Monday, June 19, 2006

A Holy Man?

A holy man?
I don’t know if anyone has ever described me as “a holy man”. The connotation of that description is (or was in the past) – at least form my limited POV – someone that is very calm, Biblically learned, wise, and maybe a little self righteous.
Well, I’ve been wrong before and I was wrong about what a holy man really is. I don’t have all the answers but, I do know this – God has called all of us who claim him as our Father to be holy.
He also called on all of us to follow in the steps of Jesus – who by the way was certainly a holy man (and not the least bit self righteous). The Jesus I read of wasn’t afraid to get dirty, he was in and amongst the people, he ate meals in the homes of the “sinners”, he wasn’t afraid to touch the untouchable, he never talked down to people, he found out why people were hurting and he helped them, he taught by the way he lived, when his friends were hurt – he cried with them. This man was the absolute Holy Man and he is so completely different than what I’ve let my mind wonder off and define differently.
I think we have changed the way we think about holy because many times we would rather spend time in studying “holiness” than becoming holy. Becoming holy would mean that we would need to leave the comfort of our air-conditioned pew and actually serve others (like Jesus). Becoming a “holy man” means that we are willing to take up the cross and follow Jesus up the hill. Becoming a “holy man” would mean less talking about it and more doing it. Becoming a “holy man” would mean loving the unlovable of this world. Becoming a “holy man” would mean completely changing my character and nature – yet knowing that we would still have the imperfections of man – but covered up by the grace of the savior.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

You Might Have a Problem If....-

I've been working on a new line of products for almost a year that will be marketed under the "Jeff Foxworthy" brand. My first thought about Foxworthy is his comedy act that starts off with - "you might be a redneck if...."
Well, leaving those thoughts to Jeff Foxworthy, I was on a plane the other day and started thinking about the wisdom of the Proverbs. Simple one liners that have stood the test of time and have just as much "life meaning" today as they did when they were written over 3,000 years ago. Talk about wisdom, where else can you go to read relavent thoughts that mean just as much today as they did - even 100, 200, or 500 years ago?
I wouldn't pretend that my own wisdom would qualify me to write any timeless proverbs but, while I was on the plane, I started writting down some thoughts that fit with the TITLE of this blog - You Might Have A Problem If.......
Here are a few of those .........(I'll be back on the plane again tomorrow so, I'm sure that I will think of more. You too can use the comment section to add your own)
You Might Have A Problem If.....
- you persue happiness through the persuit of money. It is likely that you'll lose sight of the original goal of happiness.
- you confuse "I want" and "I need". To find out what you really need, ask someone that has absolutely nothing what their needs are.
- you define happiness by what you have or your occupation.
- you have "needs" that really aren't "necessary".
- you depend on anyone but God for your happiness.
Okay, one more that doesn't fit with the title but, I really like it -
- Nobody on their way to becoming wealthy believes that "more" won't make them happy until the secret reveals itself to them with a slap in the face.

Friday, June 02, 2006

A Parable

Once upon a time long, long ago there was a young man that was on top of the world. He was a good guy, followed the rules, obeyed God’s will, and felt as if he was very blessed. Like many of us, he related blessings to money and he was rich so, I’m sure that he felt “richly” blessed. This concept isn’t foreign to us, because most of us have bought in on the idea. Living in the richest nation in the world and hearing the gospel of blessings makes us comfortable that our riches are deserved because after all, we are mostly good guys, we follow the rules, we try to obey God’s will – so naturally being righteous – we deserve every hard earned dime that we have.
Oops, I lost track of my story –
Seems our young wealthy guy heard about a man that had answers to some of his questions. Especially the question about security.... long term security. You know that is a question that lots of people with money seem to be asking all the time. “Do I have long term security?” “Where will I be in the ‘future?’”. I see television commercials all the time telling me that I need to secure my future.... That was the question on the mind of this wealthy young man the day he met this advisor........ an advisor that could answer definitively about the security of the future of this young man.
When they finally met – this young man and the advisor, there wasn’t any hesitation from the young man in his questioning. He quickly outlined his current strategy and the advisor just as quickly provided the answer. Then the conversation ended abruptly and the wealthy young man – with his head bowed and his proud shoulders slumped, walked away from the advisor. The advisor had given him the absolute answer to a secure future but, the instant that the young man heard the answer, he knew that the risk was too great and he was too far along in another investment strategy. I mean, how could this advisor have expected him to take all this risk? This advisor was asking him to stop what he was doing and give up everything he had always believed in – and then, this advisor – who probably doesn’t even have an investment portfolio – was asking him to just follow him. What a crazy idea! Give up financial security, comfort, all of these God given blessings that he had earned to follow someone that wants complete change........crazy!
Is this what my reaction would be if I met the same advisor? Of course I’ve met him and he is the one that gave us this parable so that we too would be warned about how to secure our future. He gave us this parable so that we would understand what “investment strategy” is necessary and what he expects from those of us that claim him as our savior, our ultimate advisor. It is so sad that we confuse wealth with the true blessings that our God promised, and that we have bought off on the idea that we are “God’s special people” just because we happened to have been born in the world’s richest nation. It is sad that we can read the parable about the rich young man and not be hit between the eyes that the message is for all of us too! What have we given up to become a follower? Did we ever change? Sell our stuff and give the proceeds to the poor? Does my life reflect what I claim to be