I AM SECOND (Chris Coghlan)

Most of you know that I am a BIG I Am Second fan.  Chris has a great story and I hope you will be encouraged by it.  What is your favorite part of Chris’s story? Do you relate to any of his story? Please support I am Second by visiting their website and spreading the word!

My name is Barry Hill—and I am second!

Lessons From My Car Accident

Have you ever been in a car accident? Two weeks ago I was sitting in traffic, at a red light, when out of nowhere a car plowed into the back of my hand-me-down 1999 Cadillac DeVille.  I wasn’t expecting the collision and it took me a few seconds to realize what had happened. The car was totaled and I ended up being back-boarded and taken away by ambulance, and I still have some pain in my neck and lower back.  (I am sure those ambulance drivers are still talking about getting all 7 feet of me out of that car.) So, during Christmas and New Year, on top of everything else, I have been dealing with body shops, doctors offices, insurance companies, rental cars and looking for another car, but God has also reminded me several truths as a result of this trial that I would like to quickly share them with you.

1. Things are replaceable and people are not. This is what I kept on telling the inconsolable person that hit me. Well, I only understood about every other word this person was saying through their tears, but they were very sorry about the damage to the car, my neck and back, but I assured this person that we were going to walk away from the accident and to give thanks!

2. It could have been A LOT worse.  Once I got to the ER, I quickly realized how much worse the damage could have been. Now, I’m not saying I’m glad that somebody else that was involved in a more serious  accident, and not me! I am just saying that I was very thankful that the accident was not as bad as it could have been!

3. Driving is for real!  My wife will tell you that I am a very slow driver, but driving feels like a video game sometimes doesn’t it? Sometimes what we forget is that our split second choices, mistakes or misjudgments on the road aren’t fixed by the reset button on the Xbox console and can have really serious consequences. I was reminded that more by what I saw in the ER than my accident. And, as my 10 year old daughter talks about driving someday—Lord help me, I realize how serious driving can be.

Do you pray before you get in the car? Have you ever been in car accident? How about a close call? For all my parents out there—What was it like to let your children start to drive for the first time?

Good Idea Vs. God Idea

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

It’s Here! The first Monday of the 2012! Can you believe it? So, tell me, have you made any resolutions or goals for 2012? I did. I prayerfully wrote down a eight specific goals I am working to accomplish in 2012. Resolutions and goals, if you boil them down, are really all about prioritizing what you spend your time on, right? If my goal is to be a better father or to loose 20 pounds, then I have to spend more time on the tread mill or with my children.  And, if I am spending time doing those things, that means that I am spending LESS time doing something else—like sitting on the couch.

I’m gonna let you in on a little secret!

I am now 41 years old. Do you want to know something that has taken me almost the entire 41 years of my life to learn. Here it comes, are you ready?

I can’t do it all!

I can’t do it all! Groundbreaking, I know, right? I don’t know about you, but I am an idea—vision person. I am a dreamer—in both the good and the bad sense.

The good: I’m a creative person and can perceive new ideas, perspectives and solutions in creative and unique ways.

The bad: It’s not my strong suit to think through all of the implementable realities associated with new ideas and the affect those ideas have on other people.

The truth—I come up with more than a few new ideas every week on varied topics. For example, I may want to start a new outreach program, at church, aimed at kids without parents at home immediately after-school.  Or, I may want to start a new web site that will help churches train paid and volunteer leaders on how to prevent abuse in the church (I really am interested in this one. Please, let me know if you want to help me.) Both of these ideas are good, but lets say I don’t have the resources to accomplish both of them. So, I need a set of questions that I ask myself, a paradigm, to help me honestly determine what I am “called” to do with the limited resources I have today, this week, this month, this year, and this season of my life.

How do I differentiate the “good ideas” from the “God Ideas?” How can I separate, or determine, if an idea is merely a general “good idea” from an idea that God may be leading me towards—”for such a time as this.”

This is not an easy topic and this is not a simple checklist to determine God’s will. No, these are three simple steps that help me, in my relationship with God, determine where God may be leading me to invest my time, treasure and talent.

#1. Spend time with God. I have a regular time with God where I ask him to make my path clear?  I ask Him to be a real presence in my life.  I ask Him to help me sense his presence in important matters. I spend time in the word of God, in prayer, and in silence? Every day I acknowledge that God loves me more than I can even ask or imagine, and that he demonstrated that love through the cross.

#2. I seek the counsel of godly men and women in my life. I have a few people in my life, that I have known for a long time, that will flat out tell me, in love, “No, that’s NOT a good idea right now.”(—you pin head.)

#3. The opening and closing of doors. When ever I am faced with a new opportunity I will often ask God to make my path clear by opening and closing the “doors of details” to help me determine what I should be spending my time on. For instance, If I have a great idea for an after school program but have no funding or volunteers then God may be telling me, “Not now, keep praying.”

Ideally, I like to have all of these factors working together at the same time in order to launch into a big new project. Just because someone wrote me a check for an idea, or because a friend said it was a good idea, doesn’t mean it gets the green light.  Sometimes these results happen quickly and other times it takes a very long time.

How do you determine what you invest your time in? Do you subscribe to the Good Idea Vs. God Idea theory? Please, don’t forget to subscribe to The Ordained Barista through an RSS feeder, click the big mug at the top of the page, or get each post conveniently delivered to your inbox.

Thank you!

 

 

Q: Do You Think We Are Living In A Post-Christian Era?

I have been in ministry, working for the Church, for more than 15 years. Serving teenagers and their families is the only job/calling I have ever had and I wouldn’t trade the last 15+ years for the world. However, I can’t help but feel that the longer I remain in ministry the more our culture becomes less sympathetic, and almost skeptical, about Christianity and, more specifically, Christians then ever before. Is it just me? Is it just because I am getting older and noticing it more? Do you feel it?

One example of this attitude, of the many I could have chosen from, are the recent tweets from Bill Maher, host of HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher,” comedian, and an atheist who is outspoken in his criticism of religion.

Maher tweeted, after The Denver Bronco’s recent loss to the Buffalo Bills, the following:

“Wow, Jesus just _________ #TimTebow bad! And on Xmas Eve! Somewhere in hell Satan is tebowing, saying to Hitler ‘Hey, Buffalo’s killing them”

On December 25th of this year (Christmas day) he tweeted,

“Merry Mythmas”

Now, listen, I don’t expect Bill Maher to “get it,” right? After all, what do the light and the darkness have in common? (2 Corinthians 6:14) But, there is a growing “hostility” that I have been sensing that I don’t ever remember. Is it just me? You can also see a conversation that I had with an atheist on twitter in a post I called “Got Faith”(Click Here)

What do you think? Do you sense a hostility? Why do you think is causing this? What are the contributing factors? Does it seem that Christianity seems to be more on the “front lines” than other faiths? Why? What can we do to move popular sentiment in the other direction? Is that our job? Thanks for your input and opinions!

 

 

About The Ordained Barista

Barry Hill

Barry Hill

Story Teller, Writer and Coffee Lover

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