Grand Point - Ship

Where Hope Is Found

Photo by Ron Smith on Unsplash

My wife arranges all my clothes for me as I am completely crippled when it comes to anything fashionable. You know you have a loving spouse when they do things like that.

Let me really wow you though. Not only does she arrange my clothes for me, but she also pics out sample designs put them into a picture collage and print them out for me to reference so I can feel like I do it myself.

What a wife!

So as part of this style, she started making me sport wristbands, calling them accessories. I didn’t know I needed accessories, but here we are…

Someone gave me the most amazing wristband recently. It’s literally the coolest thing ever. It has coordinates on it. They gave them to me and Crystal together and when we input the coordinates, you’ll never believe what they point to….

Biblical Living, Grand Point - Ship

I Made a Difference!

One of the fun things we’ve done with your kids for a while now is asking them about their day at dinner. Usually, Crystal or I will ask who made a difference during the day. Sometimes there is something that they have to share right off the bat, other times they just make stuff up. It’s pretty easy to tell the difference.
We do this trying to foster a sense of kindness in our kid’s lives. We don’t believe that kindness is a hashtag you do or monthly event, it’s a lifelong focus and it takes intentionality.

The other thing we have to do is make sure Crystal and I are modeling this in front of them also, so every time we can, we make a difference and we share it with them.

So I made a difference recently and I was elated about it.

Wednesday has a way of becoming big and bad for me. It’s the day when I schedule almost all of my meetings, so from morning till afternoon, I’m usually meeting with people, helping, connecting, praying, strategizing, blah, blah, blah. I love it!
This particular Big Bad Wednesday was gnarly on all levels and border-lined on just plain ludicrous. I had meetings scheduled back to back from 9AM through 8PM, with a small margin from 1:30-4:00.

After my lunch meeting, I was making my way back to my car. I had 20 minutes before my next meeting was to begin and it was with an outside contractor, so I really needed to be on time and prepared. This was the moment the Holy Spirit chose to interject into my space.
Don’t you love that? When God chooses something for you just to see how much you really do love his people? I mean, I say I do, and I tell other people to, but how well do I actually love his people? We’re about to find out.

This young man comes up to me and says the line, hey man, can I ask you something. Immediately, I’m locked and loaded in my defensive mode. “No, I don’t have any cash” I’m mentally preparing while thinking what else I can say or do to escape or evade the imminent.
But to my surprise, it doesn’t come! In fact, it never came. I was almost disturbed it didn’t come and really had to process what to do with an actual, tangible request for someone to care.

The young man just asked me to put directions in his phone to walk to Walmart so he could board a bus to get to Harrisburg where his nephew had been hit by a bus and was in the hospital.

The Walmart he was referring too was over 10 miles away!

He hands me his phone with Google Maps opened and I showed him how to select walking directions, he grabs his phone, heads off and shouts back, “thanks man, thanks so much.”

And cue Holy Spirit for the slap in the face moment that follows where he reminds me, “not everyone is out for a dollar and a biscuit, some actually do need hope.”

I’m down to 15 minutes before meeting now and I face a choice, do I just move on or do I re-engage and help some more. I wrestled with that for about 30 seconds while I watched him walk down the street looking at the directions on his phone. My feet hurt with the thought of walking 4:15 minutes to the Walmart where he would board a bus.

So I drove closer to where he was, rolled down the window and shouted in his direction, “Hey dude!”. He didn’t hear me, too much traffic noise.
I did it again. Still no response. Again, this time louder and with some ladies standing between he and I. They looked at me pretty strangely, but he still didn’t hear me. I jumped out of my truck, leaving it running and ran over to him. Finally, he sees and hears me and I asked him if I could give him a ride.
He’s elated at the idea and jumps in the front seat.

Off we go, as fast as I was comfortable going in town. I told him that I’d get him as far as I could but wouldn’t be able to get him all the way there. He’s still overjoyed at the idea of saving himself a few steps along the way.
During our short trip, he tells me more of his story, where he’s from, what he does for work and about this incident with his nephew. I learned that Isaiah, nephew, is on the autistic spectrum and had run out in the street while waiting for the school bus only to be struck by oncoming traffic. That was his story. I later looked for news articles about incidents reflecting those details and couldn’t find anything but that really doesn’t matter all that much.

I got him a good few miles down the road before I had to drop him off and head back to my meeting. He jumped out of my truck, shakes my hand and again profusely thanks me for the ride and heads off.

Again, cue Holy Spirit as he subtly reminds me what I’ve recently taught my people at Grand Point Church — Shippensburg, “What the world needs is not another church, it needs a group of Christ-followers who are passionate about getting Jesus to the people.”

So I went home Wednesday is with a story to share at the dinner table and hopefully some hope given away, even if it was just a little bit.

What about you, what differences have you made that have marked your life recently?
How have you found cool ways to lead or challenge your kids on kindness?

Biblical Living, Grand Point - Ship

Hope Dealers

My favorite sentiment about being a Christ follower right now is that he has literally called us to become hope dealers to the world around us.
One of my favorite passages in the Bible is found in Acts 3 where Peter and John encounter a lame man begging for whatever on the steps leading up to the church. I’ve always found the imagery of that story so vivid and telling of the state of our “religious system” in the world today. Hope is being withheld by churches so people have resorted to trying to find outside the church rather than inside.

I wrote recently about the man who was just looking for help to get from one place to another because his nephew had been hit by a bus. Terrible story, but that was all he was concerned about. Nothing else mattered at that moment but getting to his nephew who may have been fighting for his life. This guy I met needed someone to care about his life and situation and just offer some hope. I was called to be a hope dealer that day, and I answered the call. I wish I was wearing my t-shirt.

Peter and John interact with this man who asks for a simple handout, silver or gold. Nothing more. A coin. A shekel. A biscuit. Maybe some Chick-fil-A, but let’s not get carried away.
Peter and John looked at the man and beheld him in their gaze. Luke writes that the man literally stared at them. How long does it take to stare? Three seconds? I’d say that, at least, if not more. He stared at them, expecting to get something from them. And naturally, he should have expected to get something from them.
I love their response—We don’t have silver or gold, but I will give, what I do have. So huge.

I will give, what I do have.

What if we all started living with that mentality. I will give what I do have.
Just say that right now. Speak those life-changing words. I WILL give what I do have.
I don’t have everything. I don’t need everything. In fact, maybe I don’t need any more than I have right now, but I WILL give what I DO have. Not what I don’t have, but what I do have.

What do you have?

You have hope.

The moment of your salvation you became a hope dealer. Empowered, enabled, equipped and well stocked with ample hope.

Hope comes in so many different forms. Time. Prayer. Words. Care. Dinner. Biscuits. Chick-fil-A. Even plata (that would be $$$), now and again.

It’s time to deal some hope.

Share the inspiration, what’s your most recent hope dealing story?