Clarity of The Window

Professor Bop / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

A young couple moves into a new neighborhood. The next morning while they are eating breakfast, the young woman sees her neighbor hanging the wash outside. “That laundry is not very clean; she doesn’t know how to wash correctly. Perhaps she needs better laundry soap.” Her husband looks on, remaining silent. Every time her neighbor hangs her wash to dry, the young woman makes the same comments. A month later, the woman is surprised to see a nice clean wash on the line and says to her husband: “Look, she’s finally learned how to wash correctly. I wonder who taught her this? ” The husband replies, “I got up early this morning and cleaned our windows.”

And so it is with life… What we see when watching others depends on the clarity of the window through which we look.

“And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye  when you have a log in your own?    How can you think of saying to your friend,  ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye?

Matthew 7: 3-4

A Story To Make You Look At The World Differently

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Junior high school students in Chicago were studying the Seven Wonders of the World. At the end of the lesson, the students were asked to list what they considered to be the Seven Wonders of the World. Though there was some disagreement, the following received the most votes:

1. Egypt’s Great Pyramids
2. The Taj Mahal in India
3. The Grand Canyon in Arizona
4. The Panama Canal
5. The Empire State Building
6. St. Peter’s Basilica
7. China’s Great Wall

While gathering the votes, the teacher noted that one student, a quiet girl, hadn’t turned in her paper yet. So she asked the girl if she was having trouble with her list. The quiet girl replied, “Yes, a little. I couldn’t quite make up my mind because there were so many.” The teacher said, “Well, tell us what you have, and maybe we can help.”

The girl hesitated, then read, “I think the Seven Wonders of the World are:

1. to touch…
2. to taste…
3. to see…
4. to hear… (She hesitated a little, and then added…)
5. to feel…
6. to laugh…
7. and to love.

The room was so quiet, you could have heard a pin drop.

Prototype by Jonathan Martin – The Review

PrototypeJonathan Martin has written an eye opener of a book with Prototype, What happens when you discover your more like Jesus than you think?  From beginning to end Jonathan uses personal stories, humor, scripture and at times statements that make you wake up and take notice that your are more like Jesus than you realize.  That you are God’s beloved.

I always like it when I find the ‘what if’s” in a book, and Jonathan hit me with some great ones just pages into the book.

“What if the ultimate goal of everything Jesus said and did was not to get us to believe certain things about Him, but to become like Him?  What if it were possible to become fully human in all ways that Jesus was?  What if Jesus were God’s prototype for a whole new way of being human?”

Through out the book Jonathan shows us that we need to completely trust that God loves us just like Jesus did.  Understand that we are God’s beloved, and be confident in who we are and what are purpose is.  Jesus understood that he was God’s beloved and, as Jonathan perfectly puts it, “unlike every other person in human history….He never forgot.”  Prototype will help you realize you can be more like Jesus, and you are more like Jesus than you realize.

I also received a DVD curriculum by the same name. The DVD is divided into six sessions about 15 minutes in length each. Each session is a recap of the chapters and I believe would be very beneficial in a small group setting. The DVD also includes a Leader’s Guide.  The DVD is perfect for a small group curriculum of any age. 

You can read an excerpt of the book HERE   

You can find Prototype at Barnes&Noble and Amazon.

Overall rating – 5 out of 5 stars.

About the Author

Jonathan Martin

Jonathan Martin leads the liars, dreamers, and misfits of Renovatus, a Church for People Under Renovation, in Charlotte, North Carolina. He holds degrees from Gardner-Webb University, the Pentecostal Theological Seminary, and Duke University Divinity School. He is married to Amanda, and is unafraid to be seen walking his small dog, Cybil. www.pastorjonathanmartin.com

I am blessed to have received a copy of this book and DVD for free from Tyndale Publishers for review purposes.  I received no other compensation and the review is my own honesty opinion of the book.

Do You Think Your Rich?

Christmas

It’s been a quiet and productive Sunday morning for me so far. I still have much to do today but I want to take the time today to ask my WordPress family a very simple question, “Do you think you are rich?” Most probably answered NO immediately without giving the question much thought. Let me help you answer this question with a resounding YES!
If you have a job and work 5 days a week and can buy 7 days worth of food…your rich.
If you have a roof over your head 7 nights a week…your rich.
If you have heat and never fret about having it shut off this winter due to non-payment…your rich.
If you have family and friends that love you and will be there for you when your in need…..your rich.
If your days are filled with love and laughter….you are incredibly RICH!

My point, we are richer than we think because we take these things and many more for granted. We are sometimes blind to the fact that there are so many out there that do not have the things I have listed.

I learned today that 127 households, (this includes small children, the elderly and people with disabilities) are right now, today, homeless in my community. That’s a big problem. I’m sitting in a warm home with a hot cup of coffee enjoying surfing the net, they are not. I’m awaiting the return of my beautiful family from up north, they are not. I’m going out to buy Christmas gifts today, they are not. I’m rich, they are not.

I’ll share one other tidbit with you. I had the floors at my store waxed and buffed over night and I came in at about 6am to let the floor crew out. As they are loading their equipment into their trailer I notice in the dark, over in a corner by the dumpster, an elderly man wrapping up his blankets into a trash bag, picking up his walking cane and called to his dog, “It’s time to go Buddy”. It was 17 degrees out. I AM RICH!

I have always believed that when the day comes that I stand before God, he will not reward me for what I left behind, but what I gave away when I had the chance, the blessing I bestowed on others rather than blessing myself with more and more.

My eyes are open to the needs of other now more than ever before. I will step up and help those in my community that are sleeping without the warmth and shelter that they deserve. I look around to what I have, and it may not be much to some peoples standings, but it is more than enough to allow me to help someone without.

This Christmas season, the present I want most of all, and I truly mean this, is for you to really look at others, see a need, and fulfill it. If you don’t see a need, ask! Start with your own family. Do you really know what your spouse needs? Your children?  Do you know what they are really in need of right now? It could be time spent together, a shoulder to cry on, understanding in a difficult situation they are going through, a bill paid, a car repair, a hug, or the need to hear you say “I Love You”. It is that simple. Be the blessing God made you to be.

What a joyous Christmas this would be if we all could do this!