The other day in the grocery store I saw a child that was being very overly dramatic. He had spilled his Skittles and was not happy about that. Well, I would be pretty upset too if I spilled my Skittles, but this child really took it hard. There began crying and gnashing of teeth that was a bit on the ridiculous side.

At that point that’s when I heard the words from his mom, “I’m going to give you something to cry about if you don’t chill out!”

I know that God isn’t the  “give us something to cry about” type, but I wonder what he thinks when He sees us get so jacked up about such minor things like we do sometimes, like this kid with the Skittles.  Let’s make it a point to “be patient and bear one another in love” as Ephesians 4:2 says. That will save us from looking so goofy by getting upset at the slightest inconveniences.

The kid probably did need a lesson taught to him at that moment and a warm bottom would probably have helped the situation, but as I reflect, I think we believers need a lesson taught sometimes too.  As adult believers, we get upset too often about minor things like this kid and his Skittles.

Every once in a while we are inconvenienced and sometimes it just ruins our day. Maybe someone pulls out in front of us when we’re in a hurry or the checker at Kroger is slow, even though we rushed to the shortest line. Whatever it is, it puts us in a rotten mood and we feel like the world is against us. It’s amazing how we miss God’s finger prints in our lives because our hearts get in the wrong place so easily.  I had a college roommate that used to ask, “Will this even matter or will I remember it in a year?”  If the answer is “no,” take a “chill pill.”

Remember, if you spill your Skittles it’s a pain but it’s not the end of the world! I might even share some of mine with you if you ask nicely.

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Every 24 is a Gift

February 4, 2009

Someone asked me today, “How are you doing?” Sounds simple enough.  Sometimes, I’m not sure if people really want the real answer when they ask or not. I think most of the time it’s just what you say when you see someone and want to be friendly, but let’s think about it here for a minute.

None of us are promised tomorrow. James 4:14 says, “14 How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone.”

I had a friend tell me yesterday that someone he knew, 43 years old and in great shape, suddenly said “my chest is hurting.” He went to the bathroom at work and died of a heart attack. We never know when our time will be over.

Morgan was a 16 year old girl that I knew from Tallahassee. Morgan served God and was full of life. She had a long life planned, but suddenly she was killed last month in a car wreck. We never know when it will be our time to meet God. (BTW, hug your kids an extra time today.)

I don’t say all of this to be morbid, but just a reminder that we aren’t here on earth for very long. Let’s not use our limited time to complain, argue, or grumble. It’s important that we use our time here to serve God in a positive way and love those around us unconditionally. Let’s not reach the end with regrets that we wish we had….. You can fill in the blank.

When someone asks how you are doing today, think about all of your blessings before you answer. Any day that we’re breathing is a gift from God. Let’s make the most of each gift of 24 hours that He gives us.

Good News/Bad News

February 3, 2009

GOOD NEWS: Denny’s is offering FREE Grand Slam Breakfast to anyone between 6:00 a.m. & 2:00 p.m.
BAD NEWS: All of the Denny’s in Nashville have closed.

I saw the ad and got excited! I thought, “Maybe I could take my son, Matthew. He loves Breakfast” After seeing the ad, I quickly got out my computer, went to the Denny’s website, and hit “Find Locations.” To my lament and dismay, the closest Denny’s to Nashville that is still in business is in Bowling Green, Kentucky. What a let down… What a disappointment…. I thought my ship had finally come in and then… sniff …. there are no Denny’s in the area to fulfill the promise of the free meal.

It makes me think of what I hear alot today about Christians. People are hurting and they need a kind word or help. Sometimes they look to Christians and we don’t quite deliver what we promise either. Is the Christian life really all about meeting on Sundays, singing a few Chris Tomlin songs, hearing an inspiring message, and then hanging out with our Christian friends? There has to be more to it. The Bible says that the early believers were known for their love. I’m examining myself. I encourage you to do the same.

Recently I heard Henry Blackaby, author of “Experiencing God” speak at my church. One thing that he said has stuck in my brain. Henry said, “People keep saying that there is too much darkness in the world today. If there is too much darkness, the problem isn’t the darkness. The problem is with the light. It’s not shining bright enough.” ugh… Could he be talking about me?

Are you letting Christ shine in your life and delivering what your label, “Christian,” promises to the hurting? Let’s be real. Go out of your comfort zone and be who God has called us to be.

BTW, can someone save me some toast from their Denny’s breakfast?

How Do I Know I’m Called?

February 2, 2009

Someone asked me recently, “How do you know that God is calling you?” God didn’t call me on my cell phone and say, “Eddie, you the man…”   There wasn’t a cloud formation telling me to go into full time ministry, but God did make it pretty clear to me.  Before I go on, I should say that  I believe that God actually calls ALL of those who belong to Him, but I can tell you how God called me to full time ministry.

I was just out of college and working in Nashville at a “Sheltered Workshop.” My position was Operations Manager and I managed about 20 supervisors. I had a pretty good resume for a twenty-something year old. After about two years on the job, I thought I would send out some resumes. I was surprised that not one person called me back!

Not that I was anything special, but I thought someone should at least call me back with a resume like I had. I prayed, “God, You must either want me to stay here or maybe you do want me in full time ministry. I’m willing to do full time ministry if that’s what You want. I just ask that you let me know for sure. My family would not understand me moving from Nashville and I need to know for sure that it’s you leading me.”

I only sent out a couple of ministry resumes and I started getting calls and interviews immediately. I’m not always the sharpest tool in the box but I started to “get it.”  Ding, Ding!  I realized that I was now on the right track!

I went to Charlotte, NC on an interview and afterwards, Marla and I just didn’t feel good about it. I did promise to pray about it for a week. When we got back home to Nashville, I had a message that another church in Charlotte had called. Not wanting to “muddy the waters,” I told the second church that I didn’t want to talk at that time until I found God’s will for the first church.

After a week of prayer, we still didn’t feel good about the second church so we called and told them we couldn’t come. When I called the second church back I was told that they were already talking to another candidate and didn’t want to “muddy the waters” with me. They wanted to find God’s will in this relationship.

I was good with that, but after a week they called me back. They told me that the candidate was a guy from Alabama. He turned them down but asked, “Would I be out of line by recommending someone to you?” They told him they would love to have a name from him.

Guess who’s name this guy in Alabama gave to this church in Charlotte, NC? He told them to call a guy in Nashville. “Eddie Poole” was his name! God wanted me in full time ministry and had this church contact one of the few people in this whole world who would then point them right back to me. What are the odds? Pretty good if God is in the mix! That’s how I know that He has called me into full time ministry.