As we each begin our week and focus on the things that we know have to get done, it is easy to forget to zero in on the things that really matter! The best of intentions can quickly fall away and we can lose ourselves in the pursuit of getting things done! How do we conquer this challenge….how do we stay focused on what really matters?
Maybe we begin by asking this question: “What does someone that I meet need from me today”? Not monetarily but with your energy, your ear & your heart! Is there maybe someone that God is sending your way that needs something that only you can provide!
Are you ready? Are your eyes open? I hope so – because you just never know when ONE conversation can change a life!!!
There are often times that a quote has a lot packed in to it! A great quote can transcend industries, sports and even age!
Greatness is a lot of small things done well, stacked up on each other – Ray Lewis
You don’t arrive at greatness. You don’t magically learn greatness. The great one’s typically do not even realize that they have achieved or accomplished what they have – they just tirelessly work at their trade or craft for years & years! It does not matter if it is speaking, selling or playing a sport – you arrive when you do the small things really well over a long period of time!
I know, I have a LONG ways to go, but my goal is to daily do the small things really well and see where I end up!
I have led a blessed life in so many ways!! As I look back at the incredible role my mom (Ann Linch) played and the unbelievable wife & mother that (Anne Linch) my wife is….I began to think about what it is that makes them both so special in their children’s lives!
Here are a few of their common traits:
- Self-less……Always the last to eat making sure that everyone else is taken care of before they are. Always the last to join the family after a meal because they are cleaning up after everyone.
- Safe……I always felt growing up that my mom was the safest person in the world for me to share my life with. I have watched my children pour their hearts out to Anne and her sit for minutes & sometimes hours listening to their joys and their hurts and feeling every emotion with them. She has been and will always be their safe place.
- Simple…..Both my mom & my wife are simple people. No frills…not complicated…easy to please. Their simplicity caused them both to never make life about them but rather always about others.
- Sharing…….Generosity is a part of both of their lives. Whatever we have is open & willing to be shared with other people. Blessings are meant to passed on not to be held on to! Whatever is shared will always come back another way!
- Saved….The greatest gift these two ladies to their families was their faith. There is no way that I could measure or count how many times my mom shared her “faith” with me and talked about how that played in real life. My children have been so blessed to have a mom that has not only prayed over them but also was there all along the way to share her faith with them!
Thank you mom and thank you Annie for being the greatest moms on the planet!!! I am so thanfkul that my life been blessed by the two of you!!! Happy mothers day to my two Anne (s)!!!
We just finished our study today through the life of Abraham with my executive small group! Getting to see the high’s & low’s of this great leaders life was incredible. We compared it to watching a Hall of Fame baseball player play every game. You know they are good but you see their 0 for 5 days and remember their key errors that really hurt single games. You forget that they ended up hitting over .300 for their career and really were one of the greats of their generation! It is much like that when looking at a great character of scripture…..they have to finish the race for you to measure their impact!
Charles Swindoll ended his great work on Abraham by laying out these lessons:
- Wherever God leads, FOLLOW! The road may get windy & curvy at times but you will know that you are never alone for any part of the journey!!!
- Whatever God promises, BELIEVE! Nothing will develop your faith more than believing God for impossible things! If we can do it or achieve it – there is no faith involved!
- Whenever God tests, TRUST! Know that God is always at work shaping your faith into what HE desires for it to be! When the testing bears down on you – trust that His plan is always best and what He has for you is greater than anything that you could dream up for yourself!! TRUST!
- However God blesses, SHARE! Don’t hold your blessings and keep them to yourself….remember where they came from and share them with others like they have been shared with you!
It is hard to imagine that you are the little baby that Anne & I brought home and now you are turning 22! Casey, we had so many prayers for you and things that we hoped that God would do with you! Today, I woke up this morning flooded with so many memories and realizations of how God has answered so many of those prayers…..:
- You would love Jesus! Seeing you today, not only loving the Lord, but also helping students not only meet the Lord but follow Him makes me prouder than you will ever know! I pray that that your love for Jesus will continue to grow with every year that goes by and the further you go the more you realize how much HE loves you!
- You would love your family….It is such a blessing to have you come home from your apartment and sit around the table and laugh and talk about life! In what I do every day, I realize what a gift that is and how blessed we are! This was one of our greatest prayers for you…..we always wanted our home to be the safest place in the world to be you! When MM is home from school – that table always feels complete!
- You would be respectful & Kind to others….In a world that is filled with so much hostility – we prayed you would be someone that would be a breath of fresh air for others when you walked into the room! I know that this something that will develop over life but I know for so many, you are that to them. You have been given a great ability to use words to write and what you wrote the other week about the situation at Allatoona and how you felt about the people affected made me so proud! Don’t stop developing this gift!
- You work hard – One of greatest prayers is that you would be tenacious about whatever you were involved in and work hard. I know that I probably drove you nuts about this growing up but it is so awesome to see you living this out now! Pushing through college while working PT and doing all that you do is a trait that will take you a long way in life!
- You love sports…This was my selfish prayer (probably not one mom prayed) but certainly one that I did! TO say that prayer was answered has been an understatement. I think your love for sports has eclipsed even mine! I am so thankful because some of my favorite memories together with you have been going to or from a baseball, football or basketball game! The talks in the car or the airplane or now, even coaching together in the dugout, are memories I will cherish forever!
- You would find great friends ….This weekend when some of your friends came in to stay at the house, it was a reminder of how God has answered that prayer for you!
- You would find your calling…..Our friend Ira quotes the famous phrase all of the time, “There are two great days in life, the day you are born and the day you figure out why you were born”. I am so thankful you figured out why you were born! You can now find purpose and direction for the rest of your days!!! It is the greatest feeling in the world to know your why!
- You would find your “best friend”….Our prayer for you & MM has been that you would find someone that you can’t just live with but someone you truly can’t live without! We pray that you will enjoy marriage one day as much as we have!
Casey, I could go on & on…..but I will stop with this thought….When you were growing up, I heard this phrase about parenting, “If you will be their parent now, you can be their friend later”. Parenting was tough for many of those years because we wanted to do what was easiest for you & Mary-Michal, but we knew that what was easiest and would you make you like us the most was not the best thing for you. I know it kept you from doing things you wanted to do and probably hindered your social status with friends but I am thankful that you stuck it out with us so today we can enjoy what we enjoy! You are probably my closest guy friend in the world and outside your mom & sister…I would choose to be with you over hanging with anyone else! I love you Casey Linch and I pray that year 23 is your best yet!!! You truly do make us proud!
We all have big plans for our lives don’t we? If my plan had worked out, I would be coming out of the dugout at Turner Field every night and pitching for the Braves! I am sure that your plan would have taken you somewhere else as well and we would be living what WE thought was best for our lives!
“WE make our plans but the LORD determines our STEPS” Prov. 16:9
Are you not thankful that God took things that you would probably would not have chosen to get you where you are today! There is not a step that we take in life that is outside of His view. We can make our plans but at the end of the day, HE will help us get to where we need to be!
Key – TRUST Him (not yourself) with every decision and every step and He will make your path straight!!!
We are in a series at NorthStar called “Forge”…..talking about how God uses things in our lives to FORGE our faith into what we need and what He desires it to be!! This past Sunday I had the blessing to interview a couple that experienced a massive storm five years ago when they lost their son. I can’t imagine going through what they went through but ….they are still walking! Here are some of the lessons (from them) and from watching them……PRAY that this helps you through your storm:
- At the end of the day it is about TRUST. One of the things that they shared was that they had to trust that God was in control even when it appeared He was not. This trust is just as important five years later as it was at the beginning. The question is – do we trust Him or not? Trust He knows something that we do not and we hold on to that!
- Stay in the boat. The disciples found themselves in a storm going across the lake and Jesus was not with them. In the middle of the night – in the darkest of the storm He came to them walking on the water and they invited Him in the boat and He calmed them even before calming the storm. One of the things that Pat, the dad, shared was that you can’t get out of the boat. Even though you feel like waving the white flag and bailing – you have to stay in and keep going! HUGE thought! All of us want to quit and get out and ask God where in the world He is….fact is – we never will if we get out of the boat!
- HOPE……Hope keeps us going. Hope that the son they lost they will see again and HOPE that he is in a place that they are also going to. Sherry, the mom, said “I can’t imagine going through this without faith & hope”…….Hope pulls us ahead and keeps us going!
- Keep moving! I have watched this precious couple and so many others like them go through a million different stages through their journey’s…..here is one thing that they have all had in common – they kept moving! If you are in a storm right now – you will go through every emotion imaginable (frustration, loneliness, anger, questioning)….all of those are ok but you can’ t stay there! God can handle your doubts and your questions…..just keep moving! Move toward Him (even when you don’t feel like it)!!!