September 2007 - Posts
Okay, last night I was introduced to a new toy and a new kind of fun. They are called pocket bikes. It's basically a weed-eater motor on a miniature version of a motorcycle. It's suprisingly comftorable and has a maximum speed of 30mph! I was skeptical at first, but once on it, I was hooked. For only $200, shipping included, you can get one of these brand new pocket bikes sent to your door, not bad for some stupid fun. I'm getting weak, and I'm about to give in. Check it out!
What has God blessed you with lately? Did you keep and hoard it for yourself, or did you pour it out to be used by God to bless someone else? In 2 Samuel 23:13-17 tells us an awesome story of what we should do with the blessing in our lives. What you can do with a blessing is pale in comparison to what God can do with it when you give it back to Him. Think about, tools in your hands is nothing in compared to what God can do with that same tool. Think about this...
A basketball in my hand gets you a pick up basketball game;
But a basketball in Michael Jordan’s hand gets you 6 NBA Championships.
A baseball in my hand is worth $19.95;
But a baseball in Roger Clement’s hand is worth $4.75 million a year.
A tennis racket in my hand gets me some much needed exercise;
But a tennis racket in Andre Auggsi’s hand gets a Wimbledon Championship.
A rod in my hand will beat an angry dog away;
But a rod in Moses’ hand will part the mighty sea.
A slingshot in my hand is just a kid’s toy;
But a slingshot in David’s hand will slay the great giant.
A handkerchief in my hand will wipe my sweaty brow;
But a handkerchief in Paul’s hand will heal the sick.
Five loaves and two fish in my hand will produce a couple of fish sandwiches;
But five loaves and two fish in Jesus’ hand will feed thousands.
Nails in my hands might produce a birdhouse;
But nails in Jesus’ hand will bring salvation to the world.
You see, it depends on whose hand it’s it.
Question: What has God placed in your hand? What are you doing with it? God has placed it in your hand so that you can do something of significance for Him!
"I have held many things in my hands and I have lost them all. But whatever I have placed in God’s hands, that I still possess." (Martin Luther)
Almost three years ago I lost my brother-in-law, Adam in a tragic construction accident. Adam and I were close, I married his sister after all. We were more like brothers. Looking back I can assume there were things that could have been done to ensure his safety that day, but his work was done here, and Jesus needed him to do other work in heaven. Most days I do okay, knowing that he has his reward and his eternal home in heaven. And then there are days like today, when I miss him, his smile, his listening ear, his assurance that everything will be okay.
"According to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain." Phil 1:20-21.
Because of events that happen like the one that happened with Adam, we could live in a constant state of paranoia.
Or, we could commit our ways to God each day and say, "If this is my day, Lord, then I am ready to meet You. If it isn't, then I will serve You one more day." As Paul said, "To live is Christ, and to die is gain". What a great outlook to have.
We should accept each day as a gift from God Almighty and live it to its fullest, totally committed to Him. We should live each day as if it were our last.
Let's just say, for instance, that this day was your last. If you were to think back on this day, would you be ashamed of how you lived it? Or would you say, "I think I lived it well. I did what I should have done. I have no real embarrassment to speak of. It was a well-lived day." Good. That is how you should live each and every day.
I am reading a book right now by Tim Kimmel called "Why Christian Kids Rebel." Which is funny because first of all I have no children and second, I am a preachers kid(pk) and never really got into any kind of deliberate rebellion. It intrigued me because I have always been stereotyped this way...."Those preachers kids are the worst." Ever heard that? Well, it's not true. In his book he has a theory, one that I've believed my self for a long time, but could never find the words. He found them. Here is his theory, "As parents, our freightened reaction to the serious moral crisis within our culture may be the very thing that turns our kids off our faith."
How so? Here is what I think. Do you believe in Jesus Christ? Do you also realize that technically God's word tell us as followers of Jesus that we really shouldn't be afraid of anything? It does. Especially the Godless state of our culture. In John 16:33 Jesus said, "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." What do you think He meant by that? It means we should be concerned about the world, but not frieghtened. Otherwise, we are sending our kids an untrue message of what we believe. The fear that drives how we church our kids, how we educate them, the fellowship we provide for them, and how we entertain them may well be why so many christian kids want very little to do with what we are selling here.
Okay, can we take the blinders off just for a second? Many of you may not agree with what I have to say next, but try to keep an open mind here. Even if you don't, and you think I'm a loon, that's okay, I still love you and so does Jesus. Our fears have made matters worse for our kids. Our fears about our culture have helped guarantee it's further plument into the it's dark depths. Depths filled with despair and indecency. Stay with me. The more we pull away from "the world," even if it is for the protection of our children, the more that the world is left in the dark. Where are all the lights? All the while, the artificial world we have created to raise our children is tailor-made to create spiritual "apathy" in our kids souls. Amen or ouch.
I was taught this, and I think it still applies. RULES without RELATIONSHIP = REBELLION Rules are awesome, really. But are they bathed in grace and love. Do your kids know why you have the rules that you do? Check out the book, it's awesome.
A great quote from a great coach.
"There's nothing worse than losing to Tennessee on Saturday and catching yourself whistling Rocky Top at practice on Monday! " - Steve Spurrier
Know anybody who has fallen into a rough lifestyle or some pretty serious sin? They didn't get that way overnight. It may look like it did, but it didn't, they have been compromising some things for a while. Ever see someone at church one week, and they seem to be doing fine, and then all of the sudden they're doing some things that are totally out of character and you wonder, I just saw them at church, they seemed to be doing great. Some compromise has been happening for a while, they just finally gave in. You see, compromise knaws at you and eats away at you until one day you finally come crashing down. Satan is evil, but he's no idiot. He knows all to well how to break you down. He doesn't let you know what he's up to in the beginning, he entices you little bit by little bit and then he forces you to compromise, before you know it he has taken you down. What area's of your life are you compromising?
Last night, God gave me an attitude check. I love to play basketball. At our church we have a four on four league. It's a lot of fun. But last night there were two very competitive teams with very competitive spirits on the court. Usually there is only one ref, and he can't see everything. Last night was no exception, we all feel a little shorted on calls, but somebody's attitude began to stink. Now, this is an open league where we invite lost people to come and play with us, so you expect there to be some sour attitudes from time to time. One of my teamates wasn't happy that the refs let this kind of mouth and dirty play proceed. And he was right. I dismissed it as a bad apple, and not let it bother him. But I shouldn't have minimized what he was feeling. He was just airing out his own personal convictions, and the ref shouldn't have let that kind of talk and play go on in a church league.
We have become so dicinsitized to sin in this world that we forget when we are walking in the spirit, that that kind of attitude will seem foreign to us, and will make us uncomftorable. We should all have the attitude of my teamate. Even though we can't control carnal people in a carnal world, we can ultimately keep our composure in these tough situations and show that we don't like it, aren't happy with it, and won't put up with it. Jesus did.
Anyone seen this show? I haven't, but am going to give it a try this fall. Heros, different people with strange powers, right? Riiiiight.......I think we have lost what a hero is. A hero is someone who has done something sacrificial or courageous. Not singers, or athletes. Stephen, the first martyr of the church, a true hero of the faith. When we look at Stephen, we don't see someone who wasted their life, we see a life well-invested. We also learn some important principles about the kind of person God uses today. As God looks for someone to put His hand on, what qualities does He look for? What kind of person does He pick? In Scripture and in history, one thing certainly stands out. It seems that God has always gone out of His way to use people who had no apparent potential. The Bible says, "For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him" (2 Chronicles 16:9). It doesn't say God is looking for a strong man or a strong woman, but someone who is loyal. When God puts His hand on me, I don't seem like a person with great potential. But God uses ordinary people so that He might get the glory, so that no one can boast in His presence, 1 Corinthians 1:26–29. So if you feel that you are an ordinary person, if you feel that you don't have any great abilities or skills and wonder whether could God ever use you, the answer is yes. Just watch what the Lord will do when you dedicate yourself to Him.