You’re Not Just Anything

The next time you’re tempted to say, “I’m just a ______” when talking about what you do I want to encourage you to think differently. You’re not JUST anything. You are an ARTISAN. A partner of God using the unique gifts and opportunities He has given you to co-create a better today and a brighter tomorrow. You may deliver babies or stay at home all day with one. You might load trucks or maybe you design them. You may pick up trash or design solutions to recycle it. Whether you’re the CEO or make the copies, YOU MATTER. Whatever your circumstance, YOUR WORK MATTERS. So be present in that moment, THIS moment, and work at it with all of your heart. Wake up, even on Mondays, with holy anticipation and a smile in your heart that delightfully asks God, “What do we get to do together today in your creation?” We don’t live for the weekends we live for the glorious task we’re given today. It’s not TGIF it’s TGIM. Because HE has invited US to collaborate in countless expressive ways. Not only a few hours on Sunday but as we interact and intersect. Whether from a coffee shop or a cubicle, a home or a construction site, make it a better place by the way you participate. Co-create faith, hope, and love in the image of the Creator who crafted you. No, you’re not “JUST a ________.” You’re a _________, JUSTLY, lovingly, and creatively working in the kingdom of […]

Z’ekah for #DACA

In light of yet another divisive political decision (this time the rescinding of DACA), I’d like to invite you to consider a narrative way to think about the positions we take on issues where there are marginalized, oppressed, or powerless people involved.  This narrative arises from a compassionate God of justice who invites us to remember…and to participate. We begin with a Hebrew root word — tsaaq.  This describes a cry or a shriek when an individual or a group of people are calling out desperately for help.  I will use the transliterated z’ekah here to describe this word as the act of crying out. I invite you to follow this trajectory with me in God’s unfolding narrative. After the fall of humanity… when sin has tainted God’s perfect creation, we see how quickly and how far humanity has fallen. What began as an intimate partnership, in which Adam and Eve are invited to co-care for God’s creation, devolves into a tragic question that still plagues humanity today. It is a question on the lips of Cain who has just committed a tragic deed of injustice in murdering his brother. And here we come to our Hebrew word – z’ekah.  The blood of Abel z’ekah’d to God.  It’s a strange description but the powerless blood of dead Abel cried out for justice in the face of a horrific oppression.  Perhaps more disturbing is Cain’s response – a tragic question posed to the Creator – Am I my brother’s keeper?  Injustice. […]

More

One of my favorite things about following Jesus is this:  There. Is. Always. More. Let those words sink in for a moment.  No matter where you are in your journey right now, these words are true. But it’s so easy to settle. Perhaps because we’re satisfied far too easily.  We find ourselves glazed over staring at a screen in our hand. Measuring our worth in “likes.” Just doing the minimum. Checking off the boxes. This lyric in Derek Webb’s song, Wedding Dress, captures it bluntly: “I am so easily satisfied by the call of lovers so less wild That I would take a little cash Over your very flesh and blood” We seem to so easily trade the real for the artificial.  This is the work of a thief determined to “steal, kill, and destroy” (John 10:10) fullness of life that has been offered by the author of life to each of us. It seems that more times than not it’s subtle. Vibrant faith gradually becoming jaded. Joy creeping toward cynicism. Passion devolving into boredom. “This is as good as it gets,” the enemy whispers.  Slowly stealing life, killing hope, and eroding confidence in the Father’s life-giving grace. The thief enters by “some other way” (John 10:1).  His desire is to infiltrate.  His hope is for the sheep to slowly begin to trust his voice. His determination is to lead the sheep astray – away from the shepherd who knows them best and knows what’s best for them. In response to the […]

The Refugee

Many stories about refugees have been emerging over the past few days. You may have heard this one but it’s worth sharing again. An evil leader in a small middle eastern town caused local terror by doing the unthinkable – killing infants. One of the families there was able to miraculously escape by crossing the border with their infant. They fled to a nearby country that they hoped beyond hope would take them in as refugees. The irony was that this country had once enslaved their ancestors, creating a tension that made everyone extremely uncomfortable. Thankfully, because this receiving country apparently had reasonable policies in place despite this historic tension, they took them in. And the family found life-saving refuge. Some have debated the claim. But let’s be clear. Jesus was a refugee. And the implications mean something for today. Make no mistake. Mary and Joseph fled from terror with an infant Jesus. Egypt had every reason to refuse them because of extreme past tension. They did not. Perhaps they actually had reasonable policies in place. Either way, could they have ever known that as they allowed them entry, they were opening their doors to the Savior of the world?  Oh the irony. This same nation whose leader had once killed Hebrew babies now took in a Hebrew baby whose own leader was killing…Hebrew babies. “But that was another time, different circumstances, and THAT infant was the actual Messiah,” we might all too quickly object. And then we remember.  We remember that refugee […]

Lasso The Moon

I wrote and delivered the following as a 9 minute talk at Q Commons in Nashville hosted at Lipscomb University, February 26, 2015. I once convinced my children that I lassoed the moon. Oh, the beautiful power of imagination. It was the perfect night to pull off such a caper. Windy, partly cloudy, and the illusion of a full moon racing across the sky. Inspired by my favorite movie character, George Bailey, I stooped down, picked up an invisible “magic” lasso and said, “Hey kids, watch this!” as I flung it skyward, capturing not only the moon, but the imaginations of two wide-eyed children who dared to imagine with me. And though it defied all logic, they dared to believe. A few short years ago I dared to imagine how love could be embodied as business. Not just business on a mission or for a mission or even with a mission. But business as mission. Business as a vehicle for the advancing kingdom of God. Business that invited the consumer to be consumed in a bigger story. But I had no business starting a business. I didn’t have the training, the education, or the experience in business. My limited business experience came from selling golf balls as a kid growing up near a golf course. (That story is here.) Even so, I dared to imagine. And that imagination turned into creation as I co-founded The Well Coffeehouse as a way to participate in the kingdom of God. The Well was designed as an […]

Golf Balls & Lemonade: How I Learned To Be An Entrepreneur

Golf Balls & Lemonade: How I Learned To Be An Entrepreneur Maybe I was born to be an entrepreneur.  I spent several years of my childhood growing up in a middle class, suburban neighborhood surrounded by a country club. It wasn’t a fancy golf course in any sense of the word.  If it had been, this story may have never been told.  All I knew was it felt like one big, amazing playground.  As one of our countless adventures, my friends and I would sneak our bikes onto the golf cart paths for some pretty amazing joy rides that required dodging flying golf balls and oncoming golf carts.  Thank goodness my little sister never flew off my handlebars where she liked to ride. A couple of times a week we’d venture over to the golf course clubhouse to buy a coke and a snack from the vending machine with the four quarters we saved up for the purchase. Don’t tell but sometimes they’d even let us into the bar area and let us buy a coke from the fountain.  I listened as golfers boasted outrageous tales of their prowess on the course, laying claim to 400 yard shots off the tee into the wind and onto the green.  They’d describe hitting the flag out of the sand trap and sinking 30 foot putts in the rain…with their eyes closed.  But I knew better.  Because I watched.  From the woods. My friends and I spent much of our time looking for lost golf balls in those […]