Help Us Help Others

Help Us Help Others
Chaplaincy Clark County

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Chaplain is all wet!

Good morning, I pray the day is finding you well.

The members have been giving me a hard time.

I entered the weight loss challenge (which gives you and indication that maybe I need to lose weight).

I will talk about the weight loss challenge later.

It is true that I need to lose weight. Ever since I was diagnosed with SMS I have needed to lose weight.

I was diagnosed with SMS a number of years ago and I am now on medication that keeps it in check but I am still “over” in the weight department; saying that I am “over” in the weight department somehow sounds better than just saying overweight.

I just realized that not everyone knows what “SMS” is.

SMS is short for “Stupid Man’s Syndrome.”

If I had gone to the doctor right away when I started feeling bad, I would not have gained 50 pounds before I found out that my Thyroid was not working properly. It has been a battle ever since.

As I was saying, the members have been giving me a hard time.

I have been going upstairs and working out but they wanted me to get into the pool too.

They wanted me to take some water aerobics classes.

So, I did.

The first day I came to class, I ended up praying with members on a variety of subjects; everything from sick with the flu to dying on cancer. I prayed with many members that morning.

The next day I talked with another person who was “over” in the weight department. He knows he should be doing more, he told me that for a number of years a therapist would work with him and one day two years ago the therapist saw the YCMA. He said, “You need to go to the YMCA.

This man has been coming to the “Y” and while he is not in perfect shape, he is no longer in a wheel chair.

So often, we look for the great big things to celebrate. We are intent on looking for the big miracle. All we need to do is keep our eyes open and we can see the little miracles, and celebrate them.

Isn’t that what makes up most of our lives. Our lives are not defined by the huge things we do, but many small things that combined become “big” things.

The longer that I work in the “Y” the more convinced I am that God is not impressed with the “Big Deal.” He is impressed by the many small things.

I know I will be more intentional, more attentive to the small things, and celebrate them.


Monday, January 7, 2013

Being open to interruptions

Good Morning,
I pray the day is finding you well.

I came home after a great day of ministry.

It was around 6:30pm, there was a note on the counter that said, “I am at the store getting groceries, Love Laurie.” I was just settling in when the phone rang, I walk across the kitchen and answer it.

I say, Hello.”

The voice on the other end says, “Hello, Mr. Butler.” (Right then and there I knew it was a telemarketer. He did even get my name right.)

You ask, “Why did you answer the phone?” I answered the phone because I thought it was someone I wanted to talk to; why else would I answer the phone?

Without taking a breath Mike says, “My name is Mike from AT&T, is this a good time?”

I say, “No.” (Even though it was not a particularly bad time.)

Mike doesn’t skip a beat and asks, “Do you have a moment?”

I respond, “No, no I do not have a moment.” (Even though I had nothing else going on.)

Mike starts in again. I cut him off.

I told him that I did not want his services and that I was upset that he bothered me and I hung up on him.

Now I am fuming, my great day was ruined by Mike the telemarketer.

I fumed for a few minutes when a still small voice said, “You know Mike was just doing his job. A job that he most likely does not enjoy very much, but he was doing it just the same. It was you who was not doing your job.”

Now I am really mad.

Here I had a great day in ministry, I came home to a phone call that I did not want, and I am the one that God is correcting.

The funny thing about a relationship with God is that you have to listen to His words just as you expect Him to listen to your words.

After a bit, I said, “Ok, the next time a telemarketer calls I will be nice. In fact, I will say the following, “I am so glad you called. I promise that I will listen intently to whatever it is you have to say. I may even buy whatever it is you have to sell, if you first allow me to pray with you and share the Good News of Jesus Christ.”

The little small voice said, “Perfect.” (I am thinking to myself, “Great idea Roger, you accomplished two things; first, this is sure to get the telemarketers to hang up and since I have their names, because they always introduce themselves immediately, I can still pray for them. Two, I got God off my back on this topic.)

A few days later, I come home and the phone is ringing. I answer the phone.
It is Betty from AT&T.

Betty says, “Hello mister Butler, (I wish whoever sold my information had not misspelled my name.) I am Betty from AT&T.”

I interrupt her and say, “I am so glad you called. I promise that I will listen intently to whatever it is you have to say. I may even buy whatever it is you have to sell, if you first allow me to pray with you and share the Good News of Jesus Christ.”

Betty is silent for a moment and then says, “Ok.”

I did not expect this!

I start praying for Betty.

I share the Good News of Jesus Christ.

After twenty minutes, we go through the prayer of forgiveness and she accepts Jesus into her heart.

We are now laughing and having a really good time. She asks if she can call me back in a few days. I said, “Yes. Oh, you still need to tell me your services. I need to hold up my end of the bargain.”

Betty says, “That’s ok, I don’t want to talk to you about that.”

Now I am jumping through the roof, Laurie is wondering what happened to me.
A few days go by and another call.

Todd from AT&T calls and says, “Hello mister Butler, I am Todd from AT&T.”
I interrupt him and say, “I am so glad you called. I promise that I will listen intently to whatever it is you have to say. I may even buy whatever it is you have to sell, if you first allow me to pray with you and share the Good News of Jesus Christ.”

Todd says, “Ok.”

The same result.

Now I cannot wait to get home and talk to the telemarketers.

This goes on for a few weeks.

Then it happens.

The phone rings.

I run to the phone.

I answer and say, “Hello.”

It goes like this.

“Hello Mr. Button My name is Marsha from AT&T.” (Now I know that I have some sort of trainer on the line. The voice on the other end is stern and has a leadership quality to it. It also sounds like she is talking on speakerphone. I instantly get a mental picture of Marsha at a conference table with all these telemarketers sitting there and she is going to show them how to handle people like me.)

I start my shpeal.

Marsha interrupts me and says, “Mr. Button do you realize that my people only have 2-minutes per phone call?”

I respond, “I did not know that Marsha, but now that I do, I can work with that.”

Marsha says, “I don’t think you understand. My people have a job to do.”

I respond, “I understand that your people have a job to do. You see Marsha, I am a pastor, and I have a job to do as well. In the end, you did call my house. Now do we have a deal?”

Marsha says, “No” and hangs up.

I prayed for Marsha after she hung up.

A funny thing happened.

I did not have to get angry.

I did not have to put me name on the “No-Call” list.

They took me off their list.

The only problem was that I no longer wanted to be off their list. I started filling out those cards in the magazines that end up with a call from a telemarketer.

The phone would start ringing again.

After a few weeks they would figure out they were calling me again and the phone would go silent.

God knew what He was doing.

A funny thing happens when you stop seeing things as interruptions and start seeing them as opportunities to share Jesus with people.

Being a Christ follower is not a 9-5 job, nor is it a Sunday only thing. Sharing the Good News isn’t reserved for missionaries and pastors.

We all have stories to tell.

Tell your story. Someone needs to hear it.

Post log; These events happened many years ago before everyone had cell phones and many did not have answering machines. Names have been changed. I was at lunch the other day with friends, I told them this story and they asked me to share it. This is for you Jett and Lorretta.