THE POWER OF THE PLASTIC THINGY

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Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. (Galatians 6:10 NIV)

You’ve probably experienced it too. Tearing open the wrapping paper, opening up the box, and there you have it… a WATCH!!! Maybe that doesn’t excite you. Some people like watches, some don’t… but that’s not the point here. It’s in what happens next!

You stare at this watch face that seems frozen in time. Hands ready to fulfill their purpose. Gears tucked inside that you cannot see that are just waiting to interlock and command these two small pieces of metal to circulate in such a specific way that for years to come the bearer of this watch will always know what time it is… except for one problem. You haven’t pulled off the plastic thingy. You know… the plastic thingy that keeps the battery from draining before you open it.

And that my friend, is how little you need to stop the flow of its power. And likewise, it only takes the smallest of barriers to bring one’s purpose and ability to accomplish so much to a grinding halt. Simply place something in the way of connecting with others and with God and voila… you are now stuck in time… just like that watch.

Every day is flooded with opportunities. Opportunities to do nothing. Opportunities to do something. Paul says here that we should take these opportunities that God has given us to ‘connect’ with those around us. Remove the plastic thingies in your life that keep you from connecting with others and do something good for those around you. Make their lives better.

I think you’ll be surprised to find out that as you make their lives better, you’ll end up making your life better as well. For you’ll notice that once you start connecting with others around you and touching their lives, you’ll find out that it was all part of God’s plan from the beginning… all you needed to do was pull off the plastic thingy.

At least that’s how I see it,

Craig

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Turning Roadblocks to Bridges

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Yep. It must be spring. I can tell for of two reasons:

1- the birds have started to sing after 5 months of frozen vocal cords,

2- construction is in full force.

The long waits, the merged lanes, and cars brought down to a crawl… sounds no different than the winter driving we just endured, except no frozen feet.

We’ve been looking at the idea of starting a Generosity Revolution at Evangel; changing our mindset about how to live, and love the world around us. Sometimes it means that we will have to face some unexpected (and dare I say sometimes unwanted) people each day. In so doing, I got to thinking of two different ways we may need to see ourselves viewing these people that seem to cross our path.

As “Road-Blocks”: these are people that we tend to feel are stopping and hindering us from moving forward. If only they would get out of the way then we could actually get things done. These people bleed us, frustrate us, and make life all the more aggravating because we now are forced to spend time dealing with them.

But what if they weren’t “Road Blocks” but actually “Bridges”? What if we misread the signs and actually missed out opportunities to get further ahead? Maybe, just maybe, God placed them there to help us get to a whole new level of commitment, obedience, and relationship with Him.

Some bridges might be huge, require a large commitment, and span large bodies of water. Others might simply carry you over a creek and require hardly anything at all. But regardless of the obstacle, the result is the same… you move forward, further, farther.

There’s something almost certain about a road block… you can’t go any further. It’s the end of the line.

But what if we started seeing the people around us as opportunities to allow God to continue to lead us? To direct us? To reveal His love through us?

That, my friend, is a journey that all of a sudden becomes exciting to be a part of!

At least that’s how a I see it,

C

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GENErosity – The War of Giving And Taking Is In Us.

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I’m doing some research for our series at Evangel starting this Sunday called “Generosity Revolution” and I stumbled upon something that I found really interesting. Did you know that there is the “Science of Generosity”? Wow. I never thought of generosity being scientific.

Notre Dame University is doing research on the ‘science’ behind generosity and one of the projects they are looking at is to ask ‘scientifically’ if generosity spreads. I look forward to getting their findings when they are done.

But what I found really interesting was a quote in their brief… “If people never really behaved generously or altruistically toward one another social ties would dissolve and the network around us would disintegrate.”

Maybe we NEED to be generous to coexist. Maybe if we AREN’T generous, we will fail to truly be a community.

If that is true (which I tend to agree), then Proverbs 11:24 MSG totally makes sense to me. “The world of the generous gets larger and larger; the world of the stingy gets smaller and smaller.” Think about it. Who do you like to hang around? The Givers? Or the Takers?

If you’re like the most of us… when “takers” come around the corner… we all become astronomers (we start aimlessly looking into the sky like we actually appear to know what we are looking for). We avoid them. We know what’s coming. We don’t say, “Boy, I wish I was more like them.” If anything, it’s the opposite.

But the “Givers”… ah… we could spend all day with them. These are the people who are surrounded by so many MORE people. A circle of Givers and Takers alike. And over the years I’ve noticed something… Givers have a FAR larger reach in community as well as respect and influence than the Takers.

So maybe Notre Dame is onto something that has been recognized by the rest of us for thousands of years without the science to back it up. That a key to a healthy community, or family, or in our case a church is not bearing with each other, but rather building each other up.

Maybe Generosity is actually in our Genes.

At least that’s how I unscientifically see it,

 

C