Families | Leadership
Tony Martinez

This Tuesday I was with our team of pastors in the Rocky Mountains for a day of planning and strategy for our local church. The location and conversations were energizing. I was actually excited to get back to the office and back to work. Then Wednesday happened.

Grandpa’s gall bladder had been removed earlier in the week. Consequentially, his liver had been damaged and the internal bleeding was no longer under control. After driving a couple hundred miles to see him, I could tell something was off…with me. I was in a haze at teen small groups that night. Thursday, he was airlifted to Denver because he kept getting worse. By the time I got home and fell asleep for the night, it was 3 a.m. on Friday. Upon hearing updates on Friday about Grandpa being in tears in ICU, everything finally clicked.

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“When you face criticism, the best response isn’t to hide, run away, or quit.” – Brian Berry
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Yes, I need to plan. No, I shouldn’t always be on Facebook. And yes, I have learned alongside you this week when it comes to office time. However, too often in my professional ministry I’ve tried to organize and structure myself in an attempt to assassinate my task list. I habitually fall prey to projects outweighing people.

All my life, I’ve seen my Grandpa wearing a necklace that he made. It’s a simple piece of leather threaded through a hand-carved wooden cross. He has made literally thousands of these over the years and has given them to anyone who would receive the cross. He has made me take inventory of my time this week. How have I been using my time? Has it been only to make, fashion, and assemble the cross of Christ? If I fail to actually give the cross of my Savior, I’d be wearing a couple thousand necklaces on my neck. When I use my time well, I have both a finished product AND an opportunity to touch a life. I have to do both!

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“When you face criticism, the best response isn’t to hide, run away, or quit.” – Brian Berry
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Manuel Martinez has been teaching me quietly all my life. I believe this week he has once again taught me a lesson. My Grandpa would give you the highest praise because you’re a youth leader. He would probably even give you a cross too. If nothing else, I wanted to share with you what my Heavenly father reminded me this week through my earthly Grandfather. Take the time to both make and give the cross!

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