I’ve been taking the last few Saturdays to highlight other bloggers that I read and pay attention to. Today, in honor of the Killer Tribes Conference, I’m going to highlight some Killer Tribes associated folks.
First, let me say what exactly Killer Tribes is. Killer Tribes is a community of bloggers that helps each other extend their reach. You can find out more at Killer Tribes.
Let’s start with the lead Killer Tribenian, Bryan Allain. Check out his blog here. He writes a humor blog that just might make you LOL. Also, read his book 31 Days To Finding Your Blogging Mojo even if you aren’t a blogger.
Next up is Tamara Lunardo. You can read her blog at Tamara Out Loud. I did a non-guest post for her on my blog once that scared the dickens out of her. If you read her, you will find that you probably will find plenty to disagree with and just might be offended from time to time. That’s ok with me. One of downfalls of not getting to go to Killer Tribes is not getting to meet Tamara.
Finally is my friend Chad Jones. He blogs over at Randomly Chad. You will find Chad writes some of the funniest, most bizarre, coolest stuff. He’s been my friend on Twitter and in the Blogosphere for some time now and one of these days I will get to meet him.
That’s about it this week. Before I leave I do have one more thing. March was the best month I’ve had on the Deuceology blog. That’s because of all of you folks. Thanks for stopping by and reading.
Unless you have been on a trip to the moon over the last week or so, you have heard about the Trayvon Martin situation. Of course, it is a senseless death that has gripped the nation.
People are up in arms on both sides of the situation. One side portrays Trayvon as an innocent party. Another says that he compounded the situation.
My purpose has nothing to do with the innocence or guilt of anyone involved. Like most things, I wonder what Christ would have to say about it. What would Jesus say about Trayvon?
In Luke 13, Jesus told his disciples about some people who died and their blood was mixed with the sacrifices. Then he mentioned some folks who died when a tower fell on them.
He told these folks that unless they repented they would perish as well.
So, who is the guilty party in the Trayvon Martin case?
George Zimmerman? Trayvon Martin? The people protesting how it’s been handled? Those defending George Zimmerman?
The answer is yes.
Unless Trayvon Martin repented in his life and followed Christ, he will have perished eternally.
Everyone else involved? Unless they repent and follow Christ, they will perish eternally.
In God’s eyes, there are no innocent parties here.
We are all guilty of rebelling against God and rejecting Christ.
What happened to Trayvon Martin would not be Christ’s focus any more than those that died in Luke 13. Whether or not everyone involved had repented would be.
We need to focus first on that.
Why did Trayvon die? Why haven’t you? Or me?
We will eternally if we don’t repent.
Have you repented of rebelling against the God of the universe? Have you accepted Christ as your savior?
I don’t know if your church gives an invitation or not. Mine does. In fact, all churches that I have belonged to during my lifetime have had invitations at the end. So, of course, the logical question that I have to ask is this.
Why do we have invitations?
It’s not like invitations the way we do them have been around through the history of the church. From what I can tell, the way we do them originated around the time of Charles Finney. Of course, I may be wrong, but that’s what I think. Correct me if you want. Based on what I see and hear whenever I raise questions like this you would have to wonder how anyone got saved before we began having invitations at the end of the service.
When I look at how Christ handled people, I don’t see Him inviting people to join them.
His first message was “Repent!!! The Kingdom of God is at hand.” He didn’t say anything about how He would be waiting for anyone to make a decision.
When He called His disciples, He said, “Follow me and I’ll make you fishers of men.” He didn’t say that He would be waiting for them at the boat.
When Peter gave his sermon in Acts 2, he didn’t preach and then tell the crowd that he would wait for them at the altar.
When Paul preached at Mars Hill, there was no altar call.
What I notice, though, is that there was always a reaction.
I think the problem is that we don’t trust God and His Holy Spirit to do the work. I think we act as though we believe that it all rests on us. We simply don’t believe.
Am I saying do away with invitations? No. Invite someone to your small group. Invite someone to your Sunday School. Invite someone to the service.
Trust in the Lord to do His work.
Does your church have a traditional invitation?
Christians aren’t supposed to fear, but I’m afraid that many of us do.
It might be a fear of spiders.
Maybe it’s tunnels.
However, at church this past Sunday, I realized what I think is most Christian’s fear.
It’s sharing our faith.
The reason I realized this is that we are offering a class on how to share our faith. I saw this up on the screen as the announcements scrolled and had an amazing thought.
“I have never had to have anyone teach me how to share my love for University of Tennessee football.”
No one ever had to teach me to get excited at a Tennessee game.
I am eager to do it.
My faith? Well, I’m cool with that too.
But I haven’t always been that way. Judging by a lot of what I see, a lot of folks are in that boat.
Why is that?
I think I know some of the answers.
We have bought into the idea that we shouldn’t push our beliefs on others.
We are afraid that we will be asked tough questions that will stump us.
We are afraid of looking like Bible-thumpers.
One of the things I’ve noticed when Jehovah’s Witnesses come to my door is that one person does the talking. The other one just kind of stands there and smiles. The guy that does the talking has been trained. He knows all of the answers. He knows how to try to counter all of my objections. He has been to the “CLASS”.
Do you know what he has trouble telling me?
He has trouble telling me about his relationship with God. He can tell me all of the answers. He can tell me everything he has been trained to say. What he can’t tell me is about a relationship.
That is what grabs people.
You want to share your faith? Tell people about your relationship with Christ. Be honest. Tell them you don’t have all of the answers. Tell them about the difference He is making in your life.
I’m not saying don’t take the class. It can be beneficial.
Just don’t rely on that. Rely on the One who you want to share.
Do you or have you ever feared sharing your faith? Why do you think that is?
Today marks a special edition of First Church Year. It is the first such post to occur on Tuesday, instead of Monday. That makes it special, right? I hope that you got over to Michael Perkins The Handwritten yesterday. I hope you continue to check it out and it becomes one of your favorite blogs like it has become one of mine. Now, on with the first church year recap.
The focus on this week at church has to be three things: Sharing your faith, missions and prayer.
Our Sunday school class went in together to visit another class. The purpose of the class is to give people help in sharing their faith. Few people other than who was in our class decided to take time to spend learning how to better tell others about their life with Christ.
In both worship services, we had missionaries speak. One missionary had spent a great deal of time in Asia. The other missionaries had spent their time in Peru. It’s amazing to listen to those who have given their lives to live in another culture away from everything they know.
At 5 pm each Sunday evening, our church is gathering to pray together for our church. This Sunday our prayer focused on our future pastor, his family, the search team and the future of our church.
How was your Lord’s day this week?
I know that most of the time you are expecting a First Church Year post here at Deuceology on Mondays. There’s just one problem. I’m not here today.
Today I’m guest-posting over at The Handwritten, Michael Perkins’ blog. I would appreciate you hitting the link and heading over to Michael’s place. Tell Michael I said hi. Read his blog. Follow him on Twitter. If my post isn’t up yet, go back and check it out. Come back here tomorrow to see the latest, greatest First Church Year.
We who follow Christ and want a Godly life have an enemy. I’m not talking about our enemy who roams around like a roaring lion wanting to devour us.
I’m talking about and impersonal enemy. One that we face and succumb to daily, if not hourly or by the minute.
The enemy of Godly is……good.
We have been told all of our lives to be good. We have been trained to be good. We have been told this by our parents. Our churches. Our teachers. All with great intentions.
The problem is that Good, instead of Godly, becomes our focus.
We grow up to be good neighbors. We grow up to be good church members. We grow up to be good parents.
It isn’t good enough.
We can’t be that good.
We need to grow to be Godly.
We need to strive to be Christlike.
We need to learn to walk in the Spirit.
Good is the enemy of these.
Good strives to just be good enough. Good wants to be comfortable. Good is not offensive.
Being Godly is none of these things. Being Godly does not allow complacency.
Being Christlike does not allow one to settle in.
Being of the Spirit pushes you forward.
Good is the enemy of Godly.
Do you struggle between Good and Godly?
Last week I began something new on the round-up. Instead of focusing on how I did on the blog, I am trying to focus on some other good folks who write out there in the blogosphere.
Kevin Haggerty writes over at The Isle Of Man. Kevin is a teacher and MMA fan who will soon welcome his first child into the world. His blog is filled with off-the-wall humor that cracks me up a number of times each week. One of my favorites is his weekly interview with bloggers who, in my opinion, are among the all-stars in the blogging world. His Friday Funhouse is also a much-anticipated post every week.
Stephen Haggerty blogs over at The Bearded Idealist. Stephen is a Worship Leader and a humorist. He has become a great friend in the Deuceology community. He also has a “rock-tastic wife”.
Michael Perkins has one of my favorite blogs over at The Handwritten. Michael’s blog is one of the most original and simplest blogs that I have ever seen. It hits home with me on a daily basis. I will also be guest-posting over there on Monday.
Eileen Knowles has been a Deuceology friend and a WordsWithFriends friend for a while. You can catch her over at The Scenic Route. She will write posts that will touch your heart and, on occasion, make your eyes misty.
I think that’s about it for today. Check out my friends’ blogs. Tell them Larry the Deuce sent you.
What blogs are you reading that the rest of us should take a look at?
The other day I had the second best day ever on my blog. Deuceology had a day unlike most in its short history.
I was pumped up and excited. Wow! Really? That many people were reading my little blog.
I wanted to celebrate. I wanted to load everyone up, go to Ruth’s Chris and drop about $300 that I didn’t have on a meal.
That’s how excited I was.
Guess what happened next?
I read a tweet.
I read a tweet where someone said that they had just hit 20,000 views on their blog for the first time that day.
Know what I did? Yep. I got everyone out of the car. We weren’t driving to Knoxville to eat at a very expensive a la carte restaurant.
I was deflated. I felt defeated. I thought about stopping Deuceology. What’s the use? I’ll never have 20,000 views in a single day.
Know what happened next?
I stopped it.
I quit feeding that monster.
I stopped comparing myself to that person.
I think that is what Paul would have encouraged me to do.
He would said, “Want to go over my resume’ again? I was hot stuff. Guess what? It’s all a bunch of horse dung”
That’s what it is. That’s what my thinking was.
In the end, that’s what my blog your reading is.
Don’t get me wrong. I appreciate you reading. I am going to continue to write it and I hope we have a lot of fun with it.
However, in the end, when I go home and stand before the Lord, He isn’t going to say, “Oh yes! Larry the Deuce, blogger.”
He is going to say, “Larry Carter, you’re covered by My Son’s blood.”
That’s what matters.
And when I want to compare myself to someone else? I just need to remember that.
Do you ever find yourself comparing yourself to someone else? What do you do to stop feeding that monster?
That may seem like a strange title to a blog post that deals with mostly Christian “stuff”. Most of us will answer, “Absolutely! I hate evil as much as anything.”
I would like to say that I hate evil. The problem is that I would probably being lying.
I think all of us would say that we hate Big Evil. You know what I mean, right? Murder. Slavery. Destruction. You know. Evil that disgusts us.
What about other evil?
Evil that is subtle.
Evil that sneaks into our lives.
Evil that seems fun or makes us laugh.
Evil that we justify.
Evil that, before long, seems to become a part of us and that we feel like we need.
That is the evil that I’m talking about.
Do you hate it?
King Saul didn’t think he was doing anything wrong when he didn’t follow God’s command to destroy everything when he conquered the Amalekites and let Agag live. He justified his actions. He made it ok. He thought he was doing God a favor.
What did Samuel do when he came upon the scene? He hacked Agag to death.
Do you hate evil enough to hack something to death?
Do you hate evil enough to radically remove something from your life?
Not because of legalistic reason.
Because you hate evil.
And you hate evil because you love the Lord.
Do you really hate evil?