The Spark Plug

Be Positive

Today's Devotional is from Lane Widick. Lane is the preaching minister at the Granny White Pike Church of Christ.  You can reach him at lanewidick@gmail.com, or by visiting www.grannywhitechurch.org or www.ministerlane.wordpress.com.

 

The One Where I Say "Be Positive"

 

Okay, I’ll admit it.  Sometimes, I can be a debbie downer.  I can’t help it.

Part of it is in my blood.  My grandma was a rather negative gal.  But let’s face it, she grew up in the depression era, so I think she had permission.

My family and I moved back home to Nashville almost 2 years ago.  I’ve made great strides in my negative attitude.  One of the greatest things that helped was ceasing to watch the news.  I used to be a FoxNews junkie, and then I would flip over to CNN to see what they were saying, followed by checking their websites.  

All they would do is yell and fight and bicker – and I have to tell you, it rubs off on you.  I’d watch it while I was getting ready, and then I’d listen to it on my XM radio in the car.  When I wasn’t listening to that on the radio, I’d listen to ESPN news or talk – and again, on my afternoon drive home, I’d catch the PTI (Pardon the Interruption) crew, and that show is all about yelling at each other.

Its so easy for this attitude to rub off on you, and sadly enter all aspects of your life.  We get short tempered with our spouses, our children, our friends, our church family, our neighbors, the people driving next to us on the road – and before long its out of control!

So for those of you who have been affected by my negative attitude that creeps out every once in a while, I’m sorry.  Being around negativity is like being around someone who smokes – you may not be smoking, but you smell like it later on.  You may not be negative at the time, but chances are it’ll put you in a sour mood.

There’s really no excuse for me ever being negative.  I have a 

1.  Wonderful wife who still puts up with me
2.  A beautiful little girl who still loves to cuddle with her daddy
3.  Super awesome parents, family, and friends who would do anything for me
4.  The absolute best church family any Christian or Minister could ever ask for
5.  A spectacular home that is more than we ever could have imagined
6.  2 paid off vehicles that are in top notch running condition
7.  Health – me and my family have no major problems 
8.  More than enough food to eat every single day

Well, you get my drift.  I’ve been blessed, and instead of letting things get me down, I’m going to focus on the blessings in Christ that I have.

Next time you put something on Facebook – ask yourself, “Is this building others up?”  Such as political statements, money statements, “i’m raising my family better than you” comments, and so on and so forth.

Next time you have a conversation with someone, be positive.  If the other people in your conversation bring up gossip, negativity, or comments about how they are not satisfied with something going on at work, home, or church – try to change the subject to something more positive, or if that doesn’t work, dismiss yourself from the conversation.

Negativity is a poison, one that we all partake of, but one we need to fight against.  May God bless us all with a positive spirit and attitude…INCLUDING ME!!

Posted by Durham, Steven - steven.durham@lipscomb.edu

Happy Thanksgiving!

As we are all preparing to be with our families for the Thanksgiving Holiday, we wanted to share our thanks to all of you who made our first year successful! 

From all of our families to yours, Happy Thanksgiving!

 

 

Posted by Durham, Steven - steven.durham@lipscomb.edu

Faith & Work

Today's devotional thought has been provided by Dale Jenkins. Dale is the Pulpit Minister at the Spring Meadows Church of Christ in Spring Hill, Tennessee. You can learn more about Dale on the Spring Meadows website or http://www.thejenkinsinstitute.com.

 

Faith and Work...

 

Some say that “work” is rather evil, a part of “The Fall” but they are wrong.  In the garden before sin God gave Adam work.  Work has been a part of our existence since man began. Complicated, frustrating, unrewarding work - now those grew out of man’s sin (Genesis 3:15-17).   

 

For some it might provide a spark to shift your view of the value of your work. Rather than the daily grind, being on the treadmill, passing time, toiling away, your place in the rat race see the value of work in light of faith. Faithful people work (2 Thessalonians 3:10-12). Our work mirrors God (Exodus 20:9-11;).  It keeps us from becoming what God does not want us to be. It provides us an opportunity to help those in need (Ephesians 4:28). And it opens doors to share our faith with others (Colossians 3:22-25). 

 

I don’t know what work you might “go to” today but if possible do work you love. Do work that is rewarding. Do work that provides an opportunity to highlight your faith in God. Do work that serves God as it serves others.

 

dale@edge.net ~ TheJenkinsInstitute.com

Posted by Durham, Steven - steven.durham@lipscomb.edu

Devotional Thought

Today we are beginning a new feature on our blog that will be coming on Monday mornings. We have asked some local ministers to do a devotional thought to start off the work week. We hope that this will be a great benefit for both the business and educational communities. The first one comes from Chris Smith, the pulpit minister at Harpeth Hills Church of Christ. 

 

Whose Side Are You On?

 

There is a remarkable sentence early in the story of Moses and the deliverance of the Children of Israel from Egypt. In Exodus 1:12 we read, “The Egyptians came to dread the Israelites and worked them ruthlessly.”

 

The Hebrew people had come to Egypt and now those in power did not want the immigrants any more. They feared them, which is almost comical, but that is what those in power always do—fear the minority and cling to power at any cost. Oppressive labor, even killing infants, was not too high a price to pay to make sure those on the bottom stayed on the bottom.

 

Those of us in positions of privilege need to be personally engaged in helping those who are powerless. The fatherless, the elderly, the hungry, the poor, the homeless—when we assist people like these it loosens the hands that cling to power.

 

I preach at the Tennessee Prison for Women three or four times a year. Nothing I do reminds me more of my privileged status. Those trips soften my heart and make me thankful for my blessings. When I don’t go to the prison I get full of myself and begin to believe that I am entitled. The prison reminds me it is all grace.

 

Take your office to volunteer at a homeless shelter, round up the kids and visit a nursing home, deliver meals once a month for Meals on Wheels and tell no one about it.

 

After all, whose side are you on?

 

Contact Chris at:

Chris Smith

Pulpit Minister

Harpeth Hills Church of Christ

Phone:  (615) 373-0601 ext. 113

Email:  chriss@harpethhills.org

http://www.harpethhills.org

Posted by Durham, Steven - steven.durham@lipscomb.edu

Higher Education Column in Tennessean

Our Director John Lowry has begun his new column today with the Tennessean Newspaper. Be sure to follow the link below to read it, or pick up a copy and read it in print!

Be sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, or here on our blog to find out when his next column will be going to print!

Changes in higher ed mirror technology evolution in music industry

Posted by Durham, Steven - steven.durham@lipscomb.edu