I hate it when technology does not work the way I want it to. Over the last 24 hours many things have been trying my patience.

It started yesterday. I left the house to go to the post office, the bank and then to the office. After going into the post office I got back into my van and it would not start! I sat there for a while frustrated. That was around 8:30 and I did not get into the office until around 10.

Then this morning our internet at home was moving super slow. I then spent about 6 minutes on hold to talk with a customer service representative to resolve this problem.

Then when I got into the office today my computer kept locking up and I could not get anything to print. It just seems like one thing after another keeps going wrong.

Now I know these are not all huge issues. In fact by themselves, most of them would not cause much frustration. But when they are all added together it can seem like a big deal.

But do you know what I did when my car would not start? I laughed. That’s right, I actually laughed about it. Not rolling on the floor, side-splitting laughter, but just a small chuckle. This kind of thing would happen.

Then when all of these issues started happening with my computers I started to think about how important it is for us to live out Christian qualities even in the small issues of life.

See, if I cannot have patience with a computer glitch, or act in kindness with a woman in customer service, how can I expect myself to act in a Christian way with it really matters? If I do not work on cultivating my life in small ways, every single day, then I will have no fruit to display when times are actually difficult.

So when that person cuts you off in traffic, or the line at the store is taking longer than it should, show patience.

When the customer service representative is being less than helpful, act kind and speak gently.

When your car refuses to start, show joy.

Don’t allow yourself to indulge in sin, in even the small ways. Instead practice self-control so you will be able to have it when a big sin comes around.

Do good works everyday even when you do not feel like it. And be at peace with those around you, even when they are not trying to live at peace with you.

When we allow the Holy Spirit to work in our lives, the world will really change. But it does not change all at once in some big action.

The world changes when we make small decisions to live the life God has called us to live every day.

There is an account in Scripture that always grabs my attention. There are so many parts to this account that are just unlikely to happen. Well when we throw Jesus into the mix it is not unlikely but had it happened to anyone else it would have been.

The strangeness starts at the beginning. Jesus and his disciples are walking through Samaria. If you do not understand why that is weird let me quickly explain. See, Jesus and his followers were Jewish. They were all from the people of Israel. They were God’s chosen people. One of the main goals they had was to remain clean. This included not eating certain meats, not touching those who were extremely sick or dead, as well as not mingling with those who did those thing.

A Gentile was anyone who was not a Jew. So where does that put a Samaritan? A Samaritan was a mixture of the two. Their descendants intermarried and the Jews hated them even more than they hated Gentiles. In fact they hated them so much usually Jews would walk around Samaria to get where they were going, even though walking straight through was shorter and faster.

But Jesus does not do that. He took His disciples straight through. His disciples have got to be wondering if Jesus knew what He was doing!

Well in the middle of the day, they stop to rest. The disciples then go into the market to see if they can get something to eat, but Jesus stays by the well. Then a Samaritan woman comes out.

Now we already showed Jews did not like Samaritans but also in that time women were thought of to be of a lower class than men. So husbands and wives may talk but most men and women did not speak in public, especially just to make small chit chat.

But Jesus looks at her and asks, “Give Me a drink.” (John 4:7). The woman is a bit taken back by this. She wonders why a Jewish man would talk with her. Then Jesus starts talking to her about living water that he can offer her. He tells her that she would never thirst again.

Well that intrigues the woman and she asks Jesus to give her that water. So Jesus tells her to go get her husband.

Oh…

She confesses that she has none. Jesus tells her she is right (which I’m sure she thought was weird). Then He says she has had 5 husbands and is now living with a man who is not her husband.

Wait, Jesus is not only talking with a Samaritan woman but one who has been married 5 times and is living in sin?! Even nobody in her society would talk with her, at least not nicely. That’s why she was at the well in the middle of the day. Nobody came to draw water in the heat of the day, so she could come without having to hear the abuse of everyone around her.

There are so many points in this story that I have not mentioned (if you want to check it out turn your Bibles to John 4). I have decided to stick with just one.

Jesus gave us an example of what He desires for us.

I’m sure that you know someone that nobody else will talk to. It may be that they are disfigured and it makes you uncomfortable. Maybe it’s that they are in a different “class.” Perhaps it is because they smell funny or they are annoying.

You may think that you are not causing any harm by just staying out of the situation. That person will be just fine right? At least you are not joining in while everyone is poking fun.

But Jesus does not only not make fun of her; Jesus engages in a conversation and shows her love. He could have just ignored her and not added to her guilt. But instead He met the situation head on and spoke truth, lovingly, into her life.

I bet there is somebody in your life that you could do this to. In fact it has crossed your mind but you just push the thought out because it is too crazy. But Jesus called us to be a bit crazy. We are to be so different than the world that when we do something people scratch their heads in wonder.

So take a step of faith, and speak truth, in love, to your Samaritan woman.

 

 

Last Wednesday to Sunday one of the churches in the area held a revival. It was mainly a youth revival but people of all ages were encouraged to come. Although I did not go, I know lots of people who did.

That whole time I saw Facebook statuses about how great God is and how they learned to trust in Him. I heard people talk about parts of the message they heard. It was really cool to hear so many people encouraged by this event.

Here we are a week from the starting point of that revival. Everyone has now settled back down into their regular routines. Kids are going to school, work continues as always, and family gatherings are back to normal (whatever that means).

My biggest concern is for the continued spiritual growth of each individual. What happens when opposition strikes? Are they continuing to read Scripture and hide it in their hearts? Are they continuing to meet with other believers even after the revival?

It makes me think about Moses. Perhaps this is because I am super spiritual and I make great biblical connections to life examples. It’s probably because I am currently reading through Exodus so my mind makes connections however it can to what I have been reading.

Moses ran away from Egypt and spent 40 years as a shepherd. He got married and seemed to have a pretty good life. I’m not sure how often he thought about killing the Egyptian but I’m sure it came up in his mind every now and then. Other than that, from all we know he seemed to have a decent life.

Then God showed up.

God spoke to Moses and told him to go free His people. Now most of us wait until we get off of our mountaintop experiences with God before arguing with Him, but not Moses. Moses is right there being spoken to directly by God and he starts making up excuses!

Finally Moses agrees to go. His brother Aaron met with him so Moses’s confidence level is a little higher. He has his brother by his side and he has a message direct from God.

Then Moses faced opposition. He knew it would happen (because God told him it would) but I’m sure it was difficult to hear. Not only did Pharaoh oppose him, but so did the leaders of Israel!

Then time after time Pharaoh’s heart was hardened (Exodus 9:7), or Pharaoh hardened his own heart (Exodus 8:32), or God hardened Pharaoh’s heart (Exodus 9:12). Time after time Moses had to make a stand for God. In the end because of Moses’s faithfulness, he was able to lead the people into freedom from slavery.

What an amazing picture for us! Sometimes we have mountaintop experiences. We feel so close to God and we feel like we know exactly what He wants us to do with our lives.

After those times we need to keep digging deeper. We must cultivate our life so that He can keep moving in great ways! Opposition will arise. God promises that. Hard times we surface but that must not shake our faithfulness.

Keep praying. Keep putting God’s word in your heart. Keep meeting with other believers! Keep living faithfully!

Our God is bigger than the obstacles that we face. He is still in control even when we are unsure of the outcome. Never give up hope. Run the race with endurance. Running a race is hard and after a while you begin to get out of breath and your legs hurt like crazy but you must keep running if you expect to finish.

Mountaintop experiences are good. They are out of the ordinary and they reignite our flames. But do not forget that real spiritual growth happens every moment of everyday.

It may be in those times that you are able to lead people to freedom… and isn’t that what we are trying to do?

What do you do to cultivate your life with God on a daily or weekly basis? What do you do when times get hard?

Cheating at Work

January 24, 2012

I just finished reading the book When Work and Family Collide by Andy Stanley. I got this book for free through blogging for books. I was interested in this book because that is a topic we covered quite often in Bible College. The families of ministers often suffer because of the demands of ministry. However, this book was written for all people who may find themselves here.

Andy Stanley starts this book by pointing out that everybody cheats. I’m not sure if he used this phrasing to grab attention but it worked if he did. Life is full of expectations and demands. We have jobs, families, exercise we want to complete, hobbies, house work, school activities, church activities, and the list goes on. However, we only have 24 hours in a day and that is just not enough time to get every little thing done. No matter how hard we try, we will never accomplish it all.

This is where the line “everyone cheats” comes in. He says in order to accomplish what we feel like we need to, we cheat. What he means by that is we do not devote all the time and energy toward something that we could be so we can devote more time and energy toward something else. This is not a bad thing, we have to do it. It is just a matter of where we are cheating and unfortunately most people cheat their families and devote more time to work.

He lists reasons why we cheat our family and devote more time to work. One reason is that the rewards are pretty instant and tangible at work while it takes time to reap the benefit of our family. Also it takes time to see the effects of us cheating at home. So we continue to do it because we convince ourselves that everything is okay.

Now before I go further it is important to point out that Andy Stanley also says it is possible for the spouse who stays home to be cheating as well. She may get caught up in doing tasks at home that her children or husband feels neglected. He may be so focused on a project that she feels second rate.

That is the problem. We may try to convince our families that we have to take this conference call or we have to work 60 hours a week, but when our family feels neglected there is a problem. We may not even be trying to make them feel that way but our actions are showing what is more important and they are picking up on it.

In the last part of the book Stanley helps the reader to form a plan. If we plan out how to stop cheating at home then hopefully we can stop a crisis from happening. No job is worth losing our families! Talk about how both of you are feeling. Discuss ways to cheat at work. In order for her to feel like a priority will you need to be home by 4:30 everyday? In order for him to feel like a priority will you have to stop taking those calls at home? What will it take? At first don’t worry about how it will happen. Just focus on the vision. Think about what needs to change and make a commitment to making it happen.

He then goes through a process for getting your boss on board with this decision and uses the example of Daniel from the Old Testament. Daniel decided he would not  eat the food provided for him by the Babylonians. It was nonnegotiable. He asked for the favor (not demanded), then he listened to his supervisors concerns, and then he asked to set up a test.

I absolutely loved this book! It is a short read but is packed full of helpful advice and stories of those who have dealt with this problem. My family is so important to me. I tell people that it is more important than my job. I believe that it is. But do I live that way? Are my actions telling my family that my job is the most important thing?

I was surprised to read that while starting the church that Andy Stanley preaches at, he decided he would only be as successful as working 45 hours a week would let him be. That is unheard of! He would leave meetings early, leave the office by four, do whatever it took to stick to 45 hours a week so that his family was not being neglected.

I not only want to tell my family that they are the most important but show them as well. If you feel the same way, then you should read this book! If you do not feel the same way you should also read this book and think deeply about it. God has given us a gift through our families. Let’s do what it takes to keep that gift!

Running the Race

January 20, 2012

We all have identities that we used to have. Some of them were good and some maybe were not so good. Perhaps some of these we still have and others we have gotten rid of a long time ago.

For me, in high school I was a cross-country runner. I ran track too but it just was not the same. I loved cross-country (and still do)! It amazed me at what I was capable of doing.

It also amazed me at what other people were capable of doing. My Senior year there was one guy who came in 45 seconds ahead of me every race. I’d run a 17:30 5K, he would run 16:45. It was frustrating, but also inspiring.

In order to run those kinds of time (or even better) a person needs to train. Someone cannot simply decide one day that they are going to go out and run a record-breaking time. There is a lot of work that goes into running a good race.

In Scripture, our lives are compared to running a race. I thought it would be interesting to take different distance running workouts and see how we can compare them to the lives we should be living according to Scripture.

The long run. One of the workouts a runner can do to prepare for a race is go out for a long run. This may be different distances depending on the race you will be running. While training for a marathon a 6 mile run is not “long.” These workouts help build endurance for the race.

In the same way we encounter times in our lives where we can build endurance. It may be through the drudge of everyday life, or maybe an experience that takes up a lot of time for a while. It is through continuous devotion to Christ, even during these times that we can build endurance for a major tragedy or trying event. Do not discredit the events meant to build endurance for the race.

The hill workout. A runner may intentionally run hills (I know that does not make sense to most people). They do this to help build strength. They run strong up the hills and then coast back down. You may think the going back down is easy and you would be right, at first. As a runner gets into this workout, even the downhill part gets difficult.

Our faith in Jesus is something that grows. It gives us strength to face day after day. Whether times in our lives are easy or difficult, faith in Jesus makes in possible. We know that He is in control. Our faith grows as our relationship with Him grows. We read our Bible and hide His words in our hearts. When we do this we have the strength to overcome temptation.Talking with God through prayer also builds our trust in Him.

Have a running buddy. This has been one of the reasons it has been difficult for me to get back into running shape. I try to do it on my own. I get into a long run and fatigue sets in. I just want to slow down and there is nobody there to challenge me to keep going. There is nobody there for me to challenge.

I know this one isn’t a workout but it is so important. We were not meant to go through life alone. We have the Church which was designed by God. As a body we help each other to be better. We laugh and cry with each other. Bible studies are not just places to get together and talk about the game. We challenge each other to have a deeper faith. There is growth that just cannot happen if we try to live the Christian walk all on our own.

Rest. If a runner tries doing a hard workout every day he will just burn himself out. No matter how great of shape he is in, there needs to be scheduled rest days in his workouts. Our bodies are not meant to go, go go! God designed them to rest, and a runner is wise when he allows himself to do this on a regular basis.

The same is true for all of us. Days of rest are needed. God gave us the example by resting on the seventh day and then commanding the Israelites to keep the Sabbath. In a world that tells us to go, go, go, we need to stop and slow down on a regular basis. If we don’t we will burn out and nobody will get our best. Our relationship and jobs will suffer. Make sure you are taking time to rest once a week.

I know that there are more workouts to explore. We could have talked about a tempo run, fartleks, mile repeats, or other workouts. I think these do a fairly good job of describing some important things for us to remember.

Now go, and “run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith”.

What else have you heard the faith described as? How has that helped your walk with God?

Sometimes I look at where other people are in their lives and think about how great it must be.

For example, it is easy to look at a leader of a large organization or church and think about how great they must have it. People must just flock to their Sunday morning assembly because they know his name. Then hundreds must accept salvation each week.

I like to imagine that everything is hunky dory for them. When people approach them it must be with encouragement or to ask advice. Then when the advice is given, there is no push-back or backlash, the individual takes that advice and applies it to his or her life.

This is the picture I have of great leaders everywhere.

But then I read the story of the Exodus in the Old Testament.

Moses is handpicked by God to go and free His people from slavery in Egypt. God gives Moses all these signs to perform and sends Aaron with him so they could work together. How could this go badly?

When Moses steps in to save the people they all cheer, right? Not exactly. Exodus 5:20-21 tells us:

When they left Pharaoh’s presence, they met Moses and Aaron as they were waiting for them. They said to them, “May the LORD look upon you and judge you, for you have made us odious in Pharaoh’s sight and in the sight of his servants, to put a sword in their hand to kill us.”

The people were actually angry that Moses had come to save them. There was a bump in the road, and they tell Moses they want God to judge him.

Wait just a moment, Moses was doing exactly what God had commanded him to do! There are a few reminders I have for leaders who lead a group of people of any size.

Things do not always go according to plan. Or at least they do not always go according to our plan. God had told Moses to do exactly what Moses was doing and yet there were still bumps along the way. We need to remember that even when we are following God there may still be problems. We cannot always take problems to mean that we are not doing God’s will. But what a wonderful encouragement it is to know God is in control and He has a plan!

Not everyone will like you. In fact, the larger group of people that you lead, the chance of people not liking you grows. If I lead a group of 30 or 40, hopefully only 1 or 2 will have a problem with me, but if I am leading thousands there will probably be a much greater number. When Moses and the Israelites got to the desert, so many people complained. They still questioned his leadership. Sometimes we feel like there is great opposition against us because the voices become so loud.

We must make sure that we are following God’s plan. This will help keep us pushing through even when it feels like so many people are against us. If we know that we are following God’s will then we are living for Him and that has the greatest reward. We need to also find people who will speak truth into our lives (in a loving way). These people can help guide us as we seek out God’s will and discern His voice among all of the others.

Make sure you keep praying. It is easy to get so bogged down that we feel we do not have time for quality time with God. This could not be further from the truth. In order to make sure we are following His will, we must be spending time with Him. Immediately after the people complained to Moses in Exodus 5, he went and prayed to God. He let God know he was discouraged. We must be doing the same. David prayed to God when he was discouraged, as did Jesus. We have so many great examples that we cannot afford to ignore.

Seeing the example of Moses gives me great encouragement. We have read about him and know that he was doing the right thing and still had opposition. I know that opposition will come, but it does not have to discourage me. I can take it in a wise and godly way, and then push through it so that I can keep running the race.

How do you handle discouragement when others oppose you?

From where I was sitting by our gas heater this morning trying to warm up before I headed off to work I heard something. At first I was not sure what it was, but as I listened closer I began to recognize the sound.

See it was difficult to make out the sound at first, because it did not seem to have any regularity. It would tick loud and then soft. There seemed to be no rhythm to the differences. That is when I discovered I was actually hearing three different sound.

Clocks. Actually 2 clocks and a watch. The watch was sitting on a post right behind my head and the two clocks were on opposite sides of the room. The only three time pieces we have in the house (except cell phones) and they are all in the same room.

It got me thinking about how much of my schedule is driven by time. I have a work schedule to keep. The office hours are usually pretty regular. Then there are games to go to that have starting times, youth group, sunday school, meetings, and other random things that pop up.

Time is a wonderful creation. God gave us the sun, moon, and stars so that we could keep track of time. Even if Adam and Eve did not have a specific 3:36pm, they would have been able to tell where the sun was in the sky (and it never would have changed as a result of daylight savings).

Our society is driven by time. We need to be home by a certain hour to watch a show, get some work done, or make sure we see the kids before they head off to bed.

Our son usually wakes up between 7:30 and 8:30 every morning. The weird thing is, even if my wife and I go to bed late, he still gets up at that time! How inconsiderate! This causes us to go to bed at an earlier time so we are getting plenty of sleep.

Sometimes, though, time can rule us. See time was given to us as a gift. We are to use it as such. We have 24 hours in a day. Most people need about 8 hours of sleep, so that leaves us with 16 hours to fill. If we are not careful, other people can fill those 16 hours very quickly, leaving us with no time to do what we feel passionate about or no time to spend with those whom we want to be spending time.

We must set up priorities! If you have not done this, you absolutely need to! Sit down take out a pen and some paper, or type it up on your computer and then print it out.

Come up with no more than 8 major priorities in your life. List them from greatest to least. In order for this to work, you must be honest with yourself. You cannot be worried about what someone may say of your list. These are what you need to be spending a majority of your time on. You need to invest most of your energy in these items, most other things can wait.

I’m reading a book by Andy Stanley right now called When Work and Family Collide. In this Stanley mentions that we just do not have enough time to put towards all of our interests, this is why we must set up priorities.

What is most important? You should be spending most time and energy there. If something else is getting in the way of that priority, it is time to drop some items off your plate.

When we set up priorities, then time will not rule us. We will not be running around with our head chopped off trying to meet every demand. Instead we will be living a balanced life. A life that honors God.

Have you written out your priorities? What are they?

We all like to be heard don’t we? Even if we are not very vocal about it, we wish that someone would know us and understand the thoughts that just simply cannot make it out of our mouths.

I remember growing up and being very shy. I only said what I was really thinking around the few very close friends that I had. But in group settings I desired to be heard, even though I would not say anything.

Today, thanks to social media, I see lots of people who want to be heard. I read lots of status updates of young people who love for people to know what is on their minds or in their hearts. Sometimes I see updates about being grounded and how unfair it is. When I read what they write on their page for all of their “friends” to read, I can’t imagine what was said during the argument when that went down. I would love to be a fly on that wall!

Desiring for others to hear us is part of being human. It is something that has gone on since the beginning.

We even desire for God to hear us. Perhaps I should clarify. This whole time while talking about  “hearing” I am not referring to the noise passing into our ear canal and causing our eardrums to vibrate and on up into our brains where it is translated as sound.

What I mean by hearing is that not only does the person hear the sound but he acknowledges it and then does something about it.

There are times in our lives when we cry out to God. We just want Him to know what is going on in our lives and that sometimes it is too much!

Perhaps a close family member has died. Maybe you are stuck at a dead end job and you cannot stand the monotony any longer, but you cannot leave because you have a family to support. It could be a sickness that you have or that someone close to you does. Sometimes sin seems to beat us over and over and we cannot figure our how to break the cycle.

Whatever the reason, we cry out to God.

There was a group of people in the Old Testament who did the same thing. In Exodus we find that the Israelites are now slaves in the land they lived. The Egyptians feared the people of Israel because they had grown to such a large number. So to keep the Israelites in check, they enslaved them. It is hard to lead a revolt when having to spend all your time doing slave work.

By 400 years of this, they had enough. They could not take it anymore! They called out to God to free them. Where had He gone? Did He not care?

In Exodus 3:7-10 we see God tell Moses this:

The LORD said, “I have surely seen the affliction of My people who are in Egypt, and have given heed to their cry because of their taskmasters, for I am aware of their sufferings. So I have come down to deliver them from the power of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and spacious land, to a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanite and the Hittite and the Amorite and the Perizzite and the Hivite and the Jebusite. Now, behold, the cry of the sons of Israel has come to Me; furthermore, I have seen the oppression with which the Egyptians are oppressing them. Therefore, come now, and I will send you to Pharaoh, so that you may bring My people, the sons of Israel, out of Egypt.”

When I read these verses something struck me, something I had never thought about before.

God had heard His people and He was doing something about it, but they had no idea! They continued to call out to God day after day (which is great, God wants us to bring our requests to Him) but He was already in the process of fixing the problem, they just could not see it yet!

Here was God talking with Moses about what was going to happen. God is going to spend some time now convincing Moses that he is the one to go. Moses delays more so God tells him his brother Aaron will be there too.

All the while, God’s people are calling out for the problem to be fixed.

I wonder how often this happens. How often do we call out to God every single day because our problems are just too big for us to fix and God is already working the background to fix the problem?

It made me think about how often we feel as though God is not listening but really He is, we just can’t see how He is working yet.

If you are facing trials or you are in a situation too big for you, keep taking that request to God. Keep living the way Jesus showed us to live, and keep praying and calling out.

You just never know what God has in store and where He is in the process!

On Tuesday I had to take my wife to the ER. She was having some major pain in her back and stomach so we wanted to check that out (especially with her being 15 weeks pregnant). So we made the drive into the ER and sat there forever like what always happens.

Jenny’s OB wanted to admit her so we got situated in a room and spent the day waiting on results and having a few more tests run. Other than the fact of being stuck in a hospital room, it was actually kind of relaxing.

The nurses kept coming in to check on Jenny and see if there was anything that they could do. They were more than helpful. In the 24 hours we were there, we saw her doctor twice.

That got me thinking about nurses and the job they do. Nurses do a whole lot of work and don’t always get the appreciation they deserve. We always talk about “going to see the doctor,” even if we don’t really see much of him or her.

It’s true that the doctor is the one making all of the decisions. Doctors prescribe medication, order tests to be run, come in and check the heartbeat for themselves, and lots of other things. But the nurses are the ones who carry out all of those duties and interact with the patients.

Watching them do their job got me thinking about being a leader. There are a few things we can learn from nurses to help us lead better.

Do the work that needs to be done. Sometimes there is work to be done and nobody wants to do it. That may be the time when a leader needs to step in and just take care of it. I watched the nurses do jobs that were not necessarily theirs, but they saw that it had not been taken care of yet. I have often heard that leaders lead by example. If you want your volunteers, employees, or children to be more willing to get a job done, sometimes they need us to step in and do it first.

Interact with those that you serve. Whether you are providing a professional service to those you serve or volunteering it is a good idea to talk with and empathize with those you are serving. There is a particular company that we pay for services right now who I dread calling. When I call in I get an automated service and after I get through that I am put on hold for an average of 6-10 minutes before I finally get to talk to someone. Even when I first called in to set up a service I had been put on hold for 18 minutes. I should have taken notice of the sign then. It is not personable and makes me feel unappreciated. This point reminds me of those Farmers Insurance Commercials where the guys are being tested on their clients and different things about them. It is important to know not only the names of the people we serve but also other things about them. It makes them feel valued and appreciated.

Don’t expect a lot of praise. As I mentioned before, nurses do not always get a lot of thank you. If they have nice patients, then they might get some thank-yous. But from patients who are in a bad mood or often from doctors, no thanks are given. Sometimes we need to realize that our job needs to be done, even if it means we don’t get any praise. Then, when we do get praise, we should hold on to that to fuel us until the next time. Also remember, as a Christian, God is looking down on the works we are doing and is pleased when we work whole heartily for Him. Your reward will be great if you faithfully follow His plan.

We really enjoyed our time in the hospital, or at least it was not a terrible experience. The nurses made it pleasant and professional. They really set the tone for our time spent there. We can do the same thing for others.

Have you ever spent time in a hospital? What set the whole mood of your time spent there? What other lessons can we learn from nurses?

I don’t watch football (oops lost some of you right there). I just cannot seem to get into the game. Don’t get me wrong, if someone invites me over to watch a game, I’m all for it. However that is probably because there will be some great snacks and some conversations with at least one other person.

Even with my limited knowledge of the game, there is one player recently that I have not been able to stop hearing about: Tom Timon… wait not, Tim Teepee.. no, Tim Tebow. There! I told you I don’t follow this game.

Love him or hate him, people are talking about this guy all of the time. I see twitter and Facebook feeds all about him and the Broncos. At first I was not sure if they were good or not. I would just see updates like “I can’t believe Tebow!” But the more I heard, the more I realized that people were loving this guy (most of them anyway).

From what I have read and heard, Tim Tebow is making a huge stand for his faith. He sings Christian songs while tossing around a football, prays throughout a game, and is a huge encouragement to his entire team. Honestly, I am pretty amazed by this man.

We have way too many people who put their faith on a back burner when the lime light shines. They want to make sure that they are famous, and sometimes being a strong Christian puts an end to that kind of fame. People want to be famous for the sport or trade they are doing rather than being famous because they wont stop talking about Jesus.

That has not seemed to stop Tebow. He is a pretty good Quarter Back (from what I hear), getting his team into the second round of the playoffs, but he is also known for that faith that just wont go away.

There is something that bothers me about this whole situation though. It really has nothing to do with Tebow, the guy is doing the right thing. What bothers me is people’s attitudes about him. Again, not the negative attitudes toward him, but the extreme positive ones.

Tebow makes a constant stand for his faith and we act like he is some sort of amazing individual. We seem to think that he is doing something spectacular. Tebow is doing absolutely nothing that is not already commanded of him in Scripture.

In Luke 17:7-10 we find this:

“Which of you, having a slave plowing or tending sheep, will say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come immediately and sit down to eat’? But will he not say to him, ‘Prepare something for me to eat, and properly clothe yourself and serve me while I eat and drink; and afterward you may eat and drink’? He does not thank the slave because he did the things which were commanded, does he? So you too, when you do all the things which are commanded you, say, ‘We are unworthy slaves; we have done only that which we ought to have done.’”

My point is not that we should not encourage Tim Tebow. Send the guy some mail with encouragement and a Bible verse. Pray for him that he continues to make a stand from the platform that he has been given.

But stop thinking that he is doing something spectacular. Maybe Tim Tebow wouldn’t have to shine so bright, if we all got off of our couches where we comfortably watch him (or uncomfortably if you were a Steelers fan on Sunday) and started doing the same thing.

What if each of us made a stand for our faith while we were with family or at work? Tim Tebow is making a stand at work and we think it is incredible. Are you? Are you standing up for what is right, even when it is uncomfortable?

What if we lived our lives as bondservants for Christ, as we are called to do and we let Him shine out every moment of everyday? What if we could not stop talking about Him? What if we brought Jesus into every conversation and thanked Him openly for the blessings He has given to us?

Why are we relying on this football player to do that for us? God did not just command Tebow to do the talking because he is famous. God told each of us who has come into the salvation that God offers to do the same. Get up off your couch and go!

What is stopping you from doing what God commands?