Categories
Christian Living

Master of His Craft

“Whatever you are, be a good one.”

Abraham Lincoln

Our youngest son washes dishes at an upscale restaurant in the city where he lives. The other night we took him out to dinner and I asked him, “How’s your dishwashing job going?” You could’ve heard a pin drop. “Dad, it’s not just dishwashing. I’m the executive director of cleanliness and order!”

He went on for the next five minutes about how every type of squeaky clean dish and utensil has its proper place. This way the line cooks and servers always know where to find things. “Proper dishwashing is an art,” said our son Clark, with an unmistakable passion in his voice. “You have to LIKE the dishes.”

His older brother later told me that the head chef raves about how passionately Clark approaches his craft. Apparently everyone knows better than to mess with the flow in his dish pit. “Dude, haven’t you ever played the video game Tetris?!” our son says to the “non-executive” back-up dishwasher.

Such passion for a job many consider a no-brainer is inspiring. It reminds me of Paul’s words to the Colossians:

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” — Colossians 3:23-24 (NIV)

In my Christian service, I sometimes feel like I’m stuck back in the dish pit, doing the same monotonous job over and over. I long to be an “out front” leader, like the apostle Peter, but keep finding myself in the background, like his brother, Andrew.

Does anyone even know I’m back here?

Your job (or mine) in God’s “kitchen” may not be high-profile or glamorous, but somebody’s gotta do the “dishes”. And a good dish washer is like the drummer in a band, says Clark. “As long as he plays, pretty much nobody notices. But watch what happens to the music if he stops.”

Kind reader, whatever the Lord has given you to do, please continue to serve in HIS strength with ALL your heart, mind and soul. And I will do the same.

Your Work in God’s Kingdom Matters!

“God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown Him as you have helped His people and continue to help them.” – Hebrews 6:10 (NIV)

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

Categories
Christian Blog

The “answer”

Photo by Stefan Steinbauer on Unsplash

I couldn’t sleep the other night. So I turned on the living room television, but found mostly infomercials. Some guy with a mullet and a bow tie hoped to sell me, “The Answer.”

“Yes! For just two easy payments of $39.95, you can possess the greatest wealth building secrets of all time–conveniently printed on three laminated cards.”

The huckster claimed he carried these cards in his back pocket at all times; they allowed him to make thousands of dollars while he slept.

“Your pajamas have pockets? There’s not an app for that?”

There’s nothing like talking back to a TV at 2 a.m.😉

After about 30 minutes, I returned to dreamland. But something from that silly infomercial stuck in my head: the idea of making money in your sleep. There’s a passage in the Bible about God working while we sleep, I thought. Sure enough, I found it over breakfast.

It is vain for you to rise up early, to retire late, to eat the bread of painful labors; for He gives to His beloved even in his sleep.

Psalm 127:2 (NIV)

What strikes me about this verse is the fact that God GIVES. One of the cross references is Isaiah 55:1–where the Lord invites everyone to “Come to the waters and drink at NO COST.”

Inspired, I dug deeper into the Bible to find more things that God gives us. Here’s a sampling:

  • God gives us songs in the night (Job 35:10).
  • He gives food to every creature (Psalm 136:25).
  • The Lord gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness to those who please Him. (Ecc. 6:22).
  • God gives strength to the weary (Isaiah 42.29).
  • Jesus gives us peace that’s not like the world’s (John 14:27).
  • He gives us life and breath and everything else (Acts 17:25).

Of course, all these things aren’t REALLY without cost; they are free to us because Christ already paid for them. That could be a discussion in itself.

In the meantime, isn’t it wonderful that God freely offers His best to us?

You don’t need the “answer” to anything if you know the God of everything!

Categories
Christian Living

Why Do We Run?

It was to be a stress-reducing two mile run after school. Taking off from the flag pole, I planned an out and back route designed to avoid clusters of children walking home.

But as I rounded a corner, there they were: four kids spaced out on the sidewalk like cones on an obstacle course. “Hey! You’re one of the teachers!” “Yes,” I stammered, weaving my way through them.

Then one of them gave chase. This happens sometimes: children follow me down the street in hot pursuit—like kiddie-cops. Today’s “police interceptor” was a precocious third grader named Danny. He caught up with me, screaming over and over, “Mr. Duncan, why are you running!”

I picked up the pace. “Surely, I can drop this kid,” I thought. But he matched me stride for stride for about 40 yards! “Mr. Duncan, why are you running!” “Because I want to,” I yelled back. Finally, he turned around. I was alone again.

Once I rounded another bend, I started to walk. Why? Because I’m a middle-aged man who just drag raced a nine year old! Still huffing and puffing, I pondered. “Because I want to.” What kind of answer is that!? What I really meant to say is, I NEED to.

I’ve run early in the morning and late at night. Dodging traffic and snarling dogs, in the rain and under the blazing sun. Simply because I love the way it makes me feel.


The apostle Paul felt this way about sharing the message of Christ: “Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!” – 1 Corinthians 9:16b (NIV) The love of Christ compelled him; it moved him to extremes (2 Corinthians 5:14)

“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize?
Run in such a way as to get the prize.” – 1 Corinthians 9:24 (NIV)

Here and now I must sheepishly admit that personal evangelism doesn’t always excite me like running does. I don’t often feel driven to share the gospel.

But maybe that’s because these two words -personal and evangelism- bring to mind the street corner witnessing of my Baptist youth. Handing gospel tracts to strangers never felt like a natural way to share my faith. However, answering (kindly) someone who asks me to speak up for the hope within me does. – 1 Peter 3:15b

Why am I running in this faith race? Because the love of Christ compels me!

Photo by Snapwire on Pexels.com