Sunday, September 24, 2017

Check Out My New Blog - Financially Speaking

A few weeks ago I shared that I was starting another blog.  One based on my favorite subject and the one I would most like to teach - Personal Finance.  Well, I did!  I would love it if you would click on over and take a look-see at the information shared.  Let me know your thoughts.

https://wheretherealnumbersare.blogspot.com/

For those who have asked.  No, I am not giving up on my pursuit of teaching in an academic setting.  I am currently tailoring my resume (at the advice of a friend who is an Adjunct) to the exact subject I want to teach.  As contradictory as that sounds to my favorite subject (ahem....what I linked above), I am leaning towards Business Communications.  Why?  Because, I have spent numerous years being the written and spoken voice for the companies I have worked for and enjoy the nuances of language and the cadence that comes from a well-articulated conversation and argument.

If you know of open positions at any university/college across this great country of ours that is looking to hire an Adjunct for their online program, leave it in the comments below. 

 Keeping this short on purpose - to shamelessly plug my new blog.

Click.  Sign up.  Share.

Thank you all,

M

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Bringing It Together

I watched a video a little while ago.  This mere days after reading a quote. I had a conversation with someone only yesterday.  What do all of these have in common?  On their face, they were ideas had by others.  Deeper, they all built upon a simple truth.  Bare with me as I put these all together.

The video was of  Lou Holtz giving a commencement speech, you may have seen it.  He said, "Never tell your problems to anyone.  20 % don't care and the other 80% are glad you have them."  The quote was by A.W. Tozer.  He said, "We are not to look or act like other people; rather we are to look like Christ. We are to do the things Christ would do in the power and the demonstration of the Holy Spirit." The conversation yesterday consisted of living life focused on God and becoming who He designed you to be.

You may be wondering how all of these fit together.  Honestly, I didn't see it at first either.  In fact, it was only this morning it all fell into place.  In case you don't know, I have a penchant for wanting to explain things.  I get a wee bit wrapped up in how I am perceived that I feel the insane need to explain - All. The. Details. To. Everyone.  Sure, I've learned to get a lot more selective over the years - not all that listen to you are trustworthy.  Yet, share I do. In that, I strive to become who God wants me to be by focusing on all the areas of others' lives where I think they have a better ability - meaning if I could be like that, then I will be who God wants me to be.  To do this, I have to explain away all the things that don't make me like that.

Here's the thing. God wants me to be me.  He doesn't want me to explain away all the things that I think make me unacceptable in the eyes of others.  Why?  Well, they don't care and it isn't going to change the things.  In fact, it may increase their perception, and mine...see how that works?! However, if I continue to look like Christ - living out His love for others, being His hands and feet, accepting and learning contentment for who and where I am.  That alone will create the best me I can be, regardless of what others chose to think. 

This isn't the first time this concept has been brought to my attention.  Sadly, the Lord has used less complex methods of hitting me between the eyes with it too.  However, there are some things in life we don't all learn the first time we see/hear them.  Thankfully, He is the great Teacher and I am ever the Student.

Hope this helped...if not, gave a clearer picture of how my brain works things together.

-M

Sunday, September 3, 2017

The Church

I got to thinking recently about church.  My church.  The church. And what church is.  I've been struggling with what makes a good church, what makes a great church, and what my role in both are. I know this seems like a loaded topic.  In fact, the church, as a whole, has been lamb-basted for quite some time.  First, as a Christian, I can say with a firm level of certainty that there is no level of perfection this side of eternity.  There is no person who has all the right answers and there is no set of people who are doing it all the right way.  Knowing this, I've still been struggling lately with a few things concerning the church.

My church is filled with people from all walks of life.  We have business owners, community leaders, blended families, traditional families, single-parent families, seniors, and young alike.  So what makes us any better or worse than anyone else?  The simple answer is, the people. Yes.  The broken-down, self-admitted sinners that grace the doors each and every Sunday.  You see, a church is not the place we go to meet Jesus.  No, he is there, in us.  We bring Him along when we show up.  For those who don't know Him personally, it is us, His people, they are looking to in order to meet Him.  This is both an awesome responsibility and humbling fact.

Today I went to my home church.  The church where I met Jesus for the first time.  I met Him through the loving people who brought Him with them each Sunday.  I met Him through the words spoken by a Pastor who exudes the love of Christ and wishes nothing more than others come to know Him personally.   Today's message was on Revival. About living out your life as one who has the Lord in them.  It begged me to ask, do people meet Jesus when they meet me? I'm not talking the Bible-thumping, in-your-face, you are going to burn in the pits of Hell if you don't repent and turn to the Lord right.this.minute type of meeting.  I am talking the compassionate, kind, thoughtful type of meeting.  I am talking salt and light of the Earth type of meeting. I am talking the nonjudgmental - you don't look like the kind of person I'd want to be friends with - type of meeting.

I think this is where we have to be oh so very careful.  People come to church seeking.  BUT, they come back to church for the people.  I will be the first to admit not all personalities are the easiest to get along with. However, as the church, we need to be less focused on cliques and more focused on open invitations.  When people feel like they are on the outside, begging to get in, they go away. And where do they go?  Sometimes they stop going to church altogether because the people there say they brought Jesus but honestly, they didn't show they did.   Sometimes people jump from church to church for the same reason.  There is a lot of hype on how great the church is, but I've seen first hand the way people hand select those they wish to include and how they shut the door on others - metaphorically speaking, of course.

If we are the body...
If we are to reach the lost...
If we are to be the hands and feet...
If we are to help the lost and weary...
If we are to be the temple of the Lord...

Then we must, as a whole, stop turning our nose on those who don't fit into a mold society says we/they have to fit into.  We have to stop using triage as a way of deciding if a person is worthy of our conversation, let alone a sideways glance. Jesus came for all.  He found you.  He found me.  He found each and every one of us that asked Him into our lives.  He is in us. We need to be more than present, we need to show up.

And when we show up, we will see all the broken, painful pieces that make up His church.  We will see that each person has a story.  Each person has a reason for finding His love to make them whole.  Each person is a child wholly and wonderfully made by a God who wants nothing more than to have a place in their lives.  When we see that, we can stop turning people away at the door under the false pretense we are open for all to come inside.

Programs, worship music, bulletins, Bible studies, all of the "things" lose their purpose and value when the people don't bring Jesus.  In real estate the main concept is location - the building can be a dump as long as the location is right. The same thing can be said for a church.  If Jesus comes with the people, the building is of no value because the location is already right.

I will leave you with the thing I will be reflecting on myself, this week -  Am I bringing Jesus with me wherever I go?

Have a blessed week,
-M