Calling

Dart Icons

I want to tell you about Wayne.

Wayne is a painter, and he’s doing some painting at my house.

He’s very friendly, has great rates and does fabulous work.

But that’s not what’s remarkable about Wayne.

What’s remarkable is that he loves to paint.

Now I’ve painted for money before.

I don’t love to paint.

I’ve painted for free before.

Verdict is the same.

Wayne?  He’s crazy. [click to continue…]

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Callings

by Andy Wood on June 30, 2014

in 100 Words, Photos

callings 7

Callings spur on much of our lives, and can come from many sources.

callings 4

Some people are called by deeply held values, such as liberty and country. [click to continue…]

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bettyCrockerOkay, time for a little famous brands trivia.

Without Googling for answers, see if you can guess how many of the following brand names were/are actual people:

Aunt Jemima

Ben and Jerry

Betty Crocker

Chef Boy-Ar-Dee

Duncan Hines

Marie Callender

Martha White

Orville Redenbacher

Sister Shubert

Uncle Ben

Answers are below: [click to continue…]

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(A Conversation)

InterviewDon’t confuse your business with your delivery system.

What do you mean?

Your “business” is the value you bring to people. Your delivery system is the way you deliver it.

Okay… I’m still not sure I get what you’re saying.

Okay, let illustrate it.  Let’s pretend it’s the year 1900, and you own one of the dominant businesses of the day – a railroad company. What’s your business?

Railroads?

AAAANNNNK!  You lose. Twenty years from now you’ll be out of business and replaced with trucks.  Anyway, who gets up in the morning wishing somebody would give them a bunch of steel and cross timbers?  Let’s try it again.  What business are you in?

Uh, transportation?

Good.  You may survive this after all.

Okay that makes sense, I suppose.  But I’m not a business owner.

Of course you are. [click to continue…]

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Today’s a special day – not just because it’s my daughter-in-law’s birthday – that would make it special enough!  But today’s also the fifth birthday of this site.

Almost 10 years ago my friend Kevin Rhoads was telling me about a new way to communicate that had become really popular – something called “blogging,” which was short for “web log.”  “It’s sort of like an online journal,” he said.

Hmmph.  Knowing the kind of stuff I usually put in my journal, my first reaction was, “That’s a crazy idea.  Who would want to read that?”

Then a couple of years later I wrote a book for a 40-day church campaign, complete with videos and teaching sessions, called LifeVesting.  You can read the back story here.  After that, I was looking for ideas to keep the momentum and to expand the message that was in that book.

It was then that I was introduced, I think by Kevin again, to Seth Godin’s blog, and I was hooked as a reader and inspired as a writer.  So that’s how a blog can help.

So on October 12, 2007, the LifeVesting site was launched.  Five years into it, this is post number 780.  Through a wide variety of ideas, rants, thinking-by-writing, and a few pictures along the way, the central theme remains the same:  Your life can be better tomorrow than it is today.  You can create your future, solve problems, impact eternity, and really live today.

This was never intended to be just a blog site, and I’m excited about new plans that are coming.  Soon, Lord willing, I will be developing the “web site” side of this ministry in which we offer a newly-rewritten LifeVesting book, other books and media, and live and online seminars.  In addition to that, we are already working on a web site for The LifeVesting Group, our professional counseling and coaching ministry.  More on that very soon.

But today we celebrate.  Or at least I do, and you get to peer in.  In thinking about what I could share in terms of a “best of” or “most popular,” I found a plug-in that helps me know how often different posts have been shared on Facebook, Twitter, or Google-Plus by you, the readers.  There could be many reasons why somebody clicks on a post or page, but only one reason they would share it – it must have meant something to them and they wanted others to see it as well.

So here’s a countdown of the top 11 most-shared posts over the past five years (there was a tie for 10th).  Please click on a few of these – maybe you can see what the excitement was all about.  (Of course, feel free to share them again!) [click to continue…]

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Descants of the Soul

by Andy Wood on June 15, 2011

in Life Currency, Love, Words

There’s this song I want to tell you about.  I’ll get to that in a minute.  First I want to tell you why I want to tell you.  Or why you pass the word, purchase that ticket, read another book with that theme, or are drawn to a certain genre of storyline or TV show.

It’s all about the descants of the soul.

I don’t remember when I first noticed it or when I first mentioned it to somebody else, but it’s been a while.  I began to notice that there were certain movies I found myself drawn to.  No matter whether it was comedy, science fiction, intense drama or cheesy love stories, I found I was a sucker for stories where one person could make a profound difference.

It was my first discovery of the descants of the soul.

“Descant” is a musical term that in its most literal form means “a different song.”  More precisely, a descant is an independent, ornamental melody sung or played above the main theme in a piece of music.

In life, it’s the story behind the story.  The “song” that leaps from movies to music to conversations to dreams and has a way of knitting them all together.

A descant of the soul is an inner “melody” that sings to you – and through you to others.  I have found that it’s also one of the ways that the Lord can uniquely speak to you or get your attention more quickly.

Descants of the soul are recurring themes that move us, fascinate us, and sometimes call us to action or faith or risk or change.  [click to continue…]

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Occasionally I come across somebody who remembers an era when I sang a lot or wrote a lot of music.  They graciously tell me they miss that, and openly wish I would return to it, or “do something with it.”

Honestly, it feels nice to hear that.  But I won’t be singing “He’s Alive” this Easter, and I haven’t written a song that doesn’t end in “oh, doo-dah-day” in 13 years.

Even more frequently, I see somebody who heard me preach, or was in a church where I served as pastor.  More kind words.  More open wishes.

Truth be told, if feels nice to hear that, too.  But so far I’m not planning on preaching this Easter, and I haven’t served in a church leadership role in 16 months.

Do I miss those things?  Of course.  But that doesn’t mean that the gifts and callings behind them have been shelved or warehoused.  Just redirected.

In an often-quoted Bible verse, Paul says that “the gifts and calling of God are irrevocable” (Romans 11:29).  He’s referring to the Jews and their place in God’s heart and plan.  But the implications are much broader than that.  It speaks to Gentile me.

It speaks to you, too.

“God never changes his mind when he gives gifts or calls someone.”  That’s how God’s Word translates it.  Eugene Peterson says in The Message that they are “under full warranty – never canceled, never rescinded.”

You can run from your calling or abuse your gifts.  You can make stupid choices that limit your effectiveness.  You can be distracted by the world or rejected by the church, deceived by the devil or pursued by trivia.  But your dead ends or detours haven’t changed your gifts and calling, and you’d be wise to recognize that.

Oh… sorry… you still here?  I was preaching to myself and got distracted.  Anyway… [click to continue…]

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I think I’ve found another reason to identify with Simon Peter, that famous-for-so-many-reasons disciple of Jesus.  I can already relate to the fact that I feel like I’m supposed to be the first to show off when I think I know the answer to a question.

I can so relate when it comes to answering supernatural statements with in-the-natural answers or observations.

Most of all, I can relate to wanting so bad for my screw-ups to be the secret kind, only to have them aired out for the whole dang world to see.

But there’s another characteristic I see in this impetuous, impulsive, impassioned fisherman that I totally understand:

His randomness.

You just get the idea that Peter’s mama must have had a time trying to get him to do his homework.  The very image of Andrews’s brother planning ahead for anything is laughable.

Ready.  Fire.  Aim.  Uh oh.  Sorry.  Shutting up now.

Resurrection Randomness

So get this scene.  Jesus has been crucified and risen from the dead.  Peter, having denied the Lord publicly had become a reproach and embarrassment to the Lord, himself, and his companions.  But he had also met the risen Christ and experienced the wonder of being forgiven by Christ.

So what now to do? [click to continue…]

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I’ve long since retired, my son’s moved away
I called him up just the other day
I said, “I’d like to see you if you don’t mind”
He said, “I’d love to, Dad, if I can find the time
You see my new job’s a hassle and kids have the flu
But it’s sure nice talking to you, Dad
It’s been sure nice talking to you”

And as I hung up the phone it occurred to me
He’d grown up just like me
My boy was just like me

-Harry Chapin, “Cat’s in the Cradle”

reading letterHe’s an old man now.  His physical vision is virtually gone; his heartbeat will soon follow.  His spiritual vision?  That’s another story.  It’s still bright and filled with fire and hope.  But it’s a vision that now sees through the eyes of other men.  He has no children of his own, but does have a relationship with a man who may as well be.  He’s one of those blessed individuals who knows his time is up, and who faces eternity with no regrets.  And now he writes the man he calls his son in the faith.  His future looks bright; he can only pray the same for Tim. 

Stand steady, and don’t be afraid of suffering for the Lord. Bring others to Christ. Leave nothing undone that you ought to do. I say this because I won’t be around to help you very much longer. My time has almost run out. Very soon now I will be on my way to heaven. I have fought long and hard for my Lord, and through it all I have kept true to him. And now the time has come for me to stop fighting and rest (2 Timothy 4:5-7, LB).

 A decade before I became a father myself, Harry Chapin sucker-slapped dads everywhere.  [click to continue…]

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opusI had an experience a few years ago that moved me more than anything had in months or years.  And to this day, I’m still not sure why, and/or why it moved me on that particular day.

It was a Sunday afternoon.  The house was quiet and I was alone.  I lay down on the bed and started watching a rerun of “Mr. Holland’s Opus.”  I’d seen the movie several years earlier, and for whatever reason, decided to watch it again.

I had already gotten pretty weepy at a couple of places in the movie.  But at the climax of the film, when Mr. Holland sees the lives he has impacted, and hears the governor, once his student, say, “Mr. Holland, we are your opus,” my guts turned inside out.  It hit a nerve – a deep, raw nerve – like nothing had in years – perhaps ever.

By this time I was sitting in the den, alone in the house, sobbing.  [click to continue…]

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