Beware of the LOBBERS!

Beware of the LOBBERS. You know them…they are all around you…and they are certainly on Facebook! There may even be LOBBERS in YOU! Who or what are the ‘LOBBERS?’ The “LOBBERS” are the cryptic writers or sayers of things… things that are lobbed in all directions, or unknowingly in an offenders direction, without clearly dealing with the person that has offended. Such LOBBERS live a lobbers life, lobbing all kinds of things, in all directions, without truly interacting with people, without truly getting things worked out, without clearly communicating with the offenders, and then, when their relationships go bad, they lob even more cryptic writing, without truly getting to the root of the issue. They are sad LOBBERS…and they are so sad that they lob even more cryptic things in all kinds of directions.

LOBBERS!!!!

They are every where…and sadly, a small lobber exists in each of us, doing its best to get out, and cryptically say something…write something…something that never gets to the root of the issue…and only serves to frustrate everyone. Some LOBBERS lob and run, making it even harder to get to the root of the issue. If you have a lobber in you…call it out…and run as fast as you can away from the lobber. Find the person that has hurt you, and work.it.out. Clearly, honestly, lovingly and patiently. NOT WITH LOBS…that’s what LOBBERS use…instead…work it out with love, and clear communication.  Just you and the person you need to discuss it with…not lobbed out for everyone else.  Just.you.two!

Don’t be a LOBBER!

And if you are dealing with a LOBBER…show them this post…and tell them that you love them too much to let the LOBBERS win. Talk it out…and win. Don’t let the LOBBER lob anymore!!!!

The Test of Trust

The test of trust never comes before the storm, nor does it finds its way to us after, to see how we fared. Instead, the test of trust comes in the midst of the storm, when the winds and waves are unceasing, battering the walls of our soul. It is then, that we see where our trust has been placed, and there, where the peace gives victory over the fear, or where the fear gives in to the storm, that we find our hope, or long for it. In that moment, it all comes down to what or who you trust. It is a choice, a moment where we choose, regardless of the strength of the storm, we will seek a greater strength, and put our trust in the one who commands the elements to do His bidding.  When the trust is placed in Christ, it is well placed…and the test of trust is passed. Today, better than any other day, I choose to trust in Christ!   That is all, and that is enough.

When you want to give up on giving

‘Tis the season for giving…right?  That’s the mantra of every retailer that ever cared about the bottom line during the Christmas season.  In fact, the day that kicks off this season of giving is called ‘black friday’ because retailers do everything in their power to make sure that this time of year is filled with busy, buying shoppers, ready to give away their life savings to find that perfect gift that they can give someone else.  Their goal is to so intimidate that shopper into buying a present for one, so that the one receiving, in turn, will feel compelled to turn it around and give a present back.  Retailers love it.  Why do we do this?

I believe it is all a part of the conspiracy (time to break out the tin foil hats and bunker down)!  The conspiracy is to make you give up on giving!  It’s not from the retailers (they love it)…I believe it is a tool of the devil…a diabolical conspiracy, if you ask me, because giving has got to be one of the best time honored and true ways to find real and lasting joy.  I hear it from a few readers now, “Bahumbug!”  But I really believe that giving has a real place in everyone’s life, a place that brings true joy.  The joy of giving.

But what happens if the most giving person gives, and gives, and gives some more until they give out on giving?  What do you do when you feel spent because you spent too much to find the right gift for the right person only to have as a reaction, “Meh?”

There have been times when I bought someone a present and they opened it, took out the gift, and marveled over the container said gift was transported in, making me wonder, did I spend too much on the packaging or too little on the gift.  That happened when my kids were really small.  We spent hours finding what we thought was the perfect gift only to find that the box was more fun than the toy permanently affixed to the box.  Maybe they tired of trying to rescue the toy from the container or they just believed that the container and toy were one in the same so they played with the box.   More than once I contemplated purchasing empty boxes as gifts, but saner heads prevailed.

What happens when you are give out on giving?  I believe I have found the answer.  It is in giving when you can expect nothing in return.  Not a thank you, or a “God bless you” or even a “you are the best person ever” kind of reaction.

Maybe the best kind of giving is the kind of Giving that says…’I am doing this because I want to…and the reaction is not important.’  That’s why we give to food pantries, and to missionaries and to God through the local church.  We give because we know that someone, somewhere has bread to eat, or the bread of life to take them into eternity,  and I can give without worrying about what they are going to give me in return.  I give because I want to, and I know it makes a difference.

That’s why some of our gift giving this year included items from “Soup of Success,” a program to help the participants find their voices, discover their direction, establish their goals, and then help them figure out a way to overcome obstacles and achieve those goals.  I know people who have been through their program and they are learning ways to be successful at life.  We also give to Teen Challenge (locally through the North Central Indiana Teen Challenge center).   This ministry takes students through an intensive program for 12-15 months, introducing them to Jesus Christ and the power of God.  Their success rate is off the charts and seeing men set free from life controlling addiction is enough to bring joy to any heart.  No gift in return needed or wanted, seeing people set free is enough to make giving worth giving.every.single.time.

There are so many places in every community that feed the hungry, helps the poor, and helps those struggling to get on their feet.  Places to give without worrying about what gift will be too large (there is not one organization that will say a gift is too large)…or too small…the gift you give will make a difference in the lives of many, regardless of the container that transport it.   With this kind of giving, the ‘thanks’ you get is not a gift in return, but instead, it is a understanding that you are truly making a difference and that someone’s life will never be the same.  That kind of giving gives you the kind of feeling that you need this time of year: JOY!

Selfless is what brings the joy back.  So, this week, be faithful to give to God at your local church, and find a ministry that is making a difference and drop by with a blessing offering.  You never know, what  you get in return might just be a gift beyond imagination…the gift of joy!

 

 

 

Christmas is not a cause, but a cause for celebration!

This past week, a group called “American Atheists” released its Christmas billboard ad campaign encouraging people to skip church this Christmas.  They even use the slogan, “Make Christmas Great Again-Skip Church.”
It is interesting that a group of Atheists is talking about making Christmas great by skipping church, and by inference, the recognition that the birth of Jesus Christ ignored, when they do not believe in God.
Imagine if they had billboards that encouraged African-American’s to “Make Martin Luther King Day Great Again-Ignore His Legacy” or if they made their cause an attack on Islam by recommending to “Make Ramadan Great Again-Skip Mecca.”  Why not encourage people to “Make America Great Again- Skip the Broccoli?”  That is a cause worthy of my following.  While they have made their cause “Christmas,” I am not surprised or worried.
It seems the goal of American Atheists is to essentially fight Christ, and His people, encouraging lethargy, luke warmness and this year, a disregard of the very person Christmas celebrates by skipping the celebration at His house with His people.
I want to encourage you to not follow their advice.  Make Christmas GREAT AGAIN by making much about JESUS…and do not skip church…not because it is a cause, but because Jesus is a cause for celebration.   Use this year to remind your family and friends of the true meaning of Christmas, reading the Christmas story in Luke, and attending church, making the true meaning more meaningful.
Lord willing, we will be there on Christmas Day…in God’s house…worshipping, praising the very one who left the comfort, splendor and glory of heaven to come to a dirty, sin tainted world to pay the ultimate price for our salvation.  It’s not a cause…but it is a CAUSE for CELEBRATION!  Who’s with me????