Wednesday, September 24, 2014

What I've Been Up To Lately...

The past 3 months have been such a wonderful journey since stepping down from overseeing the HITC internship. I have enjoyed many things, missed some things but most importantly, I've learned so much. Throughout it all I've come to see the indescribable faithfulness of God. He has been with my family and I every single step of our journey. A lot of people have wanted to know what I'm doing now job wise since my transition. When it comes down to it, two things keep me very busy. Firstly, I've been teaching tennis at Crane Creek Country Club here in Boise. Lessons have been picking up rapidly and I've been on court over 20 hours last week and will be around 20 this week. I was hoping for about 20 hours per week so to reach my goal after only 3 weeks is awesome. I'm working with men, women and kids of all abilities. And let me tell, after stepping away from tennis for 12 years, I'm absolutely loving it! And what's even better my boss is a New Zealander :) Secondly, many of you know I have a knack for finding quality products and then reselling them. So that's what I've been doing along with tennis. I have a niche with what I'm looking for to resell and then I go for it. Over the past several months I've been selling about 200 items per month online trying to make 300-1000% on every item I sell. And guess what, God's blessing what I'm doing :) When people ask me how I'm enjoying what I'm doing, all I can say is, "I love what I'm doing!" I'm truly having a blast. One of the most surprising things I've learned, which I think many people need to know is this. You can pastor people anywhere and everywhere. It's amazing the opportunities I've had already to help minister to people. There are hurting people everywhere who need the Lord. I may no longer be known as Pastor Lee, but believe me, I am now Lee who pastors and ministers to people. It's awesome! Just as there are many opportunities around me, I also know there are many opportunities around you. Will you love, care for, help and serve others? You have no idea the impact this will have on others. In closing, I do want to thank everyone who has prayed for me and my family. Your prayers and encouragement have meant the world to us :)

Friday, September 19, 2014

Don't Miss Out On the Small Stuff

My life has had many twists and turns these past two years in so many different areas. In the midst of all of these changes I must say that I'm totally loving life in a way that I haven't in a long time. Life is awesome. But don't get me wrong, the things I'm loving the most are things that could be easily overlooked due to busy lives and busy schedules. The rat race robs us daily of some of the most important things. I've loved holding Cami sitting in the chair. I've loved sitting with Katherine on the couch talking about our days. I've loved doing late night Sonic runs for half price shakes with my kids. I've loved getting out on the tennis court and helping people feel good about themselves in a brutally critical world. All of us have little things we're missing out on. Be aware of them and don't bump them for other things. Hug your spouse and tell them how much you love them. Spend time with your kids. Go get some ice cream or a coffee. Yes these things are very simple, very overlooked, and yet so important :)

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Does Your Family Get Only Your Leftovers?

Do your friends, job, hobbies or whatever else get the best of what you have to offer while your family only gets your leftovers? This questions hits me like a ton of bricks! As much as we want to answer no, I think all too often the obvious answer would be yes. Unfortunately it becomes commonplace to give our best effort and virtue, plus a majority of our time to others and other things. And when we're around our family all they seem to get are morsels and a dad who's wiped out from everything else he's been doing. When you think about it, shouldn't my wife and kids get my best (after Jesus)? Or should they be at the bottom of my priority list? Absolutely not! In fact, behind God, they should be next on your list. I can see seasons in my life where I must ashamedly say my family wasn't at the top of my list. My busy life and schedule along with putting the urgent over the most important, relegated them to the next tier down. But I'm happy to say that now they are now at the top of my priority list, obviously behind my personal relationship with the Lord :) For me to realize my goofed up priorities actually took a good dose of humility and a listening ear to those closest to me. As I stepped back and looked at my life I began to see the obvious. As I listened to the hearts of my family, without any defensiveness I must say, I clearly saw what they were telling me. Are others important? Is your job important? Are hobbies and activities important? The answer is yes to each of them. However, not one of these should supersede your family and their needs. I have taken action and turned the ship around in my family. It took time,  patience, saying no to some things, and humbly listening to my family. If you asked me if it was worth it, with a resounding Yes you'd know how I feel about it :) I love this quote from Fierce Marriage which was recently shared on Facebook..."Spending all our energy, kindness, generosity, smiles and graciousness on our daily contacts and jobs and then giving out families the left overs and pent up frustrations or tiredness symptoms like snapping or short fuses is completely opposite of the original design....If strangers, coworkers, or even church friends see a better side of you than your spouse sees, something is terribly wrong. Give your spouse the best of you; your marriage is your first ministry." And I couldn't agree more :) Don't be afraid to make changes in your life if you need to--you and your family won't regret it :)

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Of Course I'm Better Than You...

"Of course I'm better than you" is a phrase we occasionally hear someone say. And yes, saying words like this can verge on being very dangerous. But even though we may not say it, we can certainly think this way or act like it. For someone to believe that they are better than anyone else is plain and simple pride. I'm seeing there have been times where I've been proud with what I've said, thought and how I've acted. But I now see how wrong it is and at the same time how blind someone can be to it. Pride can be so subtle, and we can even deny it, but unfortunately it's alive and well in our lives. Webster describes pride simply as, "a feeling that you are more important or better than other people." It's hard to deny that this definition doesn't describe us all at times. Proverbs 16:18 tells us, "First pride, then the crash--the bigger the ego, the harder the fall." The warning against pride, or thinking that you're better than someone else, is very serious. If you're ready for a crash or fall, all you have to do is think you're better than others. Humility is what our goal should be. Webster describes being humble as, "not proud; not thinking of yourself as better than other people. "Humility is the example shown to us by Jesus with His words, thoughts and actions. Shouldn't this be the pattern we should follow? Don't even let an ounce of pride be found in you.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The Other Side

These past few months have been one of the most learning seasons of my life. It's like every single day holds opportunities to learn and grow. And one of the most important things I've learned is never to forget that there are always two sides to ever story. Unfortunately, it's all too easy to accept the first person to present something is always right. To do this is can be a very dangerous practice. Proverbs 18:17 NLV tells us, "He who tells his story first makes people think he is right, until the other comes to test him." As I've been thinking about this, there have been many times where unfortunately I've done this very thing. I've heard people tell me something and immediately believed it, regardless of whether it sounds accurate or far fetched. But what I've come to realize is that the picture can change drastically when you hear the other person's side of the same story. Here's the lesson to learn. Don't quickly jump to judgement, agreement or viewpoint simply based on one side of the story. What does the other person have to say? What's their perspective? If you take the time to find out, you may get a completely different picture of what actually took place. By looking at and hearing both sides you will get a much better and accurate perspective of why actually happened :)