Disruptive Witness

Causes are as easy to pick up as they are to put down.

I really enjoyed this topic in the book. We are people of cause. A lot of people will follow a cause because of their peers. They do not really care about the cause but think it is cool because their friends are doing it. Stop being part of a cause because it is cool. Pursue a cause that you are personally invested in. Stop letting the world pick your cause. When we let the world choose our causes, we live a half-hearted mission.

How on earth can we redeem each moment for him if we are so absorbed by the next thing that we forget he exists at all?

Sometimes, I think we live for the next best thing or event in our lives. We do not understand the concept of being still and trying to learn in the moments. I have learned the faster I go, the less I learn. We miss moments because we rush through them. The same can be said with God. We live from our computer screen to our cell phone screen and miss moments with God. I have been trying to go to the mountains once a week because that is my time to be still. It helps me hit the pause button and be still. As I look at the mountains, I realize that this world was not created overnight. So why then do we try to overnight our moments with God? Stop making God UPS and learn to rest in Him and with Him.

The mourning we experience reflects the reality that each human life is significant and made in the image of God. 

This statement is so true. It is always hard to hear of someone dying. You might have not known the individual very well, but your heart still breaks for the person. It does not matter if the person mourning is a Christian, their heart still breaks for that individual. My old college pastor told a story once that he was invited to speak at a young person’s funeral. He did not know the person, but he said it was a very sad time. At the end, he gave an opportunity to accept Christ. A lot of people in that room accepted Christ and lots of tears were shed. That story has stuck with me because they were mourning the loss of God’s creation, but that day mourning was turned into joy because people were saved, and love came in.

Alan did a great job writing this book. It really makes you think about how I can become a better witness in the world. We have to do better. We have to stop fighting our battles over social media and start listening more. We have let our causes be our voice instead of letting the love of God speak through us. So, are you ready to be a true witness? If so, get this book.

Family Matters

This past Monday I was at a Catalyst One Day event in Atlanta, GA. It was a great day full of great leadership advice but one talk really hit home. I’m a single guy running a nonprofit but this talk helped me understand how to plan my life when I do get married. It was the first session of the day from Andy Stanley entitled Family Matters. Here are a few take away points from his talk.

We wanted to create a family that wanted to be together when they didn’t have to be together

Andy went on to tell a story about how his family went on trips together. Not once have his kids asked if they could bring a friend with them. His family enjoys being together. They do not have to have the kid’s friends to enjoy themselves. They enjoy each other’s company.

Your greatest contribution may not be something you do, but someone you raise

I shouted when Andy made this statement. Too often we hear of stories from the kids of pastors or even leaders who work all the time and neglect their kids at home. We hear of stories where kids go crazy and get involved with activities that the parents would not be happy with. Family first and then work, sometimes saying no at work will save your kids at home.

Pray together at every stage of life

Andy told a story about how they pray every night with their kids. They would all gather in one room and pray together at a certain time. When the kids got older they did stairwell prayers. They would just meet at the stop of the stairwell to pray. Prayer is the key in growing together as a family. There is no better way to bring a family together than to pray.

Prioritize your marriage on your calendar

Andy told a story about a time when he was coaching one of his kid’s baseball team and told the parents, “I won’t be here for the next two games. My wife and I are taking a trip together.” The parents were stunned that they take a trip together without the kids. The parents of the team were saying, “we haven’t taken a trip together as a couple for years.” This is what I got out of this story: anytime people are doing less of something is probably a good indicator of what needs to happen more. Plan trips with your wife every few months. It can only make your marriage stronger.

Nobody at home should feel like they are competing with somebody at work

I don’t remember any of the stories that Andy told about this but this point is huge. Once you start neglecting your time with family for work, you will start to lose their respect and they will feel that you don’t care. I have heard of marriages falling apart because husbands were working more and more and not spending time with their family. Don’t neglect your family for work.

Eat at the dinner table as a family

Andy’s wife loves to cook. He said that 3-5 times a week they would eat together. His wife was in charge of planning meal times around the kid’s schedule. His wife would let the kids know a week in advance of the day and what time they would be eating together. I LOVE THIS! This is something I will for sure do with my family. Quality time with the family is the most important event. You can’t beat food, time with family, and conversations. A night at the dinner table with family is far better than a night at a restaurant.

These are just some of the points from his message. These are the ones that one day I will put into practice with my family. Hope you can use some of these points in your life now or in the future with your family.