Monday, June 30, 2008

Maybe I Can Help

I recently saw a commercial for Traveler’s Insurance. The commercial showed a man walking with a huge red umbrella over him. He comes across various groups of people with different problems, and at each group he helps them solve their problem.

From a need to cross a river (the umbrella became a boat), to a need to be out of the rain (a children’s baseball team walked home under the covering of the umbrella), the man with the umbrella helped by offering creative ways to solve the presented problems.

At one point, when presented with the appeal from two children whose bicycle had broken, he says, “Maybe I can help.”

I believe that this is the second essential purpose of creativity (the first being to glorify our Creator). We are given creativity so we can help people. We are to take our creative energies and translate them into purposeful expressions of ourselves that benefit others.

So the next time you come across someone who is experiencing a problem, perhaps you should state, “Maybe I can help.”

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Mom: 80 Years!

We celebrated my Mom's 80th birthday with a surprise party this past weekend. My sisters and I, along with our families and my Uncle (my Mom's only living relative of her generation) traveled from various places across the US and gathered at her home in Elizabethtown, KY (just like the movie).

It was a HUGE moment as she answered her door and saw all of us there. The surprise caught her totally off-guard, and we delighted as she savored the moment. Even hours later, after our unexpected appearance, she still kept repeating, "I can't believe you are all here!"

We ate and laughed, told funny stories and remembered ways that Mom had impacted our lives. Of course we watched the "video slide show" of old pictures of her life and growing up, and her family as it began to grow with the addition of her children, then grandchildren. (By the way, my Mom was a stunning model in the New York fashion scene in the late 1940's.) Finally, we honored her with gifts and cards, a fitting tribute to one who had invested so much into us.

I love surprises, especially when they bring joy and delight to those whom I love. And my Mom, whom I love dearly, deserves the biggest surprise I have ever been involved in. You see, without her, I would not be here writing this. Now that may sound pretty trite, but beyond the fact that 51+ years ago she gave birth to me, she invested pretty much her whole life into me and my three sisters.

So honor is only fitting for a godly woman who has distinguished herself as a mother, grandmother, counselor and friend. Who in your life is deserving of honor, praise and perhaps a surprise party? Make some plans to give honor where honor is due!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

What if...?

Have you ever had a "What if...?" moment? Maybe you were working on a problem, or driving in your car, or were awakened in the middle of the night and thought "What if I did this?". I believe that vision begins with "What if...?" moments.

My wife and I were invited to the home of an Indian family we know last evening. After a wonderful Indian meal (I was able to identify most of the dishes by their Indian names), the conversation turned to our host's story.

He shared about his life and background in India, how his desired career path was thwarted, how he was invited to America and sponsored by the president of Pepsi-Cola, and how he ended up here in the DC area. With gratitude in his eyes he expressed how grateful he was for his family, his life, and the events of it. He knew that the Lord had shown favor on him.

He shared that he'd recently thought about the poor and needy back in his home city of Lucknow, and what he could do to provide for them. It was a "What if...?" moment for him, and he turned that moment of contemplation into the beginnings of a vision.

As our conversation progressed, he and his wife, along with my wife and myself began to share ideas and suggestions that complemented his vision and "gave legs" to it. My friend's smile widened and his countenance brightened as I summarized the many ideas offered and we formed them into a plan.

What we shared that evening was a "What if...?" moment that grew into a vision, and then into a strategy. It was an encouraging evening. It was an evening of purpose and fruitfulness. It was an evening that mattered.

What about you? Have you had any "What if...?" moments lately? Are you sitting on some "Hmmmmms." that are ready to become visions?

Let me hear from you! Comment on this post (click on 'comments' below) and share one of your "What if...?" moments. Keep the conversation going!

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Images Of India

The Gospel was shared with these Hindu mothers and their children!

A Muslim family receives medical care.

Pastor Daniel preaches to the mostly Hindu crowd.

Dr. Srinivas examines a Muslim man.

The local children eventually warmed up to a pic with me.

Pastor Emmanuel and the local Jammu-Kashmir worship team.

The constant police and military presence, my protectors!

The team takes a break to sight-see. See if you can pick me out...

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