Jon Stolpe Stretched

What's S-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g me now?

Don’t Hold A Press Conference

We all like to be noticed.  We all like to be recognized for doing something good.  We like to hear people say, “Good job.”  We want the praise of man.  I think this is a normal human desire.

The other day, I was reading in Matthew 6 which is part of the Sermon on the Mount given by Jesus.  In part of this sermon, Jesus talks about how we should give to the needy, how we should pray, and how we should go about fasting.  Three times in this passage Christ says, “Then your Father who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”  When we give to the needy, when we pray, and when we fast, we should do these acts so no one knows but God.  We want the recognition.  We want to hold a press conference when we do these things.  But Christ tells us to keep it between God and us.  Surely, God’s reward is far greater than any recognition we get from man.

As a blogger this is a huge topic to ponder.  I often blog about the activities of my family including the activities related to serving others.  I hope that my main motivation in sharing these things is to encourage others to find ways to serve with their families, but I confess that there may be a part of my motivation that wants to hear others say, “Your family is so good.  You are a great parent.  You and Leanne do such a great job.”  These compliments do mean a lot, but my suspicion is that these praises of people pale in comparison to the reward that God promises.

Ultimately, I want to glorify God.  Whether it’s giving to the needy, praying, fasting, working, running, blogging, or whatever, I want my thoughts and actions to bring glory to God.

And so I stretch!  (In a year of being transformed, transformation of my motives is a great place to start.)

What do you think?  Do you struggle with seeking the praise of people?  How do you fight this?

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January 10, 2012 Posted by | blogging, experiences, fasting, giving, heart, parenting, prayer, press conference, stretch, teaching, thoughts, transformed, wisdom | 17 Comments

Top Posts of 2011 Number 4 – Locks of Love

As I shared yesterday, my plan is to provide links to the top Stretched posts from 2011 over the next couple of weeks.  This provides an excellent opportunity for me to take a small break during the holidays, and it also provides an incredible opportunity for you to catch up on things you may have missed over the past year.  I hope you’ll hop on over to the original post, so you can read the entire post and add your comments to the existing comments string.

The 4th most popular Stretched post from 2011 was a post about my daughter and her sacrificial gift.  The post is titled Locks of Love.  Here’s an excerpt to get you going:

Locks of Love

The generous heart of my daughter never ceases to amaze me.  As you can see by the pictures, Hannah decided several months ago to grow her hair out, so she could donate to Locks of Love.  Locks of Love provides wigs for children who are facing hair loss for various reasons.  Hair is a big deal for girls, women, and kids.  So when Hannah decided to have her hair cut so someone else could enjoy a head of hair, it was quite a sacrifice – at least in my mind.

To read the rest of this post and to see more pictures of Hannah’s transformation, head on over to the original Locks of Love post.

When and where was the last time you got your haircut?

What was one of your favorite posts this year?

December 22, 2011 Posted by | blog spotlight, family, heart, life, locks of love, looking back, parenting, stretch, thoughts | 3 Comments

My Treasure & My Heart

“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”

Matthew 6:21

Where is my treasure?

Where is my heart?

I have lots of interests.  I spend my time on lots of things.  I work.  I read.  I blog.  I run.  I watch television.  I eat.  I sleep – some.

Do I devote the same amount of time, energy, and attention to the people and the things that mean the most to me?  This is the question that stretches me.  My God, my wife, and my kids deserve my focus.

This doesn’t mean that I can’t have interests and hobbies.  But I must always keep these things in check.

Stretch on…!

How about you?  Do you know where your priorities should be?  How do they match up with reality?

(Please add your comment, and remember to come back tomorrow for a great guest post by Jonathan Pearson!)

December 19, 2011 Posted by | blogging, family, guest blogger, heart, Jonathan Pearson, life, marriage, parenting, questions, stretch, thoughts, treasure, verses | , , | 14 Comments