OMTL Day 27: Starfish

I know I’m missing a few days. I did read them, but didn’t get a chance to blog them.

Today is about not living safly. Safety and comfort are very high values of our culture and society, but God calls us to take risks in order to do great things and make a difference.

How important is comfort to you at this stage of your life?

Right now in my life it seems like I’ve been sleeping on a too soft mattress for a long time. It felt so good, and still does, but my back is hurting and I’ve got things to do. I’m less concerned with comfort than safety. Not taking risks is a big thing that holds me back, but I think I’m starting to be willing to do it. I’m starting to think, “I should just change for the sake of shaking things up.”

How often do you let opportunities pass you by because your contribution feels too small?

Don’t know if you have heard the starfish story, but that’s the context of this question. I know I do this some. Feel like my little contribution isn’t worth making because it isn’t big.

OMTL Day 24: Seeds

Today we talk about creating things that will last.

What item represents an enduring legacy to you? A family home? Your grandmother’s ring? Something else?

We don’t really have anything physical that are family heirlooms. There is a letter my father gave me when I turned 16 that his dad gave him. I don’t think I remember to give it to my son, but I don’t really trust him to keep it at this age.

What did you do this last week that will last for the rest of the year? for 10 years? for eternity? How much time do you spend each week reading God’s word compared to the time you spent reading the newspaper or watching TV?

Guess these blog posts will last for years. Other than that I can’t think of anything that will last for a long time.

Too little time with God’s word and way too much time with TV. I’ve been depressed and I always watch TV when I’m depressed, which doesn’t help.

OMTL Day 23: Sandcastles

Starting the last section of the book, Leaving Boldly. We get right into it with a chapter on how things here on earth are fleeting.

For what would you like to be remembered? How are you contributing to this goal right now? How long will this legacy last?

I want to be remember for the things I created. For the things that wouldn’t be here if I hadn’t been here. That includes my kids. It includes the thought and beliefs of others I’ve influenced. Hopefully, it includes the films I’ve made.

For the most part these things might last a century. The people are eternal.

Think about the possessions you will leave behind one day. Who will inherit them? Remember, we don’t really own anything. We’re just stewards of what God has given us.

You know I don’t have that much in the way of possessions that won’t be worthless by the end of my life. My kids will get my house and a little savings. The rights to what I create will go to someone, or maybe I’ll release them into the public domain at my death.

OMTL Day 22: Road Signs

This chapter is about miracles in your life. It is based on the story of Elisha and the window in 2 Kings 4.

How difficult is it for you to admit your needs? What are the three greatest needs in your life right now?

When I first read this question I thought it didn’t apply to me. I can share my needs, but do I? If I don’t then there is something keeping me from sharing my needs. I know I don’t share them sometimes because I don’t want to be a bother. This is a pretty common response in American culture, but it is at least partially based on fear of rejection or appearing needy.

I need to figure out how to have a real relationship with my sons. I feel like I’m distant to them and I don’t really know how to relate.

I need to find someone to go to SXSW with, or hook up with there. I can and will do it on my own, but I know it would be more fun with someone else. I just don’t know any other filmmakers going.

I need to lose weight. I crossed 220 today. The highest I’ve weight in at least 5 years. I did realize I am probably putting on some muscle. I’ve been running for the last week and doing intervals, which I know is building muscle in my legs. But 220 is just too high, and my belly is big, which is the exactly worst place you can hold weight.

Those are my needs and to some extent I can’t overcome them on my own. I either have no control, insufficient knowledge, or insufficient motivation.

What’s the difference between making a U-turn as the widow did and being an optimist? How is seeking God’s perspective different than simply looking for a silver lining?

From God’s perspective things may still not be good or happy. There may be suffering. But there is purpose and meaning in all things. I’m not sure that is the silver lining.

One thing from this section of the reading is that God started with what she had, the oil. What does God want to start with that I have? What am I ignoring in my needs, that God could work through?

OMTL Day 21: Mulligan

Not being a fan of golf, I’m glad this metaphor wasn’t too heavy. The subject was integrity, which he defined as being the same person in all aspects of your life.

In what areas of life are you more likely to cut corners or put aside your values? Relational? Financial? Spiritual? What part of your life is most challenging to integrate to the other parts?

The part I’m most likely to compromise in and that is hardest to integrate is my photography. In someways I think my images of pretty scantily clad women are fine. The celebrate beauty. They build the subjects self-esteem. On the other hand, they are at least partially intended to sexually arouse, which I’m not always comfortable with.

When is it hard to keep your word? To whom?

You know I don’t really lie much. I’d rather just not say anything that lie about it.

OMTL Day 20: Earthquake

Today we’re reading about what is the center, the foundation of your life? Is it the rock of God, or something else?

What does your life revolve around right now? In what ways has that center sustained you? In what ways has it left you open to the tremors of life?

My life is centered on this study. Centered on my goal of being a filmmaker. Centered on taking care of my wife and kids.

This study has helped me so much to keep my focus daily on God. Matter of fact I’m already thinking of another book structured like this one – The Purpose Driven Life – to do when this one finishes. Not many days left.

My goal of being a filmmaker has been a wild emotional ride. When things are going well, I feel well. When things don’t go well, or take time, I’m in the depths. Some of that is true of my relationships as well.

OMTL Day 19: Metamorphosis

Inner change is the subject of this chapter. Like butterflies it is the change on the inside that turns us from caterpillars.

When was the last time you were still?

I’ve been still a number of times in the last couple of weeks with this study. Specifically I remember coming in from a run, the boys still in bed, the wife already gone to school. I sat down with the OMTL book, read and then just sat and thought about what was going on. This morning I prayed as well.

Presently, what person or persons are you serving who can offer you nothing in return?

I can’t think of anyone. My service is mostly to church, but I feel I get something from that. My service is also to my family, but I get something from that. I don’t know of anyone whom I serve who can’t give back, or at least whom I expect no reward for.

I few months back, after reading Divine Conspiracy, I was practicing Jesus’ commands to give to anyone who asks. That was serving people expecting nothing in return. I’ve gotten away from that. Beggars make me nervous again, because I feel I have to qualify them before I can give to them. Instead I need to re-realize I’m giving to God and he’ll take care of it.

OMTL Day 18: Hurricanes

Today’s lesson is about change. How it is a part of life and how biblical principles can help us deal with it. The text is the story of Paul in the storm of Acts 27.

What do you consider the happiest season of your life? How often do you find yourself wishing you were back in it? How does your present season of life compare to it? Is nostalgia causing you to miss out on present opportunities?

The two times I would think of nostalgically were undergrad in college and when we went to Hope Chapel in Austin. I don’t think about wanting to be back there alot, though Hope came up Monday night when the elders from my son’s church, my old church, came to visit to ask us why we left. But I also remember the pain of one of those broken small groups there. I remember crying in my dorm room about some girl related thing. I know not everything was roses back then, so I don’t think it keeps me from opportunities today.

What tangible “cargo” have you lost in one of life’s hurricanes?

I’m not positive I even understand the question. I don’t remember losing tangible items in any of life’s hurricanes. In my life the hurricanes were generally medical problems with family members, my wife at both childbirths, myself when I got pneumonia. Didn’t lose material possessions.