Daily Devotions

He Said What?!

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Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer everyone. (Colossians 4:6)

It has been a challenging week for University of Iowa basketball fans. First, at the end of a loss, head coach Fran McCaffery was suspended a couple games for cursing out a referee, using vile language. Meanwhile, famed University of Iowa basketball play-by-play commentator, Gary Dolphin, was suspended for the rest of the year for comparing a basketball player to King Kong.

We are called to be responsible for what we say. Fran McCaffery is a grown man and should know better than to verbally attack a referee. Further, as a college coach, he has a special responsibility to set an example for others. Gary Dolphin has been at his chosen career for many years, and this is not the first time he has had to apologize for statements made. As a public figure, he should have been well aware of the implications of comparing someone to a huge ape.

Since the beginning of time, we human beings have suffered from our own words. As a friend’s song lyrics state, “the most dangerous organ on the human body is the tongue.” Ever wonder if you are mature or not – just consider what comes out of your mouth. The more we talk, the more vulnerable we become. Believe me, I pray almost daily that God will direct my words. When you speak publicly as much as I do, I am always concerned I will say something wrong or inappropriate by mistake.

A few months ago, a television news anchor was trying to say, “Martin Luther King, Jr.” His words ran together and he ended up accidentally saying something unfortunate. Even though he certainly didn’t mean to say it, he was fired and his life was turned upside down. This example is extreme, but it reminds us that we do need to be very careful and intentional about what comes out of our mouths. That is hard for someone like me, who thinks out loud.

Today, pray for God to give you and me the wisdom and clarity to use our words wisely. Help us learn to hold our tongue when we are angry, so we do not have a McCaffery moment. Help us learn to remain sensitive to what is respectful, so we do not make a Gary Dolphin type of mistake. Our words have power, whether we are a pastor, coach, sportscaster, or anyone else. Ask the Spirit to guide our words every minute of every day.

More Than Photo Ops

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The purposes in the human mind are like deep water, but the intelligent will draw them out. (Proverbs 20:5)

God has blessed me with so many great days. Our wedding day was wonderful. My ordination day was affirming. Our daughter, Hannah’s, birth and baptism were two great days. Hannah’s graduation day, was such a blessing. Her wedding day was so profoundly beautiful. Over-and-over, God has provided so many amazing days.

But the extraordinary moments are just that – extraordinary. 99.7% of life is lived in the ordinary. Most of the days of our lives are lived in the mundane. We shower, brush our teeth, drink our morning coffee, go to work, have dinner, tease our spouse, watch a show, and go to bed, read for a while, and fall asleep. Then, we get up and do it all over. Hopefully, somewhere in the midst of the mundane, God provides Divine moments of laughter, care, and mutual support.

Some people live for the extraordinary, like a vacation. While those can be memorable, it is important to find meaning in the everyday. I do believe that God is found in the mundane moments of life. Going to work is considered mundane, because it is something that happens most days. But most days have opportunities for extraordinary moments. If nothing else, I have yet to spend a single day at church without a laugh, and to tease and be teased by different staff.

We have the ability to bring the extraordinary into the everyday. It may not be a photograph moment, like when I had the father/daughter dance on Hannah’s wedding day, but it is special nonetheless. Prayerfully ask God to have the wisdom, care, and love to provide others extraordinary moments in their mundane days. Make it a priority to find ways to bring joy to others and yourself each day. Who knows, once in a while, it might even become a photo moment.

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