Not a complaint or anything, just something I’ve thought about…let me know what you think, besides that I am completely nuts.
Our Extraordinary Fascination
this is something I wrote a while ago and someone asked about…so here it is for everyone.
OUR EXTRAORDINARY FASCINATION
I feel stretched.
I feel confused, frustrated, tired.
I want to give up, not forever, but for a while.
Will it really hurt? Will anyone even notice?
I have got the motions down. I have had them down for some time now. Others may look at me and see a “good” Christian man. They aren’t looking close enough, a common problem among all of us…let’s not look too closely so we can continue the illusion that everything is OK.
We serve a great God, he is great, I am great, you are great, hallelujah, praise the Lord, what’s for lunch?
I want more.
I want deeper.
I want to feel the love of God so much stronger than I do now. I want to know that what I am doing is what God wants me to do.
I want to hear the voice of God…not a feeling, not some verse that “speaks” to my heart…I want to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God has spoken…
And I heard…
Is that even possible? If faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen…then doesn’t knowing something “beyond a shadow of a doubt” stand in direct conflict with faith?
I don’t know for sure.
I do feel something is missing.
Raising our hands in praise doesn’t do it. Giving money doesn’t do it.
Reading our Bibles, praying in tongues, being a part of a small group doesn’t do it either.
Oh that we would know you more Jesus. That you would be our burning desire, our passion, our extraordinary fascination. Then, and only then, will we raise holy hands in praise with true intentions. Then would we give cheerfully in your name. Then would we read and pray and live for you like we mean it.
You know me.
I want to know you more…and more.
Feelings…whoa whoa whoa feelings.
DON’T LET FEELINGS GET IN THE WAY
Sometimes I feel all alone.
Sometimes I feel depressed.
Sometimes I am afraid.
Sometimes I feel weak.
Sometimes I feel stupid.
Sometimes I feel like a loser.
Sometimes I feel like giving up.
It’s a good thing that we don’t have to go on feelings.
I may feel alone…but God never leaves me or forsakes me.
I may feel depressed…but God supplies me with joy.
I may be afraid…but with God there is no need to fear anything.
I may feel weak…but with God I am strong.
I may feel stupid…with God I am wise.
I may feel like a beggar…with God I am more than a conquerer.
I may feel like giving up…but with God I am victorious!
Don’t let your feelings get in the way of who you really are.
A child of the King.
This is what happens when I am sitting in a hotel room in S.F. with nothing to do. I write and write and write…which is good I guess. Let me know what you think. If you accept the challenge leave a comment on the blog or drop me an email. I’ll pray for you, you pray for me as we take this journey…
dont say you’ll do it if you dont intend to. mean it!
How many of you feel lost? Are struggling? Sometimes feel like nothing in your Christian walk is working?
How many of you have arrived? You’ve made it?
How many of you think you still have a long journey ahead of you to begin to become the man or woman God has called you to be?
Let’s see I’ll answer for myself:
Yes, yes, yes…No, No…and Yes
That covers me and I’ll go ahead and take the liberties to answer the exact same for everyone else:
Yes, yes, yes, no, no and yes.
And don’t think I have some magical ability to look deep into the recesses of your soul to ferret out the answers. I am able to give those answers because you, like me, have a long way to go. I am able to watch as we judge people. We gossip about people. We stick our noses into other people’s business and then make excuses to make ourselves feel better about it. We listen to messages preached from the pulpit and quietly hope that “Mrs. So-and-so” and “Mr. Whatshisname” are listening, not even thinking for a second that the message is for us.
We have a long way to go…and by we…I mean you. (and me)
I for one am tired of living always on the cusp of something amazing. I say God is good and God is love and all that jazz. Heck I might even be one of the “special” ones and raise my hands when I praise God, someone how thinking that the simple act of putting my hands above my head somehow puts me on another plane of worship with God and yet I have trouble simply doing the thing Jesus says is most important.
And so do you.
So I am issuing a challenge to everyone who reads this. For lack of originality and creativity the challenge is the 20/30 Challenge.
Will you give God 20 minutes a day for 30 days? If you already give God more than that give Him an additional 20 minutes a day, and even though statistics might not always be correct I have talked to enough people to know that reading the Bible and praying are often only done on Sundays, maybe Wednesdays, and possibly for 30 seconds before mealtimes and if we are lucky for 3 to 5 minutes in our cars or other times we can squeeze God into our busy schedules.
So the challenge is to give God 20 minutes a day for 30 days. It is NOT too much to ask. Wake up 30 minutes early and spend time with Him. Take 20 minutes of your lunch and spend it in prayer. Turn off the TV at night and spend time with Jesus. It is the least we can do, I mean after all he died on a cross and accepted the penalty for your sin, can’t you give him 20 minutes? (How’s that for a guilt trip?)
Right now, even as I am writing this I am already coming up with excuses or possible reasons for my inability to possibly pull this off. But I don’t want what I have been getting lately.
A wise man once said…
“You always get what you always got if you always do what you always did.”
The wise man? OK it was me…I may not be wise, but I am a man…(not quite 40).
I don’t wanna simply say things about Jesus, I wanna live them out. I wanna be able to love people with the love of Jesus, and not just with my words. I wanna stop judging people and start loving them. So I take this challenge. I am going to give God 20 uninterrupted minutes each day for the next 30 days.
Studies have shown that it take eleven days of doing something repetitively to make it become a habit. So hopefully after 30 days of my spending time with God will cease to be a habit and simply become who I am, and not something I am doing.
Anyone else up for the challenge?
God Says "huh?"
Just a short one. I like it because it makes me think and in the end I wind up thinking that God is pretty amazing.
Let me know what ya think…
God Says “Huh?”
God forgive me of “offense A”. For “offense A” put any sin that you have committed.
Fast forward a few days and man the guilt is still fresh on our human minds. Man it’s a struggle so we start to pray and ask God, “God forgive me of “offense A”.
“Huh I don’t know what you are talking about.
The Bible says in Jeremiah 31:34 that God remember our sins no more. That’s cool huh? Add that to the verses about our sins traveling to the bottom of the ocean floor (a cool song by Audio Adrenaline too) and our sins going as far as the east is from the west, the message is pretty clear.
When our sins are forgiven…they ARE FORGIVEN!
Now a fun question to think about is does God forget? Can He remember? When the Bible mentions this is it simply implying that God no longer counts that sin against us anymore? I mean come on, God has memory problems?
Does it mean just what it says, God FORGETS our sins?
Have fun with that one, but either way we serve a pretty amazing God.
Some random thoughts…
No real defined article just yet, just some thoughts.
Some people have left my church. It happens at all churches from time to time…and I hate it. Unless God calls a person to leave a church I hate when someone leaves a church because their feelings got hurt or because of a misunderstanding or because of selfishness or whatever…I dont like it.
In fact I still am holding out hope that the people who have left my church will one day “come back home”. But thats just me…
Anyway. Was talking about people leaving church with some friends and on my way home I asked myself…self I said…what have you done to make some people leave the church?
I didnt just give this a passing thought, I thought about it deeply. When I came to the conclusion that I hadnt done anything to make someone leave a smile came across my face and if I wasnt driving I would have patted myself on the back.
Just then another questions popped into my head…I’m sure its just a coincidence…
What have you done to make people stay?
Yeah thanks. Just when I was being all happy with myself…I have been thinking about this for a few weeks now.
Have I been friendly enough? Not just with the people I know or am comfortable with, but with everyone?
Have I reached out to the hurting and lonely?
Have I had too much focus on myself at the expense of others?
Have I used the skills God has given me or have I kept them hidden or only used them half-heartedly?
Have I seen things needing change and instead of speaking up or making the change myself have I waited for others to do it? (I mean I do so much already…thats sarcasm peeps)
The sad part is that this is just a partial list of questions I have asked myself since I was hit by the “what have you done to make people stay” thunderbolt and I pretty much answer in the negative every time.
Just a thought and knowing me I’ll have a new question soon and I’ll be consumed by something else for the next few weeks.
In the mean time Lord, help me to be the best me I can be. Help me to love others. Help me to step out in faith and put others needs above my own. Grant me strength and guidance and peace as I continue to try to reach out to others with the love of Jesus.
Can I get an Amen?
OK maybe not an Amen? A comment? A question? A point of contention?
Kick the Darkness
KICK THE DARKNESS
Bono, the lead singer of the group U2, sang in God Part II, a song about John Lennon, “You glorify the past when the future dries up.”
For some reason I have always loved that lyric. I had a great childhood. I had awesome teenage years. I had a great time in college and my life with my wife and my kids have been nothing short of a huge blessing on my life.
I got the opportunity a few weeks ago to attend my 20 year high school reunion. It was fun and it was great to see old friends and make new friends too. An old saying and one I never agreed with was that high school is the best time of your life. I heard this phrase about 20 times over the reunion weekend and every time someone said it I just smiled and wondered if maybe I was missing something.
Don’t get me wrong, high school rocked. But it wasn’t the best time of my life and to be honest I believe the best years of my life are ahead of me, not behind.
I think that every single person who calls them self a Christian can and should feel the same way. God created each and every one of us with a purpose. Jeremiah 29:11 tells of God knowing the plans He has for us, and they are good plans.
If I have another day ahead of me, it is another day in God’s plan, and that’s something to look forward to! If I wake up tomorrow, God has something in store for me. So I should wake up with an eye on what lies ahead with awe and wonderment. God, the creator of the universe has something for me to do.
Remember when you were a kid and your dad asked you to do something important? Remember the pride you felt as you set off to do your dad’s bidding? I do. I can remember my first trip as a 16 year old driving to the store to get milk. I wasn’t just driving, I was driving with a purpose, my family needed milk and I wasn’t going to let them down. I looked forward to future missions as I drove the 2 miles to get the milk.
That’s how I try to approach each day, each week, each new year that I have. I look back on the past with fondness, knowing that lessons learned in the past are preparing me for what lies ahead. But I don’t look longingly on the past as some utopia of my life. I look with great anticipation on what lies ahead. Who knows what missions my heavenly Father might have me? Will I travel to some foreign country? Will I lead a group of teenagers to the Lord? Will I write a book that changes people’s lives? Will I raise my boys to become men of God? Will I help my wife to become a woman of God that changes and touches people lives?
I don’t know, but that’s what drives me. That’s what pushes me on. Bono also sings in God Part II…”I’m gonna kick the darkness until it bleeds daylight.” A great lyric as well. It reminds me of the Dylan Thomas poem “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Goodnight”. In that poem Thomas describes someone getting older who isn’t going to fade away. He is going to rage against the dying of the light. He is going to fight and push on. Much like Bono saying he is going to kick the darkness until it bleeds daylight.
Well I am going to kick. I am going to rage. And I know my better, my best days are ahead of me!
Your best days are ahead of you too. God said so!
I refuse to glorify my past…because even though my past may have found memories as I look back, my future has not dried up so I press on…God has something for me (and you) to do…
The election of Barack Obama
The following is an article I wrote a few weeks ago concerning the “most important election in the history of the universe”.
Something to Remember about the Election
It doesn’t matter who wins.
Oh sure we all have our preference of who want to be in office and we all believe that if our guy doesn’t win the other guy will do damage to the country that could be devastating.
Judges nominated to the Supreme Court.
Taxes increased on everyone. Taxes increased on the rich.
The war on terror.
More spending. Less spending.
Women’s right to choose. The right to life.
A secured border.
Just a partial list of the important issues facing us this November.
It doesn’t matter who wins.
Now before the Republicans start yelling about the evil socialist programs that Obama will surely implement his first day in office if elected…
And before the Democrats start whining about how a vote for McCain is a vote for four more years of the evil George Bush…
Allow me to explain.
Let every person be loyally subject to the governing (civil) authorities. For there is no authority except from God [by His permission, His sanction], and those that exist do so by God’s appointment.
Romans 13:1 (Amplified Bible)
So again, it doesn’t matter who wins. In this verse it seems clear that whoever is elected this November, be it John McCain or Barack Obama, is in office because that’s the way God designed it. Romans 13:1 says that no authority exists unless God gives it. That those in office aren’t really elected by the popular vote or the electoral college or the hanging chad…those in office are there by God’s appointment! It’s not like God is going to wake up (He doesn’t sleep, but go with me on this one) Nov. 5th and say, “WOW, I didn’t expect him to win!” God knows what’s going on, He knows what He is doing…doesn’t He?
(a little snippet to dwell on…if the Bible is true, and we say it is, and if this verse it true, doesn’t that mean that when the Anti-Christ comes to power that he is given the right to do so because God grants him that appointment?…and NO Barack Obama or John McCain ain’t the Anti-Christ…and if they are we should WANT them to be elected because that is what the Bible says is going to happen…fun huh?)
So watch the debates. Listen to the talking heads tell you what to think about what you just saw. Go out and have political discussions with co-workers. On Nov. 4th proudly wear that ”I Voted” sticker knowing that you did your civic duty by voting…
And know that it doesn’t matter who wins
Because God knows what He is doing.
And one more thing…whoever is elected, on Nov. 5th prayer for that leader should start. Again regardless of party. If you are a democrat and John McCain wins, pray for him.
If you are a republican and Barack Obama wins, pray for him.
Because the Bible said so…
1 Timothy 2:1-3 (The Message)
The first thing I want you to do is pray. Pray every way you know how, for everyone you know. Pray especially for rulers and their governments to rule well so we can be quietly about our business of living simply, in humble contemplation. This is the way our Savior God wants us to live.