Vacation…

So, I am off for the week…And loving it so far!

What do you do on your time off?

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how much grace?

I pulled into the driveway and parked behind two newish cars.  In front of the double garage were two boats. I guess they had lots of extra stuff, ‘cuz they had a bunch sitting on the front porch.  It was a pretty big house, with a great big porch and fenced-in backyard.  A beautiful collie greeted me at the door, along with an adorable 3-year-old boy. (Not quite as awesome as my 3-year-old, but then again, I am biased.)

Mom opened the door, and I confirmed I was at the right place. I brought the box in, and walked through living room with a SWEET red sectional that looked like it was out of an Ikea show room.  And my eyes were drawn to the awesome 40″+ flat screen on the wall.  I walked into the dining room and set my food box on their table.

Yep.  Mom had called and needed some help.  Wanted a lot more, but needed some food.  So I brought it, and this is what I found.

Now, I am immensely grateful for the opportunity to extend grace.  They will have dinner on the table tonight, and for a few nights to come.  And good stuff, cuz DCC likes to feed people.  Spaghetti, Mac & Cheese, Potatoes, the works.  But, even in the midst of my joy at helping, I was sad.

Here was a family who could stretch things enough to have a decent house and lots of toys, but couldn’t feed their kids. What I saw was a HUGE gap in mistaken priorities. But here is the rub:  do we give them unmerited grace (just like we have received?) or do we say NO, so as to not “enable their irresponsibility?”

I know this is not a NEW discussion, or one that hasn’t been hashed & rehashed hundreds of times.  But it is a valid and troubling and RELEVANT discussion.  Here are some the responses I got over on facebook:

So, what do you think?  What should our policies be in such situations?  How much grace do we show?

Grace Sighting: Help-Portrait

So, over at the Deadly Viper blog, I just spotted a way to show some amazing grace!  There is this uber-sweet movement called Help-Portrait that is calling all photographers, from amateur to professional, to take a day and find someone in need, take their picture and then give them a print.  It sounds simple, but it is an awesome way for photogs to not just TAKE pictures, but GIVE pictures.  To make the hurting, broken and lonely feel beautiful, special, and loved.  Check out these two videos.  The first is the promo, the second is a test run for Help-Portrait in Nashville.

 


Let me know if you are going to do it.  Better yet, if you do, I wanna help!  I am not much of a photog, but I would come and shoot some video to save the experience, or help however you need.

Any other grace sightings?  Share below.

 

The Wall: Terrible Beauty

Twenty years ago today, East German officials announced that residents of East Germany, who had been confined there for almost three decades, were free to leave and travel throughout the world. It was essentially the “Fall of the Berlin Wall”. People left by droves, and were met with great celebration and welcome in West Germany and beyond. This was, without a doubt, one of the most significant days in modern history. It was a beautiful day for freedom.

Below is a video of what is being done with one still-standing section of the Berlin Wall. It has been turned into the largest open air gallery in the world with 106 original murals! The video is a bit slow, and 5 minutes long, but at least look at part of it:

Turning something that was previously void of hope and beauty into a masterpiece is exactly what Jesus specializes in. Ephesians 2:10 says this:

For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

That is called: grace.

Love-Hate: Social Networks

love-hate-babyI have come to the point in my life where I love and hate Facebook, Twitter, Blogging, etc.  I mean, I love the connections I have.

  • I love being able to glance into the lives of people I know, but don’t always get to keep up with. It is quicker, and less awkward than a phone call. (But kinda creepy too, I know.)
  • I love connecting with people that share common ministry/life struggles.
  • I love discussing and debating various topics with people who are much different than I am.
  • I love the opportunity to learn from and be challenged by some amazing leaders I respect.
  • I love the opportunity to pour my heart into almost a thousand people daily. And I hate it.
  • I hate that these networks seem to spur arguments on, but never really resolve or complete them.
  • I hate that I am somehow drawn to see what’s going on, even when I really need to be doing something else.
  • I hate that I consistently look for personal validation through my blog stats, friend count, or number of followers.
  • I hate that I am giddy when I have a lot of @replies, and bummed when there are none. (that’s twitter talk, people.)
  • I hate that so many Christians see these networks as an opportunity to go nuts and spew idiotic word rather than develop authentic connections.
  • I hate that I am often tempted to share my thoughts FIRST with those I am “digitally” connected with, rather than my wife who I am deeply connected to.
  • I hate that I think I am good enough to check my “stuff” on my web enabled phone and carry on a conversation with my wife.

What about you?  Would you add any “loves” or “hates” to this list?