Sunday, October 30, 2011

I’m a Quitter

I have been working long hard days this year.  Most have been 10 – 12 hour days and lots of nights and weekends.  I’m exhausted but that is what is required for me to do a good job at my work. Now we are working a man short and so instead of seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, all I see is more long nights and weeks.  I am frustrated.  I am tired.  I can’t keep going …

I searched my life for things I could eliminate in order to make more space.  I needed to find some relief.  I know my decision is not a good one for the long term but for the short term, it is what it is.  I quit church choir.  I love to sing and choir is usually an enjoyable time for me.  However, practices are at 4:45 on Sunday afternoons.  I would get home from church, change clothes, eat lunch, do dishes, and it was time to go back to church.  I had to make some free time in my life.    Now I am taking Sunday nights for some “me” time.  Is that selfish?  Time to read a book or take a nap. Time to catch my breath before starting the next hard week.

I know that I need to be involved in ministry and I know that I am not currently doing much – outside of working with my students at school. My quitting was not because I had my feelings hurt.  Quitting was not because I was mad. I am not quitting church, just the choir. 

Is this a lack of commitment on my part or is it just necessary for my survival?  Am I justified in this decision or am I letting others down who were counting on me? 

I am still committed to the Lord and I am still committed to my church.  I just need a break for a while.  Am I taking the easy way out?  Why do I feel guilty?

Monday, October 10, 2011

Steve Jobs is dead …..

clip_image002Steve Jobs is dead at the age of 56.  His death was a global news story.  He is known for  impacting the world through Apple computer.  He is largely responsible for the creation and evolution of the iPod, iPhone, and iPad.  He had great wealth and vision.  What did he do that will affect eternity?  How did he spend his time? What can we learn from this man?


Steve Jobs was an amazing man.  God gifted him with creativity, drive, ambition, and a vision for the future.  He changed the way people interact with each other and with the world.  He was a college drop-out but a genius . After dropping out of required college courses, he “dropped in” on the ones that interested him.  Courses like graphic design and art.  His understanding of aesthetics and his love for art and calligraphy greatly impacted the technology that we have today.  Do all of his accomplishments mean that the world is better off today?  We have unprecedented access to information  but do we have greater understanding?  I don’t think so.  Mankind still struggles with the same things they have since the beginning of time. 

Below is an excerpt from Steve Jobs’ 2005 Commencement Address at Stanford.

“No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don't want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life's change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away.

Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

While I have seen no evidence that Steve was a believer, ultimately that is between Steve and God.  We have no idea what went on in Steve’s heart, especially in his last days as he faced his own mortality.  It is important for us to know that it is possible to lead a successful life, to be the creator of incredible inventions, to impact the world and the way they communicate,  and yet that none of these accomplishments can earn him one minute in heaven. 

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. “ Ephesians 2:8-9

Let Steve’s life and words remind us that life is short.  Don't waste it on things that don’t matter.  Pray that God will help you know what does matter.  Pray that the Lord will help order your steps and your priorities. 

Be thankful to God for giving us Steve Jobs.  There is no doubt that he had many gifts and talents.  Be thankful to God that he used those talents to provide us with wonderful tools and gadgets.  Then seek ways to use those tools to impact the world around you.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Being a parent is a tough job …

“Train up a child in the way he should go,
Even when he is old he will not depart from it. “ - Proverbs 22:6

We have worked hard to bring up our daughter in the ways of the Lord.  We’ve taken her to Sunday school and church.  She did AWANA when she was younger.  She’s been in Christian school since kindergarten. 

She accepted Christ when she was five years old. She’s been an easy child.  She has always wanted to do the right thing.  We’ve never really struggled with her breaking rules or being defiant.  She is now 18 and a half years old.  She is a senior in high school and struggling to be independent.  She wants to make her own decisions and we are trying to allow her to do that.

She has been going to Passion City Church on Sunday nights with some of her friends from school.  We’ve encouraged this.  We were excited she was choosing to be in church.  She loves this church.  She said she gets a lot more out of the message and the worship than she does from our “home” church.

Now here comes the hard part, she has asked permission to go to Passion on Sunday mornings.  There is a part of us that wants to tell her that she needs to be in church with her family. You know, lay down the law.  As long as you live under our roof you will be in church with us.  Then there is the other part of us that is so excited that she has found a church that preaches the Word and meets her needs.  She loves the Lord.  She’s been on two mission trips and is going on her third one this spring.  Should we allow her to choose a church that she wants to attend?  She will be getting ready to go off to college soon and making all of her own decisions.  Is this a decision that we should allow her to make now? She has a peer group there. Our home church is small and there isn’t anyone else her age.

She has done everything right.  She respectful asked our permission to go.  She was honest and upfront with us.  She gave her reasons and they were good ones.  I desperately want her to be with us but I know I should encourage her to go where she feels the Lord is leading her.  Anyone have any thoughts?