Archive for May, 2012

I remember when I was young and if I set a cup or soda (pop if you are from the mid-west) can on the coffee table or end table I would always hear “please use a coaster.” I never really understood the idea behind it until I became an adult and had a place of my own, a coffee table of my own. The idea of protecting the items that I purchased became much more important to me after I had to pay for them.

So why do people use coasters? Besides protecting you valuables the idea of a coaster makes it impossible unlikely that a condensation ring or sticky soda ring is left behind. In reality it’s a fantastic invention (even if it is just a piece of cardboard) that if properly used serves its purpose.

…but…I don’t use them!

Why?

Because the more I thought about their purpose, I started thinking about my life, my existence on earth. When I get a drink and put the glass or can on the coaster I simply drink it and then throw the can away or put the glass on the counter or it he sink. If I look 10 minutes later you would never know that a drink had ever been there. When I don’t use a coaster that ring remains, reminding me that I had that 140 calorie Coke against my better judgement or that the water I had was a good decision. The ring is a reminder that the beverage was once there. That’s what I want from my life! I want to leave rings everywhere I go. Hopefully the rings I leave will be positive and inspire others to make good choices as well, but maybe the bad rings will help others learn from my mistakes.

Whether you grew up in the church or not, everyone has been asked “what do you want on your tombstone when you die?” I’ve pondered that from time to time, wondering if my legacy will be one that many will recognize, that many will celebrate. In other words I don’t want to be forgotten when I am gone, I want others to remember my passions and carry my flag when I no longer can.

I hope that you decide to stop using coasters. I hope that you leave your mark on this world and everyone around you. Don’t play it safe, get a little crazy and leave some rings on some tables.

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// Disc Golf //

Posted: May 19, 2012 in Uncategorized

Recently a few of the guys at Summit Ridge Church got me hooked on Disc Golf. If you don’t know what disc golf is, simply put, it’s like ‘real’ golf but with frisbees instead. If you still don’t understand here is a video on how to play. I figured after my knee surgery, this would be a great way to ease my way into more strenuous activities but I soon found that I was watching videos on how do play better and what discs to buy for different types of throws. For those of you wondering about the different discs…again its like real golf in the aspects of clubs. Some discs curve more than others, some fly longer than others, etc.  This is my bag of ‘clubs’:

Each disc does something different, its a part of the whole. Without the others the job can get done, but its not done in the best way possible and the strengths of each disc is not being used to its potential.

The body of Christ is the same way. Just like the discs, we are all gifted differently. The strength of one person may not be the strength of another but when we work together, the goal can be achieved efficiently and with higher quality.

In 1st Corinthians 12, Paul writes about the body of Christ and its many parts. If you read verses 14 – 26, Paul clearly states that each individual part of the body NEEDS the others, that we are to care for the other parts of the body that are not our own. It is the differences in all of us that make up the body of Christ and when one part of the body suffers, we all suffer as a result.

A few verses later Paul talks about striving to better our gifts, to grow in the gifts that are the most helpful to the body of Christ. Even then he breaks to give an amazing piece of wisdom. Chapter 13, 1-7 gives the definition of love and states that even with all the gifts that we are given if we do not use them, grow them, grow others and grow the Kingdom, IN LOVE, we have gained nothing. In other words we can grow our gifts and we can walk with others that are doing the same, but when we are weak or broken, or if another is weak or broken, if we do not love, the body is broken, we are broken…all of us, together.

Spiritual gifts are given to us to bless the Lord, to honor and praise Him. We should affirm others gifts as they appear to us, we should nurture the gifts that we have and grow in them. It takes support and practice.

What I found with disc golf  is that just like anything else that you are trying to learn it takes practice. A lot of practice. There is so much to learn when you take on something new or try to grow in your abilities. The joy of the journey is that, whether its disc golf or spiritual gifts, whether you are playing in a foursome or having community with your church family, the people around us make us better and push us to grow, and growth is good.

This year marks my 10-year High School reunion. Besides wondering where the time has gone, I have been trying to figure out what the point is in attending such a reunion. Is it to compare lives with the people that you grew up with? Is it about remembering all the great times we had back when we didn’t have to be responsible adults? Better yet, maybe awkwardly reconnecting with an ex that, like you, has moved on in life and started a family of his or her own.

I have contemplated whether or not I wanted to be involved in this event for some time now and have come to a rather interesting outcome. Let me explain.

In high school I never really fit in. I was a music nerd, a band geek, and rightly labeled as such. I was band President, choir Treasurer and involved in every musical ensemble that my school had to offer. It was that label that kept me from attaching to a certain group for fear of continued judgment of the fact that I loved music and was good at it.

It was the invite to the reunion that caused some of those old memories to come back. The funny thing was that instead of feeling hurt or angry for the past, the things that were pointed in my direction back then, I began judging the very people that judged me all those years ago. I found myself looking up classmates on Facebook and looking at my old yearbooks picture by picture remember just how badly so and so had treated me. I thought about the ‘jocks’ the ‘popular girls’ and the ‘girls that got around’ and started judging them for all the things they did back then and the fact that they are surely the same today as they were 10 years ago. I was doing the exact thing to every one of those people that they had done to me while we were in school.

As I searched out my classmates I noticed that many now have families of their own, successful jobs and many have come to know the Lord. In my mind I was thinking ‘there is no way (insert name) is a Christ follower. Then it hit me like a ton of bricks.

Who am I to judge? Who are any of us to judge each other?

In John 8, Jesus forgives the adulterous woman from a crowd of religious leaders and others that want to stone her for her sins. I found myself standing in that crowd ready to throw stones at people I no longer know, simply judging them for things they had done.  At this point I could all but hear Jesus saying, “let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!”

It would be interesting to see if the “adulterous” label followed the woman or if her new life was started fresh in the eyes of those who previously judged her.

When we enter into community with others, we learn each other’s stories, the past, the redemption of that past, and the transformation to our new selves. I would like to challenge you, in your times of fellowship with one another, not to judge but rather to forgive the past, celebrate the redemption of that past and walk along side one another in love as our lives are transformed by God’s radical and unending grace.