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His Adventure

July 30, 2018 1 comment

One of the coolest things I see in the Bible is when people immediately follow Jesus or the Holy Spirit.

Jesus is walking by the sea and Peter, James and John drop their nets and follow Him.

Phillip is sent down to talk to the Ethiopia eunuch and tells him about the Gospel.

Paul and Barnabas head out on a missionary journey after the church prays and fasts seeking the Lord’s will.

It’s equally disheartening when people get ahead of God in what He’s got in store. That’s how Moses ended up killing an Egyptian and spending 40 years out in the desert.

For the past several years, I’ve had the privilege to spend my Sunday mornings at a campground sharing the Gospel and Jesus with folks. I’ve built fantastic relationships and wonderful friendships.

At some point, almost all good things come to an end.

Life happens. Circumstances have happened that keeps me from giving my all to this ministry as I have in the past.

The interesting thing is that I’ve felt the Lord leading me to the end of this for a while. Maybe I should have moved along sooner.

Regardless, He has made it abundantly clear that now is the time to stop.

I’m no longer doing this ministry that I have been doing for the past 15 years or so.

I could be sad. Sure, there is a tinge of that.

But for the first time in a few weeks I feel like I’m truly following the Lord’s lead. I’ve dropped my nets. I’m moving in the direction He’s sending me.

Where that is? No idea.

But it’s a new adventure. His adventure.

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Origin Stories

July 25, 2018 2 comments

I love a good origin story.

A young man is attending the show with his parents. A lowlife approaches them demanding their money. When they resist, the parents are shot leaving the boy all alone, save a kindhearted butler. Driven by those events to the point of demanding justice and revenge, young Bruce becomes someone, something else as he grows into adulthood.

During a field trip, a high school student is bitten by a spider. Selfishness costs him the opportunity to stop the man who would later kill his uncle. Driven by guilt and grief, Peter realizes that with great power comes great responsibility.

There are countless others. People all around us with origins of their own. It’s even in the Bible.

A fisherman is told by a carpenter to follow him. He does so for three years. He has a bad moment and denies the carpenter three times. Later, Peter is restored and becomes one of the central leaders of those that follow the Way.

A man holds a crowd’s coats while they stone one they consider a blasphemer. He’s on the fast track to greatness and power. He takes a trip to Damascus to round up a group of these traitors of the faith until he is knocked off his horse by a great Light that speaks to him. Saul’s later Paul’s, course of life changes direction quickly.

There are others that could be mentioned. A father of a nation. A man who sees a burning bush. A shepherd who would later become king.

They all had origin stories.

So do you. This is how it was. I met Jesus. Now it’s like this.

If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away. The new has come.

What’s your origin story?

Thinking About The Golden Rule

September 20, 2016 Leave a comment

I’ve been thinking about the Golden Rule lately. Not really sure why, except that I have been thinking about ways to apply it to my life. So, I think these are ways that others can apply it as well. 

One way I’ve been thinking about is politics. If you haven’t noticed, we are in an election year. Soon there will be a new president-elect in the old U.S. of A. So, I’ve been thinking about how the Golden Rule applies to my voting choice.

 Now, you may be wondering what the Golden Rule has to do with voting for president? Here is how I’ve been thinking about it. Would I want the person I’m voting for to be the president for everyone? Most people usually look at it as how it will affect themselves. What if everyone really took the view of it would be best for everyone else to have this person as president. You throw out your past party affiliations. You throw out what you like in a candidate and really dig down and ask, “Would I want to do this to someone else? Would I want to elect this person, not for my own sake, but for the sake of my family and neighbors?”

 Another way to apply the Golden Rule is much broader. It takes some hard work on your part. Are you on the lookout for the good for everyone? I miss this more often than I get it right, but I might have actually done it recently. I know someone who is a deer hunter. I heard about a website that has well produced, television quality videos for deer hunters. It’s not just like the hunting shows on TV. It actually goes into deer management and explores deeper issues. I texted my friend the website so that he would have it available. I got nothing out of it. Or did I? I would want him to do the same for me. If he knows me well enough, I would want him to pass along something similar.

 We really try to make living this Christian life hard sometimes. We look for BIG ways to do Godly things in our lives and for the benefit of others. Instead, maybe it’s just doing the normal things of life in a Godly way. That’s what I’m hoping to do going forward.

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3 Keys To Following Jesus In The World

September 19, 2016 1 comment

There are reams and reams of paper used to write books on how Christians to live lives that follow Jesus. Rarely, though, is there anything that as simple as what we actually find in the Bible. Paul gave us three good pieces of advice in 1 Thessalonians that too few of us actually heed. 

1. Live Quiet Lives

One could probably write an entire post about this. In today’s world filled with social media, it is easy to live a noisy life clamoring for attention. Few of us are immune to this. Many of us need to take this piece to heart and spend some time that is focused outwardly, putting the spotlight on others. Give others credit and point toward the Lord instead of ourselves.

 2. Mind Your Own Business

What would happen if we took this one to heart? Instead of getting involved in every controversy, what if we truly focused on making our own lives better? What would the world look like?

 

3. Work

When I was a kid, I worked on farms located around me during the summer. I hauled hay and worked in tobacco. When I turned 16, I went to work in a grocery store and had another part-time job watering plants at my church during a dry summer. Plus, I still had to mow the yard and do chores around the house. God expects us to work. He does not expect us to live entitled lives. One time my dad’s job went on strike. He used that time to work around the place and even thought about finding work to do that would bring in income.

 Why should we do these things? What benefit is there to them?

 So that we “may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on on one.” These are three keys to living the kind of life that God ordains for us. Instead of looking for some magic bullet, let’s do what God’s word tells us to do.

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The Shade of the Kingdom

September 13, 2016 1 comment

If you haven’t noticed lately, some don’t think America is great anymore.

The solution for some is to protest, though their freedom to do so proves the point is moot.

Others seek to make America great again by running for office.

What about those of us who follow Christ? What are we to think and do? I think we can find some clues in Mark 4.

Jesus compares the kingdom of God to a mustard seed. It’s small, but grows into a 15 foot bush. So big, in fact, that the bird see the comfort of its shade.

Jesus, it seems, doesn’t focus on earthly kingdoms. His concern is for His Father’s kingdom.

Where do the birds turn for rest? The kingdom. Not the nations of the world, but God’s kingdom.

America isn’t great? Seek the kingdom of God.

America’s great again? Seek a kingdom that puts it to shame.

The birds seek the shade of the kingdom. May we follow the birds’ lead.

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Why Worship Needs To Vary

September 9, 2016 2 comments

I mentioned yesterday that I tweeted recently that we are called to make disciples, not music. I mentioned that my expanded view is that we are really called to glorify God and that can come by making music or disciples. Today, I want to follow-up up a bit on that.

I once had a conversation with a family member who said that they would be happy if church services were only comprised of music. I just kind of shook my head, but realized that I was not that far from that view. I would be happy if church services were only made up of preaching. That’s just how I’m wired and geared.

We were both wrong.

Imagine if that actually took place. We would have churches full of people who were there only to hear preaching. Other would just be full of singing. Others might pray the entire service. Still others might take an offering…..and then what? 

I’ll tell you. We would all miss out on different ways to worship. We would miss out on the various types of people. We would also miss out on the variety of gifts within the church.

 Mostly we would miss out on being part of the Body of Christ. Arms don’t exist alone. Neither do legs, knees, throats, mouths and you think of a body part.

 I don’t like all parts of church services. That may sound like sacrilege, but I’m just trying to be real. That doesn’t mean that I don’t see the benefit of the things I am not naturally inclined toward. Those things help connect me to other members of the Body. They help connect me to Christ. They help me maximize who I am in the entire Body of Christ.

 

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Make Love, Not War

September 8, 2016 2 comments

I’m sure you’ve seen the title of this post before.  It came into the national conversation during the Vietnam War, back when I was barely a  glimmer in anyone’s eye.

The thing about this statement is that it is saying that these two things are mutually exclusive.  It’s as though one cannot hold love and war in their life at the same time.  I’m not going to speak for everyone, but I don’t really think that to be the case.

I feel the same way about something I tweeted the other day.  My tweet was some like this:

We are not called to make music, but to make disciples.

I felt pretty proud of myself after sharing this on the Twitter.  Here is the funny thing.  I got several likes when it made its way to Facebook.  However, I got some push back on Twitter.

The push back came because someone took exception to it.  They said THE way to discipleship is through making music, mainly because that is how it happened for them.

Sorry, but I can’t buy that one either.  But I did change my mind a little.

I don’t think the main thing we are called to do is to make disciples or make music.  It’s not either/or.  It’s not one or the other.  Instead, I think we’re called to something greater.

I think we are called to glorify God in everything we do.  How do we do that?

By making disciples.  By making music.  And so much more.

We might glorify God through every bite of food we take, through every swallow of drink we take in.

We might glorify God by running a marathon or walking to the mailbox.

Maybe it’s by driving the speed limit and stopping at yellow.

It could be anything.

It could be by making love or making war.  Or both.

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