He Lost it All, and…

I realize how kind God has been to me, and so I tell each of you not to think you are better than you really are. Use good sense and measure yourself by the amount of faith that God has given you. A body is made up of many parts, and each of them has its own use. That’s how it is with us. There are many of us, but we each are part of the body of Christ, as well as part of one another.

God has also given each of us different gifts to use. If we can prophesy, we should do it according to the amount of faith we have. If we can serve others, we should serve. If we can teach, we should teach. If we can encourage others, we should encourage them. If we can give, we should be generous. If we are leaders, we should do our best. If we are good to others, we should do it cheerfully (Romans 12:3-8, Contemporary English Version).

Magazine columnist Tim Denning, because of the uncertain times we are in, made the decision to call everyone in his phone. He expected to find his friends sitting at home relaxing with the unexpected days off. But when he called a lifelong friend, Denning did not get what he expected. The conversation went something like this:

“How are you doing?”

“I’ve had my fair share of tears this week. I lost my entire business after a 15-minute speech.”

It was not a speech made by Denning’s friend. The friend lived and had his business in Australia. The 15-minute speech actually was made by the Prime Minister, issuing what we are now all to familiar with, a “stay-home order.”

The friend was in the hospitality business. The Prime Minister directed all restaurants and bars to close. When the time came and the government lifted the order, they could reopen.

The problem was, by Australian law, if the businesses remained in business, they would have to pay rent on their facilities. If they closed their doors and went out of business, the rent expenses went away too. Denning’s friend had bookings for the next three month. Over the next hour and a half the friend got call after call canceling their order and informing him they were out of business. At the end of that hour and a half, he was left with nothing. Much as we have heard over the last couple of weeks, Denning’s friend understood the reason for the order but that didn’t mean it didn’t hurt.

Denning asked his friend what he was doing about it. He knew there was little he could do about finding another job just as such efforts here, are pretty useless at the moment.

The friend started doing other things, like taking long walks. He said because he was in no hurry he started noticing things he never noticed before. Things like rocks on the bank of a pond and the ripples on the water on one side of the pond.”

The friend, along with his daughters started building a garden in the backyard. He wanted a place to grow herbs and vegetables. The garden was a place to watch things to come to life.

He started thinking about people like his own employees. He knew he didn’t have the money for all his employees.

Denning’s friend realized he needed to calm himself and stay that way. He started limiting the amount of news he was watching. His daughters started getting time in their relationship that had never happened before. It wasn’t long before the girls started becoming central in their lives. He said it was impossible to find a reason to stay angry when he was with the two of them.

In today’s lesson Paul is saying, “It isn’t about us.” He is right. It is about how we serve God and serve the world. Service and love are traits we all too often fail to demonstrate. We are here to serve one another, to love one another. Paul says to make yourself a sacrifice for your neighbor.

Denning said he was always amazed at his friend’s ability to place himself behind everyone else. But he also was learning, without his friend really saying anything, that joy and fulfillment came when you exercised your ability make life better for someone else. Then Denning wrote down a few things Denning had never thought about but realized were true.

He always leaves you feeling better than he found you.
He makes you smile.
He tells you the good parts of life.
He is fearlessly loyal.
He builds human connections, not business connections.
My favorite: he calls you for no reason at all.

People love working with him and he always lives by one rule:

Doing the right thing is always the right thing.

It’s not what you lose when hard times come. Hard times come for everyone at some point; it’s who you become when things are uncertain and difficult.

Have a blessed,

Seeking the Genuine,
Keith

Copyright 2020, J Keith Broyles, All Rights Are Reserved

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Published by drjkbroyles

I love Mike Ashcraft's book, "My One Word." For the past nine years I have participated and encouraged others to participate to in the "My One Word" Challenge. My first word was discipline was my word the first year. Since then my word has been focus, sight, jungle, peace, concentration, serve, genuine and this year is fit. I seek to be fit for my health, my family, my church, my ministries. I seek to be fit in any are of my life where God might point to me. I also have a nickname, "Dr. B." When I was a public high school teacher, Dr. B. is what most of my students called me, at least in my presence. I am still called that by many people though I no longer teach in public schools. I am the author of "Average Joe: With an Extraordinary Story" (available on Amazon). The book fits into the genre of "Biblical Fiction" or "Christian Fiction" and features some of the Bible's lesser known characters. The name of my blog is, "Fork in the Road." Life is filled with forks in the road. It isn't a matter of if we encounter a fork in the road, but when will we and how many will we experience in a lifetime. I love to strum my guitar. I am not a great guitar player but I enjoy it. I also enjoy writing music. I get excited with I feel a new song emerging. I live with my wife Cindy and our little dog, "Bishop" in Lufkin, Texas. I spent the past 30 years as a United Methodist pastor, serving churches all over east and southeast Texas, from just north of Tyler to south of Houston, from the Gulf Coast to east of Madisonville. I currently serve Perritte Memorial UMC in Nacogdoches. I spent one year in the classroom, teaching High School government, economics, psychology, and sociology. Cindy and I have been married for 43 years. We have two grown sons and six grandchildren, three boys and three girls. I enjoy preaching and all it's aspects from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading. I have dabble in drawing and "painting" with pastels as well as woodworking and woodcarving. My current projects are two ukuleles. I collect, repair and restore guitars too. I play the guitar (badly, but I still do) I also enjoy working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, TX, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. This blog started out as devotional writings. In August of 2020, I made a major change to the blog, switching to a daily theme format. Sunday Sermon-usually my manuscript sermon Miscellaneous Monday-misc. writing, poetry, ministry Tuesday Thoughts-Devotion Wed. with Wesleys-hist. & theol. of early Methodists TED Talk Thursday-Video & appl. in current theology Five for Friday-5 things I've seen & my thoughts Sing-Along Sat. - Usually a new song I have written I write, "Strumming a G-Chord with Dr.B." to get my thoughts onto something permanent. After all, they say, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. Seeking the Genuine, Keith Lufkin, Texas August 2020

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