It’s becoming (already become)?) something of an epidemic. We love our phones and technology, perhaps a bit too much and to the point of damaging our relationships with those around us. Family, friends, co-workers, bosses – they all see you catching a glimpse at that updated score or new batch of Twitter posts and wonder, are you really listening to me?
The best relationship currency we can gain today is extended eye-to-eye contact. It’s value has gone up as it’s become more rare, and makes you different in how you treat people. Want to do something really crazy? Make it a point that the next time you’re going fishing, hiking, out in the yard with your kids, or playing golf with your buddies, leave your phone behind. Once upon a time long, long ago, people would simply give others a heads-up as to where they’d be and an approximate time of return instead of a play-by-play on their GPS location.
For more good images on how smartphones can be ruining your life, go here.
For years Travis Widner was the pit bull of hs skinhead group, a man whose reputation for violence and willingness to administer it preceded him. Then he met his future wife Julie at Nordicfest 2006, a heavy metal concert for white supremacists. Soon they both realized the lifestyle wasn’t what they wanted and decided to leave the movement together. Travis became a dad to her four children before adding another son with Julie. His focus on life had changed.
The problem was that Travis’ inward change didn’t mirror his outer one, literally, due to the numerous facial tattoos showing his former allegiance to being a skinhead. Now wanting to provide for his family, employers weren’t exactly lining up for his resume. The symbols of pride became something he hated. “I was totally prepared to douse my face in acid,” he said.
A painful series of 25 operations would eventually be needed to uncover the numerous tatoos on his face and hands. His entire face felt like the worst sunburn he’d ever had and his hands came to resemble blistered boxing gloves. The doctor performing the operations decided early on that Widner would need to be put under general anesthetic to due to the amount of pain he was in. To see Widner’s transformation, go to this gallery at CBS News or a Google Image search.
Eventually, though, it happened. The hours of a laser slowly eating away at the ink just under his skin’s surface, the waiting on blisters to subside, the stares of people who first saw him as a monster instead of someone trying to change his path – it all came to an end.
Many of you know Michael Tanner as a husband, dad, and the guy you see every Sunday and Wednesday at CFBC. He’s also a blogger and produces at podcast at Michael Tanner.org for guys looking to live the way Christ would have them to. His most recent podcast refers to something many struggle with – prayer.
Do you ever feel like your prayers do not reach above the ceiling? Ever wonder if God really hears and answers your prayer? Does your mind wander during your prayer time? Do you struggle to maintain a real conversation with God?
Go through Michael’s previous posts to find topics on leadership, fatherhood, and time management. The “I Am Persuaded” podcast is available on his site, but also for download through iTunes.
Over the weekend, a runner for the University of Oregon had a very public, and rough, lesson in not finishing.
There’s a temptation to pile on, but think about how many times we’ve been this guy. We were done with something. We were there. We’d won. Then, we had to say one more thing; make sure we took one more victory lap before something went horribly wrong and it all came back on us. It’s not pretty and in that moment you want to punish yourself much more than everyone else would. The greatest humilation is the type that’s self-inflicted, because we know better.
“You can’t judge me!”
The logic goes something like this. Yeah, I just did that bad thing, but you’re not perfect. So, you have no right to point out that bad thing I just did.
Sounds fair. Who wants to be preached at by Kanye about showing some humility? Talked down to by Alec Baldwin on controlling your temper? Given a lesson on fiscal responsibility by anyone associated with the federal government?
The logic follows, though, that as long as I can point out your faults I have a guilt-free card since there are no perfect people. Should we continue on this thread, that means we have no use for rules, jails, or any form of law enforcement. That doesn’t make sense, of course, so we need a judge who is faultless. And it’s a good thing we have one.
For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself. And he has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of Man.
(John 5:26-27 ESV)
This isn’t the Jesus we typically want to see. To our detriment, we prefer the feathered hair, placid-faced Jesus in the popular paintings hanging in your grandma’s hallway; you know, the one where he’s looking up to a corner. That’s Nice Jesus. Pal Jesus. Nonthreatening Jesus.
Jesus was full of grace, yes, but he had little patience for people who refused to “get it.” That was typically because their blindness came from their focus on something else, such as when disciples were drawn to seats of power in His kingdom.
The Bible has a lot to say about judgement, such as don’t call out someone else without realizing your own sinfulness. That doesn’t mean when you see a friend headed down a wrong path you don’t do something; it just means to recognize your own faults too and treat the situation with the appropriate grace. Being silent does neither party good.
With Easter Sunday approaching, we’re expecting a lot of people to attend the three services hosted at our church. If you can, attending one service and lending a hand in another would help tremendously. Where could we used the extra help? Check below. Thanks in advance for reaching these folks ASAP.
Preschool. Yes, there will be visitors and it’s hard to overstate how important it will be for them to know we have plenty of loving people ready to care for their child. Contact Pam Loy – firstname.lastname@example.org.
Greeters. If you can give a good handshake and say “Hi,” you’re qualified. Contact Jim Ballew – email@example.com – or Jimmy Pressley – firstname.lastname@example.org.
Security. No, you don’t need tactical training. Contact Joe Maddox – email@example.com.