Saturday, September 2, 2017

Forward and Behind - Tuesday, April 14, 2015

This was my personal journal entry from April 14, 2015.
"I forgot to write this down from a few days ago, but I thought it was important to note and it really made me think. I am not saying this was a vision from the Lord perse'...but it was extremely thought-provoking. 
'I imagined that I was towards the top of the World Trade Center after the planes hit. I'm on the edge of the window, the glass is totally gone. There's flames behind me, above me smoke is starting to make me cough. I look down at the drop below my feet and look at the inevitable. I start to get dizzy and think about my life. Did I create a legacy? Will people remember me? What did I leave behind? What is my imprint?'
So I started thinking about this. My job behind me is going up in flames. I can't stop it or slow it down. All that I gave to the company is burning up from the outside force of the jet fuel. The late nights, overtime, sacrifices with working weekends, not spending days off with Lisa. All of what I traded my life for is burning up to ash. And as I stand on the edge of where I work and look at the jump to come, this is what I have to look forward to. The next few minutes are my future. But my legacy can't be built on a few minutes left. It cannot be made at the last minute. It has to be worked on. It takes time, takes motivation, and involves people that I care about.
'So I stand at the edge and I think to myself, "Did I leave a legacy? Did I leave something behind? Did I make the world a better place?" The job did not last. My job will not last. But I need to focus on what will.
So what do I do? Lay up treasures in heaven and not on earth (Matthew 6:19). You can't serve God and riches (Matthew 6:24). Don't worry but seek God and His righteousness. He's got your back (Matthew 6:25-34). What lasts? God's kingdom, His word, faith, hope, love, spiritual food, spiritual works."
Around the same time I read a book by Ben Michelis called, Your Next Big Thing. It is a secular self-help book that has some thought provoking questions to help you get unstuck from a boring life. Here are some questions designed to help you, Think Big.

  1. If you were wealthy beyond reason and no longer had to work...what would you do?
  2. If you were given the opportunity to create your own 60 second Superbowl commercial where you can say whatever you wanted the world to see...what would you show?
  3. f you found that you could make one lasting change in the world that would be guaranteed to effect people long after you are gone, what would you make?
  4. If you can create an organization or company that could make or do something and you were guaranteed of its phenomenal success, what would your organization do? How would it effect people's lives?
The following is designed to help you Think Far
  1. Imagine your great-grandson or someone who will be around after you are gone. Imagine him clearly. What is his name, where does he live, what kind of world does he live in? What does he do, eat for breakfast, hobbies
  2. Turn the camera on you. What does he think of you? What does he know about you? What does he appreciate about your life?
  3. What did you contribute to him in his world? 
  4. Wt did you eave of yourself that enriched his life?
  5. How did you inspire him to do good, aspire to become, or be stronger? 
Funny...the things that are being burned up in the flames are not even on my list. 


Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Finding God's Will For My Life

Lately I have been musing about God's will for my life. I feel like I've made wrong turns and decisions that have gotten me to where I am today. A job that is unforgiving in which my entire life revolves around. A car that keeps breaking down. And not to mention the missed opportunities I have had. It's those "bad decisions" in which I am so fearful of making more bad decisions that I feel like I am even more further away from God's will.

In the process of finding light at the end of the tunnel, I stumbled upon this story from, called, Man, 91 Dies Waiting For Will of God.

TUPELO — Walter Houston, described by family members as a devoted Christian, died Monday after waiting 70 years for God to give him clear direction about what to do with his life.
“He hung around the house and prayed a lot, but just never got that confirmation,” his wife Ruby said. “Sometimes he thought he heard God’s voice, but then he wouldn’t be sure, and he’d start the process all over again.”
Houston, she says, never really figured out what his life was about, but felt content to pray continuously about what he might do for the Lord. Whenever he was about to take action, he would pull back “because he didn’t want to disappoint God or go against him in any way,” Ruby says. “He was very sensitive to always remain in God’s will. That was primary to him.”
Friends say they liked Walter though he seemed not to capitalize on his talents.“Walter had a number of skills he never got around to using,” says longtime friend Timothy Burns. “He worked very well with wood and had a storyteller side to him, too. I always told him, ‘Take a risk. Try something new if you’re not happy,’ but he was too afraid of letting the Lord down.”
To his credit, they say, Houston, who worked mostly as a handyman, was able to pay off the mortgage on the couple’s modest home. •
This story wouldn't be at all funny if it were true. Lark News is an online Christian satire magazine similar to The Babylon Bee. Here is a guy who has many talents, all of which are confirmed by his friends and wife; a mind to do the right thing; and a heart to please and serve the Lord. Very similar to the parable of the talents in Mathew 25:14-30. Each servant was given an amount of talents according to his ability. Some more than others. But that didn't give the man who received just one, a break from investing that talent. He was equally told to increase it for his lord. In the end, he buried his talent and gave back to his lord what he was given. Why? He had a wrong view of his lord and he was afraid of messing up. The whole time knowing what the will of his lord was. But in all seriousness...this is me and this could be you. What can I glean from this?

We already know what God's will is. It's pretty obvious. Here are some clues from His word.

  • Love God and love others (Deuteronomy 6:5; Mark 12:30-31; Luke 10:27; Mathew 22:37-38)
  • Abstain from sexual immorality, sanctify yourself, and don't defraud your neighbor (1 Thessalonians 4:3-6). 
  • To do good (1 Peter 2:15). 
  • In everything give thanks (1 Thessalonians 5:18). 
  • See Jesus and believe in Him for salvation (John 6:40). 
  • God's desire that all men everywhere be saved (Acts 17:30; 1 Timothy 2:4)
So, back to the story of Walter...where did he go wrong and what should he have done? First, he should have prayed not to know God's personal will for his life, but how he could personally use his gifts to further God's kingdom, love others, and how to seek and save that which is lost, all the while becoming more like Christ and giving thanks to Him for all things. He should have taken the advice of his friends to realize what those talents are, what he is good at, and how to minister to those around him. His friends said he was a great storyteller, great with wood, and a handyman. So, obviously he had the gift of helps, and secondary possibly teaching. Plus, he was a prayer warrior. 

I know that I have some friends of mine reading this and laughing, knowing that this is what they've been trying to tell me for years. That I have talents the Lord has given me, and that I need to use them to further His kingdom. I just need to stop praying for God's will.  So what are my gifts? God has taken this shy child and turned him into an open-air preacher. He has turned this kid who's job was to hold the light into a person who could fix just about anything. What will he turn this man into next? Only He knows, and I am content with that.