Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Influence On Cassette

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I got a text message from one of my sons asking about a song that a singer/songwriter I highly admire wrote. He wanted to know the title, but only had the general theme of the song to identify it. I remembered the song. I hadn't thought about it for about 20 years.
I was able to locate the song and some information about it through the artist's website. I sent my son the information, and then out of curiosity asked him what brought up the inquiry.

His response: I was listening to some of his older stuff. I remember listening to that particular one when I was a kid, going to sleep.

I remember playing music for my children when they were young, hoping that the message and mood of the songs would reinforce the Godly character qualities that my wife and I were seeking to instill into them. In this case the song was Daddy's Song by Dennis Jernigan.

Let me tell you that I was incredibly moved by his response. As a parent, my dream is that the daily, consistent influence that I have on my children will produce exceptional and eternal results.

My wife and I were very purposeful in the influence we were covering our children with. We were selective in what we would allow them to see/hear/experience, as well as creative on how we would expose them to positive life-altering influences.

In this case some cassette tapes by one of my favorite musicians, in a quiet room during bedtime was the choice. And from the comment made by my son, and seeing the Godly man he has become, I think this was a good choice.

You and I have multiple, daily opportunities to affect our children, grandchildren, spouses, friends, co-workers, and acquaintances. How we consistently handle those opportunities will for the most part, determine the amount of influence we have.

Take advantage of those moments. Be purposeful. Be creative. Be about creating a legacy.

What are you creatively doing to influence the relationships you have? Share your thoughts below in 'comments'.

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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Scenes From A Hat

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The show "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" featured a game called Scenes From A Hat, where the host would randomly choose "scenes" that were compiled from audience suggestions, written on slips of paper, and placed in a hat (such as "What is the worse thing that has ever happened to you at work?"). Then the participants would act out the scene, usually with a hilarious result.
Each actor, in his or her own comedic way, could take a mundane and common scene (think: situation, relationship encounter, or everyday challenge) and make it laughable, oftentimes causing us to laugh at ourselves because of the absurd ways we tend to handle those scenes.

I know I would laugh as I identified with the situation and the response. Like me, most people can relate to the game Scenes From A Hat.

For most of us, life is like Scenes From A Hat. Daily we are faced with common and everyday situations, relationship encounters, and challenges. But instead of being an actor in a comedy "game" show, we are real people, dealing with real situations, which demand our response.

How do you react when faced with a selfish co-worker? How do you respond when asked to stay late and finish a project because your boss didn't plan well? When someone pulls out in front of you while driving, what is your first thought?

Just as the actors on "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" get a few seconds to prepare, you actually have a few seconds to prepare your response.

Here are a few statements you can say to yourself, not just when engaging a Scene From A Hat, but as you begin every day, every relationship encounter, every meeting, every homework session with your kids, every conversation with your spouse:

  • I will be kind.
  • I will listen.
  • I will be grateful.
  • I will understand from the other person's perspective.
  • I will assume the other person has a legitimate reason for what they do.
  • I will not be selfish.
  • I will not make it about me.

You can survive life's Scenes From A Hat. All it takes is a little bit of life preparation, a character that is grounded in others over self, and maybe a Twix candy bar (you figure it out...).

Question: What do you do when faced with real life Scenes From A Hat? Share your thoughts below in 'comments.

If you like this post, you can re-post it, 'share' it on your Facebook status, or forward it to your friends. Follow me on Twitter @bigcloudmusic if you find me interesting. Subscribe to this Blog if you'd like at the top right of this page.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Just Looking

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I am not a big fan of retail salespeople. I do understand that they are only seeking to make a living, to pay their rent, to feed their families. But I am built to make decisions without the pressure of a qualified specialist of the product I am looking at. If I need help, I'll ask for it.
So when asked if I need help, I usually respond: Just looking, thank you. Oftentimes the person is an hourly wage-earner who is there to simply fill their shift, to do their hours. That person will simply walk away, their duty fulfilled.

The ones who are commission-based (or who are truly seeking to be helpful) are a bit more aggressive and don't give up so easily. More questions come my way, which I seek to repel with disinterested indifference. Seriously: I'm just looking!

Now I know that there are some people who are just killing time when shopping and are really not interested in the products they are viewing. People like spouses, parents, and friends. They truly are Just Looking.

There are others who like to engage salespeople, make a "deal", and then go brag to their friends about how they outsmarted the salesperson.

Others simply drift along from store to store, aisle to aisle, scanning, passing, and genuinely not seeing unless something really catches their eye.

How many of us go through our lives Just Looking? Do we scan the scenery, events, and relationships with indifference, killing time as we move from day to day?

Rather than truly engaging what is happening around us, we're Just Looking.

May I challenge us to savor the moments, to go deeper in our relationships, to really listen to what another has to say, to make our story interesting, to seek to grow and be better, and in the process to make others better.

Do more than Just Looking. Be more than Just Looking. Live more than Just Looking.

Question: Do you sometimes find yourself floating through life, Just Looking? Share your thoughts below in 'comments'.

If you like this post, you can re-post it, 'share' it on your Facebook status, or forward it to your friends. Follow me on Twitter @bigcloudmusic if you find me interesting. Subscribe to this Blog if you'd like at the top right of this page.

Sunday, January 05, 2014

India 2014: Coming Soon!

My next mission trip to India is coming up fast! On March 6th I leave the States and embark on my 11th trip to the country that I have adopted as my second home.
Once again I will be partnering with Pastor Daniel Kalyanapu, spending three days preaching and praying for people in crusades in and around Kazipet, as well as ministering in Pastor Daniel's church.

Then a team of doctors, nurses, and I will board a train for multiple ministry stops where we will conduct medical camps in unreached villages, on our way to Kashmir where we will partner with Kelu, a converted Muslim.
My love and respect for Kelu runs deep, as I have witnessed the daily persecution he and his family face in an unreached region as he witnesses for Christ. He has been beaten, evicted, physically harassed, and shunned, and yet his gentle though tenacious spirit puts him daily in the middle of communities, meeting needs and sharing Christ.

Another treat will be that we will minister alongside of Abdul, whom God revealed Himself to while he was reading the Koran. He committed his life to Christ, and now seeks to bring the Gospel to his people in India. Pastor Charles Schmitt of Immanuel's Church and I had the privilege of ordaining him in 2010.
I love going to this region of India. There is much terrorism and unrest there, but so many have never heard the name Jesus. I want to go and share it with them.

My previous trips to India were funded by the generous people of Immanuel's Church when I served as a pastor. Now I serve as a non-paid pastor in a very small church, supporting my family by working as a "tent-maker" in an insurance agency.

Would you consider supporting me and my mission trip this year? I know that you will partner with me in prayer. I am also asking that you consider supporting me financially.

You can click the "PayPal" button on the top right, or if you'd like you can send a check payable to GraceChurch, and it will be applied to my trip expenses. (Mail to: Brad Lewis, 1913 Catamaran Drive, Navarre, FL 32566. Please write India Missions on the memo line of the check.)

Thank you for your investment into my life and into the lives of those who need to hear about Christ!

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