Our legacies

A couple weeks back, my pastor shared a message that could have been depressing. Could have because it spoke to our insignificance.

He started by asking us questions in relation to what we remember about our grandfathers. What was their dreams? What was their biggest regret? What did they worry about? What excited them?

Honestly, I couldn’t answer most of those questions. I could answer some but then he had us take it a generation back to our great-grandparents and asked us this simple question: Who remembers their name?

This was really only half the audience. And that’s only 3 generations removed. That just our dad’s grandfather. Or our grandfather’s dad. And a bunch of us didn’t even know their name. Much less the legacy that they left for us.

And this is scary in itself because what we’re doing may not matter.

But then moving forward, he led us to this fact. Their biggest legacy is us. What they poured into their kids came down to us. What they focused on the most is what their kids learned the most. And so on. Until it got to us.

This is huge because what we do matters. What we choose to think about and talk about each day will pass on to our kids. But more importantly, those we choose to pour into through discipleship and mentorship will impact everyone that they, in turn, meet. And then will be passed on to everyone that that person meets until it becomes our greatest legacy.

So choose today to focus on that which matters most: our legacy of teaching the next generation in whatever ways we can.

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Dreamer vs. doer

I know lots of dreamers and then I know a lot of doers. It’s sad that these are different people a lot of time. But it’s true.

Dreamers have their eyes on the prize but miss out on the day to day. While doers miss the forest for the trees.

I am trying my hardest to become more balanced. To find that perfect middle ground between dreaming and doing.

Because one without the other is worthless. I tend to be more of a dreamer and miss out on the follow through and I’ve been working through it a lot recently. I’ve written more in the past 3 months than I did the previous year. And I’m excited to share more of it with you.

But know this, even though I’m working on being more of a doer, I desperately yearn to dream up better futures. So here’s to better days and better years by dreaming harder and doing more.

Which side do you tend to lean toward?

Bread crumbs

There are many ways to discover what you want to do with your life but ultimately the best way is looking through your life and seeing what you’ve loved the most. There are clues everywhere. Bread crumbs if you will.

It could be music or writing or talking or building things or giving advice.

Whatever it is, you’ve been doing it all along. Maybe not in the way you had hoped. But it’s there. Hoping you’ll discover it and pursue it even more.

My realizations for how much I love writing and music and speaking stem back to childhood. I always loved standup comedians as far as I can remember. And music is in my blood. Writing doesn’t come naturally but I love to do it.

I can remember recordings I made of myself telling jokes (stolen ones) and songs I made up on trumpet or just singing. And stories I wrote about Batman and Superman as a kid in my black composition notebooks.

And after seeing those bread crumbs I have learned that the real feast is up ahead if only I’d resume the journey.

So let’s dig in.

Moderation

Moderation is a tough thing. Simply because it is the thing that we cannot do. We tend to focus on excess, here in America at least, and then go toward consuming all that there is of that one thing. Take food, for example. We are fat. We are gluttons and yet we have tricked ourselves into thinking we are just having enough when actually it is a simple trick because our portions have simply grown and continue to grow.

This is the same with money. We never feel like we have enough. We always strive for more and yet, are never satisfied. Always overreaching.

And I am worn out by it.

I am writing inside staring out at the snow and it is getting on my nerves. Not because I hate snow or the cold. I actually love both. But I’m done. I’ve had enough. It is March already. I am ready to move toward spring and then summer. That’s why God created 4 seasons. So we don’t get stuck in excess. That’s why Alaska doesn’t make sense to me. Too much snow. Too much darkness.

I also don’t think I could handle Seattle. Too much rain. Too much gloating from that Super Bowl win. Of course, all of this is in jest. Except for the gloating about the Super Bowl win (we got it, you won!!).

Today let’s try to balance our lives and not get too stuck on one thing but focus on all the things that we need to be and do. Enjoy the snow (I mean, ice).

Give up or fight?

Here is a truth I’m realizing as I have been working my way through the workout series T25:

More people are willing to give up than fight for what is best for us.

And that is so sad, mainly because of the fact that we could have so much more if we just stick it out and fight for what we want. Not just rolling with the punches but making some key blows ourselves.

But we have tough things happen to us or obstacles along the way that distract us from moving forward. And we let them take over our minds so that we stop pushing.

And our choice is simple: Give up or fight? All of our lives can be summed up in that way. Do we push forward toward where we want to be or do we simply stop and let life happen to us? Do we strive for more or settle for less?

I am determined to fight now. For the longest time, I was willing to settle but now it is time to fight. Time to step up and push forward with all that I am.

Who’s with me? Are you going to give up or fight? Yeah, if you fight you’ll get some punches to the face and knocked down. But ultimately, you’ll stand up for what you want and believe and soon, maybe 5 months or years or decades, you’ll look back and feel blessed for fighting and not giving up.

Stories

Stories have always fascinated me. Walter White. Jack Bauer. Edmond Dantes. Jack Shepherd. All of them. Almost any good literary or television adventure can capture me. It could be concerning dinosaurs, dragons, and time travelers. However, I haven’t yet embraced a certain time lord. (Convince me its not childish).

Because I connect to them. I embrace them. And so do you.

There is no better way to grasp a truth than to hear it in story and that is why Jesus used stories and that is why you and I need to share our stories today.

No powerpoint presentation will change the world. Because no truth can captivate like a story. The change that occurs through a powerful story has the power to take over the world. It happens all the time. Jesus’ life changed their world and therefore it can change yours too.

But the crazy truth is that your story of change would be great if only you’d share it.

And that’s where the power of stories comes from. It starts when you share it. It does nothing if left to yourself. So start sharing what is going on with you. Maybe someone needs the encouragement. Maybe someone needs the hope to continue. So let’s give it to them.