Don't throw me out with the bath water.

 Did you ever write a title just to see where it went? Did you ever start a conversation with someone knowing you had no idea where it would take you?
 
 Maybe you're not as adventurous as me. Maybe you don't like the unknown. Maybe you don't like questioning everything to get to what you really believe or to find out what you believe matters.

 I started reading this book called "Think and Grow Rich". Before you blow me off, let's just chat. There was a guy named Zig Ziglar that my dad used to listen to while driving to work. I couldn't stand it. Not sure why. Maybe it sounded to "slick". I heard Zig in 2007 when I started to work at playing music for a living. I needed a lot of rebuilding in my life, spiritually, emotionally, and mentally. Zig gave me the ideas and motivation to change my life and do things extraordinary. I now appreciate my dad and what he tried to get me to listen to when I was younger. I wished I'd listened better because I would've been more setup for success in life than I am now.

 I grew up in mostly conservative churches and consequently I was very closed to many ways of thinking, thinking that any other way than what I heard from the pulpit was heresy. Since I've been traveling a lot over the last 4 years, I've run into more people, all different shapes and sizes, and found that most of my walls were from me not them.

 I've sat in wedding receptions next to a single, democratic, liberal woman who I thought would be the absolute worst person to put at my table. Here's a lady who believes very much in institutions, government taking care of us, and small families. Here I am, a dad of 7, fairly conservative, and definitely small government and frugal spending. We had a great conversation and I got to ask her a ton of questions about her working in a DC hospital emergency room and all the things she has seen and heard. She's a very cynical person and it would be hard to not be in her line of work. She lives alone and the only people she talks to are hurt and in need of immediate attention. Not really conversationalist at that moment. I gave her a ride home because she needed it and she invited me to bring my whole family to her place in the city. I don't know that it will ever happen but I really appreciated the gesture. I really appreciated getting to know her.

 I've had lunches and dinners with cross dressers, gays and lesbians, liberals and conservatives, small family people who drop their jaw at the fact that I have such a big family. I've enjoyed every one of them even though some of them were more...interesting than others. :)

 I think the one thing that I've learned is really simple. "Don't throw them out with the bath water". Would you want to be? Do you think that Christ's blood was not big enough to love them, forgive them, and restore them when they're hurting? There's one thing we all desire and want. Value. I think we forget that the one thing Jesus restored to us through the cross was value. We were born into failure not of our own doing, there's plenty there to be angry about. But we've all been given the same forgiveness and the same level of value placed on us all. The more we understand this, the more we can give that to others. Sometimes that's in a meal, a cup of coffee or just a hug and a smile or laughter. I like that last one the most. Laughter is so good for us as humans.

 There's a lot here that you could start to argue or point out to me with theology and all, I'm really not interested in that. What I've become more interested in over the last few years is, am I giving every person that I meet the value that Christ has given me? It's hard I know. But have you thought about the possibility that some of them are uncomfortable being around you?

 So read a book that you thought you'd never read. Start a conversation with someone who looks like they don't want one. Go talk to that biker dude who looks more scary than your nightmares. Ask them questions about them. It helps make them feel valuable. Make a friend of someone in another religion or different way of worshiping than you do. It's worth it, trust me. The change that we want starts in each of us. One person at a time. If we don't start living and giving value, some may never get it. And I don't want to be the reason they didn't.
 

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