“The Art Of Being Wrong”

As I prepare to ramp up and start writing here at “A Holy Discontent” again I thought I’d do a few throw backs to some of my favorite posts from “the early days”. When driving to work this morning I had this peaceful feeling when thinking about how I don’t always have to be right, and how good it feels to just say to someone, “ya know what, you are right. I was way off, and thank you so much for pointing that out – I’m going to work on letting Jesus fix that in me.” Then, I remembered that I had written this post back in January of 2010! Whether you’re a long-time “A Holy Discontent” reader, or new around these parts I hope you enjoy…

“When we are wrong Jesus is right – it’s redemption in action.”

“You see, if we are never wrong about anything then that means Jesus isn’t having to make us right in any areas of our lives…we hinder His redemptive work in us.”

American culture (and human nature) screams that we must never, ever, ever, under any circumstances admit that we are wrong…about ANYTHING, ever. Whether it be a petty decision we made, statement that slipped out, or a huge life decision that did not go as planned, we seem to have an inability to recognize that we just might have been…WRONG. Is it really so bad…to be…WRONG?

I have determined that we, as humans, need to learn, practice, and perfect the art of being wrong; not when we are not wrong, of course. = ) Perhaps our default should not always be that we ARE right, and could not possibly be wrong. Maybe we could re-program our default to be that we quite possibly could have made a better decision.

“When we are wrong Jesus is right – it’s redemption in action.”

“You see, if we are never wrong about anything then that means Jesus isn’t having to make us right in any areas of our lives…we hinder His redemptive work in us.”

We allow our upbringing, traditions, and personal preferences to get in the way of being wrong all the time. These things cripple us from growing into the people we need to be; the people God desires to build us into. Over the past two years it has become increasingly freeing to let go of things I have done to realize they may be wrong, and could be better in. It hurts at first, but the end result is a more perfect you.

In marriage, our spouses have been placed into our lives to sanctify us by the Holy Spirit that lives within them. When we refuse to ever be wrong we disregard that truth, and hinder our own personal cleansing. In our lives as believers we are so certain we are right that we miss out on things God is trying to teach us.

This also plays into how we “do ministry”, church, etc. My friend Neil Cole directs an organization called CMA. In their organization they have what they call a “wall of shame”. On these shelves resides years worth curriculum, strategies, and plans that they had to retire due to their ineffectiveness. They were willing to accept that those things were…wrong. They put them on the shelf, and began striving for better. Of course, it was painful to retire the resources that took so much time, energy, and money to create. However, the end result was so much more beautiful than the tragedy that would have followed had they insisted on being right.

We could go on and on with examples of how this plays into our lives, and negatively affects us. I am not suggesting that we be ok with being wrong all the time, or become insecure in everything we do because we “might be wrong”. I am simply suggesting that we have a much looser grip on our pride that insists we are incapable of making a bad decision…otherwise known as…SIN. If I never realize, and accept the sin in my life because of pride or not wanting to be wrong I refuse to allow anything in my life to be redeemed.

“Jesus, continually reveal to us where we are wrong. Allow Your Spirit in us to more quickly recognize these wrongs so we may invite Your Spirit in to bring us back into alignment with Your Kingdom. If we neglect this longer we continue to shout with our actions that Your work on the cross was unnecessary, and that we do not need it. Set us free Jesus, and remind us of the permission you gave us to be wrong when you died for the fact that we are sinful.”

I leave you with two definitions…

Redeem: Compensate for faults, or bad aspects.

Redemption: The action of saving, or being saved from sin, error, evil.

The Most Embarrassing Day Of My Life: To Date

Tweeted by me the day of the event:

“The most embarrassing thing in the history of the world just happened to me. Don’t even ask. Maybe in a yr I’ll be recovered & ready to talk”

And then,

“Just when I thought it couldn’t get ANY worse….IT DID. This one could go down in the record books. How will life go on after this…? ; )”

***Warning: You will get to know me a bit more personally if you read this post***

The stage must be set before we begin: First, if you know anyone I work with, or happen to work in the same office with me…I trust you will spare my life, and keep this post and it’s contents to yourself.

Those of you who have known me personally for even a short period of time know that a couple of years ago a lovely Dr. in Las Vegas, NV. diagnosed me with the very common yet incurable disorder known as “I.B.S.” (That’s Irritable Bowel Syndrome) There are various symptoms of this lovely disorder, many of which I do not have. The main symptom I do suffer (Or, should I say, my wife suffers) is…GAS. You see, I was having incredibly sharp pain in my abdomen. It’s become known around our house as “the knife pain”. When “the knife pain” comes there is but ONE option. Release the pressure that is causing this terrible pain. There IS NO OPTION two (Morgan). “But Aaron, you can control that! Just hold it in!” Excuse me? Here’s how it works, it’s very simple-I hold it in, I suffer. Release it, I have relief…

While there is no cure for I.B.S. most people can figure out which foods particularly upset their stomach. We have some guesses, and the ones we’re sure of I simply enjoy too much to stop eating. For example, I love fruit & fruit smoothies. When I eat an apple, you don’t want to be around me for at least the next 6 hours. No lie. Nonetheless, I have learned to live with this unfortunate disorder. Apparently, those around me have not…

I recently started a new job with a start-up company here in Austin. It’s exciting, and I have thoroughly enjoyed this first week of work…Thursday morning took a turn for the worse…not for my co-workers, or the company I work for necessarily – I was the only one from my company in the office this early…

Because we’re a start-up we currently lease some office space from another company that has an extra office. These are friendly, respectable people. It’s great, we have everything we need from a receptionist to a Keureg coffee machine in the lounge, and a copy room with every office supply item you can think of. There’s healthy/organic snacks, and a water dispenser as well. Again, this is a nice place – fancy if you will. While myself, and my co-workers come & go when we want, dress however we like, etc. we are surrounded by nicely dressed, responsible grown adults…

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It was a Thursday morning in Austin. My alarm went off. As I pulled the covers off there was a potent odor released into the air. Apparently, “the knife” had visited me in my sleep – luckily, my body was able to “release the pressure” throughout the night without waking me. I woke up feeling quite crappy, so this nostril stinging smell did not help the situation. (Many of you are now feeling very sorry for poor Morgan…who sometimes experiences this, as she usually wakes up before me – therefore, she’s the first to pull the covers back-unleashing the wrath of my I.B.S.) Nonetheless, I got up, got dressed, ate breakfast and headed out for work. My stomach was feeling weird…I could sense “the knife” plotting an attack. So, I did what I had to, and spent the 20 minute drive to work “releasing the pressure” – yes, I cracked the window down – what do you think I am, some sort of sicko?

I thought I had taken care of the issue as I pulled into the parking lot. To be honest, this was the worst scent my body has produced in all the years since we found out I had I.B.S. I got out of the car somewhat relieved that I had defeated “the knife”, and headed up the elevator to the office. Walking in the door I smiled and said a friendly, “good morning” to the receptionist as I made my way to the lounge to put my lunch in the fridge, and get my cup of coffee. You see, although I had taken care of the worst of the problem in the car I knew I needed to drink a good strong cup of joe to get the ol’ bowels a movin’ – best way to start the day – ask anyone. This is when it (by “it”, I mean “it part 1”) happened…

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I was all alone in the lounge, and had come in a bit earlier that morning – there weren’t too many people in the office yet. As my coffee was brewing I felt “the knife” creeping up. As the air bubble in my stomach filled up I began this thought process:

“Ok, there’s NOBODY in here. I can let this one out, get my coffee, and get the heck out. The smell will go away before anyone else comes in here……………………………………………………but wait, what if someone comes in? I don’t have a choice ….aw hell, I’ve always been a risk-taker. I’m doin’ it…”

It was at that moment that I new this was not going to turn out good for Aaron Snow. I “released the pressure”, grabbed my coffee, and turned for the door only to find a fellow office-mate (who worked for the other company) entering the room headed directly for the cloud of odor, which smelled the color green. He was smiling, and took a nice, deep early morning gasp of air through his nose as if to say, “what a beautiful morning-it’s a good day today”. I held my breath, gave an awkward smile, and walked out. It was all in slow motion and Matrix-like as we passed one another. I swear I saw his face cringe as he passed through the cloud. I hurried to my office, which was directly across from the lounge, and had a window I could look through across the hall into the tainted territory. I closed the door quickly and sat at my desk…

The next five minutes included beads of sweat, blushed cheeks, and racing terrified thoughts. I watched through the corner of my eye as, one by one, everyone in the office entered the lounge somewhat puzzled. The first victim was explaining something to each person with a confused look on his face. They were frantically opening cabinets, the fridge, and the trash can. They were searching for the answer that only I had….but would NEVER, ever, under any circumstances share with them. In the middle of their search, victim number one knocked on my office door. I motioned through the window for him to come in, and stood up to greet him. Our conversation was as follows:

Him: “We’re smelling some sort of odor in the break room that we’ve never smelled before…like rotten eggs, or sulfur or something…did you notice it when you were in there…?”

Me: (With every ounce of acting skill I acquired in theater class in 9th grade): “Hmmm…ya know I didn’t notice anything, but my nose is stopped up right now. Did you check in the trash can? Could it be some spoiled food?”

Him: “Ya we’ve checked everywhere, and can’t seem to find where it’s coming from.”

Me: “That’s weird…..now that I think about it I may have noticed something faintly…huh.”

I began questioning my deceptive choice to lie to this man who HAD to know what I had done. But it was too late now. I was in too deep. There was no turning back. I made a decision, and had to follow through.

He changed the subject, introduced himself, and began asking me about our new company. The conversation went on for several minutes, and before he exited my office it seemed as if I was in the clear. The lounge was empty, he had seemingly forgotten about the incident, and everyone was back to work – I called Morgan and told her what had just happened. She laughed harder than I’ve heard her laugh in a while, and told me it served me right. Then, I got out my phone, and tweeted,

“The most embarrassing thing in the history of the world just happened to me. Don’t even ask. Maybe in a yr I’ll be recovered & ready to talk”

I was off the hook…

…..?

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Remember when I said “by ‘it’ I mean ‘it part 1′”? (As if what had just happened wasn’t bad enough…my FART didn’t clear a room out – it was so bad it drew the entire office IN to try and figure out where the dead & rotting animal was. Then, I lied straight to my office-mates face! Not sure if grace covers an incident like this…)

A few minutes went by and that cup of jo started to kick in. I’m convinced a good strong cup of coffee is the best way to stay regular. What’s all this “fiber talk” about lately. Pshh, just give me a good strong cup of coffee dadgumit. I thought, “this is good. I can go to the bathroom, take care of my business, and ‘the knife’ will be gone for the rest of the day.” I got up and headed for the water closet. (bathroom for all you Americans-sorry, I’m feeling witty now) As I relaxed comfortably on the throne I noticed someone in the stall next to me. “Shit“, I thought. (Literally) Let’s just say the next minute or so was not exactly quiet, or particularly fresh. Poor guy next to me was probably traumatized. Turns out the guy next to me happened to be another guy from the company we share the office with. (I know this because I peaked through the crack in the stall when he went to wash his hands) He also happened to be one of the investigators in the lounge earlier when everyone was about to call an exterminator. I hope you’re following me here…in the lounge he experienced a smell like he had never experienced before. He would remember that odor the rest of his life-not to mention 5 minutes later.

Unfortunately, I’m the only one in the office who where chuck’s to work. They are quite noticeable – not your typical black Converse All Stars…he saw them. He knew it was me. He put two and two together. I was the rodent in the lounge. He had found me out. Now the question was, “will he tell the others that he now knew what they couldn’t figure out earlier?” I could just hear him in my head saying, “You guys aren’t gonna believe this! That new kid with the tattoos ripped one in the lounge! THAT’S what we were smelling! I was just in the restroom while he was tearing it up, and smelled the same thing!”

I sat on the jon humiliated, wondering how in the world I would walk back into that office, and spend the rest of my day working there…I pulled my phone out and tweeted, “Just when I thought it couldn’t get ANY worse….IT DID. This one could go down in the record books. How will life go on after this…? ; )”

Life goes on. I.B.S. still taunts me. “The knife” lingers waiting for an opportunity to torment me. I will never forget that Thursday morning in January the first week of my new job in a new place with new people when my body produced the unspeakable odor. I hope you have enjoyed this story, and it gave you a good laugh. I don’t know how I would have made it through if it wasn’t going to produce something positive like some good humor for a few. Bye for now, off to go make a fruit smoothie.

Moolala.com

Many of you know my friend’s Tony & Felicity Dale of House2House.com. I have had the pleasure of knowing them for several years now, and have been so blessed by their friendship. I have a deep respect for the Dale’s because of the way they model a Kingdom Lifestyle outside of the context of vocational ministry. (More to come on this later, but I am convinced that until everyday lay people are equipped to do the works of ministry as a outpouring of an everyday Kingdom Lifestyle in the context of their job we will continue to see the spread of the Gospel stunted in America – The Dale’s are among few who have modeled what it looks like to do great things for the Kingdom while being successful business owners – I long for the day when every follower of Jesus believes they are in full-time ministry, and that statement has no direct correlation to their paycheck.) The Dale’s, & two of their son’s along with a team of other successful investors & businessman (Head of IT and partner in the 500 million dollar company Art.com, etc.) have joined forces to launch a new company called moolala.com

You’ve heard of sites like groupon.com, livingsocial.com, etc. Moolala.com is a similar site that will provide subscribers with daily deals (via email) saving them tons of money on everyday purchases. Obviously, there’s no cost to join these sites unless there is a coupon you’d like to purchase. Moolala works the same way, however, the main difference is that 2% of every coupon purchased by you, and any of the friends who joined moolala.com after hearing about it from you goes straight back to you! This is the genius way moolala hopes to spread rapidly throughout the country – they are passing along some of the revenue produced right back to the consumer – all you have to do is sign up to get daily deals & tell your friends about it! (Groupon & other similar sites rake in TONS of dough – moolala passes some of it back to you, the consumer as a means of effective/inexpensive marketing/advertising as they grow.)

Currently moolala is building subscriber lists before they begin releasing daily deals. They want to be fair to every merchant/business that offers a daily deal. So, we get to join, tell our friends about moolala, start getting great deals in the near future, AND even earn a small percentage back to support our coupon purchasing addiction! Haha!

CLICK HERE to join moolala today so you will be sure not to miss great deals when they are released! (There is no cost or commitment to you at any time unless you purchase a deal, or would like to take a few minutes to share the link with your friends)

Also, there is a great aspect to the business model of moolala.com for those of you interested in sharing the moolala strategy with your networks of friends to earn a bit of residual income on the side. This is also a great way for non-profits, ministries, and bi-vocational ministers to earn some extra income as well. CLICK HERE to check out how…

Big Transitions Ahead…

Jesus never lets us get too comfortable. He’s always drawing us closer to Himself. This process OFTEN involves the removal of certain comforts, or things that have allowed complacency during our short stay on this earth. This seems to happen a lot with us. It is usually painful, and involves a chunk of our flesh to be burned away. We are so pumped about this latest shift in life, both for our family, and for Intentional Gatherings as an organization. Over the next few weeks I will be blogging in detail about the events leading up to this transition, but in the meantime I recorded a short video for those of you who keep up with what goes on in the lives of the Snow family & I.G. as an organization. It’s about 5 minutes long. I hope you enjoy it. Let me know if you have any questions or comments, and stay tuned for future blogs about “why in the world the director of a non-profit would give himself a complete & permanent pay cut…”

If you’re in the Austin area and know of any job openings shoot me the leads! =)

Eric’s Baptism…

About a month or so ago I had the amazing privilege of Baptizing my friend Eric Robinson. Eric is a part of the King Street House Church Family that was birthed by some amazing students after Student CPx in Austin. Eric is an amazing man of God with an incredible story. God has been, and is continuing to use Eric for His Kingdom. I can’t wait to see what Eric does after graduating from UT!

“Sometimes Love Does Not ‘Feel’ Good”

Jesus has been teaching me a lot lately about abiding in the Truth of His promises no matter what the circumstances. A lot of what He was revealing to me seemed very elementary and cliche’, but powerful nonetheless. These revelations also came in handy in some relationships I have. I hope it blesses you…

“…He wants us to cling so tightly to His promises, and believe in them so much that nothing can phase us – nothing can touch us – and no situation can steal our affections toward Him…”

Last week was very dry for me. I was getting a bit “down” and frustrated wondering “why” I couldn’t “feel” Him, etc. I kept asking “why would He not want me to feel His love all the time!?” It was in those frustrations that He just reminded me how small my understanding of His love is. He wants to know me and me to know Him in such a deep and intimate way – a way that I simply do not understand at this point, but that He wants to teach me. He spoke to me that He was developing FAITHFULNESS and maturity in me during this “dry” season. He wanted to know that I wasn’t just around for the “good ol’ mushy feelings”, but ALSO the “tough/dry” times (which, by the way, are ALSO His love! haha! He totally blew the lid of the box I had put His love in) You see, He spoke to me that a love that is merely a feeling is a shallow and immature love. Sometimes, love doesn’t “feel” good at all. I liken it to this…

When Morgan and I got engaged we were all bubbly, gushy, and FULL of PURE BUTTERFLY “FEELINGS” toward one another. It was great. It was definitely love. However, it was a very limited/surface picture of the love that Jesus wanted to develop in us over time. We didn’t really KNOW each other in such a way that would even allow us to truly LOVE each other. Jesus wants to KNOW us in the ways that allow us to LOVE Him more deeply – yep, that means that there will be times we don’t feel Him at all. Now, Morgan and I still have butterflies for each other =) hehehe. However, our love has matured into something much deeper and more beautiful than it was when we got engaged. It doesn’t “feel”, on the surface” as “good” at times, but we both know it is a special and DEEP kind of love that allows us to know and pursue one another in ways that we NEVER could/would have when we “felt” all gushy during engagement. Make sense? I know you all know this. I just thought I’d share something fresh on my heart Jesus has been teaching me. He blew me up last week with His desire to produce maturity and faithfulness in me that goes so much further and deeper than emotional feelings. He wants us to cling so tightly to His promises, and believe in them so much that nothing can phase us – nothing can touch us – and no situation can steal our affections toward Him.

Never Thought THIS Would Happen…!

As many of you already know we have been in Austin about 9 months. A LOT of exciting things are happening. We’ve sensed that Austin just might be more of a “home base” (for now=) Perhaps we will be here a tad longer than Vegas…hmmm….who knows! Throughout the last couple of months we have been in the process of purchasing a little house on the northeast side of Austin (St. John’s). This is something we NEVER thought we would do, or thought we could afford. All of the pieces have fallen together divinely, and God has confirmed this decision every step of the way. There is a lot more to this decision than simply purchasing a place to “live”…

A friend who lives in St. Johns told us about the house, and after much prayer we sensed TONS of peace (As our friends Bob & Ann have always said, “Go where the peace is”). There are several sets of friends living in this neighborhood already, as well as a House Church that was started by some friends of ours a couple years ago. There’s built in community, as well as tons of potential for growth & new disciples/churches. This is a lower income neighborhood (the reason we’re able to afford the house on our modest income) with quite the “personality”. However, several young married couples have moved in in the past few years with a vision to see the hood transformed. In that time they have seen drug dealers “prayed OUT”, single mom’s served, kids Baptized, etc. We get to join them in a redemptive plan to keep bringing Jesus to this neighborhood. Also, The guys community house that our intern, Bear, lived in over the summer is two streets over from this house. (This is the same community house that my older brother Isaac might be moving into in the next few days! He’s staying with us at our apartment in Austin right now making some pretty amazing life changes and decision! =)

The exciting news is obviously that we are buying our first home…and we are CLOSING TODAY! =) We are so pumped about this, and wanted to share this news with you all. It’s quaint, and small. Morgan and I both feel the Lord is moving us into a new season of “simplifying” our lives EVEN MORE as we take this step. Check it out…