JULY 19, 2017 Devotional: “Lessons Learned Through Sawdust, Sweat and Shiplap”

Okay….I’m going to admit something this week.  I have a new “man crush”….a “bro-ance”, of sorts, if only from my point of view for the moment!  I’m hooked on home improvement genius….Chip Gaines.  Have you heard of him?  He’s part of the dynamic duo of HGTV’s hit show, “Fixer Upper“.  His wife, Joanna Gaines, could also be considered a “woman crush” too, but I’m not sure my wife would like me saying that…so I’m steering clear!

Chip is a real “guy’s guy”.  Think of him as “handy man meets Texas cowboy meets DIY visionary meets stand-up comedian”.  I really wanna travel to Waco, Texas and have a beer with this guy.

Chip and Joanna have a motto of finding the worst house on the best street, creating a design plan, getting buy-in from mere mortals, and wa-lah….with a little sweat equity, the magic happens!  You really need to watch the show to see what I’m talking about!  I never knew anything about “shiplap” before and now I walk around the house just murmuring it under my breath!

But Chip is an interesting character who I’ve been drawn to for a few weeks now.  I follow him on Instagram….@chippergaines….and that’s where I learned about the new book he’s written called “Capital Gaines“, due out in stores in October of this year.  I was especially drawn to the book’s subtitle:  “Smart Things I’ve Learned Doing Stupid Stuff”.  Wow….now how many of us…..guys particularly….can relate?

You can probably Google search the Gaines’ this week as they’re making the rounds on the early morning news programs, promoting Chip’s book.  I found an excerpt from the book that was worth sharing for this week’s devotional.

In the excerpt, Chip talks about life in his early 20’s.  He and Jo were recently married and had welcomed their first son into the family.  (The Gaines’ currently have 4 kids, 2 boys and 2 girls…..told you I had a “man crush”…).  But Chip still had a wild side.  It’s no secret that Chip’s younger years were self-described as nothing short of reckless.   Chip admits the following:

“I’d made a habit of pushing the envelope pretty much my whole life. Back in high school, when a group of kids would go climb a bridge to jump into some invariably scary-looking body of water beneath, I’d be the kid who climbed five-feet higher than everybody else, just because. I was not about to not be outdone.”

He goes on the describe crashing an ATV while his wife stood horrified, clutching to the baby-seat of their first-born.

“What was I thinking….?” asks Chip.

Most of us have those ah-ha moments in life.  Some have them sooner than others….and sadly some have them nearly too late in life.  But I believe we ALL have them.

I think those moments are directly tied back to God’s grace in our lives.  Call it the gift of the Holy Spirit who Christ describes as the “advocate” who will stay behind and watch over our lives.

“But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”  John 14:26

Now, I know very well that some of you will say it’s a stretch to draw some connection between some home improvement celebrities and the Holy Spirit.  I’m with you.  But hopefully you can see that all of us…yes, every one of us, will have those times just like Chip Gaines, where the Holy Spirit interjects to say…”you might want to think that one over again…”

It’s that Advocate who is the ultimate “fixer upper” of our broken lives when we need renovations!

My prayer this week is that we recognize the Advocate who Christ has given us to watch over our daily lives, remind us when we drift off the path, and guide us to the way back “home”……amen!