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Mentor's Corner

Mentors_Corner-1By: Pastor Calvary Callender

We all have set priorities in our life, wouldn't you agree? Setting priorities must begin at a really early age. Our one year old son, Cayden, for instance, is beginning to have to figure out what is most important to him. Sometimes if I ask him to come to me, he will. If I ask him to come to me at the same time he is eyeballing mom's plant, though, you can see the wheels of his little brain turning. He will look at me, then turn and do his little Frankenstein run toward the plant, hoping to beat me there.

Our dog food is another thing that is one of his top priorities. He knows that if he gets in the dog food he will get in trouble, but we have come to the conclusion that he doesn't care. The dog food is so tempting that he just can't help himself. It must be of higher priority than caring what his parents say.

I was thinking the other day about how the lives of many people seem to be occupied with amassing an abundance of treasure. I don't think having money is wrong or that we should condemn those who have more than we do. What I'm getting to is the heart of our desire to have stuff. We need to be careful as to our reason for wanting to gather an abundance of wealth. We need to examine our priorities, to figure out how our time on this earth is best served.

I came across a story I'd like to share from the column, "Dear Ann Landers." "Dear Ann, The letter from the woman married to the tightwad entitled "She couldn't get an extra quarter out of him" that was in your column reminded me of my wonderful aunt who was beautifully warmhearted and had a great sense of humor.

Aunt "Emma" was married to a tightwad who was also a little strange. He made a good salary, but they lived frugally because he insisted on putting 20 percent of his paycheck under the mattress. (The man didn't trust banks.) The money, he said, was going to come in handy in their old age.

When "Uncle Ollie" was 60, he was stricken with cancer. Toward the end, he made Aunt Em promise, in the presence of his brothers, that she would put the money he had stashed away in his coffin so he could buy his way into heaven if he had to.

They all knew he was a little odd, but this was clearly a crazy request. Aunt Em did promise, however, and assured Uncle Ollie's brothers that she was a woman of her word and would do as he asked.

The following morning she took the money (about $26,000) to the bank and deposited it. She then wrote a check and put it in the casket four days later."

In the end, all the things we gather will not matter. Reminds me of the saying, "He who dies with the most toys, still dies." We can gather up all the treasures we want, but watch your heart. Why is it you want those treasures?

News Features - Mentor's Corner

Mentors_CornerBy: Pastor Calvary Callender

It's an age-old discussion about men. They never ask for directions. Have you ever watched the show, "Amazing Race?" In the show teams are racing each other from one clue to the next around the world. The teams are always a pair of people that are either friends or family. The arguments that happen in the show are pretty outrageous and are often sparked because of poor directions.

My wife and I have never had that problem! I always know exactly where I am going and don't need any help! Very often, this is how we feel. We think we know the way and even if we don't, we would never admit it. Sometimes we are just unwilling to ask for help.

I learned this lesson the hard way. One time my car was acting up and I took it into the mechanic's shop. I knew that it was misfiring and assumed I knew what was wrong. I took it in and told the mechanic that it had a bad ignition coil that needed replaced. The mechanic did exactly what I asked him to do and replaced the ignition coil of the misfiring cylinder. When I picked it up I noticed immediately that the car was acting up. I drove it around the block and right back to the mechanic. He assured me that he had done what I asked, so I left it with him to look at it some more. He determined that I had a bad wire going to the spark plug. To make a long story short, I ended up spending double the money because I was too stubborn to just let the mechanic do his job. I didn't want to seem like I didn't know what was going on. Apparently I didn't!

Imagine if we weren't this way. What if we were willing to ask for help when we needed it? And what if we would be willing to offer our help when someone else needed it? Not only would this make a better work environment, it would help us all be more productive in every area of our lives. So remember the next time you aren't sure about which way to go...ask someone.

News Features - Mentor's Corner

 Image_4_-_everyone_is_approved

By Pastor Calvary Callender

Have you ever seen those car dealership commercials or signs on the side of the road that say, "Anyone can buy a car here!" When you look at the fine print, though, you see that "Anyone" really means the people who pass their credit check. Or what about those cell phone advertisements that tell about this new deal and how great it is for anyone who will sign up. When you go talk to the cell phone place you find out that the deal only applies to new customers or a certain group of existing customers. I saw an ad for a package to get all the NFL games on your TV for free if you signed up with this particular satellite provider before the season started. The ad claimed that it would be free for anyone who would sign up. When I called, though, I found out it was only for first time people signing up for this satellite company. The offer was not really for anyone. If you were like me and were already a subscriber to this cable company, you didn't qualify.

It sure seems like when people say, anyone is welcome, or anyone can cash in on this deal, they don't really mean anyone. In Luke 9.23, Jesus says, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow me." When inviting potential followers, Jesus invites anyone. Over the years, we've gotten to the point that even when we hear Jesus say anyone we think, Yeah right...what's the catch? That's the brilliance of Jesus' invitation. There's no catch, no small print, no hidden fees. It's all laid out in that verse, and it's open to "Anyone." And when Jesus said "anyone," the crowds would have looked at his disciples and known what he meant.

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News Features - Mentor's Corner

Team_WorkRaising the Bar

By Pastor Calvary Callender

As a youth pastor I got to play all kinds of fun games with teenagers. There is one game that is particularly inventive that we would always play over spring break. This game is called "The Hunt." Basically, it is a water war that lasts an entire week. It begins with each teen putting their name in a hat and then all drawing a name from the hat. Whatever person they draw becomes their target. After they get their target, they had to find out who their target's target was and go after them . It is really fun when 2 or 3 people are all going after the same target. For each target that you get, points are awarded. All the while this is going on, the youth pastor and volunteer youth workers are going after the teens. For each teen you get wet, the teen loses points. If the teen gets you, though, they gain points.

During one particularly intense week of "The Hunt," I had probably the greatest encounter of the entire series of that game. I always prided myself in being "un-gettable," but that wouldn't be true on this day. Of course every teen always wanted to get the youth pastor really bad. It is a week of high stress, sneaking around Walmart and checking my rearview mirrors. One night, I was returning home after dark. I lived on the second floor in the apartment building I was in. I had done my customary drive through the parking lot and come in the back entrance so no one would see me coming. I felt confident I was safe so I got out of my truck and started up the steps toward my door. All the sudden, from under the steps, a black shadow emerged with a black bucket. I had no chance. I was drenched in a matter of seconds.

There before me was one of my freshman boys, dressed in all black and his face painted black, holding an empty bucket and sporting a sheepish grin. He had got me. That day, this boy had raised the bar. He set a higher standard for the game than had been achieved before, and 10 years later I am still telling the story.

All of our lives we have heard about the "fairness doctrine." When you are at a restaurant, what do you do when the waitress doesn't bring you an item you have paid for or gives you poor service? We might complain to the manager, or not leave a tip. After all, what's fair is fair, right? You might have also heard, "An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth."

What if we raised the bar, though, and repaid kindness for evil? If only a few people would begin to change the way they responded when someone wronged them, we could change the world. I believe that we must reject all behavior motivated only by a desire for retaliation and work for the good of those with whom we might otherwise be at odds. Who knows, if you put this into practice and begin to be kind to someone when they are not kind to you, you might change their life.

Just like that gangly Freshman boy who raised the bar of our little game, you can raise the bar on how you treat and respond to other people. Who knows, something you do today might be a story that someone else is talking about 10 years from now.

News Features - Mentor's Corner

Team_Work
By: Pastor Calvary Callender

I heard a story by an unknown author about a woman who was at the airport one evening and had to wait for several hours before catching her next flight. While she waited she bought a book and a pack of cookies to spend the time. She looked for a place to sit and waited.
She was deep into her book, order pharm malady ask when suddenly she realized that there was a young man sitting next to her who was stretching his hand, salve recipe with no concern whatsoever, no rx for sale and grabbing the pack of cookies lying between them. He started to eat them one by one.
Not wanting to make a fuss about it she decided to ignore him. The woman, slightly bothered, ate the cookies and watched the clock, while the young and shameless thief of cookies was also finishing them. The woman started to get really angry at this point and thought, ‘If I wasn’t such a good and educated person, I would have given this daring man a black eye by now.’
Every time she ate a cookie, he had one too. The dialogue between their eyes continued and when only one was left, she wondered what was he going to do. Softly and with a nervous smile, the young man grabbed the last cookie and broke it in two. He offered one half to the woman while he ate the other half.
Briskly she took the half and thought, ‘What an insolent man! How uneducated! He didn’t even thank me!’ She had never met anybody so fresh and sighed relieved to hear her flight announced. She grabbed her bags and went towards the boarding gate refusing to look back to where that insolent thief was seated.
After boarding the plane and nicely seated, she looked for her book which was nearly finished by now. While looking into her bag she was totally surprised to find her pack of cookies nearly intact. ‘If my cookies are here,” she thought feeling terribly, ‘those others were his and he tried to share them with me.’ Too late to apologize to the young man, she realized with pain, that it was her who had been insolent, uneducated and a thief, and not him.
Sometimes we jump to conclusions about people and judge them too quickly. We need to be careful not to become harshly judgmental or looking for faults. Can you think of a time when someone was this way with you? Imagine if they had given you the opportunity to get to know you and your motives. This is how we should respond to others around us. Not only will it make everybody a little happier, it is likely to improve productivity in our work environment.

News Features - Mentor's Corner

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