On the Brink – The Prisoner’s Message

fatherI read an interesting story the other day. It went something like this:

A prison decided to offer their prisoners a small gift. They would give each prisoner the ability and supplies to write their mother on Mother’s Day. They provided the cards, envelopes and stamps. Every prisoner in the prison did it.

The prison was very happy with what the prisoners did and the impact it had on them, so they decided to extend the same offer on Father’s Day. The provided the cards, envelopes and stamps. Not a single prisoner made a card or sent one out.

When a father fails his job as the leader, the family falls apart. If you are a father or a father-to-be, please make sure your family doesn’t fall apart. I’d say the unspoken and unwritten message to the father spoke louder than the card to the mother.

On the Brink – Making an Impact

cactussepiaEveryone in the world makes an impact. Sometime, with someone in their life, they will make an impact. It is said even the shyest of introverts will impact 10,000 people in their lives. Now, whether you leave a positive impact or a negative impact will determine what kind of leader you are.

Recently, I wrote an article on people asking God for a sign. I had a friend happen to go to my site that day. She read my article and wrote me a comprehensive email about how it impacted her. She gave me permission to put part of her response below:

I completely agree with what you’re saying… why should we ask God for a sign? He’s already given us plenty! It’s both our doubtful, sinful nature, and our sinful human pride. I really think that’s why we always want God to show us a sign is because we have that sinful human pride… we always feel that He should prove himself to us. The main reason why that particular post you wrote struck me was because I experienced (a couple of years ago) a similar scenario of such doubt that I was, in the back of my mind, waiting for God to “prove himself” to me.  I was just indulging in my sinful nature and wanting a “sign” to know He’s there.

After all of that, I remember just reminding myself to trust God… and then a few minutes later, after I had realized that He really has already given me plenty signs, He actually did give me the “sign” I asked for… which made me feel incredibly humbled and just overwhelmed. I mean, here I was doubting that God would actually keep His promises that He would never leave me nor forsake me; I was asking my Creator, who created all heavens and the earth, for a sign. So, yeah, I just cried after that because I felt so humbled… I mean, God knew I was going to be alright. He knew I was well taken care of in His arms. He did not need to actually show me the sign I had asked Him for. My sinful pride had been completely torn down because I realized… why am I not trusting God? Why does God have to prove himself to me? I know He’s there… He said so in His own Word! That “doubting Thomas” hits us all sometimes, though!

I am honored and humbled to get such a response from someone who God impacted through me.

On the Brink – Lessons from a Dog

collieLast night, Tippy did now want to go to her kennel. That statement would probably make more sense after reading the following article from this last November:

My family has an awesome Border Collie/Black/Brown Lab mix dog named Tippy (though my younger brother calls here, “Tippydog”). She is a great dog and is always playful and happy (or as happy as you can say a dog could be). She is one of the best dogs I have ever had and we have gone through our fair share of dogs.

Anyway, just the other day, I was putting Tippy away into her kennel. I sent her in but didn’t lock the door. I walked away and a few seconds later Tippy followed me out. I understood her confusion so I started walking back towards the kennel.

Now, Tippy is the kind of dog, when you have the right tone and if you get close to her, she will squat on the ground like if you were going to throw her a stick (in Tippy’s case a frisbee). For some reason, when I started walking towards the kennel, Tippy got down on her front legs and wagged her tail. She was actually happy to go back to her kennel!

I found this kind of strange. Why would Tippy be happy to have me bring her to her kennel? Only time she did that was if I had just brought her food and she had already had a bowlful of food in her kennel. I didn’t understand it . . . then I shivered.

Of course, it was 20 degrees Fahrenheit out. It was freezing, freezing cold. No wonder Tippy was happy to get my approval to go to her kennel! She wanted to go to sleep in her warm bed. But, she wanted my approval.

Well, although that was a long story, there is a good point to it. Tippy wanted to go . . . was happy to go to her kennel because it was cold out. Christians can be much the same way.

If it is a normal day, they don’t want to do what Christ commands (go and make disciples). Instead, they would rather run around in the nice, hot day.

However, if the environment is changed, then the Christians will be happy to do what Christ says and can actually have a real impact. How?

Today, we have this view that Christians need to go into the world and play under its rules in order to witness. But, what if we tried it the other way around? What if we brought non-Christians under our rules?

For example, if you adopt a kid, that kid becomes part of your family. You do not except how he acts, you apply the rules and the kid changes to them. The same thing can happen with this world.

If we can effectively create communities that are centered on Christ and counter the secular culture of today, then we can introduce the un-saved into the counter-culture and their lives will be changed.

Just last night, Tippy did not want to go to her kennel. It was fairly warm out and her kennel held nothing she needed right then. She was content to frolic about and only seek shelter when absolutely needed. What, combined with the above article, do you think about Tippy and her attitude to life?

On the Brink – “I Helped That One!”

starfish52The tide came in high at night. The little girl and her parents watched the moon pull the water further up along the shore. Eventually the little girl fell asleep and she was brought back to her house and laid in bed.

The next day, the little girl ran out to see if the tide was still coming up. When she looked at the receding line of the water, she noticed thousands of shapes on the sand. She jumped onto the drying sand and approached one of the shapes. It was a starfish. The sun was coming up and starting to bake them.

The little girl finally got the courage to pick up one of the starfish and gently place it in the water. She pushed it a little deeper, then decided to throw it further into the ocean. She picked up another one and did the same process.

She kept doing this for hours. Still thousands of starfish remained on the sand. The sun was getting hotter. Finally her parents came out. Her mother said, “honey, there are too many to save all of them.”

Her dad bent down and looked her in the eyes and said, “sorry, you can’t help them all.”

The little girl bent down, grabbed a starfish and put it in the water. She looked back and said, “I helped that one!”