Vander's Thoughts

Vander's Thoughts

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thankful Responsibility

I had a great Thanksgiving! I was able to hang with my family and spend a great day just relaxing while recovering from eating too much, falling asleep while watching football and then waking up to pumpkin and apple pie! Man do I love Thanksgiving day.

There was a cool moment that happened around the dinner table while we were getting ready for prayer. My sister read an article that she found that reminded us about what blessing really means and in response we all shared what blessings we were thankful for. I am so thankful to belong to a family that loves God and recognizes Him not just on Thanksgiving day, but regularly in their lives.

It was a good reminder to me that living with thanks is something that should happen everyday and can easily be taken for granted. Because as good as my day was, I can’t help but wonder how bad someone else’s year may have been. Thankfulness should drive me everyday to help other people see God’s goodness not by me telling them how good God is, but by showing them that I care because God cares for them. I believe that being thankful isn’t an action as much as it is an expression of our lives. When you or I see someone who is truly thankful for something, it shows in their face, their eyes, and their entire disposition.

If I am thankful for being a part of a family that knows and lives out God’s love, then I need to make sure others are a part of my life for the same reason. I want to take the time to be thankful to God every moment of my life by being more considerate of others opinions, more patient with others differences, and more sympathetic of someone’s hang-ups. Then others will know that the true source of thankfulness comes from God and no where else. That's why it’s not just about Thanksgiving, but about Thanks-Living.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


I consider myself a lucky person. I have never been shot with a gun, stabbed with a knife, pierced with a sword, or broken a bone in my body. Of course I have had my share of injuries throughout my life, but I can’t imagine the physical pain that comes with injuries and tragedies caused by someone else. Some probably can affect and even debilitate a person the rest of their life.

But I have been wounded in manner that I believe is just as debilitating. I’m sure you’ve experienced similar injuries in your life like me. Have you ever shoot yourself in the foot? Been stabbed in the back? Pierced with a grief? Or had your heart broken. I’m sure we would agree that these painful moments can cause as much hurt or more then physical injuries. In fact sometimes these injuries damage us in a place that is much more difficult to heal.

I think what makes it so hard is correctly identifying the pain. When you go to the hospital a Doctor will ask you, “Where does it hurt” and you can instantly say or point to where the injury is. They even have those charts that show different faces that rate your pain level. But it’s not so easy to identify social pain. Someone may ask you, “Where does it hurt” and you honestly can’t answer them. It’s not like we don’t want to, but how do you say, “I just got snipered by a friend and I’m not sure if I’m supposed to be angry or lay here bleeding out emotion”.

The only way we can really seek healing is by going to the source and seeking understanding. Jesus himself told us that if an offense has occurred, whether it happened to us or we caused it, we are responsible to seek healing. It may be the last, no it is the last thing that we want to do, but it is the only way to truly get healing. All too often someone walks around like a social zombie because they refuse to go to the source and seek the healing that they desperately need. And then they wonder why they are so isolated and alone in their lives. It is a sad truth, but an unfortunately reality that is all too common.

Have you been wounded? Do you have a hurt in your life that is causing you a deep pain that’s debilitating your life? As hard as it is, seek out the source of your pain and get the healing that Jesus prescribes. Either that or have fun hanging out in Zombieland.

“Don't mistreat someone who has mistreated you...and do your best to live at peace with everyone.” - Romans 12:17-18

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Disciplined Variety

For the past month I have been living in a 5th wheel trailer while I am between homes (keep the trailer trash comments to yourself please). What I have discovered is that life in a trailer lacks variety. Actually life in a trailer becomes very routine. I have been using the same spoon fork plate and bowl for all my meals. I use them and wash them, and use them and wash them again. There is just no need to use any others. In fact every morning and every evening pretty much looks the same because there's not much room to do much else than what I normally do. I'm a loser I know, but I have discovered that using and doing the same thing over and over again isn't a bad thing at all. In fact I have discovered the joy in simplicity and routine.

Now I like new things and new places like anyone else, but somehow there is a belief out there that routine is bad thing. That routine is some sort of trap that we must break free of if you really want to enjoy life. Where did that thinking come from really? In fact the opposite is really true, real life is found in routine. Think about it, if you want to get better at something what are you supposed to do? Do it over and over again. And if you want to get in stronger what are you supposed to do? Lift weights over and over again. Routine is what makes our lives better, but yet somehow we avoid routine because it's boring or ordinary if you lack variety in your life.

God showed us His abilities through the variety we see in this world, but if you want to really live the life that He offers, than you must establish a routine with Him. It's called a discipline and it improves every area of our lives.

"Exercise daily in God—no spiritual flabbiness, please! Workouts in the gymnasium are useful, but a disciplined life in God is far more so, making you fit both today and forever. You can count on this." 1 Timothy 4:8 The Message

So go to a new place for vacation or eat at a new restaurant, but revisit the God of variety everyday to really live.