared. I’ve often wondered if there weren’t some father-son issues after that moment. I wonder if Isaac didn’t say “dude..what was THAT all about”? But Abraham knew. Abraham was following what he believed and being obedient. In the end, God provided another way.

Over the past several months, I’ve been in search of my Isaac. Leaving Columbus was going to be hard. This is our community. This is our home. These are our friends, mentors, brothers, sisters. This is where “iron sharpens iron” and people have poured into our lives. Yet God wanted to know if we were willing to give it up. Were we willing to go as far as Charlotte to commit ourselves to his call? At the last moment, He provided a ram (not ramses the UNC mascot either!).

So my question is this…”what is your Isaac”? Are you willing to give up the thing that you treasure most in obedience to God? Are you willing to get to that final moment when it looks completely out of your control to prove just that? To prove that we are not the one in control? Give it up. Give up your Isaac today and God will prove faithful. He always does.

What’s Your Isaac?

What’s Your Isaac?

Somewhere along the road of this “journey to nowhere” (Charlotte), my good friend and mentor Denny said something I have not forgotten. When we were discussing what all of this could be about, he said;

“Aaron you have to be willing to lay down your Isaac. Maybe God is asking you to give Him your Isaac. You need to determine what that is and be willing to give it to Him.”

What Denny was referring to was Genesis 22:1-15 where Abraham showed God he was obedient by laying his son on an altar. At the last moment, God provided a ram as the sacrifice and Isaac’s life was spared. I’ve often wondered if there weren’t some father-son issues after that moment. I wonder if Isaac didn’t say “dude..what was THAT all about”? But Abraham knew. Abraham was following what he believed and being obedient. In the end, God provided another way.

Over the past several months, I’ve been in search of my Isaac. Leaving Columbus was going to be hard. This is our community. This is our home. These are our friends, mentors, brothers, sisters. This is where “iron sharpens iron” and people have poured into our lives. Yet God wanted to know if we were willing to give it up. Were we willing to go as far as Charlotte to commit ourselves to his call? At the last moment, He provided a ram (not ramses the UNC mascot either!).

So my question is this…”what is your Isaac”? Are you willing to give up the thing that you treasure most in obedience to God? Are you willing to get to that final moment when it looks completely out of your control to prove just that? To prove that we are not the one in control? Give it up. Give up your Isaac today and God will prove faithful. He always does.

What’s Your Isaac?

Give Me Your Eyes

There is no other song that lyrically describes where my head is right now. You might have noted that in posts like this one, this one, and this one. Or maybe here, here and even here. I guess the point is that God has been working on this area of my life for several weeks. To hear and see this video this morning was right on time. Again, lyrically, it sums it up. I couldn’t help but note that it takes place in an airport. Many of those posts come from my time in the same places.

It doesn’t matter if it’s Charlotte, Columbus, or places in between, at the end of the day, this is my hearts desire. I’m really digging Brandon Heath’s latest CD.

In A Day

I need to apologize for a third straight day of Youtube posting, but this is too rich to not pass along. As I read the continued  fallout about the writer of the song “Healer”, I was reminded of the words in the Casting Crowns song “Slow Fade”. Quite simply stated “people never crumble in a day“. Mark Hall does a great job in a very brief video of explaining the process by which this can happen.

Love Thy Neighbor

I wrote a post called “Thy Neighbor” back in January of 2007. You would think I would have learned from my post and my lesson at the time. Once again it is so easy to be the model of perfection behind the keyboard but when it comes to application…not so much.

Last night we had another house showing. When we arrived back at the house, one of our neighbors was outside and said she spoke with the potential buyers. It turns out that they had some questions about the home which is directly behind ours (seen above). Particularly, they wanted to know “what was going on with THAT house”. The picture quality is poor, but the backyard of that house is in very bad shape. Sadly, it is a direct reflection of what happened to the family that used to live there. The weeds are waist high and the trampoline and home have long since been deserted.

Here’s the point…I’m not upset about their yard. I’m not upset about the condition of their home. I’m not even upset that a potential buyer might have changed their mind over what they saw. What bothered me last night and this morning is that we didn’t “love thy neighbor”. I don’t know their story (and don’t need to), but what I know of them was that they were in the midst of a very ugly divorce. I am troubled that we never got to know them. We never shared a cookout, invited them over, or swapped stories over our fences. We never “loved our neighbor”.

Would we have been able to save their marriage? We can’t, but Jesus can. Would we have been able to be accountability friends and somehow help pour into their relationship and lives? We don’t know but Jesus can. Would their home be restored to a beauty like their family could too because we loved on them? I don’t know but Jesus can.

Maybe that is what he meant when He said to “Love thy neighbor“….

Love Them Like Jesus” by Casting Crowns

Foxholes

I’m sure you have heard it too, but there is a quote which says that “there are no atheists in foxholes“. Tonight I was returning from my trip to Norfolk and had the absolute blessing of the view that you see in the picture above. I wonder if you could say that there are “no atheists in airplanes”. That is probably a stretch, but it was my thought at the time. As Rob Bell said in “Velvet Elvis”,

“Something holds all of this together”

While this picture will never give the moment justice, I can’t express the beauty in it all. To feel the warmth of the setting sun on my face as I looked out that tiny window into a field of clouds was stunning. I couldn’t help but think of Isaiah’s Commision in Isaiah 6:1-8. I probably should have taken my shoes off too.

I was reminded that our journey is so much like this picture. There are times when the sun shines and things are right, safe, comfortable. Yet not long after this picture, we entered one of those clouds and it got a bit rough. You couldn’t see the destination. You felt the weight of the moment and the storm of the cloud. Yet we continued on knowing we would soon break from it. We broke through the clouds and the view was once again clear and our mission was ahead. The destination still unchanged.

I know they say there’s not atheists in foxholes. I wonder if there are atheists on airplanes….

What You Believe

“You can say what you think, but you will live what you believe”Mark Hall

I flew Southwest Airlines home from Chicago tonight. If you’re familiar with Southwest they have what is called an “open seating” policy. In other words, it’s first come-first serve when you board the plane. Luckily I had a low number so I found a prime aisle seat and was nestled in for the flight home. That’s when it happened. The voice over the loud speaker said (to the almost full plane):

“Ladies and Gentleman, for anyone with an open seat between them (me among others) we have a young mother and her infant child that need 2 seats together. Would anyone be willing to accommodate them?”

Being an evening flight full of weary travelers, you can imagine that not one hand went up. That would include mine. As I sat there looking into the eyes of this mother, the words of Rob Bell and my post earlier this week began to creep into my mind and soul. Louder and louder until I couldn’t ignore it any longer “Live what you say…Live what you believe”! Yet I sat there frozen in my comfort. Waiting on someone else to do what everyone on the plane should have been willing to.

Needless to say, after what felt like an eternity, I offered my seat and we were able to accommodate the young mother and her child. Please don’t misunderstand this post, I am NOT looking for glory. I’m not asking for applause. I’m actually confessing to a weakness. Why the thought process? Why the pause? If I would live what I believe the reality is I wouldn’t even have a post to write. Which is the way it should have been. It should have been a non-story and just another event in an otherwise uneventful day.

Heaven help me.

Healer

Update: If you came looking for the song “Healer” by Hillsong it has been pulled from YouTube. If you’re wondering why it has been pulled from YouTube, that story is (HERE). What an absolutely sad and disappointing report today. Let’s pray for Mike Guglielmucci. We’re all guilty of making the wrong choices at times in our life. Clearly Mike has made a very bad choice in this case too. I pray Gods mercy and the mercy of those that will be critical of his decision.

Don’t let this story deter you from purchasing the Hillsong “This is Our God” CD. It is one of my favorite this year and “Healer” continues to be a song of encouragemnt and strength to those that have heard it.

I’m still getting my “travel on” this week. Off to Chicago in the morning (you can still follow the mobile randomness on Twitter). In my absence, I thought I would get something that is LONG overdue to the web. This falls under the “in case you missed it” category because it has been all over the blog world. In the off-chance you have not seen it yet, don’t miss this today. This is an incredible song called “Healer” by the amazing Hillsong. First, check out the story behind the song.

Now for the song:

Take a few minutes to visit healer.integritymusic.com. It is a site that Hillsong has set up to accept and share requests and praises. What an absolutely powerful song and ministry. Take a few minutes and let the words and the story sink in. It will change your day, your week and possibly even your approach to your journey.

I Am

I had to laugh this morning when I reflected on the excitement of last weekend. I was amused by how excited we can get when another person signs their name on a piece of paper. While that individual might have special gifts or talents, they are just as human as you and I. In retrospect, I am challenged by what little regard I seem to hold for the greatest signature of all. Anyone that holds a Bible has it. It’s found throughout scripture, but I think my favorite one is in Genesis 3:14:

God said to Moses, “I am who I am . [a] This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’ “

You see this signature is more valuable than anything on Ebay. It’s bigger than a card, t-shirt or photo. To those that believe, it is everything.

“Lord, you’re calling us to Charlotte. We’ve got to sell our home in a tough market. I pray that you would”….I AM.

“Lord, I pray for my freind as he continues to battle his medical journey. I pray that”…I AM.

“Lord I have a friend that needs your direction and guidance as he”..I AM.

“Lord, I really messed up. No matter how hard I try”…I AM.

“Lord. I don’t know how we’re going to “….I AM.

“Lord, We need your”….I AM.

“Lord, I”….I AM.

“Lord,”….I AM.

I AM.

I Am” by Nichole Nordeman

Big Things!!!!

Wow. This has been quite a week….

First off, it is with excitement and pride that I announce that my wife now has a BLOG!!! I think she got the bug when she signed up for Facebook recently and now she is officially a blogger. I am both thrilled and disappointed. I am thrilled that the blog world will now get a glimpse into the life of the one that is the grace of my life. I’m disappointed because I just became the second best blogger in our household. That I am okay with though. Check out her new blog HERE.

Secondly, and I can’t find any other way to frame it…..

Our house went on the market yesterday with the intention of moving to Charlotte, North Carolina (specifically Huntersville). While I have written about 100 posts trying to put into finite words the ways and workings of an infinite God, I just cannot seem to do it. The story is long but exciting. The call is as real as real gets. The signs have been everywhere that now is the time. The overwhelming peace that has come to Heather and I has been straight from John 14:27:

My peace I leave you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let you hearts be troubled and do not be afraid“.

While staying in the place we love and with the friends and community we lean on would be the safe thing to do. God has made it VERY clear that He is in control. He has removed the doubt and cleared the path as only He can. We just want to be obdedient. He deserves that much and will get all of the glory, honor and praise that He is due.

Stay tuned to my blog both of our blogs as the journey continues. It has already been an amazing ride. We love you all.

Good Reads

I decided to start re-reading “Chasing Daylight” again last night. This is one of those books that should be required reading once a year. The message seems to always be very timely. Below are a few underlines from the first time I read this book.

  • “There are things God does for you and things God waits for you to do. The journey begins when you choose. Stop wasting daylight. Choose a life of meaningful adventure. When you do, you will live in the epicenter of God’s activity”
  • “Like Rahab, we are always just one choice from a different life. At our worst, good is only one decision away.”
  • “Do what you know you should do, and you will know what to do. God clarifies in the midst of obedience, not beforehand”.
  • “All of us pass a bit of ourselves on to others. You better like who you are and make what you give to others from yourself a gift and not a curse.”
  • “The most important decisions of our lives will require us to forsake invisibility and risk becoming visible. Whenever you choose to seize divine moments, you move from invisibility to visibility.”
  • “Many times when we claim we are waiting on God, He is waiting on us.”

Directory Assistance

When –
You are sad, phone John 14
You have sinned, phone Psalm 51
You are facing danger, phone Psalm 91
People have failed you, phone Psalm 27
It feels as though God is far from you, phone
Psalm 139

Your faith needs stimulation, phone Hebrews 11
You are alone and scared, phone Psalm 23
You are worried, phone Matthew 8:19-34
You are hurt and critical, phone 1 Corinthians 13
You wonder about Christianity, phone 2 Corinthians 5:15-18
You feel like an outcast, phone Romans 8:31-39
You are seeking peace, phone Matthew 11:25-30
It feels as if the world is bigger than God, phone Psalm 90
You need Christ like insurance, phone Romans 8:1-30
You are leaving home for a trip , phone Psalm 121
You are praying for yourself, phone Psalm 87
You require courage for a task, phone Joshua 1
You are depressive, phone Psalm 27
Your bank account is empty, phone Psalm 37
You lose faith in mankind, phone 1 Corinthians 13
It looks like people are unfriendly, phone John 15
You are losing hope, phone Psalm 126
You feel the world is small compared to you, phone Psalm 19
Paul’s secret for happiness, phone Colossians 3:12-17
With big opportunity/ discovery, phone Isaiah 55
To get along with other people, phone Romans 12
ALTERNATE NUMBERS
For dealing with fear, call Psalm 47
For security, call Psalm 121:3
For assurance, call Mark 8:35
For reassurance, call Psalm 145:18

Get Expelled This Summer…Again!

I received an email this evening from a subscriber to my blog that has an opportunity for each of us to consider. It is my honor to share something this important through my site. Below is an excerpt of the email I received…

“I am subscriber of your blog…..I have enjoyed reading and listening your blog for sometime now…. Can you help me with something?

I am in charge of the re-release of our film Expelled…The goal is to gain 1,000 new theaters to release the film….over the summer…We are booking new theaters now…

The caveat is that we need at least one group of 250-300 to support the film with a verbal commitment and then tell me personally what theater is preferred and I will see to it that theater get the film at once

It would mean so much if you could place something for our film telling your readers to contact me personally if they would like to see our film in their city….The film will not just show up unless someone books it with me…We only have 1000 prints and they are gone then we will not have any more to send…Please let me know if you would help me get the word out about out film…”

Please contact Tripp Thornton of Motive Entertainment at – Trippht@bellsouth.net

For more about “Expelled” check out the preview (HERE)

Let’s do what we can to get “Expelled” back in our towns this summer! Thanks in advance for helping Tripp with this important message.

The Friend of a Wounded Heart

A few weeks ago this song by Wayne Watson came across iTunes and through my office speakers. I stopped what I was doing and listened to it several times to let it soak in. It has been resonating with me ever since. These are heavy days for so many that I know. We need Jesus to meet us where we are don’t we? So often I have heard that phrase and never really understood what it meant. This morning I witnessed first hand what it means.

This morning I was blessed and touched by a choir from a homeless shelter in Dayton, Ohio called “Target Dayton”. Friends I was moved to the point of tears by this choir. Make no mistake, this was not about music moving you to an emotional place. What I saw this morning were people that have nothing but the Joy of the Lord. They are walking, dancing, living and singing about a friend of their wounded hearts and someone who has literally met them where they are. In Gods economy, they were the richest in the room. They understand Matthew 5:3-10.

Heaven help us to reach out when we have a wounded heart. Lord grant us the wisdom to understand our dependancy no matter where we are in the worlds economy. Thank you for being the friend of a wounded heart to those in need at Target Dayton. May we all desire that friendship and allow you to meet with us….no matter where we are.

“The Friend of a Wounded Heart” by Wayne Watson

When All is Said and Done

When the music fades into the past,
When the days of life are through,
What will be remembered of where I’ve come?
When all is said and done?

Will they say I loved my family?
That I was a faithful friend?
That I lived to tell of God’s own son?
When all is said and done.

Of how I long to see the hour,
When I would hear that trumpet sound.
I rise and see my Savior’s face,
And see him smile,
And say ‘Well done.’

You can forget my name
And the songs I’ve sung,
Every rhyme and every tune.
But remember the truth of Jesus’ love,
When all is said and done

When all is said and done.

-Geoff Moore

Folded Corners

My good friend Denny taught me a trick a few years ago of folding the corner on the pages I wanted to remember. I let my fingers do the walking through those page folds tonight and below are the quotes that I found. Interesting that they mean as much to me now (maybe more) as they did when I read Chasing Daylight by Erwin McManus a year ago.

“We all want miracles and then spend our lives avoiding the context in which miracles happen” (pg 71)

“Most of life’s challenges are a test of first-dimension faith – trusting God with your relationships; trusting God with your finances; trusting God with your career; and making decisions based on His character in the midst of those arenas.” (pg 73)

“If a prayer’s ultimate intent is to fulfill God’s will, we can move with confidence, even if God doesn’t answer that prayer the way we expect. The more closely we reflect God’s heart in our prayers, the more often our request will match His response.” (pg 74)

“Faith is all about character, trusting in the character of God, being certain in who God is and following Him into the unknown”. (pg 75)

“But don’t look for God to fill in all the blanks. Don’t wait for Him to remove all the uncertainty. Realize He may actually increase the uncertainty and leverage all the odds against you, just so that you will know in the end that it wasn’t your gifts but His power through your gifts that fulfilled His purpose in your life.” (pg 78 )

“Are you willing to live a life that honors God and reflects His character and leaves the outcome to Him? Are you willing to live by faith and trust Him to be faithful? There will be days on this journey of faith when the outcome will be clear, and you will not like the implications. On those days you must, like Jesus, declare ‘Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done’ (Luke 22:42)” (pg 81)

Crazy….

“No we’re never gonna survive unless we are a little crazy” – Seal

A few weeks ago, I was having lunch with my boss and he said the strangest thing. I don’t even remember the context, but his statement went like this;

“Aaron, everyone’s got a little crazy in them. Some just show it more than other’s”

For the life of me, I don’t know why I still remember that. Maybe it’s the “little bit-o-crazy” that is sneaking out of me. I think he’s right though. I think there are times when we absolutely need to be! I remember the band Petra (aging myself here) once had a lyric that said;

“Some may call me foolish, some may call me odd. I’d rather be a fool in the eyes of man, then a fool in the eyes of God”

The song “Crazy” by Mercyme puts it even better. (click to play)

“I have not been called
to the wisdom of this world
but to a God who’s calling out to me
Even though the world may think
I’m losing touch with reality,
it would be CRAZY to choose this world
over eternity”

So, as you venture out today, don’t be afraid to be a little “crazy”. After all, Seal, Petra, Mercyme and my boss all said that it’s okay.

Originally posted January 2006

Saturday's All Pro Dad Day!

Wow…where did March go? A new month must mean that this Saturday is another All Pro Dad day. The topic this month is “Caring for the less fortunate“. We are privileged to have a guest speaker from Faith Mission in Columbus, Ohio with us. He will share a little bit about Faith Mission, but even more exciting is what will happen between our meetings in April and May.

Based on the information from our guest speaker, Dads and kids will have the opportunity to spend the month gathering needed items and raising awareness of the less fortunate in our community. For our May meeting, we will meet briefly to have some breakfast and spend some time with the kids. From there we will caravan to Faith Mission to deliver the items that we gathered throughout the month to those less fortunate.

Dads, this is your opportunity to get creative with your kids and teach lessons that they can carry with them for a lifetime. It is my hope that we can give our children a glimpse at one way we can be “Hands and Feet” in our community. If you have yet to attend one of our All Pro Dad days, this is a great time to start. If you are interested in attending, feel free to send me an email for more information! See you on Saturday.

Saturday’s All Pro Dad Day!

Wow…where did March go? A new month must mean that this Saturday is another All Pro Dad day. The topic this month is “Caring for the less fortunate“. We are privileged to have a guest speaker from Faith Mission in Columbus, Ohio with us. He will share a little bit about Faith Mission, but even more exciting is what will happen between our meetings in April and May.

Based on the information from our guest speaker, Dads and kids will have the opportunity to spend the month gathering needed items and raising awareness of the less fortunate in our community. For our May meeting, we will meet briefly to have some breakfast and spend some time with the kids. From there we will caravan to Faith Mission to deliver the items that we gathered throughout the month to those less fortunate.

Dads, this is your opportunity to get creative with your kids and teach lessons that they can carry with them for a lifetime. It is my hope that we can give our children a glimpse at one way we can be “Hands and Feet” in our community. If you have yet to attend one of our All Pro Dad days, this is a great time to start. If you are interested in attending, feel free to send me an email for more information! See you on Saturday.

He's Not Here!

“You Reign” by MercyMe

worship__.jpg

4But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. 5As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed.

6“Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. 7But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’ ”

Mark 16:4-7

He’s Not Here!

“You Reign” by MercyMe

worship__.jpg

4But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. 5As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed.

6“Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. 7But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’ ”

Mark 16:4-7

Please Be Patient…

When I was growing up, I had a small cross stitch picture in my room that my mom made. It was a picture of a little cowboy with the words “Please be patient, God’s not through with me yet“. I couldn’t help but think of how prophetic that little picture was..and still is today. While I write this and ask for each of your patience with me…I think I write it to remind myself as well. God is not through with me yet.

I think so often I beat myself up over what I don’t do when it comes to my faith and family. I know I need to pray more. I know I need to be better about my devotions. I need more time with God. I need to be a better witness. I can always learn more about being a better husband, father and friend. More often than not, I set out to “live like Jesus” and before I know it, I make more mistakes than Peter. It becomes overwhelming. It can become defeating. These are my own thoughts….they don’t even count what others might think or believe.

That is where the picture came back to memory today. God is NOT done with me yet. He doesn’t demand perfection. He knew what He was getting when He created me. Nothing I do surprises Him. He knows I am a work in progress (can I get an Amen?). I’m the one that tends to forget that. I need to remember to be patient with myself…God is not finished with me yet.

10For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Ephesians 2:10)

Please Be Patient…

When I was growing up, I had a small cross stitch picture in my room that my mom made. It was a picture of a little cowboy with the words “Please be patient, God’s not through with me yet“. I couldn’t help but think of how prophetic that little picture was..and still is today. While I write this and ask for each of your patience with me…I think I write it to remind myself as well. God is not through with me yet.

I think so often I beat myself up over what I don’t do when it comes to my faith and family. I know I need to pray more. I know I need to be better about my devotions. I need more time with God. I need to be a better witness. I can always learn more about being a better husband, father and friend. More often than not, I set out to “live like Jesus” and before I know it, I make more mistakes than Peter. It becomes overwhelming. It can become defeating. These are my own thoughts….they don’t even count what others might think or believe.

That is where the picture came back to memory today. God is NOT done with me yet. He doesn’t demand perfection. He knew what He was getting when He created me. Nothing I do surprises Him. He knows I am a work in progress (can I get an Amen?). I’m the one that tends to forget that. I need to remember to be patient with myself…God is not finished with me yet.

10For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Ephesians 2:10)

Jumping to Conclusions

office_space_kit_mat.jpgThis morning I was reading the same story I have heard and read so many times about the blind man that is healed by Jesus in John 9. There was something that really stood out to me this time around. In verses 1-2 an interesting conversation takes place between Jesus and the disciples. Check this out…

1 As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2 His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”

I couldn’t help but think how often I am like the disciples in this conversation. How often do I hear of something happening in someone else’s life and jump to conclusions? How often do I assume that something must have caused this or reach into my own thoughts for reasons why these things happened. Then I read Jesus response.

3 “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.

Wow. Here is this poor man that is blind and the disciples assume it’s his parents fault. Must be because of something they did….some big sin. Then Jesus sets the record straight. Not only was it not what they thought, but it was all done for a purpose much greater than their understanding or conclusions. He was about to do something glorious in this mans life. Then He did.

I was challenged to not be so quick to jump to conclusions. God might just be up to something.

Yep…they were great

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The Casting Crowns concert last night didn’t disappoint. This was my first time to see them live. I don’t go to many concerts, but there is a short list that I am starting to create of “must see” acts (Chris Tomlin, MercyMe). You can now add Casting Crowns. John Waller was terrific as well. With all of the familiar faces in the crowd, I couldn’t help but wonder how incredible Heaven will be one day. Makes me want to break out in a chorus of “When we all get to Heaven”!

One of the more reflective moments came during the song “Somewhere in the Middle”. Sitting 2 rows in front of us was a couple from our church. Sitting directly behind me were two guys I went to college with. They are 2 guys that know me when I wasn’t..well…who I am today. I couldn’t help but smile at the lyrics –

“Somewhere between who I am and who I used to be.
Somewhere in the middle you’ll find me
Somewhere between the wrong and the right
Somewhere between the darkness and the light
Somewhere between who I was and who you’re making me
Somewhere in the middle you’ll find me.”

There couldn’t have been a more accurate representation of those lyrics. Behind me were 2 guys that represented “who I was” and in front of me sat a couple that represented “who you’re making me”. Ironically enough…I was somewhere in the middle.

Somewhere in the Middle” by Casting Crowns

Quotable

“Today there are thousands of people sitting in church pews every Sunday who look like they’ve got it together on the outside but are broken on the inside. People who want to grab a Christian brother or sister by the shoulders and shout, “I’m not together! I’m in trouble! My relationship with God is terrible! I feel like a fake!” Instead, they pass out another bulletin or stack another chair, afraid to reach out, because everyone else looks like they have life’s problems whipped”

Michael English from the book “The Prodigal Comes Home

Stained Glass Masquerade” by Casting Crowns

The Only Thing That’s Good In Me

200px-michaepose.jpgLet me begin by thanking Kerri for her recommendation of the new Michael English book “The Prodigal Comes Home” a few weeks ago. I started reading it on Friday and couldn’t put it down until I finished it last night. I am still thinking about it today. It’s not a fairy tale story. I won’t give away details, but I recommend this book to anyone. To those that struggle with addiction, self-doubt, Religion vs. Jesus, failure, doubt and self control…this book is a must read. It’s a story of Gods endless pursuit of our heart and His matchless grace.

Michael has also released a new single called “The Only Thing That’s Good In Me”. After reading his book, the lyrics take an entirely new meaning. The two parts that spoke to me directly were:

“If you would walk the hallways of my heart
And see things as they really are
I wonder if you might be surprised.
Seeing faded walls of pride and fear
Rooms I filled with faithless tears
Corners where I’ve stood in compromise”

“The only thing that’s good in me is Jesus
The only thing that’s good in me is Jesus
I’ve lived long enough to know
No matter what this life might show
The only thing that’s good in me is Jesus”

I’ve learned over the years that the web and blogs can make this big ol’ world pretty small. That being the case, if you know Michael English, or have any way to contact him, I post this message below to him directly.

Michael – Thank you for being transparent. Thank you for putting your struggles, failure, battles and long road home in print for others to read. I pray that you continue on your road to healing. I pray that God uses your journey to bring others into a loving relationship with him. I pray for his strength and power as you walk each day in a renewed relationship with him. Thank you again.

The Only Thing That's Good In Me

200px-michaepose.jpgLet me begin by thanking Kerri for her recommendation of the new Michael English book “The Prodigal Comes Home” a few weeks ago. I started reading it on Friday and couldn’t put it down until I finished it last night. I am still thinking about it today. It’s not a fairy tale story. I won’t give away details, but I recommend this book to anyone. To those that struggle with addiction, self-doubt, Religion vs. Jesus, failure, doubt and self control…this book is a must read. It’s a story of Gods endless pursuit of our heart and His matchless grace.

Michael has also released a new single called “The Only Thing That’s Good In Me”. After reading his book, the lyrics take an entirely new meaning. The two parts that spoke to me directly were:

“If you would walk the hallways of my heart
And see things as they really are
I wonder if you might be surprised.
Seeing faded walls of pride and fear
Rooms I filled with faithless tears
Corners where I’ve stood in compromise”

“The only thing that’s good in me is Jesus
The only thing that’s good in me is Jesus
I’ve lived long enough to know
No matter what this life might show
The only thing that’s good in me is Jesus”

I’ve learned over the years that the web and blogs can make this big ol’ world pretty small. That being the case, if you know Michael English, or have any way to contact him, I post this message below to him directly.

Michael – Thank you for being transparent. Thank you for putting your struggles, failure, battles and long road home in print for others to read. I pray that you continue on your road to healing. I pray that God uses your journey to bring others into a loving relationship with him. I pray for his strength and power as you walk each day in a renewed relationship with him. Thank you again.

Behind the Music

I was catching up on blogs today and read a great post by quite possibly my favorite blogger, The Mudpuppy. If you are not following his blog, I recommend it highly. He’s want I want my blog to be when it grows up. Anyway, his post today was looking for resources for someone that is asking questions about the Christian faith. My first thought was drawn to the song “Untitled Hymn” by Chris Rice.

If you’re like me, you have probably heard this song several times. It wasn’t until someone pointed out to me that the song is actually a description of the entire Christian journey, beginning to end, that I really HEARD it. I found this version on Youtube where someone did a nice job of matching it to pictures. Take a few minutes and really listen to the song, maybe for the first time today. It will bless you.

Walking the Walk…

footsteps.jpgYou can say what you think, but you will live what you believe” – Mark Hall

I witnessed something today that still has me reflecting on it. Simply put, I witnessed two friends “walking the walk” in their lives. They probably don’t know I noticed. My guess is that they are not even aware that anyone noticed. I would also bet the house that they are not even thinking “I sure hope someone saw that”. It’s not in their nature. It’s not their style. It is how they live what they believe.

What I saw today on two separate occasions is two different men that I consider brothers in Christ living out what they say. I know that at the very core of these men, they care deeply about other people. I have had the privilege the past few years of hearing them talk about it and sharing conversations regarding it. Today, I witness words in motion. I witnessed actions that speak louder than words.

I write this because we never know who is watching. We may never know the impact of a life lived by the ones that we don’t even know are viewing it. What strikes me is that the most meaningful part of this whole story is that the two guys I mention probably don’t care about who was watching. They were too busy caring about what they were doing. Which set an example no words could explain.

Thanks guys….

The Golden Compass

movie_goldencompass.jpgI have received several emails regarding the upcoming release of a movie called “The Golden Compass” and the controversy surrounding it. Being the way I am wired, I went digging for myself as well. Below are some things I found on the web regarding this film and what makes it so dangerous.

From Pluggedinonline.comQUOTE: “Clergymen who kidnap children. Witches who aren’t wicked. Even a pair of sexually ambiguous angels. If you thought Harry Potter was blasphemous, wait till you get a look at the His Dark Materials trilogy.” —Entertainment Weekly‘s preview commentary on New Line Cinema’s $150 million adaptation of The Golden Compass, the first story in Philip Pullman’s series of “theologically trippy novels,” which is due in theaters Dec. 7 [Entertainment Weekly, 8/24/07]

From Rotten Tomatoes: The Golden Compass, opening December 7, was adapted from the His Dark Materials series of books, a bestselling trilogy by author Philip Pullman that incorporates every ingredient necessary for a shot at box-office fantasy gold, including magic, monsters, and a battle between the forces of good and evil. Unfortunately for the filmmakers, Pullman’s books also include a fair amount of what has been perceived to be anti-Catholic rhetoric; in the first book, for instance, the church is in the business of kidnapping children and conducting some rather unpleasant experiments on them.

Read even more about the film at Snopes.com

Based on what I have read, many feel that Phillip Pullman’s screen adaptation of the film has been “dumbed down” a bit to draw children into reading the much darker books. While the visual presentation looks stunning, I think I’m gonna pass on the Golden Compass. Here’s the best source for things such as this when unsure –

From Ephesians 5:8-16

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said: “Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.

Salt of the Earth?

220px-music-saltnpepa.gifI’ve confessed this before, but I have an evil diversion when I am sitting in front of the TV with a remote in my hand. It’s called VH1. If I am not watching a sporting event, I can’t help the magnetic attraction to punch 28 into the remote and see which past celebrity they have dug up and put into a show of their own. “Hogan Knows Best” and “Scott Baio is 45 and Single” were two of my favorites.

So last night, with game 5 of the Indians game bordering between nail biter and blowout, I had to find something else. That’s when I found “The Salt-N-Pepa Show“. I have to be honest and say that I only saw short bits of it because I was flipping back to it when the Indians game would go to commercial. But I found out something very interesting about Cheryl “Salt” James last night. It would appear that a lot has happened since the days of “Push it” and “Whatta Man”.

From what I gathered on the show last night and through some online research, Cheryl is now a born again Christian. The sole reason for the break up of Salt-n-Pepa was due to her conversion. Last nights episode included Cheryl bringing the other member of the band, Sandra Denton (Pepa) to her church so she could understand that this “was her family” and “why she left the band”. They even preformed a re-work of the song “Whatta Man” which spoke of Christ. From Wiki –

a cultural conflict between the ladies, as Salt’s strong religious commitment has led her to renounce the duo’s raunchy lyrics and dance moves from their former performing days, whereas Pepa still appears to want to perform like in the old days.

I doubt I will catch many episodes of this show as I just don’t watch a whole lot of tv. There is some part of me that wants to watch to see the Complete 180 (*Warning* blog plug) that Salt has done as well as the influence she will have on her friend. It’s safe to say that she has an all new meaning for the word “Salt” now. (Matthew 5:13)

Ray of Hope

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You all know that I bleed Carolina Blue. So whenever I see an article, picture or anything related to the Tar Heels, I follow it. I just read a story today that is simply amazing. It’s the story of Jason Ray and it will move you. The story is featured on ESPN.com as well as in the upcoming new TV show called E:60 on ESPN. I have posted the links below so you can read it, print it, or watch the video for yourself. Even if you are a Duke (booooo) fan, you should watch this. It’s a story about a life, an unfortunate death and the impact we can have during our time here. I can’t recommend taking the time to watch it yourself enough.
To read the story and watch the video – (click here)

To read and print the story on one page – (click here)

Carrots, Eggs and Coffee Beans

coffeebeans.jpgThere is a story about a mother that wanted to teach her small child a lesson about the impact we have on those around us. She took a pot of water and brought it to boil on the stove. When the water was ready, she placed carrots, eggs and coffee beans in the water to boil. In about 20 minutes, she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out into a mug. Turning to her daughter, she asked, “What do you see?” “Carrots, eggs, and coffee,” the daughter replied.

The mother brought her daughter closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they had gotten soft. The mother then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, she asked her to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted it and smelled its rich aroma. The daughter then asked, “What’s the point mother?” Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity—boiling water—but each reacted differently.

The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile; its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior. But, after sitting in the boiling water, its insides became hardened. The ground coffee beans were unique. After they were steeped in the boiling water, they had changed the water.

Each day we are given a choice aren’t we? We are going to be placed into situations where the culture, temperature and pressure will feel like more then we can handle. Yet I am convinced that we have choices. We can soften, become fragile, become hardened on the inside, or change the world around us. Surely we can change….

Where there is pain
Let there be grace
Where there is suffering
Bring serenity
For those afraid
Help them be brave
Where there is misery
Bring expectancy
And surely we can change
Surely we can change
Something

Surely we can change” by David Crowder Band from the CD “Remedy”