Real Life Women

I read a hilarious observation this week. “Imagine thinking it’s ok to hear the gospel preached from a cartoon tomato but not a real life woman” (Jaymes Lackey).

In case you didn’t grow up in the Christian culture, that’s a reference to the wildly popular show Veggie Tales that featured Bible teaching from cartoon vegetables. But the point is that women continue to have to fight for a place in the Church. That needs to change, and more of us guys need to find ways to elevate the women leading well around us.

In a recent conversation I heard an oft-repeated joke about how as men we can’t let our wife make more money than us. It was said in jest, but it represents a very real reality that men often struggle with. In case you’re wondering, my wife makes the primary income in our family these days. And we’re both okay with it. There’s no way I could do what I’m doing with Communion Wine Co. without her. We’ve actually alternated on who made more money throughout our marriage. Before you think less of me (or my hard-working wife), consider an observation that one of Jesus’ disciples made.

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Look for What Others Don’t See

My goal these days is to write at least one blog post a week. I post them on Wednesday when I’ve got the time and the inspiration is flowing easily. Sometimes it posts on Thursday. And on weeks like this one, you get it on Friday. This week I took my exam for WSET level 2 certification in wine (and studied obsessively beforehand), wrote a message for my sermon at Central this weekend, and celebrated my son’s eleventh birthday. Hence, the Friday post.

And in addition, I’m a bit mentally thought out. So here’s a fun one for you this Friday. Below is the video of a play that happened this week (on Thursday) from the Yankee’s game. They ultimately lost this game, but this was one of the crazier plays I’ve ever seen. The Astros were using what is referred to as a “defensive shift” which means the infield was not in their normal spots. Gleyber Torres noticed this and took advantage of it.

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Everything You Ever Dreamed of

The Apostle Peter was arguably Jesus’ right hand guy throughout His ministry. Then there was an inner core of the twelve disciples which included Peter, James, and John who got an inside view of things (Mt. 17:1, 26:37; Mk 5:37, 9:2, 14:33; Lk. 8:51, 9:28). The Apostle Paul referred to these three as the “pillars of the church” in Galatians 2:9.

If you look carefully at how Jesus recruited these three standouts, we find an interesting observation.

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Find the Underdogs

I had the chance to spend the week with a handful of pastor friends of mine from around the country. We meet twice a year and share both the highs and lows of ministry. It’s always encouraging to have the chance to be vulnerable with others and to experience others being vulnerable in return. One of the takeaways was how hard it is to lead a church in this season… and nobody thinks it’s going to be anything but more difficult in the future.

As could be imagined, our conversations over the week covered a variety of topics. Many of the topics are widely polarizing issues. On many of the discussions it seemed that to say anything into these discussion was to invite criticism from others who see it differently than we do. To be honest, there were moments it felt like there was no win in sight.

One afternoon we had the chance to talk with Danielle Strickland who happened to be in town. One of the things she shared in her time with our group was about her desire as a kid to always cheer for the underdog. Admittedly, I don’t do this when it comes to my favorite sport. As a Yankee fan, they normally don’t qualify (this year they are exceptionally bad and may be earning underdog status).

But when it comes to real life, I’m a big fan of the underdog. As I process the conversations from this week I’m left with a new strategy I want to pursue. Whenever we think of an issue, what if our desire was to find and align ourselves with the underdog in that situation?

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When One Door Closes

When One Door Closes

The phrase “When one door closes, another opens” has become commonplace in our conversations whenever we experience life change. Many even think it’s a verse in the Bible. We often tweak it to say that “When God closes a door, He opens another.” It’s not actually in the Bible and as far as I can tell the earliest reference to this idea is from Miguel de Cervantes’ novel Don Quixote. Published in 1605, Cervantes wrote: “When one door is shut another is opened.”

Today most people attribute this phrase to Alexander Graham Bell. What we often miss when we quote this idea from Bell is that it was only the first part of his sentence. In 1935, after his passing, Bell was quoted in The Winona Times as saying:

“When one door closes another door opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.”

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Good Things Happen to Other People

Do you ever have that feeling that good things only happen to other people? Your friends are the ones who take the cool vacations, your coworkers are the ones who get promoted, your neighbors seem to be getting new stuff all the time?

Much can be said about finding contentment in spite of all that, but have you ever noticed that we often read the Bible the same way? Good things happen to people in the Bible, not to us. Moses parts the sea, David conquers Goliath, Solomon gets to be the rich king, and Peter walks on water. Without realizing it, we can often read things and turn the whole story into a bit of a fairytale since nothing like that happens to us.

Consider the person of Abraham in the Old Testament. Along with Moses, he’s a big deal. Even today he is highly esteemed by Jews, Muslims, and Christians alike. Abraham had his own lucky moment through an unbelievable promise God gave to him. It is repeated often in the text, but we first find it in Genesis chapter twelve.

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