Let Virtue Flow

Developing virtue, those Godly habits of the heart, is like playing the guitar according to my guitar playing friend. In the beginning, when you are learning to play,  you have to be very focused. This finger here – that finger there. Curve them just so and hold the strings down tight. Tell your fingers what to do.

But ask any guitar player,  “When you play a D chord, do you say to your fingers – OK, index finger here, ring finger on that string?” No – it just happens.  Young guitar players practice so much that finally their fingers just moved automatically.

When my friend is leading worship, he doesn’t have to try really hard to get that D chord right. He doesn’t get out his “Guitar for Dummies” book in order to find the rules for guitar playing.  He just plays. The Lord has gifted him with musical talents and he has practiced really hard for years so that when he gets in front of the congregation it just flows.

Colossians 3:16 states, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”

Paul is commanding us to actively decide to put ourselves in a place where God can shape our hearts through his Word. How does the word of Christ dwell in you?

You’ve got to read it.

You’ve got to sing it.

You’ve got to think about it.

As the word of God sinks into you, your actions will change. The Holy Spirit will guide you. I don’t know how. I can’t tell you the answer to every moral dilemma you will face. I can give you some basics – do not murder, do not lie, do not commit adultery, do not covet.

But those are easy compared to being a man or woman whose life is full of compassion, kindness, humility, meekness and patience – those virtues Paul lists in Colossians 3:12.

Soften your heart by soaking your mind in the scriptures – let virtue flow!


Do you like graffiti?

My son asked me the other day if I like graffiti?

No, I don’t like folks tagging bridges, walls and buildings with random spray paint markings. Private and public property must be protected from vandals who deface whatever they want around the neighborhood.

But not all graffiti is just random spray paint.  I ran across this graffiti while walking my dog this week.











As with much deviate behavior, there is an element of God given talent that, if directed properly, can be used for good.   God has gifted each of us in very unique ways and our challenge is to use our gifts and help others use their gifts for His glory and the world’s good.

I can’t paint like the person who painted the back of these buildings.  But his talent was used to bring a smile to my face as I walked through the back of the park.

Do I like graffiti?

No and Yes

Time to hustle

We are back in London after a good visit with family and friends in Nairobi, Kenya.  One of the things that always strikes me about life in Nairobi is that fact that everyone, especially the poor, seems to be involved in business.

During my free time in Nairobi, I finished reading “Triumph of the City” by Edward Glaeser, which I would recommend to anyone interested in cities.  Glaeser states:

“Cities aren’t full of poor people because cities make people poor, but because cities attract poor people with the prospect of improving their life.”

If you are a poor farmer in rural Africa, there is not much hope that your son will be anything but a poor rural farmer.  But if you move to the city, there is a little hope for that your son might move up economically.  In Nairobi these poor people are doing business.  If you don’t work, you don’t eat.

So poor people in Nairobi hustle.

Selling bananas or sweet potatoes by the side of the road:




Or selling ice cream in the middle of the road:Instead of looking at the poor in Nairobi with paternalistic pity, these people inspired me to work harder, to be creative, to take hold of the opportunities God has place before me. To hustle.

Are you just easing through life.  Is it time to hustle?


P.S. Of course if you want middle class shopping – Nairobi has that as well:

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