Saturday, July 23, 2011

That's rich!

That’s Rich!
When you hear that phrase, different things could come to mind.  For me, the first thoughts are Chocolate, Cheesecake, Cappuccino.  Or you might think of people, such as that “Little” guy who does impersonations.  That’s Rich!  And of course there’s what it costs to fill up a gas tank nowadays – too rich for my blood! 
There’s another meaning to the phrase “That’s Rich.”  I looked it up on  It means, “when someone criticizes you for something that they themselves do,” or “when someone has the audacity to reprimand you when they are much worse than you.”  Very much like when adults tell kids not to smoke cigarettes while they themselves are lighting one up, or seeing the traffic court judge – the one who rolled his eyes when you said the picture from the red-light camera wasn’t you – at the DMV to get his own license reinstated after a DUI.  If you were to use “proper” language to express something “that’s rich” you might choose the word “hypocrite” to convey the same thought.
Hypocrite.  I found the word in the Webster’s.  It says, “One who feigns to be what he is not; one who has the form of godliness without the power, or who assumes an appearance of piety and virtue, when he is destitute of true religion.”  In other words, someone who gives the appearance of being “holier than thou” when he’s not. And you know what else? I didn’t see my picture next to the word.  I won’t say whose picture I saw there – he wouldn’t believe it if I told him anyway.  After all, nobody ever sees themselves as a hypocrite. 
As I was looking up all these definitions on the internet, drinking a Dr Pepper out of the 2 liter bottle and downing my Dollar Menu dinner, a younger family member IM’d me on Facebook.  We had a lengthy conversation about her desire to eat more nutritiously, and also about a couple of financial goals she has.  I made a point of mentioning some things that addresses both goals.  Things such as planning menus ahead of time for the week; cutting out the sodas; shopping from a list – if it’s not on the list you don’t purchase it; making it a priority to eat meals at your kitchen table with family; eliminating distractions such as TV and computers. It makes me feel good that she thinks so highly of me.  I hope she takes my advice to heart and actually follows it.  She’s young and smart and talented. If she’s diligent, she may even be rich someday!
And wouldn’t it be rich if that picture next to the word “hypocrite” started to look a little bit like me….

Monday, July 18, 2011

This little light......

All throughout history God has used people to do things for Him.  Even today God still uses people, presenting opportunities to all of us to tell others of His love for the world. His call may be subtle, such as simply noticing that someone needs help opening a door to enter or exit a building.  It may be a bit stronger.  He may but a burden on your heart to help people at the freeway offramps by offering them a snack bar or a piece of fruit to eat. You may feel prompted to bless others by sending a note of encouragement in the mail to someone you know is going through a struggle.  Or, you may be in a position where you can financially support an organization or cause that is close to your heart. These are all little things that just about everybody can do.  And for many people, that is enough, and that’s OK.  You are fulfilling what God is calling you to do at that particular time in your life.  
But for some others, doing these things may be just barely enough to appease our conscience.  For Susan Finch, giving a blanket to a homeless man was not enough.  Susan had been involved in raising money for a local women’s shelter in Laguna Beach, but wanted to do more.  When she tried to volunteer, she found out it required a lot of training.  Her time was limited due to owning a retail business and she was unable to help the shelter.  But she was determined to find a way.

Susan’s mother had an idea one day to make blankets for unwed mothers, and asked Susan to help sew them.  Susan used her connections with local picture framers through her art gallery and asked for their fabric remnants, and ended up with a pile of odd blue, black, and off-white fabric.  Right then, a lightbulb came on.  Susan had the idea for combining her love for quilts, children and helping others, rounded up a few locals with a similar passion, and Binky Patrol was born.  Not long afterward, an article was written in Susan’s local newspaper.  The story reached the staff member of a well-known national talk show, and within hours after airing, Susan received hundreds of phone calls from all over the country from people wanting to know how they could help. Over the past 15 years Binky Patrol went from a sign-up sheet with five volunteers, to over 100 chapters and thousands of people who have volunteered in one way or another.  In fact, our own ministry that gives blankets to the hospitals, WomenShelter, and police and fire departments started out as a Binky Patrol chapter. 

Binky Patrol didn't grow to what it is today because Susan set out to do something big. It is because of the thousands of volunteers, many of whom do just a little bit, that adds up to a whole lot.  No matter what God is calling you to do, no matter how small it may seem, it is not in any way insignificant. God can still use you, and wants to.  Jesus tells us, “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.”  The good works we do, even the little hold-the-door-open things, are like a light in that city.  Let your light shine!