Thoughts on graduation… help me out

Here’s a podcast on graduation… this is really more for me than it is you. Many blessings:

 

Proverbs 3:5-6 English Standard Version (ESV)

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
    and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
    and he will make straight your paths.

A Win Is A Win Unless Its A Loss

It was one of the most interesting questions I ever heard.

“So, what is a win for you?”

To be honest with you, it was interesting and dumb all the same time. Winning is just about the easiest thing to define on the planet isn’t it?

  • I have the most points, I win
  • I come in first, I win
  • I receive the applause, I win
  • I beat you, therefore I win

I know it’s fairly Neanderthal of me (all you men get it, right?), but isn’t that what winning is all about? Maybe it’s just caveman man of me, but if you put a mark in the “W” column, we just call that a win!

Still, that day sitting in the conference center when the speaker asked that question, “So, what is a win for you?”, I was intrigued.

They were making an argument that someone else’s win might not be your win. I’m not talking about that relativistic nonsense where it doesn’t matter what you think, what you believe or what you do so long as you’re happy doing it, then you’re a winner.

Turn off the Barney tape and quit singing that stupid song, even though it’s true, I do love you.

What they were really trying to stress was that for some, a win might be financial, for others relational, yet others Continue reading “A Win Is A Win Unless Its A Loss”

Mission Improbable

As a professional member of the clergy (I get mail addressed to Reverend Addis… it’s still funny to me) I have developed some mad skills at conference attending.

It’s a little known fact that there are varying levels of ability, not just among those on the platform presenting, but those of us who are skilled, invested and experienced professional listeners. Let me just outline a few for you:

1) Appearing Interested – while every session is good for someone, not every session is good for you. So, to keep from being rude by distracting others with accelerated, involuntary nostril emanations (AKA snoring), a skill set of forced eye contact, meaningful head nods and well placed nonverbal affirmations are essential.

2) Ninja Texting/Surfing – everyone knows you’re not reading your Bible on YouVersion, or taking notes for future references… you’re Tweeting, Facebooking, or looking for ‘Epic Fail’ pics to replace your profile photo. It’s ok, just learn the art of secretive cell phone use. Under the desk, inside the conference program, pushed into a coat or sweater on your lap are all good camouflage techniques for hiding the phone. Just remember, if you are in a darkened seating area, your face will glow no matter how well hidden the phone is, so, use at your own risk.

3) Tactical Seating Selection – there are several things to keep in mind here, but just start with these: aisle seating for fictitious bathroom breaks (limit 2 per daypart), outlet access for midday phone charging (let’s be honest, you’ll drain it before they drain you), support beam seating (usually sitting behind a pole is non-desireable, but the right seat behind the right pole can help you to lean one way for engagement and the other for disengagement).

There is much more that I could share, but I think you get the idea (maybe I should hold a conference on how to develop these skills… maybe not).

But, what’s the point?

A common question that I hear at Continue reading “Mission Improbable”

Jesus-lite

I’ve been drinking diet pop for a long time (that’s soda for you northerners, and the non descriptive, uber generic ‘Coke’ for you in the south).

I’ve been drinking it for so long, it not only tastes good, it tastes better than regular pop. I understand that the previous sentence is probably the single most controversial statement I have ever posted on this blog, but you will just need to deal with it.

It’s kind of a pattern for chronic dieters like myself:

  • You make the decision to go lite
  • You endure the transition
  • You get used to it
  • You get comfortable with it
  • It becomes normal

You can do this with almost any habit, whether its food, drink, entertainment, political affiliation and unfortunately…even faith.

Yep, you can choose to go lite. It may feel awkward at first, but you’ll get used to it. If you try “Jesus-lite” it will eventually become normal.

Jesus-lite has become the new rage all around the world. All the love with none of the conviction. You can enjoy 100% of your daily requirement of feel good, with none of that commitment aftertaste.

Harvard University is a sterling example of embracing the Jesus-lite lifestyle.

The school motto is “Veritas,” the latin word for Continue reading “Jesus-lite”

Pardon me Lord may I have this seat

G.K. Beale has said, “Whatever your heart clings to or relies on for ultimate security is your object of worship.”

Most of my fellow churchgoers would not argue with this definition of worship. In fact, I have personally defined worship as anything that captures your attentions and affections.

What strikes me most though is the verb “clings” used by Beale. In my mind I can picture myself latching onto the thought of having a girlfriend in the 7th grade… I knew what I was worshiping.

I can vividly recall my almost sociopathic pursuit of great grades and accolades through high school… bowing low at the altar of achievement.

There’s no denying the idolatry of my early 20s when, even in ministry, I was worried about

Continue reading “Pardon me Lord may I have this seat”

My Christmas List

It was a first for me. It was gentle, it was loving, it was sweet pillow talk, but it was definitely my very first Christmas scolding.

After a great night with my family filling our home, eating way too much (my wife can really rock the holiday turkey), and watching the kids tear into the presents, we collapsed into bed. That’s when the loving reprimand came my way.

“You haven’t told me anything you want for Christmas,” she said.

“I told you I wanted a harmonica,” I responded.

It’s at this point I can’t blog what happened next, I can’t even really describe it in person, but let’s just say my wife has learned to roll her eyes even when they’re closed.

It’s pretty impressive.

The problem is, she’s totally right. I have racked my brain trying to answer her question for weeks. There is just nothing that I want, let alone need, that I could put Continue reading “My Christmas List”

Twas the night…

 

Twas the night before Christmas and the service begun

     The church was all decked out, for holiday fun!

Church members were nestled all snug in their pew

     With wreaths and lights and poinsettias in view

 

The auditorium was warm to instill Christmas cheer

     And singers were ready with carols near and dear

Then up at the front with sermon notes handy

     A Christmas message, for sure, from old Pastor Andy

 

The music was great and the message…okay

     But everyone’s thoughts were for the breaking of day

For morning would come with presents and joy

     Mom getting clothes and Dad, of course, toys

 

When out on the parking lot there arose such a clatter

     We sprang from our seats to see what’s the matter

Running out through the foyer and down the long hall

     We stood in the doorway to watch, one and all

 

A few feet away was a broken down car

     Dented and scratched, an eye-sore for sure

Then out stepped a man from this beat up ole caddy

     And three youngsters inside, they each called him “Daddy!” Continue reading “Twas the night…”

Thankful for the complaints

Happy Thanksgiving.

For most of us, plans are in full swing and expectations are high. Finishing a shortened work/school week leading into a day of over indulgence (fancy talk for pigging out) followed by even more decadence (another fancy word for waste) as we shop till we drop, we see why it’s the most wonderful time of the year!

At least, it better be, since we will be paying for it on the treadmill and out of the checkbook for months.

Still, Happy Thanksgiving!

If I asked most people what Thanksgiving was about, we’d get the standard three “F”s:
* Family
* Food
* Football

Then, once we got past all that honesty we’d remember that somewhere between the trip to Grandmas and the tryptophan coma, we’re supposed to be thankful for something, right?

So, what are we thankful for on Continue reading “Thankful for the complaints”

No Lukewarm Turkey, Please

Normally, I do not blog more than once a week, but in my personal devotional time today the Lord gave me a pre-Thanksgiving message today. Let me stress, this was given to me, which means it was for me. I have no idea if this is anything anyone else needs to hear, but I will publicly process this and if it’s a blessing to anyone else, so be it.

Revelation 3:14 “And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: ‘The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God’s creation. 15 “ ‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! 16 So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. 17 For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see. 19 Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. 21 The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne. 22 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’ ”

 

 

In the book of Revelation, Jesus spoke directly to seven different church communities, and there was a pattern:

  • He introduced Himself
  • He commends the church
  • He rebukes the church
  • He offers a solution
  • He warns
  • He promises

Oddly, this last church on the list (Laodicea) is missing one of these elements… a commendation.

Ouch.

Apparently, what Jesus has to say to the church at Laodicea has to differ from the way He talked to others because He has nothing good to say about them.

Again, I say, Continue reading “No Lukewarm Turkey, Please”

Desperate prayers from blinded eyes

Today is going to be one of those days I will never forget.

It started more than 10 hours ago, but my heart is still racing. I think my chest hurts a little, no joke.

I take my boys to school every morning, so there’s always that last minute hustle to grab bags, sign journals to make sure lunches are packed. Today was like any other day of the thousand days in our household.

Once again, on the way out the door my youngest son said he’d forgotten to make his lunch for school. So, his plan was to run to the garage and pick up a snack pack out of our second refrigerator.

He asked me, “Dad, can you pick me up around back.”

I huffed a little because he was not prepared, as usual, but said, “Yes, I’ll meet you back there in a minute.”

So, Noah and I piled into the truck in front of the house and made our way around back where we idled and waited for Nathan to emerge. After several minutes, I sent his brother to go find him. He came back out and said Nathan wasn’t in there.

By the time I put the truck in park and ran in the back door, mom was running out alarmed by Noah looking for his brother.

She already had tears in her eyes, Nathan was not where he was supposed to be and Continue reading “Desperate prayers from blinded eyes”