Wednesday Wisdom With Wyndham – 40

Wisdom Passes the Torch

Cash McHargue

And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others. (2 Timothy 2:2)

This scripture is very familiar to anyone who has served in the full-time ministry.  It is often quoted as part of our job description for ministry staff.  As the Apostle Paul approached the end of his time in ministry he emphasized the need for new men to be prepared to take the gospel to the next generation. The need for leaders to raise up more and more leaders is an obvious theme throughout the scriptures and is clearly a growing need in our own fellowship. While I have known many who feel passionately about this, I have met no one who exemplifies this more than Wyndham Shaw. His devotion to training future elders and evangelists is unmatched.  I experienced this first hand during my time with him in the Northwest Region of the Boston Church.

Maria and I, along with our two small children, Isabella and Hunter, arrived in Boston on July of 2013 in preparation for our move to Madrid the following year. During that time, we led the Northwest Region, which was made up of 220 disciples (most of whom were very mature Christians who Maria and I look up to).  Since most of our ministry experience was working with younger disciples in the teen, campus, and young professional ministries we felt some doubts and insecurities about leading disciples who were much older than we are.

I remember expressing to Wyndham and to others on the leadership team that since we would only be in the region for a year or so, we’d continue to follow along with the plans which were already in place, without adding our own leadership. Fortunately for me, and the region, Wyndham saw right through my doubts and insecurities. He helped me see that God had a plan much bigger than my own. This allowed me to acknowledge and address my fear, pride, and self-focus—so that God could work through us during our time in the NW Region. Wyndham encouraged and supported our ideas for change, and he did so while instructing us with great wisdom and faith.

I remember one particular conversation early on when Wyndham told me, “You are the evangelist of this region. You need to lead.”  I knew on paper I was the “region leader,” but in reality I thought, “No, no, no, you have been here for a long time and you have all the experience. You just tell me what to do, and I will do it.” But Wyndham insisted that I take the torch. This is remarkable to me—as I think about the ways he followed my lead and supported my ideas.  I wondered, “Why would he trust me? I’m the young guy. You lead and I follow.” But this is simply not the way Wyndham saw it.

Wyndham sees the need for younger leaders to step up and take the torch. As a mature elder and evangelist in the church, his ego never got in the way of helping me take on a larger leadership responsibility. This made me feel both humbled and empowered to take on the mantle of leadership that is so badly needed in the church.  I appreciate Wyndham’s wisdom and influence in my life as well as his humility to allow me to lead. He knew I would make mistakes along the way, which I made more than I care to admit. But he also knew with proper guidance and encouragement I would learn through those mistakes and grow.

Although we stay in touch, it’s been four years since Wyndham and I worked together in the Northwest region. Along with helping to develop me in my leadership and faith, Wyndham also became a dear friend. I treasure the memories of our many fishing trips and weekly discipling times together. But the influence he made on me, especially as a husband, a father, and a leader have had the greatest impact.

I am not alone in feeling this way. Wyndham has made the same impact on so many disciples.  His firm belief in the need to develop healthy leadership in the church is the reason why there are so many great elders and evangelists throughout the New England and European churches.  His influence is widespread! I pray that those of us who are younger will humbly step up and take on new leadership roles throughout the Kingdom. I also pray that more and more will gain the same conviction to pass on the torch to those who are younger and instill faith in them to lead the church into the next generation. I’m extremely grateful for Wyndham Shaw, his faith in God, and his wisdom to pass the torch while keeping his burning. 

Wednesday Wisdom With Wisdom – 39

Wisdom Keeps on Giving

By Carolyn Harrell

Sometimes when you want to share so much, most of the sharing goes on while lying awake in the middle of the night and is only remembered in pieces when morning comes, and is only heard by God, Jesus, and Spirit.  That’s what has been going on about Wyndham’s Wisdom for many months with me.  This is to share  some bits and pieces that I’m thinking about this morning…written randomly.

If Wyndham knows about it, it can be worked on, prayed about, fixed.  That has been for over a quarter of a century what Bob and I always felt concerning church matters. I have seen Wyndham and Jeanie’s influence for healing and calming and leading bear this out and am so grateful.

Wyndham is a Biblical illustration of the good men do will live after them.  This is encouraging not only for the churches, but also for now retired formerly very active people like me. I want my words and actions to matter positively. Wyndham’s do. I hope my work with students also lives on. Memories are motivators.

Jeanie and Wyndham always go together as a name…an entity. As Jeanie’s sister I would think I’d have her in a special compartment, and I have known her longer and better, of course, but Wyndham is such a part of her there’s no other way to think or imagine.  I know the creativity and determination, the humor and emotion…and wisdom of Jeanie’s life and writing, but I can only imagine how much Wyndham’s wisdom has infused her life and writing through the years. Actually, I don’t have to only imagine since Jeanie speaks to it often.

Perhaps it’s just me, but sometimes inspirational and Christian writing can become or seem repetitious or stale and perhaps not deep or real (even though it may be to the writers and readers).  That’s never the case for me with Jeanie and Wyndham’s work, and I have a feeling that’s not only because I’m her sister.  Even though I may not be reading about some events, stories, or memories for the first time, I always feel (and act) more determined, prayerful, hopeful in a fresh way when I read what Jeanie shares or edits into a book.  That’s amazing to me.  I read widely all kinds of genres and have many spiritual favorites from outside “our fellowship” who shake and challenge my thinking in fresh ways. Jeanie’s books and blogs and Wyndham’s Wisdom do the same thing even though at the core they are more familiar to me. That must say something about writers’ voice, but also about the truth, need, spirit… imbedded in their work.  I don’t know quite how to explain it; it’s just what it is.  Some books work; some lives work.

Jeanie and Wyndham’s family inspires and delights me making me want to be so much better as a wife, mother, gammy. I love the strength of their family…not showiness (although they are all amazing)…just decades of what it is…how it’s stored and spread as images and reminders of goodness in the back of my mind.

One of my earlier memories is our family…mom and dad, some sisters and husbands, a few (of the now many) children on vacation walking on the beach and Wyndham breaking out in song…”I’m a hard fighting soldier on the battlefield…Lord, I’m a hard fighting soldier…oh yeah…”  He just couldn’t help it…and we sang along.  I love you all so much.

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I could fill a daily blog for years with wisdom I have learned from Wyndham. However, I’ll stick with one day a week. Each Wednesday I will share wisdom gleaned, not just from me, but from our family who saw him day and night and from friends near and far whose lives he has touched.

Many of you have already told me you wish to share wisdom you learned from Wyndham. If you wish to contribute to this collection please email me at shaw.jeanie@gmail.com with the subject line—Wednesday Wisdom. If you wish to receive these blogs in your inbox, feel free to sign up to follow the blog.

 

Wednesday Wisdom With Wyndham – 38

Wisdom Builds Family

It’s one thing to have people in your life who you love deeply. It’s another to be a catalyst to help those  you love to love each other. That’s what building family is all about. It’s Jesus’ great desire expressed in John 17. Love and unity, based on and flowing from God’s love and unity is what powerfully shows the world the power of God.

 
20  “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message,
21  that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.
22  I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one:
23  I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.
(John 17:20-23)

Jesus expressed a similar thought earlier in John 13:34-35, 34  “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.
35  By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
 

 I have often admired Wyndham’s determination and ability to build family—both in our immediate family as well as with work colleagues, friends, small groups, and churches. I also realize this didn’t happen by accident. It was nurtured. Purposely. He is convinced that joy is multiplied when those we love, love each other. That’s also how unity is built.

Our family loves spending time together. I mean, we really love it. We are best friends with each other, including the in-laws. The cousins (our grandkids) are best friends.  Beyond the family, I am also grateful for our friendships and the partnerships we share communally.

So how does “building family” happen?  Are the relationships just meant to be—and exceptionally compatible?  Does it happen randomly or accidentally? I don’t think so. 

As I think through the qualities and characteristics that have helped to build family, several values important to Wyndham stand out to me:

  • Making special times to be together– Whether the two of us, the immediate family, a work staff, or some other group, Wyndham set (and kept) times to be together—and asked for others to give that time as well. For the family, it was daily at the dinner table, weekly in family devotionals, and yearly on a vacation—getting away together. For others, it was various kinds of gatherings. And in those times memories were built…
  • Building memories – Having fun together, laughing together, sharing in each other’s special events, reminiscing, and crying together are all part of building family. Deliberate effort was made to pull each other in to these times. (No one left behind.) I’m so grateful for the memories and the pictures (and those who remembered to take pictures). Memories live on. Even though Wyndham can no longer “do” much. He can however—remember, pray, laugh, and cry with “the one others” in his life.
  • Expressing love and affection – Affection is not my first love language…mine is all about acts of service, However it’s one of Wyndham’s love languages, and I have learned from him just how important this is to help people feel loved. Wyndham is a big giver of hugs, and taught our kids to be affectionate. Thus, whenever anyone comes or goes- down to the youngest grandkids, there is a lot of giving and receiving of hugs. Affection actually does make a difference—There is even data for the way it improves our quality of life. Also, for years we have celebrated every birthday by sharing something we love about the birthday person. This never gets old.
  • Shared purpose and love for our heavenly Father – Praying together as a group, serving the poor together, sharing our faith together (and at times borrowing each others’ faith)…all of these help build comradery—family. Even if our physical families are not close, we can certainly build and find our place as we give to each other in our spiritual family.
  • Expressing qualms and hurts—and resolving such quickly. Every family will have misunderstandings, hurts, and even “bumps” (which is a kind and light word for fights.) No family or group is without sin and “stupidity.” Wyndham never let these things sit. Unresolved feelings would be resolved. Grace and forgiveness are crucial in any building of family. If someone was feeling something, he would dig until they could express what was inside. Pretty soon, this was normal practice with each other. It became customary.

Wisdom helps those we love to love each other. Let’s be wise as we lovingly interact to “build family.”

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I could fill a daily blog for years with wisdom I have learned from Wyndham. However, I’ll stick with one day a week. Each Wednesday I will share wisdom gleaned, not just from me, but from our family who saw him day and night and from friends near and far whose lives he has touched.

Many of you have already told me you wish to share wisdom you learned from Wyndham. If you wish to contribute to this collection please email me at shaw.jeanie@gmail.com with the subject line—Wednesday Wisdom. If you wish to receive these blogs in your inbox, feel free to sign up to follow the blog.

 

 

 

 

Wednesday Wisdom With Wyndham – 37

Wisdom Knows You Never Outgrow Leading by Example

When Wyndham and I were dating I was very “artsy and craftsy.” Decoupage was a popular craft, and one day I presented Wyndham with a homemade decoupaged plaque that read, The world has yet to see what God will do with and though and for and by the man who is fully and totally consecrated to him. I will strive my utmost to be that man.

It was nothing beautiful to look at, but Wyndham was thrilled with it because of the message. He has referred to that plaque many times throughout his life—as has lived that message and striven to be that man. 

He strove for this, not because he wanted to be a leader, but because he desired to please God. He delighted in God. He longed to fulfill God’s purpose for his life—fully confident that God had a true purpose for his life. He strove to continue to grow and to dedicate his life to this higher purpose (consecrate himself).

Because of this, his life has impacted countless people for God.

It would be easy, now that he is ill and can’t “do” much, to just think about himself and his difficult situation. After all, he spent most of his life serving God. Time to sit back and think about me. I’ve served a long time and am tired and ill. Let my past be enough.

However, as many days as God gives him I see Wyndham fully and wholly consecrating himself to God—praying God will still work with and through and for and by him.

When things are hard, or when we are older, or when have been a disciple of Jesus for a long time it can be easy to think we’ve served long enough and have stored up enough “good deeds” to last for a lifetime. However, wisdom knows you never quit leading by example.

Leading by example in attitude. In purpose. In kindness. In love. In contentment. In gratitude. In courage. In integrity. In concern for others.

Jesus never quit. On the cross he forgave. On the cross he thought of his mother and of his dear friend, John. On the cross he thought of you and me, and the satisfaction our changed lives would bring his anguished soul.

When he sees all that is accomplished by his anguish, he will be satisfied. And because of his experience, my righteous servant will make it possible for many to be counted righteous, for he will bear all their sins. (Isaiah 53:11 NLT)

After he was resurrected he cooked breakfast for his disciples. He walked and talked with them. He loved them. He believed in them and entrusted everything to them. His action as he ascended was to bless them.

When he had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up his hands and blessed them.
While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven. (Luke 24:50-51)

Jesus never quit leading by his example—thinking of others all the way to heaven.

Wisdom knows that you never outgrow leading by example.

 

Wednesday Wisdom With Wyndham – 36

Wisdom Knows “Tentative.”

Have you ever boldly espoused your opinion, only to realize that you were in fact wrong? Or, know someone who does this often?

Wyndham has a phrase for this practice—“Often wrong, but never in doubt!”

I find this happens most often in opinion and memory matters with statements such as:

I absolutely know I left this on your desk.

We turn right here. I’m sure.

I have looked there. It is not there.

You just need to let your child cry. They will definitely go to sleep.

You need to not let them cry. They won’t go to sleep.

If you take this supplement, it will cure you. It does this, and this, and this…

If you eat this, it will kill you.

 You may have heard (or said) all of the above, spoken with absolute surety.

There’s a Scripture for this practice:

A fool finds no pleasure in understanding but delights in airing his own opinions. (Proverbs 18:2)

In contrast, a wise person seeks to understand, and is prudent in airing his/her opinions.

There are things to which we should hold with absolute conviction. Truths about God and his word are at the top of this list. For these, we must be bold and unapologetic—even when these truths are in opposition to the culture of our world, which they are.

However, in opinions (and even our memory which we can view as factual) Wyndham has taught me the value of speaking tentatively. We must be calm to be tentative. We must seek understanding to be tentative. We must be humble to be tentative. And we must be eager to keep peace in our relationships to be tentative. Yet, often we (I) can get “riled up,” sure of what we (I) think, and sure that our (my) memory is rock solid correct.

I think of this word, “tentative,” often in my conversations. This nugget of wisdom has served me well. Wyndham and I have striven to implement this in our conversations for years. To remind us, we decided many years ago to exercise a habit that reminds us that we are not always right. When we discover we are wrong in something we have confidently stated we say (yes, out loud) to each other, “I was wrong and you were right.” It’s been a good practice.

Let me define tentativeness by rewording the above statements.

I absolutely know I left this on your desk.

With tentativeness, this can be reworded: I may not remember this accurately, but I have remembrance of leaving this on your desk

We turn right here. I’m sure.

Tentative: I think we turn right here.

I have looked there. It is not there.

Tentative: I looked once, but didn’t find it. I can try again.

You just need to let your child cry. They will definitely go to sleep.

Tentative: I’ve found at times it has worked for me to let my baby “cry it out” to go to sleep.

You need to not let them cry. They won’t go to sleep.

Tentative: You may find this to work or not, but for me my baby got more worked up the longer he/she cried. This is what helped me…

If you take this supplement, it will cure you. It does this, and this, and this, and this….

Tentative: I’m sure you have heard many opinions, but this supplement has helped me and I’m excited about it. Let me know if you want to know more.

If you eat this, it will kill you.

Tentative: I don’t want to intrude, but I read some research that troubled me. I made this choice because of these reasons. I won’t be pushy, but I can send you some information if you would like it.

Without tentativeness, Wyndham’s wise phrase too often applies.

“Often wrong, but never in doubt.”

The Scriptures teach in James 4:6b
“God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”

Truth is, people also oppose the proud, but give grace to the humble.

May we never doubt what is true, but speak (with tentativeness) to gain understanding in other matters.

 

 

Wednesday Wisdom With Wyndham – 35

Wisdom is a Matter of the Heart

By Irene Koha

Wisdom is a desirable quality that I always wanted to have. James tells us that God will give it without finding fault if we ask with faith (James 1:5-6).  That is an amazing promise! But what I was imagining at first was not exactly the godly definition of wisdom. It was more a quality of the mind, the ability to say the right thing at the right time. Of course that’s a great thing if you’re good at it, but the godly definition goes way beyond this, it includes my way of life, my personal example.

Who is wise and understanding among you?  Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. James 3:13

But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.  James 3:17

With Valdur and Irene in Munich

It’s been so encouraging to read about Wyndham’s wisdom on Wednesdays. His life exemplifies the godly wisdom described above. Valdur and I are very privileged to know Wyndham and Jeanie for many years, to be discipled, counseled and mentored by them and to work together on many projects locally and in Europe.  Wyndham, without a doubt, had the greatest influence any person has had on the both of us.

Friday mornings, every other week, were our times with Wyndham and Jeanie. We talked about marriage, parenting and ministry – often after an introduction that summarized and evaluated the latest Patriots or Red Sox game.  As we were working on marriage issues for many years, Wyndham and Jeanie got to know us very well. They knew us so well, that I was taken by surprise when Wyndham brought up the possibility of eldership for Valdur – that was many years ago.  Did he not see all the obstacles that were so big in my mind, but did not seem to cloud the vision that Wyndham had for my husband?  I’m sure now that he did see, but his faith was greater than the facts. He always believed in change, overcoming and growth. He was merciful with failures and considerate in his rebukes and encouragements. Because he is obviously a godly and thoughtful man I decided to trust his judgments versus my own. It was clear to me that God was using Wyndham in our life to help us change and become more useful in his kingdom.

So Wyndham’s wisdom in our life was characterized by a gentle approach, by great mercy and much good fruit. He believed in us despite all our weaknesses and struggles. He never appeared frustrated, angry or impatient. His advice was always impartial, careful to see both sides. He was a good listener and he spoke with discernment and authority. God used Wyndham’s wisdom and perseverance to change us and help our marriage to get to a completely new place.  For many years, fifteen or more, every other Friday morning, sharing with us his heart of wisdom, Wyndham gave us God’s perspective and vision for our lives, for which I am forever grateful.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wednesday Wisdom With Wyndham – 34

Wisdom Wears a Blue Robe

By Sam Shaw

 If you were to walk into the Shaw house at 6:30 AM on a weekday in the year 2000 you’d undoubtedly encounter the following: 1) two slightly toasted chocolate Pop-tarts, 2) a sleeping 17-year old on the living room floor holding his untied shoelaces, and 3) my dad in a blue robe reading the Bible on the living room couch.

I’m not a robe guy, but my dad is. Every morning during my high school years he customarily wore a blue one with his initials embroidered on the section covering his left chest.  Although I cringed imagining him wearing it in public, that robe holds significant meaning to me.

Apparently, God is also a blue robe fan.  He commanded Aaron to wear a blue robe while serving as High Priest in the Jewish Tabernacle in Exodus 39. Needless to say, wearing the blue robe involves weighty spiritual obligations and accountability. As his son, I have a uniquely close-up view of how my dad manages his “blue robe” responsibilities as a spiritual leader.

My dad and I frequently have deep conversations now that our relationship involves less football throwing and golf club swinging. During one recent conversation he commented that highly talented people often have fatal flaws, and that both success and failure will expose these flaws if a person lacks integrity. If you’re reading this blog there’s no need to sell you on my dad’s exceptional spiritual leadership abilities. I’ve closely witnessed his highest highs and lowest lows as a spiritual leader.  My conclusion: I have not known nor will I ever know a man of greater integrity. He’s perfectly suited for the blue robe.  

For me, the image of my dad reading the Bible in his blue robe embodies why I hold him in higher regard than any other human.  First and foremost, it validates his exceptionally authentic faith. He teaches, preaches, and encourages people to devote themselves to God and others above self, and his morning routine tangibly represented how he privately practiced what he publicly preached. It’s uncommon to see someone clearly proclaim Biblical truth without compromise, even more scarce someone live it out. I took my dad’s exceptional integrity for granted early in life. Our world is inherently skeptical of authority figures, understandably so considering how often they abuse power, act out of self-interest, seem apathetic, or are simply incompetent to handle their responsibilities. Because of my dad’s example, I have an abnormally positive outlook on authority and leadership.  He’s made it easy for me to recognize how great it is to be under God’s authority.

Second, the blue robe inspired my personal faith. My dad’s consistent morning time reading the Bible, often with brief interruptions so he could share something he was learning with me, drove me to seek an individual connection with his God. My dad never wanted me to be just like him, he wanted me to experience as he had a real, true, and fulfilling relationship with our creator.  It struck me how tangible an invisible God was to him, and that the Bible actually directed the way he lived his life; so much so that I felt an urge, not an obligation, to explore it for myself.

Finally, the blue robe represents his approachability. I find it hard to believe when people say my dad intimidates them. Trust me, the corny robe/bed head combination does not create a threatening vibe. He commands such respect, but I never felt afraid of my dad. Long before he donned the robe of my high school years, his selfless pursuit of my friendship, willingness to share his weaknesses, and gentle instruction removed all fear from our relationship.  1 John 4:18 says “There is no fear in love.  But perfect love drives out fear…”  I can talk to my dad about anything and feel safe, yet he’ll never hold back the truth, even if it’s hard to handle.  I’ve only observed Jesus to have this skill in greater measure than my dad, no one else.

James 1:2 says it’s pure joy to face many trials because they test our faith and produce perseverance, which makes us mature and complete.  My dad’s current physical condition is a trial of the highest order, one that he faces with unimaginable joy and grace as he reaches heights of maturity few could imagine, let alone attain.  Quite fitting, if you ask me, for a man that wears a blue robe.

 

Wednesday Wisdom With Wyndham – 33

Wisdom knows when you can’t do what you’ve done—You still are who you are.

In the past I’ve asked myself some seemingly strange questions. When I first contemplated the decision to follow Jesus I asked myself, “Self: Would you be willing to move to Africa if God asked you to? Would you stand up for Jesus if someone put a gun to your head and told you to disown him?”  I don’t know why I rehearsed these seemingly unlikely scenarios in my mind, as I now realize it’s more often the less spectacular and daily decisions we must make in order to follow Jesus.

As crazy as it may seem—we actually were asked to move to Africa. We not only agreed to go, but had already begun preparing when the needs of the church there suddenly changed and we were instead asked to stay in Boston. I never did have a gun put to my head, but I did have a knife put to my back as I then declared my devotion to Jesus. For real. But that’s another story for another time. Another question I have asked myself is, “Would you still have something to give if the things you valued were taken?” This is a hard question, but my husband answers this question well with his life.

Though invaluable is the wisdom I have already gained from Wyndham, he is still teaching me as I watch him daily live out the answer to the question—What would I have, or who would I be, if things I valued were taken away.

Life has changed drastically over the last year or two for Wyndham (and for me).  How he loved to throw a football, hit a baseball, walk in the woods with his dog, and catch a big fish—or any fish. (He just loved to be out on the water.) He loved to travel to help strengthen churches and loved to preach and teach. He felt useful as we counseled many a couple on marriage and/or parenting. He led an amazing team of elders and was consulted on all kinds of difficult situations. Now, he does none of these things. He can’t throw a ball, stand or walk at all, fish, get in a boat, travel, preach, or teach. His energy only allows for minimal involvement in conversations that are “deep waters.” In fact, he can’t turn over in bed, transfer himself from wheelchair to anywhere, get dressed, or sit without support. Fatigue is his constant companion, and his voice is often not strong enough to communicate clearly.

Too often we gain our confidence, satisfaction, and value according to what we are able to do. As we meet people, a common question asked is “What do you do?”  Depending on what you “do,” your answer may bring you either encouragement or discouragement. We so easily place our value in our abilities, expertise, or our roles that if/when any of these things change our contentment and joy come crashing down with the change. On the contrary, when our deepest foundation is built on Jesus and his words—we will never be disappointed.

 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.
The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.
(Matthew 7:24-24)

Wyndham, as a wise man, has built his foundation on this rock. Though the proverbial wind is howling and the streams are rising and beating against his body, nothing drowns his joy and his confidence in who he is in Christ. No disease can take away his salvation or his purpose. Nothing can steal his joy as he loves his family and is loved by them. No “thing” can keep him from caring and praying about those he loves. Though he can no longer do the things he once did, his love for God and for people keeps him happy and giving. His knowledge of his salvation and of God’s undying love for him keeps him hopeful. His eyes focused on Jesus’ example keeps him courageous. As we often pray and “take in” the love we share for each other and our family, his eyes always fill with tears because of his indescribable gratitude for what God has done for him, and for us. 20171225_142724 (1)

No situation in life can change who we are in Christ, or can take away the gifts God has lavished on us—unless we let them. Wisdom knows that when we can no longer do what we have done, we remain who we are in Christ. Nothing, and no one, can take this away from us.

  Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?
  As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
  No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
  For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,
  neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
(Romans 8:35-39)

 

 

Wednesday Wisdom With Wyndham – 32

Wisdom Knows When to Take a Break

I am tempted to stop writing after writing the title above. This would be appropriate.

It’s midnight as I begin this entry. I still have a stack of work right where I left it this morning. Scheduled appointments today actually did not go according to schedule. Not many things with this day went as planned, but isn’t that the way it is with many days? I had a short period of time while Wyndham rested this afternoon when I planned to run some errands. That didn’t happen. Yesterday I had to put our 16-year-old dog down, and even though I know it was the right decision, it felt brutal. Today I had a “post-sobbing headache” so attempted to recover from that during the moments I had planned to run errands.

Our son, Sam, came over tonight as is his Tuesday night custom. He comes several times a week to help out with some caretaking needs. Tonight, as Wyndham, Sam, and I were having some deep talks (along with some good laughs) I mentioned that I still needed to finish writing “Wednesday Wisdom With Wyndham” (as is also a Tuesday night custom). Laughing, I said I should just write the words “Wisdom knows when to take a break when needed.” Sam responded in agreement, and Wyndham thought it was perfect.

Then I grimaced, as I don’t “color out of the lines” very well. I like to stick with plans. My plan is to have a post every Wednesday morning. My husband and son smiled, knowing my grimace meant that I’d be up writing for several hours.

Wyndham has the wisdom to know when to take a break. He has done it throughout our life together in order to give his best to God, to me, to our kids, and to the church. I don’t do breaks as well. I tend to keep plowing through. Though this sounds noble, it’s not always wise. Some things have priority over others. Learning those priorities takes wisdom. I have often heard Wyndham use the phrase,” You only have one horse to ride, so you better take care of your horse.”

Wyndham is not an equestrian. In fact, this picture from years ago was from one of only a handful of times he has been on a horse.  My daughter-in-law and I thought our family trail ride (taken after this picture) was too tame and asked our trail leader if we could do some galloping. So, as our horses took off the others followed. The guys did not find this as exhilarating as she and I did. Wyndham said it was one of the most painful events he has participated in and could not understand why I had asked for a most unfortunate change of pace. (He did forgive me, thankfully.)

This phrase about the horse expresses the wisdom Wyndham practiced and shared concerning attention we must give to our spiritual life, our marriage, and our family in order for it to function as God intended.  This also includes our physical bodies. These precious commodities can’t be ignored or taken for granted. If we are negligent in taking care of any of these areas (our horse to ride), the horse will stop and we won’t get very far. Our joy and credibility comes from our example in these areas. We can get so busy taking care of other things (even other people) that we don’t care for our own horse. Life won’t go will then. We will lose the peace we find in Christ, and won’t spread much peace in our relationships. The horse will buck and throw us off, or buckle and lay us out.

As Wyndham’s physical body no longer works as intended, he has prioritized the most important things in life. So, I’m going to learn from Wyndham’s wisdom and sign off for tonight. The post I planned to write can wait til next week. I’ve got a horse to take care of.

28  “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
29  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
30  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

  
30  The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught.
31  Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”          (Mark 6:30-31)