One bright and beautiful Sunday morning, a man was loading his golf clubs into his car. It was a perfect day for golfing, and he wasn’t about to waste it.
As he closed his trunk, he saw his next door neighbor and friend loading his car too...but with his nicely dressed family. They were going to church. He thought to himself, “What a shame to waste such a beautiful day cooped up inside a building.”
So he called to his neighbor and, after exchanging pleasantries, invited his neighbor to go golfing with him that morning. The neighbor was polite in his refusal but let the man know that he was going to church with his family.
A week passed by and the next Sunday morning was even more beautiful than the previous one had been. As the man was loading his golf clubs into his car, he again saw his neighbor loading up the family to go to church.
He called to his neighbor and, once again, asked if he wanted to go golfing that morning. This time, the neighbor was a bit more firm in declining the invitation and let the man know that he and his family went to church every Sunday.
The next week, the same thing happened again. This time, though, the neighbor said, “If you want to play golf next Saturday, then I can play with you.” They agreed.
But the next Saturday it rained most all of the morning and early afternoon. So the course was closed. But by mid-afternoon, the sun came out and it was a beautiful day.
So on Sunday morning the man was getting ready to go golfing again and he saw his neighbor loading up the family to head to church services.
So he called to his neighbor and said, “Hey, since we didn’t get to play yesterday, how about today?”
This angered the neighbor. So he said, “Look, I have already told you I go to church on Sunday morning and that I do not play golf. I will not play this week or next week or the week after or ever on a Sunday morning! Do you understand?”
The man replied, “I think I do. But can I ask you one thing? This is the fourth week in a row that I’ve asked you to play golf with me on Sunday morning, but you’ve never once asked me to attend church with you. Why not?”
Do you genuinely care about your friends? Do you genuinely care about where your friends spend eternity?
Friend’s Day is here. Have/Did you invited your friends? If not, why not?
“What’s in a name?” Have you ever been asked that question? The meaning is that a name doesn’t matter. And in some cases, I would agree. But sometimes a name matters a great deal.
When I was young, I was taught that we are defined not by doing what we are expected to do, but by the actions we take when others don’t expect it.
This story, which I saw the other day on Facebook, is a great example. I don’t know who wrote it or where it originated, but it can be found on www.thedailyheadline.com.
My Dad taught me many lessons growing up, he spoke to me about honesty, respect and honor. One day when I was a young man I ran out of fuel in my car. I was a few miles from home and without a penny. I walked into a pub and asked if I could use their phone to get my Dad to come and collect me. They told me there was a payphone in the corner. I asked if they had 25 cents so I could make the call and they obliged.
My Dad came, and the following day I picked up my car. When I got home from work the next day, my Dad asked me if I had stopped off to repay the 25 cents I had borrowed. I told him “No” as I had not borrowed the money but they had just given it to me, and it was only 25 cents.
He told me to pop in and return it, then he told me why: “If you don’t return that 25 cents no one will mind, no one will even notice. However, if you make an effort to return that 25 cents, then, they will notice your actions, they will all notice. They will see that you are an honest man and they will remember you and your good example. If you ever need a favor again they will be happy to help you.”
He went on to say, “It takes a lifetime to build a good reputation, but only a moment to lose it.” He was in business for years and was very respected by all. Now he is living with me and my family because he needs constant care.
People don’t talk much these days about honor and the value of a good name, but I am proud of my good name and thankful to my Dad for it.
Proverbs 22:1 tells us: “A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.”
My family has this verse in a prominent spot in our house. When it comes to our family, our family name is very important. How we conduct ourselves outside of the house has a bearing on how people see those who live inside the house.
But we belong to another family as well… God’s family. We wear the name Christian because we are a part of His family. How we conduct ourselves each day is a reflection on Him. Our level of honesty and integrity has a bearing on how others see Him.
So, “What’s in a name?” When it comes to family (either our physical or our spiritual)…only everything!
Last week, I learned something that, I guess, I already knew: I am right about average!
I saw on the news that the average height for males in the US was just over 5 foot 9 inches and I am 5’9” tall. The average weight was...well...right at what I weigh as well.
Apparently over the last 10 or so years the average height of a male has not changed, but the average weight has increased by about 20 pounds.
I have no idea where these statistics came from or who conducted a study to figure out what the average height and weight were for people. All I know is that I am, apparently, average.
Some would interpret this to mean that there is nothing special about me, after all, isn’t that what it means to be “average”?
But, as I thought about this, it dawned on me that I am very special to at least three people: my wife and my two daughters (OK, and my mom and dad...so that makes five). So even though the world may see me as “average,” there are some folks who would say I am “better-than-average.”
And, by the way, there is One other who thinks I am worth an awful lot. In fact, He thinks I am worth so much that He was willing to give up His unique, special Son of Promise...and He did it for me!
Never ever let the world tell you that you are “just average.” Never ever let the world tell you that you are not special. Never ever let the world tell you that you are not worth anything.
God loves you so much that He sent His One and Only unique Son of Promise to reclaim you (John 3:16). Jesus loves you so much He was willing to leave heaven and come to earth and die for you (Philippians 2:5-11).
I am not average. You are not average. We are loved by God Himself. He claims us as His own. He bought us at great cost to Himself. We are very special to Him and that’s all that really matters!
On Friday, August 5 a sport spectacle like no other will commence in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: the Games of the XXXI Olympiad or the 2016 Summer Olympics. The games will close on August 21.
There will be 11,239 athletes from 206 countries, competing in 28 Olympic sports (thanks Wikipedia)...all in the span of just 19 days (there are actually some events that started today, August 3, but the Opening Ceremony isn’t until August 5).
In days long gone, this was the pinnacle of a young, amateur athlete’s career that could propel them to fame with fortune sure to follow (now the Olympics are pretty well dominated by professionals in the various applicable events).
I don’t mean to be critical of the athletes...they still practice long hours and strive to be the very best in the world at their sport. And that is exactly my point!
They dedicate their entire lives to a sport in hopes of winning a gold medal (or a championship of some sort). Untold hours are spent in training, practicing, the weight room, doing conditioning...and all for a few moments of glory.
Lest you don’t believe me, when the Olympics were held in Beijing, China (in 2008) who won the gold medal in the Individual Men’s Triathlon? Jan Frodeno from Germany did. How did I know, I looked it up on the Internet!
Mr. Frodeno trained so hard so that he could finish his swim, bike ride, and run 5.19 seconds faster than his nearest competitor...and a mere 8 years later, not too many people remember his accomplishment!
He worked so very hard for so very long and it was totally worth it for him: he achieved his goal and was the best in the world at his sport.
In 1 Corinthians 9:25, Paul says, “Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.”
In 8 years, will we remember much about Rio 2016? Probably not. But the athletes who are competing will...because they worked hard and were there.
What about your training that you are doing right now, spiritually speaking? Are you working to get a crown that will last forever?