A Springboard for You

For a better life and a better eternity

A 10 Question Test To See if Your Light Is Shining

“This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.”

We’ve sung the song since we were kids, but are we living it? God wants our lights to shine (Matthew 5:16; Philippians 2:14-16). He expects us to be the twinkling stars that dance in the vast expanse of the inky black darkness. As sailors once charted their course to safe harbor by using the stars as beacons in the dark nights, we need to live in such a way that others can chart their course to heaven’s harbor by following our light.

We are beacons when we reflect the light of Jesus to the world by walking in Christ’s word so others can follow us to heaven.

However, we sometimes need help on a daily basis trying to figure out if our light is shining with our given choices. I want to share with you a series of questions you can ask to help you determine if you are a beacon.

  1. Am I doing this in the name of the Lord? A question of Authority (cf. Colossians 3:17)
  2. Am I surrendering to God? A question of Lordship (cf. Galatians 2:20)
  3. Am I glorifying God? A question of Goals (cf. Matthew 5:16)
  4. Am I sowing to the flesh or the Spirit? A question of Guidance (cf. Galatians 5:16-25)
  5. Am I providing for the lusts of the flesh? A question of Honesty (cf. Romans 13:14)
  6. Am I professing godliness? A question of Honor (cf. I Timothy 4:7-8)
  7. Am I set apart for holiness? A question of Usefulness (cf. I Thessalonians 4:1-8)
  8. Am I hungering for righteousness? A question of Passion (cf. Matthew 5:6)
  9. Am I cheerful about it? A question of Attitude (cf. Philippians 2:14)
  10. Am I standing out? A question of Commitment (cf. Romans 12:1)

Are you letting your little light shine?

ELC

For more check out the sermon.

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July 13, 2008 Posted by | Christian living | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

You can learn a lot from a knee brace

I guess I should have known when I opted not to wear my knee brace while playing Ultimate Frisbee on Sunday that I would be learning a life lesson on Monday.

But “Hey,” I thought, “my knee hasn’t hurt in a really long time. I’m having trouble finding that stupid knee brace and, frankly, I don’t really like wearing it. So why worry about it?” Well, today, my knee hurts. I guess I should have known, but I am an idiot. Wait a minute. No I’m not. I’m just a human that makes mistakes. But I hope I learn from them.

This is so much like the accountability measures and self-discipline habits I put in my life. I have my readings, my prayers, my accountability partners, on and on the list goes with the measures I have put into place to help me stay healthy spiritually, mentally and emotionally. The problem is after a while, I get tired of doing those things. They take too long. They aren’t all that exciting. Some of them are a bit embarrassing. Some are downright hard. Besides I’ve been doing great on whatever the issue is. Perhaps just this once I can get by without them. But every time I do, I fall. Sometimes hard.

Let me encourage you to grab your knee-brace and put it on any time you have an inkling of a thought that you might need it. Let’s think of it this way, it never hurts to wear it. But sometimes it really hurts if you don’t.

ELC

July 8, 2008 Posted by | Being human, Making Mistakes, Success | , , | 1 Comment

Quit Wishing and Start Working

Today’s thoughts come from my Bible reading. You can see more about it at Give Attention to Reading.

While Jesus taught, a woman cried out “Blessed is the womb that bore you…” The woman was basically decrying her poor state. She might as well have said, “I wish I had been so lucky as to have you as a son. Too bad for me, huh.”

Jesus responded, “Actually, if you will stop wishing and start working, you can be even more blessed than my Mom. The person who listens to my Father and does what He says is the most blessed.”

What an amazing lesson to learn from this brief interchange. Whatever part of our lives we are talking about, whether it is our walk with God, our family, our job, our education, etc., this provides a great lesson.

Instead of whining about the blessings we haven’t received, pursue the ones that are promised if we will just work. Sadly, if we don’t start studying, thinking, meditating, listening, growing and then acting on all of that, we will find ourselves 10 years older but still crying about how unlucky we were and how blessed everyone else is.

If we want to live a blessed life without regrets, we must quit thinking about how lucky everyone else is and start doing what God tells us to do right now. 10 years from now we won’t be pointing our fingers at how blessed everyone else is. We will see how blessed we are.

May God richly bless you as you draw closer to Him.
More importantly, may you richly bless God.

ELC

July 7, 2008 Posted by | Blessing | , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Beginning of the End

I just found a great quote on Tim Koegel’s website.

I need to print this and affix it on my mirror, in my car, in my journal, on my tv, in my office, on my computer, in short–everywhere.

Koegel quoted University of Louisville’s basketball coach, Rick Pitino as saying–

Once you start thinking you are a success, you have started your decline.”

Enough said.

ELC

July 5, 2008 Posted by | Success | , , , | 1 Comment

The U-turn Epiphany

I had an epiphany the other day and have had daily reminders ever since. I have come to realize I’m really hard on myself and on other people. I’m so full of negative self-talk it is no wonder success is an uphill climb.

Just the other day I was driving in Nashville, planning to turn on to I-65 to head back down to Franklin. I was mentally sidetracked and passed my turn.

“You idiot!” 

Surely that’s what I was. Only idiots miss turns; normal people don’t do that. Life is tough for idiots like me.

Then it hit me. I’m not an idiot. I just missed my turn. All I have to do is U-turn and then I will do it right the next time. What an epiphany. It reminded me of my favorite scene in Disney’s The Kid when Russ Duritz (Bruce Willis) excitedly hollered, “I am not a loser!” I had that moment. Despite some of my friends’ repeated reminders, I am not an idiot, loser, moron or any other thing. I’m just a human who makes mistakes sometimes (sometimes frequently and repeatedly).

I can’t tell you how many times I have caught myself saying things like this since then. I publish a blog only to find a misspelled wrod and immediately castigate and berate myself. I answer a question incorrectly or fumble a sentence in a sermon and the names start internally flying. Some of you are saying, “Yeah, but Edwin, you really are an idiot.”

No, actually, I’m not. I’m just a human that makes mistakes.

Now, when I catch myself shaming myself, I remind myself. “Nope, I’m not an idiot, I just missed the turn. I’m just a human who makes mistakes. I’ll make a u-turn and just do it right on the second pass.” 

Have a great 4th of July!

ELC

July 3, 2008 Posted by | Being human, Making Mistakes, Shame | , , , | 5 Comments

20 Things I’m Thankful for Today

In moments of rigorous honesty, I admit I am a grumbler.

I bought a 1994 Honda Accord almost five years ago for $3500. Over those five years I have put somewhere close to a hundred thousand miles on it. In fact, it just rolled over 200,000 miles a month or so ago. Think about that. I drove nearly 100,000 miles for $3500. That’s only 3.5 cents per mile. Who could complain about that?

ME!

My transmission went out yesterday and all I can do right now is complain. What a perfect day for me to get into a conversation with some guys about gratitude. It struck me that in reality I have hundreds of things to be grateful for but only a few things worth complaining about. Yet, I spend so much more time grumbling than being thankful. 

So, a gratitude list.

1. I had a $3500 car last for five years and 100,000 miles

2. I own another car so I’m not completely stranded

3. I’m making money so I can buy another car if I need to

4. I have friends who let me borrow their car today

5. I had friends I was able to call to give me rides yesterday

6. I have a house

7. I have a wonderful wife (who puts up with a lot, I can tell you that)

8. I have four awesome kids

9. I have a computer

10. Last time I checked, I am still breathing

11. My transmission went out, I didn’t get into a fatal car wreck

12. I had food to eat today

13. My brother recently got into a near fatal wreck, but he lived

14. My other brother is stationed in Afghanistan and hasn’t been shot or blown up

15. I had clean clothes to wear today without having to go wash them in the creek and bang them on a rock

16. Right now, I’m able to pay someone to cut my grass (of course, if I buy a car this one may change–see, I can’t even be specifically grateful without grumbling)

17. My car has abandoned me, but my God hasn’t

18. When I got out of bed this morning, I could still walk

19. I don’t have leukemia, pancreatic cancer, diabetes, heart disease, colon cancer or any other fatal disease that I know of.

20. I’m in an air conditioned room

Wow! All that and only in about five minutes worth of thinking. I’m a pretty lucky guy. I’m sure my day would be better if I spent some time thinking about all the great things going on in my life and being grateful for them instead of thinking about the one or two bad things that pop up now and then.

Well, now I have to go figure out what I’m going to do with my faithful car who finally used herself up in my service. What honor does she deserve. Have a great 4th of July.

ELC

July 2, 2008 Posted by | Gratitude | , , , , | Leave a comment