Just some random thoughts I had this month.
Can you have true kindness and compassion without Christ?
We Built This City is possibly my least favorite rock song of all time.
Do you remember the show, Alice? I never wanted to kiss Flo’s grits. I prefer to eat grits with salt, pepper and butter for breakfast.
A friend of mine forgot to pray until he was halfway through lunch one day.Does it still count or is it, like, half a prayer?
This Sunday brought new experiences to our journey in our first church year.
First, Sunday School was a good time. One person needed prayer and we gathered around to pray this person and their circumstance. From there, we had a lesson on unity. One thing we all agreed on is that we cannot go through this life alone.
I have a college friend who is a member of this church. She came over and talked with Jan before the service began. She was checking with Jan on her recovery from surgery a week ago.
The worship service was another good one. It was a mixture of contemporary music with some old hymns. I would give you more details, but the flow goes from one song to another. I don’t have time to stop in the middle and write down the song titles. I also don’t want to in the middle of singing.
The sermon was about the demon possessed man from Gerasenes. My friend on staff preached about how this man had a story, but had an even greater story once Jesus had healed him from the possession. The point was that we all have a story to tell as well. We all have a story that we can share with people about how we came to know Christ and what He has done in our lives.
Following the service there was a fellowship lunch. We were able to eat with the church and get a better picture of what the church is really like.
That was it for yesterday. Jan is still recovering and does not feel 100%, so we did not return last night.
How was your church service yesterday?
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?
I don’t know if you have ever heard anything like this before, but I have several times in my time in church.
Someone will give a testimony about their life since becoming a follower of Christ. They will say something about how Christ is building them a mansion in heaven. They will say that they don’t deserve that and that He doesn’t have to do that. All Christ needs to do is just build them a little cabin over in the corner of Heaven. That will be good enough.
Do you know what I say to that?
The truth is that none of us deserve a mansion built for us in Heaven. We deserve nothing associated with grace. That’s what makes it grace.
Paul tells us in Ephesians that God lavishes His grace upon us.
God doesn’t just nickel and dime grace to us.
Here is how Paul describes it.
“In Him, we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace, which He lavished on us.”
Did you catch all of that?
If you still can’t get the full picture, imagine it this way. Valentine’s Day is coming up. Imagine a husband giving his wife a dozen roses. He does this because he loves her and on this day wants to lavish his love on her. When she gets the roses, she says, “A dozen roses are too many. I don’t deserve this. A single rose would have been good enough.”
That doesn’t happen, does it? No. She displays them prominently. If she received them at work, she sets them so that everyone sees them. She wants everyone to know how much her husband loves her and lavished his love on her.
That’s the way it should be with us and the grace that God lavishes upon us.
Let’s display it.
Let’s show it off.
Do you have trouble accepting the grace God lavishes on you? Do you show the world how much He lavished His grace on you?
Ask most folks about their salvation experience and what will they say?
Most will refer to some time when they were a kid and walked down an aisle during the invitation. Perhaps they will refer to a night during VBS when they were in elementary school. Maybe they are referring to going one night to a revival meeting.
It could be any point in the past.
How about you? Do you look back to your salvation experience?
I refer to my salvation experience as now.
Now, if you want to refer to a specific point when I was born again and justified, I’m with you. That happened when I was twenty-four.
Salvation hasn’t ended though.
Salvation is a continuous event. I continue to benefit from that moment. I have life. Not just any kind of life. It’s abundant life. It’s eternal life.
He continues to sanctify me. That is part of salvation.
One day He will glorify me. That is part of salvation.
You want to say that your salvation experience is in the past? I’ll argue that point with you.
If you know Christ, salvation is a continual experience.
I never had “a” salvation experience. It’s still going on.
Tell me about your salvation experience.
It’s that time of the week again. The weekly round-up. Let’s get right to it.
I had plenty of traffic this week. I wrote some pieces that I really liked and others seemed to like them too.
Sunday’s post was A Church By Any Other Name.
Monday brought First Church Year #1 to Deucology.
Tuesday’s post was God Is Not A Gentleman.
Wednesday asked the question, Is Your Pastor Being Fed?
Faith, Hope And …… was Thursday’s post and of all of this week’s posts, needs some love.
Yesterday’s post was Don’t Say No To Dope.
How are you doing on your goals for 2012? Mine are a mixed bag. I haven’t lost weight, but I haven’t got my training for the marathon going good yet. I read the first book of the Chronicles of Narnia. I haven’t signed up for the Killer Tribes conference. I have several ideas for the book and I get additional ones each week. I need to complete my Bible reading I started in the next five weeks so I can begin again in March.
Depending on when you check out Deuceology today or tomorrow, you will notice a change in the look. I am going for a cleaner look. Eventually I want to do what my friend, Jon Stolpe, did recently and go to my own blog without the WordPress in my URL. I’m just beginning to figure some of that out.
How was your week?
I grew up in the 80’s when Ronald Reagan was president. It was back in the day when the Evil Empire was Russia, not the Boston Red Sox. (Yes, I am a New York Yankees fan and have been since 1977.)
If you were around back then, you might remember that Nancy Reagan had a campaign that said Just Say No to drugs. I’m happy to report that I never consumed any illegal substance or drug. I’m not sure that this was because of Nancy. I think it was just a fear from when I was a kid that I would become addicted, end up in jail or die.
No matter how you slice it or dice it, I was never involved with dope.
So, for all you kids reading out there in Deuceology land, Just Say No to dope.
Unless you have a friend like Moe. Moe is a blogging and Twitter friend. He liked one of my blog posts the other day. He tweeted it out to all of his followers. I thanked him. Guess what his response was?
Moe said that it was a dope post.
Now, I’m not the most hip guy in the world. I’ve never gotten jiggy with anything to my knowledge. But I could understand that what Moe said was a good thing.
Moe was encouraging me.
We all like that, don’t we?
We in the Church really need it some days. We need someone to come along and encourage us. We need someone to tell us that something is “dope”.
I appreciate Moe’s words.
Don’t say no to dope.
Now it’s your turn. It’s Friday and it’s been a long week. Encourage someone today. However you want to.
Who would you like to encourage today? What have they done? Tell us about it.