To Spend And Be Spent

Some things are simply spent when you use them. Other things you can re-use. We would probably be wise to pay attention to the difference between the two.

Some things, when they are spent, are simply translated into other things, other resources, or other economies.

A couple of weeks ago, we took our huge family to Kansas City to see a play. In one sense, there was a lot of money spent that will not come back to us. But, in a much greater sense, those funds were translated into memories and priceless time together. Every dime was invested in relationships.

I have found myself on many occasions thinking about the example of Paul the Apostle as he wrote to the Corinthian believers, “I will most gladly spend and be spent for your souls.” (2 Cor. 12.15)

I have known people that modeled that sentiment, who continually spend their resources and their very lives pouring into, caring for, and looking after others. And, though I have tried to follow suit, I am still wrestling to overcome my own self-centeredness. Continue reading To Spend And Be Spent

When “Thanks” Won’t Cut It

I want to say “Thank you.”

I want to, but I want it to be bigger – huge, enormous, monumental – but it’s still those same little words. “Thank you.”

I have been on the receiving end of some of the most generous and even exorbitant kindnesses over the years from folks who saw that I had a need – even sometimes that I didn’t see – and were moved to give. How do you express gratitude for something that seems so far beyond anything you could ever do for someone else?

It’s good to send a thank-you card. I try to do that.

It’s good to try to express it in words. I try to do that.

But, all in all, it’s best, I think, to just BE GRATEFUL. To live with a grateful spirit and speak from a grateful attitude. Say “thank you” and MEAN IT!

As so many of us learned alongside Junior Asparagus years ago, a thankful heart is a happy heart.

But it’s also contagious.
Continue reading When “Thanks” Won’t Cut It

“Little Drummer Boy” – Seriously?

I must confess that I never particularly cared for the traditional Christmas song, “The Little Drummer Boy.” I have six kids of my own and I can tell you that, among many things not welcome at the scene of a newborn child, a drummer with his drum would be very high on the list. Then, of course, there’s the fact that there was no mention of musical accompaniment in the stable on the night of Jesus birth in the biblical record.

However, as a musician, I acknowledge the beauty of the simple melody. I enjoy Christmas music and the creative ways these old familiar tunes are reinterpreted year after year. As a friend shared the video below, I was enjoying this rendition by the a cappella group Pentatonix when the message of the song jumped out at me.

You see, it’s not about drums or a little boy with a drum or the stable where Jesus was born. It’s about giving.

Let me explain. The song tells the story of being invited to see the newborn King – just as we are all invited to revisit that wondrous occasion every year at this season. The story unfolds the realization that, being a poor little boy, he has nothing with which to bring an appropriate gift for a king. He recognizes that he can only give what he has to give. He has a drum. He has the ability to play it. That’s what he has to give.

So many times I think we fall into the trap of thinking that we don’t have enough money or spectacular ability or wondrous skill to give in service to God. We believe that God is good – that He is, in fact, the embodiment of love. Does it stand to reason that a God of love would ask us to give for His use anything that He has not already given unto us?

This beautiful old song is a testament of the glorious recognition that we ought rightly to do whatever it is that we were made to do in honor of our King.

Why is this a revelation to us?

And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Colossians 3:17)

[Official Video] Little Drummer Boy – Pentatonix

So, what is your drum to play for Him?