Thoughts from an Ordinary Guy

This journey through life is never boring......

Month: October 2015 (page 1 of 5)

Monday Night – Things I Heard

Monday night I went to a dinner.   Yes, I have dinner pretty much every night (I like food too much to skip it) but this time I “went” to a dinner.

There were three main things that I heard at that dinner.   Well, there were a lot of things – but three main things…….

Oh, did I mention that Bob Goff was the keynote speaker?  Look up www.lovedoes.com if you don’t know Bob.  

Here’s the three things I learned:

“Living on the Edge of Yikes!”  God doesn’t want us to live comfortable lives.   He doesn’t want us to sit back and relax – well a little bit so we can recharge our spiritual and physical batteries.   But most of the time, he wants us out there living life on the edge.   Taking risks and sharing God’s love with others.  As he described it, “living on the edge of yikes!”

“Yikes, I don’t think I’m comfortable teaching that class.”

“Yikes, I don’t think I’d be comfortable going downtown and feeding the homeless.”

“Yikes, you want me to serve on a committee on race relations?”

“Yikes, God, are you really telling me to do THAT???????”

Those 6 words were huge  and are huge and could change the world if more of us lived and thought and followed God that way.

“Fill their bucket with love.”   Bob brought a steel bucket up on stage and one of the big points of his talk is that the best way we can tell others about God is by filling their buckets with love.   Show them you care and by showing them you care, you’ll show them God.   Oh and showing them you care means you care about them, not what they’ve done or who they are or who they want to be, you care about them, right now,

“Being a teenager is hard.”  I’m not going to tell you how many years ago I was one, but it’s been a long time.   I’ve got three children who made it through and two more who currently are teenagers.  It’s hard and when it’s hard, they need us, not only us, their parents, but us as their community to reach out, make a connection and show them that they are accepted and they have value.

The dinner was for Young Life and the stories of the differences they make were inspiriting, but……

Jesus was talking to me on Monday night.   Unfortunately I had the opportunity to do the second one last night with a friend who received some devastating news.  

May we all take a few steps closer to “Yikes!” and show God’s love to our neighbor and especially to the teenagers around us.

TJV

Good People and Good Things

I’ll admit, I write a lot about struggles.  I do that for a couple of reasons…..

I write from the heart.   What I put on the page is what I’m feeling, what I’m hearing, what I’m seeing from others.   It’s not superficial, it’s not fluff, that’s not, to me, that’s not important.

So, you won’t see me writing about the Chicago Cubs or about squirrels or about snow or about funny things my kids say.   Those will show up on Facebook or Instagram – feel free to follow me there for those type of things.

But today, I want to tell you about two really good things and some really good people.

The first involves the gang at Heartline – and I call them “the gang” because even though I’ve only met one of them, I consider them all to be friends and I have a lot of respect for them.   Heartline runs a maternal child health center in Port Au Prince Haiti.   If you know anything about Haiti, you know that maternal child medical care is woefully inadequate and the number of women and children who die because of that inadequacy is staggering.

Heartline aims to change that.  They are changing that – every day for many moms and many children in Haiti.   But the need is so great that they aren’t able to help everyone who asks for help.   They quite often have to turn pregnant mothers away.

Then we move over to a “group” called Momastery led by Glennon Melton.   What is Momastery?   Go to www.momastery.com and see for yourself.    Well, Glennon knows Tara Livesay (from Heartline) and through that connection, went to Haiti, saw the need and saw what Heartline said they could do with an expansion to their building and their organization.

And Glennon came home and dreamed.   Dreamed big.   And she and her people here decided to do what they call a Love Flash Mob and try to raise the money needed to help Heartline build their new addition.   It was, I believe, around $175,000 that they needed and they were going to do it in a 24 hour online “flash mob” of donating.

24 hours.

No gift of more than $25 allowed.

They didn’t think they would get it. 

When you’re done, go to the bottom, click on the link and see what happened.   I’ll give you a spoiler alert – not only are they building the new wing for Heartline, they are also helping a midwife in Berlin Germany who is helping pregnant Syrian refugees who have no one, nothing and nowhere to go.

God is good.

And the generosity of people restores my faith that not all people are evil, jealous, frustrating and self centered, let alone violent and liars.

Now I want to tell you about another friend of mine – her name is Jen Kroll.   Through a whole story – and I’d love to write a biography of the Krolls and their journey – they are the parents of an absolutely adorable daughter from Haiti.   A daughter with significant physical handicaps – handicaps that give her two prosthetic legs and arm braces.

Target recently ran an ad that included a little girl dressed up as Elsa (from Fr….. everyone knows Elsa right?) who had arm braces.

Jen wrote on Facebook and thanked target for taking a step towards normalizing children with disabilities – so that hopefully the next time kids see a child with disabilities, they won’t gawk and stare.

Go to the bottom and read the story about what a difference that post and Target’s ad have made.

All is not well with the world, but these are two  shining lights from this past week and I applaud them and encourage them and us to keep on changing the world.

Tom

http://momastery.com/blog/2015/10/22/so-they-did/

http://www.upworthy.com/a-moms-post-about-a-halloween-costume-is-going-viral-on-facebook-thank-you-target?g=3

Your Money or Your Life?

Proverbs 8:10 (The Message)

Prefer my life-disciplines over chasing after money,
and God-knowledge over a lucrative career.

So What?

Simple Yet Hard

​Proverbs 7: 1-5 (The Message)

Dear friend, do what I tell you;
treasure my careful instructions.
Do what I say and you’ll live well.
My teaching is as precious as your eyesight—guard it!
Write it out on the back of your hands;
etch it on the chambers of your heart.
Talk to Wisdom as to a sister.
Treat Insight as your companion.
They’ll be with you to fend off the Temptress—

So What?

Your Dad?

Good friend, follow your father’s good advice;
don’t wander off from your mother’s teachings.

So What?

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