Changes in Latitude, Changes in Attitude

I have had the absolute blessing on several occasions to meet people from the blog world either through my travel or theirs. It happened again tonight as my family and I had the honor of meeting a family that I have the ultimate respect for. Many of you in the blogging community know Rindy Walton and her son Matt. I don’t remember how or where, but somewhere “the matrix” connected our paths.

Rindy and Matt’s blogs are more examples of what I’d like mine to be when it grows up. It was even better to meet them live and in person! Rindy, Matt, Tim, Dan and my entire family met up on their way through town at Cheeseburger in Paradise for dinner. All of the parrot heads out there just made the connection between the post title and the place we met. However that is not the only reason why I called it that.

You see God’s timing is perfect. If you know Rindy or follow her blog, you know that God has called her on a journey. He’s called her to sell her home and move 7 hours to a new city. He has asked her to leave the comfort of what she has always known to go somewhere for the single purpose of advancing His kingdom. He has asked her and the boys to make changes in latitude and changes in attitude for Walls Down Church in Cincinnati, Ohio!

It was awesome to sit down for dinner and discuss how God is working and (literally) moving in our lives. My only regret is that we will be 2 hours away when Walls Down opens their doors. You can bet we’ll take a road trip to visit sometime though. I had to share this lyric from the song by Jimmie Buffet. The chorus pretty well explains what God’s up to with both of our families right now.

“It’s those changes in latitudes,
changes in attitudes nothing remains quite the same.
With all of our running and all of our cunning,
If we couldn’t laugh, we would all go insane.” – Jimmy Buffet

To Matt, Tim, Dan and Rindy I say thanks for sharing the laughs and the journey! May God bless your changes in latitudes and changes in attitudes. Keep blessing the world through your blogs and your lives. Lord knows you have blessed mine.

The Less Fortunate

img_compassion365b.jpgThe topic for All Pro Dad in the month of April (April 5th) is “Caring for the less fortunate“. I’d like to compile a list of the places and organizations that people contribute to for the Dads and their kids. They can be local organizations or opportunities to give across the world. I’m also looking for ideas and creative ways that Dad’s and their kids can make a difference in the life of someone less fortunate. It doesn’t always have to be money. Your responses and ideas are much appreciated!

So…What are some ways that you care for the less fortunate?

Surely We Can Change…Something” by David Crowder Band

Quotable

“Today there are thousands of people sitting in church pews every Sunday who look like they’ve got it together on the outside but are broken on the inside. People who want to grab a Christian brother or sister by the shoulders and shout, “I’m not together! I’m in trouble! My relationship with God is terrible! I feel like a fake!” Instead, they pass out another bulletin or stack another chair, afraid to reach out, because everyone else looks like they have life’s problems whipped”

-Michael English from the book “The Prodigal Comes Home

Stained Glass Masquerade” by Casting Crowns

Your Actions

228794.jpgI once heard former NFL linebacker Chris Spielman tell a story about his first NFL camp experience. He was on the field for his first set of downs on defense and as he puts it, “getting blasted by the running backs”. They were basically running him over when he was attempting to tackle them. When he came off the field, he was telling the coach “I can’t get there quick enough…I got caught in the blocks….I couldn’t get a read on the play”. Finally the coach stopped him and said “What? I cannot hear you because your actions are speaking so loud“.

He said he when he went back into the game, he hit that running back so hard that he wonders if the guy is still feeling it.

I thought of that story today and how it relates to lay ministry. I wonder if sometimes we get so busy “doing” ministry for God and the church that our actions are so loud we stop hearing from God. I think it is a very real possibility that I can get so wrapped up in an area of ministry that might not be where God has called me. There might have been a time for that ministry, but the season has passed and God is calling me to something else. Yet I am so busy doing, talking, making excuses and complaining….that my actions are so loud I can’t hear Him.

I wonder if it isn’t worth the time to step off of the field and take a few plays off. I think there is value in having our “coach” really let us know where we are supposed to be and remind us of our area of giftedness. It is then that we can return to the game and make effective plays to advance the team. It is then when our actions can match our words.

The "Eckstein Effect"

061027_exksteinmvp_vmed_10pwidec.jpgI was thinking about David Eckstein in my hotel this morning. Wait…that didn’t come out right. What I meant to say was that when it comes to faith and my time on this earth, I want to be like David Eckstein. Let me explain…

If you follow baseball at all, you know that David Eckstein is a shortstop for the Toronto Blue Jays. He has also played for the Anaheim Angels and won a World Series ring (and Series MVP) with the St. Louis Cardinals. Yet if you passed him in a mall or airport, you would have no idea he’s a big league ballplayer. He is about as tall as my 7 year old and weighs about 150 pounds soaking wet. His hat usually looks like it just came off the rack with a bill so straight you could land a plane on it. He’s not flashy. Yet if you’ve ever seen him play, you know that he uses every ounce of what he has. He gets more out of his frame than most people his size could dream of.

To quote Barry Bonds:

“He’s one of my favorite players ever,” Bonds said. “I told him that he’s a gift from God. Everything is difficult for him, yet he gets it done and done well.”

So why was I thinking of him this morning in my hotel room? Actually I was thinking about how I want to know that when this race is over, I left it all on the field. That’s when Eckstein popped into my mind. I was thinking to myself that I want to know that I used every ounce I had, everything I was given to impact the Kingdom. I don’t want to settle for average. I don’t want to just get comfortable where I am if there is more I can do. I don’t want to play it safe, when I could have reached higher, learned more, shared more, given more, been more for the Kingdom. I want to play the game of life like Eckstein plays every game. I want to use it all for Gods glory, and then find a little bit more.

For Such a Time as This

For such a time as this, I was placed upon this earth. To hear the voice of God and do His will, whatever it is.” -Wayne Watson

During my travel yesterday (delays, cancellations and all) I powered my way through the book “Confessions of a Reformission Rev.” by Mark Driscoll. If you follow this blog regularly, you know that I really enjoy the teaching and preaching of Driscoll. Sure, Mark has his critics but so did Paul. He’s abrasive at times but he reminds me of one of those friends that you have that tells it like it is no matter what. There are times when you can’t believe they just said what they said, but you were thinking the same thing. They just had the guts to say it.

As I reflected on the book this morning, I was reminded of how fortunate we are to live in this time and this place. With the internet and the media available we have access to so much outstanding teaching. Imagine the ministry of Paul had he lived in a time where his podcasts could be heard across the world. Imagine if his writings were published and blogged in real time. I’m thankful that God has placed me in this time in history to have access to what I do.

I have also learned that God in His wisdom places books in my hand at the perfect time. To read a book about a church that is on a mission and made tough decisions to continue that mission (at all costs) was so refreshing. I was inspired and encouraged. I’m challenged by their commitment to advancing the Kingdom. Lastly, I am evaluating why God has placed me here for such a time as this.