It Is Easier To Serve God Without A Call

Do you think God calls us to His work? Do you think He has a specific vision for your life? Do you give that thought any consideration or would you rather He just leave you alone?

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If you do want to serve God wouldn’t it be easier to serve Him on your terms?

It is easier to Serve God Without a Call or Vision.

Here is what that would look like:

  • We decide what kind of time and effort we give to God’s work.
  • We choose what we do for God.
  • We use our judgement to guide us to where we should go and how we can be the most useful.

What is wrong with that you ask? Or maybe that just convicted you, because you, like me, recognize that is how we far too often approach our service to God.

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The One Thing that Will Heal Our Land

I don’t often write about current events, yet I feel a bit melancholy by the events that surround me of the past week or so. It’s not just the tragic deaths of black men and police officers around the country over the past week or so. Over the same week the loss of two people who I knew, both passing on the same day, our day of independence in the U.S., July 4th, has me a bit introspective.

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One was a dear relative that I grew up calling Aunt although she was my cousin. She was only 11 months younger that my mother. Battling cancer her passing wasn’t entirely unexpected, still all who knew her will miss her love for life and contagious laugh.

The other was a friend that I knew from my church. His death was a surprise to us all. He seemed to be in good health, and he like my cousin had a passion for life.

Brevity of Life

As I sat in each funeral service, one on Friday, the other on Saturday of this past week, my mind pondered the brevity of life, as it does for most of us when we find ourselves at a funeral. It caused me to think about what is important in my life. I wondered if I was making a difference.

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3 Reasons Why It’s a Good Idea To Let People Interrupt You

Are you like me? Are you easily distracted from what is most important? Careful that’s a trick question! Do you get focused on your to do list, and the last thing you want is an interruption?

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All interruptions are good for is putting you in a bad mood or helping you procrastinate from the real things that need to get done!

No wonder there is such a thing as a monk’s life. Hmm…

Is that how we really want to live life though? I don’t just mean giving up and living as a recluse. We know that we need and want relationships, even if it means interruptions. But do we want to be in a bad mood or never get anything done because of constant interruptions?

Is there a way for interruptions to be a good thing?

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How To Make Your Life Less Complicated

6 Ways We Complicate Life

If you want to know what God’s purpose is for your life, yet you struggle with hearing His voice, join the club. Even if we are disciplined enough to turn off the TV, put down our mobile devices, slow our schedules, and be still for a few moments, life still seems to be a blur.

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Do you wake up some days realizing that you have too much to do and have too much stuff cluttering your home? So you apologetically step out of commitments. You make a trip to Goodwill after cleaning out your closet and garage only to repeat the cycle again.

Do any of these things complicate your life?

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8 Months After Surgery to Repair a Ruptured Tendon

I'm Playing Basketball Again!

The surgeons wouldn’t make any promises. One asked me if I enjoyed golf. The one who performed the surgery told me on the day of the surgery that once inside my ankle, he might just stitch me back up if it looked irreparable.

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If you don’t know any of this story, I will catch you up to speed. At the beginning of 2015, my foot and ankle bothered me every time I played basketball. I mean it hurt!

I chalked it up to old age. So I rested. But, each time I went back on the court, if I planted my right foot a certain way, sharp pain shot across the top of my foot and ankle. I had the foot x-rayed to see if I had a stress fracture. “Nope”, said the doctor. “You probably have gout.”

I rolled my eyes. I might have gout, but this wasn’t gout!

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Enjoying the Sound Of “Momma” In My Home

For 23 years Mother’s Day around our house was bittersweet. In many ways we felt stuck in the role of children wishing our well-deserving moms a happy Mother’s Day. It was like we never had made the transition into adulthood ourselves of ever feeling the joy and anguish of having our own children.

We watched the second Sunday of May approach us each year with a sense of dread. Should we even attend church this year? All it does is stir the feelings of loss and defectiveness.

All that may sound melodramatic to you, but it doesn’t to anyone who has struggled with infertility or suffered the loss of an only child.

As I reached my late 40s I became resolved that I would never hear the words of a child calling for his or her mother in my home, my family. But my wife, Danielle, still longed for a child of her own. And God listened to the desires of her heart.

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Why People Who Need Help Tend to Isolate

Matt and I sat at her table discussing ways our nonprofit organization could help her with repairs around her home. She lived in an older manufactured home that sat on several acres on the outskirts of town. She had some family, but they were busy with their own lives.

She asked how many people would come to help. Matt joyfully responded that he felt sure he could have around 30 volunteers come help. With that bit of information, she froze. After a moment of awkward silence she informed us that this wasn’t going to work.

Matt did eventually work at her home with a small number of volunteers. A number she felt comfortable having on her property.

Why won’t they ask for help…

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What Do You Want Your Last Words on Earth to Be?

Even if you’re not a Christian, you probably know some of the Crucifixion story. Jesus, hanging on the cross for several hours, asked for a drink of water. The soldier lifted up a sponge on the end of a stick soaked with sour wine. Jesus took a drink then said, “It is finished!”. He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.

A few things about that statement appeal to me.

  1. Jesus knew why He was on earth. He knew His mission and purpose.
  2. Jesus knew that He accomplished His mission.
  3. Jesus breathed His last breath at the moment He finished His mission.

The apostle Paul talks about being a drink-offering poured out; about running the race in such a way to win. Paul talks to run not without aim or to box as if boxing the air.

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2015 Reflections from My Journal

Throughout the year I use my journal to record events, to process thoughts, and to dialogue with God. Journaling helps me to remember these things which lends to a more accurate perspective of life. I tend to forget what God has done in my life, things that have happened (both good and bad), and thoughts, goals, and accomplishments.

In the moment when journaling, I benefit by processing my thoughts and staying focused in my prayer life. But if I never went back and read entries, I would lose all that perspective. So, at least during this time of year, I read back through my journal.

I am always surprised at how much I forget. And since I have a young son, I notice how quickly things change in the span of just one year.

Each year it reminds me about things overcome, goals set (some accomplished and some not) and yes, a few regrets.

Would you like to see what I pulled from this years journal? Here are 20 reflections from my 2015 journal:

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The Joy of Creating Memories

Enjoying Year 5 at the Beach

For many years now, my parents have rented a beach house or condo on the Texas coast the week of Thanksgiving. Then whoever in the family wants or can, for however long, shows up. For the past five years my parents have rented the same house. Some years the weather is cold and rainy, exactly what one would expect for the end of Thanksgiving.

-The House We've Stayed at for the Past 5 Years

But some years, like this one, we are blessed with mild to warm weather such that some brave the water to jump waves or ride a boogie board.

I don’t have any profound thoughts or insight to share here… Just a few memories along with some fun pictures. I hope you enjoy!

The first year our family stayed at this house was the first Thanksgiving that our son was with us. He was still a foster only child. We weren’t even sure that he would be with us when we made Thanksgiving plans. I knew that we either were going to be enjoying watching a one-year-old experience the beach for the first time. Or…we would be recovering from the bittersweetness of him going back to his biological family after living with us for several months.

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