Tag Archives: leaves a mark

Feel Good Friday … a children’s hospital story

It is Friday and we all need a good story. We need a light hearted tale, maybe a little laughter, or even a “so cool” type of read. So, I’ve got your fix.

As I perused news articles from all over, I came across this little blurb. Maybe it is because I have written about anxiety, burn out, or stress this week that I just needed a positive moment. Or, maybe it’s the fact Lisa used to work at Children’s Health in Dallas, or maybe it’s just so darn cute … I am not sure but I share just for your enjoyment.

No parent wants their kid to have to have health issues, much less surgery. And as worrisome it is to mom and dad, I can only imagine what a young child might be going through as they prepare for surgery. So to help out, a hospital has cars on facility to make sure the kids make it to the surgery wing.

These are not normal cars, and the kids are not driven to the OR. It is cars just for them … and they get to be the drivers.

I guess a VW works – personally, I would have gone with Jeeps or a Mustang.

I wonder if any try to drive off … Thelma & Louise style. Do they get to race? And where do they get those cool racing caps to keep your hair from being too wind blown?

No one wants a kid to have to go through such an ordeal, but what a great stress reliever … who doesn’t like a little drive to relax (as long as someone else is paying for the gas!)

So spend sometime thinking about these kids and others. What can you do to help others through tough times? Leave a mark … a positive mark on those who need it.

Have a great weekend.

Original article can be seen here. Pictures from that article.

Love It, Leave It, or Transform It, Part III

I moved here seven months ago. I moved from Dallas to Evergreen … quite a culture change. And it took seven months for me to get it. “Get what?” you ask. I purchased a Carhartt shirt. Yep, a brand I normally don’t have. You’ll find Lucky Jeans, Lacoste shirts, Kuhl hiking attire, Under Armor hoodies, Dan Post boots, and Converse All-Stars. But this is my first Carhartt. With so many ranches and farms in the area, it seems everywhere I look, people young and old are wearing this brand. Evergreen has left a mark on me. Now, will I leave a mark on Evergreen?

The church, not the building but the people of God, are to be so invested, so intwined, and so impactful on here community, that the church leaves its mark on everything around her. We are to be in the community in such a way that we leave a mark … but not just a mark for here and now, but a mark that impacts eternity.

So here are a few ways I think we can get out there and make a difference …

  • Respect and interact others. Just respect people, say hello, be friendly, to all people in every scenario.
  • Invest resources into areas of your community, this lets them know you put your money where your mouth is. Help sponsor post prom parties, support ministries like crisis pregnancy center or local food banks, and after school programs.
  • Welcome new move-ins. Make sure they know you are glad they’ve come to your neck of the woods. Inviting them to church is part of this, but only part.
  • Open your church to groups like homeschoolers, associational meetings etc. Make endeavors to make your building a much appreciated open and welcomed establishment. If they get comfortable coming for other things, maybe they’ll return for worship and getting involved themselves.
  • Volunteer time … on a regular basis. There are plenty of sites to help you connect … volunteermatch.org or a local disaster relief team.
  • Write positive reviews for local small businesses like restaurants and stores. Small shops and business owners are plugged in like no other. Show the you care.
  • Spend time at the local nursing homes. This will change their lives and the lives of their families. Talk about their history, their stories, their lives.
  • Tutor kids after school.
  • Bake some cookies and share them … fire department, librarians, school clubs, nurses, neighbors.
  • Babysit for single parents. Well, babysit the kids, not the parents.
  • Leave a surprise in a library book. Imagine the surprise when a coffee shop gift card lights up a persons life when they open up a library book.
  • Attend community meetings … town halls, board meetings, etc.
  • Donate supplies to a classroom … helps the teacher and invests in kids lives.
  • Get first aid certified … always ready when needed, but hopefully never needed.
  • Help a neighbor … mow their lawn, weed their flower garden, walk their dog, fix a meal … just because.
  • Let someone cut in front of you on line … this will boggle their mind.
  • Shop local whenever possible.
  • Recycle, clean a street, pick up trash at a park, and other beautification endeavors.
  • Interact, interact, interact.

This type of impact will not happen if we stay inside our buildings. So get out and invest. And maybe wear your own Carhartt.

Have a great day.

Love It, Leave It, or Transform It, Part II

If actions show what we believe, where do your actions show others what you believe?

Do your actions reveal an affection, a desire to be like the world? I mean, if someone were to compare you to the average Joe or Joleen, would they see much of a difference? Do you care more about what is happening in Hollywood or Washington more than in the lives of your neighbor? Do you read facebook and news releases more than your Bible?

Do your actions reveal someone who just wants to live and let live, barricade themselves in their little castle, and be left alone? You ignore cultural currents and don’t even care about trying to reach people? I mean, if they want to know about us, our ways, our beliefs, then they will approach me and ask. Otherwise, we won’t bother anyone.

Or, do you really want to live like Christ desires for us to live? Yesterday, we said this … 3. We can transform it. Ding Ding – we have a winner here. I truly believe we are to be impacting society, leaving a mark on culture. Be the salt, be the light. Don’t hide the light under a bushel … let it shine.

There are plenty of articles and sermons and podcasts out there on being salt and light in this world. I encourage you to dig into those. But today, it is more about the way of looking at this principle. When we try to transform the world in which we live, here are a few things to keep in mind …

  • This is less about a ‘fix it’ mentality and more about a ‘focus’ mentality. If we can get people to focus on Christ, wow, what a difference that will make. If we see people how Christ sees people, how will that impact our views on immigration, race relations, charity?
  • This is less about legislating morality and more about changing hearts. I do believe we are to be involved in the legal and governmental process, but laws never changed lives for eternity. Only God’s work in the lives of individuals brings about redemption, restoration, reconciliation, and more.
  • This is less about giving people what they want, or what we think they should want, and more about giving people what they need. Our actions are not to be meeting felt needs, but to point people to the love and power of the cross. The Bible warned about preaching to itching ears.
  • This is less about what we are against and more about what we are for. I am for sanctity and preciousness of every human life, the sacredness of the marriage bed, the importance of families, the Biblical view marriage, the universal need of every person to know Christ, and more. And we don’t push people to these views, we pull them along with us as we continue to grow in Christlikeness.
  • And finally, it is less about isolating ourselves and more about infiltrating our world. We are to be in the world, not of it. We are to let our light shine, out in the open, not hiding it under a cover.

Tomorrow, the third and final installment of this thread will look at some ways we can impact our world. Join us.

See part I here.

Events that Leave A Mark

We had certain rules. I don’t remember too many, but we had them. Never play with play-doh at home, it got messy. When father whistled, we came running. No food on the new vehicle. And when I was growing up, my mother would keep us out of the living room. This was especially true when we lived in Derita. We had a white carpet in there and we were to stay out.

But you know kids, rules were for other people. The living room was cool … forbidden, had saloon swinging doors, and my bros wouldn’t follow me when I ran in there. And then it happened, I spilled red koolaid … my life was over. That event left a mark. It was traumatic and horrifying and humbling and … hey, I was in middle school and I doubted I’d make high school.

2000 years ago, there were some people hanging out at the Temple. Priests, scribes, others. They had rules. Lots of ’em. One biggie was you didn’t go behind that sacred curtain.

Then something happened. It was during the time of a big feast/festival. Huge. Hundreds of thousands came to town and many came to the Temple. But this day would be different. The afternoon had turned dark, I mean the sky was black. The town had taken a scary, somber mood. And about 3p – an earthquake, the ground shook … and … and … the veil was torn. And it was torn from top to bottom. This thick piece of sacred material, ripped like a thin piece of paper.

The room that was God’s dwelling place had been exposed. The Holy of Holies, so sacred, so protected, so off limits, was now accessible. Would the eyewitnesses live? Could it be repaired? The priests screamed and wailed. The Temple had been shaken, the veil torn, and life would never be the same.

Looking back, we see the splendor in the scary.

  • The act is sacred – ripped from heaven, from top to bottom.
  • The act is symbolic – we all now have access to the presence of God without fear – all because of what Jesus did in the cross. His substitutionary sacrifice allows His followers to come boldly before the throne of God, the throne of grace (Hebrews 4.10 & 10.19-20). This act is inviting to all.
  • The act is a statement – there is only one way to the throne, into the presence of God … it is only through Jesus, the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

I don’t doubt that the event of seeing that veil ripped left a mark on the Temple people. It impacts me 2 millennia later. And when I grasp the sacred in the scary, I too am left changed forever.

I am not good enough to enter the presence of God. I’ve blown it way too much, too messed up, too rebellious, too screwed up … but He provides a way, for me … for you.

If you don’t know the impact of what Easter is really all about, don’t let this weekend go by without exploring the truth that God loves you. Go to worship somewhere … and see what it’s all about … it’ll leave a mark.

Note: my mother didn’t kill me. She loves me too much. But I don’t remember going back into that room – ever.

Bird Poop On My Shoulder

So I was tagged, marked, bombed, or pooed on. Is pooed a word? It is now. Somewhere between Granny Bees and the 4Runner, a wonderful aviary citizen of Appomattox let it be known I was walking in their turf. I did not even know it until later I looked in the mirror and saw the deposit left on my shirt – a dress shirt I add, I am headed to community Easter service later.

Therefore, I headed home to get a new shirt.

All of us leave our marks … the question is, what type of mark are you leaving?

I also googled this concept and learned getting pooed on is considered good luck. The odds are wild … like the same odds as winning the lottery (maybe today I should buy a ticket). Maybe it’s good luck just to be outdoors and not stuck behind a desk. Maybe it’s good luck because mariners used to see albatrosses as good omens (land is close). Who knows?

But what I do know is I was marked. I’ve been looking into this concept of being marked … Paul said he bore the marks of Jesus. I believe when we get to know Jesus, He will leave a mark. And when we are His, we should be leaving a mark on those around us.

All of us leave our marks … the question is, what type of mark are you leaving?

Think about that and we will see where this stream of thought takes us in the next few days.