Thursday, February 24, 2011

Bucket List's

I had a particularly rough day, yesterday. No, there was no set back in my recovery from surgery or the current therapy that I am going through. It was just an all out attack by the enemy of my Soul that seemed to some out of nowhere. It centered around a failure that will remain private. Nothing sinister or evil, no moral failing of any kind, in fact to my knowledge, no sin of any kind. Just a failure that was increasingly magnified on one particular day. The rush of thoughts, emotions and reaction was indeed surprising. I am a person that takes great pride in remaining pretty even keeled even in the face of danger. I don't tend to panic although I do sometimes over-react but over all, I'm about as "steady as she goes" as you can get but yesterday, my boat got rocked.

In the middle of it, I fussed vehemently at God. In fact at one point I screamed at him out loud. Some people are afraid to or think it even sin to be angry at God. I have found that it is the quickest way to resolution because He is perfect and if I will listen after fussing, He will answer. In fact, I believe that when we are angry at Him or what He has seemingly allowed and we don't talk to or even fuss at Him about it, it then becomes sin because our anger will fester against Him. Communication is the key to EVERY relationship. When we stop talking, the problems take over.

Anyway, what does all of that have to do with bucket list's? Well, it's part of the answer that God gave me last night, in my sleep.

The Framers of our Constitution wrote that we are endowed with certain inalliable rights by our Creator and that among them are liberty and "the pursuit of happiness." That particular phrase is a funny one to me because I have found that the harder you pursue happiness, the more difficult it is to "catch." In my opinion, true happiness is something that comes to you, once you realize that it is nothing more than an emotion that you truly cannot catch. The Apostle Paul said it best under a Divine anointing, when he wrote, "contentment with godliness is GREAT gain." Contentment, once attained, stays with you even when happiness goes out the door. So once again, what does all of that have to do with Bucket list's? LOL (glad you are patient)

Several months back on a Pastors message board that I frequent and enjoy someone asked the question, "What is on your bucket list?" Of course we all recognize that as the things we want to do or accomplish before we kick the proverbial bucket. I upset the originator of the post, (surprise, surprise lol) when I stated that I did not have one. In fact, I stated, I believe that we truly do what we really want to. We might wish for a lot of things but if we want to do something, we generally will make it happen. As a statement, and as a way of life, I truly do believe that but God spoke to me powerfully last night and as a result, I found out that I do have and always have had a "bucket list." Here it is:

1. Love God with all of my heart by being the best Man, Servant and follower of Him that I can possibly be.

2. Be the best Husband that I can be to the gift that God has given me of Debbie.

3. Be the best Father that I can be to the Son that God literally gave me.

4. Be the best Son and Brother that I can be to the most awesome family on the Planet.

5. Be the best Pastor, Minister, and Teacher that I can be, regardless of where I am.

That's really it and yes, in that order. In those 5 things there is a lifetime. In those 5 things there is the recognition that I may never fully achive them but in pursuing them, I find contentment with godliness and as a result happiness generally comes my way. In those 5 things I find a life that I can look back on and rightously be proud of.

Oh yes, there are things that I would like to do in life and sights that I would like to see. There are places I would like to walk and people I would like to meet but those things are all gravy, meaning that if I come anywhere close to achieving my short list and don't do any of the others, I've had a good life and I will have been a good man.

In the movie version of the bucket list my point is proven because it wasn't the things that they did that changed a man but rather in realizing what they have and what they had been given. The greatest things in our lives are very often the things we overlook every day.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Out of balance

As most of you probably know, (and if you didn't, don't sweat it) I had Shoulder surgery at the end of January. I've been told that I am fortunate that it was the left Shoulder because my dominant side is the right. While I believe they are correct in that statement, I have found that we take for granted, many of the things we regularly do with our less dominant hand.

This writing for instance! My best typing is generally done with 2 fingers, yes, one on each hand. While I am a hunt an peck type writer, I have become fairly efficient at it and relatively fast. I am now reduced to one finger typing with many mistakes but hey, that's no big deal.

I went out for lunch with my Wife yesterday and found out that I could not put butter on my Biscuits by myself. Well, let's put it this way, it was much less embarrassing to have her do it for me than for me to attempt it myself!

I cannot button my own Shirt completely! Try putting on deodorant with one hand! In fact, there have been several times that I have briefly lost my balance in getting up out of a chair because of my less dominant arm. It affects you! You take for granted how much you use you non-dominant side.

All of this has put me in mind of the Church, "the body of Christ." Through the years I have witnessed the enemy cause people to believe that they are not important to the Church because they do not have a dominant role. People who float from Church to Church, usually as "God leads them." Even though that very thought is contrary to His word.

To me, (and I do recognize my warped nature),  I believe that every Church is to form the body of Christ to their surrounding communities. Yes, it's OK to leave a Church but I believe there are circumstances that need to be recognized in doing so.

1. A person should leave a Church when that church releases them to go into active ministry beyond the local Church's function

2. A person should leave a Church when they cannot resolve a dispute in a BIBLICAL manner. (and a biblical manner goes waaaaaayyyyy beyond just being mad at someone)

3. Obviously, a person should leave a Church when their job or life takes them into a new community that makes staying impossible.

Other than those circumstances, I believe that believers should make every effort to engage in and become part of the body of Christ in a local Congregation. It's the way the New Testament Church was structured in the beginning.

I even challenge you to think of this the next time that you feel like hitting the spiritual snooze button on Sunday morning. How am I affecting the body? Of course I am not suggesting that a missed Sunday will adversely or permanently affect a Church but when those missed Sunday's (or whatever day your Church meets) become easier and easier for you to take, then yes, even if you are a non-dominant part, you are affecting the body.

We are ALL important and we ALL depend upon each other as we depend upon God to lead us and yes,
I felt this way even before I became a Pastor. :<)