Tuesday, January 17, 2012

What is important?

I sat on Sunday night in disgust of the way the Packers played.  A team that is 15-1 in the regular season comes away one and done in the post season.  How does that happen?  I started looking at the stats to answer that question… THREE fumbles (should have been four but the refs were gracious)… FOUR sacks given up (one of which was a ½ second from being a touchdown)… EIGHT dropped balls (a handful of those that could have been a Touchdown and another few that would have kept the Pack from punting)… and without having to go any further, that right there summed up the loss.

I stewed on that (as if it were me actually losing and I had say in how to fix it).  I lost sleep on Sunday night.  I woke up Monday with it still on my mind and turned on the radio in the car only to hear Mike and Mike (ESPN Radio) discussing all that went wrong.  I headed across town to attend the Baptist Convention of New Mexico’s Executive Board Meeting to get hit in the face with another statistic… and this one helped me remember what is important.

As I sat in the meeting, Dr Joe Bunce told us about a possible upcoming partnership with the country of Kenya in Africa and the Southern Baptist Convention of Kenya’s Houses of Hope.  Here are the stats that stood out to me from that meeting… Kenya, a country the size of Texas, has 40 million people living in it (census 2009).  Of those 40 million, SEVEN MILLION of them are orphaned children who have lost their parents to the HIV/AIDS pandemic.  Do you realize that that is more people than the metro area of Phoenix Arizona… that is over three times more people than the ENTIRE state of New Mexico!  SEVEN MILLION orphans.  SEVEN MILLION!!!  (And I was worried about the Packers sloppy play keeping them out of the Super Bowl)

The reason for the ministry of Houses of Hope is to take James 1:27 and put it into practice… “Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.”  For $400, Houses of Hope builds a house, takes a widow from the area, places her in the house, and put a number of orphans in the house as well – teaches them basic life skills, helps with planting a garden at the house, and a number of other things.

I love sports.  I am a big fan of the Packers (NFL), the Diamondbacks (MLB), the Coyotes (NHL), and Suns (NBA).  I love college sports as well.  It amazes me how wrapped up I can get in my teams performance and how excited or disappointed I can be because of it.  I was heartbroken on Sunday night… but why?  Is it really that important and life changing if “my team” wins or loses?  When the Pack won the Super Bowl last year, did I see any royalties for being a fan?  Did I get to be a part of the parade or go to the White House… and an even better question… did it make any difference in my life (or anybody’s) a year later?  Teams win and teams lose and then it all starts over again next year.

The stats that matter are outside of sports and many times outside of us.  People are dying because they lack proper nutrition, proper medication, and proper protection from insects in their area… and what are we doing about it?

We live in a generation that has plenty and is doing little about distributing it.  We need to focus on what is important and if something is going to break our heart, lets throw the football and baseball aside, and be heartbroken by the fact that 7,000,000 Kenyan kids are orphaned (and those stats don’t get reset at the beginning of next season).

Websites to look at…   Reject Apathy - Houses of Hope does not have a website up yet but there are many other organizations that are connected with them... so just Google "Houses of Hope Kenya" to see more.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Its about time... again.

This week, Christy and I were sitting and watching some old home videos we had taken back when Camden was 2 and 3 years old.   It amazed us how much we had all changed over the last eight years… and what was just a funny, was to also see some our friends in those videos that we still see and how they have changed as well.  Each day we get older… our kids grow up and we are one step closer to eternity.  How are you investing your time?

Matthew 16:25 – Jesus said…
“If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it.  But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.”

The possibility of losing their lives was very real for the disciples as well as for Jesus.  Read discipleship implies real commitment.  It means pledging our whole existence to His service.  If we try to save our physical life from death, pain, or discomfort, we may risk losing our true eternal life.  If we protect ourselves from pain and discomfort, we begin to die spiritually and emotionally.  Our lives turn inward and we lose our intended purpose.  When we give our lives in service to Christ, however, we discover the real purpose for living.

As you read Paragon's “book for the month” Outlive Your Life by Max Lucado, I hope you will be challenged to understand you ONLY have one life… do something with it.  Don’t be that person that grinds through life and dies without ever asking "why does God have ME here."

I guess it can all be summed up with this quote from the classic 80’s movie… Ferris Bueller’s Day Off  when Matthew Broderick’s character (Ferris Bueller) says
“Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”