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Helping

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God’s Part – Our Part

The other day I was sitting on the couch and my son Luke came up to me with a cup in his hand and mumbled something under his breath. I was watching TV so I didn’t fully hear him. I asked him to repeat what he said and he did, saying, “We are out of water.” He waved his cup so that I could see that it was empty. It became clear to me then that the drinking water dispenser bottle was empty.

I got up from the couch and went into the garage to pick up and carry the 44-pound water bottle to put it on the dispenser. Before entering the garage, I asked Luke to do his part and grab some damp paper towels and bring them to me so that we could wipe the bottle clean. He was also in charge of removing the empty bottle. We met at the water cooler, Luke removed the old bottle, and I loaded the new bottle onto the dispenser after Luke had wiped it clean.

Luke is 7 years old. He cannot carry, lift nor put the 44-pound bottle on the cooler. He can, however, get and wet a few paper towels, remove the empty bottle and clean the new bottle. Luke does his part. I did mine.

This is a reminder to me in my spiritual life: I do my part. God does his part.

I need to keep this straight. I am not to try and do God’s part because I cannot do it. I need to do my part and God will do His part if He wants to. I could have told Luke to drink tap water. God could tell me to drink the proverbial “tap water.” That is God’s call. He knows everything.

How do you determine your part and God’s part?

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Training

“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it”  (Proverbs 22:6)

I got more serious about my faith after I met a girl named Nicole. Not because she was Christian, but because I knew, deep down, that my faith was not where it needed to be. For us to have a great life together Christ was going to have to be at the center of it.

While my faith was stronger, I was still deceived ten years later after my son Luke was born.  I was  working long hours and gaining new business, but this short term success was causing fights between my wife and me. My most important relationships grew weaker—with God, with Nicole and with Luke.

I was doing my part and more, not trusting God to do His part, and going against His word. (Matthew 6:25-34)

I was worried about providing for Nicole and Luke.  It was 2010/2011 and I was running a small, young financial planning company.  I would leave at 5am to workout with the boys at the country club who did not know Jesus but who I thought might be good potential clients or connectors. I’d return home around 6-7pm, never thinking that my primary focus should be to seek first the Kingdom of God, to have Him transform my life. I certainly wasn’t thinking about being around to live it out in front of Nicole and Luke so I could be a Godly example for my family.

I was headed for disaster and did not even know it.

I continued to buy the lie that my life was awesome, that I was working towards the abundant life. I was confusing mediocrity for awesomeness. The enemy is the greatest of confusers.

I began to read the Bible and pray more, to fast, to talk to mentors who truly loved me and wanted nothing from me—only something for me—and then I began to see time and life differently.

I looked down into my son’s dark chocolate eyes and I saw someone who really needed my help.  He would look up to me, arms outstretched, and in my soul I heard him say, “Daddy, help me, I need you. You are the one God created to teach me what I need to know.  Don’t blow it. You have one chance to pour into me, because I am empty now.  Soon I will be full, and it will be too late for you to do your job of training me properly. Don’t buy into the lies that so many other Dads have bought into. Trust that God will take care of you, me, and mom—you just need to do your part, not His.  Know that the only inheritance I need and want is right here and right now with you, and the money will hurt me if I don’t have wisdom. Don’t focus on the Joneses—focus on the Savior who was brutally murdered so you and I could live.”

God has to properly train me before I can properly train Luke. This training takes time and it takes saying no to some very good things, but as we know from Jim Collins, “good is the enemy of great.”

It is going to take God transforming my life into that which I want Luke’s to become. How can I do this if I am climbing the corporate ladder and too busy chasing the things of this world? My legacy sleeps in the same house I do, and what I pour into him he will pour into his kids, and so on.

How can we encourage one another to be trained by God until the day we die?

givingtuesday

Giving Tuesday

I love that we have a “Giving Tuesday.” It’s only been around since 2012, and I think it’s a fantastic addition to our holiday lineup of Black Friday and Cyber Monday and all the rest.

What a concept – a day in which we focus on giving to causes that are close to our hearts. We can give to those who need what we have, which not only helps them, it changes our hearts. Giving freely and generously can move us closer and closer to God.

What a cool thought: A people united, on one day, across the world, stopping to give. It’s a movement I’m happy to be part of!

What if we kept the giving going? What if every Tuesday was Giving Tuesday? What if it didn’t feel like an obligation but a privilege? I know many of you already give intentionally and regularly. But a reminder never hurts. Let’s think about how we can make giving an even more integral part of our lives.

Jesus said, “It is more blessed to give than receive.” I think we all understand what he meant because of the way we feel when we’re able to give something of value to help someone else.

Did you participate in Giving Tuesday this year? How does “giving” fit into your life on a regular basis?