Month: December 2013

Manliness and My Little Pony

My comic shop had a sale for 25% off all their graphic novels. I looked around for a little bit, but I finally settled on that bastion of testosterone, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. As I told a friend, I felt that I should probably hand in my man card.

This image and manliness have about as much to do with each other as fish fingers and custard.

The next day, I drove a young man to his driving test. His family’s vehicle was nonfunctional, and they’d asked to borrow our van. No problem!

As we went, I mentioned to this teen that his driving test was the first step to manhood. He brightened immediately. “Really?!”

It hit me: This kid has no father. Well, not really. His father has not helped raise him in the least and is basically a non-entity in his life. Me saying that might have been the first time anyone had told him anything had to do with manhood.

We talked about the steps to becoming a man. We made a little list. Some of the things were pretty straightforward: Being confirmed. Going on a date. Taking the driving test. I added two that he chewed on for a while: Fighting for something worth fighting for, and walking away from something not worth fighting for. (more…)

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Ask.

Following our big dinner for the homeless last week, we’ve gotten a sudden increase in calls of people needing help. This doesn’t surprise nor bother me overly much, at least at this point. One family in particular, when I visited them, had nothing. No table, no television, just some mattresses on the floor of their apartment.

We were able to get some food – mostly canned things like soup and some spaghettios for the kids. And when I delivered, I found out… they didn’t even have a can opener to make use of our gift.

I looked. I found no can openers that weren’t incredibly expensive. I considered. Who in the congregation has a well-stocked kitchen that might be willing to donate an extra can opener? I thought for a little bit and called up a certain woman. I explained the situation and asked for a can opener for this family.

She said yes. Fantastic!

And then she asked if they had cups. Or dishes. Or bowls. Or silverware. Or a table. Or…

And she’s provided all of that. She wants no recognition at all; she simply wants to provide. I think I need to tell her to slow down, simply so the family doesn’t depend on us. I’m kinda swimming in the waters for the first time of what wise generosity is!

But it reminds me of something Jesus said. “Ask, and it will be given.” And in another place, “You do not have because you do not ask.” Here was a family that I might have had to say ‘no’ to. Yet, I thought to ask a member for them. And I didn’t receive what I asked for. I got a flood of blessings!

And isn’t that what Jesus does? We ask… and we receive such huge blessings far beyond what we ask for! Even if the answer is ‘no,’ the blessings flow so much more.

We ask for forgiveness for the sins that most bother us… and Jesus answers with a flood of blessings. “Here, I won’t just forgive that sin, but EVERY sin! And I’ll give you baptism as an assurance that you are my child. And I’ll give you my very own body and blood in the sacrament to assure you and give you forgiveness. And I’ll tell you again and again, too!”

And from there flow so many other blessings…

Basically, my member taught me this week: ask. Doesn’t mean I’ll get what I’ll want of course, but I should ask.

So, I guess I’m going to ask more often instead of just assuming the answer will be no!