What should I write about Halloween? I can go a couple of ways. I can either be adamantly opposed to it or I can write about participating in Harvest Festivals and Hallelujah Nights. I could even mention Judgment Houses. Judgment Houses are a nice alternative to Haunted Houses, right? Corn Mazes are popular, so I could write about them. Which way am I supposed to go in my post today?
How about I tell you that my children have never trick or treated? We made that decision before we had children. Would I do it again? I can’t really answer that. I can’t say that I regret it. Someone once asked my daughter if she felt deprived for not ever “doing” Halloween. I think her answer was wise. She said, “I can’t really miss something that I never had.” If my children decide to do Halloween with their children, I won’t be upset or mad. That is for them and their spouses to decide together before the Lord. If they feel liberty to do so, then I will be satisfied with that.
All of that really isn’t the main thrust of what I want to talk about today. Halloween has recently become the official start to “The Holidays”. That in itself will anger some folks. There are people who are snarling their noses at the very thought of Halloween. They will say that it’s the devils holiday. Not me.
I was inspired by something I read this week.
What if we decided to make the entire Halloween experience an opportunity to love others and give life to others. Or maybe a better way to put it, what if we give Life as best we can during this experience?
I don’t know what that means for you. I don’t know even really know what it means for me. All I know is that I am looking at this day differently than I have in the past. I hope that you will too.
Can we take Halloween back for the Lord? How would you do that?
I’ve spent the last couple of Sundays writing about a church search. I’ll continue that today, but come at it from a different angle. When I find a church in my search, what kind of church member will I be?
I want to be a church member who bases what I think about God, Christ and the Church on the Bible. Sure, I will learn through my local church and circumstances, but ultimately I have to measure that against what God has revealed in His word.
I want the Gospel to be central to my life in my church. If not for the Gospel, where would any of us be? So, I want to bring a Gospel centered life to my new church.
I want to listen to the sermons in such a way that they impact my every day life. I want to worship the Lord through the preaching of His word so that I leave with the purpose of my life being closer to Him.
I want to be a church member who is persevering to the end. I don’t want to take my salvation for granted and I measure my experience against what the word of God says.
I want to be the kind of church member who shares the Gospel. Period. I guess you could call that evangelism. With my words. With my deeds. With my life.
I want to be the kind of church member who is committed. Committed to the church. Committed to the members. Committed to pastor.
I want to be the kind of church member who is disciplined. Disciplined by the word of God. Maybe even disciplined by fellow church members who approach me out of love and concern.
I want to be the kind of church member who is growing. Growing through the word of God. Growing in love for my fellow members. Growing in my love for the Lord.
I want to be the kind of church member who follows Godly leadership. I want to follow spirit-led leaders who I can come alongside and support.
I want to be the kind of church member who joins my fellow church members in prayer. I don’t see how much can get done in a church without the people praying.
These are the main things that the Lord has laid on my heart to BE as I look for and find a church.
What other things do you a church member should be?
I don’t usually write a full-fledged post on Saturday anymore, but today I am.
Two years ago today, Tennessee played South Carolina on Halloween night. The previous week, UT has suffered a heartbreaking loss at Alabama after having a last chance field goal attempt blocked. After a week of speculation, Tennessee came out wearing black jerseys. While I’m sure the players would have been excited to play anyway, the black jerseys seemed to give the players an extra spark and excitement. Tennessee ended up dominating the game and winning.
This week against South Carolina, Tennessee will be starting a new, freshman quarterback, Justin Worley. After losing starting quarterback Tyler Bray, Matt Simms had come in to play the position. Simms has tried the best he could for two years now, but he simply cannot perform at the level needed to be successful in the SEC. So, while this year Tennessee will not be wearing black jerseys, they will have a black jersey this year. Justin Worley is the black jersey.
I say all of that not really thinking about football today. I say all of that to ask you (and me) a question.
What’s your black jersey?
Let’s face it. We all need an extra spark from time to time. We all get into a rut. We all go into a slump. Physically. Emotionally. Spiritually.
What is sparking you in your life? What change do you need to make to take you to another level, to get you off the plateau?
Maybe you need to go feed the homeless. Maybe you need to go on a mission trip. Maybe you need a new bible study plan. I don’t know exactly what you need.
I do know one thing.
Sometimes you need a black jersey.
What do you need?
That’s how I’m beginning this post. I’m simply asking the question, what do you need?
Think about it for a minute and let me know. I know Who can get it for you. However, what you ask for might not be your greatest need.
You might think you need money. You might think you need a new job. Or a new relationship. Or a change. I’m not saying that you won’t get those things.
It’s just that those things are not your greatest need.
You have a Father who will give it to you.
Jesus said that no father will give his son a snake when he needs a fish.
Jesus said that no father will give his son a stone when he needs bread.
You can check those out in Matthew 7
Jesus said that no father will give his son a scorpion when he needs an egg.
Check that out in Luke 11.
He said that the Father is better than all of us fathers who will give these things to our children.
He said that the Father will give what is good to those who ask.
He said that the Father will give the Holy Spirit to those who ask.
What do you need most of all?
You need what is good.
You need the Holy Spirit.
Do you have the Holy Spirit? Have you been given what is good? Have you been given what is better than anything you would ever ask for on your own?
It’s Twitterific Thursday, where I write about a subject in 140 words more or less.
Sometimes pride comes before a great fall. You and I have experienced it. Someone we know has a great amount of pride in their lives. Maybe it’s you. I know that I do on occasion.
Maybe, like me, you have been encouraged to take pride in yourself. Maybe you have been encouraged to take pride in your work. I don’t think this is something that we really have to enough pride in our lives.
I don’t think you and I are fundamentally that much different. I have not met anyone yet who does not struggle with pride.
It’s the root of most of your sins. It’s the root of most of your problems. It’s the root of most of your issues. It is the root of your personal conflicts. It’s the root of most problems in your marriage. I know because that’s the way it is for me.
Let’s battle the pride in our life?
What are you going to do today? Me? I’m going to go to work where I face the busiest, most hectic day of a two-week cycle that repeats itself basically twenty-four times per year. Thursday and Friday will slow down and then we start all over again. It will slowly build until I face this same day again two weeks from now.
You will probably face some other circumstances. You will work. You will face your own stresses. Maybe its financial. Maybe its relational. I don’t know. You can share it with me if you want to. I will pray with you about it.
Regardless, there is one thing that both of us need to do today. Today when it gets hectic. Today when someone cuts us off in traffic. Today when we get that unexpected bill. Today when we face illness. Today when we hear good news. It doesn’t matter. We all need to do this.
Can you do that? Can you do that when you eat today? Can you do that when you drink today? Can you do that when the stuff Old Tom covers up hits the fan? Can you do that when you the good comes today?
We were made to worship. We were made to glorify God with what we eat. We were made to glorify God with what we drink. We were made to glorify God with whatever we do.
What are you going to do today?
What do you expect today? Can you worship and glorify the Lord in whatever you do today?
My friend Chad wrote a post the other day called Gender & Equality In Jesus. I love what he said about wives and their command to submit to their husbands. He said to forget about the command for husbands to love them as Christ loved the Church. He advised them to focus on the command given to them and not the one for their husbands. He also said that we husbands should focus on our command to love our wives as Christ loved the Church and forget out the submission thing. I agree. Let’s focus on what we’ve been told to do, not someone else. We really can’t demand those things out of someone else.
Here is the thing, though, that I thought about and has been sitting back there in the back of my mind for a while now.
Are They The Same Thing?
Normally when we think of submission and love, we don’t think of them being the same thing. I think this is because we think of submission as a bad word. In this context it can’t be, though, because it’s in the Bible and we are all told to submit to each other just before wives are told to. So, what are we talking about anyway?
Christ Gave The Example Of Submission
Christ gave us the example of how we should submit in His life. He submitted to the Father. He put aside His own interests for the sake of ours. He looked out for our best interest because the Father wanted Him to , it would glorify the Father and it would be to our benefit. That, I think, is what submission is. Laying aside our wants and desires for someone else. We are all told to do this with each other and wives, in particular, are told to do this for their husbands.
Christ Gave The Example Of Love
In turn, Christ gave us me the example of how we should love. We are to love our wives as Christ loved the Church. This, it seems to me, is to lay aside our own interests for the betterment of our wives. Christ did this to the point of death. We husbands should do this up to the point of death for our wives.
Two Sides Of The Same Coin
It seems to me, the more I look at this example that Christ gave us, that they are really the same thing. Wives and husbands should be looking out for the betterment of each other. We should set aside our own interests for the betterment for each other. If this was taking place in our lives, there would be no controversy over the meaning of these verses. All of us should submit to one another and follow the example of our Lord. Our lives and the lives of our churches and the Church would be revolutionized.
How about you? Are you willing to biblically submit? Are you willing to biblically love?