"Focus on a person's forever.' - George Toles
He's an incredible man, an influencer, an outlier, and my very close friend. He's like a second father, and in many ways, the new embodiment of my long deceased grandfather, Red. I love this man. You will too.
A short message from our Father (then paraphrased in italics) on this Father's Day.
"I will not speak with you much longer, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold on Me, but the world must learn that I love the Father and that I do exactly what My Father has commanded Me...." John 14: 30-31
(Each day we must determine if we'll willingly choose to be under the authority of the Father and the direction of the Holy Spirit. It is a choice each of us must make. It is a choice that actually leads to freedom, not bondage. Choosing to live under the authority of our heavenly Father frees us to gain the greatest fulfillment in life...His mission and the purposes He has for us. It is the little decisions of daily life that reveal whether we truly live under His authority.)
- Os Hillman
BTW, I can't get enough of this guy. Incredible daily devotionals that are completely adding into (and changing) my life. Check it out here.
The last 24 hours have been a very difficult time for me personally. I've spent a lot of time in prayer, in arguments, in silence, in frustration, and ultimately in a very odd redemptive space where I realize my Father still loves me and it's all going to be okay. I think.
I am not going into details with this, simply because my trials don't matter.... not at least to the greater issue at hand, which is 'how can I affect the lives of others, and what does God want me to do for them?'
It's not about me. It's about you.
I'm not above admitting I have a narcissistic streak. I do my best to control it, but part of who I am, and the very fiber of my programming in life and culture have formed me. I like who I am. I also know I'm difficult and at times, arrogant. It's certainly not my intention, but it happens... that "how I come across" thing.
However, my heart is for you. My heart is for others. This is why I've been fighting with myself and what I think God wants me to do with my life for others. How I've been begging for clarity and how maybe this blog today is me finding myself amidst the words.
I love the 'idea' of helping others, but do I really want to HELP others?
When all Hell breaks loose, and I'm challenged to my very core.... do I really want to HELP others?
Is my heart really for others, or is it what I can get from the world, should I choose to HELP others?
Have I ever really helped others? I mean HELPED others?
I have to challenge you and my own heart and say 'maybe I'm just starting to actually do that.'
You see.... we all posit the idea to ourselves that our grand goal in life is to make enough money and have enough resources to care for the lives of those less fortunate, whether they are physically suffering, mentally suffering, or just can't have their basic needs met.
Yet, have you ever changed an adult diaper? It's a basic need for a number of elderly, yet we all seem to think that doing social work wouldn't get any uglier than doing dishes or laundry for the indigent. Yet, that's a lie. Handling the basic needs of others is almost certainly ugly, disgusting, and smelly. Almost all of the time. Really.
So, what do you really want? What do I really want?
My prayer has been for clarity. Yours should be as well. Here's some thoughts, courtesy of the excellent TGIF emails I receive. They are always challenging and maybe today one of these will be just what you needed to hear.
"There is an oxymoron throughout the Bible. It says that brokenness is strength. How can this be? How can brokenness be strength? In order to use men and women to their fullest extent, the Lord has to break His servants so that they might have a new kind of strength that is not human in origin. It is strength in spirit that is born only through brokenness.
Paul was broken on the Damascus road. Peter was broken after Jesus was taken prisoner. Jacob was broken at Peniel. David was broken after his sin with Bathsheba. The list could go on of those the Lord had to break in different ways before they could be used in the Kingdom.
When we are broken, we see the frailty of human strength and come to grips with the reality that we can do nothing in our own strength. Then, new strength emerges that God uses mightily. God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble.
Do not fear brokenness, for it may be the missing ingredient to a life that emerges with a new kind of strength and experience not known before. Pray for a broken and contrite heart that God can bless."
- Os Hillman (bold/emphasis added by yours truly)
So.... today, I'm going to choose to do my very best to remain strong to the world and broken to Him. I encourage you to do the same. Look at the company you'll be a part of!
People ask me all the time what makes a successful person tick. I'd say this scripture is a huge part of it for me, and I don't even consider myself successful in a traditional way, but my family is everything to me. They are proof of my success.
"He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God."
Have a great day and blessings to all in all you do.
Old shot but hey... Tomoko's cute in it. The wife and I, Holiday World 2005. (Yes, I'm chubby here..... and I have hair)
Our children: Zachary, Kathryn, Reyna, and Noah - Kaiya - Tiana and Andy - Cadence - Leland - Alexander
Here are some simple spiritual thoughts for you to read today... perhaps chew on their meaning to you.
"We are already in the Creator's Cathedral. There is no ceiling."
"The will of God is not a What... it is a Who and a How."
Both of these great quotes were shared with me by the fabulous Jim Humphries of Vision Share. Thanks for reading.
Just busy serving the community. Nothing fancy to see here.