What Monday looked like….

I woke up to my wife prodding at the top of my head. I asked what was wrong, she nothing, just didn’t realize how much grey hair was sprouting out…

Later in the day, I asked her if she wanted to watch a movie tonight? She said yes, there’s a new documentary on Teflon…

A little bit later, after dinner, my wife was craving dessert but realized the ice cream was gone. I offered to run to the store, however she replied she didn’t want me going out in the middle of the night…

And even later, while flipping through the TV channels, we came across my favorite preacher. He was speaking at a fundraiser for Israel. 30 minutes later, we were pledging out largest “joint” free-will offering to date…

I really don’t care too much about a few extra grays… she says it’s a sign of wisdom.

I really don’t need to see the Teflon documentary… but I’m sure when we do watch it, I’ll find it interesting enough.

I certainly would have made a run for ice cream, it was however “the middle of the night”, with the sun going down by 7:00pm these days… I’ll make sure I make a run for it today and surprise her later.

We both felt the nudge to give that offering, even at a time when common sense said “not now”.

I felt these little “things” throughout the day were amusing enough to share, but went to bed thinking about how God gave me my perfect missing puzzle piece. This year has been pretty crazy so far, with another 2-1/2 months to go, but I know I wouldn’t want to do 2020 without her.
God’s timing is perfect and He knows EXACTLY what you need and because He reminded me of this last night, I went to bed in peace.

#Matthew626 #Sparrows

Easy to Please?

While having coffee with a buddy yesterday morning, a once “odd” but now pretty normal thing happened, the conversation turned “spiritual”. Life in 2020 certainly provides an open door to that path. As I mentioned something regarding “seeking to please God”, I was interrupted with another statement. “How about trying not to make God mad?”

We laughed, but as the conversation continued, I realized what opposite ends of the spectrum those two statements are. Surprisingly, I was the only one. This lead me to give this a little more thought.

I consider myself to be a pretty happy guy, meaning most of my day is not spent walking around angry or mad. At the same time, rarely, if ever have I been described as a “ball of Joy” (maybe that’s something I need to work on). So I can draw the conclusion that just because I am not mad, doesn’t necessarily mean I am happy or pleased.

If I ask my daughter to do the dishes while I’m out, she’ll do them at my request so I am not “mad” when I return. But what if I forget to ask and I come home and see the dishes done and the towels also folded and put away? I’d be one pleased Dad!

Can this same rational apply to us and our Heavenly father?

He told me not to murder people, like it’s actually a commandment. By me getting through the day without committing murder do I satisfy the “seeking to please God” requirement for the day? (extreme example, I know)

I want to please God, not just to not anger Him.

When I pray, when I read His word, when I attend church, when I encourage others, I accomplish both. When I pray, I start off asking God to incline His ear to me and look down on me and smile. Seeking to please God isn’t a box you can check and move on to the next item, it’s a lifestyle. It’s a constant discipline and a matter of the heart.

I think it’s a lot easier than we think – He’s a good, good Father!

Let’s start at the beginning, 42 years later

I have often found myself in a position where I feel unqualified. Whether it was receiving a promotion at work, accepting a position with a new company or even receiving accolades for something I’ve done, feeling unqualified is something that has followed me.

Many times, I am compared to my father, for his personality/humor, gentle heart, work ethic and even his ministry work. It’s a compliment that I love and although I see the many similarities myself, I don’t feel like I deserve that comparison. That man was an anchor!

I do not have a college degree, yet I have held several positions throughout my career where a degree was required. Due to my experience, work ethic and record of success, that “requirement” was overlooked.

In 2018, I went all in and at the age of 42, became a husband and father (of 4) all in one magical day. Wouldn’t you know it, at a time when I was making headway in my career and even advancing in ministry in my local Church…… SLAM, right into the wall. I’m staring at a whole new list to be “so not qualified” for!

A husband?  I knew a lot less about this then I thought.

A father? It’s really nothing like being the crazy uncle.

The spiritual leader of the home? It took 35 years for ME to get on track… and I have to work on it every single day!

The Provider? Ok, we can figure that out on an excel sheet, not too bad… then covid hits?

My wife and I decided just 8 months after we married that we were going to relocate from Long Island, New York to Wilmington, North Carolina. This has been a great decision for us! While we miss our family & friends, as well as a few other things, we are very happy we did this.

With this move, I can add quite a few additional items to the “so not qualified” list, but it is here that God is revealing His plan for us and the “call” He has on my life.

So not qualified, but His grace is sufficient.