Monday Morning Musings 11.02.15

  1. Whatever it is you find yourself doing today, do it "with all your heart." (Colossians 3:23). The word for "heart" means your "authentic inner self." In essence, Paul is saying give it everything you have because whatever it is you do, in whatever circumstances you may find yourself, you are doing it for the Lord. Not GE, not "the firm", not the bank - the Lord. He's the boss, so He demands our best effort - and not for the pay - but the payoff - which is eternal. When you come from your time with the Lord, you should be charged up and engaged about what God wants to do through you for the Kingdom - even at work! (Come on, let's be more animated!)
  2. God continues to demonstrate how He works in human lives. Yesterday's baptism of Jimmy Nguyen and his children, Alayana and Bradley - with wife Alisha Walker Nguyen - was a wonderful testimony to how God fights for families and marriages. Raised Buddhist, Jimmy was working at the OC Admin building across the street from the church and saw our signs for a family night dinner, children's games and food trucks as we began our capital campaign. He saw it for days on his walks to Starbucks - so he brought his family to the kickoff - came to church to the next week - and gave his life to Christ. Yep, God even uses advertising signs to draw people to faith!
  3. God at work, part 2. A young man has a very painful week at work, but out of it, God shows him that work is not the end game - not the purpose - and He is drawn to Christ, His Savior. ‪#‎faithandwork‬
  4. Downtown Doughnuts: First, we get Four Rivers at City Hall, and now, we have a Dunkin' Doughnuts soon to open in the BBT Building! Doughnuts, coffee and Texas-style BBQ - I'm set. I can live.‪#‎itsthesimplethings‬
  5. FBI Director James Comey announced that the murder rate in every major city has gone up significantly in the last twelve months, including Orlando. Washington, DC is up 20%. Milwaukee's has doubled. Comey asked, "What could be driving an increase in murder in cities across all regions of our country all at the same time?" In Albuquerque last week, a 4-year-old girl is shot and killed by a driver in another car in a road rage incident. The same day, a police officer is shot and killed during a routine traffic stop. In Orlando, a young woman is murdered by the security guard at her apartment building. With all due respect to our bear friends, we have far larger issues to consider in trying to determine why our culture has such a diminishing value for HUMAN life. And this goes far deeper than law enforcement. Could it be that we are producing exactly what our culture has been teaching for years?
  6. Regardless of your religious persuasion, it's hard to argue that Martin Luther shook up the world October 31, 1517 when he nailed his 95 Theses to the door of All Saints' Church at Wittenberg. It led to significant reform in religious practice, launching the Protestant Reformation, but most importantly, it brought the Scriptures to the people in language they could actually read and understand. Said Joseph Leoconte in the WSJ, "Luther's contribution was a doctrine of freedom of conscience, rooted in a religious view of human nature and the nature of belief for faith is a free work to which no one can be forced." BUT HERE'S THE KICKER: He further asks, "Given the failed revolutions of the Arab Spring, can Islam undergo a similar reformation, (from coercion to freedom of choice?)" It is heartening to see the growing outrage by Muslims toward the atrocities of ISIS. Can that grow to reformation?
  7. I wish people lived more the way they do when they're at funerals. I've done two large ones in the past two weeks - for Fred Leonhardt and LisaLisa Wall Dukes - and I find that people, while sitting before the reality of human mortality, behave in thoughtful and generous ways. They are more open to deep conversation. They truly hunger to find what makes life meaningful. They are spiritual in ways they normally do not allow. They grasp what truly matters. They speak with love and grace. When we confront the truth that we are actually NOT the center of the universe, it seems to change us. ‪#‎whyeastermatters‬
  8. My wife received a great blessing this week from a group calling themselves "12 Ordinary Women." They brought her a bag with an assortment of gifts and a note of encourgement - acknowledging the challenges of her last four months. I have no idea who they are or how they started, but I love it. Selfless action in care for others reflects the Kingdom of God - and it makes a difference. Thank you.
  9. Is anyone surprised that Orlando has more TV ads for trial lawyers than any city in America? Didn't think so.