My Thoughts on National Women’s Day

So people are dumb. Petty. Short-sighted. Vain. Driven by agendas. I’ll stop there 🙂 I realize there are some (on every side) who are trying to politicize every single thing they can, make issues of every thing they can, and stir up as much drama as they can, Welcome to our world. Whatever. This is not a political post. I don’t do those.

I’m not a big holiday guy. I think a lot of things like Valentines Day, Mothers Day, Fathers Day, etc are just marketing ploys or whatever. I don’t feel obligated to wear green on St Patricks Day either hahhahhahaha  So having a national “whatever” day does matter to me.

But I will comment on how I feel about the women in my life. I am surrounded by strong, intelligent, life-giving, hope-filled women. I see the power of women every single day.  I see it in my home, I see it in my community, and I see it in my church.

I pastor a great church. We are healthy, effective, life-giving, and a bright light in the darkness. I have some great men around me. Men that are great reflections of Christ, love their families, and love their church. However, there is not a single church in this world that functions without women. Women are play significant roles in every church.

CrossChurch is as healthy as a church can be. But at the end of the day, women are carrying the ball in the vast majority of areas. They lead, they serve, and they make a difference in countless ways.

I have a personal relationship with many of them. Those relationships give me life, encourage me, strengthen me, and remind me I am loved every single day.  They make me laugh. They make me think. Sometimes they send me a text message at just the right time or leave me a gift or a short hand-written note in my office when I’m not there. I love surprise notes hahaahahahhaaha  Sometimes they make me shake my head too hahaahahaahahahahhaha

CrossChurch has three campuses, lots of women, and I am so grateful for each of them. I could name names and tell heartfelt stories for hours. I won’t, but I could.  My point is, I could simply not function at the level I function at without the women who surround me. CrossChurch as an organization simply could not be what it is without women who make a difference.

It is not a men vs women thing. I have relationships with men just like I described in the previous paragraph. My wife can guess what man is texting me many times because of my laugh. I actually do “LOL”, except I spell it “ahahhahahaha”  I couldn’t function without my boys either, but its not national boys days hahaahhahahaha

And I could say the same thing about children and students. There is nothing like a little kid busting my office when I am deep in some project, just so they can get a hug or tell me about their day. I have relationships people of all age groups and both male and female that are very meaningful to me.  But again, it is not national kids day or national teenager day either hhahaahahahahaa

All of us are needed to play our parts on the team, or in the family, or in the community, or in the church. But I can say there is not a single day that goes by that I am not deeply grateful for the women in my life; the little girls, the middle schoolers, the high schoolers, the young adults, those going on 29 for the 8th time, those going on 39 for the 20th time, or those proud of turning 80 soon.

I won’t use this post to gush on my wife and daughter, but let’s just say, they are irreplaceable in my life. Anything from them is life-giving to me. Just hearing their voices makes me happy (well, not so much with some specific tones ahahhahahhaaa)

In my community there are so many women who are everything from stay at home moms to business owners to young entrepreneurs to waitresses to dental assistants to nurses to school teachers to secretaries to our mayor. Think about how boring and lifeless this world would be with the smiles and energy that women of all ages give us. I cannot imagine a world without the women who have invested in me over my lifetime, or the ones who are investing in me at this moment in time.

I am blessed everyday by the women in my life. They don’t need to have a “national day” for me to recognize that.

Be Kind. Be Generous. Be Grateful. (or Stop Being a Jerk)

Like many people, I am thinking “Its 2017 already?! How did that happen?” It is amazing how fast every year seems to fly by as it marches to the never-ending cadence of time. Time is the one thing we have no control over. It just keeps on marching along. We will blink and it will be summer. Throughout history time has continued to march on at a unrelenting pace.

2016 was a year of greatly increased social media negativity. I suppose partly due to the election process, but more due to people just being jerks. Just because you can rant doesn’t mean you should rant. Even if you were right, you were just a jerk who happened to be right.  Some people should keep their opinions on divisive topics to themselves. All their rant did was create more unnecessary drama and damage, and make them look bad in the process.

Their rant didn’t empower them, it only displayed their weakness.  It did not enhance their personhood or meaningful influence, it only lessened both.  Any dingbat can create drama. What we need are peacemakers and unifiers willing to work through hard issues together for a common good.

As we enter 2017, my plan for myself, and my wish for you in this new year is simple. Amidst the hustle and bustle of life, spend time thinking and evaluating our lives, and then that we intentionally express our gratitude and love to those in your circle of relationships. I wish you the ability to slow down enough to remember, think, and love.

As we move into 2017, I am filled with hope. I could list so many things that I see on the horizon in my personal life, my church’s life, and in the life of our community. I would not consider myself an eternal optimist, but I am filled with hope.

To boil it down to a simple thought, my hope for the new year is that we all choose to be kind, work together for the common good, and give credit to others. I hope 2017 is a kinder, more unified, more generous year.

It sounds so easy, but many in our society at the national level, and at the local level, have forgot how to simply be kind to one another. Our nation needs healing, not more verbal wounds right now. We can speak life or speak death. We get to make that choice. I hope we just remember how simple it is to be kind.

I hope we remember how important it is to get along and work together if we want to accomplish anything that matters. Those who seek to divide us are not our friends. They have self-serving personal agendas that they place a higher value on that the health and well-being of our community.

I hope we remember the importance of giving credit to others. None of us succeed without countless “others” helping us along the way. Needing credit or taking credit is not attractive. It’s actually a sign of weakness.

Get some rest. Spend time thinking, evaluating, being kind, and being generous. I am filled with hope that 2017 is going to be an amazing year!