Authentic Connections

I’ve known three people in my life who have this certain "gift." I don’t know what to call it. I guess you could call it Charisma, but it seems a profane use of the word. These three people have the ability to flip a switch and make anyone, anywhere, anytime believe, in an instant, that they are that person’s best friend. It’s almost a spell that’s cast on people. I’ve seen it happen and am truly amazed. In each of these three cases, I watched the individual use this gift in a smarmy way of self-fulfillment and/or self-advancement. Sadly, you could tell it fed some emptiness inside them.

I contrast that to watching my friend yesterday in the coffee shop. He has a gentle, humble way of making connections with people. It’s a smile, a handshake, calling the person by name. He consciously reaches out to make a connection with almost every person he comes in contact with. I think the difference between him and the three I mention above is in the motivation. I could tell that my friend yesterday was loving on people – filling them up out of the fullness that’s in him. He’s not suckering people to feed his own insecurities. It was fun to watch these people light up when they talked to him. People tend to respond favorably to love. It kind of reminded me of what the woman at the well must have looked like when Jesus asked for a drink.

My friend inspired me to be a better lover of people today.

Chapter-a-Day Mark 9

Jesus said, "If? There are no "ifs’ among believers. Anything can happen."Mark 9:23 (TM)

This verse reminded me of my fourteen year old daughter, who was called to go to the mission field in Thailand this summer. There is no question that she received the call and God is moving the universe to make things happen, but it’s fun to watch her experience this for the first time. The trip costs a considerable sum. She sent out her support letter late last week and within days the return envelopes began pouring in.

Sunday night the four of us were sitting at the dining room table talking about the weekend and my daughter was opening her envelopes and counting the money. Suddenly she looked up with tears streaming down her face. One generous person had sent her an surprisingly large check and it put her at the half-way mark of what she needed for the trip. God had provided half of the support she needed in a matter of a few days.

There are no ‘ifs’ when God is involved. There is a divine plan of goodness for us and God will accomplish it. Anything can happen. Gives you a sense of expectation for the day, doesn’t it?

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Production Begins!

We started rehearsals for "The Dominie’s Wife" last night. It felt really good to be back on stage, to be marking the script and trying on costumes. It always strikes me how the theatre feels like home, and being on stage gives me energy. We have to be off-book in less than two weeks (Yikes!). Looks like I’ve got some memorizin’ to do.

Friday night after rehearsal the cast is coming over for margaritas and we’re doing a read-thru of the script I’m submitting to the Tulip-Time Playwriting Contest. I had Wendy read-through it with me on Sunday and I know there are some changes I need to make before Friday. It’s kind of exciting to have a rough draft finished. OMG! I’m a playwrite!

Of course, that stupid, shameless Censor inside keeps picking away at me telling me that it’s all crap – that everyone will think it’s stupid – that it will pale in comparison to the other contest submissions by real playwrites – etc. etc. etc. Arrrrggghhh. Get thee behind me, Censor! I think I’ve done an admirable job for my first play, thank you. And no matter what others may think of it, I’ve learned a lot just in the process of writing it. I’ve grown as a writer and an artist. I got out of the boat and took a few steps on the surft. At least I wrote it. How many people think about writing something and never have the guts to do it? Huh? Huh? It’s on paper. So, go *#&@ yourself.

Whew. That feels a little better.

A Chapter a Day – Mark 8

"What good would it do to get everything you want and lose you – the real you?" Mark 8:37 (TM)

I feel like my life has become a journey to discovering the real me. I want to capture, or perhaps it’s recapture, the person God created me to be – the child who got lost in the midst of false expectations, shallow pursuits and wayward desires. The cool thing about following Jesus is that, as my Creator, He holds the real me. Who I really am is hidden in Him. All the other crap I’ve covered myself with only insulates me from Him – and the true me.

Just another wayfarer on life's journey, headed for Home. I'm carrying The Message, and I'm definitely waiting for Guffman.

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