Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Excited to be Featured on TheologyMix.com

Hi, everyone!

This week, I'm very honored and excited to have my article, "Depression and the Holidays" featured on TheologyMix.com

They have just recently launched their brand new website and it looks fantastic. The three grown daughters of a fellow author, John I. Snyder, are the administrators and are very talented at what they do. Please check it out!

And, I want to wish you and your family a very happy Thanksgiving holiday!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Working Together as Christians can be Rewarding

Recently, our congregation was involved in a community service project, called “Community Care.” 

It was a very hands-on type of effort which included such things as cleaning out people’s gutters, fixing exterior doors and windows, replacing fascia boards, pulling weeds, installing shutters, pressure washing home-siding, and a large amount of scraping and painting. It was a lot of hard work, but definitely well worth the effort.

On the Friday, a few of us, primarily retirees, did quite a lot of prep-work to get ready for the big painting job on the Saturday. I’ve got to be honest with you – I was more than a little concerned that we had bitten off more than we could chew. 

If you’ve every tried to scrape loose paint off an older home to prepare a good and paintable surface, then you know from first-hand experience that it’s hard to know when to quit. The more you scrape, the bigger the job seemingly becomes. So I just wasn’t sure that we would have the time and/or manpower to complete the work in time.

But, I’ve got to say—it’s amazing what 35 or more energetic and focused Christians can do when they set their minds to a common task! The sky’s the limit!

We started on our big painting job Saturday morning at around 8:45am, after a hearty breakfast together, which was prepared by some of our sweet ladies in the church fellowship hall. By 11:45am, most of the house had received not only one but two coats. I couldn’t believe my eyes. 

Things went so smoothly, except for when I got stung on my left ear by an aggressive wasp. OUCH! It stung like fire, but a combination of ice and a copper penny did the trick to draw out the bad stuff—though my ear did start to swell up.

We took a break for a delicious taco salad lunch at the noon hour, got back on the jobsite by 1pm and were cleaning our brushes and picking up trash and debris by 3:00pm. It was astounding to me how quickly things went. I really couldn’t believe it. But, then I suppose that the group was able to cumulatively accomplish hundreds of hours of work in a relatively short timeframe. 

That’s how it’s supposed be in the body of Christ, each member doing their part and using their gifts and talents to the glory of God.

Some of the skilled older men from the congregation had helped with setting up scaffolds and accomplishing some of the more technical carpentry work, for which I was grateful. The younger ones, primarily college students put their efforts into the painting dimension of the work and property cleanup.

Working side by side, sharing a unified goal and spiritual purpose between us, and everyone being willing to do their share of the work produced success. Of course, God had provided some wonderful, sunny weather to allow us to accomplish the work we set out to do.

After the work was complete, I thought to myself, “Oh, ye of little faith!” I had significantly underestimated what was possible when dedicated disciples are willing to work together in peace and harmony, and give sacrificially of their time and energy. It was truly inspiring for me to see this dynamic at work.

There was a sort of synergy present, whereby we each encouraged one another to keep on working when we grew tired, balanced each other’s strengths and weaknesses, and whereby each person unleashed their own respective know-how, skills and talents to contribute to the work. It was a beautiful thing to behold. And it was such an honor and privilege to be just a small part of the work.

I love projects like this because it allows individuals in the church to personally participate who may be shy, those who may possess special hidden talents to shine, or who are starving for good Christian fellowship.

When we work for the Lord and not for men, and with all our hearts, God will bless our efforts to his glory. That’s what it’s all about!