What in the world would you give up to be closer to Jesus?
Today is Halloween. It will mark the 18th consecutive year that we have not participated in Halloween with our kids. They have never trick or treated. They have never dressed up for Halloween, nor have they ever been to a Halloween party.
Guess what? That doesn’t necessarily make me closer to Jesus?
Would I hold to that again if I was starting now as a parent? I don’t know. We may have been a bit over-protective or legalistic regarding Halloween. I have been asked by some if I didn’t think I deprived my kids by not letting them “do” Halloween. My answer? No, no really.
Jesus told Peter and Andrew and James and John to follow Him and He would make them fishers of men. They dropped their nets, gave up their careers and vocations to follow Him. They turned their backs on what the world offered, instead looking to what Jesus offered. They gave up the world to follow Jesus.
Jesus told a rich, young ruler to sell everything, give it away and follow Him. Jesus sadly watched him walk away, unwilling to part with what he had. He couldn’t give up the world.
There are other cases that could be examined. And that’s the rub. We can justify sticking with what we want or like by saying that we are “in the world, but not of the world.” The problem is that, too often, we used those words to justify some behavior and have a salve for our conscience handy.
Our problem is not that we are deprived from the world. I have never, to my knowledge, ever had that problem. My problem has always been that I have given in to the world too easily.
Would I let my kid do Halloween if I had it to do over again? That is probably the wrong question. The better question might be how I would do things differently so that we would follow Jesus stronger than we do.
Ultimately, that’s the bigger question for all of us, isn’t it?
What in the world would you give up to be closer to Jesus?
If I had done what I was supposed to have done, you would have read this review yesterday. Unfortunately, I simply did not read Bryan Allain’s Community Wins: 21 Thoughts On Improving A Thriving Online Tribe until last night.
Approximately a year ago, I read Bryan’s 31 Days To Finding Your Blogging Mojo. My blogging improved. My online community grew. I knew that I had it all figured out.
Now, a year later, Bryan has released his latest eBook. I realize that I have just reached a point where I can really learn about blogging and building an online community. Fortunately, Bryan helps those of us who want to do this without reinventing the wheel. He boils much of his ten years of blogging experience into twenty-one easy lessons and thoughts that any of us can adapt for our own pursuits.
In fact, I would daresay that Bryan’s book is not really about building an online community. It is simply about building community in whatever area of life you want to pursue it.
I highly recommend this book. Head over to Amazon. You can even follow this link. You will receive a special treat today if you.
I have decided to make today’s entry the last of the First Church Year series.
The answer is simple. We are not going to attend the church we have been a part of this year any longer.
We aren’t leaving mad or anything like that. We are simply worn out.
We find it difficult to be part of a church that is 30 minutes away. That is one full hour of drive to and from just for the morning service. Given that there is also a Sunday evening service, we would have to spend two hours driving on Sunday to be involved in Sunday church services. That’s our fault for not considering that earlier, but we simply cannot be involved in this church in the way we want.
Rather than do another Church Search series or First Church Year series at some point, I will simply replace it with basic normal posts. Well, as normal as any of my posts are. 🙂
We have no plans of not attending church. We were in “church” yesterday. We will not forsake the assembling of the saints. I’m sure that you will hear about that in the posts to come. It just won’t be in the manner that you may have become accustomed to hear in Deuceology land.
Thanks to everyone who reads.
How was your church experience this weekend?
Today is the last Sunday I preach at the Big Meadow Campground. I have concluded this year with a mini-series based on Psalm 34:8, “O Taste and see that the Lord is good.”
I opened up by talking about how we need the Lord should be our source of nourishment which enables us to see that He is good.
Next, I discussed how, from the beginning, God is good and wants to share that goodness with us.
Last week, I spoke about how we ended up in the shape we are in.
Today, I want to discuss about how Jesus flipped the script that Adam and Eve gave us.
Last week, I went into detail about how Adam and Eve questioned God’s goodness and promise of life, they saw that the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was good for food and they ate. They did the opposite of the script of Psalm 34:8.
Jesus changes this by following the Psalm 34:8 script when he is tempted by Satan.
Jesus has spent 40 days in the wilderness fasting. At the end, He is hungry. Satan tempts Him and encourages Him to turn stones into bread to eat. Jesus responds by saying, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.” Despite being hungry, Jesus does not eat what Satan encourages Him to eat. He does not take the easy way out. He chooses to trust the Father.
Next, Satan takes Jesus to the pinnacle of the temple. He encourages Jesus to jump off by telling Him that the angels will catch Him. Like Eve, Satan tells Jesus that He will not die. Jesus responds by telling Satan, “You shall not put the Lord Your God to the test.”
Finally, Satan takes Jesus up on a mountain and shows Him all of the kingdoms of the world. He tells Jesus to worship him and all of those kingdoms will be His. Eve was told that she would be like God if she ate the fruit. In other words, she would be in charge. At their most basic, Satan offered Eve and Jesus the same thing. Power over their lives.
Jesus responded by telling Satan, “Go Satan. For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God and serve Him only.'”
Stripped down to its most basic, Jesus tasted and saw that God is good.
He did for us what we could not do on our own. He made it possible for us to be able to taste and see that God is good.
Do you taste and see that God is good?
If you have been showing up and reading my Resignation series, I appreciate it. It’s been a busy week, though, and I don’t have a new post. Please come back next week for this continuing series. In the meantime, if you haven’t read it, please visit my Fiction page and catch up. Resignation, Part 8 will be appear next week.
My friend, Jim Woods, has told me before that he was amazed that I can publish a blog post every day. It’s really not that hard, but it doesn’t really happen the way I wish it did.
If I had my druthers, I would get up every day and go for a run. I would come back, take a shower and drink some Diet Mountain Dew. Then I would go to my special writing place and knock out a couple of blog posts. I would schedule them and then write some other stuff for the remainder of the day.
That’s not how it happens.
Below you will see a picture I took at work. It is a list of blog ideas that I had one day at work. I was really focused on some work I had to do that day and suddenly the gates opened. Idea after idea after idea flowed. I started scribbling those ideas on this sheet of paper.
After that, I would kind of look at them and mull them over in my mind. I got rough ideas for what direction I wanted to go with each one. Then I just kind of sat down and wrote some.
Nothing special or magical. I just wrote.
A few of them came out completely different from what I originally intended. Some of them tend to take on a life of their own and they tell me how to write them. It’s an interesting process.
That’s how I work.
Oh yeah. I prayed. I asked the Lord to give me the words and use me. I pray He does.
If you are a blogger, how do you work?
In case you haven’t been a follower of the blog for very long, I need to tell you something. You have probably guessed it by the title. I love superhero movies.
I began reading comic books before I started kindergarten. I still have a few of my earliest comics from 1973.
I geeked out in 1989 when Batman came out. I loved it later when Spider-Man and X-Men finally made it to the silver screen.
So, you need to know that I am excited about 2013. Iron Man 3, Man of Steel, The Wolverine and Thor: Dark World are all coming.
Then there is 2014. Captain America: Winter Soldier, Spider-Man, X-Men: Days of Future Past, and Guardians of the Galaxy will all be coming to a theater near all of us.
In 2015? Avengers 2, Justice League and Ant Man.
This doesn’t count the other movies that are in production.
In other words, I’m pretty excited about the next two and a half years.
James warns us about making plans like this.
He tells us that life is but a vapor.
James says that I should say, “If the Lord wills” I will see these movies.
So yes, I love superhero movies.
I’m looking forward to seeing these movies and more.
If the Lord wills it.
Are you ever guilty of making plans without thinking about whether the Lord wills it?