Archives For significance

Quit Saying My Name!

January 18, 2014 — Leave a comment

annoyed personWhere I work, they have many things that they ask of us. Just like any job, some of those things are annoying. The most annoying, I think, is that they want us to say people’s names when we are talking to them. Not just once or twice, but a very specific number of times. And this number is per sentence. “Hello Mrs. Jones, I’m calling to speak with you about something very important, Mrs. Jones. Now, Mrs. Jones, when is a good time for us to to meet, Mrs Jones?

One person I worked with took it too far, and started talking to people in the office the same way. “Hey, Rich I’m about to go to lunch Rich do you want to go with me Rich? Rich I was thinking about going to Whataburger Rich what do you think Rich?”

I sometimes would rather run my truck off a bridge than hear my own name.

I get the same treatment from businesses that call me. Recently I was in a car wreck, and the shop that was working on my car called every other day to give an update. Which is too much calling, really, but during those calls I would hear my name just about every twelve seconds.

It’s just too much. I know who I am. I know that you know who I am, too. Mostly because you keep saying it.

There are some exceptions to this, though.

When my kids are running toward me, smiling, screaming “Daddy!” I could do that all day.

When my wife calls me out of the blue and asks if I have time for lunch. I wish the answer would always be “yes”, but just to hear her voice, and hear her say my name – it always makes my day.

And to hear my Savior, calling me by name in His still, small voice – nothing in the universe compares.

You see, sometimes I get busy, and I forget about things, and I forget about people. I forget that people need to be valued, that they need to be called by name. They need to know that they are not forgotten. My kids, my family, even my customers – they all need to know that I am there for them. They need to hear me say their name!

God knows that we need this, so he has engraved our names on the palm of His hand. He will never forget who you are! Nothing is powerful enough to make Him forget any of us – not even our own sinfulness! When you need to hear your name the most, God will be there for you!

Selfies!

October 28, 2013 — Leave a comment

pic of meSelfies! You know what I’m talking about here – the pics are all over the ‘tubes. Grainy, low light, flecks of some unknown substance on the mirror. Partially clothed for the most part. Pics of you that you want the whole world to see!

Why this is a thing, I don’t know. Probably some kind of issue with vanity. I imagine we’ve all done it – hopefully most of us have not posted these self shot pics of ourselves to the internet.

To those of you that have – my hat is off to you. I never would have imagined you, sir, in that pink tutu, bowler hat, and wolf howling at the full moon t-shirt.

Honestly – there may be something wrong with some people. I mean – if you see some of these pictures what could they have been thinking? That they look good? Someone got lied to!

Please – don’t let this happen to you! I’m not saying don’t snap that pic – just please – for the love of all that’s holy – keep it to yourself!

The thing is, we all check ourselves before going out – to make sure all the hairs are where they are supposed to be, or plucked from where they aren’t, to check if something is hanging out our nose, to make sure we didn’t miss a spot with the make-up. All normal. But how do we check ourselves mentally or spiritually?

How can a person gauge for themselves what they really look like – on the inside I mean? Under all the makeup, all the layers of clothing – all the masks we wear?

What kind of mirror can we look in to get an accurate picture of what is really going on inside?

A great place to start is the Word. As you study and read God’s Word, you will see His character – and you will have opportunity to see if that character is reflected in you – in how you act, how you live, how you think, what you say and do. In fact, the Word says if a person hears the Word and doesn’t do what it says, it’s like looking in a mirror and then forgetting what you look like!

On the other hand, if you do what it says – if you accept that the way of Christ is the right and only way – then you will walk in freedom and be blessed in everything you do!

People tend to spend so much time looking at themselves because they see flaws – but what they want to see is a perfect reflection. Sin can distort how you see yourself, how you live your life, and how you see and treat others. But sin doesn’t have to be what you see in your spiritual reflection.

If you are in Christ – to the degree that He took sin onto Himself, that’s how righteous you are! There is no wrath, no anger of God waiting for you! You are righteous, pure, whole, sons and daughters of God! And if God sees you as His – if He can find no fault in you – how can you continue to find fault in yourself?

Pray right now – that you would see what God sees when He looks at you. He loves you more than you can know, He is proud of you! He wants to know you and He wants to bless you! You have to be willing to make the first move – and allow yourself to be seen by Him.

 

Crazy Ideas

August 5, 2012 — Leave a comment

ace site idea 1

I have a fairly active imagination. In other words, I’m a dreamer. It’s not a bad thing, except for that whole “loser” component that so often accompanies dreaming. Don’t get me wrong – I have a great job, and we don’t live in a van down by the river or anything. But I’m often up late at night just thinking stuff up. Most of it is rubbish, but every once in a while I come up with something that could be helpful.

Take a look at the pic above. I just got an idea while eating breakfast this morning and spent a few minutes sketching out what it might look like.

I got this idea because of my current job. I’m a claims adjuster. About 95% of what I handle are smaller water damage claims – pipe burst, water heater leak, toilet overflow. Generally losses that will cost less than $10k to repair.

What I hear every day is, “who can help me with these repairs?” If there is a covered loss that exceeds deductible, I can assign one of our approved vendors. If there’s no coverage, or the loss doesn’t exceed deductible (which is typically 1% or more in Texas!), that means your insurance company can’t help – but your house still needs to be fixed, right? What can you do then?

I can’t recommend anyone at that point. You have to find your own people and pay out of pocket, which kinda sucks. But what if there was a referal network that anyone could access – not just for home repairs, but for just about anything you could imagine? What if there was a network that existed simply to get people in touch with people who are willing to help?

I’m not talking for free, but maybe at a reduced cost, depending on what a person can or is willing to pay, compared to what a person is willing to do or provide.

Maybe this isn’t even all that original. Maybe I’m just dreaming. But maybe people who can help and who are willing to do so – sacrificially – actually exist. Maybe there are people in this world who just want to help, but don’t know who or how.

Maybe there’s something to this. It doesn’t have to be my idea, and I know others are doing similar things, and this isn’t even all that well thought out yet.

One thing I do know about myself – I love people and I love helping and most days after work I just come home and sit here. And think. I’d rather be doing – doing energizes us, it frees us to do even more. It changes other people’s lives and it changes us. I gives significance to the ones giving and receiving.

Yes – we all have our own laundry to do and yards to mow and kids to raise. But you could mow an elderly man’s lawn for free in no time. You could change the oil in a single mom’s car at very little expense to yourself – in time or money.

I think it’s time to take responsibility for those around us – to start meeting the needs of the people we drive right past 30 times a week. More than anything, I think it has to do with gratitude for the blessings I have been given, and wanting to be a good steward of those thing. It doesn’t have to be this idea, but I do think it has to be me -  I want to help! How about you?

sitting on dog

Just a few moments ago, my daughter Trinity asked me what the word “significant” means. I asked for some context, but she couldn’t give me any so I just started rattling off definitions – meaningful, important, etc. She had a blank stare at this point because I kinda went on and on about it, so I used it in a sentence – “Air plays a significant role in your ability to remain alive.”

I thought she understood at that point, because there were a few moments of silence. Then she came up with a gem of her own – “It’s like having a butt. Having a butt is significant if you want to sit down.”

Yep. That’s my kid.

She’s mostly right, though. If you want to sit, and you have a butt, you don’t even have to have a chair. It’s just built right in. It doesn’t even matter how big, how small or what shape it is – as long as you have one, you’ll always have a place to sit.

Now, obviously there’s more to significance than having a butt. Significance is something we all search for, and more often than not, never find. We’re doing it wrong, that’s why. Significance doesn’t come from who you are, what you do, the things you own or even who you know.

You can’t find significance on your own. It’s something that’s given to you.

When  I was younger, I wanted to do so much with my life. And I had it all figured out. I knew the right people, I had the right education. I was really going to be somebody! I overlooked the fact that I already was somebody, and I had nothing to prove.

When we think we have something to prove, we end up acting like we have something to prove and we all we prove is that we are insecure, alone, scared. I was all of those things and more for most of my life. I didn’t trust anybody, least of all God. I thought he was upset with me because I couldn’t do everything on my own. I thought he wanted me to be strong and succeed then he would love me.

When I was weak and a failure, I was sure he was done with me. My significance was all wrapped up in what I was doing for God – all the good things that pastors do – preaching, praying, studying, visiting people who are sick, counselling, planning events, working with committees. I did all that and a lot more and then I got so hard hearted, so tired, so burned out, that when it was over I was secretly relieved and openly scared to death because if I wasn’t a pastor, who was I?

I was no longer significant. Nobody needed me. I didn’t get the late night calls anymore, I wasn’t asked to be a guest preacher, I wasn’t asked to pray at the school board meetings. I was cut off from the people who had needed all those things from me. I was no longer needed, and it made me feel unwanted.

What I had always told people, and never understood myself is, I am significant to God. He loves me, and his grace gives me significance. I am his and I don’t have to prove anything to anyone, least of all him – because he knows me completely already, and he has already accepted me.

Significance doesn’t come from within you – because of who you are or what you do. Significance doesn’t come from those around you – friends, family, co-workers, church members. Significance can only be given to you from the one who made you, the one who redeemed you, the one who breathed life into you.

It’s not about my job or who I surround myself with or the things I accumulate in this life. It’s about resting in God and being his.

When I figured that out, everything changed. My attitude in general, the way I treated people, my thinking, my work ethic – it all became brand new. I’m not the me that you knew anymore! I’m alive, I’m significant, I’m loved and I’m His!

What makes you feel significant? Or do you feel that way at all? The source of all good things is God, and really all he asks is that you enter into a relationship with him. You bring yourself, and he gladly does everything else. He wants you! Give yourself to him, and he will show you who he created you to be!