Jesus said some things that on the surface seem outlandish. Crazy. Insane.
For example, when he is told his mother and brothers have shown up to see Him, He responded by saying that those around Him who do the will of the Father were his brother and sister and mother.
Later he says that whoever comes to Him and does not hate his own mother and father, wife and children, and brothers and sisters, and even their own life could not be His disciple.
Crazy again, right?
Imagine that for a minute. Jesus is saying something very significant here. There are a couple of ways that we can take it.
First, we could say that our love for Christ must be so strong that our feelings for our loved ones looks like hate. I can see that and I can accept that this is what Jesus is meaning. But could there be more to it?
Is Jesus calling for a shift in family relations?
What He seems to be saying is that when you become His disciple, your overriding concern is to do the will of the Father. Isn’t that what being a disciple is? You pattern your life after Jesus. You live like Jesus.
Jesus said that his food was to do the will of the Father. His fuel was the Father’s will. What drove Him was what His Father wanted Him to do.
If we are a disciple, a follower, of Christ, shouldn’t that be our food? Our fuel? Our drive? Our desire?
When we live that way, then we become Jesus’ brother and mother and sister.
Imagine what some of the people in our natural relationships might say. “You don’t love me.” “You don’t care about me.” “You hate me.”
Because we have chosen to follow God’s way rather than our own.
Jesus knew that following Him would be hard. So hard that it might harm the relationships that we have were born into and developed here on earth.
Do you “hate” anyone by following Christ?
Last year I set my one word for 2012 as community. I covered that a couple of days ago and when that post was written I did not know exactly my one word for 2013 would be. Now I do, so without further adieu, let me introduce what that word will be.
I hope that 2013 will be a year of transformation.
I want my great marriage to be transformed into something even greater.
I want to transform into a better husband.
I want to transform into a better parent.
I want my church life to continue to transform.
I want to transform into a better leader at work.
I want to be transformed by the renewing of my mind.
I want my eyes to be open all year-long into the possibility of transforming into who and what God wants me to be everyday.
What is your One Word for 2013?
It should come as no surprise that I did not go see Magic Mike this week. Based on my totally, unscientific method of asking women who went to see it, there were few men in the theater.
The question that arises about Magic Mike is not whether people should have the freedom to go see this movie. I believe that many things that I find immoral should be available for people to choose.
The question is whether anyone should go see Magic Mike?
I jokingly told some people this week that any woman who went to see this movie should have no problem letting their husband or boyfriend go to a strip club, look at Playboy or watch porn. Some agreed. Some disagreed. Some were incredulous, wondering why it was such a big deal. Some said it was just entertainment on both sides.
I don’t suggest that people will automatically value their significant other more highly if they don’t watch porn or don’t see Magic Mike. However, I do suggest that it is a good place to start. I believe that viewing these type of things devalue our relationships. I believe that it creates an image in our minds that competes with our spouses. I think we do that enough on our own. We don’t need to help it by going to see movies like Magic Mike or engage in any similar activity.
No one in my family is going to see Magic Mike. I won’t be going to a strip club.
Have you seen Magic Mike? Do you agree or disagree with my assessment?
I would like to kick off February in two ways. I’m going to tell you a little about me. Then I want to know a little about you.
I’m 43 years old. I’m working on my twentieth year of marriage to my lovely wife, Jan. I have two outstanding kids, Lauren and Andrew, who will both be in high school next year. I came to know Christ when I was 25, even though I had been in church all of my life.
I surrendered to a call to ministry in 1999. I thought that meant I had to go to seminary and be a pastor. So, that’s what I did. I went to seminary for a year and then returned home. However, I never became the pastor I thought I would be.
Now, I preach in a campground from late spring through fall. I teach in church any time I can. We are also in the beginning stages in a new church. You can follow those adventures every Monday.
I love to write my blog and interact with all of you good folks who choose to visit Deuceology. I’ve made more mistakes than I care to admit while blogging. I love this community that I have become a part of in the blogosphere.
That’s my story.
What’s your story?
Today is Twitterfic Thursday, where I write 140 words, more or less, about a subject. Today it is One Word 365.
I grew up in a little community in Morristown, TN called the Alpha community.
I went to Alpha School .
I played football for the Alpha Saints and Lions and basketball for the Alpha Bulldogs.
I went to Alpha Baptist Church.
I was part of the Alpha community.
I have decided to join the One Word 365 Community and focus on one word this year.
That word is, ironically, Community.
Community in my relationship with God through Christ.
Community in my family.
Community in my friendships.
Community in a new faith community as my family and I search for a new church.
One Word. Community.
What one word would you choose for an entire year?
I haven’t watched It’s A Wonderful Life. I plan to one night this week. It is a wonderful movie (how did you like that little play on the title?) that has become a standard and a classic. It’s a must see every Christmas season.
Hopefully you know the story of how George Bailey realizes what a difference he has made in people’s lives. That’s what it’s about, isn’t it? One man making a difference in a lot of people’s lives.
That’s what Christmas is all about, isn’t it?
One Man who came to earth. One Man who gave up the riches of heaven. One Man who obeyed. One Man who glorified His Father. One Man who made a difference in a lot of people’s lives.
What difference can you make can you make because of Christmas?
Can you make a difference with a blog?
Can you make a difference in your family?
Can you make a difference at work?
Can you make a difference with a friend?
Can you make a difference in the world?
What difference will you make?
Do you have a wonderful life?
Something that my grandpa and I shared several times when I was young was the Morristown (TN) Christmas Parade. We went several times while I was growing up.
For the past several years, I have shared the Townsend Christmas Parade with my family. Christmas parades may not have anything inherently to do with Christ, but they are tremendous fun. Our Townsend community is small. There are less than 300 people who live within the city limits. However, we are proud of our area and our Christmas parade is one of the biggest community events we have. In this blog post today, I want to share some pictures I took during the Christmas parade of the place I call home.
First is a shot as we wait on the parade to make its way to where we were positioned.
Our county mayor helped lead the way in the parade:
A Christmas parade is not a parade without a band. Here is the Heritage High School band, where my daughter currently goes to school:
The midget football program had a presence in the parade. I think this was the first mention of Jesus in the parade:
One of our local Baptist churches had a float in the parade:
Our local garden club entered the parade:
We are a rural community and agriculture plays a big part of our lives. Here is just one of the many tractors from our parade:
Many people ride their horses in the parade. As you can tell, the end of the parade is near!!! Pun totally intended.
Finally, Santa Claus should always be the grand finale’ of every Christmas parade.
Our parade is nothing fancy. There is nothing truly CHRISTian about it. It’s just plain, simple community and family fun. Thanks for letting me share the fun with you.
Do you like Christmas parades? Do you have fond memories of them?
Seventeen years ago today I was sitting at Blount Memorial Hospital waiting. Waiting for what you ask? The answer to that question is different today than it was then.
Then I was simply waiting for a baby girl to be born. Today is my daughter Lauren’s birthday. Today we will celebrate the birth of our first-born. Then I had no idea what I was getting into. I had no idea what these seventeen years would be like.
Now, I realize everyday what I was waiting on.
I was waiting on a self-confident young lady who lets nothing stop her from achieving her goals.
I was waiting on a girl who has more initiative than anyone I have ever seen.
I was waiting on someone who delays gratification in so many ways for the joy of future results and pleasures.
I was waiting on a girl who doesn’t need a boyfriend, but has one anyway.
I was waiting on a girl who loves her Lord more than I could imagine at that age.
I look forward to what I expect to experience with her in the future. College. More boys. Eventual marriage. Eventual children. And so much more.
What is your experience with your children?
I’ve been taking Mondays to talk about dreams. If you’ve noticed, I believe that for believers in Christ, our dreams come from God. So, once you believe that He has given you a dream, how do you make that dream a reality? I think something you need are anchors for those dreams. They will keep you grounded and not just float away in any direction with the dream. Below are the anchors I have for my dream(s). Yours may be different, but I hope that mine will give you some ideas.
- God and Christ. I don’t differentiate between these. I try to measure all of my dreams by what will honor and glorify God and His Son.
- Family. If my family can’t behind my dream, then I need to rethink it.
- Work. Unless my dream can take the place of my day job, I must give my all to my day job so I can pursue my dream.
- Church. I want to share my dream with those in my church so they can pray and support me.
- Finances. I must be a good steward of my finances so tha I can pursue my dream.
- Personal Growth. I will seek to grow in the area of my dream so that I can excel and pursue it with skill
- Time. It takes time to pursue a dream. I may have to sacrifice time for some things in order to pursue it.
- Health. I cannot pursue my dream to the detriment of my health.
- Recreation. Sometimes I need to take a break from my dream, in order to be more creative in pursuit of my dream.
Those are the anchors that I have established in order to pursue my dream. They are there to keep me and my dream from just drifting away. You may have others. Don’t limit yourself to mine.
Do you have anchors for your dreams? What are they?
Thanks for joining me here with this new Deuceology blog. I am not new to blogging. This is my third blog. The first one was called Odd and Sundry. My second one was The Confessions of St. Larry the Deuce. If you want to check out my earlier blogging attempts, please feel free.
If you noticed the tagline to Deuceology, you might have seen that this is a blog about faith, family, football, and foolishness. They say you shouldn’t blog that way. You should blog about music or photography or television. Something specific. Well, I like to break the rules. So I’m blogging about what is important to me.
My faith is the most important thing to me in the world. Christ is my Savior. I love to talk about Him and His Church. Some of my posts in this regard will be serious. Others will be humorous. I hope all will be thought provoking.
My family will make appearances in my posts. We love each other and we laugh at each other. If I write about them, even if poking fun, it will be in tribute to them.
I put football because it is alliterative. Specifically, I will blog occasionally about University of Tennessee football. I will also include UT basketball.
I usually take a humorous look at everything. I love to laugh. Much of what I write will have a touch of ”foolishness.”
Some of the things I will do is have a “Sacred Sunday”. I teach Sunday school, so many of my posts will be derived from what I teach in Sunday school.
I may have a Worship Wednesday from time to time.
Taking a cue from Twitter, I would like to try to say my peace in 140 words or less. That may be be called a Twitter-like Tuesday or Thursday. If you have ever written, you will know how difficult it might be to say something worthwhile in that few words. After all, as I write this I am in the neighborhood of 340 words.
Thank you for taking this journey with me. I hope you enjoy it as much as I will