Archives For Brothers

Gone Fishin’

May 27, 2013 — Leave a comment

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Thanks for dropping by my blog where I post 3 to 5 times a week. Please enjoy looking through the archives. I’ve gone Fishin’

Look for a new post on June 3rd, 2013. I’m taking some time with some good friends and hope to take friendships deeper and enjoy God’s creation at the same time. Thank you for your love, and thanks also for sharing with others the writings of my heart.

Peace,

Pastor Steve

 

 

Leave-The-Past

What is it about the past that holds so many people captive?

When I was growing up I worked in my father’s sheet metal shop, and there were all types of machinery, and tables for working with all things metal. One table had weighted magnets that would swing out over the table and hold a piece of metal down to the table once they were turned on. The metal would then be unmovable as you worked on it.

From time to time,  I would jump up on the table and try and pull a magnet to the point of breaking it free from the table. It was a strength game my bothers, and I use to play to see who was the strongest.  I was never able to break the magnets free, and neither were any of my brothers. It always remained locked in place. The only way to break it free was to cut the power off to the magnet.

Some of you today need to do the same thing and cut the power off to the past that has you in its grips. You have tried to pull your way free from the past. You have struggled really hard to be stronger than your past, but nothing seems to set you free. The only thing that will free you is to cut off the power of the past. You do that by believing God is at work in your life in the present.

We all have a past.  A past filled with memories so powerful and hurtful that to recall them brings nothing but a pain to your soul and a knot to your stomach. When we hang on to our painful past memories, we either become withdrawn and unsociable; or explosive, cranky, critical, judgmental, reactive and mean towards others.

Jan Glidewell once said, “You can clutch the past so tightly to your chest that it leaves your arms to full to embrace the present.”  I love the story of Joseph in the Bible. His story is one of my favorites. I’ll try and summaries and keep it brief as I give you some background and insight into his life and choices concerning his painful past.

  • Joseph, son of Jacob, overcame a painful past.
  • He was raised in what we would call a “dysfunctional family.”
  • Sibling rivalry filled Jacob’s household.
  • Joseph’s brothers caught him, threw him into a pit, and discussed killing him.
  • One brother intervened and convinced them instead to sell Joseph as a slave In Egypt, where he became the property of Potiphar.
  • Potiphar’s wife had eyes for Joseph and made continual sexual advances.
  • He refused, she falsely charged him with attempted rape and he was imprisoned.
  • While imprisoned, Joseph made friends with a baker and a cupbearer.
  • Both promised to pull their political strings and secure Joseph’s release.
  • In time, the baker was hanged, and the cupbearer was freed, but forgot Joseph.
  • For two more years, Joseph’s remained in prison.
  • One day Pharaoh had a dream that no one, but Joseph could interpret.
  • Egypt would experience 7 years of plenty/7 years of famine.
  • As a reward Pharaoh put Joseph over all of the agricultural activity in Egypt.
  • The years of plenty came, and Joseph stored up. Seven years later the famine hit.
  • This famine was so severe that even people outside of Egypt came to get food.
  • One day, Joseph’s own brothers arrived.
  • Joseph recognized them, but his brothers didn’t recognize him.
  • Joseph sold them grain and tricked them into coming back before revealing himself.

Genesis 45:1-3

1 Then Joseph could not restrain himself before all those who stood by him, and he cried out, “Make everyone go out from me!” So no one stood with him while Joseph made himself known to his brothers. 2 And he wept aloud, and the Egyptians and the house of Pharaoh heard it. 3 Then Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph; does my father still live?” But his brothers could not answer him, for they were dismayed in his presence.

They were terrified. They did not know anything about Potiphar’s wife and the undeserved prison sentence. Neither did they know about the abandonment by the cupbearer. But they remembered the pit and their bartering and selling their own brother. They had every reason to be terrified

Genesis 45:4

And Joseph said to his brothers, “Please come near to me.” So they came near. Then he said: “I am Joseph your brother, whom you sold into Egypt.

Perhaps they expected a call for the royal guards, and the punishment they deserved for the cruelty they had shown their own brother. But no retaliation comes. These brothers did not know that Joseph had made peace with his painful past. His own words indicate he had let go of any vindictive feelings he held against them. He had cut off the power to the past.

Genesis 45:5

5 But now, do not therefore be grieved or angry with yourselves because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life.

How was Joseph able to put all his painful past behind him? What was Joseph’s secret? He practiced true forgiveness. Joseph could have struck back and felt the exhilaration that comes from getting even. Instead, Joseph chose to forgive. Until you forgive, the pain of your past will continue to be felt in your present.

I chagllege you today to cut of the power to the magnet that is hold you in the past. Forgiveness is how the power switch is cut off. It is hard to forgive but possible.

micEach year my brother and I have a tradition of sending each other a birthday letter roasting each other. Enjoy!

 

 

A Legacy of Shame and Disappointment

My annual Birthday Letter to my brother Steve.  Enjoy!

Legacy.  What a strong word.  It brings up thoughts of great men and women throughout history, that made their mark, that did great things so that we inherit and reap the benefits of their work.  The World English Dictionary defines it as, and I quote: “something handed down or received from an ancestor or predecessor”.  Things like good looks, intelligence, drive, innovation, and money can be passed down, given as a legacy to those that come after.  Well, I know, I always have to be the “reality check” in your life, a burden I bear… but here is the deal bro.  You know I am a straight shooter.  You, well… how can I say this?  You… are not passing any of those things down.  I looked at the list, and I said dang (I actually almost cursed), “Does he not even possess one of those things?”  I tried.  I looked.  Nothing.  Nada.  Zilch. Zero.  Let’s take them one by one, just so, if we can somehow find a glimmer of a legacy…

1.  Good Looks.  Ok, admittedly, you had the 80’s.  But really, back then, anyone with some tight spandex, a sweet mullet, and a fast car was considered “good looking”.  You know, people look back and try to emulate the 20’s, the 30’s, the 50’s, 60’s, even the 70’s.  But bro… really.  Is anyone bringing the mullet back?  Big NO.  You rocked it.  I thought you were cool, but hey, I was just a naive kid.  I can still remember, you pulling and tugging to get those spandex on, thinking, man, I wanna get me some of them.  But answer me this… what was that extra pair of socks you always had for?  Alway a mystery.  Hmm… But I digress.  So, yes, you had your brief moment of time.  Oh STEVIE was hot.  But look at you now.  Washed up.  I mean, could you imagine you in some spandex now?  Oh, wait, be right back, I have to go throw up!
Whew… I feel better now.  That was awful.  Ok, where was I?  Oh, Washed up.  Have you looked in the mirror lately?  In the last year?  Just look at your facebook?  I mean, you are overweight (aka “fat”).  You have no hair… and what you do have is grey.  You walk with a limp.  Bro… I’m sorry.  I really am.  So, let’s go ahead and check that off the list.  Thank the God of heaven and earth Maddie and Noah got the legacy of Amy’s good looks.  Just sayin… Thank God for all of us.

2.  Intelligence.  Ok, this one, I ALMOST gave you.  That was until I got on your computer, checked the history, and saw that you have a team of people doing all your writings and work… I saw that you hired a book writer from India, a person to do your tweets from the Philippines, a blogger from the Ukraine, a sermon writer from China, and a facebook poster from Cherryville.  Really, I will give you the fact that you had the intelligence to know you needed other people to make you look good.  Ok?  See, I am trying to find nuggets here bro… but it is hard.  These guys do a good job and they work for cheap.  So impressed.  But, there again… they can only take you so far.  So, let’s just say… intelligence is a wash.  Not HORRIBLE, but I wouldn’t write home about it.

3.  Drive.  The only real drive you have now, is the drive from your driveway to McDonald’s.  Dude, speaking of which, that place is killin ya.  The manager called me… to ask for advice.  He said, “He always orders two combos… and he is by himself!”  “He says someone is supposed to meet him, but he sits for a while… and dang if he don’t eat both meals!”  Every time.  Dude, that is a problem.  Oh, back to drive.  You drive yourself to your tree stand… so you can sleep a little more… you drive yourself to Arby’s, Burger King, Chic Fila, Pizza Hut… I don’t think that is what people mean when they say someone has “drive”.  Its more like motivation… which, frankly, you have none.  If you did, well, life would be very different.  So, as a favor, because I really care for you and your family, I’ll start coming over about once a month to just spend some one on one with Maddie and Noah… you know, teaching them that there is more to life than a controller, a couch, and Netflix.  I’ll do that for you bro.

4.  Innovation.  Good lord… I somehow chuckled as I wrote that.  The only thing you are innovative at is getting OUT of work and responsibility and getting into a fast food restaurant.  Really?  I tell you what, your board, they need to say, “Stevie, if you lead us to do x, y, and z… we will give you McDonald’s gift cards”.  Then, bro, can you imagine the results?  You would be innovative as crap… See, I am a problem solver. Something you never had a grasp on… So, no… big NO.  No one will ever look back at your “legacy” and say, wow, he was an innovative person..  Not happenin…

5.  Money.  Oh my gosh… I just had to clean off my screen because I spit out my sundrop when I typed that laughing.  Money is this illusive dream of yours.  I swear, you could be blindfolded, and they could say, “Stevie, there are ten rocks in here and 9 of them are GOLD nuggets.”  You would reach in and grab the plain ole rock.  While everyone else around you… well, they are successful, you try to say, oh, I am “like JESUS”.  I don’t need money.  Steve?  Come on… I am so tired of you putting on this spiritual front, then calling me every week to come pay your Pay Day Money Loan off.  I am not cosigning for you any more.  It has to stop.  So, I think everyone that might read this knows without a doubt you are not leaving a legacy of money… poor Amy and the kids… bless their hearts.

So, that leaves me with the question.  If you are not leaving a legacy of such things…. what are you leaving?  Shame and disappointment.  Yeah, I guess, those can be left… This makes me so sad.  So so so sad.  Good lord, I am crying again.  Sobbing.  You know… it is hard being the one to carry such a burden of trying to leave a good legacy for my kids and yours too.  Nobody knows my secret pain of trying to help you look good.

I would say, hey, its never too late to start now trying to leave a “legacy”.  But frankly, that would be a lie… it is too late.  Look how old you are.  You don’t have any friends, influence, nothing… It’s all a farce, your life.  A failed experiment by a cruel God.  You know… well, forgive me for saying He is cruel.  It is one of those mysteries I will never understand.  Like, here are some of the questions I will ask him when I get to heaven.  I really do have a list… and here it is.

1. Why did you make ticks?
2. Why did you make mosquitos?
3. Who really killed JFK?
4. What were you thinking when you made a platypus?
5. Why did you have to make Steve such a loser and disappointment?

Yes, vast mysteries of our universe, that I hope to get answers to one day… Lord, we all do.  So, bro, I know happy is a relative term, but for what it is worth… hmm… it is like a starving dog who finds a morsel of food… he is happy for a second… well, I hope that cake is a morsel of food for you today, so for a brief moment of this miserable life of yours you can be happy.  Because I know, everyone knows, food makes you happy.

In all seriousness… lol… I love you bro, and yes… you do leave a legacy that you can be proud of!  Well, all except the “good looks” thing.  That was all legit.  🙂  I love you and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!  NOW ASK AMY TO TAKE YOU TO MICKY D’S!!!!  (You know they allow birthday parties there)  Just sayin….

Your younger, better looking, smarter brother.

Jutt