December 2007 - Posts
This is really hard for me to admit, but there are some mornings when the size and shape of God kind of overwhelms me. The idea that I have a personal relationship with the ruler of the universe kind of catches up with me. The concept that the person that created the milky way is invested in seeing that my day goes well makes no sense at all.
And in the midst of that, I find myself surrounded with doubt and frustration. I try to hide it all. To pretend that the questions aren’t there, that what felt so true yesterday doesn’t feel fake today. But I’m starting to feel that doubt is OK. More than that, I’m starting to feel that moments of unbelief are OK. My favorite example of this is in Mark 9. In a small story, a father with a son who was suffering from convulsions came and asked Christ to heal him. Christ replied:“Everything is possible for him who believes.”“Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”I don’t think I ever heard that story growing up in Sunday School but it should be included in every new believer class on the planet. Seriously, if you ever ask questions about God and the bible and faith, one of the first things they should say is, “Welcome to church, let me tell you about this guy that didn’t believe.” That is such an unexpectedly beautiful story. The thing I really like about it is that it says the father responded “immediately.” He wasn’t ashamed of his unbelief. He exclaimed it instantly. And when he did, Christ struck him down with lightning for not trusting in the Lord. No, I'm just kidding, that’s not what happened. He healed his son.
I also like that the father did not think it was his job to fix his unbelief. He asked for help. He put the burden of overcoming it on Christ. And more than that, he knew that it was possible to believe and not believe all at once. In the same sentence he claimed both.
I don’t believe some days. I’m not going to be ashamed of that. I’m just going to ask for a little help.
I asked God to show me something new about Christmas. Not just the same ole, same ole every year. Well, He answered my prayer in a big way. Check this out.
Christmas = God made into flesh.
Yep, that's it. You may be saying, but I already knew that. Okay, but it had new meaning for me this year. Jesus left the glory of heaven and came to this earth to become human. He became human so that He could experience everything you and I have ever experienced or endured yourself. Every ache, every pain, every let-down, dissapointment, heartache, and loss, Jesus has been there, done that, and got the t-shirt. Why, so that he could sympathize with us. Don't ever forget that you have a creator who knows exactly what you're going through, because He does.
Thank you Jesus!
Every year this time we all partake in those traditions that our families have done all our lives....some special, some fun, some stupid. But we love them. It makes us feel like it's Christmas time. So, I want to share a few with you guys.....auight, here we go.
1.) Elf, the movie. Yes, that's right, we watch the movie a minimum of six time during the Christmas. Will Ferrell is hilarious in this movie. I cry laughing every time I watch. Funny stuff, you and your family should watch this movie if you've never seen it. No, seriously, go out right now and buy it, it's only $13.42 at Wal-Mart, go get it and laugh your head off!
2.) A guess gift. Okay, here's how it works in my house. We each have one gift that whenever it is purchased and wrapped we immediatly get to start guessing what it is. If you guess what it is, you get to open it right then. The catch is, is that if you don't guess what it is, even by Christmas day you still can't open it. No opening the gift for any reason until you have guessed what it is. If you've really had a brain fart, then there may be a wrapped present lying there in the living room till Valentines Day! Yep, sheer torture. And you can only ask yes or no questions in the guessing process. Very fun. I was never really good at this, mine always took a few days, but my sister C, she could always guess hers in like twenty minutes! I think mom and dad always like to watch us squirm!
3.) At some point during our family time during Christmas we always read the Christmas story from Luke 2 as a family. We all take turns, have a certain portion that we read, and read in a particular order. Boring....yes, but special to take time to remember why we celebrate, and what better way than to read the greatest story ever told. Very cool.
Love you guys,
Has God ever just smacked you in the face with something? Well, He smacked me today....hard. I'm having a tough time right now with my job. I may lose mine and it's scarey and frusterating. Yesterday was a bad day. Well, God threw this at me this morning....and it smacked me right in the face. It is today's Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest Devotion today. Thank you Lord, you are so good and I love You more than a job. Thank you.
"It is only a faithful person who truly believes that God sovereignly controls his circumstances. We take our circumstances for granted, saying God is in control, but not really believing it. We act as if the things that happen were completely controlled by people. To be faithful in every circumstance means that we have only one loyalty, or object of our faith— the Lord Jesus Christ. God may cause our circumstances to suddenly fall apart, which may bring the realization of our unfaithfulness to Him for not recognizing that He had ordained the situation. We never saw what He was trying to accomplish, and that exact event will never be repeated in our life. This is where the test of our faithfulness comes. If we will just learn to worship God even during the difficult circumstances, He will change them for the better very quickly if He so chooses.
Being faithful to Jesus Christ is the most difficult thing we try to do today. We will be faithful to our work, to serving others, or to anything else; just don’t ask us to be faithful to Jesus Christ. Many Christians become very impatient when we talk about faithfulness to Jesus. Our Lord is dethroned more deliberately by Christian workers than by the world. We treat God as if He were a machine designed only to bless us, and we think of Jesus as just another one of the workers.
The goal of faithfulness is not that we will do work for God, but that He will be free to do His work through us. God calls us to His service and places tremendous responsibilities on us. He expects no complaining on our part and offers no explanation on His part. God wants to use us as He used His own Son."
I thought I would take a minute to brag on my alma mater. Alcoa stood alone in the record books, even if it was just for a day....but the Tornadoes' victory over Goodpasture last Friday night secured their fourth Class 2A title in a row, making Alcoa the first school in Tennessee to win four consecutive state titles.
On the legs of quarterback Randall Cobb and the strength of a stingy defense, Alcoa High School claimed victory Friday night with a 35-3 win over Goodpasture at Middle Tennessee State's Floyd Stadium.
It feels good to be part of a winning tradition.
Fact # 5 - Jesus came back from the dead. This is the one that pretty much knocks out any possibility of Jesus being "just another religious leader." You can visit the graves of every founder of every other religion, and unless someone dug them up and sold them on e-Bay, they should still be there. Jesus' grave was a three-day rental, and it is has been empty for nearly 2000 years. Actually his grave was borrowed, which proves the point even more. He knew He was going to die, so why would He completely ignore making any funeral plans unless He knew there was no need for them? No one has ever found His body, and no one ever will, because He's alive and well.
Fact #6 - Jesus ascended into heaven. This one is often overlooked, but it is very important. After Jesus came back from the dead, the Bible tells us that He appeared to more than 500 people (I Corinthians 15:6). After His appearances, He put an exclamation point on the story of His life by being transported to heaven. Here's what happened: Read Acts 1:8-12 "When the Holy Spirit has come upon you, you will receive power and will tell people about me everywhere--in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." It was not long after he said this that he was taken up into the sky while they were watching, and he disappeared into a cloud. As they were straining their eyes to see him, two white-robed men suddenly stood there among them. They said, "Men of Galilee, why are you standing here staring at the sky? Jesus has been taken away from you into heaven. And someday, just as you saw him go, he will return!" Jesus was taken up to heaven, and the angels promised that one day He will return. That was kinda their way of saying "Jesus is coming back, so don't look busy, get busy!" Go ahead and google every other religious leader. They didn't go up, they went down - and they aren't coming back.
So now that you know what you're talking about, it's time to start talking to those who don’t know. You have the truth, so open your mouth and let them know. There may be someone who has realized the uniqueness of Jesus for the first time. There may also be some who have trusted Christ, but have rediscovered how incredible our Savior is and what He offers us in our everyday lives
Jesus is completely different and unique from every other religious leader because He has always existed, was born of a virgin, lived a perfect life, made extreme claims and proved them to be true by coming back from the dead and ascending into heaven.
How should I feel about all this you may be asking? Confident and extremely grateful. Confident that you have discovered the truth about Jesus, and because of that you should be grateful that you personally know the God-Man who split history in half and paid the penalty for your sin. Be grateful as well that one day He is coming back to take you to your true home!
You ever wonder why some people just flat out refuse to hear the truth about Jesus? The Bible tells us why:Satan, the god of this evil world, has blinded the minds of those who don't believe, so they are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News that is shining upon them. They don't understand the message we preach about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God. (2 Corinthians 4:4)The good news is that the good news of the gospel can remove the blinders from our friends who need to trust Christ. As one writer put it: "with great power comes great responsibility". You have the facts about Jesus, and that is a powerful message. Will you fulfill your responsibility? Don't let the facts about Jesus go to waste.