It is possible to be “in Christ” and be immature, not understanding fully what it means, not grasping the new possibilities and responsibilities set before us.  The road to maturity is through teaching and instruction.  What you need for that is teachers with boundless energy; and what you need for that is the life-giving power of the King Himself, working with Paul then and Christian teachers ever since.  Great demands will be made on them.  But the energy which Jesus inspires within them is always more than equal to the task.

Excerpt from Paul for Everyone – The Prison Letters by N.T. Wright


Begging for Scraps


Reposted from Faith Tap

Helping the homeless is something that some of us love to do, and something others avoid for their own reasons. But when one struggling homeless man wandered into a Murfreesboro, Tennessee Chick-fil-A, he got the surprise of a lifetime.

The man came in wanting any leftover food scraps the store had to spare – but he left with so much more!

A father-daughter duo was enjoying a quiet meal to themselves when they witnessed the kind actions of the Chick-fil-A manager. The father, Joey Mustain, posted the entire story to Facebook as soon as they got home!

“I took Stella to Chick-fil-A today. It’s our normal daddy-daughter spot. It’s clean, so good, and the playground has a tractor beam on her the moment she sees it.

When we finished eating and she’d worked up her dessert appetite playing with the other kids, we went back to trade in her toy for ice cream. She wanted to sit at a table to eat the cone (something we usually do in the truck), and I’m so glad she did.

We took a booth right next to the spot where you wait for your drink to be ‘refreshed,’ and we had a front-row seat to this beautiful scene: a homeless traveler had walked in and asked if they had any extra food.

Mud was wet and caked on his well-traveled shoes.

His hair was matted, and his beard wasn’t a statement as much as it was a necessity and a sign that he doesn’t get to shave as often as most of us do.

People near him kept their distance, but that didn’t stop him from being kind. He spoke to people who reluctantly spoke back, and he smiled while he waited on a manager.”

It seemed as though nothing could faze this gentle homeless man.

The manager approached the homeless man, and Joey was shocked by what he heard during the ensuing conversation!
“All I could pick up on of the conversation was the manager saying that he’d love to give him a full, warm meal. Not just scraps or extras.

The only thing he required was that the man let him pray with him.

After the homeless man agreed, there was no waiting for things to die down, there was no scooting anyone to the side.

As busy as they were, the manager stopped then and there, laid his hand on the man, and proceeded to pray.


I heard love in that prayer. The homeless man wasn’t some untouchable stain on business. He was the reason that store opened its doors this morning (or any morning).

I asked Stella to watch and she stared. She asked what was happening and when I told her, she bowed her head, too.

I realized then and there that Chick-fil-A doesn’t simply do business for profits, they truly use business to minister….

I love teaching my daughter life lessons, and I also love being there to watch other Christians teach her life lessons. Thank you, Chick-fil-A, for taking care of the latter today.”

The manager could’ve easily ushered the dirtied man away from his restaurant, but instead, he chose to make a positive difference.

As the weather gets chillier and the homeless are forced to endure frigid, dangerous conditions, think about how you can make a positive change! No matter where you live, there’s a homeless shelter that will gladly take your old clothes, volunteer time or money (if you have extra to spare).
You do have what it takes to change lives for the better, just as this amazing manager did!



By Bill Callen:Top Right News

Chick-fil-A, the same fast-food outlet has once again proved a positive to the world. This time it did so by unveiling an amazing Veterans Day tribute that left Georgia resident Eric Comfort in complete shock.

According to a Facebook post he published on Mon, when he walked into a local Chick-fil-A, Comfort discovered a”Missing Man Table”that contained a single rose, a Bible & a folded American flag, as well as a plaque in which was the following explanation:

“This table is reserved to honor our missing comrades in arms.The tablecloth is white – symbolizing the purity of their motives when answering the call of duty.

The single red rose, displayed in a vase, reminds us of the life of each of the missing and their loved ones and friends of these Americans who keep the faith, awaiting answers. The vase is tied with a red ribbon, symbol of our continued determination to account for our missing. A pinch of salt symbolizes the tears endured by those missing and their families who seek answers. The Bible represents the strength gained through faith to sustain those lost from our country, founded as one nation under God. The glass is inverted – to symbolize their inability to share this evening’s toast. The chair is empty – they are missing.”

After the story went viral, the store manager, Alex Korchan, explained to WSB that his team members had set up the table because they “wanted to honor veterans.” Furthermore, he offered free meals to all veterans and their family members on Veterans Day. Korchan also put up a poster so that customers could write in the names of loved ones who they have lost. “We’ve had a lot of people who have come in and seen it and been touched by it,” Korchan continued. “It’s been special to see.”

Broken People Healing Broken People

Reposted from Jamin Bradley’s Blog

It’s interesting how overweight and smoking doctors can still heal you, isn’t it? By all means, if anyone knows the dangers of obesity and smoking, it’d be them right? But despite their problems, they can still lead you on a path towards health, treat your sickness, and prescribe the right medicine.

Sometimes in Christianity, we think that we have to have it all together before we help someone else walk through spiritual healing. Someone comes to us asking for help, but we’re afraid to offer it because we feel too belittled by our own problems. Even more so, we feel like a hypocrite.

“How do I get you out of your crap when I’m still stuck in mine?”

Well here’s some good news for you: we all have crap. Pastors included. And it’s a shame that we would be unwilling to help others because we’re too ashamed of ourselves.

The beauty of groups like Alcoholics Annonymous and Celebrate Recovery is that a bunch of openly broken people work alongside each other. They are open to helping each other even when they themselves are falling apart. They all have the same (or similar) problem. Some of them have achieved sobriety, while others are still stuck in relapse. But they offer whatever help they can provide to each other regardless of where they are at. Some even often ask for advice from those who are doing worse than they are, which is healing to both.

I suppose the old adage is true: you can’t give someone something you don’t have, hence why not just anyone can be a sponsor—hence why not just anyone can be a doctor! But our brokenness does not mean we are incapable of helping each other, loving each other, and generally guiding each other towards Jesus.

My fear is more so for those with a plank in their eye—unable to see or admit their own brokenness but willing to offer advice to others, even though Biblically, the others are better off with only a spec in their eye. Pride is a pharisaical and dangerous attribute to wield at someone.

When you’re truly unable to help someone, lead them to someone who can. But don’t belittle yourself in resentment and shame and think you have nothing to add. If you’re avidly working on your brokenness, you are not as much of a hypocrite as you think.

A Soldier’s Christmas Poem


Reposted from poetreecreations

The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.
Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
Transforming the yard to a winter delight.
The sparkling lights in the tree I believe,
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.
My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.
In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,
So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.

The sound wasn’t loud, and it wasn’t too near,
But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear.
Perhaps just a cough, I didn’t quite know, Then the
sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.
My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
And I crept to the door just to see who was near.
Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.

A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,
Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.
“What are you doing?” I asked without fear,
“Come in this moment, it’s freezing out here!
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!”

For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts..
To the window that danced with a warm fire’s light
Then he sighed and he said “Its really all right,
I’m out here by choice. I’m here every night.” “It’s my duty to
stand at the front of the line,

That separates you from the darkest of times.
No one had to ask or beg or implore me,
I’m proud to stand here like my fathers before me.
My Gramps died at ‘Pearl on a day in December,”
Then he sighed, “That’s a Christmas ‘Gram always remembers.”
My dad stood his watch in the jungles of ‘Nam’,
And now it is my turn and so, here I am.
I’ve not seen my own son in more than a while,
But my wife sends me pictures, he’s sure got her smile.

Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,
The red, white, and blue… an American flag.
I can live through the cold and the being alone,
Away from my family, my house and my home.
I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat.
I can carry the weight of killing another,
Or lay down my life with my sister and brother..
Who stand at the front against any and all,
To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall.”

“So go back inside,” he said, “harbor no fright,
Your family is waiting and I’ll be all right.”
“But isn’t there something I can do, at the least,
“Give you money,” I asked, “or prepare you a feast?
It seems all too little for all that you’ve done,
For being away from your wife and your son.”
Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,
“Just tell us you love us, and never forget.
To fight for our rights back at home while we’re gone,
To stand your own watch, no matter how long.
For when we come home, either standing or dead,
To know you remember we fought and we bled.
Is payment enough, and with that we will trust,
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us.”

LCDR Jeff Giles, SC, USN
30th Naval Construction Regiment
OIC, Logistics Cell One
Al Taqqadum, Iraq

Author: LCDR Jeff Giles, SC, USN, 20th Naval Construction Regiment

Respect for Character


Reposted from Radical Mentoring

Men need respect. They’ll go to school and keep going to school . . . degree after degree seeking respect from academia. They’ll work their butts off to be respected at work. They’ll buy things they can’t afford trying to be respected by their neighbors and friends. They’ll run marathons and IRONMAN races to be respected as athletes. They’ll lift weights and bulk up to get respect as someone not to be messed with.

But what men often miss is this . . . it’s respect for their character they truly seek. Men want to be respected for who they are on the inside. This type of respect is slow to build and hard to come by. It takes establishing a track record of doing the right thing over and over in a community of people who are watching. It’s doing the right thing even when nobody is looking. It’s telling the truth . . . being trustworthy and honest. It’s being the same person no matter who you’re around . . . in public or in private.

People say that going through tough times builds character. I disagree. Character is revealed under pressure but not developed there. It’s developed in advance of the crisis. I believe there are three primary contributors to character development . . .

1. Character is taught – We need someone to teach us right from wrong . . . someone who can interpret morality for us, giving us ‘do’s’ and ‘don’ts’ and explaining things like tenacity, sportsmanship, gratitude, patience, humility and helpfulness.

2. Character is modeled – We need to see someone live out a life of character in front of us. We need to watch someone humble themselves, admit when they’re wrong, say they’re sorry, and lose gracefully. We can all remember people who were this kind of ‘cornerstone’ people. They didn’t ‘preach’ character, they ‘reeked’ of it!

3. Character depends on Jesus – We need to know we’ll be taken care of if we stand strong in our character. Faith in God gives us confidence to stand strong and tall. We are not alone . . . we can depend on our Heavenly Father to hang in there with us when we do the right thing regardless of the consequences. “The Lord rewards everyone for their righteousness and faithfulness” (1 Samuel 26:23).

Our children and our children’s children will be taught different versions of character than we were. It’s increasingly up to us, the parents and grandparents, to connect the development of character to a rock solid faith in Jesus Christ. They need to hear us say, “You can stand alone . . . you don’t have to give in. You can do this! God is with you and as long as you know that, what can man do to you?” Character is never about the immediate future, it’s about the long run! The strength to stand strong against peer pressure and public opinion . . . that’s the kind of character that’s respected.

We’re often called the ‘self-esteem’ generation. But I can assure you, nothing builds self-esteem like doing the right thing. Do the right thing over and over and before we know it, our character will have earned the respect we crave so badly. And we’ll feel a lot better about ourselves along the way.