finding meaning in the mundane

Tag: Discipleship (page 1 of 2)

Volume Control

volume noise knobMy house can be a very noisy place to live.  There are 3 kids, 2 adults, and one dog living under this roof.  From the moment the kids wake up until the moment they go to sleep they are creating noise.  It is amazing the things that they have that make noise.  Hands raking through a tray of legos, baby bottles that cry and suck, Super Mario Bros bouncing their way through their mission of squashing advesaries and collecting coins… And then there is the piano.  Holy toledo!  What an amazingly loud household we have here. My kids are not to blame, I contribute to the noise level here as well.  I’ve got music playing in the kitchen, alerts dinging on my phone, Jimmy Fallon on the TV, and my voice rambling along at million miles a minute.  In the background of all this, is the traffic and activity of the world around me.  Motorcycles showing off just how loud they can be, people yelling at the bank teller nearby, and horns honking because the person didn’t move through the recently turned green light quick enough.  It’s a noisy life.  Continue reading

Staying Green on the Inside…

Dying InsideHave you ever felt like this shrub?  You know, green on the outside, but crunchy and brittle on the inside?  I’m willing to bet you have.  Life can be so incredibly overwhelming, stressful, and hectic, that you can often neglect caring for yourself.  This leaves you feeling dry and dead on the inside.

I was away on a spiritual retreat recently with my church, Liquid Church, when I walked by this shrub.  I was struck by the fact that it was barely hanging on for dear life.  If that shrub were in my yard, and it was dying inside like that, I would have yanked it out a long time ago.  It would be dying inside some compost pile right now, not taking up valuable real-estate in my landscape.  What you may not be able to see in this picture is just how large this shrub really is.  It is about 5 feet across and it stands about 3.5 feet tall.  It is ugly, and it is dying inside. Continue reading

Everybody Needs Encouragement

The other day I read this quote and it made me stop and think.  I wrote it down, but now I’ve forgotten who said it.

The ministry of encouragement seems to be a lost art, replaced by the art of networking. Every relationship needs to be milked for all its worth. Who does this person know? What can they teach me? How can they help me or my organization get ahead? Lip service is given to his well-being, but what we really want is information and connection. I love networking and helping others, but I find myself getting cynical when every email, text or phone call begins, “I was wondering if we could get together? I have something I want to run past you.”

This week I had the chance to catch up with some old friends in Charleston. None of them wanted or needed anything from me, and I wasn’t trying to learn, grow or network. We were just friends swapping stories, hurts and prayers. I walked away from each conversation refreshed and encouraged. It made me wonder who am I encouraging? Who loves to get my call or text because they know I’m just checking to see how they’re doing? Who looks forward to getting together for coffee because they know they will walk away encouraged?

EncouragementAs one whose love language is words of affirmation, I highly value when people encourage me, and call just to see how I am doing.  I love that, because it makes me feel loved.  What a great question.  Who are I encouraging?  Who gets excited when my face pops up on their caller ID?

We all have the opportunity to make a significant impact in this life.

We have one life.

What are you doing with your life to make a difference in someone else’s?  Who should you send a text to right now?  Before you click on to something else, do it.  Encourage someone! with an email, text, phone call, or a Facebook message.  Go grab coffee with someone.  Ask questions.  Find out how they are ‘really’ doing.  Believe in them.  Love them even in their mistakes.  Point them to Jesus.  And remind them how much He loves them.

Whatever you do, find that person, and be that person.

Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.  Ephesians 5:11


What kind of a mist are you?

The other day Pete Wilson, pastor at Cross Point Church in Nashville TN, blogged over on his site about a mist worth celebrating.  Here is an excerpt from his post.

This morning I was reading in James 4 and was reminded of this important truth.

James 4:14 “Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.”

It’s true. We are but a “mist”. In other words, life is short. We’re here and then we’re gone. I could see how, at first glance, this verse might be a bit depressing. But for me it’s motivating.

James 4:14

My dad and I at Old Westbury Gardens

I couldn’t agree with Pete more.  I think about some of the people in my life who have been incredibly life changing to me.  I wrote about my dad here, and I spoke about him here.  My dad had an enormous impact on my life.  I am who I am today because of the way that he loved Jesus and the way that he loved me.  I think about some of the people in my life who have been in and out of it only for a few short years.  Friends like Chris, & Bob who have mentored me and helped shape my life.  There are so many others.

It is easy to think about all of the people who have had an eternal impact on your life.  What may be a bit more difficult to think about is what kind of a mist are you becoming?  Or what I mean is, who are you becoming, and how are you impacting the lives of others?  Do you have someone in your life who you are building into, encouraging, and loving on?  If not, you should find someone.  Do it fast, because as James says, our lives are like a mist, here and then gone.

Let’s make the most of the time that we have!


Scraped Knees= Shepherding Opportunities

Bleeding KneeMy kids have fallen down- many times.  In fact it happened recently.  Noah fell and scraped up his elbow pretty badly.  When we were trying to bandage it up he said, “IT BURNS LIKE LAVA!”  Ah to have the mind of a six year old again…

My kids have made mistakes.  They have written on walls, gotten pen on the couch, spilled milk, disobeyed, talked back, and been obstinate.  They have found that there is a whole lot of life that they want to explore and boundaries that they want to push.

These are the times as parents that are incredibly hard, right?  When your kid is in pain, pain so bad that it can only be likened to “burning like fire”, you want to take that away for them.  You wish that you could bear the pain on their behalf so that they didn’t have to feel it.  When I watch one of my kids fall, my whole body cringes, not because I am hurting, but because I know that they will be.

It is hard as a parent to watch and experience your children disobey, make poor decisions, and mistakes.  If you don’t believe me ask any parent of a teenager, they will tell you it is hard!

These are the moments when parenting is tough.

It is in these moments that parents have to step in and show their children that their is a better way.  There is a safer way to get from one side of the pool to the other than by running.  There is a reason why we don’t color with markers on the couch.  There is a reason why we eat over our plates.  All of this is for a reason.

When our children disobey, as parents we have to have the difficult discussion about why obedience is important.  We have to discuss why attitude is everything.  We have to talk about forgiveness.  We must teach our kids how to say sorry.  All of these things are important to teach lovingly and graciously to our children.

The Prophet Ezekiel

The Prophet Ezekiel by Michaelangelo

In the book of Ezekiel, God speaks through the prophet Ezekiel and tells his people that they haven’t been shepherding, or taking care of His people.  God reveals the condition of the shepherds heart as well as the condition of the flock.  Neither one is doing very well.

You eat the fat and clothe yourselves with the wool, you slaughter the fat sheep without feeding the flock. Those who are sickly you have not strengthened, the disease you have not healed, the broken you have not bound up, the scattered you have not brought back, nor have you sought for the lost; but with force and with severity you have dominated them.  They were scattered for lack of a shepherd, and they became food for every beast of the field and were scattered.

~Ezekiel 34:3-5

God speaks through Ezekiel and is trying to get the attention of those who are taking care of God’s flock, or God’s people.  This passage is challenging to me both as a parent and as a pastor.  It makes me ask the question, am I caring for the people that God has entrusted to me?

What about you? I don’t care if you are a pastor, or a parent.  A father, or a friend.  Are you lovingly guiding and caring for those that God has placed in your life?  How do you help your kids, friends, etc… know that you care?


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