Got a chance today to connect with and love on two of my grandkids. I was informed by Caleb, Lindsey and Aaron’s four year old that he loved me very much. Matter of fact, he said he loved me over and over and over (I never tire of hearing this either). However, in this ‘love fest’ conversation he also informed me he loved his other set of grandparents more than Nana and me.
How how transparent, how innocent…how shocking!! In between saying he loved his other set of grandparents more than us, he would insert, I love you Papa!. I found myself laughing on the inside as this love fest went on for about 5 minutes while headed to Costco.
And then just as quickly as we entered this conversation, we left it and he moved to other stimulating conversation. Reflecting on it reminded me of an old slinky I once owned. I loved that thing as a kid. It expanded, contracted and would bend. It would go down stairs one at a time bringing laughs the whole way as we watched it. Then when all was done it fit nicely back in its box.
Couldn’t help but see ‘love like a slinky’ today. Caleb and I expanded our love for each other. Then Caleb contracted it some from me and expanded it towards his other grandparents. All in all, I rediscovered there is enough love to go around just like the slinky that expands. No worries for this Papa!
My goal as a leader, husband, father and grandfather is to keep my love expanding, not contracting. God says there is enough of his love for me and for everyone. I believe it and want to pass this love along more and more!
I love seeing an organized peg board on a garage wall. The clutter of garage stuff laying everywhere finds a home hanging up or on a shelf. I remember someone saying “there is a place for everything and everything has a place”. Obviously this person was a little on the OCD side of the spectrum, but still, a little focus and organization doesn’t hurt anyone.
I see a connection between peg boards and vision. The first connection I see is my own personal life. There is often clutter laying around the edges of my life, my closet, my office desk, my sweater shelf, my throw everything I don’t know what to do with into drawer, and yes my garage. Peg Boards are the ultimate create and use your own space organizer. They can take the seemingly disconnected pieces of stuff and begin to put them into order, focus and use.
The second connection I see is in my church. There are pieces of my dreams, snapshots of inspiration, tidbits and titles for messages, moments of flashing insight and unending input from blogs (hahaha) and social media that stimulate me. My challenge isn’t obtaining all this ‘good clutter’. My challenge is organizing, focusing and using it.
Vision is awesome but vision needs to be organized, focused and useful. Habakkuk 2:2 says, “Write down the vision and make it plain so he may run who reads it”. When our dreams, our inspirations, our insights are laying all over they easily become spiritual clutter. Each item is useful in its own way, but nothing like when it is understood, organized and creatively placed. When vision and the peg board of organization connect…clarity, focus and momentum are born.
God has dropped the concept of 90 in my heart for Stone Church since its our 90th year of existence. What began as a random idea is beginning to fit on the peg board of visioning organization. In November we will celebrate 90 years of active, vibrant ministry in the Yakima Valley. It’s time to peg board the blessing of our history!
Why not add 90 families to Stone Church this year? Why not connect 90 people to Jesus Easter weekend at Stone? Why not invest 90 minutes of time inviting people to Stone this Easter? Why not give 90 dollars towards lifting outreach to another level this Easter? Why not give 90 minutes in a learning environment to serve on altar teams, hosts and greeter teams, usher and security teams, kids ministries teams? Why not give 90 minutes praying for an epic Easter weekend on a couple of Wednesday nights?
See what I mean? All these statements I’ve made are good in and of themselves but they needed a peg board of vision to harness them into life altering actions. I couldn’t be more excited about the number 90. If only I could be as excited about P’90′X. Well, that is for another blog entry!
I was in Junior High. I was a 13 year old 8th grader. I was becoming very aware there were girls in the world while we lived in Hawaii for one school year. Combine a laid back ‘barely there’ beach environment with young emerging hormones and they quickly become a tough tandem to tame.
One day while walking with my older brother along Waikiki Ave, he suddenly screams at the top of his lungs, “Run, Jon, Run” and suddenly he took off running. Fear and panic gripped me as I shot after him running as fast as I could. When we finally stopped running, we were both stooped over frantically inhaling all nearby oxygen. I managed to say in between gasps, “what happened”? He responded, “did you see that guy on the hotel balcony naked and waving at us to come over to him?” What? Well, of course I didn’t see him as my gaze was more focused on the beach side of the street. My brother Jeff however did see him and thought we were in danger. His first instinct was to scream, get my attention and run, and let me say, run we did!
After reading Jonah’s story in scripture, I was glad to know I wasn’t the only ‘runner’ God ever had to work with! I ran out of fear and panic. Jonah the ran out of disobedience. I ran out of reaction. Jonah ran out of rebellion. I ran assured that if I just stayed up with my brother, everything would be ok. Jonah ran assuring himself, if he just got far enough away from God everything would be ok. I wish I could tell you I’m so much better than Jonah. I can’t.
I learned if you have a problem. Run from it. If you encounter a problem person. Run from them. If I have a problem with me. Run from myself … and drink chocolate milk with Hostess cupcakes. Problems aren’t solved by running away from them. Whether we’re running away or Jonah’s running away, the result is the same…God knows, God sees, God cares! Problems aren’t solved by running away, but by running towards Jesus, in full surrender and humility.
Trust me, I learned early and often in life to RUN away! Now I’m learning to RUN towards Jesus! We all have a tendency to run. The question is, “which way are you running?”