The name for Two-Twelve Ministries comes from a very simple yet profound principle that I read in a book titled, "212°: The Extra Degree”.
If you put a pot of water on the stovetop and heated it to 211 degrees, you would have a pot of hot water, but not boiling water. In order for the water to begin boiling, you would have to add one more degree of heat. Water can boil only when it reaches 212 degrees. So what happens if you add that one degree to the water? As noted, it begins to boil. The effect is that the boiling water gives off steam… and steam can be harnessed to move a locomotive. All from adding one degree.
The emphasis with Two-Twelve Ministries is to add one degree more of Jesus in every aspect of our lives. What would our relationships be like if we added one degree more of Jesus? What would our homes look like? Our churches and schools? Our communities. Indeed, what would the world around us look like if we added one degree more of Jesus?
The most critical time to add one degree more of Jesus is when it is most difficult, or not very convenient, or when it would push us out of our comfort zone. Putting others first no matter the cost. That’s one way to look at it.
My mom was a perfect example of a “212er”. I grew up in a family of 8 children and we were on the lower economic scale. I guess you could say we were poor, though I don’t think I realized that until after I graduated from college.
When I was a child, we were having dinner one evening… imagine 9 people gathered around a dining table built for 6. My oldest sister was off at college so it was my parents and my six other siblings.
My mom was busy going around the table, making sure my dad and all the children had everything they needed. I remember the main food item: pork chops. Quite a delicacy when your family has little money.
Anyway, mom kept going in and out of the dining room and kitchen, coming back with a utensil for one child, a paper towel for another. She was busy the entire time. After we had finished, rather than have the children help with cleaning up as usual, she hurried us along to either do homework or watch television and said she’d take care of clearing the table and washing the dishes.
A few minutes after everyone had left the dining room, I was walking past and glanced in. What I saw is frozen in my mind all these decades later. You see, my mom had kept herself busy the entire time we were eating because she did not want us to realize that she had not set a plate for herself. There wasn’t enough food. So there she was, going from plate-to-plate, eating whatever bit of pork chop was left on the bone, whatever bits of vegetables were left on the plate. I stared for a moment and then continued on to my room. I don’t recall if I cried, if I felt guilty, or if I had any reaction. But I do remember that I instinctively knew two things: (1) I would never forget that moment; (2) my mom was the greatest person on the planet.
My mom… a true 212er.
She passed away on Easter Sunday of 1981. The beauty surrounding her passing I will leave for another day. But trust me, it is a story you will want to hear.
Peace in Jesus,