The Retail Worker’s Prayer

photo-10The Folding. Don’t get me started on The Folding.

This holiday, after leaving my full-time job behind, I got a job at a major department store to earn a little extra spending money. I’ve mainly been running the register. But in between customers one of our main duties in the store is The Folding.

It’s incredible, really. You spend a few minutes folding a stack of shirts. Everything on the shelf looks in order. You turn around to check out one customer. You turn back around and a dozen shirts are back on the floor again.

As an employee I begin to wonder what the point is. I wonder why I bother picking up all these clothes off the floor just to see them knocked over and out of place just a few moments later.

But The Folding has to be done. We must go through the motions of The Folding and The Re-Folding day after day after day to keep the store in order. If we deny our duties just one day then the store would go into disarray. Continue reading

A Christmas Prayer From Henri Nouwen

I’ve done plenty of talking to you about Christmas this month. How about some wisdom from a far greater mind, that of author Henri Nouwen?

Henri Nouwen lived an incredible life of ministry in the 20th Century and wrote many powerful books. The Road To Daybreak is a journal of his first year living in the L’Arche community, a shelter for adults with special needs where he spent many of his later years serving some of the most needy souls. It’s an honest, heartbreaking, challenging diary of a man all-consumingly following God’s calling.

I just happened to be reading the chapter on Nouwen’s first Christmas in the community the other day. On the entry for December 23 Nouwen offers a humble Christmas prayer, and I wanted to share that with you today. Here is the prayer in full: Continue reading

How To Be A Living Hand Turkey

photo-5Hand Turkeys are not high art.

Surely you crafted a Hand Turkey in your younger days. Perhaps your child or grandchild made one for you. Or maybe you created some other elementary artwork as well – a Christmas ornament made from an ashtray, a picture frame glued with glitter and macaroni, etc.

You worked hard on these crafts. Spent afternoons in a grade school classroom perfecting the placement of buttons and stickers onto an oddly adorned flower pot to give to your mother or father on a special occasion.

But these crafts weren’t art. You were 7 when you made them. Continue reading

Fire The Coach

** FILE ** This is an Oct. 11, 2008 file photo showing Georgia head coach Mark Richt gesturing on the the sidelines during an NCAA college football game against Tennessee in Athens, Ga. Judging from the chatter on Internet message boards, Georgia fans are fretting a little more than usual, clearly bothered by the perception that their program is starting to lag ever so slightly behind the other elite schools in the powerful Southeastern Conference. (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)

Last year saw marks the launch of the SEC Network, the latest in a line of 24 hour sports networks. It joined the relatively new Fox Sports 1 and NBC Sports Network as well as the already established ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPNews, and about 100 other “all sports, all the time” channels.

Sports dominate the American culture like nothing else. You could say sports rule the day because of fantasy teams, or because of geographical rivalries, or because live sports are “DVR-proof”.

You might even say sports rule the day simply because of the thrill of victory. But I think it’s the opposite. Continue reading

The Street Fight For Your Soul

What does your morning routine look like? It’s probably harder for you to think about than to actually perform.

Most of us sleepwalk through our mornings the same way every day, moving from bed to bathroom to breakfast table and out the door without fully waking up.

If you are able to conjure up your morning routine, think about this: at what point during your day do you start to think about God?

Is God even part of your morning routine? If your answer is no, you’re not alone. So many of us rush through our mornings trying to tackle the obstacles of the day without inviting God into our routine.

WWE

WWE

If you’re not spending time with God each morning, it’s like you’re walking into a battlefield without any armor. Because you are in the midst of a battle each and every day – a down and out street fight. Continue reading