Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Gift of Life Long Learning

Over the weekend, my wife and I attended a trial run of an up and coming business that will put forth a type of training and certification for many. All that I can say right now, about this business is that what they will be doing with people is incredible. They will be presenting qualities and teaching traits that are our generation has lacked for a long time. It is going to be big. 

During the trial conference, a shocking statistic was presented. We were told that the average citizen of the United States only reads 0.4 books a year. That's not even half a book! As I sat there, thinking smugly I was glad to not be one of those people, our presenter went on to say that our lives change every time we meet someone new, and when we finish a book. He then pointed to the wall over my left shoulder, and my balloon of pride quickly deflated. 

Hung up on this wall of the conference room was a large poster, and on the top was the title Periodic Table of Books. Below those words was a diagram of pictures of the front covers of every book he had read as of September of 2014. He had almost broken the 400 mark. Life long learning was discussed afterward for the majority of our remaining time.

“Read, every day, something no one else is reading. Think, every day, something no one else is thinking. Do, every day, something no one else would be silly enough to do. It is bad for the mind to be always part of unanimity.”
- Christopher Morley

I'm learning since this, that reading is a tool, and along with being very enjoyable, it is extremely useful.

And now I am thinking, what if I stopped? What if I did not pick up another book until my dying day. Well, I would most definitey be a lot dumber compared to those who do continue to read, even the ones that read minimally. I would be missing out on so much depth, insight, and knowledge of life. It would, without doubt, be an utter shame. 

Even more, it would be a waste. God gave me the ability to decipher what letters mean, separately and in differing orders, to comprehend thought around those ordered letters. It's a gift, a blessing. 

If I didn't use this tool God has given me to learn and grow, much less enjoy, I would be a horrible steward. And if I only used this gift from God to read close to half a book a year, how am I using it properly, in an edifying way? 

It reminds me of the parable of the Ten Minas, where a nobleman gives servants each the same amount of money to use in business while he was away. On his return he found two of his servants to have used the money they were given well, creating a profit and pleasing their master. The third servant then presents the original amount he was given, explaining that he simply kept it safe in a handkerchief. The parable ends with this last servant being reprimanded harshly and the first two being rewarded handsomly for being trustworthy. 

Now you may say, it's only reading, take a sip of coffee and chill a little. Well, I will take a sip of coffee, but will defer the other suggestion. We must believe that even the smallest things are blessings, are gifts from God. 

I believe that if we take notice of these small gifts and utilize them, it will shed light on the other gifts and bigger talents that He has entrusted to each of us to enjoy and use. 

Doing this, we will be able to see just how much He has given us. 
How much he has blessed each of us. 
How much he loves all of us. 

Monday, October 20, 2014

Bring me home, Fall

I think Jesus will come back in the fall.

Me, a human, of course has no place to say when the best moment will occur. Several through the times have attempted this prediction, trying to pin-point the date and time of that day, and got no better off than looking similar to a donkey. I'm not saying something profound. I don't feel like making a point, or closely examining things right now. I feel like enjoying something. I'm just dreaming with this one. 

This is turning into my favorite time of the year, the fall. 

Fall is the season of change, and I love change. Growing up as a child, we moved several times, which I hated. Those feelings shifted though, and I quickly learned to enjoy and even love it. New faces, new places. A new house with a different sized yard. Each new move became another adventure, and it was thrilling. 

Fall gives me that thrill, because there's so much change. 

It seems like everything is shifting, as if it is the norm of today. People are changing locations, travelling and moving. We switch jobs and decide to live in different places. Many leave their current homes, and go back to old ones for holidays. Everyone's appearance changes to an extent. Some of our loved ones die, which can cause drastic change. Others willfully switch everything, finding Him and something more to live for.  

There's still more shifts, big and small. Animals migrate before winter. Candles are lit, the air becomes crisp, and windows stay open longer. More coffee is enjoyed with friends in sweaters. The sky gets painted earlier, followed by the best sunsets. And of course my favorite, the changing colors of the leaves of the trees, their great reckoning. 

If leaves had feelings, I wonder what they felt in the summer, before the great changing and reaping? What thoughts go through their minds as their colors change? If they knew it was almost over, this time as part of the tree. 

And then after all the changing is complete, and all the work to stay attached is exhausted. Each one peacefully and quietly lets go. 

Gently floating home.  

I get the feeling of going home. 

This is my dream this time of year. Like the leaves, everything will change, we will be taken, and finally go home. 


So this is my dream today, that maybe I'll end up at home, seeing the face of the Keeper. But if today ends differently, let it make no difference how fully this one is to be lived. I will see His face soon enough, and be there with Him and the whole lot, forever after. 

Monday, October 13, 2014

Just Tonight

So much can happen in a week. 

Work was the usual and Phoenix is just beginning to cool down to the fifties and sixties at night. Time to sleep with the windows open.

We spent the weekend in College Station, had some good time with the family, and fun watching football, excluding watching A&M get spanked by Ole Miss of course. The experience was great, the game was rough. But it did not ruin the weekend. The time with the family was priceless, and worshipping at our church we attended in college was just what Candace and I needed. 

All this to catch you up to where I am now, sitting at my kitchen table, candle glowing to my right, steam rising from my coffee on my left, window open in front of me. The perfect setting.

I can have great difficulty living in the present. Thinking too often about how certain things will be in the future, reminiscing and wishing more than I ought that the present situation was more similar to past one. Like still wishing we were in Texas in my parents comfortable house, drinking coffee and laughing loudly. Now I can sit around and think long and hard about how to kick this, come up with challenges and goals for myself in this way, which are always very good. 

But tonight I have only tonight, and I will take grasp of the time that is called tonight, and fully be in it. I'm off to have an adventurish evening with a beautiful girl, celebrating six months. Fall is in the air, and so is love. I hope your evening is just as pleasant. 

Stay humble and laugh a lot, 


God does not fill space as a body fills it, in the sense that parts of Him are in different parts of space, excluding other objects from them. Yet He is everywhere-totally present at every point of space...

--C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory 

Monday, October 6, 2014

warehouse working

I work with some interesting people. Now, I bet anyone who works can say the same thing of one of their own co-workers. Humorous thing though, at the same time we are thinking this, the exact same is being thought of us by someone else in the office. Besides this though, it needs to just be put out there, I have never met guys like my interesting co-workers. 

I'm not looking for sympathy when I say that my workplace can be worldly. I know that for many and most of yours, the story is the same. In the world, not of it. Knowing this then, in the day to day at work, in conversation and such, I feel like my words are strong. Hold importance. 

Even as if they are a portal for light, which falls upon the ears around me. 

I also enjoy the asking of specific questions. I am learning that with the right ones, the smoke seems to clear out slightly, making it easier to see where they are standing on many matters. With this always comes the nerves. I am trying to head towards Christ with my words. I am working on my sometimes shaky confidence when I talk about Him. The nerves though, seem to evaporate after conversation is initiated and we head on.  

It usually begins with asking one of my co-workers what their beliefs are in, or what they think happens after death, or even bluntly if they are a Christian. 

Last week I wanted to ask Archie what he believed in, and if he wanted to study the Bible with me in the mornings before work began. I wanted to because I do want him to know more about Jesus, and I just want more time in the Word. Any time in it is good time. So I did. I asked the first question and it led to the second like I thought it would.

Initially the talking went well. Soon though it turned and he was talking about his experience of seeing aliens spaceships in his friends front yard, and how he wanted to be reincarnated into a giant sequoia tree because of their extrememly long life.

I became confused how we got to this point in the conversation. As he continued to talk of his spiritual experiences and wishes to another co-worker, I slowly walked off, thinking I'll have to have a different question next time.  

That's just one story out a few I've accrued thus far. 

But sometimes...I seem to not care. There are moments that I keep my nose down, not wanting to even put out one redemptive word. Not believing fully that God can do in their lives what He promised He could, and what He has done in mine. 

"For the love of Christ controls us, because we have conclded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.

From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come."
     - 2 Corinthians 5: 14-17

Died for all. Meaning everyone. Meaning me, meaning them, meaning all. 

I've hopped on planes, travelled to distant countries for purposes of showing and telling others about Christ with the full intention and expectation of those people accepting Him, falling in love with Him. 

And I get in my car every morning, drive to work, and do not believe my co-workers will believe in Him. These people who I am around for weeks and months, talk to every day, share lunch with. 

Do I doubt the power of Christ? Do I have full confidence in His salvation? Am I lazy? Why do I not have the same purpose as on one of those trips? Why isn't my office my mission destination every morning? Why can't I always see the potential relationships they could have with Him?
Questions to fill pages. 

I hope these questions are impossible to get out of my head tomorrow. That I slide in the seat, coffee in hand, and as I turn the key, starting the car, questions such as these plague my mind till the day's end.