Living no longer for ourselves

Some days, I get encouragement from seeing a good friend put a truth into practice and reach a conviction on his own. I was back at Dave’s garage this week getting winter tires installed and we had a conversation.

Dave has had a hobby for a few years, restoring classic cars, driving them for a while and turning them over for a small profit. Dave is a skilled mechanic, auto body technician and a welder. In his full-time job, he welds for the coast guard.

dave and cindy

Here are Dave and his wife Cindy with his latest project.

This past year, Dave and Cindy gave their lives to Christ because of the persistent prayers or their daughter, Meghan. Cindy was baptized in Spring. Dave got it done in the summer.

I have enjoyed and appreciated Dave’s charity and skills several times in the past year. Because of his generous heart and great talent, I have been able to keep working as a substitute teacher. He has kept my car on the road at times when I had no other hope.

This week, I came over to get my snow tires installed and we had a talk about our faith. I shared about my current Bible study in the book of Job, trying to make sense of my trials and struggles of the past few years.

He shared about an idea he just had (paraphrased):

You know, a guy asked me if I would sell him this Ford I just rebuilt and I had to think about it. I said :”No.” at first, but I changed my mind on it and told him to make me an offer.

I really enjoy rebuilding these old cars, but it doesn’t mean as much to me now.

What if I could buy some used cars that need a bit of work, fix them up and sell them at cost to people who need a break?

I could buy  an older car for say $1000, repair it properly. Sell it to a family or a young adult starting out for the cost of the car plus materials. They could have a good road worthy car for $1500-$2500.

I think I would really enjoy doing that.

This is a man who is maturing and is being transformed by Christ. He is no longer living for himself, but is taking interest in the needs of others. I left Dave’s feeling encouraged again. My friend, my brother has invented a new kind of ministry. He wants to use his talents to help others, equipping people in need with reliable cars. In a few short months, his convictions are changing. He wants live in a way that is a benefit to others.

I think I want to give him a hand. I could learn a few things.

It reminds me of this scripture.

Philippians 2:1-4
Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion,
then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

Christians, let us examine ourselves to see if we are applying our talents to help others. Can we invent a new ministry to meet a need that was not met before?

See what you can do. God will be pleased. I believe that a sense of peace and well-being.

Proverbs 11:25
A generous person will prosper;

    whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.

Dave, thanks for your generous heart. I am encouraged.


Blessed are the peacemakers

I do not know what to say about the most recent acts of violence I have seen on the news. From Paris, to Palestine, to Lebanon, to the skies over Syria, there is more than I can take.

I want to call attention to people who are peacemakers. I have seen great examples in the past few weeks. These people each play a special role toward the promotion of peace.

First, there is Tad. He presents himself at schools to tell his story. His story is filled with shocking details of verbal abuse and confinement at home along with bullying in school.
Tad found his way through these childhood trials to become a successful professional and he also founded a charitable organization to stop bullying:
Tad has a passion for the safety of youth. I encourage everyone who can to learn from his story.
Tad’s Story

On the topic of bullying a psychologist here in Canada, Dr. Gordon Neufeld, gave a great speech on the psychology of a bully and the steps required to reverse it based on his field experience and research with violent offenders. He makes it very clear that bullies are in need of inner peace that has been interrupted.
If you have an hour to spare and you care about making a change, please take time to watch this video: What Makes a Bully

Dr. Neufeld has succeeded in reversing the behaviour of bullies and wants to share this wisdom with us.

Some have made popular this quote by Mr. Fred Rogers after the attacks on Paris.

Here are some more of his quotes, a glimpse into his mind:
Fred Rogers quotes
May his message continue to help children and adults find peace.

Dr. Ron Paul ran for U.S. president 3 times.  He used the platform to promote the well-being of people by promoting freedom and liberty. He spoke against the folly of perpetuating war against other countries and many other ideas about liberty and peace.
You can become better informed on war, economy and politics by listening to his podcast:
Ron Paul Liberty Report.

If you love peace, please support his message and purchase his book.

This is Mr. R. Buckminster Fuller. He is most famous for making a giant ball out of triangles.

He is also a man of great wisdom. He shares a vision that applying advancements in technology to the benefit of humans, rather than for perpetuating war is a wiser direction to take.
Mr. Fuller, I carry your mantle. I promise as an educator to teach youth to apply their lnowledge of Math, Science and Technology to create livingry and improve the world.
More R. Buckminster Fuller quotes

Honourable Mentions:

This Girl who wants her parents to get along.

Jody Wilson-Raybould is Canada’s newly appointed minister of Justice. I look forward to her upcoming actions toward peace.

Julie Borowski is an entertaining video blogger promoting liberty and peace in an entertaining way.

These men

And finally, words from the Prince of peace himself:

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God.
Jesus Christ, during the Sermon on the Mount,
Matthew 5:7

I urge you to be peacemakers. We need to each do our little part right now.