Monthly Archives: March 2012

Paid Forward

After a week of contemplating and praying about what to do with the reverse offering that we received from Heartland, God answered by placing a situation almost literally in our front yard.  As I drove home from work this evening, I spotted a car with its hood up on a side street 4 houses down from us.  There were no other cars or people around when I passed, so it appeared like the owner of the car still needed some help.  I got home, changed clothes, and grabbed the envelope with the $80.  RJ and I walked down the street to see if we could help and to bless this person with the reverse offering.  By the time we got there, we saw two men standing outside of the car and a woman off to the side on a cell phone.  We walked up to the men and asked if they needed anything.  The owner of the car thanked us and said that a tow truck was on the way.  The owner’s brother, the other man standing by the car, mentioned that the car had some clutch issues.  The car was a station wagon of some sort, a Saturn or Honda I believe, was at least 10 years old, and it appeared that a clutch problem would put a healthy dent in the owner’s finances.  I explained the reverse offering and let them know that our family wanted to bless them with our portion of the offering to help cover the expense of fixing the car.

The car owner’s eyes began to tear up and he tried to decline the money, telling me that he appreciated it, but that he could not accept the gift because there are people who need it more than him.  I politely refused to take the money back by telling him that he should keep what he needed or felt compelled to use, and then bless someone else with the rest.  At that point, he hugged me and thanked me again.  They asked where we go to church, and when I told him Heartland, they said that they were familiar with the church.  The brother and his wife asked if we knew Kevin, who was previously Heartland’s Worship Pastor and is now at Church of the Resurrection.  The owner’s brother and sister-in-law attend COR, but had previously attended Heartland on a couple of occasions specifically to watch and listen to Kevin play guitar.  RJ and I stood there and talked with this family for a little while, and in the course of the conversation found out that this money could not have come at a better time for him because he has had some financial problems recently.  We also found out that the brother and sister-in-law had invited the owner of the car to church with them, had given him a Bible, and just talked to him in general about God on a few occasions because he was “somewhat of an atheist.”  After a bit, there were handshakes and hugs all around again when the tow truck arrived.  We said our goodbyes and parted ways, during which time the owner of the car told me that he would only use part of our gift and would later add to it so that he could also bless others.

On the way back home, RJ told me that he was glad he came with me after all.  So am I because he saw firsthand the results of listening and staying faithful to God.  God is good.

Categories: Faith | Leave a comment

What Do I Want?

I had a conversation with my wife via Facebook the other day in which she indicated a desire to talk later that night.  She wanted to sit down together and make a list of things that we want individually and as a family, and then to pray over these things.  Earlier in the conversation, we had discussed a different topic, so I thought she meant we should make our lists as they pertained to that issue.  Come to find out she meant that we should discuss what we wanted financially, career-wise, from ourselves, and from life in general, and then pray about whether those things aligned with God’s will for us and how we could best achieve them.  My misunderstanding led to a minor argument because I kind of felt blindsided by the weight of the question, so I didn’t have much of an answer, and she thought that I should have because I had all day to think and pray on her question.  Now it’s almost a week later, and I still don’t have a good answer to her question.  I’m also probably not earning any brownie points by writing this post since she wanted to do this together.  But this is how I best express my thoughts and feelings, so here goes.

I don’t know how I want this to materialize, but I want to have financial stability to pay all of our monthly obligations and have enough to save something back, and the freedom to spend a bit here and there on things that we want without having to sacrifice things that we need.  I want my wife and kids to experience vacations like I had as a kid, to Disney World and Washington, D.C., among many other places.  I wish that I could afford to finally take my wife on a much-deserved honeymoon after ten years of marriage.  I want to be successful, though I don’t even know how I define success.  I need to properly provide for my family.  Even though those things are important and real, they still seem like superficial desires that only hint at what my wife was truly asking.

Every day I yearn to find my passions in life and to somehow turn those into a career.  I want to wake up every morning with excitement because I get to spend my day doing something meaningful that I love.  I need to have the ability to look at my life and not think that the best opportunities to make something of myself are behind me, that it’s not too late to decide what I want to be when I grow up.  I hunger for the ability to forgive myself for my past mistakes and to learn how to live life with no regrets because those mistakes have made me who I am today.  I want to be able to say every day that I did my absolute best to let others, especially my wife and kids, experience Christ’s love through me.  I want to know that I made a difference in this world. Like many others, I have a desire to know that it matters to the world that I’m alive, that life as a whole is better because I exist.

I wish that I was more like my dad, someone who just somehow knows how to fix almost anything that’s wrong around the house or with a car and puts others, especially his family, first without even having to think about it.  I want to be like his father who was kind and generous and was able to grow the best fruits and vegetables you’ve ever tasted year after year in his own back yard.  I want to be more like my uncle, my dad’s brother, who has the ability to envision new business ventures in his mind, and has the courage to try to make them a reality and who, more importantly, has an unwavering faith in God.  I want to follow the words in James 1:19 (NIV) and be “quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.”  I want to be a man who my wife is proud to call her husband, who my parents are proud to call son, and one who my kids can look up to and be proud to call ‘Dad’.

But right now, more than anything, I want to know how to answer my wife’s question.

Categories: Random Babbling | 1 Comment

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