Friday, May 30, 2014

What's In It For Me?

Last night I'm watching a hockey game between the Montreal Canadiens and New York Rangers.  I'm not a fan of either team, but ever since I was a kid, I would cheer against the Montreal Canadians whenever I could.  Last night was no exception.

In the end, the Rangers won and the Montreal Canadiens were officially eliminated from the NHL playoffs.  Sure, I was ecstatic for a few seconds and then had an epiphany.  The game had absolutely no bearing on my life.   The Rangers were excited because they moved onto the finals and have a chance to win the Stanley Cup.  But what's in it for me?

As I was laying in bed later at night, I let my mind wander and started to imagine how often I say, "what's in it for me?"

  • If I help you replace your roof, will you replace mine?
  • If I give you a ride to work, can I ride with you next time?
  • If I cook, will you do the dishes?
  • If I give you gift for your birthday, you'll get me something nice for mine...right?

I know you never give conditionally so this is mostly for me.  As expected, the Bible has the answer.  It says conditional gifts are not really giving at all.

Luke 6:35 says, "But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked."

 What?  Do things without expecting to get anything back?   I know it isn't easy.  But I believe the promises of God of true.  When He says, your reward will be great, I believe Him.  So give, give, and then give some more.  Then, make sure you invite me over in heaven.  I'm guessing your swimming pool will be very nice :)

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Ripley's Aquarium

Last week on vacation my wife and I took our 4 month old and 3-year-old to the new aquarium in downtown Toronto.  Here are a few things I learned that may be helpful to you:

  • Parking your car and taking the subway is a better idea than you think.  To a 3-year-old, a ride on the subway is as exciting as a ride at Wonderland
  • Don't be surprised if your child finds the moving sidewalk more exciting than a shark swimming overhead.
  • While a giant mechanical shark is cool to many of us, it can also be the most intimidating thing ever to a 3-year-old.
  • Petting a stingray is not as fun as going down the slide in the playground.
  • Oh yes, and the soothing music and special lighting will help a four-month-old sleep.
Have fun!

Friday, May 2, 2014

The Book Of Answers

I don't know too many people who are not fans of the movie, Back To The Future.  Imagine how many kids in the 80's were inspired to play guitar because of this scene:

I along with the rest of the world was shocked when I learned that Michael J. Fox, star of Back To The Future and Family Ties, was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease back in 1991.  Everyone said the same thing at the time, "but he is so young."

Rather than disappear and deal with his struggles privately, Michael has been very public in his search to find a cure for the disease (  I'm sure he has had his share of difficult days.  In fact, I know he has.  But through it all, he still remains steadfast in his fight.

I honestly don't know what kind of relationship Michael has with God.  But I can only guess that as a married man with kids, he has called out to God for help, maybe in frustration or anger, at least a few times since the diagnosis.  I think all of us would do the same, or have done the same.

I am inspired by Michael's courage and determination, but also by his zest for life.  As we flip through the pages of the Bible we see stories of people who are sold out for God in spite of their circumstances.  David was forced to live in a cave because Saul was trying to kill him (I Samuel 24).  Job was tortured because he was blameless before God...that's crazy (Book of Job).  Paul was thrown in jail for sharing his faith (Acts 16).

I remember Geoff Moore sharing a family story with us on LIFE.  Whenever his boys would come to him with a problem, he would say, let's go to the Bible for the answers.  Because no matter what we go through in life, someone has gone through something similar before us and we can learn from them.

Michael J. Fox has to be one of the most courageous, determined, and passionate people around.  But you and I can be too, no matter what we are going through.  The most important thing to remember is, we are not alone.  Go to the book of answers.