The Christian Resource Group

Opinion. Observation. Application.

Monthly Archives: March 2018

BONUS DAY #14

Even though #14 was an entire day spent in the car traveling, there was a situation involving friends, it was something we were praying about and speaking into (only when invited).  Rarely in my life have I ever been the person “stuck in the middle.”  “Stuck in the middle” has provided me with two important insights–1.  People need to actually sit down and talk things completely through.  2.  People need to truly LISTEN to the other person.  IF we listened and talked AND talked and listened, situations would never have to escalate to levels where relationships are destroyed by people saying things hurtful things to each other.  AND ONE MORE THING….do it quickly….listen….talk….BUT DO IT BEFORE THINGS GET INFLAMED.  Fly to conflict and squash it by listening and talking things out.

Every day is a Bonus Day.

Much Love,

Marc

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BONUS DAY #13

Two different couples facing two different situations but it boils down to the same answer.  One couple had served their whole lives creating discipleship/leadership development materials that have a world wide audience.  Their leadership was transitioned before they felt it was time.  They have been processing and thinking things through in a prayerful way.  God has used them in a great way and even now they have ideas for the future.  They are renowned around the world in many areas from the way their work has developed people.  The other couple own a successful business in a Midwestern city.  The owner told me today of how he has helped young person after young person get started in developing the skill required to do this highly skilled profession.  There was disappointment in his voice and reflection in many of the stories.  Many of these people he helped just didn’t “stick” and he seemed tired of trying.  It was interesting how both of these stories required me speaking into each of their lives pretty much the same things:  1.  DO WHAT YOU DO AS “UNTO THE LORD.”  Do it for God, not for a person.  2.  LET GOD DO HIS WORK IN OTHERS.  None of us has any control of other’s reaction to what they are given–only what we are given.  3.  BE GOD’S.  Be God’s instrument–surrender your efforts (from the very beginning of any endeavor).  4.  PUT YOUR EXPECTATION ON WHAT GOD CAN DO, NOT ON WHAT MAN CAN DO.  Expect more from God and less from “man.”  5.  KEEP IT UP–DON’T GIVE UP–DON’T SLOW DOWN.

Every day is a Bonus Day.

Much Love,

Marc

BONUS DAY #12

It was a day where a series of things seemed “OFF”–and was second guessing the timing of our decision to leave half a day early to head out.  Someone I wanted to see since my cardiac event was “all booked up I’ll see you next time” and when we showed up to see Mom at the Nursing Home she was pulled up for dinner with the group of four she is assigned to and there wasn’t a spot for us to visit or even see how she was doing, so we headed to dinner to let mom finish.  It was that moment–the divine appointment–the “okay now I get it” when some people we hadn’t seen in years arrived shortly after us.  We were able to visit, catch up, and share what God was doing.  Moments like these give me the reality check that every minute belongs to God!  I spent unnecessary energy on the rejection of the person who was “all booked up, catch you next time.”  My mom’s words are never truer than today:  “Everything happens for a purpose.”

Every day is a Bonus Day!

Much Love,

Marc

BONUS DAY #11

We had time with family today.  When you are living Bonus Days, time spent with your family is more exciting than a child on Christmas morning.  E.V.E.R.Y. S.E.C.O.N.D. is spectacular!  There are a number of personal reasons we no longer take a single second for granted with our family members, but most importantly there are three things to do:  1.  Never take an opportunity to be with family for granted.  2.  ENJOY.  Whoever it is.  Where ever it is.  Enjoy your family!  3.  Listen and engage with them.  Listen to their story rather than tell your story.  Ask questions–it gives people value.  Engage them in where they are–don’t expect people to come to you (in discussion, in conversation, in opinion, in ideology, OR EVEN IN THEOLOGY).  If your family doesn’t serve the Lord–be the instrument of God, NOT HIS MOUTH PIECE.  Maybe you don’t realize it, but your family pretty well knows what you believe about how they live.  What they need are your prayers.  (And your presence–by their invitation–in their lives).  Engage your grandchildren by talking with them–ABOUT THEM.  Listen, play, engage–BE FULLY PRESENT and God will use you.

Every day is a Bonus Day!

Much Love,

Marc

BONUS DAY #10

This morning I met with a Pastor having a difficult time gaining positive spiritual traction with his congregation.  I have always been a “lay out the truth” kind of person/leader, so laying out a challenge to this spiritual leader’s wasn’t as a result of a Bonus Day.  As I left him I reflected on how thankful I was for a clear conscience.  The only way to advance the Gospel is to lay out the truth.  “The truth shall set you free…”  Coddling, cajoling, pleasing,  do not help people.  Honesty is the only way to/through truth.  It is truth that truly gets us to God.  As a young Pastor the Holy Spirit taught me the lesson found in Scripture “You ought to obey God rather than man.”  God’s ways ARE NOT man’s ways.  On my 10th Bonus Day I am reminded to always speak the truth with great love!

Every day is a Bonus Day!

Much Love,

Marc

BONUS DAY # 9

Getting ready for a weekend trip away to accomplish a list of half a dozen items there was much discussion about what to bring, how to carry it, and specifically–how it should be located in the vehicle.  (I know those of you with families know this “drill”).  Ha!  What really got to me (and I mean a tear in the eye–however, everyone knows the cardiac patient is the one with all the emotion hanging out), was how much fun this part of any excursion should be.  The task of packing is not a “task” on a Bonus Day–it is part of the adventure.  What if you forget to pack something you need?  Either do without it–OR–IF YOU REALLY NEED IT–buy a new one!  Why stress about anything?  After all, it is all an adventure!

Every day is a Bonus Day!

Much Love,

Marc

BONUS DAY #8

Okay…brace.yourself.  Get ready for something really “sappy.”  These are Bonus Days so no holding back….

Since Marceil retired almost 4 years ago we spend almost all day every day together.  I LOVE IT.  (I think she does too, but don’t want to speak for her.  Ha!)  This August 6th will be our 40th wedding anniversary.  As I think about those 40 years of marriage I have been analyzing my personal appreciation for such an excellent wife.  Over the last year a lingering question has been in the back of my mind–since we spend so much time together is it possible to appreciate and love every SINGLE MOMENT together as special moments?  After 40 years of marriage is it possible to enjoy every minute as much as I did the 2 years we dated before we got married.  I remember looking forward to our dates as such a highlight of the week.  I loved every single moment with her.  She made me a better person.

Over years of marriage the love is deep, affection apparent, but can you live “in the moment” like you did when you dated.  It hit me on my 8th Bonus Day–YES!

YES because we chose whether to embrace, enjoin, enjoy, and even revere each moment of our lives (especially a life we live WITH someone) or chose to take them and the moment for granted.  We chose.  I chose.  I chose to embrace and enjoy EVERY SINGLE MOMENT GOD GIVES US TOGETHER.

Every day is a Bonus Day.

Much Love,

Marc

BONUS DAY #7

I had that moment of challenge today where the person I was talking to had no idea I am living “bonus days.”  He talked of my involvement in helping him and his ministry develop a strategic plan for the future and the resistance on the part of his board to use me to do so.  It wasn’t necessary for me to hear all the details of what this particular out spoken Church Board member didn’t like about me because I AM LIVING ON BONUS DAYS GOD HAS PROVIDED FOR ME.  Rejection? Resistance? What does any of that matter?  When you are living on bonus days you only go where God can use you.  When you have to force YOUR way, YOUR will, or YOUR style on someone, you aren’t being fully used of God.  It is too bad the will of a person can thwart God’s will–especially if that one person makes decisions for others, but God gives us all FREE WILL.

Personally speaking, if you are living on bonus days you don’t have the emotional, mental, or spiritual energy to waste on the negative.

BTW–Every day is a bonus day.

Much Love,

Marc

BONUS DAY #6

I got to tell my primary care Doctor “thank you” today.  He advocated for me last week when I was experiencing chest pain and the first three tests came back clear. I actually had my clothes laid out to change and go home when the word came from the Cardiologist that something showed up abnormal.  I didn’t know at the time my primary care Doctor was keeping the hospital on it.  How do you say thank you to someone who basically saved your life?  I did bring him a thank you gift, but more importantly I think the validation of his “gut instincts” about my condition was his own thank you.  Known for his straight forward manner, and not taking excuses from patients for being obese or not attending to unhealthy lifestyles–many people think him too strong.  I think he is just right!  The straight forward and strong style saved my life.  Straight forward, honest, truthful, and clear–what a great way to relate to each other!

Every day is a bonus day.

Much Love,

Marc

BONUS DAY #5

Back from a road trip and having to get caught up on the piles on my desk, I realized the joy that happens when I realize that what was once routine takes on new meaning on a bonus day.  Every piece of paper has purpose as long as I don’t make the purpose of the paper my purpose.  My purpose today is to connect people to God.  How is this piece of paper, this appointment, this phone call, this moment connecting someone to God?

Purpose in life is the POINT.

Every day is a bonus day.

Much Love,

Marc