Consequences

Air India Memorial Ireland

Okay, confession time. I have to admit I let something escape my notice.

And I wasn’t supposed to.

In fact the Bible says, Don’t let this fact escape your notice.

I let that escape my notice, too.

I’m starting to see a pattern here… my notice has holes in it.

Anyway, it’s on my radar now, and I’m noticing like crazy.

Here’s what I’m talking about…

But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day (2 Peter 3:8).

Oh, that.

We all know what that means, right? [click to continue…]

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ChickenSomebody just stumbled into a chicken-and-egg situation. And I’m not talking about foxes in the henhouse.  This is more of the “What came first?” variety. And the answer to that proverbial question has profound implications for your life.

Here’s the back story…

The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently published a report outlining how the average American spends his or her money.  Assuming you’re average, you spend a third of your income on housing, 17% on transportation, 13% on food, 11% on insurance, and 7% on healthcare. Entertainment lags back at 5% and the average American gives 4% to churches or charities. Interesting, there was no mention of debt service, at least in the report I read.

Of course, who’s average, right? So Derek Thompson of The Atlantic did some more figuring.  He split up income categories into quintiles – the top 20%, the bottom 20%, and the three in the middle. He then compared how the top fifth spend their money proportionally, compared to the bottom fifth.

Would it come as a shock that there is a difference? [click to continue…]

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An audio drama with four characters:

A Narrator,

The Imagined Voice of the Holy Spirit,

King David,

and Bob Dylan

(Note:  If you’re reading this via email or RSS feed, this post is best read from the site by clicking on the title above.   And now… on with the drama…) [click to continue…]

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It was a surprising experience – seeing old friends, and people I had said good-bye to almost ten years earlier in that south Mississippi town.  I was surprised at the warmth of their response.  I was surprised at the depth of their respect for me.  I was surprised at the intensity with which they prayed and expected good things from this youth retreat I was to lead.  I was surprised at how many names I remembered, and how natural it still felt to love them – even though I had not seen them in so long a time.

Needless to say, there was a rush of memories.  Like the time I borrowed Don’s reel-to-reel tape recorder, and he said to me at least three times, “Please lock it up in your office.”  I forgot.  Don didn’t.  He went back to check the church the next morning, and there was his tape recorder.  (Pause here to shudder). 

There were memories of the homes where we held Bible studies.  Memories of the King’s Inn – the Christian coffee house we started (the sign still hung outside the deserted building). 

I also was reminded of the married adult retreat I was asked to help lead while I was there – and wound up being the only single person on the trip.  This really entertained everyone when the other retreat leader was doing his session on marital intimacy.  I was not amused. [click to continue…]

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Maybe it’s because I majored in history in college.  Maybe it’s because I’m an explorer at heart (not always a good thing).  Maybe it’s because I’m a typical man who hates to ask for directions, or maybe it’s because I often wind up in places I didn’t intend to go.  But regardless of the reason, one of the most common questions I ask myself is, “How’d I wind up here? 

That’s a pretty handy thing if you want to stay out of the bad neighborhoods, the dead ends, or the “I told you so’s” in the future.

But wouldn’t it be more helpful to have a bit of a roadmap ahead of time?  Maybe to get some directions that apply to whatever path I or you think we’re on? [click to continue…]

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You're closer to death than ever.

You're closer to death than ever.

Jeff, a very gracious and thoughtful reader, made the following comment on my post about the LifeVesting Principle of Abundance:

I have been seeking God’s truth for a while now and many of the things you said here coincide with what has been revealed to me. Except one- that we have one life. I’m not here to dispute anyone else’s faith or beliefs. Whatever one person feels about God is probably necessary for that person’s spiritual growth. However, i just feel compelled to say that one thing that I have come to understand is that we have many lives. Again, if you truly believe we have “one shot”, then I am not here to judge your faith. I just think that those who read this should at least explore the possibility of reincarnation. I think that the idea that God would give us one chance is contradictory to his nature, and his plan.

Jeff’s ideas and request (that we should at least explore the possibility of reincarnation) actually speaks to a fifth principle of LifeVesting – the principle of Eternity.  For the sake of review, The first four “Laws of LifeVesting” are as follows (they’re built around the acrostic, Get A.L.I.F.E.):

Abundance: I live in an abundant universe, created by an abundant God, who wants me to have an abundant life.

Legacy:  I have the power to influence and bless others long after my life on earth is over.

Increase:  I will receive an increase on my life choices in proportion to my willingness to invest and wait.

Freedom:  I will be served by the people and things I invest in and serve.

The Principle of Eternity says:  I have the opportunity to affect the quality of eternity by the choices I make.

I would be interested to know your thoughts about Jeff’s comments; here are mine. [click to continue…]

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(A Turning Point Story)

Pam was 15 and pregnant.  Somehow, in the wake of some poor choices, however, she made a good one.  Pam decided not to get an abortion, and a young man – an all-star outfielder in his high school – lives today because of that decision.  But Pam’s decision was costly, because her family didn’t approve.  Pam needed a place to go.  So at a time when our own children were four and two, Pregnant Pam came to live with us.

We helped arrange a private adoption, and the time came for Pam’s baby to be born.  Robin was committed to walking with Pam through all of this, so she stayed at the hospital with her, and I kept the little ones at home.  Having been through all of this together, the kids and I were excited about seeing Pam’s baby.  So we planned a little trek up to Medical Center East in Birmingham.

Being something of a hospital veteran, I decided on this Saturday to go in through the Emergency Room.  I herded my little brood through the waiting room, through the double doors, and into the elevator.  After a delightful visit, we reversed the process – into the elevator, back through the double doors, breezing through the ER waiting room.  The kids were walking ahead of me, self-assured and chattering away.  They marched through the exit doors and started down the sidewalk toward the car.

[click to continue…]

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