OK, why is it that when God wants me to do something for Him (apparently pretty urgently), He just comes at me from so many different angles? Am I that thick? Again...apparently. There are times that I get, what I think are, pretty clever ideas. But I always seem to question myself; It goes something like this..."Hey, that's a pretty good idea! But, wait, is this what I want or is this what God wants? Could it be both? I'm sure if God really wants me to move forward He will confirm it some other way...right?" Does this sound familiar to anyone else? Is it just me?
Anyway, the reason I brought this up is our church is starting up a new (for lack of better words) "worship service" on Saturday nights called The Gathering. This idea/vision has been brewing inside of me for better than 5 years and I wasn't quite sure it would ever come to fruition. The Gathering starts up on March 7th and as it gets closer those whispers seem to come back to mess with me..."this is all your idea", "you are doomed to failure", "it will never work", "nobody will come", and on and on it goes. The nice part is God has surrounded me with people who were also given a vision for The Gathering and it is remarkably similar to the vision He gave me. These people literally came at me from every side...people age 18-55...people I had no idea would be interested in something like this! We serve a God that doesn't deal in coincidences. We serve a God who is deliberate and knows what we each need to move forward when He needs us to. Do you believe that? Do I believe that? My actions don't always match my words in that department, but I am learning to lean on Him and trust a little more each day. Remember, the "lanaguage of Fear" has no place in the lives of those who claim the name of Christ. May God help me...and you...to remember that.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
A couple months ago I was working through the book of 1 Samuel and was intrigued with the story of Saul, Jonathan, and Jonathans armor bearer in chapter 14. A small patrol (100-200 soldiers) of Philistines had blocked the Micmash Pass where the Israelites need to go through and had stalled the whole Israelite army. Here's where it got interesting to me...Saul sat down and relaxed under a tree waiting for God to speak to him and show him a way to resolve the situation. Jonathan took matters into his own hands. Jonathan and his armor bearer took on the patrol by believing that God was with them...just the two of them...and won. Sometimes God wants you to wait on Him as He provides a way. Sometimes God wants you to act right away. So do you say no to any action until you have all the facts and info and you feel comfortable in moving ahead, or do you move through open doors as they open and trust that God will take care of you? Well, in this instance, God blessed Jonathans actions that day. Does it always work this way, probably not. Maybe there is a reason I identify with people like David, Jonathan, and Peter...people after Gods heart that despite being a bit impatient and prone to making mistakes also made HUGE contributions to the work of God. May God continue to bless my sometimes feeble efforts to further His work.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Fear is an interesting and greatly over-used word in American society today. Ever heard some of these phrases..."I'm just afraid that..."; or "My fear is that..."; "It's going well, (knock on wood)"? It is so engrained in our society to "wait for the other shoe to drop" so to speak. I guess the current state of our economy doesn't help the situation much either. But should it be the same for those of us who have chosen to follow Christ? Does fear play a prominent role in your life? Should it? A few verses come to mind right away such as Jeremiah 29:11, 1 John 4:18, and Romans 8:15...look those verses up and make up your own mind. We who follow the words of Jesus and his disciples have a reason for the hope inside us and should NOT fear anything or anyone. God will not give me anything that He and I can not handle together, right(1 Corinthians 10:13)? God is faithful, never leaving us; so why all of the fear in the lives of his followers? My prayer for you (and me) is that our trust is so complete in Christ that words and everyday phrases involving fear are eradicated from our vocabularies.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
You know, ever since I was little and growing up as a preachers kid in various church's around the Northeast and Midwest, I have heard this term..."The Body of Christ." I'm not sure I ever truly understood what it meant or what it was supposed to look like. What I do know is that I have seen a pretty dysfunctional picture from the various places I have landed. Don't get me wrong, I love the church but man, it can be a little rough around the edges sometimes. For those of you who know me will agree that I can have a jaded/sarcastic point-of-view from time to time...God is helping me with this...but this past weekend helped restore my faith in the church as the body of christ. What do you know about that...it really does work! I saw people sacrificing their time and effort at one of the absolute busiest times of the year for people they most likely didn't know at all. I saw the leadership becoming last so others could be first...across the board children, teens, and adults. I saw people serving in areas where they are gifted...huh...what a great idea ;) I got to see many parts of the body of christ serving in unity and harmony...as one body. Everyday ordinary people loving and serving everyday ordinary people. Thank you Jesus for this gift to me, an accurate picture of your body at work. Help me to pass it on...
Thursday, December 18, 2008
My son, Kidron, is 4 1/2 years old and he is sooooo excited about Christmas he can hardly contain himself. He keeps asking, "Is Christmas tomorrow yet?" mainly because we keeping telling him how many days are left before Christmas gets here...he's not quite getting the meaning of "tomorrow" I think. We recently attended a Christmas party where there were a good 50 -60 people crammed into one home and half of them were little kids. We had a great time as Santa came and handed out one present a piece to each child that was there while the parents sat around and took pictures and just enjoyed being together. Now Kidron got a great gift (Thomas Train and tracks) that he thoroughly enjoys, but his first question after he opened his gift was "Where's my next gift?". These two scenarios brought me to this question...What am I teaching my boys (I have another son, Kasen, who is just over a year old) about Christmas? Not just my words, because Kidron has heard the story of baby Jesus many times, but what are my actions telling him? Are my words about how important the gift of Jesus is and that He, indeed, is the reason for the season matching up with the "running around like a chicken with my head cut off to get yet another present for my kids" craziness that overtakes us this time of year? Am I confusing my son when I talk about what he wants on his Christmas list, show him all of the Rudolph, Frosty, and Santa specials on TV, and explain all about what happens with Santa and Rudolph on Christmas Eve, and how he gets down the chimney and so on way more than I do about the life changing gift of Jesus Christ to the world...Am I out of balance...are you? I continue to think and pray about this...I want my sons to be givers who think of others before themselves, not just the type of person who wants to know where his next gift is...Lord, help me to model this more with my actions and not just my words in front of my boys this holiday season. Merry Christmas and Happy Birthday Jesus!
Thursday, December 11, 2008
I was reading in John, chapter ten, about Jesus talking to the pharisees about a common, everyday, ordinary subject that anybody in first century Palestine would know and understand...sheep. It was THE way of life most common to those in everyday life. Jesus is like that, you know, talking to us in language we can understand easily...yet it is so deep and so rich under the surface. Anyhow, I digress, back to the sheep...sheep are just incredibly dumb and helpless, it is no wonder Jesus compares us to them so much. Sheep need to be led to water, led to food, led to shelter, protected from predators, led away from danger...none of it could be done on their own. I am so like that...Jesus needs to lead me to food and water for my soul in scripture and prayer, he is constantly protecting me and guiding me through the Spirit, he shelters me from the storms of life, and he leads me constantly through prayer. Jesus IS my shepherd. I know his voice and I am working on responding ONLY to his voice. We tend to get confused at times because we respond to alot of "other" shepherds voices that are not and/or should not be our shepherd. Do you know THE shepherd, Jesus', voice so well you know it without a doubt? Or, are you confused by the myriad of other voices of predators and false shepherds seeking to lead you away and to your ultimate destruction? We can learn a lesson from sheep as well, they will respond ONLY to THEIR shepherds voice and nobody elses...did you know that? Lets be like our comparison partners, the sheep...stay close to Jesus, the one and only shepherd of our hearts and lives. Merry Christmas!
Monday, December 8, 2008
You know that passage of scripture where Paul is going on and on about doing what he doesn't want to do and not doing what he wants to do? I think that is kind-of how it is with me and prayer. I LOVE my times of prayer with God, but it seems like I don't give myself enough time, or I forget, or I allow something else more"urgent" to squeeze prayer time down or even out all together...aaahhh! Frustration! You ever been there? I went to the church last night for the 5pm prayer time Pastor Sam hosts each Sunday. It was an excellent hour of prayer...powerful, but there was only 5 of us there. I got to wondering...why? I'm not going to hazard a guess as to peoples motives for not coming out to pray, who knows, maybe people were praying at home...but it got me to realize the life-giving and life-threatening nature of prayer for our spiritual lives. Just like air for our bodies, so is prayer for our spiritual lives...you get a heavy dose and your soul thrives, lives and is vibrant...you don't get enough your soul starts this slow descent to dieing. I hope that's not too melodramatic, I just know that it is true for my life. So, in this busy holiday season...now, more than ever...pray. Your soul will thank you for it :)