I don’t usually have two posts in a single day except on Two for Tuesdays. Today is a bit different.
I don’t know why I didn’t think of before, but now it makes perfect sense to me. If you have been reading my blog for a while, you’ve seen it migrate from a rather rambling type blog to one that is becoming a bit more structured. That’s how I used to do a campground service that I lead on Sunday mornings. I would wonder from week to week what scripture I would use. Sometimes I didn’t get it figure out until late on Saturday or occasionally on Sunday morning before I went.
Now, I do a Two for Tuesday post, which means that I know that I am going to have two posts ready on Tuesdays. I’ve got Twitterifc Thursday, which means I’m going to write about something in 140 words or less.
Now, I’m changing and setting the rules a bit more. Since my post this morning was about change, I thought today would also be a good day to preview what’s coming up here on the Deuceology channel.
Tomorrow will debut the Follow Friday Deuceology Style post. I will highlight or feature someone that I follow that blogs or is on Twitter.
Saturdays will be sports oriented. Specifically, it will be University of Tennessee focused. I will write about some of the things I see going on within the sports program. I may throw other sports interests too. It will be one of my more lighthearted, less serious posts of the week.
Mondays will bring a discussion of dreams. Not the kind we have when we sleep, but the big dreams we have in life that God give us. This is an area of interest that I think about and wouldn’t mind sharing.
The remainder of my posts will be rather random and be what you have come to expect. However, just to give you an idea of what they may be, they may be an idea sparked from a magazine article or another blogpost that I have read. The stuff I read usually sends me in a direction with what I want to write. One other rule that I am establishing comes from what I’ve written over the past few months. I want to be more positive than negative. I want Deucology to be more encouraging. Hopefully, I will achieve that.
It’s Twitterific Thursday, where I write 140 words or less about a subject.
My twenty-fifth high school class reunion is a week from Saturday. Believe it or not, most of us have changed a great deal. That shouldn’t be a surprise. Twenty-five years will do that to people. But it doesn’t stop with just those of us who will attend the reunion. So many other things have changed. Here are just a few things that have changed in the last twenty-five years.
Cell phones were barely a thought when we graduated high school. Who would have thought how common they are now?
Music delivery is nowhere near the same. Tapes were high tech. CD’s were on the verge of arriving. None of us would have dreamed of downloads.
Those are just two examples of change over the last twenty-five years. What will change over the next twenty-five?
I have found out something interesting during the past week. I have an enemy. I won’t go into the details, but someone actually tried to cause me personal harm that would have affected my life greatly if they had succeeded. I suppose that I shouldn’t have been surprised, but I don’t think most of expect to be attacked on a daily basis. I’ve gone through several stages of emotion over the past few days and I’m not completely where I want to be yet regarding this. Hopefully I will get there completely soon.
One of the things that has helped is this blog post from Desiring God. It discusses how enemies are something that we will never have in Heaven. So, if we are going to love our enemies, we must take the opportunity to do so now. But why should we love our enemies? I know most people would say, “Because Jesus said so”, and that’s fine. That’s good enough for me too. But I also want to bet to the heart of why.
I’ve been studying 1 John lately, and one of the main themes is that love for fellow believers is a mark of a true follower of Christ. That shouldn’t surprise us. Everyone understands that. We learn in the story of the Good Samaritan who our neighbor is and that we should love our neighbor. We understand that. But why should we love our enemy?
Simply speaking, without me doing a full development of it, without Christ we are all enemies of God. We might not realize it. We might not believe it, but we are. And what did God do for His enemies? He loved them. He loved them so much that He sent His son to die for them. He suffered for them. He paid the debt for their salvation.
So, where does that leave me? If God will do that for His enemies, what choice do I have? I have to love them, don’t I . God is love. So, since He loved me, who was once His enemy, I love my brother, my neighbor and especially my enemy. Simply said, I must love.
Do you have an enemy? Do you love them?
I don’t know about you, but I know how I am. I really resist when someone tells me what to do. If I see a don’t walk on the grass sign, I’m probably going to stick a toe on it. If I see a wet paint sign, I will probably touch it to see if it’s still wet. I just have this strange aversion to being told what I can or cannot do.
This ends up being the way things happen at church too. It’s a command to tithe? I’m probably not going to want to tithe. I have to be in church when the church has services? I’m probably going to skip some. Come up with some others and I’m probably going to break those rules too. Even now that I have known the Lord for the past sixteen years, I still feel that way.
Why? Well, I’ve been wondering that too. I’ve scratched my head. I’ve pondered. I’ve mulled it over. And I think I’ve finally figured it out.
When I hear these commands in sermons, the focus always seems to me to be the rules and the commands themselves. They stand there like some sort of barrier between the Lord and me. All I see are the rules, commands and laws. They make me want to stand up and say, “You’re not the boss of me!!!”
Now, what makes me want to tithe? What makes me want to be at every church service imaginable? Let me tell you.
It’s when I get such a picture of the glory of God through Christ that I am so excited that I cannot help but want to tithe and go to church. It’s when I am so focused on Christ and see Him so clearly that I cannot see anything else. When I ‘m not getting that kind of picture, those things become rules and law to me. And best I can tell, Christ came to free me from rules, commands and laws. He set me free so that, because of His glory, I will do the things that rules and laws can’t make me do.
Want me to do all of those things? Paint me a picture of the irresistible Christ. Don’t tell me to follow this rule, this law or this command. You’re not the boss of me.
Anyone else ever want to stand up and yell “You’re not the boss of me?”
If you happened to watch College Football Live last Thursday, you might have seen Derek Dooley being interviewed. Since I was at work, I jumped on my handy-dandy smart phone, turned on my DirecTV app and set the DVR to record. Somehow that didn’t work, so my son happened to catch it and began recording for me.
The thing that stood out most in Dooley’s interview was what he said about developing his players. He said that it takes a “relentless pursuit of continuous improvement.” As a Tennessee fan, I certainly hope that there is this relentless pursuit throughout the remainder of the summer into fall camp and then each week as the season progresses.
The question we who follow Christ need to ask ourselves is if we share this relentless pursuit of continuous improvement in our life with Christ? I think Paul would call this sanctification. Sanctification is the part of salvation where we grow and mature throughout our Christian walk. It is necessary for Christ to work in us during our sanctification. But we can’t just sit on our laurels and expect it to just happen.
It takes the effort that we put forth to achieve it. It takes a relentless pursuit of continuous improvement. I don’t think many of us want to be the same as we were when we first came to know the Lord when we finally come to meet Him face to face.
I have been asking myself since last Thursday if I am pursuing Christ with a relentless pursuit of continuous improvement.
How about you?
A couple of weeks ago I wrote a blog about introversion and how I feel like an intruder when many people would not. I even read something
recently where someone was so introverted that they feel overwhelmed when they are in a large group. I can relate to that.
Today I want to confess something about myself. I am a nerd. Sometimes I refer to myself as a geek. Nerd. Geek. It’s all the same to me. And I’ve been one most of my life.
I was country when country was anything but cool.
I bought and collected comic books through college.
I am a runner and preferred running by myself to many other activities.
I love to watch the Tour de France, somewhat because it has a nerd coolness to it.
I still geek out to all of the super-hero/comic book movies that have been coming out for the past couple of decades. I even geek out to
the bad ones. I did a countdown to the 1989 version of Batman and saw it four times in the first week.
I like Doctor Who and a lot of shows that show up on SyFy.
I currently like bluegrass and Americana music.
Guess what? I used to try to keep this cleverly hidden from as many people as I could. I did not want anyone to know I was a geek. I wanted to fit in. I listened to music, watched TV, saw movies and did who knows what to cover up my inner nerd.
Oh, how I wish I hadn’t done it.
Now, I relish my inner geek. I don’t buy comic books, but I am geeking out over Thor, X-Men First Class, Green Lantern and Captain America
this summer. The Avenger, Spider Man, the next Batman and Superman come out next year.
The Tour de France starts this Saturday, July 2. I’m pulling for Andy Schleck over Alberto Contador.
The second half of this year’s season of Doctor Who will be back on in September.
I’m reading Dean Karnazes’ book about running 50 marathons in 50 states in 50 days right now.
I don’t like today’s hit country.
I need a bluegrass festival fix.
I confess. I’m a 42-year-old nerd.
The good news? Jesus loved me enough to die on the cross for me. Despite my sins. Despite my nerdness. None of that mattered to Him. He loved me enough to pay the debt for my sins and save me.
How about you?
Please forgive the ungrammatical title.
I love sequels. I’m sure that most of the movies that I want to see this year will have a sequel in a couple of years. Today’s post is a sequel to yesterday’s. If you remember, yesterday’s post was What Are Churches Doing. I discussed what David Platt’s church has been doing that seems to have resulted in the book Radical. I can’t argue with what Pastor Platt is leading his church to do. They are simple things like prayer, attention to God’s word, the sacrifice of time and money and building a multiplying faith community. I trust that Platt is following the Lord and leading his people in the direction that Christ wants them to go. In fact, I just have faith and assume it at this point.
There is something else I hope is taking place. I hope that besides what this church is “doing” is that they are “being”. Stop and think about it for a minute. We can do a lot of things. We can “pray”. We can read the Bible. We can give some money and some time. We can work hard to build our faith communities. The problem is that all of it may not mean a thing. We can get caught up in all of this “Doing for the Lord” and really miss what should be happening. And that is “Being”.
Are our churches being what they should be? Are we being who we should be? Why ask this question? Because the doing is pointless without the being. If I am not being who I need to be, it really doesn’t matter what I do. If my brothers and sisters are not being who they need to be, it doesn’t really matter what they do.
Yesterday I asked why churches aren’t doing what they should be doing? Let me first say that they should not be copying Platt’s church anymore than they needed to copy Warren’s church a few years back or any other church. Churches are doing a lot of things and churches are doing nothing. Either way, churches are doing. Why aren’t they doing what they should be doing?
The answer lies in that churches aren’t doing what they should be doing because they aren’t being what they should be. I think it’s that simple. Maybe they don’t know what they should be, but they still don’t know what they should be. And that will start with you and me not being what we
What does it take for you and me to be what we should be? What about churches? I’ll let you explore that on your own for now.
I haven’t read the book Radical yet. It’s on my reading list and I expect that I won’t like it. Why? Because I expect that I will not be able to read it and remain comfortable. However, I have an idea of what is going on in the book after reading an interview with the author, David Platt. Follow this link and see what you think.
What this interview made me wonder is what are we are doing in our churches. I’m not talking about my church. Or your church. Or someone else’s church. I’m talking about all of our churches. I talk to a lot of people who go to church. I’m always interested in what is going on. I come away wondering how many of us are playing games and how many churches are just really doing nothing to build God’s kingdom and Christ’s church (a small disclaimer: He is doing the work, I’m just a tool). What are we doing in our churches?
Here is what Platt’s church is doing. Other churches are picking up on it and adapting it to their situation and their community. It is really simple, which is one of the things that is attractive about it. Here is what Pastor Platt is leading his church to do:
- Pray for the world
- Read through the Bible
- Sacrifice money for a specific purpose
- Spend time in another context.
- Commit their lives to a multiplying community
Some may scoff at this and say that is what their church should be doing anyway. I agree. But then why aren’t most of our churches doing these things? That is perhaps the topic for another post. But imagine if our churches were doing these things: Spending time in prayer and the word of God, giving money to help others, spending time in other areas, and building a growing community.
There is one common denominator in all five of these areas that Platt’s church is focusing. They are looking outward rather than inward. They are focusing on others and not themselves.
Folks, does that hit you as hard as it hits me? What should churches be doing? Why aren’t churches doing it? Stay tuned for part two.
It’s Twitterific Thursday where I limit what I write to 140 words or less. Some people cheer and applaud when this day rolls around .
Have you ever lost your focus? It may be at work. You go a while doing your job, but you just aren’t focused on what your are supposed to be doing. Your performance isn’t what it should be. You just aren’t doing well.
Maybe it’s in an athletic pursuit. You just don’t have your mind in it. You’re just going through the motions
Maybe it’s in a relationship. You are distracted and aren’t giving yourself to the relationship like you’ve done in the past.
Maybe it’s your faith. You are distracted by little things that have kept you from pursuing your joy.
It takes focus for us to make a job, sport, relationship or our faith work.
I’ll end by asking a question. Are you focused?
You may have read a post that I wrote a few weeks ago about Doctor Who. There is no character in the show called Doctor Who. There is simply a character called The Doctor. To truly explain the show would be difficult. Simply enough, Doctor Who is a show about a Time Lord who travels through time and space solving mysteries. That description does not do the show justice.
One of the constants in this show is that The Doctor regenerates from time to time. As a plot device, this is to accommodate a change in actors for the role. It is usually the result of the character being near death and he regenerates into a new body. It is an interesting event that takes place. Fans of Doctor Who will eagerly await the new Doctor to see if they will like him.
The Doctor’s regeneration occurs to me when I think of the salvation that we gain through Christ. We are not near death. We are dead. Stone. Cold. Dead. There is no hope. Except for Christ. He regenerates us. Since we are in Christ, we are new creatures. The old has passed away. The new has come. Much like the Doctor.
But it doesn’t stop there. While the Doctor will regenerate on occasion, Paul tells us to do it on a daily basis. We are not to conformed to the pattern of this world, but we are to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. While we may not understand how the Doctor regenerates, we are transformed by our minds being renewed.
It’s pretty neat to see that something’s that is meant to entertain and ends up reminding you of the work Christ has done for us.
Do you ever see great illustrations in TV, films or media?