I Can't Make This Stuff Up

So a buddy of mine just sent me a picture of a Wal-Mart bought cake they had for a fellow co-workers going away party. His supervisor ordered it over the phone and told them to write: "Best Wishes Suzanne" and underneath that "We Will Miss You."

This is what they got.
I'm telling you, I can't make this stuff up!
Can anyone beat this?


As I've mentioned before, one key characteristic of a tentmaker is one who leverages their profession to futher the cause of Christ. I'd like to explore the topic of leverage this week, and I hope it makes you think.

I hated physics. So, I'm not even going to go down that slippery road. Webster's defines leverage like this. I like those two words: power and effectiveness. It reminds me of this verse. Simply put, leverage allows the weak to become strong. It transforms something small into something large.

We are surrounded by forces of leverage. The media is a huge source of leverage in our society, both good and bad. Other leveraging forces could include: education, economics, internet, fashion, science, politics, transportation, technology and religion.

Biblical examples of leverage that come to mind would be:
  • David's sling
  • Nehemiah's tears
  • Hannah's prayer
  • Esther's request
  • 5 loaves & 2 fish
  • 12 simple fishermen
  • Paul's letters

What type of leverage do you feel you are the most influenced by?

4 Day Weekend

Well, believe it or not, I am getting Thursday and Friday off this week. I am looking forward to a time of recharging the ol' batteries. I am also looking forward to spending quality time with the family - as I hope you all get to do so as well. For that reason, I'll be taking a break from the blogging until Monday.

Hope you all have a Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving. Things I'm thankful for:
  • Grace
  • My wife
  • Great families to which I belong
  • Opportunities to make a difference for Christ
  • Wonderful job, employer, and co-workers
  • My LifeGroup members and church family
  • Those who have mentored or taught me anything

The Great Debate

Invariably this time of year, a huge debate occurs amongst my co-workers, friends, and LifeGroup members. It occurs because I start it, and I love to have fun with it! So, are you ready? Here goes...

What type of turkey person are you - white or dark meat?

Barry Bonds and the almighty Asterisk

Well, it looks like Barry Bonds got indicted today. Do you think his legacy is permanently tainted, or not?

Tentmakers in the Bible: Joseph

"You shall be over my house, and all my people shall order themselves as you command. Only as regards the throne will I be greater than you. And Pharaoh said to Joseph, See, I have set you over all the land of Egypt." Genesis 41:40-41 (ESV)

Jospeh is a great Biblical example of the tentmaker priniciple. He had a day job - it just so happened his job was to run the whole country of Egypt. And he leveraged his day job for God's glory.

Here's what I've learned from Joseph:

I could go on and on, but I think I've made my point. Joseph was a stud!

What other traits do you see in Joseph that impress you?

A Tentmaker's Influence

As I mentioned in my last post, there was a point in my life when I was really torn between pursuing vocational ministry or pharmacy. During this time, God showed me a professional could indeed have a powerful influence on others for Christ. This occurred, of all places, at the funeral of my friend's father.

My friend's father was the district attorney and his death was sudden and unexpected. He was an elected official who did not allow politics to influence his faith, but vice versa. He often came under attacks from those who didn't care for his faith-based principles, however they couldn't keep him from being re-elected. He walked his talk.

Allow me to summarize his funeral:
  • 2000+ plus were in attendance (it was standing room only in the overflow rooms and more people were outside and couldn't get in).
  • Attendees included members from the govenor's office, national and state lawmakers, the mayor's office, police and fire chiefs.
  • For miles on ahead of his motorcade, people stood outside their cars by the side of the road to show their respect.
  • An altar call was given, and many, many, many people came to Christ after hearing about this man's personal testimony.

This man obviously had influence. Not the political influence so many sell their souls to get, but genuine, righteous, God-inspired influence that people see and respect. I kept asking myself "If this guy were a pastor, would this many people be here? Would all these officials be here? Would the city people respond as they have today?"

I'm not slighting pastors in the least. I'm merely saying, unless they pastor a mega-church, their sphere of influence is limited to their church and community. A tentmaker's sphere can include their church, community, co-workers, company, vendors, customers, etc, etc. Tentmaker's are poised to reach more people if they have to mind to do so.

How many people could you possible include within your sphere of influence?

Tentmaker's Mindset

In my last post, I shared how I feel like I am called to be a "tentmaker" - someone who leverages their profession to further the Gospel. Today I'd like to discuss what a "tentmaker's" mindset is like, namely mine. My prayer is that it will help anyone interested in turning their profession into their ministry.

First, it all starts with a vision. For me, there was a time in my life when I was truly divided between vocational ministry and pursuing a career in pharmacy. Over the course of several months while praying and reading Scripture, God showed me how Jesus often met an individual's physical need and then their spiritual need. Healing their physical ailment allowed them to see their spiritual ailment, and they wholeheartedly embraced Christ. I hope to do the same.

Second, it takes a focused determination. Still to this day I battle with the desire to be in vocational ministry. So much so, that I often lose sight of the ministry I could be doing everyday where God has me. I call it ministry wanderlust. I have to constantly re-focus my mind on the vision God has given me for pharmacy - especially on the hard days whenever dealing with less than grateful patients.

Lastly, it takes boldness. There are many opportunities that present themselves for me to share Christ's love with my patients. I wish I could say that I take advantage of each and everyone of them. Let's be honest, it can be intimidating to open up a spiritual conversation with a total stranger - especially in a medical setting where faith and science aren't necessarily bedfellows. However, simply telling someone "I'll be praying for you," or even better "Can I pray for you right now?" makes all the difference to them. You can see it all over their face.

Has God given you a vision? What is it?

What's a tentmaker?

First off, welcome to my blog. I'm truly honored you have shared a few moments of your time with me.

So, what exactly is a "tentmaker?"

Acts 18:3 reveals a little snippet about the Apostle Paul's life that I find extremely fascinating. The Message says it like this:

"Paul moved in with them (Aquila & Priscilla), and they worked together at their common trade of tentmaking." (emphais mine)

Yep. Paul, at one point in his life, had a day job. A regular 9 to 5'er. However, he didn't merely toil at making tents for no reason. Rather, he leveraged his profession to advance the Gospel.

So, to answer the question, a "tentmaker" is someone who has a career and a passion to let God use them in their career to further the Gospel. Like Paul, God may call them to vocational ministry, or not. The point is, a "tentmaker" uses their career as a propellant for ministry.

What about you? What is your career, and how do you see God using you as a "tentmaker?"