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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Thoughts...10-12-10

Well, today I have all kinds of thoughts going through my mind. This past weekend my family and I traveled back to my home town to take part in the funeral service for my Grandfather who passed away last week.

It was a weekend filled with mixed emotions for me. On the one hand it was good to be home and see my mom and my brother and his family, but on the other hand it was too bad that we couldn't have been together on better circumstances.

 On the one hand I was very sad to see my grandfather pass away but on the other hand it's so comforting to know that He is with the Lord.

 On the one hand it was good to see family members that I haven't seen in a long time but on the other hand it was saddening to see that some of them still carry grudges and bitter feelings towards each other that go back many years.

On the one hand it was such an honor for me to share some thoughts with the people at the funeral...thoughts about how even though my Grandfather was a man of very few words His life spoke volumes to me as a kid and now as an adult, but on the other hand it was difficult for me to see that His life didn't seem to carry the same effect on other members of my family.

I wondered why God can use the words and actions of a person to profoundly affect the life and lifestyle of one person one way and someone else in a different way.

To me, in the absence of a Father and Godly male role model growing up, my Grandfather served as a steady, stable, true to his word loving disciplinarian that God used to help keep me on the straight and narrow.

Although I never had any deep spiritual or theological discussions with him, I observed many qualities that God used to help shape my attitude and outlook on life.

 At the funeral I shared some lessons I learned from Pa...

 1. Whatever you do work hard at it, and give it everything you have

2. Even when things are tough, hang in there and persevere

 3. Don't judge a book by its cover

4. Stay Loyal

 And the last lesson I shared is probably the one that God used to shape my outlook, my ministry, my passion and pretty much everything I want my life to be about and my message to be about...YOU CAN BE RESTORED!

 You see, my grandfather was an avid tractor restorer. He could take an old, abandoned, broken, discarded hunk of junk and restore it to a thing of beauty that not only looked good on the outside, but actually ran as good as the day it rolled off the lot into the service of its new owner!

We never talked about or deeply discussed the spiritual nuances of it but somehow in the midst of my selfish and immature younger days God used the image of my grandpa investing hour after hour pouring into what others saw as a worthless piece of trash.

 It's amazing to me how God uses things to send a very profound message to a young boy who "should've been" just another statistic by the world's definition...but God helped me realize that just like those tractors I could be restored, and just like those tractors I could be a living breathing testimony to the restoration power of the restorer!

 It's also amazing to me as I reflect on the towns, cities, states, regions, and countries of the world that I've had the privilege of proclaiming Jesus, the theme of restoration through the power of Jesus has always been the central message.

 Hmmm, to me it's pretty cool that God used a wordless action to powerfully proclaim a life changing truth that has changed me forever and has compelled me to want to share that truth with the world.

Thanks Pa, even though I wasn't always there for you...you were always there for me, and my life is forever changed because God used you to speak volumes through your passion for restoration!

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