Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Change or Die

I was reading a book the other day and I came across a section that amazed me. It was so mind blowing that I fired up the ole Facebook and decided to blog on what I read..."Change or Die."

A recent medical study revealed just how difficult change is for people. Roughly 600,000 people have heart bypasses and must change their lifestyle. The heart bypass is a temporary fix. They must change their diet. They must quit smoking and drinking. They must exercise and reduce stress.

The doctors say over and over in no uncertain terms, change or die.

So one would think that after a near death experience, it would be simple. Choose to change.

That's not the case.

Ninety percent of all heart patients do not change. They remain the same. Study after study indicates that two years after heart surgery, the patients have not changed. Instead of a healthy lifestyle, they choose a slow death.

People speak of how they adapt well to change, but in the real world....Change is very difficult.

What is the best method to initiate change? Should it be all at once or incremental? Many change theorists disagree on how change is most effectively achieved.

I decided to change a major part of my life in September. I decided to be out the door and at work by 7:30 each morning. I always believed that I was not a morning person. I discovered after a 30 day challenge that I am more of a morning person than I had ever known.

Change is most effective when it is incremental, slow and methodical. The goal of change is transformation. Become someone different.

With each change, a culture of change is built allowing for more changes to occur. So how does a person change?

One day at a time.

Tomorrow the change can start!!!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

A Paradox

Matt and I decided back in the spring to take another wilderness trip. This meant hiking and camping in the wild somewhere and somehow over the summer break. He decided to travel with a soccer ministry over the summer so our window of opportunity to go on this trip was limited.

We decided that we would go to Mark Twain National Forest in Missouri. Last Thursday morning off we went with all our gear and time for a three day adventure. It took about five hours to get to the park. We jumped out of the car and hiked into the woods.

After a 6 mile hike, we came to the conclusion that the best place to camp was by a stream six miles back. So we went back to the perfect spot to camp. Quickly we set up camp...tent, fire, food, coffee.

It was the perfect night. We talked, laughed and played. It was a blast!!

The next morning we decided to hike out and find a place where we could canoe and camp.
It didn't take us to long to realize that there were no outfitters who provided that option. We found one where we could take a day trip so into the canoe we went. It was so peaceful. We took a trip down the Upper Meremac. We only saw four people the entire time.


I asked Matt, 'What sounds good?" He said, "Bluegrass music". I told him that we could go to Branson, which was about 200 miles away. Our adventure had just taken a right turn. We jumped into the car headed to the Bass Pro Shop in Springfield, Missouri. We were dirty and had no clothing for a bluegrass concert.

$90.00 later we walked out of BPS with outfits that would match a bluegrass concertgoer.
We had about two hours to get tickets, a motel, and a shower and get back to the concert hall.

We found a motel with only one room left, showered quickly and were ready with a couple of minutes to spare. We went to see the Cleverlys at the Oak Ridge Boys auditorium. This was a first for both of us. To say it mildly, we had a BLAST!!! The group was very entertaining and Matt got his bluegrass fix.

We were hungry. I told Matt that we could eat where he wanted to go. He picked Landry's. It is a fine dining $20.00 a plate, candlelit, white table cloth, $8.00 desert kind of place. We sat down and he looked at the menu. I wish I had a picture of that. We ate and went back to the motel.

We ended up in the Lake of the Ozarks on the way back -

from hiking and camping to concert...

from dirty, smelly clothes to new BPS duds...

from tent to a motel with two queen size beds...

from oatmeal t0 angel hair pasta with shrimp and scallops...

Now that is an adventure......

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Not Happy with Your Church?

I have been a part of church for nearly all my life. I have experienced about everything a person could imagine. I have served in many aspects and postions. I have met some of the most awesome people and many have become life-long friends. There are so many things that I have learned about life and living within the context of an assembly of believers.

I really don't understand why people say they are unhappy with their churches. It is like a brother saying he doesn't like his sister or a mother who doesn't love her children. Human relationships are based on giving and sacrifice. The more a person gives and serves, the more satisfied a person becomes with their contribution to their time on earth.

I was again reminded this week about the importance and value of being a part of a church. I watched our church family care for and love one another like few I've seen. We experienced a massive storm this week, leaving many in difficult positions. Some had trees down, others lost power, while some even had flooding.

People who are followers of Christ were born again to serve. Jesus came to serve and not to be served. Many today are looking to be served, therefore they seem to be dissatisfied, disgruntled, and even lost in the context of needs greater than theirs. It doesn't take long before a person living in community finds others who are hurting more than they are. These are the moments of truth!!

I went to three homes today, helping people get there lives back on track. The fellows I went with were ready and willing to help in any way they could. We had such a precious time serving alongside one another. We focused on the work at hand and got the job done. It is important to remember and never forget the value of the Body of Christ. Our actions toward one another speak louder than any words we could ever share.

If you are not "happy" with your church, you should take a long, hard look into your heart. When was the last time you sacrificed your time, money, or effort for someone you sit by in your place of worship? Seriously, a sacrifice, coming away tired, worn out, broke, and nothing left to give. I am so glad that I am a part of a place that is not perfect but people genuinely want the best for those that they attend church with and they show it.