Daily Post

Fools and Humility

Well I was trying to come up with some good April Fools’ joke,  after I introduced a friend of mine as his brother last night in front of a whole gaggle of people, I think I better stop with the jokes.  However, one of the guys I was with told me that last year he didn’t go to work on April 1, intentionally.  When his boss finally called, he told him that some one had told him they did not have to come in on that day.  Thinking he had been tricked his boss laughed it off and told him to get into work.  After his arrival at the office, his boss ask him who had called him.  That was when the joke was played, as he told his boss that no one called, it was just a big April Fool’s joke.  The bossman was not happy.  Can you top that one?

Anyway, as we continue to march (er April) through the week towards the great events of the weekend, its hard to pass over a quick look at Jesus washing his follower’s feet.

14Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. John 13:14

A really amazing example about leadership, and humility.  The Master places himself in a role of a servant to show the humility that his followers should demonstrate.  Boy, this is another of those difficult things isn’t it. Really, talk about an April Fool’s joke,  I mean, look, I am, well, ME.  and you are, well, of course, YOU.  Doesn’t everyone understand who WE are?  Like the t shirt from the 70’s “Its hard to be humble when you are perfect” or something like that.  (I still remember some girl in elementary school wearing that shirt.  She was not perfect!! )

But as followers of the Christ, we are given an example in humility with the footwashing and then later in the week with his humble submission on the way to the cross.  I mean look at the constraint he uses:

52“Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword. 53Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels? 54But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way?”  Matthew 26:52-54 (New International Version)

And so we are told to mimic this model, and to put others in front of ourselves.  Today, maybe, try this with one person and see how that impacts your relationship with them.

1If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. 3Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. 4Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.

5Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
6Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
7but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to death

even death on a cross!
9Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
10that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.  — Philippians 2:1-11

Daily Post

One Word – “Intense”


Several years ago that was the word that a co worker of mine used when asked to describe me in one word.


At the time I thought that was cool.  I thought it was great – even awesome. And that’s how I was – “intense” – focused on the goal. Come hell or high water, I was getting the job done, not paying attention to the human carnage I left along the way.  The crying in the office – weak.  Calling people on the weekend and demanding they fix the problem – of course, they should be in here working as well.  Get it Done!  Deliver. Destroy.  That’s good.  Right!

Over the past week I watched my son’s basketball team beat two opponents by the combined score of 106 – 6.  Yes, that’s correct.  49-3 in the first game and 57-3 in the second.  The boys kept the half court man to man press going the entire game – pressuring the opponents into mistakes.  Some of the starters were always on the floor. They pushed the ball, fast break after fast break, up and down the court.  They destroyed the other teams.  Destroyed!  That’s good! Right??

No, its not.

I have learned that relationships are more important than the work, and the way you win is just as important as the win.  I have lived and played with intensity and I have seen the pain and carnage it brings.  I have worked with such intensity and disregard for others, that my job has hung by a thread, only saved by the good will of others.  Sometime,  in some way, that intensity must give way to mercy.  It must give way to grace.  We are called to give our very best to God.

1 Corinthians 10:31 (New International Version)

31So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

Colossians 3:23 (New International Version)

23Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men,

We are called to play as hard as we can.  Give 100 percent – always.  But sometimes 100 percent means playing with control.  Whether on the court, in school, or at work we must know that doling out mercy and compassion and grace are equally as important as pushing and driving and forcing.

And that’s why my heart is heavy.  I sat at the scorers table for both games.  I saw the angst and brokenness of the players.  I saw the overwhelming helplessness and frustration of the coach, and the exasperation of the parents.   Did we have to run a half court man to man press when we were winning by 25, and it was obvious this team was not coming back even if we played with 3 players?  One of the teams only had 5 players.

1 Corinthians 9:24-25 (New American Standard Bible)

24Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win.

25Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.

There is a time to push it and to go right to the edge, and even more. But there is to be something different about those followers of the Christ.  There is also a time to be in control and to pull back, and to show restraint.  Both of these games demonstrated one of those great teaching opportunities, where we could taught our children the importance of  displaying control and restraint and modeling Christ is all that we do.

I still am a very intense person, a driven person, but I hope that if my current coworkers where asked to describe me in one word that they would pick something other than “intense”.  Maybe something closer to  “servant”, or “merciful”. (Most would probably just say “Jerk!”)

It maybe that I am so sensitive to this because I am in such need of mercy and grace myself.  Well, who isn’t?  And that is why I want to teach our children that control, and extending grace, and extending mercy, are a very important part of giving 100 percent to God.

So, I write about this to use the opportunity to teach, I hope that as you read on, you consider your life.  Is there a place where you still are running the full court press, where maybe you should drop back into a 2-3 soft zone and reach out to that person and provide the mercy that you have been all so freely given.

36Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

Luke 6:36 (New International Version)

Also, what word would people us to describe you?

Daily Post

Understanding the Value of Weakness

Sometimes in the car I listen to Way-FM. There is a DJ in the morning named Brant.  This guy has a sort of dry mono toned voice, one that on the show has been compared to Kermit the frog, which gets you in the general direction of his voice, although its not the best comparison. Anyway, when I first started listening to this guy, I really didn’t enjoy it, so much that when the song was over and he started talking, I would change the station.  That’s crazy isn’t.

But I suppose my hands had better things to do, like driving the vehicle, and so I began to listen to what he was saying and got past the idiosyncrasies of his voice.  The more I slowed down and listened the more I liked the what I was hearing, so much that I actually enjoy his commentary now. That’s crazy isn’t.

A few weeks ago, he was talking about where are strength comes from, and how God uses us when we are weak. Its stuck with me over the days, as this is a truth that I have heard from when I was little, but really I don’t it’s been well explained . I mean, we are taught to be strong, to be tough, to be rugged.  Although on a physical level there is merit to buffeting the body in a way that it is in its best physical shape, more on that another day.  So, we are taught to be strong, however, its not always when we are the strongest that we are used.  I think mainly because, when we think we are strong, we look at ourselves.  “I have this all under control!”  When we are weak, we look other places “God help me”.

So the trick is, staying weak.  Staying in a place where we need God – where we recognize our need for God, and not making it all about ourselves.  I think that’s called being humble!

9But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Cor 12:9-11)

So three things this mornings. First don’t judge  so quickly, sometimes you may end up missing some great things, Second, if you are in an area where you can listen to Way-FM, I think you may find some encouragement and some challenges listening in sometimes.  And finally, lets delight in our weaknesses, and we ready to be used.  Stay lowly, stay meek, and He will use you in ways you cant even imagine or blog!

Daily Post

Wisdom from Twitter

I have recently started using Twitter with more vigor – more on the following end then the tweeting end, however I do tweet to keep my family and friends up to speed on the mundane in my life.  But seriously, I find it a great way to discover ideas and get a glimpse of other things going on out there.

Also, I have been spending time thinking about myself in relationship to God and other people.  This is one of the elements of my New Years statement on wanting to be obsessed.  Anyway, I’ll return to that later in the week, I think, but its the cross roads of these two thoughts – Twitter and relationships that I wanted to share today.

(Yes, what a goofy introduction, I hope you are still hanging with me)

So, one the tweets I read this weekend pointed me to a blog by an author named Donald Miller.  He is just releasing some new material that I thought seem interesting, so I keep his page up on my browser for a few days with the intention of stopping back by and reading it.  Well the weekend took other turns and when I returned and refreshed he had posted a new article, one I felt worth sharing.

The post is about humility and knowledge.  Take time to read it here.  He tells a tale about how knowledge puffs up.  Its a struggle we all deal with, ok, maybe just me.  But really, as we gain knowledge and wisdom, we can battle feeling “better” or being condescending to others who may have just not learned that yet.  Maybe its your role to teach them?  Maybe its your role to make those around you better? Maybe its your role to simply apply that knowledge to the way you treat other people?  Either way, humility and love seem to go hand in hand.  I could not help but read this and think back to 1 Cor 13.

4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; (1 Corinthians 13:4, New King James Version)

or Proverbs 3:34 (actually James 4, who is quoting Proverbs)

34 He mocks proud mockers
but gives grace to the humble.

So take some time to read his post.  And as you gain wisdom, also gain humility.

“The only wisdom we can hope to acquire is the wisdom of humility: humility is endless.”
-T.S. Eliot

Daily Post

My Way or the Broken Way

Its been one of those sort of weeks that wear you down mentally and spiritually.  One of those weeks that sets you up for doing something dumb – do you know what I mean?  Frustration at work, the ‘joys’ of parenthood, the fast pace of life in general.  So much that last night my oldest son and I are still working away on getting the documentation complete for his science fair project ( YES! SCIENCE FAIR!), and emails are streaming around from work that well frankly put are making me want to put my fist through the wall.

It was in the midst of this that I sat down and took a look at some pictures from Haiti, courtesy of the Sacramento Bee and  While reviewing those, I thought about one email I had received earlier in the day.  I email containing a link from the about a co worker of mine who was tragically killed by a drunk driver two days before Christmas.  (All of these links are tales of heart breaking events)

Its funny how God works. Right when I think things aren’t going my way and I should start to take control of these situations – boom, reminders hit you in the fore head.  I am really being a servant?  Am I really considering others?  Am I being humble enough? Am I really being humble AT ALL?

17 The sacrifices of God are  a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart,
O God, you will not despise. (Psalm 51 NIV)

So even though Alex and I were up late finishing up the science project, and even with meetings being schedule at unreasonable times,  and even with expectations and life events that don’t seem fair, can I still realize the blessings that I have.  Can I still see how good life is? Can I still come to God with humility and contriteness and lay myself before him and say “I will do whatever you ask”?  We are all blessed – beyond compare.  Let us stay humble and broken,  and let us keep the heart of a servant.
I have a strange feeling I will be surprised how different the day will be if I approach today with a servant’s heart rather than the attitude I had last night – one of anger and frustration and pride.  Its interesting how God’s Way puts is in a place of joy, and our way
puts us in a danger zone.!

So break your heart, humble yourself and live today.  Take advantage of what you have been given.

10 Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Psalm 51 (NIV)