Life Lessons – Serving Others – part 1

What does it mean to serve others? How would you answer that question? Go ahead, take a second and see what kind of answer you come up with.

To serve others is not a natural act for most. In the american culture especially, we are taught early on to take care of ourselves, and look out for number one. How many of us right now when looking at our calendars have some type of serving opportunity already scheduled for this week? month? or year? Or if I asked you to name the last time you performed an act of service for someone, how far back would you have to go?

To serve others to me means, simply putting someone else ahead of yourself. For men, this can be as easy as opening the door for a lady (yes ladies, I do understand that you don’t need us to do that), but why did being a gentlemen go out of style? Or maybe offering up our seat to someone who is in need. To put others first just doesn’t sound right…maybe that’s why on Sunday morning people are reluctant to slide in to the middle and give up that outside chair to people arriving late. A line I have used myself is –  “If they wanted to sit at the end of the isle, they should get here earlier”. Is it really that big a deal to let someone merge in front of you on the highway?

I can hear some of you now…Scott, these are simple acts of kindness. Ok, when was the last time you performed a simple act of kindness? I know some of you who know me, thought I was going to get into “big” acts of serving others – like, providing food to food banks, working at soup kitchens or volunteering at a local nursing home. Well, be patient, I will. Seriously though, when did simple kindness to one another become taboo?

The other aspect of serving I think is critical is how often does serving cost us something or is an inconvenience but we do it anyway. And please hear me, I am not saying these things have to take place  before you call it serving. I bring it up to maybe serve as a challenge. There are those for whom it is easier to write a check to the local food bank rather than to volunteer and serve a day, working at the food bank. If this is true for you, I would challenge you to see if you really could take a day to serve at the food bank. Likewise, if you feel led to buy groceries for somebody but know it’s going to be tight for yourself to do so, take the risk and buy them anyway.

I have always supported mission trips both prayerfully and financially when able but had never gone a trip myself. I had also heard that once you go on a mission trip, your world will change forever. To be honest, I didn’t really believe that….until I went on my first mission trip, which was to Haiti a couple of years ago. I will never be able to look at the world around us and not remember that there are people around the globe struggling this very hour to simply stay alive. Furthermore, the community in which I live, helps to make up the globe and likewise, has people struggling everyday to keep their heads above water.

We are called to serve others and whether we choose to do so by performing simple acts of kindness daily or going on monthly mission trips around the globe – in each act of service we do for others, we help to make the world a little better place.

I already know I will be writing a part 2 to this. There’s one more component to serving…..Love. Till next time.

Peace and thanks for reading!!

Life Lesson Series – Share the Journey

journey

Ed Dorsey, Richard Hilton,Truman Bryant, Bob Cannon, Mickey Redfern, Pete Carter, Tommy McMillan, Dixie Glisson, Scott Willis, Chuck Allen, Craig Schmidle, Dr. Ron Davidson and Bobby McGraw. Some of these names you may recognize but most of them you probably don’t. If you know me however, then you know each of them, if only a little bit. Each of these men, at various points in my life, helped to form the man  I am today at 47.

There are some other men who were friends of mine back in the day or are friends of mine today that I have enjoyed doing life with or am enjoying life with now.

Today I found myself reflecting back on each of these men and the parts that each of them have played in my life. I have written several posts about my dad and Coach Hilton. I have mentioned my Grandfather, Truman in passing but it’s amazing to me how all of these men have played such a critical part in my life at some of the most critical times in my journey of life.

Bob and Mickey came along side myself and several other young men shortly after Lisa and I had gotten married and started raising our family. Both men, freely gave of themselves, pouring their wisdom into us – much of which, I didn’t realize or understand at the time. They talked about their relationship with Christ, their wives, their kids – the things they did right, did wrong and always shared with a heart that let you know they genuinely cared about us.

Pete and his wife Sheila, simply adopted me as their younger brother and just loved me. I don’t know how else to describe it. They were and always have been there for me when I needed them to be. They have seen the good, the bad and the ugly; graciously loving me through all of it. I could never repay them for all that they have done for me. I don’t get the opportunity to see or to talk them as much today but I know they are one phone call away!

Tommy and his wife Bonnie have been great friends to Lisa and I for many years now. Their girls and ours have grown up together and through it all, they have always been there to support, encourage and challenge Lisa and I to be better parents. I have learned from Tommy to keep a positive attitude no matter the situation or circumstance. To be steady and consistent, knowing that if you do all that you can do, that is, all you can do.

Dixie was the first “Real” pastor I ever had!! From him I learned a multitude of biblical truths that helped me to become the husband and father I am today. He helped me to understand that the burden I carried of trying to be perfect, was simply an unattainable goal and that God was not asking me to be perfect – but to allow the “One” who was, to guide my life. He is one of the nicest, gentle men you will ever meet but also one who will lovingly challenge you to be the best you can be.

For the rest of the men I mentioned on the list, all of them have or continue to play an important role in my and my family’s life. There is really no adequate way to convey what all of these men have meant to me personally  and/or to my family. I am forever indebted to each of them. As I think about all of these men, what stands out to me most is the sincerity and honesty in which they have always conducted themselves.

So, what’s the point to all of this? All of these men were willing to share themselves with me, to do life with me, brothers trying to help me become a better man. We were never meant to do life alone and men especially, get this wrong. One of the great lies we (men) fall prey to is that we should not need help. As men, we should be able to do everything on our own. I am scared to think where I and my family would be today if I had followed the path of Lone Wolf. Proverbs 27:17 – Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another. 

My prayer and hope for all who read this is that you have people around you that you can do life with.

For those of us who have a little more life experience than others, it is our responsibility to seek those people that might benefit from our experiences in life so that we may help them avoid some of the shortfalls we encountered along the way. To encourage the next generation, challenging them in love to hold fast to the truths that will sustain them for a life-time. That’s how I feel about the gentlemen above and I hope to do the same for those that follow me.

Our lives, our journey was never meant to be a one man operation

Peace and Thanks for Reading!